ENGLISH

The two brothers

中文

两兄弟


There were once upon a time two brothers, one rich and the other poor. The rich one was a goldsmith and evil-hearted. The poor one supported himself by making brooms, and was good and honourable. The poor one had two children, who were twin brothers and as like each other as two drops of water. The two boys went backwards and forwards to the rich house, and often got some of the scraps to eat. It happened once when the poor man was going into the forest to fetch brush-wood, that he saw a bird which was quite golden and more beautiful than any he had ever chanced to meet with. He picked up a small stone, threw it at him, and was lucky enough to hit him, but one golden feather only fell down, and the bird flew away. The man took the feather and carried it to his brother, who looked at it and said, "It is pure gold!" and gave him a great deal of money for it. Next day the man climbed into a birch-tree, and was about to cut off a couple of branches when the same bird flew out, and when the man searched he found a nest, and an egg lay inside it, which was of gold. He took the egg home with him, and carried it to his brother, who again said, "It is pure gold," and gave him what it was worth. At last the goldsmith said, "I should indeed like to have the bird itself." The poor man went into the forest for the third time, and again saw the golden bird sitting on the tree, so he took a stone and brought it down and carried it to his brother, who gave him a great heap of gold for it. "Now I can get on," thought he, and went contentedly home.

The goldsmith was crafty and cunning, and knew very well what kind of a bird it was. He called his wife and said, "Roast me the gold bird, and take care that none of it is lost. I have a fancy to eat it all myself." The bird, however, was no common one, but of so wondrous a kind that whosoever ate its heart and liver found every morning a piece of gold beneath his pillow. The woman made the bird ready, put it on the spit, and let it roast. Now it happened that while it was at the fire, and the woman was forced to go out of the kitchen on account of some other work, the two children of the poor broom-maker ran in, stood by the spit and turned it round once or twice. And as at that very moment two little bits of the bird fell down into the dripping-tin, one of the boys said, "We will eat these two little bits; I am so hungry, and no one will ever miss them." Then the two ate the pieces, but the woman came into the kitchen and saw that they were eating something and said, "What have ye been eating?" - "Two little morsels which fell out of the bird," answered they. "That must have been the heart and the liver," said the woman, quite frightened, and in order that her husband might not miss them and be angry, she quickly killed a young cock, took out his heart and liver, and put them beside the golden bird. When it was ready, she carried it to the goldsmith, who consumed it all alone, and left none of it. Next morning, however, when he felt beneath his pillow, and expected to bring out the piece of gold, no more gold pieces were there than there had always been.

The two children did not know what a piece of good-fortune had fallen to their lot. Next morning when they arose, something fell rattling to the ground, and when they picked it up there were two gold pieces! They took them to their father, who was astonished and said, "How can that have happened?" When next morning they again found two, and so on daily, he went to his brother and told him the strange story. The goldsmith at once knew how it had come to pass, and that the children had eaten the heart and liver of the golden bird, and in order to revenge himself, and because he was envious and hard-hearted, he said to the father, "Thy children are in league with the Evil One, do not take the gold, and do not suffer them to stay any longer in thy house, for he has them in his power, and may ruin thee likewise." The father feared the Evil One, and painful as it was to him, he nevertheless led the twins forth into the forest, and with a sad heart left them there.

And now the two children ran about the forest, and sought the way home again, but could not find it, and only lost themselves more and more. At length they met with a huntsman, who asked, "To whom do you children belong?" - "We are the poor broom-maker's boys," they replied, and they told him that their father would not keep them any longer in the house because a piece of gold lay every morning under their pillows. "Come," said the huntsman, "that is nothing so very bad, if at the same time you keep honest, and are not idle." As the good man liked the children, and had none of his own, he took them home with him and said, "I will be your father, and bring you up till you are big." They learnt huntsmanship from him, and the piece of gold which each of them found when he awoke, was kept for them by him in case they should need it in the future.

When they were grown up, their foster-father one day took them into the forest with him, and said, "To-day shall you make your trial shot, so that I may release you from your apprenticeship, and make you huntsmen." They went with him to lie in wait and stayed there a long time, but no game appeared. The huntsman, however, looked above him and saw a covey of wild geese flying in the form of a triangle, and said to one of them, "Shoot me down one from each corner." He did it, and thus accomplished his trial shot. Soon after another covey came flying by in the form of the figure two, and the huntsman bade the other also bring down one from each corner, and his trial shot was likewise successful. "Now," said the foster-father, "I pronounce you out of your apprenticeship; you are skilled huntsmen." Thereupon the two brothers went forth together into the forest, and took counsel with each other and planned something. And in the evening when they had sat down to supper, they said to their foster-father, "We will not touch food, or take one mouthful, until you have granted us a request." Said he, "What, then, is your request?" They replied, "We have now finished learning, and we must prove ourselves in the world, so allow us to go away and travel." Then spake the old man joyfully, "You talk like brave huntsmen, that which you desire has been my wish; go forth, all will go well with you." Thereupon they ate and drank joyously together.

When the appointed day came, their foster-father presented each of them with a good gun and a dog, and let each of them take as many of his saved-up gold pieces as he chose. Then he accompanied them a part of the way, and when taking leave, he gave them a bright knife, and said, "If ever you separate, stick this knife into a tree at the place where you part, and when one of you goes back, he will will be able to see how his absent brother is faring, for the side of the knife which is turned in the direction by which he went, will rust if he dies, but will remain bright as long as he is alive." The two brothers went still farther onwards, and came to a forest which was so large that it was impossible for them to get out of it in one day. So they passed the night in it, and ate what they had put in their hunting-pouches, but they walked all the second day likewise, and still did not get out. As they had nothing to eat, one of them said, "We must shoot something for ourselves or we shall suffer from hunger," and loaded his gun, and looked about him. And when an old hare came running up towards them, he laid his gun on his shoulder, but the hare cried,

"Dear huntsman, do but let me live,
Two little ones to thee I'll give,"

and sprang instantly into the thicket, and brought two young ones. But the little creatures played so merrily, and were so pretty, that the huntsmen could not find it in their hearts to kill them. They therefore kept them with them, and the little hares followed on foot. Soon after this, a fox crept past; they were just going to shoot it, but the fox cried,

"Dear hunstman, do but let me live,
Two little ones I'll also give."

He, too, brought two little foxes, and the huntsmen did not like to kill them either, but gave them to the hares for company, and they followed behind. It was not long before a wolf strode out of the thicket; the huntsmen made ready to shoot him, but the wolf cried,

"Dear huntsman, do but let me live,
Two little ones I'll likewise give."

The huntsmen put the two wolves beside the other animals, and they followed behind them. Then a bear came who wanted to trot about a little longer, and cried:

"Dear huntsman, do but let me live,
Two little ones I, too, will give."

The two young bears were added to the others, and there were already eight of them. At length who came? A lion came, and tossed his mane. But the huntsmen did not let themselves be frightened and aimed at him likewise, but the lion also said,

"Dear huntsman, do but let me live,
Two little ones I, too, will give."

And he brought his little ones to them, and now the huntsmen had two lions, two bears, two wolves, two foxes, and two hares, who followed them and served them. In the meantime their hunger was not appeased by this, and they said to the foxes, "Hark ye, cunning fellows, provide us with something to eat. You are crafty and deep." They replied, "Not far from here lies a village, from which we have already brought many a fowl; we will show you the way there." So they went into the village, bought themselves something to eat, had some food given to their beasts, and then travelled onwards. The foxes, however, knew their way very well about the district and where the poultry-yards were, and were able to guide the huntsmen.

Now they travelled about for a while, but could find no situations where they could remain together, so they said, "There is nothing else for it, we must part." They divided the animals, so that each of them had a lion, a bear, a wolf, a fox, and a hare, then they took leave of each other, promised to love each other like brothers till their death, and stuck the knife which their foster-father had given them, into a tree, after which one went east, and the other went west.

The younger, however, arrived with his beasts in a town which was all hung with black crape. He went into an inn, and asked the host if he could accommodate his animals. The innkeeper gave him a stable, where there was a hole in the wall, and the hare crept out and fetched himself the head of a cabbage, and the fox fetched himself a hen, and when he had devoured that got the cock as well, but the wolf, the bear, and the lion could not get out because they were too big. Then the innkeeper let them be taken to a place where a cow was just then lying on the grass, that they might eat till they were satisfied. And when the huntsman had taken care of his animals, he asked the innkeeper why the town was thus hung with black crape? Said the host, "Because our King's only daughter is to die to-morrow." The huntsman inquired if she was "sick unto death?" - "No," answered the host, "she is vigorous and healthy, nevertheless she must die!" - "How is that?" asked the huntsman. "There is a high hill without the town, whereon dwells a dragon who every year must have a pure virgin, or he lays the whole country waste, and now all the maidens have already been given to him, and there is no longer anyone left but the King's daughter, yet there is no mercy for her; she must be given up to him, and that is to be done to-morrow." Said the huntsman, "Why is the dragon not killed?" - "Ah," replied the host, "so many knights have tried it, but it has cost all of them their lives. The King has promised that he who conquers the dragon shall have his daughter to wife, and shall likewise govern the kingdom after his own death."

