GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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to his great joy that he was free to walk on even to the castle-gate. He went in through the court, and stood still to listen, hoping that he might find out where the birds were kept by their twittering. At last he heard, and went on till he reached the hall in which the wicked old woman had shut up the birds in the seven thousand wicker basket cages. As soon as they saw Yoringal they were very spiteful; they scolded, and hissed, and spit poison and venom at him; but they could not reach to hurt him.
He did not turn back, however, but went on still farther, till he had found the nightingales. There were several hundred, and how among so many was he to find Florinda ?
As he stood looking and considering, he saw all at once the old woman moving stealthily away towards the door with a basket containing a bird in her hands. Swiftly he sprung upon her, and on touching the basket and the old woman with the flower, her power over Florinda was over; she could do them no more harm. In a moment the young girl stood before him in her own proper form, as beautiful as ever, and clasped him round the neck with her arms.
Then he touched all the other birds with his flower, and set the young women free from the spell. After this he went home with Florinda, and it was not very long before they were married, and lived in great happiness for the rest of their lives.
A father once sent for his three sons to advise them how they should act after his death. " I am old," he said, " my death is near, and I must prepare for the end. I have no money to leave you ; but what I can leave, although it is very little, depends upon yourselves to be turned to some good account, if you under­stand how to employ it rightly."
Then he gave to the eldest a cock; to the second a scythe; and to the third a cat, and said : " Take these, seek a country where such things are unknown, and so will you each make a fortune."
After the father's death, the eldest son started on his enter* prise, and went through many towns where the cock was a well-