The Yellow Fairy Book HTML version

The Iron Stove
Once upon a time when wishes came true there was a king's son who was
enchanted by an old witch, so that he was obliged to sit in a large iron stove in a
wood. There he lived for many years, and no one could free him. At last a king's
daughter came into the wood; she had lost her way, and could not find her
father's kingdom again. She had been wandering round and round for nine days,
and she came at last to the iron case. A voice came from within and asked her,
'Where do you come from, and where do you want to go?' She answered, 'I have
lost my way to my father's kingdom, and I shall never get home again.' Then the
voice from the iron stove said, 'I will help you to find your home again, and that in
a very short time, if you will promise to do what I ask you. I am a greater prince
than you are a princess, and I will marry you.' Then she grew frightened, and
thought, 'What can a young lassie do with an iron stove?' But as she wanted very
much to go home to her father, she promised to do what he wished.
He said, 'You must come again, and bring a knife with you to scrape a hole in the
Then he gave her someone for a guide, who walked near her and said nothing,
but he brought her in two hours to her house. There was great joy in the castle
when the Princess came back, and the old King fell on her neck and kissed her.
But she was very much troubled, and said, 'Dear father, listen to what has
befallen me! I should never have come home again out of the great wild wood if I
had not come to an iron stove, to whom I have had to promise that I will go back
to free him and marry him!' The old King was so frightened that he nearly fainted,
for she was his only daughter. So they consulted together, and determined that
the miller's daughter, who was very beautiful, should take her place. They took
her there, gave her a knife, and said she must scrape at the iron stove. She
scraped for twenty-four hours, but did not make the least impression. When the
day broke, a voice called from the iron stove, 'It seems to me that it is day