once a woman who
had three daughters, of whom the eldest was named "One Eye," because
had only one eye in the middle of her forehead. The second had two
like other people, and she was called "Two Eyes." The youngest had
eyes, two like her second sister, and one in the middle of her
like the eldest, and she bore the name of "Three Eyes."
little Two Eyes
looked just like other people, her mother and sisters could not endure
her. They said to her, "You are not better than common folks, with your
two eyes; you don't belong to us."
pushed her about,
and threw all their old clothes to her for her to wear, and gave her
the pieces that were left to eat, and did everything that they could to
make her miserable. It so happened that little Two Eyes was sent into
fields to take care of the goats, and she was often very hungry,
her sisters had as much as they liked to eat. So one day she seated
on a mound in the field, and began to weep and cry so bitterly that two
little rivulets flowed from her eyes. Once, in the midst of her sorrow
she looked up, and saw a woman standing near her who said, "What are
weeping for, little Two Eyes?"
she replied; "for because I have two eyes, like other people, my mother
and sisters cannot bear me; they push me about from one corner to
and make we wear their old clothes, and give me nothing to eat but what
is left, so that I am always hungry. To-day they gave me so little that
I am nearly starved."
your tears, little
Two Eyes," said the wise woman; "I will tell you something to do which
will prevent you from ever being hungry again. You have only to say to
your own goat:
out my table,'
immediately there will
be a pretty little table before you full of all sorts of good things
you to eat, as much as you like. And when you have had enough, and you
do not want the table any more, you need only say:
will vanish from
wise woman went
away. "Now," thought little Two Eyes, "I will try if what she says is
for I am very hungry," so she said:
out my table."
were scarcely spoken,
when a beautiful little table stood really before her; it had a white
and plates, and knives and forks, and silver spoons, and such a
dinner, smoking hot as if it had just come from the kitchen. Then
Two Eyes sat down and said the shortest grace she knew—"Pray God be our
guest for all time. Amen"—before she allowed herself to taste anything.
But oh, how she did enjoy her dinner! and when she had finished, she
as the wise woman had taught her:
moment, the table and
everything upon it had disappeared. "That is a pleasant way to keep
said little Two Eyes, and felt quite contented and happy. In the
when she went home with the goat, she found an earthenware dish with
scraps which her sisters had left for her, but she did not touch them.
The next morning she went away with the goat, leaving them behind where
they had been placed for her. The first and second times that she did
the sisters did not notice it; but when they found it happened every
they said one to the other, "There is something strange about little
Eyes, she leaves her supper every day, and all that has been put for
has been wasted; she must get food somewhere else."
determined to find
out the truth, and they arranged that when Two Eyes took her goat to
field, One Eye should go with her to take particular notice of what she
did, and discover if anything was brought for her to eat and drink.
So when Two
with her goat, One Eye said to her, "I am going with you to-day to see
if the goat gets her food properly while you are watching the rest."
Eyes knew what she
had in her mind. So she drove the goat into the long grass, and said,
One Eye, let us sit down here and rest, and I will sing to you."
seated herself, and,
not being accustomed to walk so far, or to be out in the heat of the
she began to feel tired, and as little Two Eyes kept on singing, she
her one eye and fell fast asleep.
Eyes saw this, she
knew that One Eye could not betray her, so she said:
if you are
deck my pretty table."
herself when it
appeared, and ate and drank very quickly, and when she had finished she
when you are
clear away my table."
in the twinkling
of an eye; and then Two Eyes woke up One Eye, and said, "Little One
you are a clever one to watch goats; for, while you are asleep, they
be running all over the world. Come, let us go home!"
went to the house,
and little Two Eyes again left the scraps on the dish untouched, and
Eye could not tell her mother whether little Two Eyes had eaten
in the field; for she said to excuse herself, "I was asleep."
day the mother said
to Three Eyes, "You must go to the field this time, and find out
there is anyone who brings food to little Two Eyes; for she must eat
little Two Eyes started
with her goat, Three Eyes followed, and said, "I am going with you
to see if the goats are properly fed and watched."
Eyes knew her thoughts;
so she led the goat through the long grass to tire Three Eyes, and at
she said, "Let us sit down here and rest, and I will sing to you, Three
glad to sit down,
for the walk and the heat of the sun had really tired her; and, as her
sister continued her song, she was obliged to close two of her eyes,
they slept, but not the third. In fact, Three Eyes was wide awake with
one eye, and heard and saw all that Two Eyes did; for poor little Two
thinking she was asleep, said her speech to the goat, and the table
with all the good things on it, and was carried away when Two Eyes had
eaten enough; and the cunning Three Eyes saw it all with her one eye.
she pretended to be asleep when her sister came to wake her and told
she was going home.
evening, when little
Two Eyes again left the supper they placed aside for her, Three Eyes
to her mother, "I know where the proud thing gets her good eating and
and then she described all she had seen in the field. "I saw it all
one eye," she said; "for she had made my other two eyes close with her
fine singing, but luckily the one in my forehead remained open."
envious mother cried
out to poor little Two Eyes, "You wish to have better food than we, do
you? You shall lose your wish!" She took up a butcher's knife, went
and stuck the good little goat in the heart, and it fell dead.
