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as quickly as she could; but the unkind stepmother had been struck by the door and had fallen to the bottom of the steps, where the maiden found her lying dead.
After this the beautiful castle belonged to the maiden, who hardly knew, at first, how to understand such good fortune. But after a while servants came to wait upon her, and they found in the drawers and wardrobes beautiful dresses in which she could array herself. There was also a large chest filled with gold and silver, pearls and other precious stones, so that she had not a single wish ungratified.
It was not long before the fame of her beauty and riches spread throughout the world, and the maiden soon had plenty of lovers. But she did not care to accept any of them, till at last a prince, the son of a great king, came to see her. He was the first to touch her heart, and she very soon learned to love him dearly.
One day, as they sat talking under a linden tree in the castle garden, the prince said very sadly, “My heart's love, I must leave you to get my father's consent to our marriage, but I will not stay away long.”
“Be true to me!” said the maiden, as she took a sorrowful farewell of him.
But when the prince reached home he found that the king, who did not want him to marry this maiden, had invited many beautiful ladies to his court, and for a time the prince forgot his true bride and the wonderful castle.
One day, while he was riding to the hunt on a beautiful horse, an old woman met him and asked him for alms. As he drew rein to help her she said
in a low tone, “The maiden weeps for her false lover under the linden tree!”
In a moment the power which had changed his heart toward her was at an end. He turned away and rode quickly to the castle in the valley which the good fairy had built. When he reached the gates all looked dark and gloomy, and there, under the linden tree, stood his forsaken bride, looking sad and mournful. He alighted quickly from his horse, and advancing toward her he exclaimed, “Forgive me, dearest! I am come back, and we will never, never part again!”
No sooner had he uttered these words than the most brilliant lights shone from the castle windows, Around him on the grass glittered innumerable glowworms. On the steps bloomed lovely flowers, and from the rooms came the song of joyous birds, arrayed in plumage of bright and beautiful colors.
He took the maiden by the hand and led her in. The large hall was full of the castle household, who had assembled, and the priest stood in readiness to marry them. The prince hastened forward, leading the bride who had suffered so much from her stepmother, and had been so true to her lover; and she became at last his wife, to the great joy of the inmates of the castle.
WHERE GO THE BOATS?
Golden is the sand.
With trees on either hand.
On goes the river
And out past the mill, Away down the valley,
Away down the hill.
Away down the river,
A hundred miles or more, Other little children
Shall bring my boats ashore.
THE SNOW MAIDEN
Adapted By GRACE E. SELLON TN a little village in the far northern part of I Europe lived an honest peasant, Ivan, and his good wife, Marie. This couple were well content in each other's company, and they lived at peace with their neighbors; yet at times they were somewhat unhappy, for, although they loved little children, they had none of their own.
They were such simple-hearted folk that they would sit by the hour watching the neighbors' children at play and sharing fully in the delight of the merry games.
It was while thus engaged one day that Ivan called to his wife, “Oh, come here, Marie, and watch these children. They are making a snow lady. Aren't they having a good time, though! I wish that we could make a snow image, too. Suppose we try.” :
Marie not only agreed to this project, but, after they had gone out into the garden, suggested, “Ivan, wouldn't it be a very pleasant thing to make a little child of snow? Then we could pretend, you see, that she is our own.”
“That's a fine idea!” cried Ivan; and immediately he began packing and patting the snow into the form of a little body, and molding handfuls of the soft flakes into small hands and feet. Meanwhile, Marie was busy shaping a little head. She worked so deftly that when the snow child was at length finished, Ivan exclaimed: “O, what beautiful features she has, and how real she looks!”
Just as he was beginning to feel sad because, after all, she was only a snow child, he noticed with amazement that the eyelids were quivering, the lips were gently parting and a faint pink color was appearing in the cheeks. Almost imperceptibly, yet in just a few moments, the snow girl became a living child!
Ivan gripped his hands, blinked his eyes and looked around in a dazed way at Marie, as if to make sure that he was not dreaming. Then, “What does this mean? Who are you?”' he cried, in a terrified voice.
“I am Snow White, your little girl,” the child answered in tones so soft and appealing that all of Ivan's fear left him; and then she ran to her new mother and father and kissed them and cried for joy. Marie and Ivan were so happy that tears came to their eyes, too; and they welcomed the little girl into their home as the greatest blessing that had ever come to them.
The village people, of course, marvelled at the strange good fortune of Ivan and his wife, but they soon forgot their astonishment in trying to make little Snow White feel at home among them, for she was so gentle and lovable that no one could help wishing to be kind to her. Then, too, she was very pretty, for her eyes seemed to be of the clear blue of the sky, and her hair was as yellow and lustrous as the most golden sunbeams.
However, there was one surprising fact about Snow White that everybody in the village, young and old, was always trying to account for. She had been only a very small child when she came to her new home, yet each month she grew so much more than most children grow in a year, that by the time