GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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It was not long before he reached a meadow, and there he saw to his surprise his old friend the stork, standing, like a philosopher contemplating a frog which croaked near him, and which he at last swallowed. Then he turned, saw the tailor, and advanced to greet him. " I see," he said, raising himself, " that you have your knapsack on your back. Why are you leaving the town ?"
Then the tailor told him that the king required of him what it was impossible for him to do, and then began to mourn over his unhappy fate.
" Don't let any grey hairs grow out of that trouble," said the stork ; " I will help you in your difficulty. I have already brought many babies to your town, and I can just as well bring a little prince out of the well this time as any other child. Go home, and make yourself quite comfortable; in nine days from to-day, go up to the king's castle, and I will be there."
The tailor went home, and was careful to be at the castle at the appointed time. He had not been long there when the stork appeared flying through the air, and quickly tapped at the window with ;his beak. The tailor opened it, and "Cousin Long-legs" stepped cautiously in, and walked gravely across the smooth marble floor. He had a little child in his beak, who was as beau­tiful as an angel, and it stretched out its little hands to the queen. The'stork advanced and laid the child on the queen's lap, and she kissed it, and pressed it to her heart, and was almost beside her­self with joy.
Before he flew away, the stork took his travelling pouch from his shoulder and presented it to the queen. It contained a horn full of coloured sugar-plums to be divided among the young prin­cesses. The eldest, however, would not take any. She said, as she was going to be married, she would give up her share to her sisters.
The tailor was again the merry tailor of past days, and he said : " It seems to me as if I had been drawing lots and winning. My mother was right: she said that if we trusted to Providence and acted honestly, we should never want."
After this the shoemaker was ordered to leave the town ; but before he went he was obliged to make the shoes in which the tailor was to dance at his wedding. He turned his steps towards the forest in which he had so cruelly served his comrade, and