GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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528             IDLENESS AND INDUSTRY.
out of the tangled pieces of flax which she had thrown away because it was so much trouble to unravel the knots. On hearing this the bridegroom began to reflect that an industrious young maiden, although she might be poor, would make a better wife than a careless idle young lady with all her beauty. So by degrees he broke oft* the engagement, and married the industrious servant maid.
Once upon a time lived a poor little maiden whose father and mother were both dead, and the child was so very poor that she had no little room to live in nor even a bed to lie on. At last all her clothes were gone excepting those she wore, and she had nothing to eat but a piece of bread given to her by someone who had a kind pitying heart. Still, she was good and pious, and although forsaken by all the world she knew that God would take care of her, and she went out into the fields and prayed to Him to help her. On the day when the kind-hearted person had given her the piece of bread, she was walking along the road when she met a poor man who said to her, " Pray give me some­thing to eat, for I am so hungry."
Immediately she offered him the whole of her bread and went away after he had taken it, saying : " Heaven has sent it to you."
Presently she saw a little child sitting by the roadside crying, and as she passed, the child exclaimed, " Oh, my head is so cold, do give me something to cover it."
Instantly the poor maiden took off her own cap and gave it to the child. A little farther, she met another child, who said she was freezing for want of a jacket, so she gave up her own. Another begged for her petticoat, and that she gave also. At last she entered a wood, where it was quite dark, and here she intended to sleep. But she had not gone far, before she found another little child with scarcely any clothes at all, and who appeared to be almost dying with cold. The good child thought to herself, " It is quite dark night now, no one will see me."
So she took off all the clothes she had on, covered the poor