The Two Brothers
2 poor sons become rich, but then abandoned in forest. Animals help them - free princess. 1. marries her, 2. defeats witch.
Once upon a time there were two brothers, one rich and one poor. The rich one was a goldsmith and wicked at heart; the poor one lived by tying brooms and was good and honest. The poor one had two children, twin brothers, who were as alike as one drop of water to another. The two boys went to the rich man's house from time to time, and sometimes got something to eat from the garbage. It happened that the poor man, when he went into the forest to fetch brushwood, saw a bird that was completely golden and so beautiful that he had never seen one before. He picked up a small stone, threw it at the bird and hit it happily, but only a golden feather fell and the bird flew away. The man took the feather and brought it to his brother, who looked at it and said 'it is pure gold,' and gave him a lot of money for it. The next day the man climbed a birch tree and was about to cut down some branches: the same bird flew out, and when the man searched, he found a nest, and an egg lay in it, which was of gold. He took the egg home and brought it to his brother, who again said, 'it is gold,' and gave him what it was worth. At last the goldsmith said, "I would like to have the bird itself. The poor man went into the forest for the third time and saw the gold bird sitting on the tree again: then he took a stone and threw it down and brought it to his brother, who gave him a large pile of gold for it. Now I can help myself,' he thought, and went home satisfied.
The goldsmith was clever and cunning, and knew well what kind of bird it was. He called his wife and said, "Fry the gold bird for me and see that nothing of it gets away: I have a desire to eat it all by myself. The bird was not a common one, but of such a wonderful kind that whoever ate its heart and liver found a gold piece under its pillow every morning. The woman prepared the bird, put it on a spit and roasted it. Now it happened that while it was standing by the fire, and the woman had to leave the kitchen for other work, the two children of the poor broom-maker ran in, stood in front of the spit and turned it around a few times. And just as two pieces fell from the bird into the pan, one of them said, "Let's eat these few pieces, I'm so hungry, no one will notice. Then they both ate the pieces, but the woman came along, saw that they were eating something and said, "What have you eaten?" "A few pieces that fell out of the bird," they answered. "That was the heart and liver," said the woman, quite frightened, and so that her husband did not miss anything and did not get angry, she quickly slaughtered a chicken, took out the heart and liver and put it with the golden bird. When it was done, she took it to the goldsmith, who ate it all by himself, leaving nothing. The next morning, however, when he reached under his pillow and thought to take out the gold piece, there was as little as usual to be found.
But the two children did not know what good fortune had come their way. The next morning, when they got up, something fell to the ground and rang, and when they picked it up, it was two gold pieces. They brought them to their father, who was astonished and said, "How could this have happened?" But when they found two more the next morning, and so every day, he went to his brother and told him the strange story. The goldsmith immediately realized how it had come about and that the children had eaten the heart and liver of the gold bird, and in order to take revenge and because he was envious and hard-hearted, he said to the father 'your children are in play with the evil one, do not take the gold, and do not tolerate them any longer in your house, for he has power over them and can still bring you to ruin yourself'. The father feared the evil one, and as hard as it was for him, he nevertheless led the twins out into the forest and left them there with a sad heart.
Now the two children ran around in the forest looking for the way home, but could not find it, but kept getting lost. At last they met a hunter who asked them, 'Who do you children belong to?' 'We are the poor broom-maker's boys,' they answered, and told him that their father had no longer wanted to keep them in the house, because every morning there was a gold piece under their pillow. Well,' said the huntsman, 'there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you keep up the good work and don't get lazy. The good man, because he liked the children and had none of his own, took them home and said, "I will be your father and raise you. They learned hunting from him, and the gold piece that each of them found when they got up, he saved for them, if they needed it in the future.
