Fairies & Smoothies HTML version
So the robber consented, and the prince blew the horn. At the first blast, the fox,
which was asleep in the cage in the courtyard, awoke, and knew that his master
needed help. So he awoke the wolf by flicking him across the eyes with his
brush. Then they awoke the lion, who sprang against the door of the cage with
might and main, so that it fell in splinters on the ground, and the beasts were
free. Rushing through the court to their master's aid, the fox gnawed the cord in
two that bound the prince's thumbs behind his back, and the lion flung himself on
the robber, and when he had killed him and torn him in pieces each of the beasts
carried off a bone.
Then the prince turned to the step-sister and said:
'I will not kill you, but I will leave you here to repent.' And he fastened her with a
chain to the wall, and put a great bowl in front of her and said, 'I will not see you
again till you have filled this bowl with your tears.'
So saying, he called his beasts, and set out on his travels. When he had gone a
little way he came to an inn. Everyone in the inn seemed so sad that he asked
them what was the matter.
'Ah,' replied they, 'to-day our king's daughter is to die. She is to be handed over
to a dreadful nine-headed dragon.'
Then the prince said: 'Why should she die? I am very strong, I will save her.'
And he set out to the sea-shore, where the dragon was to meet the princess. And
as he waited with his beasts round him a great procession came along,
accompanying the unfortunate princess: and when the shore was reached all the
people left her, and returned sadly to their houses. But the prince remained, and
soon he saw a movement in the water a long way off. As it came nearer, he knew
what it was, for skimming swiftly along the waters came a monster dragon with
nine heads. Then the prince took counsel with his beasts, and as the dragon
approached the shore the fox drew his brush through the water and blinded the
dragon by scattering the salt water in his eyes, while the bear and the lion threw
up more water with their paws, so that the monster was bewildered and could
see nothing. Then the prince rushed forward with his sword and killed the
dragon, and the beasts tore the body in pieces.
Then the princess turned to the prince and thanked him for delivering her from
the dragon, and she said to him:
'Step into this carriage with me, and we will drive back to my father's palace.' And
she gave him a ring and half of her handkerchief. But on the way back the
coachman and footman spoke to one another and said:
'Why should we drive this stranger back to the palace? Let us kill him, and then
we can say to the king that we slew the dragon and saved the princess, and one
of us shall marry her.'
So they killed the prince, and left him dead on the roadside. And the faithful
beasts came round the dead body and wept, and wondered what they should do.
Then suddenly the wolf had an idea, and he started off into the wood, where he
found an ox, which he straightway killed. Then he called the fox, and told him to
mount guard over the dead ox, and if a bird came past and tried to peck at the
flesh he was to catch it and bring it to the lion. Soon after a crow flew past, and