The Old Woman in the Wood
A maid is taken care of by a dove after being robbed, fetches a ring for her, which redeems an enchanted prince and marries her.
Once upon a time, a poor maid was driving with her mistress through a large forest, and when they were in the middle, robbers came out of the thicket and murdered whoever they found. Then they all died together except for the girl who jumped out of the carriage in fear and hid behind a tree. When the robbers had gone away with their booty, she came over and saw the great misfortune. Then she began to cry bitterly and said, "What am I supposed to do now, poor girl? Start, I don't know how to find my way out of the forest, not a soul lives in it, so I must surely starve." It walked around, looked for a way, but could not find one. When it was evening, it sat down under a tree, God commanded himself, and wanted to sit there and not go away, no matter what might happen. But when it had been sitting there for a while, a little white dove flew to it and had a little golden key in its beak n put it in his hand and said, "do you see the big tree over there, there is a small lock on it, unlock it with the little key, and you will find enough food and suffer no more hunger." unlocked it and found milk in a little bowl and white bread to break into so that she could eat her fill. When it was full, it said, "Now it's time for the hens to fly away at home, I'm so tired, could I just lie down in my bed?" said, "Unlock the tree there, and you will find a bed." Then she unlocked it and found a nice, soft little bed: she prayed to God that he would take care of her at night, lay down and fell asleep. In the morning the dove came for the third time, brought another little key and said, "Unlock the tree there, you will find clothes there," and when it unlocked it, it found clothes set with gold and precious stones, more beautiful than any king's daughter has . So it lived there for a while and the little dove came every day and took care of everything it needed, and it was a quiet, good life.
But once the little dove came and said, "Would you like to do something for me?" "With all my heart," said the girl. Then the dove said, "I want to take you to a little house, go in there, in the middle of it an old woman will be sitting at the hearth and say 'hello'. But don't answer her, she may start whatever she wants, but go on to her right hand, there's a door, open it, and you'll come into a room where a lot of rings of all kinds are on the the table is lying, underneath are magnificent ones with glittering stones, but leave them where they are and look for a simple one, which must also be among them, and bring it to me as quickly as you can.” The girl went to the little house and went to the door. An old woman was sitting there, her eyes widened when she saw it, and she said, "Hello, my child." But she didn't answer and went to the door. "Out where?" she cried and grabbed it by the skirt and wanted to hold it tight, "this is my house, no one is allowed in there if I don't want it." But the girl said nothing, broke away from her and went straight in into the room. There now lay on the table an exceedingly great number of rings, which glittered and glittered before his eyes: he threw them around and looked for the simple one, but could not find it. As it searched, the old woman saw how she crept along and had a birdcage in her hand and wanted to get away with it. Then it went up to her and took the cage from her hand, and when it picked it up and looked inside, a bird was sitting in it with the simple ring in its beak. So she took the ring and happily ran out of the house with it, thinking the white dove would come and get the ring, but she didn't. Then it leaned against a tree and wanted to wait for the little dove, and as it stood there it seemed as if the tree were soft and pliable and lowered its branches. And suddenly the branches twined around it, and were two arms, and as it looked around, the tree was a beautiful man, who embraced it and kissed it heartily and said, "You have redeemed me and freed me from the power of the ancients, who is a wicked witch. She had turned me into a tree, and for a few hours every day I was a white dove, and so long as she possessed the ring I could not regain my human form." There were his servants and horses free from the spell, too, which she had also turned into trees, and stood beside him. So they went into his kingdom, for he was a king's son, and they married and lived happily.