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|Table of Contents|
|The Twelve Dancing Princesses|
|The Princess Mayblossom|
|Soria Moria Castle|
|The Black Thief and Knight of the...|
|The Master Thief|
|Brother and Sister|
|The Enchanted Fig|
|The Wonderful Birch|
|Jack and the Beanstalk|
|The Little Good Mouse|
|Graciosa and Percinet|
|The Three Princesses of Whitel...|
|The Voice of Death|
|The Six Sillies|
|The History of Little Goldenho...|
|The Golden Branch|
|The Three Dwarves|
|The Enchanted Canary|
|The Twelve Brothers|
|The Nettle Spinner|
|The Golden Goose|
|The Seven Foals|
|The Marvelous Musician|
|The Story of Sigurd|
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|Table of Contents|
Front Cover 1
Front Matter 3
Table of Contents
The Twelve Dancing Princesses
The Princess Mayblossom
Soria Moria Castle
The Black Thief and Knight of the Glen
The Master Thief
Brother and Sister
The Enchanted Fig
The Wonderful Birch
Jack and the Beanstalk
The Little Good Mouse
Graciosa and Percinet
The Three Princesses of Whiteland
The Voice of Death
The Six Sillies
The History of Little Goldenhood
The Golden Branch
The Three Dwarves
The Enchanted Canary
The Twelve Brothers
The Nettle Spinner
The Golden Goose
The Seven Foals
The Marvelous Musician
The Story of Sigurd
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
The Baldwin Library
Ui ni ty
Rm B unid
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The Twelve Princesses Quit the Castle by the Secret Staircase.
VIITW 1;- -77- -,.- MW
',-Q- ' I
RED FAIRY BOOK
EDITOR OF THE BLUE FAIRY BOOK," THE YELLOW FAIRY BOOK,"
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK," ETC., ETC.
WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS BY
H.J. FORD AND LANCELOT SPEED
HURST & COMPANY
MASTER BILLY TREMAYNE MILES,
A PROFOUND STUDENT,
AN AMIABLE CRITIC.
TEE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES,
THE PRINCESS MAYBLOSSOM,. .
SOi:IA MORIA CASTLE, .
THE DEATH OF KOSHCHEI THE DEATHLESS, .
THE BLACK THIEF AND KNIGHT OF THE GLEN,
BnorIEER AND SISTER,
PRINCESS ROSETTE, .
THE ENCHANTED FIG, .
THE NORKA, .
THE WONDERFUL BIRCH,
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK,
THE LITTLE GOOD MOUSE,
GRACIOSA AND PERCINET,
THE THREE PRINCESSES OF WHITELAND,
THE VOICE OF DEATH,
THE SIX SILLIES, .
KARI WOODENGOWN, .
DRAKESTAIL, . .
TIE RACATATCHER,. .
TRUE HISTORY OF LITTLE GOLDENHOOD,
THE GOLDEN BRANCH,. .
THE THREE DWARFS,
THE ENCHANTED CANARY,
THE TWELVE BROTHERS,
THE NETTLE SPINNER, .
MOTHER HOLLE, .
BUsHY B E, .
THE GOLDEN GOOSE,
THE SEVEN FOALS,
THE MARVELOUS MUSICIAN,
THE STORY OF SIGURD, .
. . . 841
In a second gleaning of the fields of fairyland we cannot
expect to find a second Perrault, but there are good stories
enough left, and it is hoped that some in the Red Fairy
Book may have the attraction of being less familiar than
many of the old friends. The tales have been translated,
or, in the case of Madame d'Aulnoy's long stories, adapted,
by Mrs. Hunt from the Norse, by Miss Minnie Wright from
Madame d'Aulnoy, by Mrs. Lang and Miss Bruce from
other French sources, by Miss May Sellar, Miss Farquhar-
son, and Miss Blackley from the German, while the
story of Sigurd" is condensed by the editor from Mr. Will-
iam Morris' prose version of the "Volsunga Saga." The
editor has to thank his friend, M. Charles Marelles, for per-
mission to reproduce his versions of the "Pied Piper," of
"Drakestail," and of "Little Golden Hood" from the
French, and M. Henri Carnoy for the same privilege in re-
gard to "The Six Sillies" from "La Tradition."
Lady Frances Balfour has kindly copied an old version
of "Jack and the Beanstalk," and Messrs. Smith & Elder
have permitted the publication of two of Mr. Ralston's ver-
sions from the Russian. A. L.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES.
Once upon a time there lived in the village of Montign-
ies-sur-Roc a little cow-boy without either father or mother.
His real name was Michael, but he was always called the Star
Gazer, because when he drove his cows over the common to
seek for pasture, he went along with his head in the air,
gazing at nothing. As he had a white skin, blue eyes, and
hair that curled all over his head, the village girls used to
cry after him, Well, Star Gazer, what are you doing?" and
Michael would answer, "Oh, nothing," and go on his way
without even turning to look at them.
The fact was, he thought them very ugly, with their sun-
burnt necks, their great red hands, their coarse petticoats,
and their wooden shoes. He had heard that somewhere in
the world there were girls whose necks were white and whose
hands were small, who were always dressed in the finest silks
and laces, and were called princesses, and while his compan-
ions around the fire saw nothing in the flames but common
every-day fancies, he dreamed that he had the happiness to
marry a princess.
One morning about the middle of August, just at midday
when the sun was hottest, Michael ate his dinner of a piece
of dry bread, and went to sleep under an oak. And while
he slept he dreamed that there appeared before him a beau-
tiful lady, dressed in a robe of cloth of gold, who said to
him: Go to the castle of Belceil, and there you shall marry
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
That evening the little cow-boy, who had been thinking a
great deal about the advice of the lady in the golden dress,
told his dream to the farm people. But, as was natural,
they only laughed at the Star Gazer.
The next day at the same hour he went to sleep again
under the same tree. The lady appeared to him a second
time, and said: "Go to the castle of Beleil, and yoV shall
marry a princess."
In the evening Michael told his friends that he had
dreamed the same dream again, but they only laughed at
him more than before. "Never mind," he thought to him-
self; "if the lady appears to me a third time, I will do as
she tells me."
The following day, to the great astonishment of all the
village, about two o'clock in the afternoon a voice was heard
How the cattle go !"
It was the little cow-boy driving his herd back to the
.The farmer began to scold him furiously, but he answered
quietly, "I am going away," made his clothes into a bundle,
said good-by to all his friends, and boldly set out to seek
There was great excitement through all the village, and
on the top of the hill the people stood holding their sides
with laughing, as they watched the Star Gazer trudging
bravely along the valley with his bundle at the end of his
It was enough to make anyone laugh, certainly.
It was well known for full twenty miles round that there
lived in the castle of Beloeil twelve princesses of wonderful
beauty, and as proud as they were beautiful, and who were
besides so very sensitive and of such truly royal blood that
they would have felt at once the presence of a pea in their
beds, even'if the mattresses had been laid over it.
It was whispered about that they led exactly the lives
that princesses ought to lead, sleeping far into the morning,
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
and never getting up till midday. They had twelve beds
all in the same room, but what was very extraordinary was
the fact that though they were locked in by triple bolts, every
morning their satin shoes were found worn into holes.
When they were asked what they had been doing all night,
they always answered that they had been asleep; and, in-
deed, no noise was ever heard in the room, yet the shoes
could not wear themselves out alone
At last the Duke of Beloeil ordered the trumpet to be
sounded, and a proclamation to be made that whoever could
discover how his daughters wore out their shoes should
choose one of them for his wife.
On hearing the proclamation a number of princes ar-
rived at the castle to try their luck. They watched all night
behind the open door of the princesses, but when the morn-
ing came they had all disappeared, and no one could tell
what had become of them.
When he reached the castle, Michael went straight to the
gardener and offered his services. Now, it happened that
the garden boy had just been sent away, and though the
Star Gazer did not look very sturdy, the gardener agreed
to take him, as he thought that his pretty face and golden
curls would please the princesses.
The first thing he was told was that when the princesses
got up he was to present each one with a bouquet, and
Michael thought if he had nothing more unpleasant to do
than that he should get on very well.
Accordingly he placed himself behind the door of the
princesses' room, with the twelve bouquets in a basket. He
gave one to each of the sisters, and they took them without
even deigning to look at the lad, except Lina, the youngest,
who fixed her large black eyes, as soft as velvet, on him, and
exclaimed, "Oh, how pretty he is--our new flower boy!"
The rest all burst out laughing, and the eldest pointed out
that a princess ought never to lower herself by looking at a
Now Michael knew quite well what had happened to all
the princes, but notwithstanding, the beautiful eyes of the
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
Princess Lina inspired him with a violent longing to try his
fate. Unhappily he did not dare to come forward, being
afraid that he should only be jeered at, or even turned away
from the castle on account of his impudence.
Nevertheless, the Star Gazer had another dream. The
lady in the golden dress appeared to him once more, holding
in one hand two young
laurel trees, a cherry laurel
and a rose laurel, in the
Other hand a little golden
rake, a little golden bucket,
and a silken towel. She
thus addressed him:
"Plant these two laurels
in large pots, rake them
over with the rake, water
them with the bucket, and
wipe them with the towel.
When they have grown as
tall as a girl of fifteen, say
to each of them, 'My beau-
tiful laurel, with the golden
rake I have raked you, with
the golden bucket I have
watered you, with the silken
towel I have wiped you.'
Then, after that, ask anything you choose, and the laurels
will give it to you."
Michael thanked the lady in the golden dress, and when
he woke he found the two laurel bushes beside him. So
he carefully obeyed the orders he had been given by the lady.
The trees grew very fast, and when they were as tall as
a girl of fifteen he said to the cherry laurel, "My lovely
cherry laurel, with the golden rake I have raked thee, with
the golden bucket I have watered thee, with the silken towel
I have wiped thee. Teach me how to become invisible."
Then there instantly appeared on the laurel a pretty flower,
which Michael gathered and stuck into his button-hole.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
That evening when the princesses went upstairs to bed, he
followed them barefoot, so that he might make no noise, and
hid himself under one of the twelve beds, so as not to take
up much room.
The princesses began at once to open their wardrobes and
boxes. They took out of them the most magnificent dresses,
which they put on before their mirrors, and when they had
finished, turned themselves all round to admire their ap-
Michael could see nothing from his hiding-place, but he
could hear everything, and he listened to the princesses
laughing and jumping with pleasure. At last the eldest
said, "Be quick, my sisters, our partners will be impatient."
At the end of an hour, when the Star Gazer heard no more
noise, he peeped out and saw the twelve sisters in splendid
garments, with their satin shoes on their feet, and in their
hands the bouquets he had brought them.
"Are you ready ? asked the eldest.
Yes," replied the other eleven in chorus, and they took
their places one by one behind her.
Then the eldest princess clapped her hands three times
and a trap-door opened. All the princesses disappeared down
a secret staircase, and Michael hastily followed them.
As he was following on the steps of the Princess Lina,
he carelessly trod on her dress.
There is somebody behind me," cried the princess; "they
are holding my dress."
"You foolish thing," said her eldest sister, "you are
always afraid of something. It is only a nail which caught
They went down, down, down, till at last they came to a
passage with a door at one end, which was only fastened with
a latch. The eldest princess opened it, and they found them-
selves immediately in a lovely little wood, where the leaves
were spangled with drops of silver which shone in the bril-
liant light of the moon.
They next crossed another wood where the leaves were
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
sprinkled with gold, and after that another still, where the
leaves glittered with diamonds.
At last the Star Gazer perceived a large lake, and on the
shore of the lake twelve little boats with awnings, in whice
were seated twelve princes, who, grasping their oars, awaited
Each princess entered one of the boats, and Michael
slipped into that which held the youngest. The boats glided
along rapidly, but Lina's, from being heavier, was always be-
hind the rest. "We never went so slowly before," said the
princess; "what can be the reason "
"I don't know," answered the prince. I assure you I am
rowing as hard as I can."
On the other side of the lake the garden boy saw a beau-
tiful castle splendidly illuminated, whence came the lively,
music of fiddles, kettle-drums, and trumpets.
In a moment they touched land, and the company jumped
out of the boats; and the princes, after having securely fas-
tened their barks, gave their arms to the princesses and con-
ducted them to the castle.
Michael followed, and entered the ball-room in their train.
Everywhere were mirrors, lights, flowers, and damask hang-
The Star Gazer was quite bewildered at the magnificence
of the sight.
He placed himself out of the way in a corner, admiring
the grace and beauty of the princesses. Their loveliness was
of every kind. Some were fair and some were dark; some
had chestnut hair, or curls darker still, and some had golden
locks. Never were so many beautiful princesses seen to-
gether at one time, but the one whom the cow-boy thought
the most beautiful and the most fascinating was the little
princess with the velvet eyes.
With what eagerness she danced! leaning on her partner's
shoulder she swept by like a whirlwind. Her cheeks flushed,
her eyes sparkled, and it was plain that she loved dancing-
better than anything else.
The poor boy envied those handsome young men with
THE RED. FAIRY BOOK.
whb:.m she danced so gracefully, but he did not know how
little reason he had to be jealous of them.
The young men were really the princes who, to the number
of tifty, at least, had tried to steal the princesses' secret. The
princeies had made them drink something of a philter, which
froze the heart and left nothing but the love of dancing.
They danced on till the shoes of the princesses were worn
into holes. When the cock crowed the third time the fiddles
stopped, and a delicious supper was served by negro boys,
consisting of sugared orange flowers, crystallized rose leaves,
powdered violets, cracknels, wafers and other dishes, which
are, as everyone knows, the favorite food of princesses.
After supper the dancers all went back to their boats, and
this time the Star Gazer entered that of the eldest princess.
They crossed again the wood with the diamond-spangled
leaves, the wood with gold-sprinkled leaves, and the wood
whose leaves glittered with drops of silver, and as a proof
of what he had seen, the boy broke a small branch from a tree
in the last wood. Lina turned as she heard the noise made
by the breaking of the branch.
"What was that noise? she said.
"It was nothing," replied her eldest sister; "it was only
the screech of the barn-owl that roosts in one of the turrets
of the castle."
While she was speaking Michael managed to slip in front,
and running up the staircase, he reached the princesses'
room first. He flung open the window, and sliding down
the vine which climbed up the wall, found himself in the gar-
den just as the sun was beginning to rise, and it was time
for him to set to his work.
That day, when he made up the bouquets, Michael hid the
branch with the silver drops in the nosegay intended for the
When Lina discovered it she was much surprised. How-
ever, she said nothing to her sisters, but as she met the boy
8 THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
by accident while she was walking under the shade of the
elms, she suddenly stopped as if to speak to him; then, alter-
ing her mind, went on her way.
The same evening the twelve sisters went again to the
ball, and the Star Gazer again followed them and crossed
the lake in Lina's boat. This time it was the prince who
complained that the boat seemed very heavy.
It is the heat," said the princess. I, too, have been feel-
ing very warm."
During the ball she looked everywhere for the gardener's
boy, but she never saw him.
As they came back, Michael gathered a branch from the
wood with the gold-spangled leaves, and now it was the eldest
princess who heard the noise that it made in breaking.
It is nothing," said Lina; only the cry of the owl which
roosts in the turrets of the castle."
As soon as she got up she found the branch in her bouquet.
When the sisters went down she stayed a little behind and
said to the cow-boy: Where does this branch come from? "
Your royal highness knows well enough," answered Mi-
So you have followed us ?"
"How did you manage it? We never saw you."
"I hid myself," replied the Star Gazer quietly.
The princess was silent a moment, and then said:
You know our secret!-keep it. Here is the reward of
your discretion." And she flung the boy a purse of gold.
I do not sell my silence," answered Michael, and he went
away without picking up the purse.
For three nights Lina neither saw nor heard anything
extraordinary; on the fourth she heard a rustling among
the diamond-spangled leaves of the wood. That day there
was a branch of the tree in her bouquet.
She took the Star Gazer aside and said to him in a harsh
voice: "You know what price my father has promised to
pay for our secret+ "
"I know, princess," answered Michael.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
"Don't you mean to tell him?"
"That is not my intention."
Are you afraid ?"
"What makes you so discreet, then?"
But Michael was silent.
Lina's sisters had seen her talking to the little garden boy,
and jeered at her for it.
"What prevents your marrying him?" asked the eldest
"you would become a gardener, too; it is a charming pro-
fession. You could live in a cottage at the end of the park,
and help your husband draw up water from the well, and
when we get up you could bring us our bouquets."
The Princess Lina was very angry, and when the Star
Gazer presented her bouquet, she received it in a disdainful
Michael behaved most respectfully. He never raised his.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
eyes to her, but nearly all day she felt him at her side with-
out ever seeing him.
