THE THREE LITTLE MEN IN THE WOOD.
wine to drink, and by the bedside of the woman's daughter there stood water to wash in and water to drink.
On the second morning there stood water to wash in and water to drink for both of them alike. On the third morning there stood water to wash in and water to drink for the man's daughter, and milk to wash in and wine to drink for the woman's daughter; and so it remained ever after. The woman hated her step-daughter, and never knew how to treat her badly enough from one day to another. And she was jealous because her step-daughter was pleasant and pretty, and her real daughter was ugly and hateful.
Once in winter, when it was freezing hard, and snow lay deep on hill and valley, the woman made a frock out of paper, called her step-daughter, and said,
" Here, put on this frock, go out into the wood and fetch me a basket of strawberries; I have a great wish for some."
" Oh dear," said the girl, " there are no strawberries to be found in winter; the ground is frozen, and the snow covers everything. And why should I go in the paper frock ? it is so cold out of doors that one's breath is frozen; the wind will blow through it, and the thorns will tear it off my back!"
"How dare you contradict me!" cried the step-mother, " be off, and don't let me see you again till you bring me a basket of strawberries."
Then she gave her a little piece of hard bread, and said, "That will do for you to eat during the day," and she : thought to herself, " She is sure to be frozen or starved to death out of doors, and I shall never set eyes on her again."
So the girl went obediently, put on the paper frock, and started out with the basket. The snow was lying everywhere, far and wide, and there was not a blade* of green to be seen. When she entered the wood she saw a little house with three little men peeping out of it. She wished them good day, and i knocked modestly at the door. They called her in, and she came into the room and sat down by the side of the oven to warm herself and eat her breakfast. The little men said, " Give us some of it."
" Willingly," answered she, breaking her little piece of bread in two, and giving them half. They then said,