The huntsman said nothing more to this, but next morning took his animals, and with them ascended the dragon's hill. A little church stood at the top of it, and on the altar three full cups were standing, with the inscription, "Whosoever empties the cups will become the strongest man on earth, and will be able to wield the sword which is buried before the threshold of the door." The huntsman did not drink, but went out and sought for the sword in the ground, but was unable to move it from its place. Then he went in and emptied the cups, and now he was strong enough to take up the sword, and his hand could quite easily wield it. When the hour came when the maiden was to be delivered over to the dragon, the King, the marshal, and courtiers accompanied her. From afar she saw the huntsman on the dragon's hill, and thought it was the dragon standing there waiting for her, and did not want to go up to him, but at last, because otherwise the whole town would have been destroyed, she was forced to go the miserable journey. The King and courtiers returned home full of grief; the King's marshal, however, was to stand still, and see all from a distance.

When the King's daughter got to the top of the hill, it was not the dragon which stood there, but the young huntsman, who comforted her, and said he would save her, led her into the church, and locked her in. It was not long before the seven-headed dragon came thither with loud roaring. When he perceived the huntsman, he was astonished and said, "What business hast thou here on the hill?" The huntsman answered, "I want to fight with thee." Said the dragon, "Many knights have left their lives here, I shall soon have made an end of thee too," and he breathed fire out of seven jaws. The fire was to have lighted the dry grass, and the huntsman was to have been suffocated in the heat and smoke, but the animals came running up and trampled out the fire. Then the dragon rushed upon the huntsman, but he swung his sword until it sang through the air, and struck off three of his heads. Then the dragon grew right furious, and rose up in the air, and spat out flames of fire over the huntsman, and was about to plunge down on him, but the huntsman once more drew out his sword, and again cut off three of his heads. The monster became faint and sank down, nevertheless it was just able to rush upon the huntsman, but he with his last strength smote its tail off, and as he could fight no longer, called up his animals who tore it in pieces. When the struggle was ended, the huntsman unlocked the church, and found the King's daughter lying on the floor, as she had lost her senses with anguish and terror during the contest. He carried her out, and when she came to herself once more, and opened her eyes, he showed her the dragon all cut to pieces, and told her that she was now delivered. She rejoiced and said, "Now thou wilt be my dearest husband, for my father has promised me to him who kills the dragon." Thereupon she took off her necklace of coral, and divided it amongst the animals in order to reward them, and the lion received the golden clasp. Her pocket-handkerchief, however, on which was her name, she gave to the huntsman, who went and cut the tongues out of the dragon's seven heads, wrapped them in the handkerchief, and preserved them carefully.

That done, as he was so faint and weary with the fire and the battle, he said to the maiden, "We are both faint and weary, we will sleep awhile." Then she said, "yes," and they lay down on the ground, and the huntsman said to the lion, "Thou shalt keep watch, that no one surprises us in our sleep," and both fell asleep. The lion lay down beside them to watch, but he also was so weary with the fight, that he called to the bear and said, "Lie down near me, I must sleep a little: if anything comes, waken me." Then the bear lay down beside him, but he also was tired, and called the wolf and said, "Lie down by me, I must sleep a little, but if anything comes, waken me." Then the wolf lay down by him, but he was tired likewise, and called the fox and said, "Lie down by me, I must sleep a little; if anything comes, waken me." Then the fox lay down beside him, but he too was weary, and called the hare and said, "Lie down near me, I must sleep a little, and if anything should come, waken me." Then the hare sat down by him, but the poor hare was tired too, and had no one whom he could call there to keep watch, and fell asleep. And now the King's daughter, the huntsman, the lion, the bear, the wolf, the fox, and the hare, were all sleeping a sound sleep. The marshal, however, who was to look on from a distance, took courage when he did not see the dragon flying away with the maiden, and finding that all the hill had become quiet, ascended it. There lay the dragon hacked and hewn to pieces on the ground, and not far from it were the King's daughter and a huntsman with his animals, and all of them were sunk in a sound sleep. And as he was wicked and godless he took his sword, cut off the huntsman's head, and seized the maiden in his arms, and carried her down the hill. Then she awoke and was terrified, but the marshal said, "Thou art in my hands, thou shalt say that it was I who killed the dragon." - "I cannot do that," she replied, "for it was a huntsman with his animals who did it." Then he drew his sword, and threatened to kill her if she did not obey him, and so compelled her that she promised it. Then he took her to the King, who did not know how to contain himself for joy when he once more looked on his dear child in life, whom he had believed to have been torn to pieces by the monster. The marshal said to him, "I have killed the dragon, and delivered the maiden and the whole kingdom as well, therefore I demand her as my wife, as was promised." The King said to the maiden, "Is what he says true?" - "Ah, yes," she answered, "it must indeed be true, but I will not consent to have the wedding celebrated until after a year and a day," for she thought in that time she should hear something of her dear huntsman.

The animals, however, were still lying sleeping beside their dead master on the dragon's hill, and there came a great humble-bee and lighted on the hare's nose, but the hare wiped it off with his paw, and went on sleeping. The humble-bee came a second time, but the hare again rubbed it off and slept on. Then it came for the third time, and stung his nose so that he awoke. As soon as the hare was awake, he roused the fox, and the fox, the wolf, and the wolf the bear, and the bear the lion. And when the lion awoke and saw that the maiden was gone, and his master was dead, he began to roar frightfully and cried, "Who has done that? Bear, why didst thou not waken me?" The bear asked the wolf, "Why didst thou not waken me?" and the wolf the fox, "Why didst thou not waken me?" and the fox the hare, "Why didst thou not waken me?" The poor hare alone did not know what answer to make, and the blame rested with him. Then they were just going to fall upon him, but he entreated them and said, "Kill me not, I will bring our master to life again. I know a mountain on which a root grows which, when placed in the mouth of any one, cures him of all illness and every wound. But the mountain lies two hundred hours journey from here." The lion said, "In four-and-twenty hours must thou have run thither and have come back, and have brought the root with thee." Then the hare sprang away, and in four-and-twenty hours he was back, and brought the root with him. The lion put the huntsman's head on again, and the hare placed the root in his mouth, and immediately everything united together again, and his heart beat, and life came back. Then the huntsman awoke, and was alarmed when he did not see the maiden, and thought, "She must have gone away whilst I was sleeping, in order to get rid of me." The lion in his great haste had put his master's head on the wrong way round, but the huntsman did not observe it because of his melancholy thoughts about the King's daughter. But at noon, when he was going to eat something, he saw that his head was turned backwards and could not understand it, and asked the animals what had happened to him in his sleep. Then the lion told him that they, too, had all fallen asleep from weariness, and on awaking, had found him dead with his head cut off, that the hare had brought the life-giving root, and that he, in his haste, had laid hold of the head the wrong way, but that he would repair his mistake. Then he tore the huntsman's head off again, turned it round, and the hare healed it with the root.

The huntsman, however, was sad at heart, and travelled about the world, and made his animals dance before people. It came to pass that precisely at the end of one year he came back to the same town where he had delivered the King's daughter from the dragon, and this time the town was gaily hung with red cloth. Then he said to the host, "What does this mean? Last year the town was all hung with black crape, what means the red cloth to-day?" The host answered, "Last year our King's daughter was to have been delivered over to the dragon, but the marshal fought with it and killed it, and so to-morrow their wedding is to be solemnized, and that is why the town was then hung with black crape for mourning, and is to-day covered with red cloth for joy?"

