once a brother
and sister who loved each other dearly; their mother was dead, and
father had married again a woman who was most unkind and cruel to them.
One day the boy took his sister's hand, and said to her, "Dear little
since our mother died we have not had one happy hour. Our stepmother
us dry hard crusts for dinner and supper; she often knocks us about,
threatens to kick us out of the house. Even the little dogs under the
fare better than we do, for she often throws them nice pieces to eat.
pity us! Oh, if our dear mother knew! Come, let us go out into the wide
went out, and wandered
over fields and meadows the whole day till evening. At last they found
themselves in a large forest; it began to rain, and the little sister
"See, brother, heaven and our hearts weep together." At last, tired out
with hunger and sorrow, and the long journey, they crept into a hollow
tree, laid themselves down, and slept till morning.
awoke the sun was
high in the heavens, and shone brightly into the hollow tree, so they
their place of shelter and wandered away in search of water.
"Oh, I am
so thirsty!" said
the boy. "If we could only find a brook or a stream." He stopped to
and said, "Stay, I think I hear a running stream." So he took his
by the hand, and they ran together to find it.
stepmother of these
poor children was a wicked witch. She had seen the children go away,
following them cautiously like a snake, had bewitched all the springs
streams in the forest. The pleasant trickling of a brook over the
was heard by the children as they reached it, and the boy was just
to drink, when the sister heard in the babbling of the brook:
drinks of me, a
tiger soon will be."
cried quickly, "Stay,
brother, stay! do not drink, or you will become a wild beast, and tear
me to pieces."
he was, the brother
conquered his desire to drink at her words, and said, "Dear sister, I
wait till we come to a spring." So they wandered farther, but as they
she heard in the bubbling spring the words—
of me, a wolf
pray you, do
not drink of this brook; you will be changed into a wolf, and devour
himself and promised to wait; but he said, "At the next stream I must
say what you will, my thirst is so great."
Not far off
ran a pretty
streamlet, looking clear and bright; but here also in its murmuring
the sister heard the words—
to drink of me,
Turned to a
stag will be."
brother, do not drink,"
she began; but she was too late, for her brother had already knelt by
stream to drink, and as the first drop of water touched his lips he
a fawn. How the little sister wept over the enchanted brother, and the
fawn wept also.
He did not
run away, but
stayed close to her; and at last she said, "Stand still, dear fawn;
fear, I must take care of you, but I will never leave you." So she
her little golden garter and fastened it round the neck of the fawn;
she gathered some soft green rushes, and braided them into a soft
which she fastened to the fawn's golden collar, and then led him away
the depths of the forest.
wandering about for
some time, they at last found a little deserted hut, and the sister was
overjoyed, for she thought it would form a nice shelter for them both.
So she led the fawn in, and then went out alone, to gather moss and
leaves, to make him a soft bed.
morning she went out
to gather dried roots, nuts, and berries, for her own food, and sweet
grass for the fawn, which he ate out of her hand, and the poor little
went out with her, and played about as happy as the day was long.
evening came, and the
poor sister felt tired, she would kneel down and say her prayers, and
lay her delicate head on the fawn's back, which was a soft warm pillow,
on which she could sleep peacefully. Had this dear brother only kept
own proper form, how happy they would have been together! After they
been alone in the forest for some time, and the little sister had grown
a lovely maiden, and the fawn a large stag, a numerous hunting party
to the forest, and amongst them the king of the country.
sounding horn, the barking
of the dogs, the holloa of the huntsmen, resounded through the forest,
and were heard by the stag, who became eager to join his companions.
he said, "do let
me go and see the hunt; I cannot restrain myself." And he begged so
that at last she reluctantly consented.
remember," she said,
"I must lock the cottage door against those huntsmen, so when you come
back in the evening, and knock, I shall not admit you, unless you say,
'Dear little sister let me in.'"
off as she spoke,
scarcely stopping to listen, for it was so delightful for him to
the fresh air and be free again.
He had not
run far when the
king's chief hunter caught sight of the beautiful animal, and started
in chase of him; but it was no easy matter to overtake such rapid
Once, when he thought he had him safe, the fawn sprang over the bushes
As it was
now nearly dark,
he ran up to the little cottage, knocked at the door, and cried, "Dear
little sister, let me in." The door was instantly opened, and oh, how
his sister was to see him safely resting on his soft pleasant bed!
