GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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have nothing to do with strolling vagabonds; you must find a night's lodging elsewhere."
At these words he was about to close the door, but the young man held him by the coat, and begged so touchingly not to be sent away that the old man, who was not so bad as he pretended to be, softened at last and took him in. He also gave him some­thing to eat, and pointed him to a corner of the room in which was a comfortable bed.
The tired tailor required no rocking; he slept till morning, but would not have thought of getting up, had he not been frightened by a loud noise—a violent screaming and roaring which pierced through the thin walls of the house in which he found himself alone.
The tailor was seized with unusual courage, he sprang up quickly, threw on his clothes, and hastened out. There he saw, not far from the house, a great black ox fighting furiously with a stag. Their rage was so fierce, and the tramp of their feet so terrible, that the earth trembled under them.
For a long time it seemed doubtful which would conquer, but at last the stag thrust his horns into the body of his adversary, and with a terrible roar he sunk to the ground; then with another stab from the stag's horn, the ox lay dead at his feet.
The tailor had been too terrified to move, at the sight of the conflict; and when the ox fell dead, he stood looking on alniQSt stunned.
In a moment the stag in full spring pounced upon him, and, before he could escape, picked him up with his horns. The youth had not time to reflect on his position, when he felt himself carried at a rapid rate through wood and meadow, over mountain and valley; he could only hold on with both hands to the end of the horns and give himself up to his fate, for it appeared to him as if he were flying.
At last the stag stood still near a wall of rock and let the tailor sink gently down on the grouud. Feeling more dead than alive, he yet did not take long to consider j but as he made a slight attempt to move, the stag stuck his horns so violently into what appeared like a door in the rock, that it sprang open, and flames of fire rushed out, followed by smoke, in which the stag disap­peared.