GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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thing in order. So he took up the carving-knife, with which he intended to carve the fowl, and went out to sharpen it on the stones in the passage.
While he was doing so, the guests arrived, and knocked gently and courteously at the house-door. Grethel ran out to see who it was, and when she caught sight of the visitors, she placed her finger on her lips, and whispered, " Hush, hush ! go back again as quickly as you came. If my master should catch you, it would be unfortu­nate. He did invite you to dinner this evening; but with no other intention than to cut off both the ears of each of you. Listen, you can hear him sharpening his knife."
The guests heard the sound, and hastened as fast as they could down the steps, and were soon out of sight.
Grethel wras not idle. She ran screaming to her master, and cried, "You have invited fine visitors, certainly 1"
" Hi! Why, Grethel, what do you mean?"
"Oh!" she exclaimed, "they came here just now, and have taken my two beautiful fowls from the dish that I was going to bring up for dinner, and run away with them."
" What strange conduct!" said her master, who was so sorry to ose his nice dinner that he rushed out to follow the thieves. " If they had only left me one, or at least enough for my own dinner," he cried, running after them. But the more he cried to them to stop, the faster they ran; and when they saw him with the knife in his hand, and heard him say, " Only one! Only one!" he meant, if they had left him "only one fowl;" but they thought he spoke of " only one ear," which he intended to cut off, and so they ran as if fire were burning around them, and were not satisfied till they found themselves safe at home with both ears untouched.
Once upon a time there was a very old man who lived with his son and daughter-in-law. His eyes were dim, his knees tottered under him when he walked, and he was very deaf. As he sat at table, his hand shook so that he would often spill the soup over the table-cloth, or on his clothes, and sometimes even he could not