One day she made up her mind to tell everything to her
"What! said she, "this rogue knows our secret, and you
never told me! I must lose no time in getting rid of him."
"But how? "
"Why, by having him taken to the tower with the dun-
geons, of course."
For this was the way that in old times beautiful princesses
.got rid of the people who knew too much.
But the astonishing part of it was that the youngest sis-
ter did not seem at all to relish this method of stopping the
mouth of the gardener's boy, who, after all, had said nothing
to their father.
It was agreed that the question should be submitted to the
other ten sisters. All were on the side of the eldest. Then
the youngest sister declared if they laid a finger on the little
garden boy, she would herself go and tell their father the se-
,cret of the holes in their shoes.
At last it was decided that Michael should be put to the
test; that they would take him to the ball, and at the end
of supper would give him the philter which was to enchant
him like the rest.
They sent for the Star Gazer and asked him how he had
contrived to learn their secret; but still he remained silent.
Then, in commanding tones, the eldest sister gave him
the order they had agreed upon.
He only answered:
"I will obey."
He had really been present, invisible, at the council of the
-princesses, and had heard all; but he had made up his mind
to drink of the philter and sacrifice himself to the happiness
of her he loved.
Not wishing, however, to cut a poor figure at the ball by
the side of the other dancers, he went at once to the laurels,
My lovely rose laurel, with the golden rake I have raked
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
thee, with the golden bucket I have watered thee, with the
silken towel I have dried thee. Dress me like a prince."
A beautiful pink flower appeared. Michael gathered it, and
found himself in a moment clothed in velvet, which was as.
black as the eyes of the little princess, with a cap to match, a
diamond aigrette, and a blossom of the rose laurel in his but-
Thus dressed, he presented himself that evening before the
Duke of Belceil, and obtained leave to try and discover his
daughters' secret. He looked so distinguished that hardly
anyone would have known who he was.
The twelve princesses went upstairs to bed. Michael fol-
lowed them, and waited behind the open door till they gave
the signal for departure.
This time he did not cross in Lina's boat. He gave his
arm to the eldest sister, danced with each in turn, and was
so graceful that everyone was delighted with him. At last
the time came for him to dance with the little princess. She
found him the best partner in the world, but he did not
dare to speak a single word to her.
When he was taking her back to her place she said to him
in a mocking voice:
"Here you are at the summit of your wishes: you are be-
ing treated like a prince."
Don't be afraid," replied the Star Gazer gently. "You
shall never be a gardener's wife."
The little princess stared at him with a frightened face,
and he left her without waiting for an answer.
When the satin slippers were worn through the fiddles
stopped, and the negro boys set the table. Michael was
placed next to the eldest sister and opposite to the youngest.
They gave him the most exquisite dishes to eat, and the
most delicate wines to drink; and in order to turn his head
more completely, compliments and flattery were heaped on
him from every side.
But he took care not to be intoxicated, either by the wine
or the compliments.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
At last the eldest sister made a sign, and one of the black
pages brought in a large golden cup.
"The enchanted castle has no more secrets for you," she
said to the Star Gazer. "Let us drink to your triumph."
He cast a lingering glance at the little princess and with-
out hesitation lifted the cup.
"Don't drink! suddenly cried out the little princess; I
-would rather marry a gardener."
And she burst into tears.
Michael flung the contents of the cup behind him, sprang
over the table, and fell at Lina's feet. The rest of the princes
fell likewise at the knees of the princesses, each of whom
chose a husband and raised him to her side. The charm was
The twelve couples embarked in the boats, which crossed
back many times in order to carry over the other princes.
Then they all went through the three woods, and when they
had passed the door of the underground passage a great noise
was heard, as if the enchanted castle was crumbling to the
They went straight to the room of the Duke of Belceil, who
had just awoke. Michael held in his hand the golden cup,
and he revealed the secret of the holes in the shoes.
"Choose, then," said the duke, whichever you prefer."
My choice is already made," replied the garden boy, and
he offered his hand to the youngest princess, who blushed and
lowered her eyes.
The Princess Lina did not become a gardener's wife; on
the contrary, it was the Star Gazer who became a prince:
but before the marriage ceremony the princess insisted that
her lover should tell her how he came to discover the secret.
So he showed her the two laurels which had helped him,
and she, like a prudent girl, thinking they gave him too much
advantage over his wife, cut them off at the root and threw
them in the fire.
And this is why the country girls go about singing
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
"Nous n'irons plus an bois,
Les lauriers sont coupss"
and dancing in summer by the light of the moon.
THE PRINCESS MAYBLOSSOM.*
Once upon a time there lived a king and queen whose chil-
dren had all died, first one and then another, until at last
only one little daughter remained, and the queen was at
her wits' end to know where to find a really good nurse
who would take care of her and bring her up. A herald was
sent who blew a trumpet at every street corner, and com-
manded all the best nurses to appear before the queen, that
she might choose one for the little princess. So on the ap-
pointed day the whole palace was crowded with nurses,
who came from the four corners of the world to offer them-
selves, until the queen declared if she was ever to see half
of them, they must be brought out to her, one by one, as she
sat in a shady wood near the palace.
This was accordingly done, and the nurses, after they had
made their courtesy to the king and queen, ranged them-
selves in a line before her that she might choose. Most of
them were fair and fat and charming, but there was one
who was dark-skinned and ugly, and spoke a strange lan-
guage which nobody could understand. The queen wondered
how she dared to offer herself, and she was told to go away, as
she certainly would not do. Upon which she muttered some-
thing and passed on, but hid herself in a hollow tree, from
which she could well see all that happened. The queen, with-
out giving her another thought, chose a pretty, rosy-faced
nurse, but no sooner was her choice made than a snake,
which was hidden in the grass, bit that very nurse on her
foot, so that she fell down as if dead. The queen was very
much vexed by this accident, but she soon selected another,
who was just stepping forward when an eagle flew by and
dropped a large tortoise on her head, which was cracked in
pieces like an egg-shell. At this the queen was much hor-
rified; nevertheless, she chose a third time, but with no better
La Princesse Printanidre. Par Madame d'Aulnoy.
THE RED FAIEY BOOK.
fortune, for the nurse, moving quickly, ran into the branch
of a tree and blinded herself with a thorn. Then the queen
in dismay cried that there must be some malignant influence
at work, and that she would choose no more that day; and
she had just risen to return to the palace when she heard
peals of malicious laughter behind her, and turning round
saw the ugly stranger whom she had dismissed, who was
making very merry over the disasters and mocking every
one, but especially the queen. This annoyed her majesty
very much, and she was about to order that she should be
arrested, when the witch-for she was a witch-with two
blows from a wand summoned a chariot of fire drawn by
winged dragons, and was whirled off through the air utter-
ing threats and cries. When the king saw this he cried:
Alas! now we are ruined, indeed, for that was no other
than the Fairy Carabosse, who has had a grudge against me
ever since I was a boy and put sulphur into her porridge one
day for fun."
Then the queen began to cry.
If I had only known who it was," she said, I would have
done my best to make friends with her; now I suppose all is
The king was sorry to have frightened her so much, and
proposed that they should go and hold a council as to what
was best to be done to avert the misfortunes which Cara-
bosse certainly meant to bring upon the little princess.
So all the counselors were summoned to the palace, and
when they had shut every door and window, and stuffed up
every keyhole that they might not be overheard, they talked
the affair over, and decided that every fairy for a thousand
leagues round should be invited to the christening of the prin-
cess, and that the time of the ceremony should be kept a pro-
found secret, in case the Fairy Carabosse should take it into
her head to attend it.
The queen and her ladies set to work to prepare presents
for the fairies who were invited: for each one a blue velvet
cloak, a petticoat of apricot satin, a pair of high-heeled
shoes, some sharp needles, and a pair of golden scissors.
Of all the fairies the queen knew, only five were able to come
on the day appointed, but they began immediately to be-
stow gifts upon the princess. One promised that she should
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
be perfectly beautiful, the second that she should under-
stand anything-no matter what-the first time it was ex-
plained to her, the third that she should sing like a night-
ingale, the fourth that she should succeed in everything she
undertook, and the fifth was opening her mouth to speak
when a tremendous rumbling was heard in the chimney, and
Carabosse, all covered with soot, came rolling down, crying:
I say that she shall be the unluckiest of the unlucky until
she is twenty years old."
Then the queen and all the fairies began to beg and beseech
her to think better of it, and not be so unkind to the poor
little princess, who had never done her any harm. But the
ugly old fairy only grunted and made no answer. So the
last fairy, who had not yet given her gift, tried to mend mat-
ters by promising the princess a long and happy life after
the fatal time was over. At this Carabosse laughed mali-
ciously, and climbed away up the chimney, leaving them all
in great consternation, and especially the queen. How-
ever, she entertained the fairies splendidly, and gave them
beautiful ribbons, of which they are very fond, in addition
to the other presents.
When they were going away the oldest fairy said that they
were of opinion that it would be best to shut the princess
up in some place, with her waiting-women, so that she might
not see anyone else until she was twenty years old. So the
king had a tower built on purpose. It had no windows, so it
was lighted with wax candles, and the only way into it was
by an underground passage, which had iron doors only
twenty feet apart, and guards were posted everywhere.
The princess had been named Mayblossom, because she
was as fresh and blooming as spring itself, and she grew up
tall and beautiful, and everything she did and said was
charming. Every time the king and queen came to see her
they were more delighted with her than before, but though
she was weary of the tower, and often begged them to take
her away from it, they always refused. The princess' nurse,
who had never left her, sometimes told her about the world
outside the tower, and though the princess had never seen
anything for herself, yet she always understood exactly,
thanks to the second fairy's gift. Often the king said to
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
"We were cleverer than Carabosse, after all. Our May-
blossom will be happy in spite of her predictions."
And the queen laughed until she was tired at the idea of
having outwitted the old fairy. They had caused the prin-
cess' portrait to be painted and sent to all the neighboring
courts, for in four days she would have completed her twen-
tieth year, and it was time to decide whom she should marry.
All the town was rejoicing at the thought of the princess'
approaching freedom, and when the report came that King
Merlin was sending his ambassador to ask- her in marriage
for his son, they were still more delighted. The nurse, who
kept the princess informed of everything that went forward
in the town, did not fail to repeat the news that so nearly
concerned her, and gave such a description of the splendor
in which the ambassador Fanfaronade would enter the town,
that the princess was wild to see the procession for herself.
"What an unhappy creature I am," she cried, "to be shut
up in this dismal tower as if I had committed some crime!
I have never seen the sun, or the stars, or a horse, or a
monkey, or a lion, except in pictures, and though the king
and queen tell me I am to be set free when I am twenty, I be-
lieve they only say it to keep me amused, when they never
mean to let me out at all."
And then she began to cry, and her nurse, and the nurse's
daughter, and the cradle-rocker, and the nursery-maid, who
all loved her dearly, cried, too, for company, so that nothing
could be heard but sobs and sighs. It was a scene of woe.
When the princess saw that they all pitied her she made up
her mind to have her own way. So she declared that she
would starve herself to death if they did not find some means
of letting her see Fanfaronade's grand entry into the town.
"If you really love me," she said, "you will manage it,
somehow or other, and the king and queen need never know
anything about it."
Then the nurse and all the others cried harder than ever,
and said everything they could think of to turn the prin-
cess from her idea. But the more they said the more deter-
mined she was, and at last they consented to make a tiny
hole in the tower on the side that looked toward the city
After scratching and scraping all day and all night, they
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
presently made a hole through which they could, with great
difficulty push a very slender needle, and out of this the
princess looked at the daylight for -the first time. She was
so dazzled and delighted by what she saw that there she
stayed, never taking her eyes away from the peep-hole for a
single minute, until presently the ambassador's procession
appeared in sight.
At the head of it rode Fanfaronade himself upon a white
horse, which pranced and caracoled to the sound of the trum-
pets. Nothing could have been more splendid than the am-
bassador's attire. His coat was nearly hidden under an em-
broidery of pearls and diamonds, his boots were solid gold,
and from his helmet floated scarlet plumes. At the sight of
him the princess lost her wits entirely, and determined that
Fanfaronade and nobody else would she marry.
"It is quite impossible," she said, "that his master should
be half as handsome and delightful. I am not ambitious,
and having spent all my life in this tedious tower, anything
-even a house in the country-will seem a delightful change.
I am sure that bread and water shared with Fanfaronade
will please me far better than roast chicken and sweetmeats
with anybody else."
And so she went on, talk, talk, talking, until her waiting-
women wondered where she got it all from. But when they
tried to stop her, and represented that her high rank made
it perfectly impossible that she should do any such thing, she
would not listen, and ordered them to be silent.
As soon as the ambassador arrived at the palace the queen
started to fetch her daughter.
All the streets were spread with carpets, and the windows
were full of ladies who were waiting to see the princess,
and carried baskets of flowers and sweetmeats to shower upon
her as she passed.
They had hardly begun to get the princess ready when a
dwarf arrived, mounted upon an elephant. He came from
the five fairies, and brought for the princess a crown, a scep-
ter, and a robe of golden brocade, with a petticoat marvel-
ously embroidered with butterflies' wings. They also sent a
casket of jewels, so splendid that no one had ever seen any-
thing like it before, and the queen was perfectly dazzled
when she opened it. But the princess scarcely gave a glance
THIE RED FAIRY BOOK.
to any of these treasures, for she thought of nothing but
Fanfaronade. The dwarf was rewarded with a gold piece,
and decorated with so many ribbons that it was hardly pos-
sible to see him at all. The princess sent to each of the
fairies a new spinning-wheel with a distaff of cedar wood,
and the queen said she must look through her treasures and
find something very charming to send them also.
When the princess was arrayed in all the gorgeous things
the dwarf had brought, she was more beautiful than ever,
and as she walked along the streets the people cried: "How
pretty she is! how pretty she is!"
The procession consisted of the queen, the princess, five
dozen other princesses her cousins, and ten dozen who came
from the neighboring kingdoms; and as they proceeded at a
stately pace the sky began to grow dark, then suddenly the
thunder growled, and rain and hail fell in torrents. The
queen put her royal mantle over her head, and all the prin-
cesses did the same with their trains. Maybossom was just
about to follow their example when a terrific croaking, as of
an immense army of crows, rooks, ravens, screech-owls, and
all birds of ill-omen, was heard, and at the same instant a
huge owl skimmed up to the princess, and threw over her a
scarf woven of spiders' webs and embroidered with bats'
wings. And then peals of mocking laughter rang through
the air, and they guessed that this was another of the Fairy
Carabosse's unpleasant jokes.
The queen was terrified at such an evil omen, and tried to
pull the black scarf from the princess' shoulders, but it really
seemed as if it must be nailed on, it clung so closely.
Ah! cried the queen, can nothing appease this enemy
of ours? What good was it that I sent her more than fifty
pounds of sweetmeats, and as much again of the best sugar,
not to mention two Westphalia hams? She is as angry as
While she lamented in this way, and everybody was as wet
as if they had been dragged through a river, the princess
still thought of nothing but the ambassador, and just at this
moment he appeared before her, with the king, and there
was a great blowing of trumpets, and all the people shouted
louder than ever. Fanfaronade was not generally at a loss
for something to say, but when he saw the princess, she was.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
so much more beautiful and majestic than he had expected,
that he could only stammer out a few words, and entirely for-
got the harangue which he had been learning for months,
and knew well enough to have repeated it in his sleep. To
gain time to remember at least part of it, he made several
low bows to the princess, who on her side dropped half a
dozen courtesies without stopping to think, and then said, to
relieve his evident embarrassment:
Sir Ambassador, I am sure that everything you intend to
say is charming, since it is you who mean to say it; but let
us make haste into the palace, as it is pouring cats and dogs,
and the wicked Fairy Carabosse will be amused to see us all
stand dripping here. When we are once under shelter we
can laugh at her."
Upon this the ambassador found his tongue, and replied
gallantly that the fairy had evidently foreseen the flames
that would be kindled by the bright eyes of the princess, and
had sent this deluge to extinguish them. Then he offered
his hand to conduct the princess, and she said softly:
"As you could not possibly guess how much I like you,
Sir Fanfaronade, I am obliged to tell you plainly that, since
I saw you enter the town on your beautiful prancing horse,
I have been sorry that you came to speak for another instead
of for yourself. So, if you think about it as I do, I will marry
you instead of your master. Of course, I know you are not a
prince, but I shall be just as fond of you as if you were, and
we can go and live in some cozy little corner of the world, and
be as happy as the days are long."