When they had grown up, their foster father took them one day into the forest and said 'today you shall do your test shot, so that I can pronounce you free and make you hunters'. They went with him to the stand and waited a long time, but no game came. The hunter looked above him and saw a chain of snow geese flying in the shape of a triangle, so he said to one of them, "Now shoot one down from each corner. He did so and made his test shot. Soon another chain flew up in the shape of a number two: the hunter told the other one to shoot one down from each corner, and he succeeded in his test shot. Now the foster father said 'I absolve you, you are trained hunters'. Thereupon the two brothers went together into the forest, discussed with each other and arranged something. And when they had sat down to dinner in the evening, they said to their foster-father, 'We will not touch the food, and we will not take a bite until you have granted us a request'. They answered, "We have now learned, we must also try ourselves in the world, so let us go away and wander. Then the old man said with joy, "You speak like good hunters, what you desire was my own wish; go forth, it will be well with you. Then they ate and drank happily together.
When the appointed day came, the foster father gave each of them a good box and a dog, and let each of them take as much as he wanted from the gold he had saved. Then he accompanied them a little way, and when they parted he gave them a shiny knife and said, "When you part once, thrust this knife into a tree at the crossroads, so that one of you, when he returns, can see how his absent brother has fared, for the side to which he went out will rust when he dies, but as long as he lives it will remain shiny. The two brothers went on and on and came to a forest so large that they could not possibly get out in a day. So they stayed there the night and ate what they had put into the hunter's bag; but they went on the second day and did not come out. Since they had nothing to eat, one of them said, 'We must shoot something, otherwise we will suffer from hunger,' loaded his rifle and looked around. And when an old hare came running along, he put it on, but the hare called out
'dear hunter, let me live,
I also want to give you two boys.'
They immediately jumped into the bushes and brought two young ones; but the little animals played so lively and were so well-behaved that the hunters could not bring themselves to kill them. So they kept them with them, and the little hares followed at their heels. Soon a fox sneaked past, they wanted to shoot it down, but the fox called out
'dear hunter, let me live,
I also want to give you two boys.'
He also brought two little foxes, and the hunters, not wanting to kill them either, gave them to the hares for company, and they followed them. Not long after, a wolf strode out of the thicket, the hunters set upon him, but the wolf called out
'dear hunter, let me live,
I also want to give you two boys.'
The two young wolves put the hunters with the other animals, and they followed them. Then came a bear, who wanted to trot around longer, and called out
'dear hunter, let me live,
I also want to give you two boys.'
The two young bears were joined by the others, and there were already eight of them. Finally, who came? A lion came and shook his manes. But the hunters were not frightened and aimed at him: but the lion also said
'dear hunter, let me live,
I also want to give you two boys.'
He also fetched his cubs, and now the hunters had two lions, two bears, two wolves, two foxes and two hares following and serving them. Meanwhile their hunger was not satisfied, so they said to the foxes, 'listen, you sneaks, create something to eat for us, you are cunning and sly.' They answered, "Not far from here lies a village where we have already fetched many a chicken; we will show you the way there. So they went to the village, bought themselves something to eat, had their animals fed, and then went on their way. The foxes, however, knew the area well, where the chicken farms were and could show the hunters the way everywhere.
Now they wandered around for a while, but could not find a place where they could stay together, so they said, "There is no other way, we must separate. They divided the animals, so that each got a lion, a bear, a wolf, a fox and a hare: then they took leave, promised each other brotherly love until death and thrust the knife, which their foster father had given them, into a tree; whereupon one went east, the other west.
The youngest, however, came with his animals to a town that was completely covered with black pile. He went into an inn and asked the landlord if he could not put up his animals. The innkeeper gave them a stable where there was a hole in the wall: the hare crawled out and got a cabbage, and the fox got a chicken, and when he had eaten that, he also got the rooster; but the wolf, the bear and the lion, because they were too big, could not get out. Then the landlord had them brought to where a cow was lying on the lawn, so that they ate their fill. And when the hunter had taken care of his animals, he first asked the innkeeper why the town was so hung up with mourning flags. Said the innkeeper 'because tomorrow our king's only daughter will die'. The hunter asked, "Is she sick to death?" "No," answered the innkeeper, "she is fresh and healthy, but she must die. 'How does it happen?' asked the hunter. Outside the city is a high mountain, on it lives a dragon, who must have a pure virgin every year, otherwise he devastates the whole country. Now all the virgins have already been given up, and there is no one left but the king's daughter, yet there is no mercy, she must be handed over to him; and that shall be done tomorrow.' The hunter said, 'Why is the dragon not killed?' 'Ah,' answered the innkeeper, 'so many knights have tried, but all have lost their lives; the king has promised his daughter to the one who defeats the dragon, and he shall inherit the kingdom after his death.