Next day when the wedding was to take place, the huntsman said at mid-day to the inn-keeper, "Do you believe, sir host, that I while with you here to-day shall eat bread from the King's own table?" - "Nay," said the host, "I would bet a hundred pieces of gold that that will not come true." The huntsman accepted the wager, and set against it a purse with just the same number of gold pieces. Then he called the hare and said, "Go, my dear runner, and fetch me some of the bread which the King is eating." Now the little hare was the lowest of the animals, and could not transfer this order to any the others, but had to get on his legs himself. "Alas!" thought he, "if I bound through the streets thus alone, the butchers' dogs will all be after me." It happened as he expected, and the dogs came after him and wanted to make holes in his good skin. But he sprang away, have you have never seen one running? and sheltered himself in a sentry-box without the soldier being aware of it. Then the dogs came and wanted to have him out, but the soldier did not understand a jest, and struck them with the butt-end of his gun, till they ran away yelling and howling. As soon as the hare saw that the way was clear, he ran into the palace and straight to the King's daughter, sat down under her chair, and scratched at her foot. Then she said, "Wilt thou get away?" and thought it was her dog. The hare scratched her foot for the second time, and she again said, "Wilt thou get away?" and thought it was her dog. But the hare did not let itself be turned from its purpose, and scratched her for the third time. Then she peeped down, and knew the hare by its collar. She took him on her lap, carried him into her chamber, and said, "Dear Hare, what dost thou want?" He answered, "My master, who killed the dragon, is here, and has sent me to ask for a loaf of bread like that which the King eats." Then she was full of joy and had the baker summoned, and ordered him to bring a loaf such as was eaten by the King. The little hare said, "But the baker must likewise carry it thither for me, that the butchers' dogs may do no harm to me." The baker carried if for him as far as the door of the inn, and then the hare got on his hind legs, took the loaf in his front paws, and carried it to his master. Then said the huntsman, "Behold, sir host, the hundred pieces of gold are mine." The host was astonished, but the huntsman went on to say, "Yes, sir host, I have the bread, but now I will likewise have some of the King's roast meat."

The host said, "I should indeed like to see that," but he would make no more wagers. The huntsman called the fox and said, "My little fox, go and fetch me some roast meat, such as the King eats." The red fox knew the bye-ways better, and went by holes and corners without any dog seeing him, seated himself under the chair of the King's daughter, and scratched her foot. Then she looked down and recognized the fox by its collar, took him into her chamber with her and said, "Dear fox, what dost thou want?" He answered, "My master, who killed the dragon, is here, and has sent me. I am to ask for some roast meat such as the King is eating." Then she made the cook come, who was obliged to prepare a roast joint, the same as was eaten by the King, and to carry it for the fox as far as the door. Then the fox took the dish, waved away with his tail the flies which had settled on the meat, and then carried it to his master. "Behold, sir host," said the huntsman, "bread and meat are here but now I will also have proper vegetables with it, such as are eaten by the King." Then he called the wolf, and said, "Dear Wolf, go thither and fetch me vegetables such as the King eats." Then the wolf went straight to the palace, as he feared no one, and when he got to the King's daughter's chamber, he twitched at the back of her dress, so that she was forced to look round. She recognized him by his collar, and took him into her chamber with her, and said, "Dear Wolf, what dost thou want?" He answered, "My master, who killed the dragon, is here, I am to ask for some vegetables, such as the King eats." Then she made the cook come, and he had to make ready a dish of vegetables, such as the King ate, and had to carry it for the wolf as far as the door, and then the wolf took the dish from him, and carried it to his master. "Behold, sir host," said the huntsman, "now I have bread and meat and vegetables, but I will also have some pastry to eat like that which the King eats." He called the bear, and said, "Dear Bear, thou art fond of licking anything sweet; go and bring me some confectionery, such as the King eats." Then the bear trotted to the palace, and every one got out of his way, but when he went to the guard, they presented their muskets, and would not let him go into the royal palace. But he got up on his hind legs, and gave them a few boxes on the ears, right and left, with his paws, so that the whole watch broke up, and then he went straight to the King's daughter, placed himself behind her, and growled a little. Then she looked behind her, knew the bear, and bade him go into her room with her, and said, "Dear Bear, what dost thou want?" He answered, "My master, who killed the dragon, is here, and I am to ask for some confectionery, such as the King eats." Then she summoned her confectioner, who had to bake confectionery such as the King ate, and carry it to the door for the bear; then the bear first licked up the comfits which had rolled down, and then he stood upright, took the dish, and carried it to his master. "Behold, sir host," said the huntsman, "now I have bread, meat, vegetables and confectionery, but I will drink wine also, and such as the King drinks." He called his lion to him and said, "Dear Lion, thou thyself likest to drink till thou art intoxicated, go and fetch me some wine, such as is drunk by the King." Then the lion strode through the streets, and the people fled from him, and when he came to the watch, they wanted to bar the way against him, but he did but roar once, and they all ran away. Then the lion went to the royal apartment, and knocked at the door with his tail. Then the King's daughter came forth, and was almost afraid of the lion, but she knew him by the golden clasp of her necklace, and bade him go with her into her chamber, and said, "Dear Lion, what wilt thou have?" He answered, "My master, who killed the dragon, is here, and I am to ask for some wine such as is drunk by the King." Then she bade the cup-bearer be called, who was to give the lion some wine like that which was drunk by the King. The lion said, "I will go with him, and see that I get the right wine." Then he went down with the cup-bearer, and when they were below, the cup-bearer wanted to draw him some of the common wine that was drunk by the King's servants, but the lion said, "Stop, I will taste the wine first," and he drew half a measure, and swallowed it down at one draught. "No," said he, "that is not right." The cup-bearer looked at him askance, but went on, and was about to give him some out of another barrel which was for the King's marshal. The lion said, "Stop, let me taste the wine first," and drew half a measure and drank it. "That is better, but still not right," said he. Then the cup-bearer grew angry and said, "How can a stupid animal like you understand wine?" But the lion gave him a blow behind the ears, which made him fall down by no means gently, and when he had got up again, he conducted the lion quite silently into a little cellar apart, where the King's wine lay, from which no one ever drank. The lion first drew half a measure and tried the wine, and then he said, That may possibly be the right sort, and bade the cup-bearer fill six bottles of it. And now they went upstairs again, but when the lion came out of the cellar into the open air, he reeled here and there, and was rather drunk, and the cup-bearer was forced to carry the wine as far as the door for him, and then the lion took the handle of the basket in his mouth, and took it to his master. The huntsman said, "Behold, sir host, here have I bread, meat, vegetables, confectionery and wine such as the King has, and now I will dine with my animals," and he sat down and ate and drank, and gave the hare, the fox, the wolf, the bear, and the lion also to eat and to drink, and was joyful, for he saw that the King's daughter still loved him. And when he had finished his dinner, he said, "Sir host, now have I eaten and drunk, as the King eats and drinks, and now I will go to the King's court and marry the King's daughter." Said the host, "How can that be, when she already has a betrothed husband, and when the wedding is to be solemnized to-day?" Then the huntsman drew forth the handkerchief which the King's daughter had given him on the dragon's hill, and in which were folded the monster's seven tongues, and said, "That which I hold in my hand shall help me to do it." Then the innkeeper looked at the handkerchief, and said, "Whatever I believe, I do not believe that, and I am willing to stake my house and courtyard on it." The huntsman, however, took a bag with a thousand gold pieces, put it on the table, and said, "I stake that on it."

Now the King said to his daughter, at the royal table, "What did all the wild animals want, which have been coming to thee, and going in and out of my palace?" She replied, "I may not tell you, but send and have the master of these animals brought, and you will do well." The King sent a servant to the inn, and invited the stranger, and the servant came just as the huntsman had laid his wager with the innkeeper. Then said he, "Behold, sir host, now the King sends his servant and invites me, but I do not go in this way." And he said to the servant, "I request the Lord King to send me royal clothing, and a carriage with six horses, and servants to attend me." When the King heard the answer, he said to his daughter, "What shall I do?" She said, "Cause him to be fetched as he desires to be, and you will do well." Then the King sent royal apparel, a carriage with six horses, and servants to wait on him. When the huntsman saw them coming, he said, "Behold, sir host, now I am fetched as I desired to be," and he put on the royal garments, took the handkerchief with the dragon's tongues with him, and drove off to the King. When the King saw him coming, he said to his daughter, "How shall I receive him?" She answered, "Go to meet him and you will do well." Then the King went to meet him and led him in, and his animals followed. The King gave him a seat near himself and his daughter, and the marshal, as bridegroom, sat on the other side, but no longer knew the huntsman. And now at this very moment, the seven heads of the dragon were brought in as a spectacle, and the King said, "The seven heads were cut off the dragon by the marshal, wherefore to-day I give him my daughter to wife." The huntsman stood up, opened the seven mouths, and said, "Where are the seven tongues of the dragon?" Then was the marshal terrified, and grew pale and knew not what answer he should make, and at length in his anguish he said, "Dragons have no tongues." The huntsman said, "Liars ought to have none, but the dragon's tongues are the tokens of the victor," and he unfolded the handkerchief, and there lay all seven inside it. And he put each tongue in the mouth to which it belonged, and it fitted exactly. Then he took the handkerchief on which the name of the princess was embroidered, and showed it to the maiden, and asked to whom she had given it, and she replied, "To him who killed the dragon." And then he called his animals, and took the collar off each of them and the golden clasp from the lion, and showed them to the maiden and asked to whom they belonged. She answered, "The necklace and golden clasp were mine, but I divided them among the animals who helped to conquer the dragon." Then spake the huntsman, "When I, tired with the fight, was resting and sleeping, the marshal came and cut off my head. Then he carried away the King's daughter, and gave out that it was he who had killed the dragon, but that he lied I prove with the tongues, the handkerchief, and the necklace." And then he related how his animals had healed him by means of a wonderful root, and how he had travelled about with them for one year, and had at length again come there and had learnt the treachery of the marshal by the inn-keeper's story. Then the King asked his daughter, "Is it true that this man killed the dragon?" And she answered, "Yes, it is true. Now can I reveal the wicked deed of the marshal, as it has come to light without my connivance, for he wrung from me a promise to be silent. For this reason, however, did I make the condition that the marriage should not be solemnized for a year and a day." Then the King bade twelve councillors be summoned who were to pronounce judgment on the marshal, and they sentenced him to be torn to pieces by four bulls. The marshal was therefore executed, but the King gave his daughter to the huntsman, and named him his viceroy over the whole kingdom. The wedding was celebrated with great joy, and the young King caused his father and his foster-father to be brought, and loaded them with treasures. Neither did he forget the inn-keeper, but sent for him and said, "Behold, sir host, I have married the King's daughter, and your house and yard are mine." The host said, "Yes, according to justice it is so." But the young King said, "It shall be done according to mercy," and told him that he should keep his house and yard, and gave him the thousand pieces of gold as well.

