The Blue Fairy Book
Why The Sea Is Salt
ONCE upon a time, long, long ago, there were two brothers, the one rich and the
other poor. When Christmas Eve came, the poor one had not a bite in the house,
either of meat or bread; so he went to his brother, and begged him, in God's
name, to give him something for Christmas Day. It was by no means the first time
that the brother had been forced to give something to him, and he was not better
pleased at being asked now than he generally was.
"If you will do what I ask you, you shall have a whole ham," said he. The poor
one immediately thanked him, and promised this.
"Well, here is the ham, and now you must go straight to Dead Man's Hall," said
the rich brother, throwing the ham to him.
"Well, I will do what I have promised," said the other, and he took the ham and
set off. He went on and on for the livelong day, and at nightfall he came to a
place where there was a bright light.
"I have no doubt this is the place," thought the man with the ham.
An old man with a long white beard was standing in the outhouse, chopping Yule
"Good-evening," said the man with the ham.
"Good-evening to you. Where are you going at this late hour?" said the man.
"I am going to Dead Man's Hall, if only I am on the right track," answered the