THE TWO CASKETS
certainly taken all the jewels for herself had she not feared the wrath of the neighbours, who loved her stepdaughter as much as they hated her.
But if she could not steal the casket and its contents for herself, at least she could get another like it, and perhaps a still richer one. So she bade her own daughter sit on the edge of the well, and threw her into the water, exactly as she had done to the other girl; and, exactly as before, the flowery meadow lay at the bottom.
Every inch of the way she trod the path which her stepsister had trodden, and saw the things which she had seen; but there the likeness ended. When the fence prayed her to do it no harm, she laughed rudely, and tore up some of the stakes so that she might get over the more easily; when the oven offered her bread, she scattered the loaves on the ground and stamped on them; and after she had milked the cow, and drunk as much as she wanted, she threw the rest on the grass, and kicked the pail to bits, and never heard them say, as they looked after her: 'You shall not have done this to me for nothing!'
Towards evening she reached the spot where the old woman was leaning against the gate-post, but she passed her by without a word.
'Have you no manners in your country?' asked the crone.
'I can't stop and talk; I am in a hurry,' answered the girl. 'It is getting late, and I have to find a place.'
' Stop and comb my hair for a little,' said the old woman, 'and I will help you to get a place.'
'Comb your hair, indeed! I have something better to do than that!' And slamming the gate in the crone's face she went her way. And she never heard the words that followed her: 'You shall not have done this to me for nothing!'
By-and-by the girl arrived at the farm, and she was engaged to look after the cows and sift the corn as her