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From The The blue fairy book by Andrew lang
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Start of Story
The Master-maid answered him as she had answered the other two, that
if he had a great deal of money, she would have him. "So far as that is
concerned, I am not ill off," said the bailiff; so he was at once told
to go home and fetch it, and this he did. At night he came back, and he
had a still larger sack of money with him than the attorney had brought;
it must have been at least six bushels, and he set it down on the bench.
So it was settled that he was to have the Master-maid. But hardly had
they sat down together before she said that she had forgotten to bring
in the calf, and must go out to put it in the byre.
"No, indeed, you shall not do that," said the bailiff; "I am the one to
do that." And, big and fat as he was, he went out as briskly as a boy.
"Tell me when you have got hold of the calf's tail," said the
"I have hold of it now," cried the bailiff.
"Then may you hold the calf's tail, and the calf's tail hold you,
and may you go round the world together till day dawns!" said the
Master-maid. So the bailiff had to bestir himself, for the calf went
over rough and smooth, over hill and dale, and, the more the bailiff
cried and screamed, the faster the calf went. When daylight began to
appear, the bailiff was half dead; and so glad was he to leave loose
of the calf's tail, that he forgot the sack of money and all else. He
walked now slowly--more slowly than the sheriff and the attorney had
done, but, the slower he went, the more time had everyone to stare and
look at him; and they used it too, and no one can imagine how tired out
and ragged he looked after his dance with the calf.
On the following day the wedding was to take place in the King's palace,
and the elder brother was to drive to church with his bride, and the
brother who had been with the giant with her sister. But when they had
seated themselves in the coach and were about to drive off from the
palace one of the trace-pins broke, and, though they made one, two, and
three to put in its place, that did not help them, for each broke in
turn, no matter what kind of wood they used to make them of. This went
on for a long time, and they could not get away from the palace, so they
were all in great trouble. Then the sheriff said (for he too had been
bidden to the wedding at Court): "Yonder away in the thicket dwells a
maiden, and if you can get her to lend you the handle of the shovel that
she uses to make up her fire I know very well that it will hold fast."
So they sent off a messenger to the thicket, and begged so prettily that
they might have the loan of her shovel-handle of which the sheriff had
spoken that they were not refused; so now they had a trace-pin which
would not snap in two.
But all at once, just as they were starting, the bottom of the coach
fell in pieces. They made a new bottom as fast as they could, but, no
matter how they nailed it together, or what kind of wood they used,
no sooner had they got the new bottom into the coach and were about to
drive off than it broke again, so that they were still worse off than
when they had broken the trace-pin.
Then the attorney said, for he too
was at the wedding in the palace: "Away there in the thicket dwells
a maiden, and if you could but get her to lend you one-half of her
porch-door I am certain that it will hold together." So they again sent
a messenger to the thicket, and begged so prettily for the loan of the
gilded porch-door of which the attorney had told them that they got it
at once. They were just setting out again, but now the horses were not
able to draw the coach. They had six horses already, and now they put in
eight, and then ten, and then twelve, but the more they put in, and
the more the coachman whipped them, the less good it did; and the coach
never stirred from the spot. It was already beginning to be late in the
day, and to church they must and would go, so everyone who was in the
palace was in a state of distress. Then the bailiff spoke up and said:
"Out there in the gilded cottage in the thicket dwells a girl, and if
you could but get her to lend you her calf I know it could draw the
coach, even if it were as heavy as a mountain." They all thought that
it was ridiculous to be drawn to church by a calf, but there was nothing
else for it but to send a messenger once more, and beg as prettily as
they could, on behalf of the King, that she would let them have the loan
of the calf that the bailiff had told them about. The Master-maid let
them have it immediately--this time also she would not say "no."
Then they harnessed the calf to see if the coach would move; and away
it went, over rough and smooth, over stock and stone, so that they could
scarcely breathe, and sometimes they were on the ground, and sometimes
up in the air; and when they came to the church the coach began to
go round and round like a spinning-wheel, and it was with the utmost
difficulty and danger that they were able to get out of the coach and
into the church. And when they went back again the coach went quicker
still, so that most of them did not know how they got back to the palace
When they had seated themselves at the table the Prince who had been in
service with the giant said that he thought they ought to have invited
the maiden who had lent them the shovel-handle, and the porch-door,
and the calf up to the palace, "for," said he, "if we had not got these
three things, we should never have got away from the palace."
The King also thought that this was both just and proper, so he sent
five of his best men down to the gilded hut, to greet the maiden
courteously from the King, and to beg her to be so good as to come up to
the palace to dinner at mid-day.
"Greet the King, and tell him that, if he is too good to come to me, I
am too good to come to him," replied the Master-maid.
So the King had to go himself, and the Master-maid went with him
immediately, and, as the King believed that she was more than she
appeared to be, he seated her in the place of honor by the youngest
bridegroom. When they had sat at the table for a short time, the
Master-maid took out the cock, and the hen, and the golden apple which
she had brought away with her from the giant's house, and set them on
the table in front of her, and instantly the cock and the hen began to
fight with each other for the golden apple.
"Oh! look how those two there are fighting for the golden apple," said
the King's son.
"Yes, and so did we two fight to get out that time when we were in the
mountain," said the Master-maid.
So the Prince knew her again, and you may imagine how delighted he was.
He ordered the troll-witch who had rolled the apple to him to be torn
in pieces between four-and-twenty horses, so that not a bit of her was
left, and then for the first time they began really to keep the wedding,
and, weary as they were, the sheriff, the attorney, and the bailiff kept
it up too.(1)