The Little Robber Girl
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES
Animal Sketches And Stories
Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon
BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS
CHINESE MOTHER-GOOSE RHYMES
FABLES FOR CHILDREN
FABLES FROM INDIA
FATHER PLAYS AND MOTHER PLAYS
FIRST STORIES FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK
For Classes Ii. And Iii.
For Classes Iv. And V.
For Kindergarten And Class I.
FUN FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK
Good Little Henry
JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES]
Jean De La Fontaine
King Alexander's Adventures
KINGS AND WARRIORS
LAND AND WATER FAIRIES
Lessons From Nature
LITTLE STORIES that GROW BIG
MODERN FAIRY TALES
MOTHER GOOSE CONTINUED
MOTHER GOOSE JINGLES
MOTHER GOOSE SONGS AND STORIES
Myths And Legends
NEGLECT THE FIRE
ON POPULAR EDUCATION
PLACES AND FAMILIES
Poems Of Nature
RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)
RHYMES CONCERNING "MOTHER"
RIDING SONGS for FATHER'S KNEE
ROMANCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES
SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY
Selections From The Bible
SLEEPY-TIME SONGS AND STORIES
Some Children's Poets
Songs Of Life
STORIES BY FAVORITE AMERICAN WRITERS
STORIES FOR CHILDREN
STORIES for LITTLE BOYS
STORIES FROM BOTANY
STORIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN
STORIES FROM IRELAND
STORIES FROM PHYSICS
STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA
STORIES FROM ZOOLOGY
STORIES _for_ LITTLE GIRLS
THE DAYS OF THE WEEK
The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers
The Little Grey Mouse
THE OLD FAIRY TALES
The Princess Rosette
THE THREE HERMITS
THE TWO OLD MEN
UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES
VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES
WHAT MEN LIVE BY
WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO
from The Yellow Fairy Book
From the Icelandic.
Once upon a time there was a King and his Queen in their kingdom.
They had one daughter, who was called Ingiborg, and one son,
whose name was Ring. He was less fond of adventures than men of
rank usually were in those days, and was not famous for strength
or feats of arms. When he was twelve years old, one fine winter
day he rode into the forest along with his men to enjoy himself.
They went on a long way, until they caught sight of a hind with a
gold ring on its horns. The Prince was eager to catch it, if
possible, so they gave chase and rode on without stopping until
all the horses began to founder beneath them. At last the
Prince's horse gave way too, and then there came over them a
darkness so black that they could no longer see the hind. By
this time they were far away from any house, and thought it was
high time to be making their way home again, but they found they
had got lost now. At first they all kept together, but soon each
began to think that he knew the right way best; so they
separated, and all went in different directions.
The Prince, too, had got lost like the rest, and wandered on for
a time until he came to a little clearing in the forest not far
from the sea, where he saw a woman sitting on a chair and a big
barrel standing beside her. The Prince went up to her and
saluted her politely, and she received him very graciously. He
looked down into the barrel then, and saw lying at the bottom an
unusually beautiful gold ring, which pleased him so much that he
could not take his eyes off it. The woman saw this, and said
that he might have it if he would take the trouble to get it; for
which the Prince thanked her, and said it was at least worth
trying. So he leaned over into the barrel, which did not seem
very deep, and thought he would easily reach the ring; but the
more he stretched down after it the deeper grew the barrel. As
he was thus bending down into it the woman suddenly rose up and
pushed him in head first, saying that now he could take up his
quarters there. Then she fixed the top on the barrel and threw
it out into the sea.
The Prince thought himself in a bad plight now, as he felt the
barrel floating out from the land and tossing about on the waves.
How many days he spent thus he could not tell, but at last he
felt that the barrel was knocking against rocks, at which he was
a little cheered, thinking it was probably land and not merely a
reef in the sea. Being something of a swimmer, he at last made
up his mind to kick the bottom out of the barrel, and having done
so he was able to get on shore, for the rocks by the sea were
smooth and level; but overhead there were high cliffs. It seemed
difficult to get up these, but he went along the foot of them for
a little, till at last he tried to climb up, which at last he
Having got to the top, he looked round about him and saw that he
was on an island, which was covered with forest, with apples
growing, and altogether pleasant as far as the land was
concerned. After he had been there several days, he one day
heard a great noise in the forest, which made him terribly
afraid, so that he ran to hide himself among the trees. Then he
saw a Giant approaching, dragging a sledge loaded with wood, and
making straight for him, so that he could see nothing for it but
to lie down just where he was. When the Giant came across him,
he stood still and looked at the Prince for a little; then he
took him up in his arms and carried him home to his house, and
was exceedingly kind to him. He gave him to his wife, saying he
had found this child in the wood, and she could have it to help
her in the house. The old woman was greatly pleased, and began
to fondle the Prince with the utmost delight. He stayed there
with them, and was very willing and obedient to them in
everything, while they grew kinder to him every day.
