GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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water for my husband who has swallowed a large nut kernel, and will be choked/"
The bride answered: " Run first and fetch me my wreath which hangs on the willow yonder."
Then ran the hen to the willow, and fetched the wreath. The bride gave her the red silk, which she took to the spring, and got some water at last. But it was too late; when she brought the water to the cock ; she found him lying dead on the ground, for the nut had choked him.
The hen was in such distress that she gave a loud scream, which brought all the animals running in a great fright to see what was the matter. Then they all mourned for the cock, and six mice offered to build a little carriage for the funeral, and, when it was finished, they harnessed themselves to it, and drew it to the grave, while the hen followed. On the way they met a fox, who asked where they were going.
" I am going to bury my husband," replied the hen.
" May I go with you ?" asked the fox.
" Yes, if you follow behind ; for my little horses could not draw the carriage with you on it."
So the fox placed himself behind, and then came up a wolf, a bear, a stag, and a lion, and many other beasts of the forest, and joined the procession. They had not gone far when they came to a brook.
" How are we to get over here ?" asked the hen.
There was a stalk of straw lying on the brook, and it said : " I will place myself across from one side to the other, and you can easily get over me."
But when the six mice stepped on the bridge, it broke under them, and they all fell in and were drowned. This was a new trouble; but presently a coal came by and said : " I think I am big and strong enough to carry you over safely."
So the coal placed himself in the water, but he had nothing to rest upon, and being too heavy to swim, he sunk to the bottom, and was drowned.
At last a large stone took compassion on them, and laid itself across the stream from one side to the other. Over this the hen drew the waggon with her dead husband upon it, and landed it quite safely on the opposite shore.