The ambassador thought he must be dreaming, and could
hardly believe what the lovely princess said. He dared not
answer, but only squeezed the princess' hand until he really
hurt her little finger, but she did not cry out. When they
reached the palace the king kissed his daughter on both
cheeks, and said:
"My little lambkin, are you willing to marry the great
King Merlin's son, for this ambassador has come on his be-
half to fetch you ?"
If you please, sire," said the princess, dropping a cour-
"I consent, also," said the queen; "so let the banquet be
20 THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
This was done with all speed, and everybody feasted ex-
cept Mayblossom and Fanfaronade, who looked at one an-
other and forgot everything else.
After the banquet came a ball, and after that again a bal-
let, and at last they were all so tired that everyone fell asleep
just where he sat. Only the lovers were as wide awake as
mice, and the princess, seeing that there was .nothing to fear,
said to Fanfaronade:
"Let us be quick and run away, for we shall never have a
better chance than this."
Then she took the king's dagger, which was in a diamond
sheath, and the queen's neck-handkerchief, and gave her
hand to Fanfaronade, who carried a lantern, and they ran out
together into the muddy street and down to the seashore.
Here they got into a little boat in which the poor old boat-
man was sleeping, and when he woke up and saw the lovely
princess, with all her diamonds and her spiders'-web scarf, he
did not know what to think, and obeyed her instantly when
she commanded him to set out. They could see neither
moon nor stars, but in the queen's neck-handkerchief there
was a carbuncle that glowed like fifty torches. Fanfaronade
asked the princess where she would like to go, but she only
answered that she did not care where she went as long as he
was with her.
But, princess," said he, "I dare not take you back to King
Merlin's court. 'He would think hanging too good for me."
Oh, in that case," she answered, "we had better go to
Squirrel Island; it is lonely enough, and too far off for any-
one to follow us there."
So she ordered the old boatman to steer for Squirrel Island.
Meanwhile the day was breaking, and the king and queen
and all the courtiers began to wake up and rub their eyes,
and think it was time to finish the preparations for the wed-
ding. And the queen asked for her neck-handkerchief, that
she might look smart. Then there was a scurry hither and
thither, and a hunting everywhere: they looked into every
place, from the wardrobes to the stoves, and the queen her-
self ran about from the garret to the cellar, but the hand-
kerchief was nowhere to be found.
By this time the king had missed his dagger, and the search
began all over again. They opened boxes and chests of which
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
the keys had been lost for a hundred years, and found num-
bers of curious things, but not the dagger, and the king tore
his beard, and the queen tore her hair, for the handkerchief
and the dagger were the most valuable things in the king-
When the king saw that the search was hopeless he said:
"Never mind, let us make haste and get the wedding over
before anything else is lost." And then he asked where
the princess was. Upon this her nurse came forward and
Sire, I have bees seeking her these two hours, but she is
nowhere to be found." This was more than the queen could
bear. She gave a shriek of alarm, and fainted away, and
they had to pour two barrels of eau-de-cologne over her be-
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
fore she recovered. When she came to herself everybody
was looking for the princess in the greatest terror and con-
fusion, but as she did not appear, the king said to his page:
Go and find the Ambassador Fanfaronade, who is doubt-
less asleep in some corner, and tell him the sad news."
So the page hunted hither and thither, but Fanfaronade
was no more to be found than the princess, the dagger, or
Then the king summoned his counselors and his guards,
and, accompanied by the queen, went into his great hall. As
he had not had time to prepare his speech beforehand, the
king ordered that silence should be kept for three hours, and
at the end of that time he spoke, as follows:
"Listen, great and small! My dear daughter Mayblossom
is lost: whether she has been stolen away or has simply dis-
apppeared, I cannot tell. The queen's neck-handkerchief and
my sword, which are worth their weight in gold, are also
missing, and, what is worst of all, Ambassador Fanfaronade
is nowhere to be found. I greatly fear that the king, his
master, when he receives no tidings from him, will come to
seek him among us, and will accuse us of having made mince-
meat of him. Perhaps I could bear even that if I had any
money, but I assure you that the expenses of the wedding
have completely ruined me. Advise me, then, my dear sub-
jects, what I had better do to recover my daughter, Fanfar-
onade, and the other things."
This was the most eloquent speech the king had been
known to make, and when everybody had done admiring it
the prime minister made answer:
Sire, we are all very sorry to see you so sorry. We would
give everything we value in the world to take away the cause
of your sorrow, but this seems to be another of the tricks of
the Fairy Carabosse. The princess' twenty unlucky years
were not quite over, and really, if the truth must be told,
I noticed that Fanfaronade and the princess admired one an-
other greatly. Perhaps this may give some clew to the mys-
tery of their disappearance."
Here the queen interrupted him, saying, "Take care what
you say, sir. Believe me, the Princess Mayblossom was far
too well brought up to think of falling in love with an am-
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
At this the nurse came forward, and falling on her knees,
confessed how they had made the little needle-hole in the
tower, and how the princess had declared when she saw the
ambassador that she would marry him and nobody else.
Then the queen was very angry, and gave the nurse and the
cradle-rocker and the nursery-maid such a scolding that they
shook in their shoes. But the Admiral Cocked-hat inter-
rupted her, crying:
Let us be off after this good-for-nothing Fanfaronade,
for without a doubt he has run away with our princess."
Then there was a great clapping of hands, and everybody
shouted, "By all means let us be after him."
So while some embarked upon the sea, the others ran from
kingdom to kingdom beating drums and blowing trumpets,
and wherever a crowd collected they cried:
"Whoever wants a beautiful doll, sweetmeats of all kinds,
a little pair of scissors, a golden robe, and a satin cap has
only to say where Fanfaronade has hidden the Princess May-
But the answer everywhere was, "You must go further,
we have not seen them."
However, those who went by sea were more fortunate, for
after sailing about for some time they noticed a light before
them which burned at night like a great fire. At first they
dared not go near it, not knowing what it might be, but by
and by it remained stationary over Squirrel Island, for, as
you have guessed already, the light was the glowing of the
carbuncle. The princess and Fanfaronade upon landing upon
the island had given the boatman a hundred gold pieces, and
made him promise solemnly to tell no one where he had taken
them; but the first thing that happened was that, as he rowed
away, he got into the midst of the fleet, and before he could
escape the admiral had seen him and sent a boat after him.
When he was searched they found the gold pieces in his
pocket, and as they were quite new coins, struck. in honor of
the princess' wedding, the admiral felt certain that the boat-
man must have been paid by the princess to aid her in her
flight. But he would not answer any questions, and pre-
tended to be deaf and dumb.
Then the admiral said: Oh! deaf and dumb is he Lash
him to the mast and give him a taste of the cat-o'-nine-tails.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
I don't know anything better than that for curing the deaf
And when the old boatman saw he was in earnest, he told
all he knew about the cavalier and the lady whom he had
landed upon Squirrel Island, and the admiral knew it must
be the princess and Fanfaronade; so he gave the order for
the fleet to surround the island.
Meanwhile the Princess Mayblossom, who was by this time
terribly sleepy, had found a grassy bank in the shade, and
throwing herself down had already fallen into a profound
slumber, when Fanfaronade, who happened to be hungry and
not sleepy, came and woke her up, saying very crossly:
Pray, madam, how long do you mean to stay here? I see
nothing to eat, and though you may be very charming, the
sight of you does not prevent me from famishing."
"What! Fanfaronade," said the princess, sitting up and
rubbing her eyes, "is it possible that when I am here with
you you can want anything else? You ought to be thinking
all the time how happy you are."
Happy! cried he; say rather unhappy. I wish with all
my heart that you were back in your dark tower again."
"Darling, don't be cross," said the princess. "I will go
and see if I can find some wild fruit for you."
"I wish you might find a wolf to eat you up," growled
The princess, in great dismay, ran hither and thither all
about the wood, tearing her dress and hurting her pretty
white hands with the thorns and brambles, but she could
find nothing good to eat, and at last she had to go back sor-
rowfully to Fanfaronade. When he saw that she came
empty-handed, he got up and left her angrily, grumbling to
Tha next day they searched again, but with no better suc-
Alas I" said the princess, if only I could find something
for you to eat, I should not mind being hungry myself."
No, I should not mind that either," answered Fanfaron-
"Is it possible," said she, "that you would not care if I
died of hunger? Oh, Fanfaronade, you said you loved
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
That was when we were in quite another place and I was
not hungry," said he. It makes a great difference in one's
ideas when one is dying of hunger and thirst on a desert
At this the princess was dreadfully vexed, and she sat down
under a white rose bush and began to cry bitterly.
"Happy roses," she thought to herself, "they have only to
blossom in the sunshine and be admired, and there is nobody
to be unkind to them." And the tears ran down her cheeks
and splashed on the rose-tree roots. Presently she was sur-
prised to see the whole bush rustling and shaking, and a soft
little voice from the pretttiest rosebud said:
"Poor princess! look in the trunk of that tree and you will
find a honeycomb, but don't be foolish enough to share it
Mayblossom ran to the tree, and sure enough there was the
honey. Without losing a moment she ran with it to Fanfar-
onade, crying gayly:
"See, here is a honeycomb that I have found. I might
have eaten it up all by myself, but I had rather share it with
But without looking at her or thanking her, he snatched
the honeycomb out of her hands and ate it all up-every bit,
without offering her a morsel. Indeed, when she humbly
asked for some he said mockingly that it was too sweet for
her, and would spoil her teeth.
Mayblossom, more downcast than ever, went sadly away
and sat down under an oak tree, and her tears and sighs were
so piteous that the oak fanned her with his rustling leaves
"Take courage, pretty princess, all is not lost yet. Take
this pitcher of milk and drink it up, and whatever you do,
don't leave a drop for Fanfaronade."
The princess, quite astonished, looked round and saw a
big pitcher full of milk, but before she could raise it to her
lips the thought of how thirsty Fanfaronade must be, after
eating at least fifteen pounds of honey, made her run back to
him and say:
"Here is a pitcher of milk; drink some, for you must be
thirsty, I am sure; but pray save a little for me, as I am dy-
ing of hunger and thirst."
THE RED FAIRY BOOK
But he seized the pitcher and drank all it contained at a
single draught, and then broke it to atoms on the nearest
.stone, saying, with a malicious smile: "As you have not eaten
anything you cannot be thirsty."
Ah!" cried the princess, "I am well punished for dis-
appointing the king and queen, and running away with this
.ambassador, of whom I knew nothing."
And so saying she wandered away into the thickest part of
the wood, and sat down under a thorn tree, where a nightin-
gale was singing. Presently she heard him say: "Search
under the bush, princess; you will find some sugar almonds
and some tarts there. But don't be silly enough to offer Fan-
faronade any." And this time the princess, who was faint-
ing with hunger, took the nightingale's advice, and ate what
she found, all by herself. But Fanfaronade, seeing that she
had found something good, and was not going to share
it with him, ran after her in such a fury that
*she hastily drew out the queen's carbuncle, which had the
property of rendering people invisible if they were in dan-
ger, and when she was safely hidden from him she reproached
him gently for his unkindness.
Meanwhile Admiral Cocked-hat had dispatched Jack-the-
chatterer-of-the-straw-boots, courier in ordinary to the prime
minister, to tell the king that the princess and the ambas-
sador had landed on Squirrel Island, but that not knowing
the country he had not pursued them, for fear of being cap-
tured by concealed enemies. Their majesties were overjoyed
at the news, and the king sent for a great book, each leaf of
which was eight ells long. It was the work of a very clever
fairy, and contained a description of the whole earth. He
very soon found that Squirrel Island was uninhabited.
"Go," said he to Jack-the-chatterer, "tell the admiral
from me to land at once. I am surprised at his not having
done so sooner." As soon as this message reached the fleet,
every preparation was made for war, and the noise was so
great that it reached the ears of the princess, who at once
flew to protect her lover. As he was not very brave he ac-
cepted her aid gladly.
"You stand behind me," said she, "and I will hold the
carbuncle, which will make us invisible, and with the king's
-dagger I can protect you from the enemy." So when the
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
soldiers landed they could see nothing, but the princess
touched them one after another with the dagger and they fell
insensible upon the sand, so that at last the admiral, seeing
that there was some enchantment, hastily gave orders for a
retreat to be sounded, and got his men back into their boats
in great confusion.
Fanfaronade, being once more left with the princess, be-
gan to think that if he could get rid of her, and possess him-
self of the carbuncle and the dagger, he would be able to
make his escape. So as they walked over the cliffs he gave
the princess a great push,
hoping that she would fall
'- into the sea; but she
stepped aside so quickly
that he only succeeded in
Sn overbalancing himself, and
over he went and sank to
the bottom of the sea like
s a lump of lead, and was
never heard of any more.
While the princess was
still looking after him in
horror her attention was
attracted by a rushing
noise over her head, and
looking up she saw two
chariots approaching rap-
idly from opposite direc-
tions. One was bright
and glittering, and drawn
by swans and peacocks,
while the fairy who sat in
it was beautiful as a sun-
beam; the other drawn by
bats and ravens, contained a frightful little dwarf, who
was dressed in a snake's skin, and wore a great toad upon
her head for a hood. The chariots met with a frightful crash
in mid-air, and the princess looked on in breathless anxiety
while a furious battle took place between the lovely fairy
with her golden lance, and the hideous little dwarf with her
rusty pike. But very soon it was evident that the beauty had
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
the best of it, and the dwarf turned her bats' heads and flick-
ered away in great confusion, while the fairy came down to
where the princess stood, and said, smiling: "You see, prin-
cess, I have completely routed that malicious old Carabosse.
Will you believe it I she actually wanted to claim authority
over you forever, because you came out of the tower four
days before the twenty years were ended. However, I think
I have settled her pretensions, and I hope you will be very
happy and enjoy the freedom I have won for you."
The princess thanked her heartily and then the fairy dis-
patched one of her peacocks to her palace to bring a gorgeous
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
robe for Mayblossom, who certainly needed it, for her own
was torn to shreds by the thorns and briars. Another pea-
cock was sent to the admiral to tell him that he could now
land in perfect safety, which he at once did, bringing all his
men with him, even to Jack-the-chatterer, who, happening
to pass the spit upon which the admiral's dinner was roast-
ing, snatched it up and brought it with him.
Admiral Cocked-hat was immensely surprised when he
came upon the golden chariot, and still more so to see two
lovely ladies walking under the trees a little further away.
When he reached them of course he recognized the prin-
cess, and he went down on his knees and kissed her hand
quite joyfully. Then she presented him to the fairy, and
told him how Carabosse had been finally routed, and he
thanked and congratulated the fairy, who was most gracious
to him. While they were talking she cried suddenly:
"I declare, I smell a savory dinner."
"Why, yes,, madam, here it is," said Jack-the-chatterer,
holding up the spit, where all the pheasants and partridges
were frizzling. "Will your highness please to taste any of
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
"By all means," said the fairy, "especially as the prin-
cess will certainly be glad of a good meal."
So the admiral sent back to his ship for everything that
was needful, and they feasted merrily under the trees. By
the time they had finished, the peacock had come back with a
robe for the princess, in which the fairy arrayed her. It was
of green and gold brocade, embroidered with pearls and ru-
bies, and her long golden hair was tied back with strings
of diamonds and emeralds, and crowned with flowers. The
fairy made her mount beside her in the golden chariot, and
took her on board the admiral's ship, where she bade fare-
well, sending many messages of friendship to the queen, and
bidding the princess tell her she was the fifth fairy who had
attended the christening. Then salutes were fired, the fleet
weighed anchor, and very soon they reached the port. Here
the king and queen were waiting, and they received the
princess with such joy and kindness that she could not get
a word in edgeways, to say how sorry she was for having
run away with such a very poor-spirited ambassador. But,
after all, it must have been all Carabosse's fault. Just at
this lucky moment who should arrive but King Merlin's son,
who had become uneasy at not receiving any news from his
ambassador, and so had started himself with a magnificent
escort of a thousand horsemen, and thirty body-guards in
gold and scarlet uniforms, to see what could have happened.
As he was a hundred times handsomer and braver than the
ambassador, the princess found she could like him very much.
So the wedding was held at once, with so much splendor and
rejoicing that all the previous misfortunes were quite for-
SORIA MORIA CASTLE.*
There were once upon a time a couple of old folks who had
a son called Halvor. Ever since he had been a little boy he
had been unwilling to do any work, and had just sat raking
about among the ashes. His parents sent him away to learn
several things, but Halvor stayed nowhere, for when he had
been gone two or three days he always ran away from his
From P. C. Asbjornsen.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
master, hurried off home, and sat down in the chimney cor-
ner to grub among the ashes again.
