SNOW-WHITE AND RED-ROSE. 485
awake, he looked kindly at them, and, without a word, vanished from their sight.
On rising, they found that they had been sleeping on the edge of a steep rock, down which they must have fallen, had they moved in the dark. When they told their mother, she said it must have been one of the guardian angels who watch over good children.
Snow-white and Red-rose kept their mother's cottage so neat and clean, that it was quite a pleasure to look at it. Every morning, in summer, Red-rose took care always to place a bouquet of fresh flowers by her mother's bed, in which was a flower from each of the rose-trees. In winter, Snow-white lighted the fire, filled the kettle, and placed it over the bright blaze, where it shone and glittered like gold, for it was of burnished copper, and was always kept bright and polished.
In the evening, when the snow was falling, and the door closed and locked, they would seat themselves round the fire, in the bright, snug little room, and knit busily, while their mother would put on her spectacles, and read to them out of the Good Book.
One evening they were sitting in this peaceful happiness, with a pet lamb sleeping on the hearth near them, and above them, on a perch, a white dove, with its head behind its wing.
Presently came a knock at the door, and the mother said, " Red-rose, open it quickly; no doubt, some poor traveller, lost in the snow, wants shelter." Red-rose hastened to obey; but, on opening the door, instead of the poor man she expected to see, a great bear pushed his great black head in.
Red-rose screamed aloud, and started back; the lamb bleated, the dove flew wildly about the room, and Snow-white hid herself behind her mother's bed.
The bear, however, began to speak very gently, " Do not fear," he said; "I will not hurt you. I only want to warm myself by your fire, for I am half frozen."
"Poor bear," said the mother; "come in, and lie down by the fire, if you want to; but take care not to burn your furry coat."
Then she called out, "Snow-white and Red-rose, come here; the bear is quite gentle; he will do you no harm."
So they both came near to the fire, and, by degrees, the dove and the lamb got over their fright, and settled themselves to sleep.