GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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THE SHEPHERDS FLOWER.             225
her blood, whose headv she herself had cut off. In a terrible fury the old witch sprang to the window, from which she could see to a very great distance, and soon espied her step-daughter going hastily away with her lover Roland.
It is useless for them to try to escape from me." she cried; " however far they may be on their way, I can overtake them." So she put on her one mile shoes, in which she could travel an hour's walk in one step, and it was not very long before she had overtaken them both.
But as soon as the maiden saw her coming, she touched her dear lloland with the magic wand, and he was immediately turned into a lake; then she transformed herself into a duck, and swam upon its surface.
The witch stood on the shore, and threw bread-crumbs to the duck, and took a great deal of trouble to decoy her; but the duck would not allow herself to be enticed. So the old woman was obliged to return home that evening without having gained her object.
When she was gone, the maiden and her lover resumed their natural forms, and travelled during the whole night, till the day dawned. Then she transformed herself into a beautiful flower, growing in a hedge of thorns, and her lover into a fiddler.
Not long after, the witch stepped up, and said, " Dear fiddler, may I pick the beautiful flower for myself?"
M Oh, yes," answered he, " and I will play you a tune."
Now, the fiddle being produced by a witch's staff, was a magic fiddle; therefore, just as she had crept into the hedge of thorns to break off the flower, for she knew well who it was, the fiddler played a magic tune, to which she was obliged to dance. The faster he played, the higher she had to spring and dance in the thorn hedge, while the thorns tore the clothes from her back, scratched her skin till the blood came, and, as he would not stop playing, she was obliged to dance till she fell down dead.
As they were now free from the power of the witch, they re­sumed their natural shape, and Roland said, " Now I will go home to my father, and arrange about our marriage."
" And I will stay here and wait for you, and that no one may recognize me, I will turn myself into a red land-mark."
Then Roland went away, and the maiden placed herself as a red stone in the field, and waited for her lover.