horse's nose, and a trough filled with oats beneath its tail, and then he tied the halter fast to a hook and went away into the inn. So the horse stood there stamping, and kicking, and snorting, and rearing, and out came a girl who thought it a sin and a shame to treat a horse so ill.
' Ah, poor creature, what a master you must have to treat you thus !' she said, and pushed the halter off the hook so that the horse might turn round and eat the oats.
' I am here ! ' shrieked Farmer Weatherbeard, rushing out of doors. But the horse had already shaken off the halter and flung himself into a goose-pond, where he changed himself into a little fish. Farmer Weatherbeard went after him, and changed himself into a great pike. So Jack turned himself into a dove, and Farmer Weatherbeard turned himself into a hawk, and flew after the dove and struck it. But a Princess was standing at a window in the King's palace watching the struggle.
' If thou didst but know as much as I know, thou wouldst fly in to me through the window,' said the Princess to the dove.
So the dove came flying in through the window and changed itself into Jack again, and told her all as it had happened.
' Change thyself into a gold ring, and set thyself on my finger,' said the Princess.
' No, that will not do,' said Jack,' for then Farmer Weatherbeard will make the King fall sick, and there will be no one who can make him well again before Farmer Weatherbeard comes and cures him, and for that he will demand the gold ring.'
' I will say that it was my mother's, and that I will not part with it,' said the Princess.
So Jack changed himself into a gold ring, and set himself on the Princess's finger, and Farmer Weatherbeard could not get at him there. But then all that the youth had foretold came to pass.
The King became ill, and there was no doctor who could cure him till Farmer Weatherbeard arrived, and he demanded the ring which was on the Princess's finger as a reward.
So the King sent a messenger to the Princess for the ring. She, however, refused to part with it, because she had inherited it from her mother. When the King was informed of this he fell into a rage, and said that he would have the ring, let her have inherited it from whom she might.
' Well, it's of no use to be angry about it,' said the Princess,' for