One day, however, a sea captain came and asked Halvor if
he hadn't a fancy to come with him and go to sea, and be-
hold foreign lands. And Halvor had a fancy for that, so he
was not long in getting ready.
How long they sailed I have no idea, but after a long, long
time there was a terrible storm, and when it was over and
all had become calm again they knew not where they were,
for they had been driven away to a strange coast of which
none of them had any knowledge.
As there was no wind at all they lay there becalmed, and
Halvor asked the skipper to give him leave to go on shore to
look about him, for he would much rather do that than lie
there and sleep.
"Dost thou think that thou art fit to go where people can
see thee ?" said the skipper; "thou hast no clothes but those
rags thou art going about in I"
Halvor still begged for leave, and at last got it, but he
was to come back at once if the wind began to rise.
So he went on shore and it was a delightful country;
whithersoever he went there were wide plains with fields and
meadows, but as for people there were none to be seen. The
wind began to rise, but Halvor thought that he had not seen
enough yet, and that he would like to walk about a little
longer, to try if he could not meet somebody. So after
a while he came to a great highway, which was so smooth
that an egg might have been rolled along it without breaking.
Halvor followed this, and when evening drew near he saw a
big castle far away in the distance, and there were lights
in it. So as he had now been walking the whole day and had
not brought anything to eat away with him, he was fright-
fully hungry. Nevertheless, the nearer he came to the castle
the more afraid he was.
A fire was burning in the castle, and Halvor went into the
kitchen, which was more magnificent than any kitchen he
had ever yet beheld. There were vessels of gold and silver,
but not one human being was to be seen. When Halvor had
stood there for some time, and no one had come out, he went
in and opened a door, and inside a princess was sitting at
her wheel spinning.
32 THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
"Nay!" she cried, "can Christian folk dare to come
hither? But the best thing that you can do is to go away
again, for if not the troll will devour you. A troll with
three heads lives here."
"I should have been just as well pleased if he had had
four heads more, for I should have enjoyed seeing the fel-
low," said the youth; and I won't go away, for I have done
no harm, but you must give me something to eat, for I am
When Halvor had eaten his fill, the princess told him to
try if he could wield the sword which was hanging on the
wall, but he could not wield it, nor could he even lift it up.
"Well, then, you must take a drink out of that bottle
which is hanging by its side, for that's what the troll does
whenever he goes out and wants to use the sword," said the
Halvor took a draught and in a moment he was able to
swing the sword about with perfect ease. And now he
thought it was high time for the troll to make his appear-
ance, and at that very moment he came, panting for breath.
Halvor got behind the door.
"Hutetu!" said the troll, as he put his heads in at the
door. "It smells just as if there was a Christian man's
," Yes, you shall learn that there is! said Halvor, and cut
off all his heads.
The princess was so rejoiced to be free that she danced
and sang, but then she remembered her sisters, and said:
"If my sisters were but free, too!"
"Where are they 8" asked Halvor.
So she told him where they were. One of them had been
taken away by a troll to his castle, which was six miles off,
and the other had been carried off to a castle which was nine
miles further off still.
"But now," said she, "you must first help me to get this
dead body away from here."
Halvor was so strong that he cleared everything away, and
made all clean and tidy very quickly. So then they ate and
drank, and were happy, and next morning he set off in the
gray light of dawn. He gave himself no rest, but walked or
ran the livelong day. When he came in sight of the castle
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
he was again just a little afraid. It was much more splen-
did than the other, but here, too, there was not a human be-
ing to be seen. So Halvor went into the kitchen, and did
not linger there either, but went straight in.
"Nay! do Christian folk dare to come here?" cried the
second princess. "I do not know how long it is since I my-
self came, but during all that time I have never seen a
Christian man. It will be better for you to depart at once,
for a troll lives here who has six heads."
No, I shall not go," said Halvor; even if he had six more
I would not."
He will swallow you up alive," said the princess.
But she spoke to no purpose, for Halvor would not go; he
was not afraid of the troll, but he wanted some meat and
drink, for he was hungry after his journey. So she gave him
as much as he would have, and then she once more tried to
make him go away.
"No," said Halvor, "I will not go, for I have not done
anything wrong, and I have no reason to be afraid."
He won't ask any questions about that," said the prin-
cess, "for he will take you without leave or right; but as
you will not go, try if you can wield that sword which the
troll uses in battle."
He could not wield the sword; so the princess said that he
was to take a draught from the flask which hung by its side,
and when he had done that he could wield the sword.
Soon afterward the troll came, and he was so large and
stout that he was forced to go sideways to get through the
door. When the troll got his first head in he cried:
"Hutetu It smells of a Christian man's blood here! "
With that Halvor cut off the first head, and so on, with
all the rest. The princess was now exceedingly delighted,
but then she remembered her sisters, and wished that they
too, were free. Halvor thought that might be managed, and
wanted to set off immediately; but first he had to help the
princess to remove the troll's body, so that it was not until
morning that he set forth on his way.
It was a long way to the castle, and he both walked and
ran to get there in time. Late in the evening he caught
sight of it, and it was very much more magnificent than
either of the others. And this time he was not the least bit
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
afraid, but went into the kitchen and then straight on inside
the castle. There a princess was sitting who was so beau-
tiful that there was never anyone to equal her. She, too,
said what the others had said, that no Christian folk had
ever been there since she had come, and entreated him to
go away again, or else the troll would swallow him up alive.
The troll had nine heads, she told him.
"Yes, and if he had nine added to the nine, and then
nine more still, I would not go away," said Halvor, and went
and stood by the stove.
The princess begged him very prettily to go lest the troll
should devour him; but Halvor said, Let him come when he
So she gave him the troll's sword, and bade him take a
drink from the flask to enable him to wield it.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
At the same moment the troll came, breathing hard, and
he was ever so much bigger and stouter than either of the
others, and he, too, was forced to go sideways to get in
through the door.
"Hutetu! what a smell of Christian blood there is here!"
Then Halvor cut off the first head, and after that the
others, but the last was the toughest of them all, and it was
the hardest work that Halvor had ever done to get it off, but
he still believed he would have strength enough to do it.
And now all the princesses came to the castle and were to-
gether again, and they were happier than they had ever been
in their lives; and they were delighted with Halvor, and he
with them, and he was to choose the one he liked best; but of
the three sisters the youngest loved him best.
But Halvor went about and was so strange and so mourn-
ful and quiet that the princesses asked what it was that he
longed for, and if he did not like to be with them. He said
that he did like to be with them, for they had enough to live
on, and he was very comfortable there; but he longed to go
home, for his father and mother were alive, and he had a
great desire to see them again.
They thought that this might easily be done.
You shall go and return in perfect safety if you will fol-
low our advice," said the princesses.
So he said that he would do nothing that they did not wish.
Then they dressed him so splendidly that he was like a
king's son; and they put a ring on his finger, and it was one
which would enable him to go there and back again by wish-
ing, but they told him he must not throw it away or name
their names; for if he did, all his magnificence would be at
an end, and then he would never see them more.
"If I were but at home again, or if home were but here "
said Halvor, and no sooner had he wished this than it was
granted. Halvor was standing outside his father and
mother's cottage before he knew what he was about. The
darkness of night was coming on, and when the father and
mother saw such a stately stranger walk in they were so star-
tled that they both began to bow and courtesy.
Halvor then inquired if he could stay there and have lodg-
ing for the night. No, that he certainly could not. "We
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
can give you no such accommodations," they said, "for we
have none of the things that are needful when a great lord
like you is to be entertained. It will be better for you to go
up to the farm. It is not far off, you can see the chimney-
pots from here, and there they have plenty of everything."
Halvor would not hear of that, he was absolutely deter-
mined to stay where he was; but the old folks stuck to
what they had said, and told him that he was to go to the
farm, where he could get both meat and drink, whereas they
themselves had not even a chair to offer him.
No," said Halvor, "I will not go up there till early to-
morrow morning; let me stay here to-night. I can sit down
on the hearth."
They could say nothing against that, so Halvor sat down
on the hearth and began to rake about among the ashes just
as he had done before, when he lay there idling away his
They chattered much about many things, and told Halvor
of this and of that, and at last he asked them if they had
never had any child.
"Yes," they said; they had had a boy who was called Hal-
vor, but they did not know where he had gone, and they could
not even say whether he were dead or alive.
Could I be he ?" said Halvor.
"I should know him well enough," said the old woman,
rising. "Our Halvor was so idle and slothful that he never
did anything at all, and he was so ragged that one hole ran
into another all over his clothes. Such a fellow as he was
could never turn into such a man as you are, sir."
In a short time the old woman had to go to the fireplace
to stir the fire, and when the blaze lit up Halvor, as it used
to do when he was at home raking up the ashes, she knew him
Good heavens! is that you, Halvor 8" said she, and such a
great gladness fell over the old parents there were no bounds
to it. And now he had to relate everything that had befallen
him, and the old woman was so delighted with him that she
would take him up to the farm at once to show him to the
girls who had formerly looked down on him so. She went
there first, and Halvor followed her. When she got there
she told them how Halvor had come home again, and now
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
they should just see how magnificent he was. He looks like
a prince," she said.
"We shall see that he is just the same ragamuffin that he
was before," said the girls, tossing their heads.
At that same moment Halvor entered, and the girls were
so astonished that they left their kirtles lying in the chim-
ney-corner, and ran away in nothing but their petticoats.
When they came in again they were so shamefaced that they
hardly dared to look at Halvor, toward whom they had always
been so proud and haughty before.
Aye, aye! you have always thought you were so pretty
and dainty that no one was equal to you," said Halvor, but
you should just see the eldest princess whom I set free. You
look like herdswomen compared with her, and the second
princess is also much prettier than you; but the youngest,
who is my sweetheart, is more beautiful than either sun or
moon. I wish to Heaven they were here, and then you could
Scarcely had he said this before they were standing by his
side, but then he was very sorrowful, for the words which
they had said to him came to his mind.
Up at the farm a great feast was made ready for the prin-
cesses, and much respect paid to them, but they would not
"We want to go down to your parents," they said to Hal-
vor, so we will go out and look about us."
He followed them out, and they came to a large pond out-
side the farm-house. Very near the water there was a pretty
green bank,, and there the princesses said they would sit down
and while away an hour, for they thought it would be pleas-
ant to sit and look out over the water, they said.
Here they sat down, and when they had sat for a short
time the youngest princess said, "I may as well comb your
hair a little, Halvor."
So Halvor laid his head down on her lap and she combed
it, and it was not long before he fell asleep. Then she took
her ring from him and put another in its place, and then
she said to her sisters: "Hold me as I am holding you. I
would that we were at Soria Moria Castle."
When Halvor awoke he knew that he had lost the prin-
cesses, and began to weep and lament, and was so unhappy
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
that he could not be comforted. In spite of all his father's
and mother's entreaties, he would not stay, but bade them
farewell, saying that he would never see them more, for if he
did not find the princess again he did not think it worth
while to live.
He again had three hundred dollars, which he put into his
pocket and went on his way. When he had walked some dis-
tance he met a man with a tolerably good horse. Halvor
longed to buy it, and began to bargain with the man.
"Well, I have not exactly been thinking of selling him."
said the man, "but if we could agree, perhaps- "
Halvor inquired how much he wanted to have for the horse.
I did not give much for him, and he is not worth much;
he is a capital horse to ride, but good for nothing at draw-
ing; but he will always be able to carry your bag of pro-
visions and you, too, if you walk and ride by turns." At last
they agreed about the price, and Halvor laid his bag on the
horse, and sometimes he walked and sometimes he rode. In
the evening he came to a green field where stood a great tree,
under which he seated himself. Then he let the horse loose
and lay down to sleep, but before he did that he took his bag
off the horse. At daybreak he set off again, for he did not
feel as if he could take any rest. So he walked and rode the
whole day, through a great wood where there were many
green places which gleamed very prettily among the trees.
He did not know where he was or whither he was going, but
he never lingered longer in any place than was enough to let
his horse get a little food when they came to one of those
green spots, while he himself took out his bag of provisions.
So he walked and he rode, and it seemed to him that the
wood would never come to an end. But on the evening of the
second day he saw a light shining through the trees.
"If only there were some people up there I might warm
myself and get something to eat," thought Halvor.
When he got to the place where the light had come from,
he saw a wretched little cottage, and through a small pane of
glass he saw a couple of old folks inside. They were very
old, and as gray-headed as a pigeon, and the old woman had
such a long nose that she sat in the chimney-corner and used
it to stir the fire.
"Good-evening! good-evening!" said the old hag; "but
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
what errand have you that can bring you here? No Chris-
tian folk have been here for more than a hundred years."
So Halvor told her that he wanted to get to Soria Moria
Castle, and inquired if she knew the way thither.
No," said the old woman, that I do not, but the moon
will be here presently and I will ask her, and she will know.
She can easily see it for she shines on all things."
So when the moon stood clear and bright above the tree-
tops the old woman went out. Moon! moon! she screamed,
"Canst thou tell me the way to Soria Moria Castle ? "
No," said the moon, that I can't, for when I shone there,
there was a cloud before me."
Wait a little longer," said the old woman to Halvor, for
the west wind will presently be here, and he will know it,
for he breathes gently or blows into every corner.
"What! have you a horse, too?" she said when she came
in again. "Oh let the poor creature loose in our bit of
fenced-in pasture, and don't let it stand there starving at
our very door. But won't you exchange him with me? We
have a pair of old boots here with which you can go fifteen
quarters of a mile at each step. You shall have them for the
horse, and then you will be able to get sooner to Soria Moria
Halvor consented to this at once, and the old woman was
so delighted with the horse that she was ready to dance.
"For now I, too, shall be able to ride to church," she said.
Halvor could take no rest and wanted to set off immediately;
but the old woman said that there was no need to hasten.
"Lie down on the bench and sleep a little, for we have no
bed to offer you," said she, and I will watch for the coming
of the west wind."
Ere long came the west wind, roaring so loud that the
The old woman went out and cried:
"West wind! west wind! Canst thou tell me the way to
Soria Moria Castle? Here is one who would go thither."
Yes, I know it well," said the west wind. I am just on
my way there to dry the clothes for the wedding which is to
take place. If he is fleet of foot he can go with me."
Out ran Halvor.
"You will have to make haste if you mean to go with zen,"
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
said the west wind; and away it went over hill and dale, and
moor and morass, and Halvor had enough to do to keep up
"Well, now I have no time to stay with you any longer,"
said the west wind,'" for I must first go and tear down a bit
of spruce fir before I go to the bleaching-ground to dry the
clothes; but just go along the side of the hill and you will
come to some girls who are standing there washing clothes,
and then you will not have to walk far before you are at
Soria Moria Castle."
Shortly afterward Halvor came to the girls who were stand-
ing washing, and they asked him if he had seen anything
of the west wind, who was to come there to dry the clothes
for the wedding.
"Yes," said Halvor, "he has only gone to break down a
bit of spruce fir. It won't be long before he is here." And
then he asked them the way to Soria Moria Castle. They
put him in the right way, and when he came in front of the
castle it was so full of horses and people that it swarmed
with them. But Halvor was so ragged and torn with follow-
ing the west wind through bushes and bogs that he kept on
one side, and would not go among the crowd until the last
day, when the feast was at noon.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
So when, as was the usage and custom, all were to drink
to the bride and the young girls who were present, the cup-
bearer filled the cup for each in turn, both bride and bride-
groom, and knights and servants, and at last, after a very
long time, he came to Halvor. He drank their health, and
then slipped the ring which the princess had put on his finger
when they were sitting by the waterside into the glass, and
ordered the cup-bearer to carry the glass to the bride from
him and greet her.
Then the princess at once rose up from the table, and said,
"Who is most worthy to have one of us-he who has de-
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
livered us from the trolls or he who is sitting here as bride-
There could be but one opinion as to that, everyone
thought, and when Halvor heard what they said he was
not long in flinging off his beggar's rags and arraying himself
as a bridegroom.
"Yes, he is the right one," cried the youngest princess
when she caught sight of him; so she flung the other out of
the window and held her wedding with Halvor.
THE DEATH OF KOSHOHEI THE DEATHLESS.*
In a certain kingdom there lived a Prince Ivan. He had
three sisters. The first was the Princess Marya, the second
the Princess Olga, the third the Princess Anna. When their
father and mother lay at the point of death, they had thus
enjoined their son: "Give your sisters in marriage to the
very first suitors who come to woo them. Don't go keeping
them by you!"
They died, and the prince buried them, and then, to solace
his grief, he went with his sisters into the garden green to
stroll. Suddenly the sky was covered by a black cloud; a ter-
rible storm arose.
"Let us go home, sisters!" he cried.