The hunter said nothing more about it, but the next morning he took his animals and climbed the dragon mountain with them. There was a small church at the top, and on the altar were three filled cups, and with them was the inscription: "He who drinks the cups will be the strongest man on earth, and will wield the sword that lies buried before the threshold of the door. The hunter did not drink, but went out and searched for the sword in the ground, but could not move it from the spot. Then he went and drank the cups, and was now strong enough to pick up the sword, and his hand could easily guide it. When the hour came for the maiden to be delivered to the dragon, the king, the marshal and the courtiers accompanied her out. She saw the hunter from afar on the top of the dragon's mountain and thought the dragon was standing there waiting for her, and did not want to go up, but at last, because the whole city would otherwise have been lost, she had to make the difficult journey. The king and the courtiers returned home in great grief, but the king's marshal was to remain standing and watch everything from afar.
When the king's daughter came to the top of the mountain, there stood not the dragon but the young hunter: he consoled her and said he would save her, led her into the church and locked her inside. Not long after, the seven-headed dragon came along with a great roar. When he saw the hunter, he was astonished and said, "What are you doing here on the mountain? The hunter answered 'I want to fight with you'. Said the dragon 'many a knight has lost his life here, I will deal with you too,' and breathed fire from seven maws. The fire was supposed to set the dry grass on fire, and the hunter was supposed to suffocate in the embers and steam, but the animals came running up and kicked out the fire. Then the dragon went against the hunter, but he swung his sword so that it sang in the air, and cut off three of his heads. Then the dragon became really furious, rose into the air, spat out flames of fire at the hunter and wanted to pounce on him, but the hunter drew his sword again and cut off three heads. The beast became weak and sank down, but it wanted to attack the hunter again, but he cut off its tail with his last strength, and because he could no longer fight, he called his animals, which tore it to pieces. When the fight was over, the hunter unlocked the church and found the king's daughter lying on the ground, because her senses had gone from fear and terror during the fight. He carried her out, and when she came to herself again and opened her eyes, he showed her the torn dragon and told her that she was now redeemed. She rejoiced and said 'now you will become my dearest husband, for my father has promised me to the one who kills the dragon'. Thereupon she unhooked her collar of coral and distributed it among the animals to reward them, and the lion received the little golden castle from it. She gave her handkerchief, in which her name was written, to the hunter, who went and cut out the tongues from the seven dragon heads, wrapped them in the handkerchief and kept them safe.
When this had happened, because he was so faint and tired from the fire and the fight, he said to the maiden 'we are both so faint and tired, let us sleep a little'. So she said yes, and they lay down on the ground, and the hunter said to the lion 'you shall keep watch, so that no one may attack us in our sleep,' and they both fell asleep. The lion lay down beside them to watch, but he was also tired from the fight, so he called the bear and said 'lie down beside me, I need to sleep a little, and if something comes wake me up'. Then the bear lay down beside him, but he was also tired and called the wolf and said 'lie down beside me, I must sleep a little, and if something comes wake me up'. Then the wolf lay down beside him, but he was also tired and called the fox and said 'lie down beside me, I must sleep a little, and if something comes, wake me up'. Then the fox lay down beside him, but he was also tired, and called the hare, saying 'lie down beside me, I must sleep a little, and if anything comes, wake me up.' So the hare sat down next to him, but the poor hare was tired too, and had no one to call to keep watch, so he fell asleep. So the king's daughter, the hunter, the lion, the bear, the wolf, the fox and the hare all slept soundly.
