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The Tinder Box

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'There it is!' said the King, when he saw the first door with a cross on it. 'No, there it is, my dear!' said the Queen, when she likewise saw a door with a cross. 'But here is one, and there is another!' they all exclaimed; wherever they looked there was a cross on the door. Then they realised that the sign would not help them at all. But the Queen was an extremely clever woman, who could do a great deal more than just drive in a coach. She took her great golden scissors, cut up a piece of silk, and made a pretty little bag of it. This she filled with the finest buckwheat grains, and tied it round the Princess' neck; this done, she cut a little hole in the bag, so that the grains would strew the whole road wherever the Princess went.



In the night the dog came again, took the Princess on his back and ran away with her to the Soldier, who was very much in love with her, and would have liked to have been a Prince, so that he might have had her for his wife. The dog did not notice how the grains were strewn right from the castle to the Soldier's window, where he ran up the wall with the Princess. In the morning the King and the Queen saw plainly where their daughter had been, and they took the Soldier and put him into prison. There he sat. Oh, how dark and dull it was there! And they told him: 'To-morrow you are to be hanged.' Hearing that did not exactly cheer him, and he had left his tinder-box in the inn.

       



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