GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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456                          IRON HANS.
had happened. " You have let a hair fall into the well," he said. "I will try you once more; but if it happens again, the well is dis­graced, and you will not be able to remain any longer with me."
On the third day, the boy again seated himself by the well, and would not even move his finger, although it was still painful. But the time seemed so long that he tried to amuse himself by watching the different objects reflected on the surface of the water. While stooping over it, he saw the image of himself, and when bending lower, to examine it, his long hair drooped over his face, and fell abound him, into the water. He raised his head quickly, but it was too late; the hair had already become golden, and shone like ths sun.
You cannot imagine how terrified the poor child was. He took his pocket-handkerchief and bound it round his head, hoping that the man would no. see the gold.
But when Iron Rons came, he knew all that had happened, and said, " Take off that handkerchief." And, as the boy did so, the golden hair fell on the boy's shoulders, and, excuse himself as he might, it was all useless.
" You have not been able to stand the test/ said the man, " therefore you cannot remain here. You must go out into the world and learn by experience what it is to be poor. But while you keep your heart free from wickedness, and have a kind feeling for me, I will allow you to call upon me to help you. If you fall into great trouble, come to the forest and cry, ? Iron Hans,' and I will render you assistance immediately. My power is great— greater than you think—and gold and silver I have in abundance."
The king's son on hearing this left the wood, and travelled for a long time over beaten paths and unfrequented roads till he came to a large town. Here he sought for employment, but as he had not been taught any trade, he found it very difficult to obtain. At last he went to the castle, and asked the people of the court to take him in. They were rather puzzled to know what the boy was fit for, but they were very much pleased with his appearance, and told him he might stay.
At last the cook said he might make the boy useful in the kitchen, to cut wood, and draw water, and sweep up the ashes. Once, however, after he had been some time at the castle, the cook told him to go and lay the cloth for the king and wait upon