Two Eyes saw
this, she went out into the field, seated herself on a mound, and wept
most bitter tears.
the wise woman
stood again before her, and said, "Little Two Eyes, why do you weep?"
replied, "I must
weep. The goat, who every day spread my table so beautifully, has been
killed by my mother, and I shall have again to suffer from hunger and
Eyes," said the
wise woman, "I will give you some good advice. Go home, and ask your
to give you the inside of the slaughtered goat, and then go and bury it
in the ground in front of the house-door."
this the wise woman
Eyes went home
quickly, and said to her sister, "Dear sister, give me some part of my
poor goat. I don't want anything valuable; only give me the inside."
laughed, and said,
"Of course you can have that, if you don't want anything else."
Two Eyes took the
inside; and in the evening, when all was quiet, buried it in the ground
outside the house-door, as the wise woman had told her to do.
morning, when they
all rose and looked out of the window, there stood a most wonderful
with leaves of silver and apples of gold hanging between them. Nothing
in the wide world could be more beautiful or more costly. They none of
them knew how the tree could come there in one night, excepting little
Two Eyes. She supposed it had grown up from the inside of the goat; for
it stood over where she had buried it in the earth.
the mother to little
One Eye, "Climb up, my child, and break off some of the fruit from the
climbed up, but when
she tried to catch a branch and pluck one of the apples, it escaped
her hand, and so it happened every time she made the attempt, and, do
she would, she could not reach one.
Eyes," said the mother,
"climb up, and try what you can do; perhaps you will be able to see
with your three eyes than One Eye can."
slid down from the
tree, and Three Eyes climbed up. But Three Eyes was not more skilful;
all her efforts she could not draw the branches, nor the fruit, near
to pluck even a leaf, for they sprang back as she put out her hand.
At last the
mother was impatient,
and climbed up herself, but with no more success, for, as she appeared
to grasp a branch, or fruit, her hand closed upon thin air.
try?" said little
Two Eyes; "perhaps I may succeed."
indeed!" cried her
sisters; "you, with your two eyes, what can you do?"
Eyes climbed up,
and the golden apples did not fly back from her when she touched them,
but almost laid themselves on her hand, and she plucked them one after
another, till she carried down her own little apron full.
took them from
her, and gave them to her sisters, as she said little Two Eyes did not
handle them properly; but this was only from jealousy, because little
Eyes was the only one who could reach the fruit, and she went into the
house feeling more spiteful to her than ever.
that while all
three sisters were standing under the tree together a young knight rode
by. "Run away, quick, and hide yourself, little Two Eyes; hide yourself
somewhere, for we shall be quite ashamed for you to be seen." Then they
pushed the poor girl, in great haste, under an empty cask, which stood
near the tree, and several of the golden apples that she had plucked
knight came nearer
they saw he was a handsome man; and presently he halted, and looked
wonder and pleasure at the beautiful tree with its silver leaves and
At last he
spoke to the sisters,
and asked: "To whom does this beautiful tree belong? If a man possessed
only one branch he might obtain all he wished for in the world."
belongs to us,"
said the two sisters, "and we will break off a branch for you if you
They gave themselves a great deal of trouble in trying to do as they
but all to no purpose, for the branches and the fruit evaded their
and sprung back at every touch.
the knight, "that the tree should belong to you, and yet you are not
to gather even a branch."
in declaring that the tree was their own property. At this moment
Two Eyes, who was angry because her sisters had not told the truth,
two of the golden apples to slip out from under the cask, and they
on till they reached the feet of the knight's horse. When he saw them,
he asked in astonishment where they came from.
ugly maidens replied
that they had another sister, but they dared not let him see her, for
had only two eyes, like common people, and was named little Two Eyes.
knight felt very
anxious to see her, and called out, "Little Two Eyes, come here." Then
came Two Eyes, quite comforted, from the empty cask, and the knight was
astonished to find her so beautiful.
said, "Little Two
Eyes, can you break off a branch of the tree for me?"
she replied, "I
can, very easily, for the tree belongs to me." And she climbed up, and,
without any trouble, broke off a branch with its silver leaves and
fruit and gave it to the knight.
down at her as
she stood by his horse, and said: "Little Two Eyes, what shall I give
answered, "I suffer
from hunger and thirst, and sorrow, and trouble, from early morning
late at night; if you would only take me with you, and release me, I
be so happy."
knight lifted the
little maiden on his horse, and rode home with her to his father's
There she was given beautiful clothes to wear, and as much to eat and
as she wished, and as she grew up the young knight loved her so dearly
that they were married with great rejoicings.
the two sisters
saw little Two Eyes carried away by the handsome young knight, they
overjoyed at their good fortune. "The wonderful tree belongs to us
they said; "even if we cannot break off a branch, yet everybody who
will stop to admire it, and make acquaintance with us, and, who knows?
we may get husbands after all."
they rose the next
morning, lo! the tree had vanished, and with it all their hopes. And on
this very morning, when little Two Eyes looked out of her chamber
of the castle, she saw, to her great joy, that the tree had followed
Eyes lived for
a long time in great happiness; but she heard nothing of her sisters,
one day two poor women came to the castle, to beg for alms. Little Two
Eyes saw them, and, looking earnestly in their faces, she recognised
two sisters, who had become so poor that they were obliged to beg their
bread from door to door.
good sister received
them most kindly, and promised to take care of them and give them all
wanted. And then they did indeed repent and feel sorry for having
her so badly in their youthful days.