One day the Giant took him round and showed him all his rooms
except the parlour; this made the Prince curious to have a look
into it, thinking there must be some very rare treasure there.
So one day, when the Giant had gone into the forest, he tried to
get into the parlour, and managed to get the door open half-way.
Then he saw that some living creature moved inside and ran along
the floor towards him and said something, which made him so
frightened that he sprang back from the door and shut it again.
As soon as the fright began to pass off he tried it again, for he
thought it would be interesting to hear what it said; but things
went just as before with him. He then got angry with himself,
and, summoning up all his courage, tried it a third time, and
opened the door of the room and stood firm. Then he saw that it
was a big Dog, which spoke to him and said:
'Choose me, Prince Ring.'
The Prince went away rather afraid, thinking with himself that it
was no great treasure after all; but all the same what it had
said to him stuck in his mind.
It is not said how long the Prince stayed with the Giant, but one
day the latter came to him and said he would now take him over to
the mainland out of the island, for he himself had no long time
to live. He also thanked him for his good service, and told him
to choose some-one of his possessions, for he would get whatever
he wanted. Ring thanked him heartily, and said there was no need
to pay him for his services, they were so little worth; but if he
did wish to give him anything he would choose what was in the
parlour. The Giant was taken by surprise, and said:
'There, you chose my old woman's right hand; but I must not break
Upon this he went to get the Dog, which came running with signs
of great delight; but the Prince was so much afraid of it that it
was all he could do to keep from showing his alarm.
After this the Giant accompanied him down to the sea, where he
saw a stone boat which was just big enough to hold the two of
them and the Dog. On reaching the mainland the Giant took a
friendly farewell of Ring, and told him he might take possession
of all that was in the island after he and his wife died, which
would happen within two weeks from that time. The Prince thanked
him for this and for all his other kindnesses, and the Giant
returned home, while Ring went up some distance from the sea; but
he did not know what land he had come to, and was afraid to speak
to the Dog. After he had walked on in silence for a time the Dog
spoke to him and said:
'You don't seem to have much curiosity, seeing you never ask my
The Prince then forced himself to ask, 'What is your name?'
'You had best call me Snati-Snati,' said the Dog. 'Now we are
coming to a King's seat, and you must ask the King to keep us all
winter, and to give you a little room for both of us.'
The Prince now began to be less afraid of the Dog. They came to
the King and asked him to keep them all the winter, to which he
agreed. When the King's men saw the Dog they began to laugh at
it, and make as if they would tease it; but when the Prince saw
this he advised them not to do it, or they might have the worst
of it. They replied that they didn't care a bit what he thought.
After Ring had been with the King for some days the latter began
to think there was a great deal in him, and esteemed him more
than the others. The King, however, had a counsellor called Red,
who became very jealous when he saw how much the King esteemed
Ring; and one day he talked to him, and said he could not
understand why he had so good an opinion of this stranger, who
had not yet shown himself superior to other men in anything. The
King replied that it was only a short time since he had come
there. Red then asked him to send them both to cut down wood
next morning, and see which of them could do most work.
Snati-Snati heard this and told it to Ring, advising him to ask
the King for two axes, so that he might have one in reserve if
the first one got broken. Next morning the King asked Ring and
Red to go and cut down trees for him, and both agreed. Ring got
the two axes, and each went his own way; but when the Prince had
got out into the wood Snati took one of the axes and began to hew
along with him. In the evening the King came to look over their
day's work, as Red had proposed, and found that Ring's wood-heap
was more than twice as big.
'I suspected,' said the King, 'that Ring was not quite useless;
never have I seen such a day's work.'
Ring was now in far greater esteem with the King than before, and
Red was all the more discontented. One day he came to the King
and said, 'If Ring is such a mighty man, I think you might ask
him to kill the wild oxen in the wood here, and flay them the
same day, and bring you the horns and the hides in the evening.'
'Don't you think that a desperate errand?' said the King, 'seeing
they are so dangerous, and no one has ever yet ventured to go
Red answered that he had only one life to lose, and it would be
interesting to see how brave he was; besides, the King would have
good reason to ennoble him if he overcame them. The King at last
allowed himself, though rather unwillingly, to be won over by
Red's persistency, and one day asked Ring to go and kill the oxen
that were in the wood for him, and bring their horns and hides to
him in the evening. Not knowing how dangerous the oxen were,
Ring was quite ready, and went off at once, to the great delight
of Red, who was now sure of his death.
As soon as Ring came in sight of the oxen they came bellowing to
meet him; one of them was tremendously big, the other rather
less. Ring grew terribly afraid.
'How do you like them?' asked Snati.
'Not well at all,' said the Prince.
