"She is down at the door," said the lad.
"Take her up to the room my mother had," said the squire.
"But master, how can that be managed?" said the lad.
"You must just do as I tell you," said the squire. "If you cannot manage her alone you must get the men to help you," for he thought the girl might turn obstreperous.
When the lad saw his master's face he knew it would be no use to gainsay him. So he went and got all the farm tenants who were there to help him. Some pulled at the head and the forelegs of the mare and others pushed from behind, and at last they got her up the stairs and into the room. There lay all the wedding finery ready.
"Now, that's done master!" said the lad; "but it was a terrible job.
It was the worst I have ever had here on the farm.
"Never mind, you shall not have done it for nothing," said his master.
"Now send the women up to dress her."
"But I say master-!" said the lad.
"None of your talk!" said the squire. "Tell them they must dress her and mind and not forget either wreath or crown.
The lad ran into the kitchen.
"Look here, lasses," he said; "you must go upstairs and dress up the bay mare as bride. I expect the master wants to give the guests a laugh."
The women dressed the bay mare in everything that was there, and then the lad went and told his master that now she was ready dressed, with wreath and crown and all.
"Very well, bring her down!" said the squire. "I will receive her myself at the door," said he.
There was a terrible clatter on the stairs; for that bride, you know, had no silken shoes on.
When the door was opened and the squire's bride entered the parlor you can imagine there was a good deal of tittering and grinning.
And as for the squire you may he sure line had had enough of that bride, and they say he never went courting again.
THE DOLL IN THE GRASS
By P. C. Asbjornsen
ONCE upon a time there was a king who had twelve sons. When they were grown up he told them they must go out into the world and find themselves wives, who must all be able to spin and weave and make a shirt in one day, else he would not have them for daughters-in-law. He gave each of his sons a horse and a new suit of armor, and so they set out in the world to look for wives.
When they had traveled a bit on the way they said they would not take Ashiepattle with them, for he was good for nothing. Ashiepattle must stop behind; there was no help for it. He did not know what he should do or which way he should turn; he became so sad that he got off the horse and sat down on the grass and began to cry.
When he had sat a while one of the tussocks among the grass began to move, and out of it came a small white figure; as it came nearer Ashiepattle saw that it was a beautiful little girl, but she was so tiny, so very, very tiny.
She went up to him and asked him if he would come below and pay a visit to the doll in the grass.
Yes, that he would; and so he did. When he came down below, the doll in the grass was sitting in a chair dressed very finely and looking still more beautiful. She asked Ashiepattle where he was going and what was his errand.
He told her they were twelve brothers, and that the king had given them each a horse and a suit of armor, and told them to go out in the world and find themselves wives, but they must all be able to spin and weave and make a shirt in a day.
"If you can do that and will become my wife, I will not travel any farther," said Ashiepattle to the doll in the grass.
Yes, that she would, and she set to work at once to get the shirt spun, woven, and made; but it was so tiny, so very, very tiny, no bigger than-so!
Ashiepattle then returned home, taking the shirt with him; but when he brought it out he felt very shy because it was so small. But the king said he could have her for all that, and you can imagine how happy and joyful Ashiepattle became.
The road did not seem long to him as he set out to fetch his little sweetheart. When he came to the doll in the grass he wanted her to sit with him on his horse; but no, that she wouldn't; she said she would sit and drive in a silver spoon, and she had two small while horses which would draw her. So they set out, he on his horse and she in the silver spoon; and the horses which drew her were two small white mice.
Ashiepattle always kept to one side of the road, for he was so afraid he should ride over her; she was so very, very tiny.
When they had traveled a bit on the way they came to a large lake; there Ashiepattle's horse took fright and shied over to the other side of the road, and upset the spoon, so that the doll in the grass fell into the water. Ashiepattle became very sad, for he did not know how he should get her out again; but after a while a merman brought her up.
But now she had become just as big as any other grown-up being and was much more beautiful than she was before. So he placed her in front of him on the horse and rode home.
When Ashiepattle got there all his brothers had also returned, each with a sweetheart; but they were so ugly and ill-favored and bad- tempered that they had come to blows with their sweethearts on their way home. On their heads they had hats which were painted with tar and soot, and this had run from their hats down their faces, so that they were still uglier and more ill-favored to behold.
When the brothers saw Ashiepattle's sweetheart they all became envious of him, but the king was so pleased with Ashiepattle and his sweetheart that he drove all the others away, and so Ashiepattle was married to the doll in the grass; and afterward they lived happy and comfortable for a long, long while; and if they are not dead, they must be still alive.
THE BEAR AND THE FOX
By P. C. Asbjornsen
Once upon a time there was a bear, who sat on a sunny hillside taking a nap. Just then a fox came slinking by and saw him.
"Aha! have I caught you napping, grandfather? See if I don't play you a trick this time!" said Reynard to himself.
He then found three wood mice and laid them on a stump of a tree just under the bear's nose.
"Boo! Bruin! Peter the hunter is just behind that stump!" shouted the fox right into the bear's ear, and then took to his heels and made off into the wood.
The bear woke at once, and when he saw the three mice he became so angry that he lifted his paw and was just going to strike them, for he thought it was they who had shouted in his ear.
But just then he saw Reynard's tail between the bushes and he set off at such a speed that the branches crackled under him, and Bruin was soon so close upon Reynard that he caught him by the right hind leg just as be was running into a hole under a pine tree.
Reynard was now in a fix; but he was not to be outwitted, and he cried:
"Slip pine root, grip fox foot," and so the bear let go his hold; but the fox laughed far down in the hole and said:
"I sold you that time, also, grandfather!"
"Out of sight is not out of mind!" said the bear, who was in a fine fury.
The other morning, when Bruin came trudging across the moor with a fat pig, Master Reynard was lying on a stone by the moorside.
"Good-day, grandfather!" said the fox. "What nice thing have you got there?"
"Pork," said the bear.