THERE was a man who had three sons.
PPPThe youngest was called Dummling, and was on all occasions despised and ill-treated by the whole family.
PPPIt happened that the eldest took it into his head one day to go into the wood to cut fuel;
PPPand his mother gave him a delicious pasty and a bottle of wine to take with him, that he might refresh himself at his work.
PPPAs he went into the wood, a little old man bid him good day, and said, Give me a little piece of meat from your plate, and a little wine out of your bottle;
PPPI am very hungry and thirsty.
PPPBut this clever young man said,.
PPPGive you my meat and wine!
PPPNo, I thank you;
PPPI should not have enough left for myself: and away he went.
PPPHe soon began to cut down a tree;
PPPbut he had not worked long before he missed, his stroke, and cut himself and was obliged to go home to have the wound dressed.
PPPNow it was the little old man that caused him this mischief.
Next went out the second son to work;
PPPand his mother gave him too a pasty and a bottle of wine.
PPPAnd the same little old man met him also, and asked him for something to eat and drink.
PPPBut he too thought himself vastly clever, and said, Whatever you get, I shall lose;
PPPso go your way!
The little man took care that be should have his reward;
PPPand the second stroke that he aimed against a tree, hit him on the leg;
PPPso that he too was forced to.
Then Dummling said, Father, I should like to go and cut wood too.
PPPBut his father answered, Your brothers have both lamed themselves;
PPPyou bad better stay at home, for you know nothing of the business.
PPPBut Dummling was very pressing;
PPPand at last his father said, Go your way;
PPPyou will be wiser when you have suffered for your folly.
PPPAnd his mother gave him only some dry bread, and a bottle of sour beer;
PPPbut when he went into the wood, he met the little old man, who said, Give me some meat and drink, for I am very hungry and thirsty.
PPPDummling said, I have only dry bread and sour beer;
PPPif that will suit you, we will sit down and eat it together.
PPPSo they sat down;
PPPand when the lad pulled out his bread, behold it was turned into a capital pasty, and his sour beer became delightful wine.
PPPThey ate and drank heartily;
PPPand when they had done, the little man laid, As you have a kind heart, and have been willing to share every thing with me, I will send a blessing upon you.
PPPThere stands an old free;
PPPcut it down, and you will find something at the root.
PPPThen he took his leave, and went his way.
Dummling set to work, and cut down the tree;
PPPand when it fell, he found a hollow under the roots a goose with feathers of pure gold.
PPPHe took it up, and went on to an inn, where he proposed to sleep for the night.
PPPThe landlord had three daughters;
PPPand when they saw the goose, they were very curious to examine what this wonderful bird could be, and wished very much to pluck one of the feathers out of its tail.
PPPAt last the eldest said, I must and will have a feather So she waited till his back was turned, and then seized the goose by the wing;
PPPbut to her great surprise there she stuck, for neither hand nor finger could she get away again.
PPPPresently in came the second sister, and thought to have a feather too;
PPPbut the moment she touched her sister, there she too hung fast.
PPPAt last came the third, and wanted a feather;
PPPbut the other two cried out, Keep away!
PPPfor heavens sakes keep away!
PPPHowever, she did not understand what they meant If they are there, thought she, I may as well be there too.
PPPSo she went up to them;
PPPbut the moment she touched her sisters she stuck fast, and hung to the goose as they did.
PPPAnd so they kept company with the goose all night.
The next morning Dummling carried off the goose under his arm;
PPPand took no notice of the three girls, but went out with them sticking fast behind;
PPPand wherever he travelled, they too were obliged to follow, whether they would or no, as fast as their legs could carry them.
In the middle of a field the parson met them;
PPPand when he saw the train, he said, Are you not ashamed of yourselves, you bold girls, to run after the young man in that way over the fields?
PPPIs that proper behaviour?
PPPThen he took the youngest by the band to lead her away;
PPPbut the moment he touched her he too hung fast, and followed in the train.
PPPPresently up came the clerk;
PPPand when he saw his master the parson running after the three girls, he wondered greatly, and said, Hollo!
PPPwhither so fast?
PPPthere is a christening to-day.
PPPThen be ran up, and took him by the gown, and in a moment he was fast too.
PPPAs the five were thus trudging along, one behind another, they met two labourers with their mattocks coming from work;
PPPand the parson cried out to them to set him free.
PPPBut scarcely had they touched him, when they too fell into the ranks, and so made seven, all running after Dummling and his goose.
At last they arrived at a city, where reigned a king who had an only daughter.
PPPThe princess was of so thoughtful and serious a turn of mind that no one could make her laugh;
PPPand the king had proclaimed to all the world, that whoever could make her laugh should have her for his wife.
PPPWhen the young man beard this, he went to her with his goose and all its train;
PPPand as soon as she saw the seven all hanging together, and running about, treading on each others heels, she could not help bursting into a long and loud laugh.
PPPThen Dummling claimed her for his wife;
PPPthe wedding was celebrated, and he was heir to the kingdom, and lived long and happily with his wife.