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The Tinder Box
Start of Story
It was a dark evening, and he could not even buy a light. But all at
once it flashed across him that there was a little end of tinder in the
tinder-box, which he had taken from the hollow tree into which the Witch
had helped him down. He found the box with the tinder in it; but just as
he was kindling a light, and had struck a spark out of the tinder-box,
the door burst open, and the dog with eyes as large as saucers, which he
had seen down in the tree, stood before him and said:
'What does my lord command?'
'What's the meaning of this?' exclaimed the Soldier. 'This is a pretty
kind of tinder-box, if I can get whatever I want like this. Get me
money!' he cried to the dog, and hey, presto! he was off and back again,
holding a great purse full of money in his mouth.
Now the Soldier knew what a capital tinder-box this was. If he rubbed
once, the dog that sat on the chest of copper appeared; if he rubbed
twice, there came the dog that watched over the silver chest; and if
he rubbed three times, the one that guarded the gold appeared. Now, the
Soldier went down again to his beautiful rooms, and appeared once more
in splendid clothes. All his friends immediately recognised him again,
and paid him great court.
One day he thought to himself: 'It is very strange that no one can get
to see the Princess. They all say she is very pretty, but what's the use
of that if she has to sit for ever in the great copper castle with
all the towers? Can I not manage to see her somehow? Where is my
tinder-box?' and so he struck a spark, and, presto! there came the dog
with eyes as large as saucers.