And now the young King and Queen were thoroughly happy, and lived in gladness together. He often went out hunting because it was a delight to him, and the faithful animals had to accompany him. In the neighborhood, however, there was a forest of which it was reported that it was haunted, and that whosoever did but enter it did not easily get out again. The young King, however, had a great inclination to hunt in it, and let the old King have no peace until he allowed him to do so. So he rode forth with a great following, and when he came to the forest, he saw a snow-white hart and said to his people, "Wait here until I return, I want to chase that beautiful creature," and he rode into the forest after it, followed only by his animals. The attendants halted and waited until evening, but he did not return, so they rode home, and told the young Queen that the young King had followed a white hart into the enchanted forest, and had not come back again. Then she was in the greatest concern about him. He, however, had still continued to ride on and on after the beautiful wild animal, and had never been able to overtake it; when he thought he was near enough to aim, he instantly saw it bound away into the far distance, and at length it vanished altogether. And now he perceived that he had penetrated deep into the forest, and blew his horn but he received no answer, for his attendants could not hear it. And as night, too, was falling, he saw that he could not get home that day, so he dismounted from his horse, lighted himself a fire near a tree, and resolved to spend the night by it. While he was sitting by the fire, and his animals also were lying down beside him, it seemed to him that he heard a human voice. He looked round, but could perceived nothing. Soon afterwards, he again heard a groan as if from above, and then he looked up, and saw an old woman sitting in the tree, who wailed unceasingly, "Oh, oh, oh, how cold I am!" Said he, "Come down, and warm thyself if thou art cold." But she said, "No, thy animals will bite me." He answered, "They will do thee no harm, old mother, do come down." She, however, was a witch, and said, "I will throw down a wand from the tree, and if thou strikest them on the back with it, they will do me no harm." Then she threw him a small wand, and he struck them with it, and instantly they lay still and were turned into stone. And when the witch was safe from the animals, she leapt down and touched him also with a wand, and changed him to stone. Thereupon she laughed, and dragged him and the animals into a vault, where many more such stones already lay.

As, however, the young King did not come back at all, the Queen's anguish and care grew constantly greater. And it so happened that at this very time the other brother who had turned to the east when they separated, came into the kingdom. He had sought a situation, and had found none, and had then travelled about here and there, and had made his animals dance. Then it came into his mind that he would just go and look at the knife that they had thrust in the trunk of a tree at their parting, that he might learn how his brother was. When he got there his brother's side of the knife was half rusted, and half bright. Then he was alarmed and thought, "A great misfortune must have befallen my brother, but perhaps I can still save him, for half the knife is still bright." He and his animals travelled towards the west, and when he entered the gate of the town, the guard came to meet him, and asked if he was to announce him to his consort the young Queen, who had for a couple of days been in the greatest sorrow about his staying away, and was afraid he had been killed in the enchanted forest? The sentries, indeed, thought no otherwise than that he was the young King himself, for he looked so like him, and had wild animals running behind him. Then he saw that they were speaking of his brother, and thought, "It will be better if I pass myself off for him, and then I can rescue him more easily." So he allowed himself to be escorted into the castle by the guard, and was received with the greatest joy. The young Queen indeed thought that he was her husband, and asked him why he had stayed away so long. He answered, "I had lost myself in a forest, and could not find my way out again any sooner." At night he was taken to the royal bed, but he laid a two-edged sword between him and the young Queen; she did not know what that could mean, but did not venture to ask.

He remained in the palace a couple of days, and in the meantime inquired into everything which related to the enchanted forest, and at last he said, "I must hunt there once more." The King and the young Queen wanted to persuade him not to do it, but he stood out against them, and went forth with a larger following. When he had got into the forest, it fared with him as with his brother; he saw a white hart and said to his people, "Stay here, and wait until I return, I want to chase the lovely wild beast," and then he rode into the forest and his animals ran after him. But he could not overtake the hart, and got so deep into the forest that he was forced to pass the night there. And when he had lighted a fire, he heard some one wailing above him, "Oh, oh, oh, how cold I am!" Then he looked up, and the self-same witch was sitting in the tree. Said he, "If thou art cold, come down, little old mother, and warm thyself." She answered, "No, thy animals will bite me." But he said, "They will not hurt thee." Then she cried, "I will throw down a wand to thee, and if thou smitest them with it they will do me no harm." When the huntsman heard that, he had no confidence in the old woman, and said, "I will not strike my animals. Come down, or I will fetch thee." Then she cried, "What dost thou want? Thou shalt not touch me." But he replied, "If thou dost not come, I will shoot thee." Said she, "Shoot away, I do not fear thy bullets!" Then he aimed, and fired at her, but the witch was proof against all leaden bullets, and laughed, and yelled and cried, "Thou shalt not hit me." The huntsman knew what to do, tore three silver buttons off his coat, and loaded his gun with them, for against them her arts were useless, and when he fired she fell down at once with a scream. Then he set his foot on her and said, Old witch, if thou dost not instantly confess where my brother is, I will seize thee with both my hands and throw thee into the fire. She was in a great fright, begged for mercy and said, He and his animals lie in a vault, turned to stone. Then he compelled her to go thither with him, threatened her, and said, Old sea-cat, now shalt thou make my brother and all the human beings lying here, alive again, or thou shalt go into the fire! She took a wand and touched the stones, and then his brother with his animals came to life again, and many others, merchants, artizans, and shepherds, arose, thanked him for their deliverance, and went to their homes. But when the twin brothers saw each other again, they kissed each other and rejoiced with all their hearts. Then they seized the witch, bound her and laid her on the fire, and when she was burnt the forest opened of its own accord, and was light and clear, and the King's palace could be seen at about the distance of a three hours walk.
Thereupon the two brothers went home together, and on the way told each other their histories. And when the youngest said that he was ruler of the whole country in the King's stead, the other observed, "That I remarked very well, for when I came to the town, and was taken for thee, all royal honours were paid me; the young Queen looked on me as her husband, and I had to eat at her side, and sleep in thy bed." When the other heard that, he became so jealous and angry that he drew his sword, and struck off his brother's head. But when he saw him lying there dead, and saw his red blood flowing, he repented most violently: "My brother delivered me," cried he, "and I have killed him for it," and he bewailed him aloud. Then his hare came and offered to go and bring some of the root of life, and bounded away and brought it while yet there was time, and the dead man was brought to life again, and knew nothing about the wound.