Hardly had they got into the palace when the thunder
pealed, the ceiling split open, and into the room where they
were came flying a falcon bright. The falcon smote upon
the ground, became a brave youth, and said:
"Hail, Prince Ivan! Before I came as a guest, but now I
have come as a wooer II wish to propose for your sister, the
"If you find favor in the eyes of my sister, I will not in-
terfere with her wishes. Let her marry you, in God's name! "
The Princess Marya gave her consent; the falcon married
*her and bore her away into his own realm.
Days follow days, hours chase hours; a whole year goes by.
One day Prince Ivan and his sisters went out to stroll in
the garden green. Again there arose a storm-cloud, with
whirlwind and lightning.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
Let us go home, sisters I" cries the prince. Scarcely had
they entered the palace when the thunder crashed, the roof
burst into a blaze, the ceiling split in twain, and in flew an
eagle. The eagle smote upon the ground, and became a brave
"Hail, Prince Ivan! Before I came as a guest, but
now I have come as a wooer!"
And he asked for the hand of the Princess Olga. Prince
"If you find favor in the eyes of the Princess Olga, then
let her marry you. I will not interfere with her liberty of
The Princess Olga gave her consent and married the
eagle. The eagle took her and carried her off to his own
Another year went by. Prince Ivan said to his youngest
"Let us go out and stroll in the garden green!"
They strolled about for a time. Again there arose a storm-
cloud, with whirlwind and lightning.
Let us return home, sister! said he.
They returned home, but they hadn't had time to sit down
then the thunder crashed, the ceiling split open and in flew
a raven. The raven smote upon the floor and became a brave
youth. The former youths had been handsome, but this one
was handsomer still.
"Well, Prince Ivan! Before I came as a guest, but now
I have come as a wooer Give me the Princess Anna to
"I won't interfere with my sister's freedom. If you gain
her affections, let her marry you."
So the Princess Anna married the raven, and he bore
her away into his own realm. Prince Ivan was left alone. A
whole year he lived without his sisters; then he grew weary,
"I will set out in search of my sisters."
He got ready for the journey, he rode and rode, and one
day he saw a whole army lying dead on the plain. He cried
aloud, "If there be a living man there let him make answer
Who has slain this mighty host ?"
There replied unto him a living man:
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
All this mighty host has been slain by the fair Prin-
cess Marya Morevna."
Prince Ivan rode further on, and came to a white tent,
and forth came to meet him the fair Princess Marya Mor-
"Hail, prince!" says she; "whither does God send you?
and is it of your free will or against your will ?"
Prince Ivan replied: "Not against their will do brave
Well, if your business be not pressing, tarry awhile
in my tent."
Thereat was Prince Ivan glad. He spent two nights in
the tent and he found favor in the eyes of Marya Morevna,
and she married him. The fair princess, Marya Morevna,
carried him off into her own realm.
They spent some time together, and then the princess took
it into her head to go a-warring. So she handed over all
the housekeeping affairs to Prince Ivan, and gave him these
"Go about everywhere, keep watch over everything; only
do not venture to look into that closet there."
He couldn't help doing so. The moment Marya Morevna
had gone he rushed to the closet, pulled open the door, and
looked in-there hung Koshchei the Deathless, fettered by
twelve chains. Then Koshchei entreated Prince Ivan, say-
"Have pity upon me and give me to drink! Ten years
long have I been here in torment, neither eating nor drink-
ing; my throat is utterly dried up."
The prince gave him a bucketful of water; he drank it
up and asked for more, saying:
A single bucket of water will not quench my thirst; give
The prince gave him a second bucketful. Koshchei
drank it up and asked for a third, and when he had swal-
lowed the third bucketful he regained his former strength,
gave his chains a shake, and broke all twelve at once.
"Thanks, Prince Ivan!" cried Koshchei the Deathless,
"now you will sooner see your own ears than Marya Mor-
evnal and out of the window he flew in the shape of a ter-
rible whirlwind. And he came up with the fair Princess
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
Marya Morevna as she was going her way, laid hold of her
and carried her off home with him. But Prince Ivan wept
full sore, and he arrayed himself and set out a-wandering,
saying to himself, "Whatever happens I will go and look
for Marya Morevna "
One day passed, another day passed; at the dawn of the
third day he saw a wondrous palace, and by the side of the
palace stood an oak, and on the oak sat a falcon bright.
Down flew the falcon from the oak, smote upon the ground,
turned into a brave youth, and cried aloud:
Ha, dear brother-in-law I how deals the Lord with you ?"
Out came running the Princess Marya, joyfully greeted
her brother Ivan, and began inquiring after his health, and
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
telling him all about herself. The prince spent three days
with them; then he said:
I cannot abide with you; I must go in search of my wife,
the fair Princess Marya Morevna."
"Hard will it be for you to find her," answered the fal-
con. "At all events, leave with us your silver spoon. We
will look at it and remember you." So Prince Ivan left his
silver spoon at the falcon's, and went on his way again.
On he went one day, on he went another day, and by the
dawn of the third day he saw a palace still grander than the
former one, and hard by the palace stood an oak, and on the
oak sat an eagle. Down flew the eagle from the oak, smote
upon the ground, turned into a brave youth, and cried aloud:
"Rise up, Princess Olga! Here comes our brother dear!"
The Princess Olga immediately ran to meet him, and be-
gan kissing him and embracing him, asking after his health,
and telling him all about herself. With them Prince Ivan
stopped three days; then he said:
"I cannot stay here any longer. I am going to look for
my wife, the fair Princess Marya Morevna."
"Hard will it be for you to find her," replied the eagle.
"Leave with us a silver fork. We will look at it and re-
He left a silver fork behind and went his way. He trav-
eled one day, he traveled two days; at daybreak on the third
day he saw a palace grander than the first two, and near the
palace stood an oak, and on the oak sat a raven. Down flew
the raven from the oak, smote upon the ground, turned into
a brave youth, and cried aloud:
"Princess Anna, come forth quickly! our brother is com-
SOut ran the Princess Anna, greeted him joyfully, and be-
gan kissing and embracing him, asking after his health and
telling him all about herself. Prince Ivan stayed with them
three days; then he said:
"Farewell! I am going to look for my wife, the fair Prin-
cess Marya Morevna."
"Hard will it be for you to find her," replied the raven.
"Anyhow, leave your silver snuff-box with us. We will look
at it and remember you."
The prince handed over his silver snuff-box, took his leave,
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
and went his way. One day he went, another day he went,
and on the third day he came to where Marya Morevna was.
She caught sight of her love, flung her arms around his neck,
burst into tears and exclaimed:
"Oh, Prince Ivan! why did you disobey me and go look-
ing into the closet and letting out Koshchei the Deathless ? "
"Forgive me, Marya Morevna. Remember not the past;
much better fly with me while Koshchei the Deathless is
out of sight. Perhaps he won't catch us."
So they got ready and fled. Now Koshchei was out hunt-
ing. Toward evening he was returning home, when his good
steed stumbled beneath him.
"Why stumblest thou, sorry jade? Scentest thou some
The steed replied:
Prince Ivan has come and carried off Marya Morevna."
"Is it possible to catch them?"
"It is possible to sow wheat, to wait till it grows up, to
reap it and thresh it, to grind it to flour, to make five pies of
it, to eat those pies, and then to start in pursuit-and even
then to be in time."
Koshchei galloped off and caught up Prince Ivan.
"Now," says he, "this time I will forgive you in return
for your kindness in giving me water to drink. And a sec-
ond time I will forgive you; but the third time, beware! I
will cut you to bits."
Then he took Marya Morevna from him and carried her
off. But Prince Ivan sat down upon a stone and burst into
tears. He wept and wept-and then returned back again to
Marya Morevna. Now Koshchei the Deathless happened not
to be at home.
"Let us fly, Marya Morevna!"
Ah, Prince Ivan he will catch us."
"Suppose he does catch us. At all events we shall have
spent an hour or two together."
So they got ready and fled. As Koshchei the Deathless
was returning.home, his good steed stumbled beneath him.
"Why stumblest thou, sorry jade? Scentest thou some
"Prince Ivan has come and carried off Marya Morevna."
Is it possible to catch them "
THE RED ~FAIRY BOOK.
"It is possible to sow barley, to wait till it grows up, to
reap it and thresh it, to brew beer, to drink ourselves drunk
on it, to sleep our fill, and then to set off in pursuit-and yet
to be in time."
Koshchei galloped off, caught up Prince Ivan.
"Didn't I tell you that you should not see Marya Mor-
evna any more than your own ears?"
And he took her away and carried her off home with him.
Prince Ivan was left there alone. He wept and wept.
Then he went back again after Marya Morevna. Koshchei
happened to be away from home at that moment.
"Let us fly, Marya Morevna! "
"Ah, Prince Ivan! he is sure to catch us and hew you in
Let him hew away! I cannot live without you."
So they got ready and fled.
Koshchei the Deathless was returning home when his good
steed stumbled beneath him.
"Why stumblest thou? Scentest thou any ill?"
"Prince Ivan has come and has carried off Marya Mor-
Koshchei galloped off, caught Prince Ivan, chopped him
into little pieces, put them into a barrel, smeared it with
pitch and bound it with iron hoops, and flung it into the
blue sea. But Marya Morevna he carried off home.
At that very time the silver articles turned black which
Prince Ivan had left with his brothers-in-law.
Ah!" said they, the evil is accomplished, sure enough "
Then the eagle hurried to the blue sea, caught hold of the
barrel and dragged it ashore; the falcon flew away for the
water of life, and the raven for the water of death.
Afterward they all three met, broke open the barrel, took
out the remains of Prince Ivan, washed them, and put them
together in fitting order. The raven sprinkled them with the
water of death-the pieces joined together, the body became
whole. The falcon sprinkled it with the water of life-
Prince Ivan shuddered, stood up, and said:
Ah what a time I've been sleeping I "
"You'd have gone on sleeping a good deal longer if it
hadn't been for us," replied his brothers-in-law. Now come
and pay us a visit."
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
SITay, brothers; I shall go and look for Marya Morevna."
And when he had found her, he said to her:
"Find out from Koshchei the Deathless from whence 1e
got so good a steed."
So Marya Morevna chose a favorable moment, and began
asking Koshchei about it. Koshchei replied:
"Beyond thrice nine lands, in the thirtieth kingdom, on
the other side of the fiery river, there lives a baba yaga. She
has so good a mare that she flies right round the world on it
every day. And she has many other splendid mares. I
watched her herds for three days without losing a single
mare, and in return for that the baba yaga gave me a foal."
"But how did you get across the fiery river?"
"Why, I've a handkerchief of this kind-when I wave it
thrice on the right hand, there springs up a very lofty bridge,
and the fire cannot reach it."
Marya Morevna listened to all this and repeated it to
Prince Ivan, and she carried off the handkerchief and gave
it to him. So he managed to get across the fiery river, and
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
then went on to the baba yaga's. Long went he on without
getting anything either to eat or to drink. At last he came
across an outlandish bird and its young ones. Says Prince
I'll eat one of these chickens."
"Don't eat it, Prince Ivan begs the outlandish bird;
some time or other I'll do you a good turn."
He went on further and saw a hive of bees in the forest.
"I'll get a bit of honeycomb," says he.
"Don't disturb my honey, Prince Ivan!" exclaims the
queen-bee; some time or other I'll do you a good turn."
So he didn't disturb it, but went on. Presently there met
him a lioness with her cub.
Anyhow, I'll eat this lion cub," says he; I'm so hungry
I feel quite unwell!"
"Please let us alone, Prince Ivan," begs the lioness;
" some time or other I'll do you a good turn."
"Very well; have it your own way," says he.
Hungry and faint he wandered on, walked further and
further, and at last came to where stood the house of the
baba yaga. Round the house were set twelve poles in a
circle, and on each of eleven of these poles was stuck a hu-
man head; the twelfth alone remained unoccupied.
"Hail, Prince Ivan! wherefore have you come? Is it of
your own accord or on compulsion ?"
"I have come to earn from you an heroic steed."
S"So be it, prince! You won't have to serve a year with
me, but just three days. If you take good care of my mares
I will give you an heroic steed. But if you don't-why, then
you mustn't be annoyed at finding your head stuck on top of
the last pole up there."
Prince Ivan agreed to these terms. The baba yaga gave
him food and drink and bade him set about his business.
But the moment he had driven the mares afield, they cocked
up their tails and away they tore across the meadows in all
directions. Before the prince had time to look round they
were all out of sight. Thereupon he began to weep and to
disquiet himself, and then he sat down upon a stone and went
to sleep. But when the sun was near its setting the outland-
ish bird came flying up to him and awakened him, saying:
THE RED FAIRY BOOK. 51
"Arise, Prince Ivan The mares are at home now."
The prince arose and returned home. There the baba yaga
was storming and raging at her mares, and shrieking:
"Whatever did ye come home for?"
"How could we help coming home?" said they. "There
came flying birds from every part of the world, and all but
pecked our eyes out."
Well, well! to-morrow don't go galloping over the mead-
ows, but disperse amid the thick forests."
Prince Ivan slept all night. In the morning the baba yaga
says to him:
"Mind, Prince I if you don't take good care of the mares,
if you lose merely one of them-your bold head will be stuck
on that pole !"
He drove the mares afield. Immediately they cocked up
their tails and dispersed among the thick forests. Again
did the prince sit down on the stone, weep and weep, and
then go to sleep. The sun went down behind the forest. Up
came running the lioness.
Arise, Prince Ivan! The mares are all collected."
Prince Ivan arose and went home. More than ever did the
baba yaga storm at her mares and shriek:
"Whatever did ye come back home for?"
"How could we help coming back? Beasts of prey came
running at us from all parts of the world, and all but tore
us utterly to pieces."
"Well, to-morrow run off into the blue sea."
Again did Prince Ivan sleep through the night. Next
morning the baba yaga sent him forth to watch the mares.
"If you don't take good care of them," says she, "your
bold head will be stuck on that pole!"
He drove the mares afield. Immediately they cocked up
their tails, disappeared from sight and fled into the blue sea.
There they stood, up to their necks in water. Prince Ivan
sat down on the stone, wept, and fell asleep. But when the
sun had set behind the forest, up came flying a bee, and said:
"Arise, prince The mares are all collected. But when
,you get home don't let the baba yaga set eyes on you, but go
into the stable and hide behind the mangers. There you will
find a sorry colt rolling in the muck. Do you steal it, and
at the dead of night ride away from the house."
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
Prince Ivan arose, slipped into the stable, and lay down be-
hind the mangers, while the baba yaga was storming away
at her mares and shrieking:
"Why did ye come back ?"
"How could we help coming back? There came flying bees
in countless numbers from all parts of the world, and began
stinging us on all sides till the blood came!"
The baba yaga went to sleep. In the dead of the night
Prince Ivan stole the sorry colt, saddled it, jumped on its
back, and galloped away to the fiery river. When he came
to the river he waved the handkerchief three times on the
right hand, and suddenly, springing goodness knows whence,
there hung across the river, high in the air, a splendid
bridge. The prince rode across the bridge and waved the
handkerchief twice only on the left hand; there remained
across the river a thin, ever so thin a bridge!
When the baba yaga got up in the morning the sorry colt
was not to be seen! Off she set in pursuit. At full speed did
she fly in her iron mortar, urging it on with the pestle,
sweeping away her traces with the broom. She dashed up to
the fiery river, gave a glance, and said, "A capital bridge! "
She drove on to the bridge, but had only got half-way when
the bridge broke in two,, and the baba yaga went flop into
the river. There truly did she meet with a cruel death!
Prince Ivan fattened up the colt in the green meadows, and
it turned into a wondrous 'steed. Then he rode to where
Marya Morevna was. She came running out, and flung her-
self on his neck, crying:
By what means has God brought you back to life ?"
"Thus and thus," says he. "Now come along with me."
"I am afraid, Prince Ivan! If Koshchei catches us you
will be cut in pieces again."
"No, he won't catch us! I have a splendid heroic steed
now; it flies just like a bird." So they got on its back and
Koshchei the Deathless was returning home when his
horse stumbled beneath him.
"What art thou stumbling for, sorry jade? Dost thou
scent any ill?"
"Prince Ivan has come and carried off Marya Morevna."
Can we catch them ?"
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
God knows I Prince Ivan has a horse now which is better
"Well, I can't stand it," says Koshchei the Deathless. "I
After a time he came up with Prince Ivan, lighted on the
ground, and was going to chop him up with his sharp sword.
