GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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time ; till at last it sank down and left him on the ground in a large vegetable garden, surrounded by walls.
The hunter raised himself and looked round. " I am very hungry." he said, " but what is there here to eat ? no apples, or pears, or fruit of any kind; nothing but vegetables, and the best are only cabbages." At last he thought that in a time of need a salad was better than nothing, especially when it was fresh.
So he searched for what appeared to be a beautiful cabbage, cut it off, and began to eat. No sooner had he swallowed twomouth-fuls than a strange sensation came over him, and he felt himself becoming quite changed. His arms were growing to legs, his head became thicker, and out of it grew two long ears, and he discovered with terror that he had been changed into an ass. Still his hunger urged him to go on eating the juicy vegetable, which to his new nature tasted so good, till it was all gone. Then he turned to another part of the garden and commenced eating another, but he had scarcely swallowed any of this one, when he found himself changed anew, and presently he recovered his former shape as a man.
After this the hunter laid himself down and slept, from exhaus­tion and fatigue, till the morning. When he awoke he broke off one of the good and one of the bad vegetables, and carried them away with him; and thought, "These shall be the means by which I shall be able to punish those who were so unfaithful to me." Then he concealed the two cabbage heads under his coat, climbed over the wall, and went away to seek the castle where his sweetheart lived.
After wandering about for a few days, he luckily found it again; but before entering, he stained his face, neck, and hands with brown juice, that the old woman might not recognize him, wen up to the door of the castle, and begged for a night's lodging. " I am so tired," he said, " I cannot go any farther."
The witch on this came out and said, " Countryman, who are you, and what is your business ?"
"lama messenger of the king," he replied, " and have been sent to seek the costliest salad that grows under the sun. I have been also fortunate enough to find what I sought and to bring it with me; but the burning heat of the sun dries up the costly