After this they journeyed onwards, and the youngest said, "Thou lookest like me, hast royal apparel on as I have, and the animals follow thee as they do me; we will go in by opposite gates, and arrive at the same time from the two sides in the aged King's presence." So they separated, and at the same time came the watchmen from the one door and from the other, and announced that the young King and the animals had returned from the chase. The King said, "It is not possible, the gates lie quite a mile apart." In the meantime, however, the two brothers entered the courtyard of the palace from opposite sides, and both mounted the steps. Then the King said to the daughter, "Say which is thy husband. Each of them looks exactly like the other, I cannot tell." Then she was in great distress, and could not tell; but at last she remembered the necklace which she had given to the animals, and she sought for and found her little golden clasp on the lion, and she cried in her delight, "He who is followed by this lion is my true husband." Then the young King laughed and said, "Yes, he is the right one," and they sat down together to table, and ate and drank, and were merry. At night when the young King went to bed, his wife said, "Why hast thou for these last nights always laid a two-edged sword in our bed? I thought thou hadst a wish to kill me." Then he knew how true his brother had been.
从前有两兄弟,一穷一富。富的是个打制金器的,心黑手辣;穷的靠做扫把维持生计,为人忠厚老实,受人尊敬。他有两个儿子,是双胞胎。两人长得分不清彼此,就像两滴水珠,一模一样。他们常常到富的那家去走动,而且总能找到点吃的东西。
  有一次,穷的那位到森林里砍柴,碰巧看见一只鸟,比他见过的任何一种鸟都漂亮。他捡起一块小石子向小鸟扔过去。石子打中了小鸟,但小鸟却挣扎着飞走了,只掉下一片羽毛。他拾起那羽毛,拿去给哥哥看。哥哥说:"是纯金的呢!"就给了弟弟许多钱买下了金羽毛。第二天,穷弟弟爬到一棵白桦树上想砍两根树枝,又见前日那只鸟从树上惊飞起来。他找了一阵,发现一个鸟窝,里面有只金蛋。他把蛋又拿去给哥哥看。哥哥说:"是纯金的呢!"又给弟弟一些钱买下了金蛋。"我真想要那只金鸟呢!"哥哥最后说。穷弟弟第三次来到森林里,那只金鸟正停在树上。他捡起一块石子,一下打中了金鸟。他把金鸟拿回去给哥哥,哥哥给了他一大堆金银。"这下我可以安安稳稳地度日了。"穷弟弟一边满足地想着一边往家走去。
  当金匠的哥哥精明狡黠,他很清楚这只鸟是什么宝贝,他对老婆说:"去替我把这只鸟烤熟。当心别掉了什么。我要一个人吃。"原来这鸟非同寻常,谁要是吃了它的心和肝,他枕头下面每天就会出现一块金子。
  妇人放上调料后把鸟穿到铁叉上去烤。她有事离开了厨房,刚巧双胞胎兄弟跑了进来。他们转了转正烤着的鸟,结果鸟的心和肝掉出来了。一个孩子说:"我们把这两小块吃了吧,我饿坏了,谁也不会注意到这么一点东西的。"
  妇人走进厨房,看到两兄弟在嚼东西,于是问:"你们吃什么呢?""鸟身上掉下来的一点点小东西。"他们告诉她。"那准是心和肝。"妇人吓坏了。为了不让丈夫发现少了东西而发火,她立刻杀了只小公鸡,取出心和肝放到鸟边上。烤好之后,妇人把鸟端给丈夫,金匠一个人把鸟吃得干干净净。第二天早上,他一醒来就摸了摸枕头底下,以为会发现金子。
  可除了平时那些,根本没多出一块来。
  而两个孩子根本不知道自己交了好运,第二天起床时,有什么东西叮叮当当地滚落到地上,他们拾起来一看,竟是两个金币!他们把钱交给父亲,父亲惊异地问:"怎么会有这样的事?"接下来一连几天都是如此,所以穷弟弟把这奇怪的事情告诉了哥哥。哥哥一听就明白了怎么回事,知道准是他们吃了金鸟的心和肝,于是他满心嫉妒,只想报复。他对弟弟说:"你孩子和魔王勾搭到一起了。别要那些金子,也不要再让他们住在你家,因为魔王已经控制了他们,否则你就没命了。"这位父亲出于对魔王的畏惧,尽管于心不忍,还是把双胞胎兄弟带到森林里,怀着沉重的心情离开了他们。兄弟两人在森林里到处寻找回家的路,可怎么也找不到,反而离家更远了。最后他们遇到一个猎人,"你们是谁家的孩子?"他问。"我们是可怜的扎扫把人的孩子。"他们回答,并把他们每天如何在枕头下发现一块金子,父亲如何不要他们住在家里的事告诉了猎人。"没关系,"猎人说,"只要你们保持诚实,不游手好闲,我看这不是什么大不了的事。"好心的猎人喜欢孩子,而自己又没有孩子,于是将两兄弟带回自己家,说:"我来给你们当爸爸,把你们养大。"兄弟两人跟着猎人学会了打猎,而每天早上他们醒来时就有的金子由猎人替他们保存着将来用。
  他们渐渐长大了。有一天,养父将他们带到森林里,对他们说:"假如你们今天试猎成功,你们就不再是学徒了,我让你们做独立的猎人。"他们跟着养父藏起来等了很久,没见有猎物出现。这时,猎人看到天空中有一队三角形的野鹅飞过,就对其中一个说:"从每个角上射下一只。"他射中了,因此完成了试猎,不久,又有一队野鹅成"2"字形飞过,于是猎人叫另一个也从每个角上射下一只。第二个也成功地通过了试猎。"现在,我宣布,"养父对他们说,"你们已经结束了学徒阶段,你们是熟练的猎人了。"说完,兄弟两人便一起来到森林里,互相商量着今后该做些什么。晚上,他们坐下来准备吃饭时对养父亲说:"你得先答应我们一件事我们才肯吃饭。""什么事?""我们现在已经结束学徒了。为了向世界证明我们的价值,所以请你同意我们离开这里,出去旅行。"老猎人高兴地说:"你们说起话来已经很像勇敢的猎人了。你们的愿望就是我的希望,你们会一切顺利的。"说完三人一起高兴地吃饭喝酒。
  选定出发的日子到了,养父送给两兄弟一人一杆金猎枪和一条猎狗,而且拿出多年积攒下来的金子,让他们想带多少就带多少。他送了他们一程,分手时他送给他们一人一把闪闪发亮的刀子,说:"如果你们两要分头行动,在你们分手的地方找棵树把这把刀插进去。你们其中一人回到这里时就可以看到另一个活得怎样了。假如他死了,朝他走的方向的刀刃就会生锈,假如还活着就还会是亮的。"
