THE GOLDEN BIRD. 243
into the king's courtyard. Nobody knew him, but the bird began to chirp, and the horse began to feed, and the beautiful princess ceased weeping.
" What does this mean ? " said the king, astonished.
The princess answered,
" I cannot tell, except that I was sad, and now I am joyful; it is to me as if my rightful bridegroom had returned."
Then she told him all that happened, although the two brothers had threatened to put her to death if she let out anything. The king then ordered every person who was in the castle to be brought before him, and with the rest came the young man like a beggar in his wretched garments; but the princess knew him, and greeted him well, falling on his neck and kissing him. The wicked brothers were seized and put to death, and the youngest brother was married to the princess, and succeeded to the inheritance of his father.
But what became of the poor fox? Long afterwards the king's son was going through the wood, and the fox met him and said,
" Now, you have everything that you can wish for, but my misfortunes never come to an end, and it lies in your power to free me from them." And once more he prayed the king's : son earnestly to slay him, and cut off his head and feet. So, at last, he consented, and no sooner was it done than the fox was changed into a man, and was no other than the brother of the beautiful princess; and thus he was set free from a spell that had bound him for a long, long time.
And now, indeed, there lacked nothing to their happiness as long as they lived.