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  1. A certain king had a beautiful garden and in the garden stood a tree
  2. which bore golden apples These apples were always counted and about
  3. the time when they began to grow ripe it was found that every night one
  4. of them was gone The king became very angry at this and ordered the
  5. gardener to keep watch all night under the tree The gardener set his
  6. eldest son to watch but about twelve o’clock he fell asleep and in
  7. the morning another of the apples was missing Then the second son was
  8. ordered to watch and at midnight he too fell asleep and in the morning
  9. another apple was gone Then the third son offered to keep watch but
  10. the gardener at first would not let him for fear some harm should come
  11. to him however at last he consented and the young man laid himself
  12. under the tree to watch As the clock struck twelve he heard a rustling
  13. noise in the air and a bird came flying that was of pure gold and as
  14. it was snapping at one of the apples with its beak the gardener’s son
  15. jumped up and shot an arrow at it But the arrow did the bird no harm
  16. only it dropped a golden feather from its tail and then flew away
  17. The golden feather was brought to the king in the morning and all the
  18. council was called together Everyone agreed that it was worth more than
  19. all the wealth of the kingdom but the king said ‘One feather is of no
  20. use to me I must have the whole bird’
  21.  
  22. Then the gardener’s eldest son set out and thought to find the golden
  23. bird very easily and when he had gone but a little way he came to a
  24. wood and by the side of the wood he saw a fox sitting so he took his
  25. bow and made ready to shoot at it Then the fox said ‘Do not shoot me
  26. for I will give you good counsel I know what your business is and
  27. that you want to find the golden bird You will reach a village in the
  28. evening and when you get there you will see two inns opposite to each
  29. other one of which is very pleasant and beautiful to look at go not in
  30. there but rest for the night in the other though it may appear to you
  31. to be very poor and mean’ But the son thought to himself ‘What can
  32. such a beast as this know about the matter’ So he shot his arrow at
  33. the fox but he missed it and it set up its tail above its back and
  34. ran into the wood Then he went his way and in the evening came to
  35. the village where the two inns were and in one of these were people
  36. singing and dancing and feasting but the other looked very dirty
  37. and poor ‘I should be very silly’ said he ‘if I went to that shabby
  38. house and left this charming place’ so he went into the smart house
  39. and ate and drank at his ease and forgot the bird and his country too
  40.  
  41. Time passed on and as the eldest son did not come back and no tidings
  42. were heard of him the second son set out and the same thing happened
  43. to him He met the fox who gave him the good advice but when he came
  44. to the two inns his eldest brother was standing at the window where
  45. the merrymaking was and called to him to come in and he could not
  46. withstand the temptation but went in and forgot the golden bird and
  47. his country in the same manner
  48.  
  49. Time passed on again and the youngest son too wished to set out into
  50. the wide world to seek for the golden bird but his father would not
  51. listen to it for a long while for he was very fond of his son and
  52. was afraid that some ill luck might happen to him also and prevent his
  53. coming back However at last it was agreed he should go for he would
  54. not rest at home and as he came to the wood he met the fox and heard
  55. the same good counsel But he was thankful to the fox and did not
  56. attempt his life as his brothers had done so the fox said ‘Sit upon my
  57. tail and you will travel faster’ So he sat down and the fox began to
  58. run and away they went over stock and stone so quick that their hair
  59. whistled in the wind
  60.  
  61. When they came to the village the son followed the fox’s counsel and
  62. without looking about him went to the shabby inn and rested there all
  63. night at his ease In the morning came the fox again and met him as he
  64. was beginning his journey and said ‘Go straight forward till you come
  65. to a castle before which lie a whole troop of soldiers fast asleep and
  66. snoring take no notice of them but go into the castle and pass on and
  67. on till you come to a room where the golden bird sits in a wooden cage
  68. close by it stands a beautiful golden cage but do not try to take the
  69. bird out of the shabby cage and put it into the handsome one otherwise
  70. you will repent it’ Then the fox stretched out his tail again and the
  71. young man sat himself down and away they went over stock and stone till
  72. their hair whistled in the wind
  73.  
  74. Before the castle gate all was as the fox had said so the son went in
  75. and found the chamber where the golden bird hung in a wooden cage and
  76. below stood the golden cage and the three golden apples that had been
  77. lost were lying close by it Then thought he to himself ‘It will be a
  78. very droll thing to bring away such a fine bird in this shabby cage’ so
  79. he opened the door and took hold of it and put it into the golden cage
  80. But the bird set up such a loud scream that all the soldiers awoke and
  81. they took him prisoner and carried him before the king The next morning
  82. the court sat to judge him and when all was heard it sentenced him to
  83. die unless he should bring the king the golden horse which could run as
  84. swiftly as the wind and if he did this he was to have the golden bird
  85. given him for his own
  86.  
  87. So he set out once more on his journey sighing and in great despair
  88. when on a sudden his friend the fox met him and said ‘You see now
  89. what has happened on account of your not listening to my counsel I will
  90. still however tell you how to find the golden horse if you will do as
  91. I bid you You must go straight on till you come to the castle where the
  92. horse stands in his stall by his side will lie the groom fast asleep
  93. and snoring take away the horse quietly but be sure to put the old
  94. leathern saddle upon him and not the golden one that is close by it’
  95. Then the son sat down on the fox’s tail and away they went over stock
  96. and stone till their hair whistled in the wind
  97.  