  兄弟俩继续朝前走,走进了一座大森林,一天是走不出去的。于是他们在那里歇了一夜,把干粮袋里的食物拿出来吃了。可第二天他们还是没走出去,又没有吃的了,于是其中一个说:"我们得猎点什么,要不我们该挨饿了。"他拿起枪朝四周打量,看到有只老野兔朝他们跑来,就用枪瞄准了它,可老兔子叫道:
    "亲爱的猎人放过我,送你们两个小家伙。"
  它一眨眼工夫就跳进了灌木丛,拎着两只小兔子出来了。兄弟俩一看两只小兔正玩得高兴,而且那么漂亮可爱,根本不忍心杀它们了。他们收养了兔子,两只小兔就跟在他们后面跑。不久,他们看到一只狐狸,正想射杀,只听狐狸喊道:
    "亲爱的猎人放过我,送你们两个小家伙。"
  他也带来两只小狐狸。可猎人们还是不忍杀掉,于是留下给小兔子作了伴,跟在后边。不一会儿,有只狼从树丛里走出来;猎人又准备开枪,可它叫道:
    "亲爱的猎人放过我,送你们两个小家伙。"
  猎人将两只小狼也编到其他动物的行列中跟在他们后面。接着来了一只熊,它也想多活些日子,于是叫道:
    "亲爱的猎人放过我,送你们两只小家伙。"
  两只小熊又加入了他们的行列,总共有八只动物了。接着谁来了?是头抖动着鬃毛的狮子!猎人毫不畏惧地瞄准了狮子,刚要开枪,狮子说:
    "亲爱的猎人放过我,送你们两只小家伙。"
  狮子把自己的孩子带来了,这下子,猎人们有了两头雄狮、两只熊、两只狼、两只狐狸和两只兔子跟在后面,伺候他们。可他们越来越饿,于是对狐狸说:"听着:你们这两个狡猾的小家伙,给我们找点吃的来。"
  "前面不远就有个村子,我们在那里抓过不少鸡鸭,我给你们领路好了。"于是他们来到村里,给自己和野兽们都买了点食物就又上路了。狐狸对这里的路很熟悉,知道哪里有饲养场,所以可以为猎人们带路。
  又走了一段路,他们觉得必须分开走,于是说:"森林到头了,我们得分道扬镳了。"
  他们先将动物一分为二,各自带了一头狮子、一只熊、一条狼、一只狐狸和一只兔子,然后互相道别,发誓要永远像亲兄弟那样相亲相爱。最后他们将养父送给他们的那把刀插进一棵树上就一东一西,分头走了。
  弟弟带着动物们来到一座城市,那里到处挂满了黑纱。他走进一家旅馆,问店主能不能让他和动物们住下。店主给了他一间牲口棚让动物住,那墙上有个洞,兔子爬出去找了个菜头来啃;狐狸钻出去抓来一只母鸡,狼吞虎咽之后又去把公鸡抓来吃了。可是狼、熊和狮子都太大了,没法从洞里出去。店主又让人领着它们来到一片草地上,刚巧那里有头死牛,让它们吃了个饱。
  猎人安顿好动物后问店主为什么城里挂满了黑纱?主人说:"国王的独生女儿明天就要死了。""是病得要死吗?"猎人又问。"不是。"主人说,"她健康活泼,但非死不可!""怎么会呢?""城外的山上住着一条恶龙。它每年都要吃一个年轻美貌的少女,否则就让全城变成一片废墟。现在城里所有姑娘都送给它了,只剩下国王的独生女儿了。她也逃脱不了,还得被交给那孽龙,时间就定在明天。"猎人又问:"为什么不把恶龙除了呢?""唉,"主人说,"多少骑士为此丧了生啊!国王答应只要有人消灭了这条龙,他就可以娶他女儿为妻,而且在他百年后可以统治这个国家。"
  猎人没再说什么。第二天早上,他带上动物来到恶龙居住的那座山上。山顶上有座教堂,祭坛上摆着三只装满酒的酒杯,上面刻着:谁要是喝完了杯子里的酒,谁就会成为世界上最强大的人,就能挥舞埋在门槛下面的宝剑。猎人没有喝酒,而是去找埋在地下的宝剑。可他怎么也拔不了它。于是他走上祭坛,喝干了酒。这一次他不仅能举起剑,而且还能轻松自如地挥舞。
  祭献少女的时间到了。国王、礼仪官和宫廷贵族们陪伴着公主一起走来。公主远远看到了猎人站在恶龙住的山上,以为是恶龙在等她,所以不肯上山。可是后来,她想到全城可能被恶龙摧毁,只得冒死往前走。国王和廷臣们怀着沉重的心情离开了,只有礼仪官奉命留下,站在远处观察。
  当公主来到山顶时,年轻的猎人极力安慰她,说要救她出来。他把她领进教堂,让她在那里等,随后把教堂的门锁上了。不一会儿,凶恶的七头龙呼啸着来到山顶,看到猎人先是一惊,说:"你到这儿来干什么?""和你决斗。"猎人说。"已经有很多勇士们把命留在这儿了,你也会马上没命的。"说着就从他的七张嘴里往外喷火。火苗燃着了干枯的草地,猎人几乎被热气和浓烟闷死,可是他的动物们及时赶来,扑灭了大火。恶龙接着朝猎人扑去,可他手中的宝剑在空中"呼呼"直响,龙的七个头被砍掉了三个。恶龙震怒了,它升到半空中,朝猎人喷出了火焰,然后朝他俯冲。猎人再次拔剑奋战,又砍下三个龙头。恶龙已经不堪一击了,一下从半空中跌落下来。不过它还想攻击猎人,最后被猎人用最后的力气砍断了尾巴。猎人召来他的动物,让它们将恶龙撕成了碎片。
  战斗结束了,猎人打开教堂,发现公主由于害怕和担心晕倒在地。他抱起公主走出教堂,姑娘苏醒了,睁开了眼睛。猎人把恶龙的碎片指给她看,告诉她她自由了。公主兴奋地说:"那你现在就是我最亲爱的丈夫了,因为父王早已将我许配给杀死恶龙的人了。"说着就解下珊瑚项链分给动物们作为奖赏,狮子分到的是项链的金扣。接着,公主将绣有自己名字的手帕交给猎人,他把七头龙的舌头割了下来,用手帕小心翼翼地包了起来。
  做完这些,被火烤、又打了一大仗的猎人感到疲倦不堪,他对公主说:"我们都累了,不如睡一小会儿。"姑娘说"好"。于是猎人吩咐狮子放哨,不要让人打扰,说完就睡了。狮子也被这场打斗搞得精疲力尽,他对熊说:"躺到我身边来,我得睡一会儿。万一有人来就叫醒我。"熊在狮子身边趴下了,可它也觉得困乏,就对狼说:"躺到我身边来,我得睡一会儿。万一有人来就叫醒我。"狼在熊身边趴下了,可它也觉得困乏,就对狐狸说:"躺到我身边来,我得睡一会儿。万一有人来就叫醒我。"狐狸在狼身边趴下了,可它也觉得困乏,就对兔子说:"躺到我身边来,我得睡一会儿。万一有人来就叫醒我。"兔子趴在狐狸身边,没人可托付放哨一事,可它也困盹不已地睡着了。公主、猎人到兔子全都沉沉地睡着了。
  再说那个被留下观察的礼仪官,因没有看到恶龙带着姑娘飞走,而且山上变得十分平静,就鼓起勇气来到山上。他看到被砍成碎片的恶龙和熟睡的公主、猎人及其动物们,邪恶的家伙顿起歹念。他操起利剑,一下砍掉了猎人的脑袋,然后拽着公主就下山了。公主被吓醒了,礼仪官对她说:"你现在可在我的手里!你必须说是我杀死了恶龙。""我不能那样说,"公主回答,"是猎人和他的动物们战胜了恶龙。"然而在他的威逼恐吓下,公主只好答应了。他们来到国王面前,看到自己的孩子又活生生地回到身边,没被恶龙咬死,国王简直不知该如何表达心中的喜悦。礼仪官对国王说:"我杀死了恶龙,拯救了公主和整个国家。现在请按承诺将您女儿许配给我。"国王问女儿:"他说的是真的?""是啊。"公主回答,"准是真的。不过我想在一年零一天以后再举行婚礼。"因为她希望那时能够得到亲爱的猎人的有关消息。
  与此同时,那些动物们仍在已遇害的主人身边酣睡。一只大野蜂飞到兔子的鼻子上,可兔子用爪子把它赶走了,继续睡觉。黄蜂第二次飞来,可兔子还是把它赶走了接着睡。第三次,黄蜂蛰了它一下,把它疼醒了。兔子一醒来就叫醒了狐狸,狐狸叫醒狼,狼叫醒熊,熊叫醒狮子。狮子醒来一看不见了姑娘,主人也死了,发出一阵咆哮:"谁干的?狗熊,你为什么不喊醒我?!"熊问狼:"你为什么不喊醒我?!"狼又追问狐狸:"你为什么不喊醒我?!"狐狸质问兔子:"你为什么不喊醒我?!"可怜的兔子不知如何是好,于是所有怨恨都冲它而来了。它们正要扑向兔子,兔子求饶说:"别杀我,我可以让主人复活。我知道有座山上有一种草根,只要放到人嘴上就能医好他的病或伤。不过得跑两百个小时才能到那座山。"可狮子说:"给你二十四小时,你必须带着那种根回到这里。"于是兔子跑了,在规定时间内带着草根回来了。狮子把猎人的头拼好,兔子将草根放进猎人嘴里。猎人的肢体立刻合好了,他有了呼吸,又活过来了。他睁开眼睛,发现姑娘不见了,于是想:她准是不想和我在一起,趁我睡着的时候悄悄走了。狮子在匆忙中把猎人的头安反了,可猎人一心想着公主,根本没注意。到了中午,他想吃点东西,发现脑袋怎么被转了向,于是问动物们他睡着时出了什么事。狮子将它们如何因为太累睡着了、醒来后发现主人的头被砍下来,死了;兔子如何跑去找到了起死回生草根;它又如何在匆忙中装反了主人的脑袋等经过统统告诉了猎人,并表示愿意改过。接着他取下猎人的脑袋,转了个方向,然后用兔子的草根使他恢复了原样。