'We can do nothing else,' said Snati, 'than attack them, if it is
to go well; you will go against the little one, and I shall take
With this Snati leapt at the big one, and was not long in
bringing him down. Meanwhile the Prince went against the other
with fear and trembling, and by the time Snati came to help him
the ox had nearly got him under, but Snati was not slow in
helping his master to kill it.
Each of them then began to flay their own ox, but Ring was only
half through by the time Snati had finished his. In the evening,
after they had finished this task, the Prince thought himself
unfit to carry all the horns and both the hides, so Snati told
him to lay them all on his back until they got to the Palace
The Prince agreed, and laid everything on the Dog except the skin
of the smaller ox, which he staggered along with himself. At the
Palace gate he left everything lying, went before the King, and
asked him to come that length with him, and there handed over to
him the hides and horns of the oxen. The King was greatly
surprised at his valour, and said he knew no one like him, and
thanked him heartily for what he had done.
After this the King set Ring next to himself, and all esteemed
him highly, and held him to be a great hero; nor could Red any
longer say anything against him, though he grew still more
determined to destroy him. One day a good idea came into his
head. He came to the King and said he had something to say to
'What is that?' said the King.
Red said that he had just remembered the gold cloak, gold
chess-board, and bright gold piece that the King had lost about a
'Don't remind me of them!' said the King.
Red, however, went on to say that, since Ring was such a mighty
man that he could do everything, it had occurred to him to advise
the King to ask him to search for these treasures, and come back
with them before Christmas; in return the King should promise him
The King replied that he thought it altogether unbecoming to
propose such a thing to Ring, seeing that he could not tell him
where the things were; but Red pretended not to hear the King's
excuses, and went on talking about it until the King gave in to
him. One day, a month or so before Christmas, the King spoke to
Ring, saying that he wished to ask a great favour of him.
'What is that?' said Ring.
'It is this,' said the King: 'that you find for me my gold cloak,
my gold chess-board, and my bright gold piece, that were stolen
from me about a year ago. If you can bring them to me before
Christmas I will give you my daughter in marriage.'
'Where am I to look for them, then?' said Ring.
'That you must find out for yourself,' said the King: 'I don't
Ring now left the King, and was very silent, for he saw he was in
a great difficulty: but, on the other hand, he thought it was
excellent to have such a chance of winning the King's daughter.
Snati noticed that his master was at a loss, and said to him that
he should not disregard what the King had asked him to do; but he
would have to act upon his advice, otherwise he would get into
great difficulties. The Prince assented to this, and began to
prepare for the journey.
After he had taken leave of the King, and was setting out on the
search, Snati said to him, 'Now you must first of all go about
the neighbourhood, and gather as much salt as ever you can.' The
Prince did so, and gathered so much salt that he could hardly
carry it; but Snati said, 'Throw it on my back,' which he
accordingly did, and the Dog then ran on before the Prince, until
they came to the foot of a steep cliff.
'We must go up here,' said Snati.
'I don't think that will be child's play,' said the Prince.
'Hold fast by my tail,' said Snati; and in this way he pulled
Ring up on the lowest shelf of the rock. The Prince began to get
giddy, but up went Snati on to the second shelf. Ring was nearly
swooning by this time, but Snati made a third effort and reached
the top of the cliff, where the Prince fell down in a faint.
After a little, however, he recovered again, and they went a
short distance along a level plain, until they came to a cave.
This was on Christmas Eve. They went up above the cave, and
found a window in it, through which they looked, and saw four
trolls lying asleep beside the fire, over which a large
porridge-pot was hanging.
'Now you must empty all the salt into the porridge-pot,' said
Ring did so, and soon the trolls wakened up. The old hag, who
was the most frightful of them all, went first to taste the
'How comes this?' she said; 'the porridge is salt! I got the
milk by witchcraft yesterday out of four kingdoms, and now it is
All the others then came to taste the porridge, and thought it
nice, but after they had finished it the old hag grew so thirsty
that she could stand it no longer, and asked her daughter to go
out and bring her some water from the river that ran near by.
'I won't go,' said she, 'unless you lend me your bright gold
'Though I should die you shan't have that,' said the hag.
'Die, then,' said the girl.
'Well, then, take it, you brat,' said the old hag, 'and be off
with you, and make haste with the water.'
The girl took the gold and ran out with it, and it was so bright
that it shone all over the plain. As soon as she came to the
river she lay down to take a drink of the water, but meanwhile
the two of them had got down off the roof and thrust her, head
first, into the river.
The old hag began now to long for the water, and said that the
girl would be running about with the gold piece all over the
plain, so she asked her son to go and get her a drop of water.
'I won't go,' said he, 'unless I get the gold cloak.'
'Though I should die you shan't have that,' said the hag.
'Die, then,' said the son.
'Well, then, take it,' said the old hag, 'and be off with you,
but you must make haste with the water.'
