GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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THE LION'S CASTLE.                   335
be changed into a dove, and join the flock, and for seven long years I should have to fly with them."
" Oh f she cried, " only go with me, and I will take care to hide you from all lights."
So they set out together, took their little child with them, and arrived at night when the young prince could appear in his own shape. He placed himsef in a room near the great hall, of which the walls were so thick that no ray of light could penetrate, and here he promised to remain till the marriage ceremony was over. The door, however, owing to the wood of which it had been made not being properly seasoned, had a small crack which no one noticed. The prince sat alone in this room in total dark­ness while the wedding party went to church.
On their return, however, many candles and lamps were carried into the hall, and so it happened that through the crevice in the door a ray of only a hair's breadth fell upon the prince, and, as it rested upon him, he was changed in a moment.
After the festival was over, his young wife came to seek for him, but there was nothing in the room excepting a white dove !
"Ah, me," said the dove, " I must now fly about the world for seven years ; but you must follow me, and at every seventh step you will see on your path a white feather and a drop of blood, which I will let fall to show you the way, and, if you keep on that track, you will at last be able to set me free."
Then the dove flew out at the door, and the poor young wife sadly followed, carefully observing where the white feathers and the blood-drops fell, and following the track carefully.
Steadily she kept on her way through the world as the dove flew, not looking to the right hand or the left. At last, the seven year,* drew towards a close, and she was full of joy, for she thought the time was near when she should be able to break the enchanter's spell.
- But in the midst of this hope she was one day alarmed at finding that the feathers and the blood-drops had ceased to fall, and, when ahe raised her eyes to look, the dove had vanished.
"Oh," she said to herself, "man cannot help me now." So she c;imbta up to the Sun, and said to him: "Oh, Sun! thou shmest everywhere, and thy rays penetrate the smallest crevice and gild tnc highest pinnacle; hast thou seen a white dove ftylng near?