A few days
after this, the
huntsmen were again in the forest; and when the fawn heard the holloa,
he could not rest in peace, but begged his sister again to let him go.
the door, and
said, "I will let you go this time; but pray do not forget to say what
I told you, when you return this evening."
hunter very soon
espied the beautiful fawn with the golden collar, pointed it out to the
king, and they determined to hunt it.
him with all
their skill till the evening; but he was too light and nimble for them
to catch, till a shot wounded him slightly in the foot, so that he was
obliged to hide himself in the bushes, and, after the huntsmen were
limp slowly home.
them, however, determined
to follow him at a distance, and discover where he went. What was his
at seeing him go up to a door and knock, and to hear him say, "Dear
sister, let me in." The door was only opened a little way, and quickly
shut; but the huntsman had seen enough to make him full of wonder, when
he returned and described to the king what he had seen.
have one more chase
to-morrow," said the king, "and discover this mystery."
meantime the loving
sister was terribly alarmed at finding the stag's foot wounded and
She quickly washed off the blood, and, after bathing the wound, placed
healing herbs on it, and said, "Lie down on your bed, dear fawn, and
wound will soon heal, if you rest your foot."
morning the wound
was so much better that the fawn felt the foot almost as strong as
and so, when he again heard the holloa of the hunters, he could not
"Oh, dear sister, I must go once more; it will be easy for me to avoid
the hunters now, and my foot feels quite well; they will not hunt me
they see me running, and I don't mean to do that."
sister wept, and
begged him not to go: "If they kill you, dear fawn, I shall be here
in the forest, forsaken by the whole world."
shall die of grief,"
he said, "if I remain here listening to the hunter's horn."
length his sister,
with a heavy heart, set him free, and he bounded away joyfully into the
As soon as
the king caught
sight of him, he said to the huntsmen, "Follow that stag about, but
hurt him." So they hunted him all day, but at the approach of sunset
king said to the hunter who had followed the fawn the day before, "Come
and show me the little cottage."
went together, and
when the king saw it he sent his companion home, and went on alone so
that he arrived there before the fawn; and, going up to the little
knocked and said softly, "Dear little sister, let me in."
As the door
opened, the king
stepped in, and in great astonishment saw a maiden more beautiful than
he had ever seen in his life standing before him. But how frightened
felt to see instead of her dear little fawn a noble gentleman walk in
a gold crown on his head.
friendly, and after a little talk he held out his hand to her, and
"Wilt thou go with me to my castle and be my dear wife?"
replied the maiden,
"I would willingly; but I cannot leave my dear fawn: he must go with me
wherever I am."
remain with you
as long as you live," replied the king, "and I will never ask you to
the fawn came bounding in, looking quite well and happy. Then his
fastened the string of rushes to his collar, took it in her hand, and
him away from the cottage in the wood to where the king's beautiful
waited for him.
placed the maiden
before him on his horse and rode away to his castle, the fawn following
by their side. Soon after, their marriage was celebrated with great
and the fawn was taken the greatest care of, and played where he
or roamed about the castle grounds in happiness and safety.
meantime the wicked
stepmother, who had caused these two young people such misery, supposed
that the sister had been devoured by wild beasts, and that the fawn had
been hunted to death. Therefore when she heard of their happiness, such
envy and malice arose in her heart that she could find no rest till she
had tried to destroy it.
She and her
came to the castle when the queen had a little baby, and one of them
to be a nurse, and at last got the mother and child into their power.
the queen up in
the bath, and tried to suffocate her, and the old woman put her own
daughter in the queen's bed that the king might not know she was away.
not, however, let
him speak to her, but pretended that she must be kept quite quiet.
escaped from the
bath-room, where the wicked old woman had locked her up, but she did
go far, as she wanted to watch over her child and the little fawn.
nights the baby's
nurse saw a figure of the queen come into the room and take up her baby
and nurse it. Then she told the king, and he determined to watch
The old stepmother, who acted as nurse to her ugly daughter, whom she
to make the king believe was his wife, had said that the queen was too
weak to see him, and never left her room. "There cannot be two queens,"
said the king to himself, "so to-night I will watch in the nursery." As
soon as the figure came in and took up her baby, he saw it was his real
wife, and caught her in his arms, saying, "You are my own beloved wife,
as beautiful as ever."
witch had thrown
her into a trance, hoping she would die, and that the king would then
her daughter; but on the king speaking to her, the spell was broken.
queen told the king how cruelly she had been treated by her stepmother,
and on hearing this he became very angry, and had the witch and her
brought to justice. They were both sentenced to die—the daughter to be
devoured by wild beasts, and the mother to be burnt alive.
however, was she
reduced to ashes than the charm which held the queen's brother in the
of a stag was broken; he recovered his own natural shape, and appeared
before them a tall, handsome young man.
the brother and
sister lived happily and peacefully for the rest of their lives.