GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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j36                    THE TWIN BROTHERS.
There were once two brothers, one of them rich, the other poor* The rich brother was a goldsmith, and had a wicked heart. The poor brother supported himself by making brooms, and was good and honest. He had two children, twin brothers, who resembled each other as closely as one drop of water resembles another. The two boys went sometimes to the house of their rich uncle to get the pieces that were left from the table, for they were often very hungry.
It happened one day that while their father was in the wood gathering rushes for his brooms, that he saw a bird whose plumage shone like gold—he had never in his life seen any bird like it. He picked up a stone and threw it at the bird hoping to be lucky enough to secure it, but the stone only knocked off a golden feather, and the bird flew away.
The man took the feather and brought it to his brother, who, when he saw it, exclaimed, " That is real gold." and gave him a great deal of money for it. Another day, as the man climbed up a beech tree, hoping to find the golden bird's nest—the same bird flew over his head, and on searching farther he found a nest, and in it lay two golden eggs. He took the eggs home and showed them to his brother, who said again, " They are real gold." and gave him what they were worth. At last the goldsmith said, " You may as wrell get me the bird, if you can."
So the poor brother went again to the wood, and after a time, seeing the bird perched on a tree, he knocked it down with a stone, and brought it to his brother, who gave him a large heap of money for it " Now," thought he, " I can support myself for the future," and went home to his house full of joy.
The goldsmith, however, who was clever and cunning, knew well the real value of the bird. So he called his wife and said: "Roast the gold bird for me, and be careful that no one comes in, as I wish to eat it quite alone." The bird was, indeed, not a common bird; it had a wonderful power even when dead. For any person who ate the heart and liver, would every morning find under his pillow a piece of gold. The goldsmith's wife pre­pared the bird, stuck it on the spit and left it to roast