But at that moment Prince Ivan's horse smote Koshchei the
Deathless full swing with its hoof, and cracked his skull,
and the prince made an end of him with a club. Afterward
the prince heaped up a pile of wood, set fire to it, burned
Koshchei the Deathless on the pyre, and scattered his- ashes
to the wind. Then Marya Morevna mounted Koshchei's
horse and Prince Ivan got on his own, and they rode away to
visit first the raven, and then the eagle, and then the falcon.
Wherever they went they met with a joyful greeting.
"Ah, Prince Ivan! why, we never expected to see you
again. Well, it wasn't for nothing that you gave yourself
so much trouble. Such a beauty as Marya Morevna one
might search for all the world over-and never find one like
And so they visited, and they feasted; and afterward they
went off to their own realm.
54 THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
THE BLACK THIEF AND KNIGHT OF THE GLEN.*
In times of yore there was a king and queen in the south
of Ireland who had three sons, all beautiful children; but the
queen their mother sickened unto death when they were
yet very young, which caused great grief throughout the
court, particularly to the king, her husband, who could in no
wise be comforted. Seeing that death was drawing near her,
she called the king to her and spoke as follows:
"I am now going to leave you, and as you are young and
in your prime of course after my death you will marry again.
Now all the request that I ask of you is that you will build
a tower in an island in the sea wherein you will keep your
three sons until they are come of age and fit to do for them-
selves; so that they may not be under the power or jurisdic-
tion of any other woman. Neglect not to give them an edu-
cation suitable to their birth, and let them be trained up to
every exercise and pastime requisite for kings' sons to learn.
This is all I have to say, so farewell."
The king had scarce time, with tears in his eyes, to assure
her she should be obeyed in everything, when she, turning
herself in her bed, with a smile gave up the ghost. Never was
greater mourning seen than was throughout the court and
the whole kingdom; for a better woman than the queen, to
rich and poor, was not to be found in the world. She was
interred with great pomp and magnificence, and the king,
her husband, became in a manner inconsolable for the loss
of her. However, he caused the tower to be built, and his
sons placed in it, under proper guardians, according to his
In process of time the lords and knights of the kingdom
counseled the king (as he was 'young) to live no longer as
he had done, but to take a wife; which counsel prevailing,
they chose him a rich and beautiful princess to be his consort
-a neighboring king's daughter, of whom he was very fond.
Not long after the queen had a fine son, which caused great
feasting and rejoicing at the court, insomuch that the late
queen, in a manner, was entirely forgotten. That fared well,
* The Hibernian Tales.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
and king and queen lived happy together for several years.
At length the queen having some business with the hen-
wife, went herself to her, and after a long conference passed,
was taking leave of her, when the hen-wife prayed that if
ever she should come back to her again she might break her
neck. The queen, greatly incensed at such a daring insult
from one of her meanest subjects, demanded immediately the
reason or she would have her put to death.
"It was worth your while, madame," says the hen-wife,
"to pay me well for it, for the reason I prayed so on you con-
cerns you much."
"What must I pay you? asked the queen.
You must give me," says she, the full of a pack of wool,
and I have an ancient crock which you must fill with butter,
likewise a barrel which you must fill for me full of wheat."
How much wool will it take to the pack ?" says the queen.
"It will take seven herds of sheep," said she, "and their
increase for seven years." "
How much butter will it take to fill your crock ?"
"Seven dairies," said she, and their increase for seven
"And how much will it take to fill the barrel you have?"
says the queen.
"It will take the increase of seven barrels of wheat for
That is a great quantity," says the queen; "but the rea-
son must be extraordinary, and before I want it, I will give
you all you demand."
"Well," says the hen-wife, "it is because you are so stupid
that you don't observe or find out those affairs that are so
dangerous and hurtful to yourself and your child."
"What is that?" says the queen.
Why," says she, "the king, your husband, has three fine
sons.he had by the late queen, whom he keeps shut up in a
tower until they come of age, intending to divide the king-
dom between them and let your son push his fortune; now,
if you don't find some means of destroying them, your child,
and, perhaps, yourself, will be left desolate in the end."
And what would you advise me to do 8" said she. I am
wholly at a loss in what manner to act in this affair."
"You must make known to the king," says the hen-wife,
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
"that you heard of his sons, and wonder greatly that he con-
cealed them all this time from you; tell him you wish to see
them, and that it is full time for them to be liberated, and
that you would be desirous he would bring them to the court.
The king will then do so, and there will be a great feast pre-
pared on that account, and also diversions of every sort to
amuse the people; and in these sports," said she, "ask the
king's sons to play a game at cards with you, which they will
not refuse. Now," says the hen-wife, you must make a bar-
gain, that if you win they must do whatever you command
them, and if they win you must do whatever they command
you to do; this bargain must be made before the assembly,
and here is a pack of cards," says she, "that I am thinking
you will not lose by."
The queen immediately took the cards, and after returning
the hen-wife thanks for her kind instruction, went to the
palace, where she was quite uneasy until she got speaking to
the king in regard of his children; at last she broke it off to
him in a very polite and engaging manner, so that he could
see no sinister design in it. He readily consented to her
desire, and his sons were sent for to the tower, who gladly
came to court, rejoicing that they were freed from such con-
fnement. They were all very handsome, and very expert in
all arts and exercises, so that they gained the love and esteem
of all that had seen them.
The queen, more jealous with them than ever, thought it
an age until all the feasting and rejoicing was over, that she
might get making her proposal, depending greatly on the hen-
wife's cards. At length this royal assembly began to sport
and play at all kinds of diversions, and the queen very cun-
ningly challenged the three princes to play at cards with her,
making bargain with them as she had been instructed.
They accepted the challenge, and the eldest son and she
played the first game, which she won; then the second son
played and she won that game likewise; the third son and
she then played the last game, and he won it, which sorely
grieved her that she had not him in her power as well as the
rest, being by far the handsomest and most beloved of the
However, everyone was anxious to hear the queen's com-
mands in regard to the two princes, not thinking that she had
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
any ill design in her head against them. Whether it was the
hen-wife instructed her, or whether it was from her own
knowledge, I cannot tell; but she gave out that they must go
and bring her the Knight of the Glen's wild steed of bells, or
they should lose their heads.
The young princes were not in the least concerned, not
knowing what they had to do; but the whole court was
amazed at her demand, knowing very well that it was impos-
sible for them ever to get the steed, as all who ever sought
him perished in the attempt. However, they could not re-
tract the bargain, And the youngest prince was desired to tell
what demand he had on the queen, as he had won his game.
My brothers," says he, are now going to travel, and, as I
understand, a perilous journey wherein they know not what
road to take or what may happen them. I am resolved, there-
fore, not to stay here, but to go with them, let what will be-
tide; and I request and command, according to my bar-
gain, that the queen shall stand on the highest tower of the
palace until we come back (or find out that we are certainly
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
dead), with nothing but sheaf corn for her food and cold
water for her drink, if it should be for seven years and
All things being now fixed, the three princes departed the
court in search of the Knight of the Glen's palace, and trav-
eling along the road they came up with a man who was a
little lame and seemed to be somewhat advanced in years;
they soon fell into discourse, and the youngest of the princes
asked the stranger his name, or what was the reason he wore
so remarkable a black cap as he saw on him.
"I am called," said he, "the Thief of Sloan, and some-
times the Black Thief, from my cap" ; and so telling the
prince the most of his adventures, he asked him again where
they were bound for, or what they were about.
The prince, willing to gratify his request, told him their
affairs from the beginning to the end. "And now," said he,
"we are traveling, and do not know whether we are on the
right road or not."
Ah my brave fellows," says the Black Thief, "you little
know the danger you run. I am after that steed myself these
seven years, and can never steal him on account of a silk
covering he has on him in the stable, with sixty bells fixed
to it, and whenever you approach the place he quickly ob-
serves it and shakes himself; which, by the sound of the
bells not only alarms the prince and his guards, but the whole
country round, so that it is impossible ever to get him, and
those who are so unfortunate as to be taken by the Knight of
the Glen are boiled in a red-hot fiery furnace."
"Bless me," says the young prince, "what will we do ? If
we return without the steed we will lose our heads, so I see
we are ill-fixed on both sides."
"Well," says the Thief of Sloan, "if it were my case I
would rather die by the knight than by the wicked queen; be-
sides, I will go with you myself and show you the road, and
whatever fortune you will have, I will take chance of the
They returned him sincere thanks for his kindness, and he,
leing well acquainted with the road, in a short time brought
them within view of the knight's castle.
Now," says he, "we must stay here till night comes; for
I know all the ways of the place, and if there be any chance
THE RED FAIRY BOOK. 59
for it, it is when they are all at rest; for the steed is all the
watch the knight keeps there."
Accordingly, in the dead hour of the night, the king's three
sons and the Thief of Sloan attempted the steed of bells in
order to carry him away, but before they could reach the
stables the steed neighed most terribly and shook himself so,
and the bells rang with such noise, that the knight and all
his men were up in a moment.
The Black Thief and the king's sons thought to make their
escape, but they were suddenly surrounded by the knight's
guards and taken prisoners, when they were brought into
that dismal part of the palace where the knight kept a fur-
nace always boiling, in which he threw all offenders that
came in his way, which in a few moments would entirely
"Audacious villains! says the Knight of the Glen, "how
dare you attempt so bold an action as to steal my steed?
See now, the reward of your folly; for your greater punish-
ment I will not boil you all together, but one after the other,
so that he that survives may witness the dire afflictions of his
So saying, he ordered his servants to stir up the fire. "We
will boil the eldest-looking of these young men first," said he,
" and so on to the last, which will be this old champion with
the black cap. He seems to be the captain, and looks as if
he had come through many toils."
"I was as near death once as the prince is yet," says the
Black Thief, and escaped; and so will he too."
No, you never were," said the knight; for he is within
two or three minutes of his latter end."
"But," says the Black Thief, "I was within one moment
of my death, and I am here yet."
"How was that?" says the knight; "I would be glad to
hear it, for it seems impossible."
If you think, sir knight," says the Black Thief, that the
danger I was in surpasses that of this young man, will you
pardon him his crime ?"
"I will," says the knight, "so go on with your story.
"I was, sir," says he, "a very wild boy in my youth, and
came through many distresses; once in particular, as I was
on my rambling, I was benighted and could find no lodging.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
At length I came to an old kiln, and being much fatigued I
went up and lay on the ribs. I had not been there long when
I saw three witches coming in with three bags of gold. Each
put their bags of gold under their heads as if to sleep. I
heard one of them say to the other that if the Black Thief
came on them while they slept, he would not leave them a
penny. I found by their discourse that everybody had got
my name into their mouth, though I kept silent as death
during their discourse. At length they fell fast asleep, and
then I stole softly down, and seeing some turf convenient, I
placed one under each of their heads, and off I went with
their gold as fast as I could.
I had not gone far," continued the Thief of Sloan, until
I saw a greyhound, a hare, and a hawk in pursuit of me, and
began to think it must be the witches who had taken the
shapes in order that I might not escape them unseen either
by land or water. Seeing they did not appear in any for-
midable shape, I was more than once resolved to attack them,
thinking that with my broadsword I could easily destroy
them. But considering again that it was perhaps still in
their power to become alive again, I gave over the attempt,
and climbed with difficulty up a tree, bringing my sword in
my hand and all the gold along with me. However, when
they came to the tree they found what I had done, and making
further use of their hellish art, one of them was changed into
a smith's anvil and another into a piece of iron, of which the
third soon made a hatchet. Having the hatchet made she,
fell to cutting down the tree, and in the course of an hour
it began to shake with me. At length it began to bend, and
I found that one or two blows at the most would put it down.
I then began to think that my death was inevitable, consid-
ering that those who were capable of doing so much would
soon end my life; but just as she had the stroke drawn that
would terminate my fate, the cock crew, and the witches dis-
appeared, having resumed their natural shapes for fear of
being known, and I got safe off with my bags of gold.
"Now, sir," says he to the Knight of the Glen, "if that be
not as great an adventure as you ever heard, to be within
one blow of a hatchet of my end, and that blow even drawn,
and after all to escape, I leave it to yourself."
Well, I cannot say but it is very extraordinary," says the
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
Knight of the Glen, and on that account pardon this young"
man of his crime; so stir up the fire till I boil this second
"Indeed," says the Black Thief, "I would fain think he:
would not die this time either."
"How so said the knight; "it is impossible for him to'
"I escaped death more wonderfully myself," says the'
Thief of Sloan, than if you had him ready to throw into the
furnace, and I hope it will be the case with him likewise."
"Why, have you been in another great danger?" says the
knight. I would be glad to hear the story, too, and if it be
as wonderful as the last, I will pardon this young man as
I did the other."
"My way of living, sir," says the Black Thief, "was not
good, as I told you before; and being at a certain time fairly
run out of cash, and meeting with no enterprise worthy of no-
tice, I was reduced to great straits. At length a rich bishop
died in the neighborhood I was then in, and I heard he was
interred with a great deal of jewels and rich robes upon him,
all which I intended in a short time to be master of. Ac-
cordingly that very night I set about it, and coming to the
place, I understood he was placed at the further end of a long,
TIE RED FAIRY BOOK.
dark vault, which I slowly entered. I had not gone in far
until I heard a foot coming toward me with a quick pace, and
although naturally bold and daring, yet, thinking of the de-
ceased bishop and the crime I was engaged in, I lost courage
and ran toward the entrance of the vault. I had retreated
but a few paces when I observed between me and the light
the figure of a tall black man standing in the entrance. Be-
ing in great fear, and not knowing how to pass, I fired a pis-
tol at him and he immediately fell across the entrance. Per-
ceiving he still retained the figure of a mortal man, I began
to imagine that it could not be the bishop's ghost; recovering
myself therefore from the fear I was in, I ventured to the
upper end of the vault, where I found a large bundle, and
upon further examination found that the corpse was already
rifled, and that which I had taken to be a ghost was no more
than one of his own clergy. I was then very sorry that I had
the misfortune to kill him, but then it could not be helped.
I took up the bundle that contained everything belonging to
the corpse that was valuable, intending to take my departure
from this melancholy abode; but just as I came to the
mouth of the entrance I saw the guards of the place coming
toward me, and distinctly heard them saying they would look
in the vault, for that the Black Thief would think little of
robbing the corpse if he was anywhere in the place. I did not
then know in what manner to act, for if I was seen I would
surely lose my life, as everybody had a lookout at that time,
and because there was no person bold enough to come in on
me, I knew very well that on the first sight of me that could
be got, I would be shot like a dog. However, I had no time
to lose. I took and raised up the man which I had killed, as
if he was standing on his feet, and I, crouching behind him,
bore-him up as well as I could, so that the guards readily
saw him as they came up to the vault. Seeing the man in
black, one of the men cried 'that was the Black Thief, and,
presenting his piece, fired at the man, at which I let him
fall, and crept into a little dark corner myself, that was at
the entrance of the place. When they saw the man fall, they
ran all into the vault, and never stopped until they were at
the end of it, for fear, as I thought, that there might be
some others along with him that was killed. But while they
were busy inspecting the corpse and the vault to see what they
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
could miss, I slipped out, and, once away, and still away; but
they never had the Black Thief in their power since."
"Well, my brave fellow," says the Knight of the Glen, "I
see you have come through many dangers: you have freed
thcse two princes by your stories; but I am sorry myself that
this young prince has to suffer for all. Now, if you could
tell me something as wonderful as you have told already, I
would pardon him likewise; I pity this youth and do not
want to put him to death if I could help it."
"That happens well," says the Thief of Sloan, "for I like
him best myself, and have reserved the most curious passage
for the last on his account."
"Well, then," says the knight,, "let us hear it."
"I was one day on my travels," says the Black Thief, and
I came into a large forest, where I wandered a long time and
could not get out of it. At last I came to a large castle, and
fatigue obliged me to call in the same, where I found a young
woman and a child sitting on her knee, and she crying.
I asked her what made her cry, and where the lord of the
castle was, for I wondered greatly that I saw no stir of serv-
ants or any person about the place.
"' It is well for you,' says the young woman, 'that the lord
of this castle is not at home at present; for he is a monstrous
giant with but one eye in his forehead, who lives on human
flesh. He brought me this child,' says she, 'I do not know
where he got it, and ordered me to make it into a pie, and I
cannot help crying at the command.'
"I told her that if she knew of any place convenient that
I could leave the child safely I would do it, rather than it
should be killed by such a monster.
She told me of a house a distance off where I would get a
woman who would take care of it. 'But what will I do in
regard of the pie '
"'Cut a finger off it,' said I, 'and I will bring you in a
young wild pig out of the forest, which you may dress as if
it was the child, and put the finger in a certain place, that
if the giant doubts anything about it you may know where
to turn it over at the first, and when he sees it he will be
fully satisfied that the pie is made of the child.'
