GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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There was once a peasant who was very poor; he had a smaR house, but no land in which to grow corn or vegetables. The peasant had an only daughter, and she said one day to her father, " I am sure if the king knew how poor we are, he would give us a little piece of waste land. I shall ask somebody to tell him."
When the king heard how poor they were, he not only sent the peasant a piece of ground but also a small quantity of turf. The father and daughter dug up the ground carefully, for they wished to sow a little corn and make the place fruitful. But while they were digging and turning up the earth, they found a piece of pure gold. On seeing it the father took it up eagerly, and said to his daughter, "As the king has been so kind as to give us the field, we ought to send him this piece of gold."
But the maiden was not willing for her father to do so. " Father," she said, " if we speak of this we shall have to work for nothing, and give up all we find in future, therefore wc had better keep silent."
He would not listen, however, to her advice, but took up the piece of gold, carried it to the king, told him where he had found it, and asked if he would accept it as a token of his respect and gratitude. The king took the gold in his hand and asked him if he had not found more. The peasant replied truthfully " No." But he was not believed. "I must have the whole of the gold," said the king, " it is not likely you would bring me all you have found, so go and fetch it."
In vain the peasant assured the king that he had found no more; it was as if he spoke to the winds, and at last the poor honest fellow was placed in confinement and told that he must remain there till he gave up the rest of the treasure. The servants were told to take him bread and water every day, which were all the provisions allowed to prisoners, but he would neither eat nor drink, and was constantly crying out, " Oh, that I had listened to my daughter ! oh, that I had listened to my daughter !"
Then the servants went to the king and told him what the prisoner was always crying out, and that he would neither eat nor