But the marshal, who had been watching from afar when he did not see the dragon fly away with the maiden, and everything on the mountain became quiet, took heart and climbed up. There the dragon lay cut and torn on the earth, and not far away the king's daughter and a hunter with his animals, all of them were sunk in deep sleep. And because he was wicked and ungodly, he took his sword and cut off the hunter's head, and seized the maiden in his arms and carried her down the mountain. Then she awoke and was frightened, but the marshal said 'you are in my hands, you shall say that it was I who killed the dragon.' 'I cannot,' she answered, 'for a hunter with his beasts did it.' Then he drew his sword and threatened to kill her if she disobeyed him, forcing her to promise. Then he brought her before the king, who could not help rejoicing when he saw his dear child alive again, whom he thought had been torn apart by the beast. The marshal said to him: 'I have slain the dragon, and freed the maiden and the whole kingdom, therefore I claim her as my wife, as it is promised. The king asked the maiden, 'Is it true what he says?' 'Oh yes,' she answered, 'it must be true: but I forbear that the wedding be celebrated for a year and a day,' for she thought in that time to hear something from her dear hunter.
On the dragon's mountain, however, the animals were still lying next to their dead master and sleeping, 'when a large bumblebee came and sat on the hare's nose, but the hare wiped it off with its paw and continued to sleep. The bumblebee came a second time, but the hare wiped it off again and slept on. Then she came the third time and stung him in the nose so that he woke up. As soon as the hare was awake, he woke the fox, and the fox the wolf, and the wolf the bear, and the bear the lion. And when the lion woke up and saw that the maiden was gone and his master dead, he began to roar terribly and shouted 'who has done this? Bear, why did you not wake me up? The bear asked the wolf "why didn't you wake me up?" and the wolf asked the fox "why didn't you wake me up?" and the fox asked the hare "why didn't you wake me up? The poor rabbit knew nothing to answer, and the guilt remained on him. They wanted to attack him, but he begged and said, "Don't kill me, I want to bring our Lord back to life. I know a mountain, there grows a root, who has this in the mouth, he is healed from all illness and all wounds. But the mountain is two hundred hours from here.' Said the lion, 'In four and twenty hours you must have run hither and thither and brought back the root.' Then the hare jumped away, and in four and twenty hours he was back, bringing the root with him. The lion put the hunter's head back on, and the hare put the root in his mouth, and immediately everything fell back into place, and the heart beat and life returned. Then the hunter woke up, and was frightened when he no longer saw the maiden, and thought 'she must have gone away while I was asleep to get rid of me'. In his great haste, the lion had put his master's head upside down, but he did not notice it in his sad thoughts of the king's daughter: only at noon, when he wanted to eat something, did he see that his head was behind his back, he could not understand it and asked the animals what had happened to him in his sleep? The lion told him that they had all fallen asleep because they were tired, and when they woke up they found him dead, with his head cut off, and that the hare had fetched the root of life, but that he had held his head upside down in his haste; but he wanted to make up for his mistake. Then he tore off the hunter's head again, turned it around, and the hare healed it firmly with the root.
The hunter, however, was sad and wandered around the world, making his animals dance before the people. It happened that just after a year he came back to the same town where he had delivered the king's daughter from the dragon, and this time the town was completely covered with red scarlet. He said to the innkeeper, "What does this mean? A year ago the city was covered with black pile, what is the purpose of the red scarlet today?" The innkeeper answered, "A year ago our king's daughter was to be delivered to the dragon, but the marshal fought with him and killed him, and tomorrow her marriage is to be celebrated; therefore the city was then covered with black pile for mourning, and today it is covered with red scarlet for joy.