She agreed to the scheme I proposed, and cutting off the
child's finger, by her direction I soon had it at the house she
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
told me of, and brought her the little pig in the place of it.
She then made ready the pie, and after eating and drinking
heartily myself, I was just taking my leave of the young
woman when we observed the giant coming through the
"'Bless me,' said she, 'what will you do now? Run away
and lie down among the dead bodies that he has in the room
[showing me the place], and strip off your clothes, that he
may not know you from the rest if he has occasion to go
"I took her advice and laid myself down among the rest,
as if dead, to see how he would behave. The first thing I
heard was him calling for his pie. When she set it down
before him he swore it smelled like swine's flesh, but know-
ing where to find the finger she immediately turned it up,
which fairly convinced him to the contrary. The pie only
served to sharpen his appetite, and I heard him sharpen-
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
ing his knife and saying he must have a collop or two, for he
was not near satisfied. But what was my terror when I heard
the giant groping among the bodies, and, fancying myself,
cut the half of my hip off and took it with him to be roasted.
You may be certain I was in great pain, but the fear of be-
ing killed prevented me from making any complaint. How-
ever, when he had eaten all he began to drink hot liquors
in great abundance so that in a short time he could not hold
up his head, but threw himself on a large creel he had made
for the purpose, and fell fast asleep. When I heard him
snoring, as I was I went up and caused the woman to bind
my wound with a handkerchief; and taking the giant's spit,
reddened it in the fire and ran it through the eye, but was
not able to kill him.
"However, I left the spit sticking in his head, and took
to my heels; but I soon found that he was in pursuit of me,
although blind; and having an enchanted ring, he threw it
at me, and it fell on my big toe and remained fastened to it.
"The giant then called to the ring, where it was, and to
my great surprise it made him answer on my foot; and he,
guided by the same, made a leap at me which I had the good
luck to observe, and fortunately escaped the danger. How-
ever, I found running was of no use in saving me as long as
I had the ring on my foot; so I took my sword and cut off
the toe it was fastened on, and threw both into a large fish-
pond that was convenient. The giant called again to the
ring, which by the power of enchantment always made him
answer; but he, not knowing what I had done, imagined it
was still on some part of me, and made a violent leap to
seize me, when he went into the pond, over head and ears,
and was drowned. Now, sir knight," says the Thief of Sloan,
"you see what dangers I came through and always escaped;
but, indeed, I am lame for the want of my toe ever since."
My lord and master," says an old woman that was listen-
ing all the time, "that story is but too true, as I well know,
for I am the very woman that was in the giant's castle,
and you, my lord, the child that I was to make into a pie;
and this is the very man that saved your life, which you may
know by the want of the finger that was taken off, as you
have heard, to deceive the giant."
The Knight of the Glen, greatly surprised at what he had
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
heard the old woman tell, and knowing he wanted his finger
from his childhood, began to understand that the story was
And this is my deliverer? says he. Oh, brave fellow,
I not only pardon you all, but will keep you with myself while
you live, where you shall feast like princes, and have every
attendance that I have myself."
They all returned thanks on their knees, and the Black
Thief told him the reason they attempted to steal the steed
of bells, and the necessity they were under in going home.
"Well," says the Knight of the Glen, "if that is the case
I bestow you my steed rather than this brave fellow should
die; so you may go when you please, only remember to call
and see me betimes, that we may know each other well."
They promised they would, and with great joy they set off
for the king their father's palace, and the Black Thief along
The wicked queen was standing all this time on the tower,
and hearing the bells ringing at a great distance off knew
very well it was the princes coming home, and the steed with
them, and through spite and vexation precipitated herself
from the tower and was shattered to pieces.
The three princes lived happily and well during their
father's reign, and always keeping the Black Thief along
with them; but how they did after the old king's death is
There was once upon a time a husbandman who had three
sons. He had no property to bequeath to them, and no means
of putting them in the way of getting a living, and.he did
not know what to do, so he said they had his leave to take
anything they most fancied, and go to any place they liked
best. He would gladly accompany them for some part of
their way, he said, and that he did. He went with them till
they came to a place where three roads met, and there each
of them took his own way, and the father b.de them farewell
and returned to his own home again. What became of the
*From P. C. Asbjornsen.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
two elder I have never been able to discover, but the youngest
went both far and wide.
It came to pass one night as he was going through a great
wood that a terrible storm came on. It blew so hard and
rained so heavily that he could scarcely keep his eyes open,
and before he was aware of it he had got quite out of the
track, and could find neither road nor path. But he went on,
and at last he saw a light far away in the wood. Then he
thought he must try and get to it, and after a long, long time
he did reach it. There was a large house, and the fire was
burning so brightly inside that he could tell that the people
were not in bed. So he went in, and inside there was an old
woman who was busy about some work.
"Good-evening, mother!" said the youth.
"Good-evening! said the old woman.
Hutetu! it is terrible weather outside to-night," said the
"Indeed, it is," said the old woman.
Can I sleep here, and have shelter for the night ?" asked
"It wouldn't be good for you to sleep here," said the old
hag, for if the people of the house come home and find you,
they will kill both you and me."
"What kind of people are they, then, who dwell here?"
said the youth.
"Oh! robbers, and rabble of that sort," said the old woman;
"they stole me away when I was little and I have had to keep
house for them ever since."
I still think I will go to bed, all the same," said the youth.
"No matter what happens, I'll not go out to-night in such
weather as this."
"Well, then, it will be the worse for'yourself," said the
The young man lay down in a bed which stood near, but he
dared not go to sleep; and it was better that he didn't, for
the robbers came, and the old woman said that a young fellow
who was a stranger had come there, and she had not been
able to get him to go away again.
Did you see if he had any money ?" said the robbers.
"ie's not one to have money, he is a tramp! If he has
a few clothes to his back, that is all."
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
Then the robbers began to mutter to each other apart about
what they should do with him; whether they should murder
him, or what else they should do. In the meantime the boy
got up and began to talk to them, and ask them if they did
not want a man-servant, for he could find pleasure enough
in serving them.
Yes," said they, if you have a mind to take to the trade
that we follow, you may have a place here."
"It's all the same to me what trade I follow," said the
youth, "for when I came away from home my father gave
me leave to take any trade I fancied."
"Have you a fancy for stealing, then?" said the rob-
Yes," said the boy, for he thought that was a trade which
would not take long to learn.
Not very far off there dwelt a man who had three oxen, one
of which he was to take to the town to sell. The robbers had
heard of this, so they told the youth that if he were able to
steal the ox from him on the way, without his knowing, and
without doing him any harm, he should have leave to be their
servant-man. So the youth set off, taking with him a pretty
shoe with a silver buckle that was lying about the house. He
put this in the road by which the man must go with his ox,
and then went into the wood and hid himself under a bush.
When the man came up he at once saw the shoe.
"That's a brave shoe," said he. "If I had but the fellow
to it I would carry it home with me, and then I should put
my old woman into a good humor for once."
For he had a wife who was so cross and ill-tempered that
the time between the beatings she gave him was very short.
But then he bethought himself he could do nothing with
one shoe if he had not the fellow to it, so he journeyed on-
ward and let it lie where it was. Then the youth picked
up the shoe and hurried off away through the wood as fast
as he was -able, to get in front of the man, and then put the
shoe in the road before him again.
When the man came with the ox and saw the shoe, he was
quite vexed at having been so stupid as to leave the fellow to
it lying where it was, instead of bringing it on with him.
I will just run back and fetch it now," he said to himself,
uand then I shall take back a pair of good shoes to the old
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
woman, and she may perhaps throw a kind word to me for
So he went and searched for the other shoe for a long,
long time, but no shoe was to be found, and at last he was
forced to go back with the one which he had.
In the meantime the youth had taken the ox and gone off
with it. When the man got there and found that his ox
was gone he began to weep and wail, for he was afraid that
when his old woman got to know she would be the death of
him. But all at once it came into his head to go home and
get the other ox and drive it to the town, and take good care
that his old wife knew nothing about it. So he did this;
he went home and took the ox without his wife's knowing
about it, and went on his way to the town with it. But the
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
robbers, they knew it well, because they got out their magic.
So they told the youth that if he could take this ox also
without the man knowing anything about it, and without
doing him any hurt, he should then be on an equality with
"Well, that will not be a very hard thing to do," thought
This time he took with him a rope and put it under his
arms and tied himself up to a tree which hung over the road
that the man would have to take. So the man came with his
ox, and when he saw the body hanging there he felt a little
"What a hard lot yours must have been to make you hang
yourself I" said he. Ah, well you may hang there for me;
I can't-breathe life into you again."
So he went on with his ox. Then the youth sprang down
from the tree, ran by a short cut and got before him, and
once more hung himself up on a tree in the road before the
"How I should like to know if you really were so sick at
heart that you hanged yourself there, or if it is only a hob-
goblin that's before me! said the man. Ah, well! you may
hang there for me, whether you are a hobgoblin or not," and
on he went with his ox.
Once more the youth did just as he had done twice already;
jumped down from the tree, ran by a short cut through the
wood, and again hanged himself in the very middle of the
road before him. But when the man once more saw this
he said to himself, "What a bad business this is! Can they
all have been so heavy-hearted that they have all three hanged
themselves? No, I can't believe it is anything but witch-
craft! But I will know the truth," he said; "if the two
others are still hanging there it is true, but if they are not
it's nothing else but witchcraft."
So he tied up his ox and ran back to see if they really were
hanging there. While he was going, and looking up at every
tree as he went, the youth leaped down and took his ox and
went off with it. Anyone may easily imagine the fury the
man fell into when he came back and saw that his ox was
gone. He wept and he raged, but at last he took comfort
and told himself that the best thing to do was to go home and
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
take the third ox without letting his wife know anything
about it, and then to try to sell it so well as to get a good
sum of money for it. So he went home and took the third
ox and drove it off without his wife knowing anything about
it. But the robbers knew all about it and they told the youth
if he could steal this as he had stolen the two others he should
be master of the whole troop. So the youth set out and went
to the wood and when the man was coming along with the ox
he began to bellow loudly, just like a great ox somewhere in-
side the wood. When the man heard that he was right glad,
for he fancied he recognized the voice of his big bullock, and
thought that now he should find both of them again. So he
tied up the third and ran away off the road to look for them
in the wood. In the meantime the youth went away with
the third ox. When the man returned and found that he had
lost that, too, he fell into such a rage that there were no
bounds to it. He wept and lamented, and for many days he
did not dare to go home again, for he was afraid that the
old woman would slay him outright. The robbers, also, were
not very well pleased at this, for they were forced to own
that the youth was at the head of them all. So one day
they made up their minds to set to work' to do something
which it was not in his power to accomplish, and they all
took to the road together and left him at home alone. When
they were well out of the house the first thing that he did
was to drive the oxen out on the road, whereupon they all ran
home again to the man from whom he had stolen them, and
right glad was the husbandman to see them. Then he brought
out all the horses the robbers had and loaded them with the
most valuable things he could find-vessels of gold and of
silver, and clothes and other magnificent things-and then
he told the old woman to greet the robbers from him and
thank them from him, and say that he had gone away, and
that they would have a great deal of difficulty in finding him
again, and with that he drove the horses out of the court-
yard. After a long, long time he came to the road upon
which he was traveling when he came to the robbers. And
when he had got very near home and was in sight of the
house where his father lived, he put on a uniform which he
had found among the things taken from the robbers, which
was made just like a general's, and drove into the yard just
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
as if he were a great man. Then he entered the house and
asked if he could find a lodging there.
"No, indeed you can't!" said his father. "How could I
possibly be able to lodge such a great gentleman as you? It
is all that I can do to find clothes and bedding for myself,
and wretched they are."
You were always a hard man," said the youth, and hard
you are still if you refuse to let your own son come into
Are you my son ?" said the man.
Do you not know me again, then? said the youth.
Then he recognized him and said, "But what trade have
you taken to that has made you such a great man in so short
Oh, that I will tell you," answered the youth. You said
that I might take to anything I liked, so I apprenticed my-
self to some thieves and robbers, and now I have served my
time and become master-thief."
Now the governor of the province lived by his father's
cottage, and this governor had such a large house and so
much money that he did not even know how much it was, and
he had a daughter, too, who was both pretty and dainty, and
good and wise. So the master-thief was determined to have
her to wife, and told his father to go to the governor
and ask for his daughter for him. "If he asks what trade I
follow, you may say that I am a master-thief," said he.
"I think you must be crazy," said the man, "for you can't
be in your senses if you think of anything so foolish."
You must go to the governor and beg for his daughter-
there is no help," said the youth.
But I dare not go to the governor and say this. He is so
rich and has so much wealth of all kinds," said the man.
"There is no help for it," said the master-thief; "go you
must, whether you like it or not. If I can't get you to go by
using good words, I will soon make you go with bad ones."
But the man was still unwilling, so the master-thief fol-
lowed him, threatening him with a great birch stick, till he
went weeping and wailing through the door to the governor
of the province.
"Now, my man, and what's amiss with you?" said the
THE RED FAIRY BOOK. 73
So he told him that he had three sons who had gone away
one day, and how he had given them permission to go where
they chose, and take to whatsoever work they fancied.
"Now," he said, the youngest of them has come home, and
has threatened me till I have come to you to ask your daugh-
ter for him, and I ari to say that he is a master-thief," and
again the man fell a-weeping and lamenting.
"Console yourself, my man," said the governor, laughing.
"You may tell him from me that he must first give me some
proof of this. If he can steal the joint off the spit in the
kitchen on Sunday, when every one of us is watching it,
he shall have my daughter. Will you tell him that ?"
The man did tell him, and the youth thought it would
be easy enough to do it. So he set himself to work to catch
three hares alive, put them in a bag, clad himself in some
old rags so that he looked so poor and wretched that it was
quite pitiable to see him, and in this guise on Sunday fore-
noon he sneaked into the passage with his bag, like any
beggar boy. The governor himself and everyone in the
house, was in the kitchen, keeping watch over the joint.
While they were doing this the youth let one of the hares
slip out of his bag, and off it set and began to run around
"Just look at that hare," said the people in the kitchen, /
and wanted to go out and catch it.
The governor saw it, too, but said, Oh, let it go it's no
use to think of catching a hare when it's running away."
It was not long before the youth let another hare out, and
the people in the kitchen saw this, too, and thought that it
was the same. So again they wanted to go out and catch
it, but the governor told them that it was of no use to try.
Very soon afterward, however, the youth let slip the third
hare, and it set off and ran round and round the court-yard.
The people in the kitchen saw this, too, and believed that it
was still the same hare that was running about, so they
wanted to go out and catch it.
"It's a remarkably fine hare I said the governor. Come
and let us see if we can get hold of it." So out he went, and
the others with him, and away went the hare, and they after
it, in real earnest.
In the meantime, however, the master-thief took the joint
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
and ran off with it, and whether the governor got any roast
meat for his dinner that day I know not, but I know that he
had no roast hare, though he chased it till he was both
hot and tired.
At noon came the priest, and when the governor had told
him of the trick played by the master-thief, there was no
end to the ridicule he cast on the governor.
"For my part," said the priest, "I can't imagine myself
being made a fool of by such a fellow as that! "
"Well, I advise you to be careful," said the governor,
"' for he may be with you before you are at all aware."
But the priest repeated what he had said, and mocked
the governor for having allowed himself to be made such a
Later in the afternoon the master-thief came and wanted
to have the governor's daughter as he had promised.
"You must first give some more samples of your skill,"
said the governor, trying to speak him fair, for what you
did to-day was no such very great thing after all. Couldn't
you play off a really good trick on the priest? for he is sit-
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
ting inside there and calling me a fool for having let myself:
be taken in by such a fellow as you."
Well, it wouldn't be very hard to do that," said the mas-
ter-thief. So he dressed himself up like a bird, and threw
a great white sheet over himself; broke off a goose's wings,
and set them on his back; and in this attire climbed into a
great maple tree which stood in the priest's garden. So
when the priest returned home in the evening the youth
began to cry, "Father Lawrence! Father Lawrence!" for
the priest was called Father Lawrence.
"Who is calling me?" said the priest.
"I am an angel sent to announce to thee that because of
thy piety thou shalt be taken away alive into heaven," said
the master-thief. "Wilt thou hold thyself in readiness to
travel away next Monday night? for then will I come and
fetch thee, and bear thee away with me in a sack, and thou
must lay all thy gold and silver, and whatsoever thou may'st
possess of this world's wealth, in a heap in thy best parlor."