  猎人内心十分难过,他带着动物们到处流浪,让它们向路人表演节目。离他战胜恶龙正好一周年那天,他刚巧又来到了他曾救国王之女的那座城市。这一次全城到处挂满了喜庆的红布。他问店主:"这是什么意思?去年这里挂满了黑布,今天挂红布是啥意思?"主人回答说:"去年的今天,国王的女儿被迫祭献给恶龙,礼仪官和它搏斗,终于杀死了恶龙。所以明天他和公主要举行婚礼,这就是全城挂黑以示哀悼、挂红以示喜庆的原因。"
  第二天,结婚仪式就要举行了。猎人在中午时对店主说:"你信不信:今天我和你在这里可以吃到国王餐桌上的面包?"主人说不信,"我用一百个金币和你打赌,这事完全不可能。"猎人接受了赌注,也将同样数量的一袋金币放在旁边,然后对兔子说:"我亲爱的长跑专家,去拿点国王吃的面包给我。"兔子在动物中最矮小,因此没法发号司令,只好自己跑去。"唉呀,我要是这样一个人走,那屠夫家的狗非追着我咬不可。"正如所料,那些狗对它穷追不舍,想逮住它吃了。但是兔子敏捷地蹦啊跳啊,那样子你从来没见过。它藏到卫兵的岗亭里,卫兵一点都没有发现,那些狗跑过来汪汪叫着,卫兵一点都不明白,因此用枪托又是打又是赶,直到它们嚎叫着逃走为止。
  兔子一看路上没人了,立刻朝王宫跑,径直奔向公主,藏到她椅子下面,用爪子挠了挠公主的脚。公主以为是她的狗,说:"请你走开好吗?"兔子又挠了挠她的脚,公主还是以为是她的狗,又说:"请你走开好吗?"兔子可不想就这么被撵走,于是第三次抓了她。公主朝椅子下一看,认出了兔子的项圈,她将兔子抱到她房间,问:"亲爱的兔子,你想要什么?"兔子说:"我的主人,也就是杀死恶龙的猎人正在城里,他要我来拿一只国王吃的面包回去。"公主十分欣喜,她召来面包师,要他拿一只国王吃的那种面包来。"面包师还得帮我把面包送去才行,免得那些狗追上我。"兔子说。于是面包师把兔子和面包一直送到旅店门口,兔子站起来,用前爪托起面包交给了它的主人。猎人对店主说:"那么,这一百个金币就是我的了。"店主十分惊讶,猎人又接着说:"我现在有了面包,同样还可以拿到国王吃的烤肉呢。"
  主人说:"我倒想见识见识。"但不肯下注了。猎人对狐狸说:"小狐狸,去拿些国王吃的烤肉来给我。"红狐狸熟悉这里的小路,它又是钻洞又是翻墙,很快来到公主椅子下面,挠了挠她的脚。公主低头一看,认出它脖子上的项圈,因此把它带到她房间问:"亲爱的狐狸,想要什么?""我主人,也就是杀死恶龙的猎人在这城里,他要我来拿一些国王吃的那种烤肉回去。"公主叫来厨师,命他烤一只国王吃的那种蹄膀,并替狐狸送到旅馆门口。狐狸接过肉,用尾巴赶走苍蝇,把它端给了主人。"你看,我们现在已经有了面包和肉,还得配点国王吃的那种蔬菜才行。"他召来狼,对它说:"亲爱的狼,去替我拿些国王吃的那种蔬菜来。"狼无所畏惧地径直来到公主的身边,从背后将她的裙子往下拉,使得公主不得不掉转头去看怎么回事。她认出了狼脖子上的项圈,于是将它带进自己房间,问:"亲爱的狼,你想要什么?"狼回答:"我主人,也就是杀死恶龙的猎人在这城里,他要我来拿一些国王吃的那种蔬菜回去。"公主叫来厨师,要他备一盘国王吃的那种蔬菜,并替狼送到旅馆门口。狼接过蔬菜,端到主人面前,主人说"你看,我们现在已经有了面包、肉和蔬菜,不过还得来点国王吃的那种点心才好。"他召来熊,对它说:"亲爱的熊,你最爱吃甜的东西了。去替我拿些国王吃的甜点来。"熊一路小跑来到王宫,见到的人纷纷给它让路,可是王宫的卫兵端起枪不让它进去。熊站了起来,用前爪照着卫兵的脸左右开弓,然后径直走到公主身后,轻轻呼唤了一声。公主朝身后一看,认出了熊,把它带到自己房间,问:"亲爱的熊,你要点什么?"熊回答说:"我主人,也就是杀死恶龙的猎人在这城里,他要我来拿一些国王吃的甜食回去。"公主召来点心师傅,要他烤一份国王吃的那种甜点,并替熊送到旅馆门口。熊接过甜点,把滚下来的蜜饯舔着吃了,然后站直,将点心端给主人。主人说:"你看,我们现在已经有了面包、肉、蔬菜和甜食,不过我还想喝点国王喝的那种酒。"他把狮子叫来对它说:"亲爱的狮子,你也很爱喝酒的。去替我拿些国王喝的那种酒来。"狮子威风凛凛地大步走着,看到的人都逃得远远的。它来到王宫门口,卫兵想拦住它,可它一声怒吼,把他们全吓跑了。狮子来到王宫,用尾巴敲了敲门,公主走来开门,被狮子吓了一跳。但她认出了它脖子上挂着的她的金项链扣,于是将它带到自己房间问:"亲爱的狮子,你要点什么?"它回答说:"我主人,也就是杀死恶龙的猎人在这城里,他要我来拿一些国王喝的那种酒回去。"公主召来宫里专门为人斟酒的侍从,要他把国王喝的那种酒拿来给狮子。可狮子说:"我跟着他去吧,免得拿错了。"于是跟着酒侍来到地窖。起先,酒侍拿了些佣人们喝的普通酒给它,它说:"慢着,我得先尝尝这酒。"说着倒出半杯,一口喝了下去,"这酒不对劲。"它说。酒侍白了他一眼,走到另一桶酒旁边,准备用礼仪官喝的酒应付狮子。狮子又说:"且慢,我得先尝一尝。"说着又倒出半杯喝了,"这酒好一点了,但还不是国王喝的那种。"它说。酒侍生气地说:"像你这么蠢的动物懂什么品酒?"狮子就一掌把酒侍打翻在地,等他再爬起来时,便一声不敢吭,乖乖地领着狮子来到一个小酒窖,那里存放的是国王喝的酒,从没有别人喝过。狮子还是先倒出一杯,一口吞下去,说:"这才是真的。"就让酒侍灌了六瓶。等出了地窖,狮子已经醉得东倒西歪了,所以酒侍不得不替它拎着篮子来到旅馆门口,狮子接过篮子,咬住提手,将酒交给了主人。猎人说:"您看,我现在不仅有了面包、肉、蔬菜、甜食,还有酒,我该和动物们一同进餐了。"于是他将食物和酒分给了动物们,大家吃得十分开心,而且由此可见,公主仍然爱着猎人。吃完晚饭,猎人说:"我已经像国王一样吃了喝了,现在我要去王宫和国王的女儿结婚。"店主不相信地说:"这怎么可能?她已经定婚了,而且今天就举行婚礼。"猎人掏出公主在龙山上给他的手帕,里面包着龙的七个舌头,说:"我手里的东西会帮助我的。"店主看着手帕说:"你说别的我都信,唯独这件事我不相信。我用我的房子和院子跟你打赌,你办不成这事。"猎人也就掏出一千个金币放在桌上,说:"我拿这些和你赌。"
  再说国王看到那些野兽们来来往往,就问女儿:"那些在宫里进进出出的野兽来找你要什么?"公主回答说:"不用我说什么,让人把它们的主人带来就全明白了。"国王于是派了个仆人到旅店请陌生人,刚好赶上猎人把赌注放到店主桌上,说:"你瞧,店主先生,国王派仆人来请我了,不过我不能就这样去。"他转身对仆人说:"请转告国王陛下,派人送宫廷礼服和仆人来服侍我,再派一辆六马马车来接我进宫。"国王一听这要求,问女儿说:"我该怎么做?"公主回答说:"照他说的派人去接他来就是了。"于是国王派人送去了宫廷礼服、一辆马车和侍候他的仆人。猎人一看就对店主说:"你看,我就要按我的的要求被接走了。"说着便换上朝服,带着那块丝巾包裹的七个龙舌,坐上马车见国王去了。国王见到他先问女儿:"我该以什么礼节接待他才合适?"公主说:"过去迎接他好了。"国王走过去将猎人领了进来,那些动物们紧随在后面。国王在自己身边和公主附近给猎人安了个座位,新郎礼仪官坐在他对面,不过他根本没认出猎人。
