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
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STORIES FROM ZOOLOGY
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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
The Iron Stove
from The Best Popular Stories Selected And Rendered Anew
In the days when magic was still of some avail, a king's son was
enchanted by an old witch, and compelled to spend his life sitting
inside a great Iron Stove in a wood. There he passed many years, and
nobody could release him.
Once a king's daughter came into the wood. She had gone astray, and
could not find her father's kingdom again; and having wandered about
for nine days, at last she stood before the Iron Stove. Then a voice
came out of it, and said, Whence do you come, and where do you want
She answered, I have wandered from my father's kingdom, and lost
myself, and cannot get home again.
Then the voice spoke out of the Iron Stove: I will help you home
again, and that, too, in a short time, if you will promise to do what
I desire. I am a greater prince than you are a princess, and I wish to
She was very much frightened, and thought, Oh, what shall I do! How
can I marry an Iron Stove?
However, as she wanted very much to go home to her father, she
promised what was demanded of her. Very well, said the voice you
must come again, and bring a knife with you, and scrape a hole in the
And the Iron Stove gave her for a companion something, or
somebody--she was not quite sure what--who walked by her side and did
not speak, but took her safe home within two hours. Then there was
great joy in her father's palace, and the old king fell on her neck,
and kissed her many times. But she was very sorrowful, and said: Dear
father, you little know what has happened to me; I should never have
come home again out of the great wild wood, if I had not passed by an
Iron Stove. But I had to promise faithfully that I would return back
to it, and marry it.
The old king was so terrified that he nearly fell into a swoon; for he
had only this one child. They therefore consulted together, and
decided to send, not the princess, but a miller's daughter, who was
very beautiful; and leading her out, they gave her a knife, and told
her how she was to scrape the Iron Stove. When she reached the wood,
she scraped away for four-and-twenty hours, but could not make the
slightest impression. But when day began to break, a voice in the Iron
Stove called out, It seems to me that it is day out there.
She answered: It seems so to me too; I think I hear my father's mill
Oh, then, you are a miller's daughter; go straight back and send the
king's daughter here!
Then she returned and told the old king that the Iron Stove would not
have her; he wanted the princess only. The old king was greatly
frightened, and the princess wept. But they had still a swineherd's
daughter, who was still more beautiful than the miller's girl; so they
gave her a piece of gold, in order that she might be persuaded to go,
instead of the king's daughter, to the Iron Stove. She was taken to
the wood as before, and had also to scrape for four-and-twenty hours;
but she could make no impression.
Now, when dawn broke, a voice called out of the Stove, It seems to me
it is day out there.
Then she answered, It seems so to me too; I think I hear my father's
little horn sounding.
So you are the swineherd's daughter; go away directly, and bid the
king's daughter come, and tell her it shall happen to her as I
forewarned her; if she does not come, everything in the kingdom shall
fall to pieces and tumble down, and no stone remain upon another.
When the king's daughter heard this, she began to cry; but there was
nothing else to be done--she must keep her promise. She took leave of
her father, put a knife in her pocket, and went out to the Iron Stove
in the wood. When she arrived there, she began to scrape and scrape;
the iron yielded, and in two hours she had already scraped a little
hole. She looked in and saw a most beautiful youth: oh! he shone so
with gold and precious stones, that he pleased her to the very bottom
of her heart. She scraped away faster than ever, till she made the
hole so large that he was able to get out.
Then he said, You are mine, and I am yours, you have freed me, and
you are my bride.
He wished to take her home to his kingdom, but she begged that she
might go once more to see her father; and the prince gave her leave,
on condition that she should speak no more than three words with him,
and come back again. So she went home; but, alas! being a little
chatter-box, she spoke more than three words. The Iron Stove
disappeared instantly, and was removed far away, over glass mountains
and sharp swords; but the king's son, being now freed, was not shut up
The princess took leave of her father, and took some money with her,
but not much, and went again into the great wood. There she looked
everywhere for the Iron Stove, but it was not to be found.
She sought it for nine days, until her hunger was so great that she
did not know what to do; for she had eaten all the food she could
find, and had nothing left to keep her alive. At evening-tide she
climbed up into a little tree, and purposed spending the night there,
for fear of the wild beasts. But when midnight came she saw afar off a
little glimmering light, and thinking, Oh! there I should be safe,
climbed down and went towards it.
Then she came to a little old house, overgrown with grass, with a
little heap of wood before the door. Wondering how it came there, she
looked in through the window, and saw nothing inside but a number of
fat little frogs, and a table beautifully spread. There were on it
roast meats and wines, and the plates and cups were all of silver. So
she took heart, and knocked. Immediately the fattest frog called out--
Maiden sweet and small,
Hutzelbein I call;
Hutzelbein's little dog.
Creep about and see
Who this can be.
Then a little frog came and opened the door for her; and as soon as
she came in, the frogs all bade her welcome, and persuaded her to sit
down. They asked--Whence do you come? where do you want to go?