He put on the cloak, and when he came outside it shone so bright
that he could see to go with it. On reaching the river he went
to take a drink like his sister, but at that moment Ring and
Snati sprang upon him, took the cloak from him, and threw him
into the river.
The old hag could stand the thirst no longer, and asked her
husband to go for a drink for her; the brats, she said, were of
course running about and playing themselves, just as she had
expected they would, little wretches that they were.
'I won't go,' said the old troll, 'unless you lend me the gold
'Though I should die you shan't have that,' said the hag.
'I think you may just as well do that,' said he, 'since you won't
grant me such a little favour.'
'Take it, then, you utter disgrace!' said the old hag, 'since you
are just like these two brats.'
The old troll now went out with the gold chess-board, and down to
the river, and was about to take a drink, when Ring and Snati
came upon him, took the chess-board from him, and threw him into
the river. Before they had got back again, however, and up on
top of the cave, they saw the poor old fellow's ghost come
marching up from the river. Snati immediately sprang upon him,
and Ring assisted in the attack, and after a hard struggle they
mastered him a second time. When they got back again to the
window they saw that the old hag was moving towards the door.
'Now we must go in at once,' said Snati, 'and try to master her
there, for if she once gets out we shall have no chance with her.
She is the worst witch that ever lived, and no iron can cut her.
One of us must pour boiling porridge out of the pot on her, and
the other punch her with red-hot iron.'
In they went then, and no sooner did the hag see them than she
said, 'So you have come, Prince Ring; you must have seen to my
husband and children.'
Snati saw that she was about to attack them, and sprang at her
with a red-hot iron from the fire, while Ring kept pouring
boiling porridge on her without stopping, and in this way they at
last got her killed. Then they burned the old troll and her to
ashes, and explored the cave, where they found plenty of gold and
treasures. The most valuable of these they carried with them as
far as the cliff, and left them there. Then they hastened home
to the King with his three treasures, where they arrived late on
Christmas night, and Ring handed them over to him.
The King was beside himself with joy, and was astonished at how
clever a man Ring was in all kinds of feats, so that he esteemed
him still more highly than before, and betrothed his daughter to
him; and the feast for this was to last all through
Christmastide. Ring thanked the King courteously for this and
all his other kindnesses, and as soon as he had finished eating
and drinking in the hall went off to sleep in his own room.
Snati, however, asked permission to sleep in the Prince's bed for
that night, while the Prince should sleep where the Dog usually
lay. Ring said he was welcome to do so, and that he deserved
more from him than that came to. So Snati went up into the
Prince's bed, but after a time he came back, and told Ring he
could go there himself now, but to take care not to meddle with
anything that was in the bed.
Now the story comes back to Red, who came into the hall and
showed the King his right arm wanting the hand, and said that now
he could see what kind of a man his intended son-in-law was, for
he had done this to him without any cause whatever. The King
became very angry, and said he would soon find out the truth
about it, and if Ring had cut off his hand without good cause he
should be hanged; but if it was otherwise, then Red should die.
So the King sent for Ring and asked him for what reason he had
done this. Snati, however, had just told Ring what had happened
during the night, and in reply he asked the King to go with him
and he would show him something. The King went with him to his
sleeping-room, and saw lying on the bed a man's hand holding a
'This hand,' said Ring, 'came over the partition during the
night, and was about to run me through in my bed, if I had not
The King answered that in that case he could not blame him for
protecting his own life, and that Red was well worthy of death.
So Red was hanged, and Ring married the King's daughter.
The first night that they went to bed together Snati asked Ring
to allow him to lie at their feet, and this Ring allowed him to
do. During the night he heard a howling and outcry beside them,
struck a light in a hurry and saw an ugly dog's skin lying near
him, and a beautiful Prince in the bed. Ring instantly took the
skin and burned it, and then shook the Prince, who was lying
unconscious, until he woke up. The bridegroom then asked his
name; he replied that he was called Ring, and was a King's son.
In his youth he had lost his mother, and in her place his father
had married a witch, who had laid a spell on him that he should
turn into a dog, and never be released from the spell unless a
Prince of the same name as himself allowed him to sleep at his
feet the first night after his marriage. He added further, 'As
soon as she knew that you were my namesake she tried to get you
destroyed, so that you might not free me from the spell. She was
the hind that you and your companions chased; she was the woman
that you found in the clearing with the barrel, and the old hag
that we just now killed in the cave.'
After the feasting was over the two namesakes, along with other
men, went to the cliff and brought all the treasure home to the
Palace. Then they went to the island and removed all that was
valuable from it. Ring gave to his namesake, whom he had freed
from the spell, his sister Ingiborg and his father's kingdom to
look after, but he himself stayed with his father-in-law the
King, and had half the kingdom while he lived and the whole of it
after his death.
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