  98. All went right and the groom lay snoring with his hand upon the golden
  99. saddle But when the son looked at the horse he thought it a great pity
  100. to put the leathern saddle upon it ‘I will give him the good one’
  101. said he ‘I am sure he deserves it’ As he took up the golden saddle the
  102. groom awoke and cried out so loud that all the guards ran in and took
  103. him prisoner and in the morning he was again brought before the court
  104. to be judged and was sentenced to die But it was agreed that if he
  105. could bring thither the beautiful princess he should live and have the
  106. bird and the horse given him for his own
  107.  
  108. Then he went his way very sorrowful but the old fox came and said ‘Why
  109. did not you listen to me If you had you would have carried away
  110. both the bird and the horse yet will I once more give you counsel Go
  111. straight on and in the evening you will arrive at a castle At twelve
  112. o’clock at night the princess goes to the bathing-house go up to her
  113. and give her a kiss and she will let you lead her away but take care
  114. you do not suffer her to go and take leave of her father and mother’
  115. Then the fox stretched out his tail and so away they went over stock
  116. and stone till their hair whistled again
  117.  
  118. As they came to the castle all was as the fox had said and at twelve
  119. o’clock the young man met the princess going to the bath and gave her the
  120. kiss and she agreed to run away with him but begged with many tears
  121. that he would let her take leave of her father At first he refused
  122. but she wept still more and more and fell at his feet till at last
  123. he consented but the moment she came to her father’s house the guards
  124. awoke and he was taken prisoner again
  125.  
  126. Then he was brought before the king and the king said ‘You shall never
  127. have my daughter unless in eight days you dig away the hill that stops
  128. the view from my window’ Now this hill was so big that the whole world
  129. could not take it away and when he had worked for seven days and had
  130. done very little the fox came and said ‘Lie down and go to sleep I
  131. will work for you’ And in the morning he awoke and the hill was gone
  132. so he went merrily to the king and told him that now that it was
  133. removed he must give him the princess
  134.  
  135. Then the king was obliged to keep his word and away went the young man
  136. and the princess and the fox came and said to him ‘We will have all
  137. three the princess the horse and the bird’ ‘Ah’ said the young man
  138. ‘that would be a great thing but how can you contrive it’
  139.  
  140. ‘If you will only listen’ said the fox ‘it can be done When you come
  141. to the king and he asks for the beautiful princess you must say “Here
  142. she is” Then he will be very joyful and you will mount the golden
  143. horse that they are to give you and put out your hand to take leave of
  144. them but shake hands with the princess last Then lift her quickly on
  145. to the horse behind you clap your spurs to his side and gallop away as
  146. fast as you can’
  147.  
  148. All went right then the fox said ‘When you come to the castle where
  149. the bird is I will stay with the princess at the door and you will
  150. ride in and speak to the king and when he sees that it is the right
  151. horse he will bring out the bird but you must sit still and say that
  152. you want to look at it to see whether it is the true golden bird and
  153. when you get it into your hand ride away’
  154.  
  155. This too happened as the fox said they carried off the bird the
  156. princess mounted again and they rode on to a great wood Then the fox
  157. came and said ‘Pray kill me and cut off my head and my feet’ But the
  158. young man refused to do it so the fox said ‘I will at any rate give
  159. you good counsel beware of two things ransom no one from the gallows
  160. and sit down by the side of no river’ Then away he went ‘Well’
  161. thought the young man ‘it is no hard matter to keep that advice’
  162.  
  163. He rode on with the princess till at last he came to the village where
  164. he had left his two brothers And there he heard a great noise and
  165. uproar and when he asked what was the matter the people said ‘Two men
  166. are going to be hanged’ As he came nearer he saw that the two men were
  167. his brothers who had turned robbers so he said ‘Cannot they in any
  168. way be saved’ But the people said ‘No’ unless he would bestow all his
  169. money upon the rascals and buy their liberty Then he did not stay to
  170. think about the matter but paid what was asked and his brothers were
  171. given up and went on with him towards their home
  172.  
  173. And as they came to the wood where the fox first met them it was so
  174. cool and pleasant that the two brothers said ‘Let us sit down by the
  175. side of the river and rest a while to eat and drink’ So he said
  176. ‘Yes’ and forgot the fox’s counsel and sat down on the side of the
  177. river and while he suspected nothing they came behind and threw him
  178. down the bank and took the princess the horse and the bird and went
  179. home to the king their master and said ‘All this have we won by our
  180. labour’ Then there was great rejoicing made but the horse would not
  181. eat the bird would not sing and the princess wept
  182.  
  183. The youngest son fell to the bottom of the river’s bed luckily it was
  184. nearly dry but his bones were almost broken and the bank was so steep
  185. that he could find no way to get out Then the old fox came once more
  186. and scolded him for not following his advice otherwise no evil would
  187. have befallen him ‘Yet’ said he ‘I cannot leave you here so lay hold
  188. of my tail and hold fast’ Then he pulled him out of the river and said
  189. to him as he got upon the bank ‘Your brothers have set watch to kill
  190. you if they find you in the kingdom’ So he dressed himself as a poor
  191. man and came secretly to the king’s court and was scarcely within the
  192. doors when the horse began to eat and the bird to sing and the princess
  193. left off weeping Then he went to the king and told him all his
  194. brothers’ roguery and they were seized and punished and he had the
  195. princess given to him again and after the king’s death he was heir to
  196. his kingdom
  197.  
  198. A long while after he went to walk one day in the wood and the old fox
  199. met him and besought him with tears in his eyes to kill him and cut
  200. off his head and feet And at last he did so and in a moment the
  201. fox was changed into a man and turned out to be the brother of the
  202. princess who had been lost a great many many years
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