Then she told them all that had happened to her, and how, because she
had disobeyed the command not to speak to her father more than three
words, the Stove had disappeared, as well as the king's son; now she
was determined to seek him, and to wander over mountain and valley
till she found him.
The old fat frog said--
Maiden sweet and small,
Hutzelbein I call;
Hutzelbein's little dog,
Creep about and see;
Bring the great box to me.
Then the little frog went and brought the box. Afterwards they gave
the princess food and drink, and took her to a beautifully-made bed,
all of silk and velvet; she laid herself in it, and slept peacefully.
When day came she arose, and the old frog gave her three needles out
of the great box, and told her to take them with her. They would be
very necessary to her, for she would have to go over a high glass
mountain, and three sharp swords, and a great sea; if she passed all
those, she would recover her dearest prince. The frog also gave her,
besides the three needles, other gifts, which she was to take great
care of--namely, a plough-wheel, and three nuts.
With these she set off, and when she came to the slippery glass
mountain, she stuck the three needles into it as she walked--some
before her feet, and some behind--and so managed to get across. When
she was on the other side, she hid the needles, in a place which she
had noticed particularly, and went on her way. Afterwards she came to
the sharp-cutting swords, but she set herself on her plough-wheel and
rolled safely over them. At last she came before a great lake, which
she had to sail across, and when she had done so she saw a great
castle. She went in and said she was a poor maiden, who wished very
much to hire herself out, if she might be taken in there as a servant.
For the frogs had told her that the king's son, whom she had released
out of the Iron Stove in the great wood, dwelt there; so she was
content to be taken as kitchen-maid, for very small pay.
Now the king's son had thought the princess was dead; and there was
now with him another maiden, whom he had been persuaded he ought to
marry, which grieved the poor kitchen-maid very much.
In the evening, when she had washed up the dishes, and had done all
her work, she felt in her pocket, and found the three nuts which the
old frog had given her. She bit one open, and was going to eat the
kernel, when, behold, inside it was the most beautiful dress
imaginable--so beautiful that the bride soon heard of it, came and
asked to see it, and wanted to buy it, saying it was no dress for a
kitchen-maid. But the kitchen-maid thought differently, and refused to
sell it, but offered to give it as a present, if the bride would grant
her one favour--namely, to sleep one night on the mat outside the
bridegroom's door. The bride gave her leave, because the dress was so
beautiful, and she had none like it.
Now when it was evening, she said to her bridegroom: The foolish
kitchen-maid wants to sleep on the mat outside your door.
If you are content, I am, said he.
But the bride gave him a glass of wine, in which she had put a
sleeping draught; so that he slept so soundly, nothing could wake him.
While, outside the door, the princess wept the whole night, saying: I
have released you out of the wild wood--out of an Iron Stove; in
seeking you, I have gone over a glass mountain, over three sharp
swords, and over a great lake; yet, now that I find you, you will not
Next evening, when she had washed up everything, she bit the second
nut open; and inside it was a far more beautiful dress than the first
which, when the bride saw, she wished to buy also. But the girl again
refused to take money and again begged that she might spend the night
outside the bridegroom's door. Once more, the bride gave him a
sleeping-draught, and he slept so soundly, that he could hear nothing.
But the kitchen-maid wept the whole night long, crying: I have
released you out of a wild wood, and out of an Iron Stove; and have
gone over a glass mountain, over three sharp swords, and over a great
lake, before I found you; and yet, when I find you, you will not hear
The third evening, she bit open the third nut; and there was in it a
still more beautiful dress, which shone stiff with pure gold. When the
bride saw it, she wished more earnestly than ever to have it; but the
kitchen-maid would only give it to her on condition that she might
sleep, for the third time, on the mat at the bridegroom's door. But
this time the prince was cautious, and left the sleeping-draught
untouched. Now, when she began to weep, and to call out, Dearest
treasure, I have released you out of the horrible wild wood, and out
of an Iron Stove, the king's son sprang up, crying out: This is my
right true love--she is mine, and I am hers. Then he declared he
would not marry the other bride, whom he did not love; and so, still
in the middle of the night, he got into a carriage with the
kitchen-maid, and drove away.
When they came to the great lake, they sailed over; and at the three
sharp swords, they seated themselves on the plough-wheel; and at the
glass mountain, they found the three needles, and stuck them in step
by step. So they came at last to the little old house; but, as they
went in, lo! it changed to a great castle; the frogs turned to
princes and princesses, all kings' children, and received them both
with great joy. There the wedding was celebrated, and they remained in
the castle, which was much larger than that which belonged to the
princess's father. But as the old man lamented very much his
daughter's loss, and his own loneliness, they soon went and fetched
him home to themselves. So they had two kingdoms, instead of one, and
lived happily together all their days.
Next: The Invisible Prince
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