  这时,七个龙头被搬出来展示,国王说:"这七个头是礼仪官从恶龙身上砍下来的,今天我就要把女儿许配给他为妻。"猎人站起来,掰开龙嘴问:"龙的舌头呢?"礼仪官一听慌了,不知怎么回答,情急之下随口说:"龙没有舌头。"猎人说:"撒谎的人当然没舌头,龙舌头是胜利者的佐证。"说着打开手帕,里面确实有七个舌头。他将每个舌头一一放进龙嘴,正好合上。接着,他抖开绣着公主名字的手帕给她看,问她把手帕给了什么人。公主回答说:"我送给了杀死恶龙的人。"猎人又召来动物们,问公主它们是谁的。公主回答说:"项链和金链扣是我的,但我把项链分送给曾帮助征服恶龙的那些动物了。"猎人宣布说:"当我打败恶龙,疲惫不堪地睡着了时,礼仪官上来砍了我的头,带走了公主,并宣称龙是他杀死的。我用龙舌、公主的手帕和项链证明他在撒谎。"
  他向大家讲述了他的动物们如何用起死回生草使他复活、他又如何带着动物到处流浪、如何又回到这里,从旅店店主那里听说了礼仪官的骗局的经过。国王听完后问女儿:"龙真的是那个人杀死的?"公主回答说:"是真的。礼仪官曾经逼迫我保持缄默,既然现在已经不用保持沉默了,我应该揭发他的卑劣行径。也正是因为他逼我沉默我才要求婚礼推迟到一年零一天以后。"国王听后召来十二位大臣对礼仪官进行审判。他们对他处以四牛分尸的极刑,立即执行,然后国王便将女儿许给猎人做妻子,并宣布猎人全权代表他统治整个国家。婚礼在欢乐的气氛中举行了,年轻的国王将父亲和养父都接了过来,赐给了大量金银财宝。他也没忘记旅店老板,召了他来说:"你看,店主先生,我和公主结婚了,你的房子和院子都归我了。"店主说:"是啊,按规矩是归你了。"可年轻的国王说:"事情得按情理来办,而不是规矩。"接着他告诉店主说房子和院子仍旧是他自己的,而且那一千个金币也送给他。
  年轻的国王和王后非常快乐地生活在一起。他酷爱打猎,因此常出去,那些忠实的动物们总是跟着他。他听说附近有片森林有妖魔作怪,走进去的人没见出来过,便很想去那里打猎,吵得老国王不得安宁,只好答应让他去。于是他带着大队人马来到这片森林边。他看到一只雪白的鹿,对随从们说:"你们在这儿等我回来,我要把那只美丽的动物猎回去。"说完就追那只鹿去了,他的动物们跟着他。随从们在森林边上等到傍晚仍不见年轻国王回来,便转回去报告王后说国王追一只白鹿进了那座被施了魔法的森林没回来,王后听了万分焦虑。
  再说年轻的国王跟在那头白鹿后面追呀追的,可就是追不上。每次眼看可以瞄准了,那鹿立刻就转向森林深处,一下不见了。这时他才发现自己已身处密林深处,于是吹响了号角,可是没有回音,因为仆人们听不到。他一看天色已晚了,估计当晚回不去,就下了马,在一棵树旁生起一堆篝火,打算在森林里过一夜。等他和动物们在火边坐下时,他似乎听到有人说话的声音。他四下打量,什么也没看见。可过了一会儿,他又听到有人在呻吟,好像是从上面传来的。于是他抬起头,便看到一个老太婆坐在树上,一个劲地哼哼说:"哎唷,我好冷啊。"他对老太婆说:"那你就下来烤烤火吧。""你那些动物会咬我的。""它们不会伤害你的,老婆婆,下来吧。"其实这是个巫婆,她对年轻的国王说:"我把这根棍子扔给你,你用它碰一碰它们的背,它们就不会咬我了。"说着扔下一根小棍子,国王用它碰了碰他的动物,结果它们马上不动了,而且变成了石头。巫婆一看动物攻击不了她了,立刻从树上跳下来,用一根小棍子点了年轻的国王一下,把他也变成了石头。女巫哈哈大笑,拖着他和动物进了地窖,那里还有很多这种石头。
  年轻国王一直没回来,王后越来越着急。刚巧双胞胎中那个朝东走的猎人这时带着他的动物来到这个国家。他到处流浪,靠让动物们表演为生,始终没找到一个合适的地方。有一天他突然想看看他和兄弟分手时插在树上的那把刀,看看兄弟怎么样了。他到了那里时,发现朝兄弟那面的刀刃已一半生锈,一半还亮着。他担心地想:"也许我兄弟遇到了很大的不幸。但既然刀刃还有一半没锈,可能我还能救他。"于是他带着动物们朝西走去。当他走近城门时,卫兵赶忙出来迎接,并且问是不是要通报他年轻的王后,因为连日来王后一直因他外出未归而悲痛欲绝,以为他在魔鬼森林被害了。卫兵真的以为他就是年轻的国王本人,因为他们长得一模一样,而且又有同样的动物跟在后面。猎人一下就明白了自己被当成他兄弟了,想:"我还是先冒充他几天吧,这样救他或许会方便一点。"因此他让人陪伴他来到王宫,受到了最热烈的欢迎。年轻的王后也把他当成了自己的丈夫,问他为什么在外面呆了这么久。"我在森林里迷了路,没法很快走出来。"他回答。晚上,他被领进国王的卧室,可他在床中间摆了一把双刃剑。王后不明白什么意思,可也没敢问。
  他在王宫里住了几天,打听有关魔鬼森林的事情。最后他说:"我还得去打一次猎。"老国王和年轻的王后劝他不要去,可他坚持非去不可,便带着大队人马出发了。到了那里,一切和他兄弟碰到的一样:他看见一头白色的鹿,就对随从说:"在这儿等我回来,我要独自去追那头可爱的动物。"说着就走了,只有动物们跟在后边。可他怎么也追不上那头鹿,结果在森林里跑了很远,不得不在那里过夜。等他燃起了篝火,他也听到上面有人呻吟:"哎呀,我好冷啊!"他抬头一看,还是那个巫婆坐在树上。"你要是冷就下来烤火吧,老婆婆。"他说。"不行,你的动物会咬我。""它们不会伤害你的。"可女巫又说:"我这里有根小棍子,只要你用它碰一碰那些动物,它们就不会咬我了。"猎人不相信她的话,说:"我才不会用棍子碰它们呢,你要不下来我就要抓你了。"女巫叫道:"你想干什么?你能把我怎么样!"猎人说:"你不下来我就射杀你。"她却说:"你射呀!我才不怕子弹呢!"猎人瞄准她开了一枪,但女巫不怕铅弹,尖声笑道:"你根本射不着我。"猎人从衣服上扯下三颗银纽扣装进枪膛,瞄准巫婆开了一枪。女巫尖叫一声掉下树来,因为她的巫术碰到银子弹就完全失效了。猎人一脚踏住她说:"老巫婆,你要不老老实实把我兄弟的下落告诉我,我就把你拎起来扔进火堆里!"巫婆吓得连连求饶,说:"他和动物都变成了石头,在一个地窖里。"猎人押着她来到地窖,威胁说:"老妖精,你要是不把我兄弟和这里所有的人变成活人,我就要把你扔进火里烧死!"女巫赶忙拿出一根小棍子点了一下猎人的兄弟和动物,他们一下子就活了,其他商人、手艺人和牧羊人等也纷纷站了起来,感谢了他的搭救后便各自回家了。兄弟两人又是亲吻又是拥抱,为重逢感到由衷的高兴。接着他们把巫婆架到火上烧,火一烧,森林上空便渐渐清澈晴朗起来,可以看到王宫就在前方,约需步行三小时。
  两兄弟立即动身回宫,一路上讲述了各自的经历。弟弟告诉哥哥说他是这个国家的国王,哥哥说:"从我来的那天我就知道了。我进城时,他们把我当成了你,一切都是按照王宫的礼仪来进行的。王后也把我当成她丈夫,吃饭时我不得不坐在她身边,晚上也不得不睡在你床上。"弟弟一听十分嫉妒,也很生气,猛然抽出剑,一把砍下了哥哥的脑袋。但是他一看哥哥血流满地死去了又十分后悔地哭喊道:"我哥哥救了我,可我却恩将仇报地杀了他!"兔子一看他哭得那么伤心,就答应帮他去找起死回生草根来。它以最快的速度赶了回来,救活了哥哥,而哥哥丝毫不知道所发生的事。
  此后,两人继续赶路。弟弟说:"你长得像我,也像我一样有王者之相,又有和我一样的动物跟着,我们分两头进城吧,同时站到老国王面前。"两个城门上的岗哨都来报告说年轻的国王打猎回来了。老国王说:"怎么可能呢?两座城门相距很远呢!"此时,两兄弟从两个方向同时来到王宫。国王对女儿说:"他们两人长得一模一样,我没法分清楚,你说谁是你丈夫吧。"王后也因分不出谁是而很难过。最后她终于想起自己分给动物们的项链,赶忙在它们身上搜寻,发现了狮子脖子上的金链扣,于是指着他丈夫大声说:"这头狮子所跟的是我丈夫。"年轻的国王哈哈笑着说:"这就对了!"他们一起吃饭、喝酒,十分快乐。到了晚上,年轻的国王回房睡觉,妻子问他:"这些天你为什么总是把双刃剑放在床上我们两人之间呀?我以为你想杀我呢。"这下国王才明白他兄弟是多么真诚。




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