GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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the way to the iceberg. When she arrived the gate was closed; she opened her handkerchief to take out the key, but found it empty; she had forgotten the advice of the kind stars. What was she to do now ? She wished to rescue her brothers, and had no key to the iceberg.
At last the good little sister thought she would put her finger into the lock instead of a key. After twisting and turning it about, which hurt her very much, she happily succeeded in opening it, and immediately entered.
Presently a little dwarf came forward to meet her and said, " My child, what are you seeking ?"
" I seek my brothers, the seven ravens," she said.
" The seven ravens are not at home," replied the dwarf, " but if you like to wait here till they return, pray step in."
Then the little dwarf took the maiden to the room where supper was prepared for the seven ravens, on seven little plates, by which stood seven little cups of water.
So the sister ate a few crumbs from each plate, and drank a little draught from each cup, and into the last cup she let fall the ring that she brought from home.
Before she could get it out again, she heard the rushing of wings in the air, and the little dwarf said, " Here come the seven Mr. Ravens flying home."
Then she hid herself behind the door, to see and hear what they would do. They came in and were about to eat their supper, but as they caught sight of their little cups and plates, they said one to another, "Who has been eating from my little plate?" "Who has been drinking from my little cup?" "It has been touched by the mouth of a human being," cried one ; " and look here, what is this ?" He took up his cup and turned it over, and out rolled the little ring, which they knew had once belonged to their father and mother.
Then, said the eldest, " Oh, I remember that ring. Oh, if our sister would only come here, we should be free."
The maiden, who heard the wish from behind the door, came forth smiling, and stood before them.
In that same moment the seven ravens were freed from the enchantment, and became seven handsome young men. Oh, how joyfully they all kissed each other, and their little sister, and started off at once in great happiness, to their parents and their home;