So Father Lawrence fell down on his knees before the an-
gel and thanked him, and on the following Sunday he:
preached a farewell sermon, and gave out that an angel
had come down into the large maple tree in his garden, and
had announced to him that because of his righteousness, he.
should be taken up alive into heaven, and as he thus
preached and told them this, everyone in the church, old or
On Monday night the master-thief once more came as an
angel, and before the priest was put into the sack he fell on
his knees and thanked him; but no sooner was the priest
safely inside it than the master-thief began to drag him
away over stocks and stones.
Oh I oh cried the priest in the sack. Where are you
taking me ?"
This is the way to heaven. The way to heaven is not an
easy one," said the master-thief, and dragged him along till
he all but killed him.
At last he flung him into the governor's goose-house, and
the geese began to hiss and peck at him, till he felt more
dead than alive.
"Oh! oh! oh! Where am I now?" asked the priest.
"Now you are in purgatory," said the master-thief, and off
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
he went and took the gold and the silver and all the precious
things which the priest had laid together in his best parlor.
Next morning when the goose-girl came to let out the
Father Lawrence, Conceiving Himself to be Addressed by an Angel,
Falls on His Knees Before Him.
geese, she heard the priest bemoaning himself as he lay in
the sack in the goose-house.
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
"Oh, heavens what is that, and what ails you?" said she.
"Oh," said the priest, "if you are an angel from heaven
do let me out and let me go back to earth again, for no place
was ever so bad as this-the little fiends nip me so with
"I am no angel," said the girl, and helped the priest out
of the sack. "I only look after the governor's geese, that's
what I do, and they are the little fiends which have pinched
"This is the master-thief's doing! Oh, my gold and my
silver and my best clothes!" shrieked the priest, and, wild
with rage, he ran home so fast that the goose-girl thought
he had suddenly gone mad.
When the governor learned what had happened to the
priest he laughed till he nearly killed himself, but when
the master-thief came and wanted to have his daughter ac-
cording to promise, he once more gave him nothing but fine
words, and said, "You must give me one more proof of your
skill, so that I can really judge of your worth. I have twelve
horses in my stable, and I will put twelve stable-boys in it,
one on each horse. If you are clever enough to steal the
horses from under them, I will see what I can do for you."
"What you set me to do can be done," said, the master-
thief, "but am I certain to get your daughter when it is ?"
"Yes; if you can do that I will do my best for you," said
So the master-thief went to a shop and bought enough
brandy to fill two pocket flasks, and he put a sleeping drink
into one of these, but into the other he poured brandy only.
Then he engaged eleven men to lie that night in hiding
behind the governor's stable. After this, by fair words and
good payment, he borrowed a ragged gown and a jerkin
from an aged woman, and then, with a staff in his hand and
a poke on his back, he hobbled off as evening came on to-
ward the governor's stable. The stable boys were just water-
ing the horses for the night, and it was quite as much as they
could do to attend to that.
"What on earth do you want here ?" said one of them to
the old woman.
"Oh, dear, oh, dear! How cold it is!" she said, sobbing,
and shivering with cold. "Oh, dear! oh, dear it's cold
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
enough to freeze a poor old body to death!" and she shiv-
ered and shook again, and said; For Heaven's sake give me
leave to stay here and sit just inside the stable door."
"You will get nothing of the kind! Be off this moment!
If the governor were to catch sight of you here, he would
lead us a pretty dance," said one.
Oh! what a poor helpless old creature!" said another,
who felt sorry for her. "That poor old woman can do no
harm to anyone. She may sit there and welcome."
The rest of them thought that she ought not to stay, but
while they were disputing about this and looking after the
horses, she crept further and further into the stable, and at
last sat down behind the door, and when once she was inside
no one took any more notice of her.
As the night wore on the stable-boys found it rather cold
work to sit still on horseback.
"Hutetu! But it is fearfully cold!" said one, and began
to beat his arms backward and forward across his breast.
Yes, I am so cold that my teeth are chattering," said an-
"If one had but a little tobacco," said a third.
Well, one of them had a little, so they shared it among
them, though there was very little for each man, but they
chewed it. This was some help for them, but very soon they
were just as cold as before.
Hutetu! said one of them, shivering again.
"Hutetu!" said the old woman, gnashing her teeth to-
gether till they chattered inside her mouth; and then she got
out the flask which contained nothing but brandy, and her
hands trembled so that she shook the bottle about, and when
she drank it made a great gulp in her throat.
"What is that you have in your flask, old woman?-" asked
one of the stable-boys.
Oh, it's only a drop of brandy, your honor," she said.
"Brandy! What! Let me have a drop! Let me have
a drop!" screamed all the twelve at once.
"Oh, but what I have is so little," whimpered the old
woman. "It will not even wet your mouths."
But they were determined to have it, and there was noth-
ing to be done but give it; so she took out the flask with the
sleeping drink and put it to the lips of the first of them; and
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
now she shook no more, but guided the flask so that each
of them got just as much as he ought, and the twelfth had
not done drinking before the first was already sitting snor-
ing. Then the master-thief flung off his beggar's rags, and
took one stable boy after the other and gently set him
astride on the partitions which divided the stalls, and then
he called his eleven men who were waiting outside, and they
rode off with the governor's horses.
In the morning when the governor came to look after his
stable-boys they were just beginning to come to again.
They were driving their spurs into the partition till the
splinters flew about, and some of the boys fell off, and some
hung on and sat looking like fools. "Ah, well," said the
governor, "it is easy to see who has been here; but what a
worthless set of fellows you must be to sit here and letthe
master-thief steal the horses from under you!" And they all
got a beating for, not having kept watch better.
Later in the day the master-thief came and related what
he had done, and wanted to have the governor's daughter,
as had been promised. But the governor gave him a hun-
dred dollars, and said that he must do something that was
"Do you think you can steal my horse from under me
when I am out riding on it?" said he.
Well, it might be done," said the master-thief, if I were
absolutely certain that I should get your daughter."
So the governor said that he would see what he could do,
and then he said that on a certain day he would ride out
to a great common where they drilled the soldiers.
So the master-thief immediately got hold of an old worn-
out mare, and set himself to work to make a collar for it
of green withes and branches of broom; bought a shabby
Qld cart and a great cask, and then he told a poor old beg-
gar woman that he would give her ten dollars if she would
get into the cask and keep her mouth wide open beneath the
tap-hole, into which he was going to stick his finger. No
harm should happen to her, he said; she should only be
driven about a little, and if he took his finger out more than
once she should have ten dollars more. Then he dressed
himself in rags, dyed himself with soot, and put on a wig
and a great beard of goat's hair, so that it was impossible
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
to recognize him, and went to the parade ground, where the
governor had already been riding about a long time.
When the master-thief got there the mare went along so
slowly and quietly that the cart hardly seemed to move from
the spot. The mare pulled it a little forward, and then a
little back, and then it stopped quite short. Then the mare
pulled a little forward again, and it moved with such diffi-
culty that the governor had not the least idea that this
was the master-thief. He rode straight up to him and asked
him if he had seen anyone hiding anywhere about in a wood
that was close by.
"No," said the man, "that I have not."
"Hark you," said the governor. "If you will ride into
that wood and search it carefully to see if you can light upon
a fellow who is hiding in there, you shall have the loan of
my horse and a good present of money for your trouble."
"I am not sure that I can do it," said the man, "for I
have to go to a wedding with this cask of mead which I have
been to fetch, and the tap has fallen out on the way, so now I
have to keep my finger in the tap-hole as I drive."
"Oh, just ride off," said the governor, "and I will look
after the cask and the horse, too."
So the man said that if he would do that he would go, but
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
he begged the governor to be very careful to put his finger
into the tap-hole the moment he took his out.
So the governor said that he would do his very best, and
the master-thief got on'the governor's horse.
But time passed, and it grew later and later, and still the
man did not come back, and at last the governor got so
weary of keeping his finger in the tap-hole that he took it
Now I shall have ten dollars more! cried the old woman
inside the cask; so he soon saw what kind of mead it was,
and set out homeward. When he had gone a very little way
he met his servant bringing him the horse, for the master-
thief had already taken it home.
The following day he went to the governor and wanted
to have his daughter, according to promise. But the gov-
ernor again put him off with fine words, and only gave him
three hundred dollars, saying that he must do one more mas-
terpiece of skill, and if he were but able to do that he should
Well, the master-thief thought he might if he could hear
what it was.
Do you think you can steal the sheet off our bed, and my
wife's night-gown?" said the governor.
"That is by no means impossible," said the master-thief.
" I only wish I could get your daughter as easily."
So late at night the master-thief went and cut down a
thief who was hanging on the gallows, laid him on his own
shoulders and took him away with him. Then he got hold
of a long ladder, set it up against the governor's bedroom
window, and climbed up and moved the dead man's head up
and down, just as if he were someone who was standing out-
side and peeping in.
"There's the master-thief, mother!" said the governor,
nudging his wife. "Now I'll just shoot him, that I will I"
So he took up a rifle which he had laid at his bedside.
Oh, no, you must not do that," said his wife; "you your-
self arranged that he was to come here."
"Yes, mother, I will shoot him," said he, and lay there
aiming, and then aiming again, for no sooner was the head
up and he caught sight of it than it was gone again. At last
he got a chance and fired, and the dead body fell with a
82 THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
loud thud to the ground, and down went the master-thief,
too, as fast as he could.
Well," said the governor, I certainly am the chief man
about here, but people soon begin to talk, and it would be
very unpleasant if they were to see this dead body; the best
thing I can do is to go out and bury him."
"Just do what you think best, father," said his wife.
So the governor got up and went downstairs, and as soon
as he had gone out through the door, the master-thief stole
in and went straight upstairs to the woman.
"Well, father dear," said she, for she thought it was her
husband. "Have you got done already?"
"Oh, yes, I only put him into a hole," said he, "and
raked a little earth over him; that's all I have been able to
do to-night, for it is fearful weather outside. I will bury
him better afterward, but just let me have the sheet to wipe
myself with, for he was bleeding, and I have got covered
with blood with carrying him."
So she gave him the sheet.
"You will have to let me have your night-gown, too," he
said, for I begin to see the sheet won't be enough."
Then she gave him her night-gown, but just then it came
into his head that he had forgotten to lock the door, and he
was forced to go downstairs and do it before he could lie
down in bed again. So off he went with the sheet and the
An hour later the real governor-returned.
"Well, what a time it has taken to lock the house door,
father said his wife, "and what have you done with the
sheet and the night-gown ?"
What do you mean ?" asked the governor.
Oh, I am asking you what you have done with the night-
gown and the sheet that you got to wipe the blood off your-
self with," said she.
"Good heavens I" said the governor, "has he actually got
the better of me again ? "
When day came the master-thief came too, and the gover-
nor dared not do otherwise than give his daughter to him,
and much money besides, for he feared that if he did not
the master-thief might steal the very eyes out of his head,
and that he himself would be ill-spoken of by all men. The
THE BED FAIRY BOOK.
master-thief lived well and happily from that time forth,
and whether he ever stole any more or not I cannot tell you,
but if he did it was but for pastime.
BROTHER AND SISTER.*
Brother took sister by the hand and said: Look here; we
haven't had one single happy hour since our mother died.
That stepmother of ours beats us regularly every day, and if
we dare go near her she kicks us away. We never get any-
thing but hard, dry crusts to eat-why, the dog under the
table is better off than we are. She does throw him a good
morsel or two now and then. Oh, dear! if our own dear
mother only knew all about it! Come along, and let us go
forth into the wide world together."
So off they started through fields and meadows, over
hedges and ditches, and walked through the whole day long,
and when it rained sister said:
"Heaven and our hearts are weeping together."
Toward evening they came to a large forest and were so
tired out with hunger and their long walk, as well as their
trouble, that they crept into a hollow tree and soon fell fast
Next morning, when they woke up, the sun was already
high in the heavens and was shining down bright and warm
into the tree. Then said brother:
"I'm so thirsty, sister; if I did but know where to find a
little stream, I'd go and have a drink. I do believe I hear
one." He jumped up, took sister by the hand, and they set
off to hunt for the brook.
Now their cruel stepmother was in reality a witch, and
she knew perfectly well that the two children had run away.
She had crept secretly after them and had cast her spells
over all the streams in the forest.
Presently the children found a little brook dancing and
glittering over the stones, and brother was eager to drink
of it, but as it rushed past sister heard it murmuring:
"Who drinks of me will be a tiger! who drinks of me will
be a tiger!"
84 THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
So she cried out, Oh! dear brother, pray don't drink, or
you'll be turned into a wild beast and tear me to pieces."
Brother was dreadfully thirsty, but he did not drink.
"Very well," said he, "I'll wait till we come to the next,
When they came to the second brook, sister heard it re-
"Who drinks of me will be a wolf! who drinks of me will
be a wolf!"
And she cried, Oh! brother, pray don't drink here, either,
or you'll be turned into a wolf and eat me up."
Again brother did not drink, but he said:
"Well, I'll wait a little longer till we reach the next
stream, but then, whatever you may say, I really must drink,
for I can bear this thirst no longer."
And when they got to the third brook, sister heard it say
as it rushed past:
"Who drinks of me will be a roe! who drinks of me will
be a roe!"
And she begged, "Ah! brother, don't drink yet, or you'll
become a roe and run away from me."
But her brother was already kneeling by the brook and.
bending over it to drink, and, sure, enough, no sooner had
THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
his lips touched the water than he fell on the grass, trans-
formed into a little roebuck.
Sister cried bitterly over her poor bewitched brother, and
the little roe wept too, and sat sadly by her side. At last the
"Never mind, dear little fawn, I will never forsake you,"
and she took off her golden garter and tied it round the roe's
Then she plucked rushes and plaited a soft cord of them,
which she fastened to the collar. When she had done this
she led the roe further and further, right into the depths
of the forest.
After they had gone a long, long way they came to a little
house, and when the girl looked into it she found it was
quite empty, and she thought "perhaps we might stay and
So she hunted up leaves and moss to make a soft bed for
the little roe, and every morning and evening she went out
and gathered roots, nuts, and berries for herself, and tender
young grass for the fawn. And he fed from her hand, and
played round her and seemed quite happy. In the evening,
when sister was tired, she said her prayers and then laid
her head on the fawn's back and fell sound asleep with it
as a pillow. And if brother had but kept his natural form,
really it would have been a most delightful kind of life.
They had been living for some time in the forest in this
way, when it came to pass that the king of that country had
a great hunt through the woods. Then the whole forest
rang with such a blowing of horns, baying of dogs, and joy-
ful cries of huntsmen, that the little roe heard it and longed
to join in too.
"Ah I" said he to sister, do let me go off to the hunt! I
can't keep still any longer."
And he begged and prayed until at last she consented.
"But," said she, "mind you come back in the evening. I
shall lock my door fast for fear of those wild huntsmen; so,
to make sure of my knowing you, knock at the door and say,
'My sister, dear, open; I'm here.'- If you don't speak, I
shan't open the door."
So off sprang the little roe, and he felt quite well and
happy in the free open air.
86 THE RED FAIRY BOOK.
The king and his huntsmen soon saw the beautiful creat-
ure and started in pursuit, but they could not come up with
it, and whenever they thought they were sure to catch it,
it bounded off to one side into the bushes and disappeared.
When night came on it ran home, and knocking at the door
of the little house, cried:
"My sister, dear, open; I'm here." The door opened, and
he ran in and rested all night on his soft mossy bed.
Next morning the hunt began again, and as soon as the
little roe heard the horns and the Ho! ho! of the hunts-
men, he could not rest another moment, and said:
Sister, open the door, I must get out."
So sister opened the door and said, "Now mind and get
back by nightfall, and say your little rhyme."
As soon as the king and his huntsmen saw the roe with the
golden collar they all rode off after it, but it was far too
quick and nimble for them. This went on all day, but as
evening came on the huntsmen had gradually encircled the
roe, and one of them wounded it slightly in the foot, so that
it limped and ran off slowly.
Then the huntsman stole after it as far as the little house,
and heard it call out, My sister, dear, open; I'm here," and
he saw the door open and close immediately the fawn had
The huntsman remembered all this carefully, and went
off straight to the king and told him all he had seen and
"To-morrow we will hunt again," said the king.
Poor sister was terribly frightened when she saw how her
little fawn had been wounded. She washed off the blood,
bound up the injured foot with herbs, and said: Now,
dear, go and lie down and rest, so that your wound may
The wound was really so slight that it was quite well next
day, and the little roe did not feel it at all. No sooner did it
hear the sounds of hunting in the forest than it cried:
"I can't stand this, I must be there too; I'll take care
they shan't catch me."
Sister began.to cry, and said, "They are certain to kill
you, and then I shall be left all alone in the forest and for-
saken by everyone. I can't and won't let you out."