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Soon after, another flock appeared in the form of a figure 2. "Now," he exclaimed, "shoot again at each corner, and bring them down!" This proofshot was also successful, and the hunter directly said, "Now I pronounce you free; you are accomplished sportsmen."

Then the two brothers went away into the wood together, to hold counsel with each other, and at last came to an agreement about what they wished to do.

In the evening, when they sat down to supper, one of them said to their foster father, "We will not


remain to supper, or eat one bit, till you have granted our request."

"And what is your request?" he asked.

"You have taught us to hunt, and to earn our living," they replied, "and we want to go out into the world and seek our fortune. Will you give us permission to do so?"

The good old man replied joyfully, "You speak like brave hunters; what you desire is my own wish. Go when you will; you will be sure to succeed."

Then they ate and drank together joyfully.

When the appointed day came, the hunter presented each of them with a new rifle and a dog, and allowed them to take as much as they would from his store of the gold pieces. He accompanied them for some distance on the way, and before saying farewell he gave them a white penknife, and said:

"If at any time you should get separated from each other, the knife must be placed cross-ways in a tree, one side of the blade turning east, the other west, pointing out the road which each should take. If one should die, the blade will rust on one side; but as long as he lives it will remain bright."

After saying this he wished the brothers farewell, and they started on their way.

After traveling for some time they came to an immense forest, so large that it was impossible to


cross it in one day. They stayed there all night, and ate what they had in their game bags; but for two days they walked on through the forest without finding themselves any nearer the end.

By this time they had nothing left to eat, so one said to the other, "We must shoot something, for this hunger is not to be endured." So he loaded his gun, and looked about him. Presently an old hare came running by; but as he raised his rifle the hare cried:

"Dearest hunters, let me live;

I will to you my young ones give."

Then she sprang into the bushes, and brought out two young ones, and laid them before the hunters. The little animals were so full of tricks and played about so prettily that the hunters had not the heart to kill them; they kept them, therefore, alive, and the little animals soon learned to follow them about like dogs.

By and by a fox appeared, and they were about to shoot him, but he cried also:

"Dearest hunters, let me live,

And I will you my young ones give."

Then he brought out two little foxes, but the hunters could not kill them, so they gave them to


the hares as companions, and the little creatures followed the hunters wherever they went.

Not long after a wolf stepped before them out of the thicket, and one of the brothers instantly leveled his gun at him, but the wolf cried out:

"Dear, kind hunters, let me live,
I will to you my young ones give."

The hunters took the young wolves and treated them as they had done the other animals, and they followed them also.

Presently a bear came by, and they quite intended to kill him, but he also cried out:

"Dear, kind hunters, let me live,
And I will you my young ones give."

The two young bears were placed with the others, of whom there were already six.

At last who should come by but a lion, shaking his mane. The hunters were not at all alarmed; they only pointed their guns at him. But the lion cried out in the same manner:

"Dear, kind hunters, let me live,
And I will you two young ones give."

So he fetched two of his cubs, and the hunters placed them with the rest. They had now two lions, two bears, two wolves, two foxes, and two hares, who traveled with them and served them. Yet, after all, their hunger was not appeased.

So one of them said to the fox, "Here, you little sneak, who are so clever and sly, go and find us something to eat."

Then the fox answered, "Not far from here lies a town where we have many times fetched away chickens. I will show you the way."

So the fox showed them the way to the village, where they bought some provisions for themselves and food for the animals, and went on further.

The fox, however, knew quite well the best spots in that part of the country, and where to find the henhouses; and he could, above all, direct the hunters which road to take.

After traveling for a time in this way they could find no suitable place for them all to remain together, so one said to the other. "The only thing for us to do is to separate;" and to this the other agreed. Then they divided the animals so that each had one lion, one bear, one wolf, one fox, and one hare. When the time came to say farewell they promised to live in brotherly love till death. They stuck the knife that their foster father had given them in a tree, and then one turned to the east, and the other to the west.


The younger, whose steps we will follow first, soon arrived at a large town, in which the houses were all covered with black crape. He went to an inn, and asked the landlord if he could give shelter to his animals. The landlord pointed out a stable for them, and their master led them in and shut the door.

But in the wall of the stable was a hole, and the hare slipped through easily and fetched a cabbage for herself. The fox followed, and came back with a hen; and as soon as he had eaten it he went for the cock also. The wolf, the bear, and the lion, however, were too large to get through the hole. Then the landlord had a cow killed and brought in for them, or they would have starved.

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