Books Magazine

The Raven

By Itellyouastory

There was once a queen who had  a little daughter, still too young torun alone. One day the  child was very troublesome,  and the mothercould  not quiet it, do  what she would.  She grew impatient,  andseeing the  ravens flying round the castle, she opened the window, andsaid: «I wish you were a raven and would fly away, then  I should have alittle peace.»  Scarcely were the words out  of her mouth,  when thechild in  her arms was  turned into a raven, and  flew away from  herthrough the  open window. The  bird took its flight to  a dark wood  andremained there for  a long time,  and meanwhile the parents could hearnothing of their child.

Long after this, a man was making his way through the wood when he hearda raven calling, and he followed  the sound of the  voice. As he drewnear, the raven said, «I  am by birth  a king’s daughter, but  am nowunder  the spell of some enchantment; you can, however,  set me free.’«What am I  to do?» he asked. She replied, «Go farther into the wooduntil you come to  a house, wherein lives an old woman; she will offeryou food and drink,  but you must not take of either; if you  do, youwill fall into a deep  sleep, and will not be able to help me. In thegarden behind the house is a large tan-heap, and on that you must standand watch for me. I shall drive there in my carriage at two o’clock inthe afternoon for three successive  days; the first day it will be drawnby four white, the second by four chestnut, and the last by  four blackhorses; but  if you fail to  keep awake and  I find you sleeping, Ishall not be set free.»


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