THE FORTUNE SEEKERS.
entirely of silver, and the eldest brother exclaimed, " Now have I found the good fortune I hoped for; I can wish for nothing better than this."
So he gathered up as much silver as he could carry, turned round, and went home. The two younger brothers, however, were not yet satisfied, and one said to the other, " We want something better for our fortunes than uncoined silver."
So they continued on their way without attempting to take any. In the course of a day or two the two brothers came to another mountain which was composed entirely of gold. Then the second brother stood still and seemed for a time quite undecided.
"What shall I do?" he said; "shall I take gold enough from here to last my life, or shall I go farther ?"
After considering for a long time, he suddenly formed a resolution, and filling his pockets with as much as they would hold, wished his brother farewell, and returned home. After he was gone, the youngest said to himself, " Silver and gold do not tempt me. I will not give up trying for a fortune yet. Who knows ? Very likely mine will be the best after all."
So he travelled on, and at the end of three days came to another forest, so much larger than the former that it seemed to have no end, and while there he found nothing to eat or drink, so that he was almost starved. At last he climbed to the top of a high tree, hoping to discover a way out of the forest; but as far as the eye could reach nothing could be seen but the tree tops. So he began to descend the tree very slowly; for his hunger was becoming painful.
" Oh !" he exclaimed, "if I could only find something to satisfy this dreadful hunger!"
But when he reached the foot of the tree, what was his surprise and astonishment to see a table laid out with a delicious supper, the odour from which was most tempting.
"This time," cried he, "my wish has been fulfilled at the right moment;" and without asking any questions as to who had brought the supper or who had cooked it, he placed himself at the table and ate till his hunger was appeased. As soon as he had finished he thought, "What a pity it would be to leave this nice little table here in the wood to spoil."
So he packed it up very carefully, and carried it away with him.