GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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even should the king escape by the horse being killed, he will never marry his betrothed, for as soon as they enter the palace, a splendid bridal robe will be presented to him on a silver salver, and it will appear as if woven of gold and silver thread, in­stead of which it will be made of sulphur und pitch, and the moment he puts it on, it will burn him even to the marrow of his bones."
" And is there a remedy for this also ?" asked the third crow. " Of course there is, for if any one with gloves on will seize the robe and throw it into the fire, the robe will be burnt and thejung saved. And should any person know this and speak of it, he would be turned into stone from his knees to his heart"
"Ah! well," cried the third crow, "even supposing the king were saved from the burning robe, he would still lose his bride, for at the ball on the wedding night, while he is dancing with her, she will suddenly faint and fall down as if dead, and unless someone will immediately draw three drops of blood from her right shoulder and spit it out again, she will really die. And if any one did know this, and spoke of it, he would be changed to stone from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot and become a statue."
As soon as the crows had finished this conversation they flew away, but faithful John had heard and understood it all, and re­mained for a long time still and sad.
At last he determined to be silent and not say a word to his master of what he had heard, besides he knew that even to hint about it to the king would cost him his own life.
" Ah ! well," he said to himself. " I will save my master, even if it should be my own ruin."
As soon as they landed John saw at once that what the crows had prophesied would take place.
p. There was the noble chesnut horse in readiness for the king to mount " Heyday," said he, " here is a splendid creature for me to ride to my castle, I will mount at once." But faithful John started forward and quickly drawing a pistol from the holster, shot the horse dead.
There was a great disturbance among the other servants, who were rather jealous of John. "It was scandalous," they said, "to kill such a beautiful horse, just as it had been brought ior the king to ride to the castle." ,