GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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THE FALSE BRIDE.                    281
There was once an old queen whose husband had been dead many years, and she had a beautiful daughter. This daughter had been for some time betrothed to the son of a king who lived many miles away. She was now grown up, and the queen knew that very soon her child must leave her, and travel into distant lands, to be the wife of the king's son, so she began to collect many costly things which were to be sent with her as marriage presentsódresses and trinkets, gold and silver, goblets and jewels, indeed everything suitable for the treasures of a royal bride, for she loved her child dearly.
She gave her also a waiting-maid to ride with her, and to place her hand in that of the bridegroom. The queen also provided each a horse for the journey, and the bride's horse, which was named " Falada," could speak.
When the farewell hour arrived, the queen repaired to her sleeping-room, took a small knife, and cut her finger till it bled. Then she laid a piece of rag on the table, and let fall three drops of blood on it, and after folding it up, gave it to her daughter, and said, "Dear child, take care not to lose this, and no harm will happen to you on the way." The queen took a sorrowful leave of her daughter, who had placed the piece of rag in her bosom before she seated herself on her horse, to ride away to her bridegroom.
After journeying about an hour, the heat made the princess very thirsty, and, stopping her horse, she said to her waiting-maiden, " Please alight, and draw me some water in one of my little cups which the queen, my mother, gave me ; I must have something to drink, I am so thirsty."
" If you are thirsty," replied the waiting-maid, " get down from your horse yourself, and lie down by the brook and drink ; I am not going to be your servant."
The princess got off her horse, for her thirst was very great, and, lying down, she drank from the stream, for she knew she durst not ask for the cup. But she could not help sighing, and then she heard a voice from the piece of rag in her bosom say, " If the queen-mother knew this, she would break her heart" But the