The next day, when the wedding was to take place, the hunter said to the innkeeper at noon, "Does he really believe, Mr. Innkeeper, that I want to eat bread from the king's table here with him today?" "Yes," said the innkeeper, "I want to bet another hundred gold pieces that this is not true. The hunter accepted the wager and bet a bag with as many gold pieces against it. Then he called the hare and said, "Go, my dear knight, and fetch me some of the bread that the king is eating. Now the little hare was the least of all, and could not carry it to anyone else, but had to get up on his own feet. He thought, 'When I jump through the streets alone like this, the butcher's dogs will be behind me. As he thought, so it happened, and the dogs came behind him and wanted to embroider his good fur. But it jumped, didn't you see, and fled into a sign house without the soldier noticing it. Then the dogs came and wanted to get it out, but the soldier couldn't take a joke and hit it with the butt so that it ran away screaming and howling. When the hare realized that the coast was clear, he jumped into the castle and straight to the king's daughter, sat down under her chair, and scratched her foot. Then she said, "Do you want to leave?" and thought it was her dog. The hare scratched her foot a second time, and she said again, "Do you want to go away?" and thought it was her dog. But the hare was not fooled and scratched the third time, then she looked down and recognized the hare by its collar. Now she took him on her lap, carried him into her chamber, and said, "Dear Hare, what do you want?" He answered, "My master, who killed the dragon, is here and has sent me to ask for a loaf of bread, like the king eats. Then she was full of joy, and sent for the becker and told him to bring a loaf of bread like the king ate. Said the little rabbit, 'But the baker must also carry it to me, so that the butcher's dogs do not harm me. The baker carried it to the door of the inn, where the hare stood on its hind legs, took the bread in its front paws and brought it to its master. Then the hunter said, "You see, innkeeper, the hundred gold pieces are mine.
The innkeeper was surprised, but the hunter said, "Yes, Mr. Innkeeper, I have the bread, but now I also want to eat from the king's roast. The innkeeper said 'I'd like to see that,' but he didn't want to bet anymore. The hunter called the fox and said, "My little fox, go and get me a roast like the king eats. The red fox knew the tricks better, went along the corners and through the angles without a dog seeing him, sat down under the king's daughter's chair, and scratched at her foot. Then she looked down and recognized the fox by the collar, took him into her chamber and said 'dear fox, what do you want?' He answered 'my master, who killed the dragon, is here, and sent me to ask for a roast, like the one the king eats'. So she sent for the cook, who had to prepare a roast like the king ate, and carry it to the fox's door. The fox took the dish from him, wagged his tail at the flies that had settled on the roast, and then brought it to his master. He said to the hunter, "Bread and meat are here, now I will also eat supper, as the king eats it. Then he called the wolf and said, 'Dear wolf, go and get me some supper, as the king eats.
Then the wolf went straight into the castle, because he was not afraid of anyone, and when he came into the king's daughter's room, he plucked her by the back of her dress, so that she had to look around. She recognized him by his collar, and took him into her chamber and said, "Dear wolf, what do you want?" He answered, "My lord, who killed the dragon, is here, I shall ask for a supper like the king eats. Then she sent for the cook, who had to prepare a supper like the king ate, and had to carry it to the wolf's door, when the wolf took the bowl from him and brought it to his master. He sees, sir," said the hunter, "now I have bread, meat and supper, but I also want to eat sugar like the king eats. He called the bear and said, "Dear bear, you like to eat something sweet, go and fetch me sugar candy, like the king eats. Then the bear trotted to the castle and avoided everyone, but when he came to the guards, they held out their guns and would not let him into the royal castle. But he lifted himself up and with his paws gave a few slaps to the left and right, so that the whole guard fell down, and then he went straight to the king's daughter, stood behind her and muttered a little. Then she looked backwards and recognized the bear, and told him to go with her into her chamber and said 'dear bear, what do you want?' He answered 'my master, who has killed the dragon, is here, I shall ask for some sugar, which the king eats'.
Then she sent for the confectioner, who had to bake confectionery, which the king ate, and carry it to the bear at the door: first the bear licked up the sugar peas that had rolled down, then he stood upright, took the bowl, and brought it to his master. He said, "Now I have bread, meat, vegetables and sugar, but I also want to drink wine like the king drinks it. He called his lion to him and said, "Dear lion, you like to drink yourself intoxicated, go and get me wine like the king drinks it. Then the lion strode across the road, and the people ran before him, and when he came to the guard, they wanted to block the way, but he roared only once, so everything jumped away. Now the lion went to the king's room and knocked on the door with his tail. Then the king's daughter came out and was almost frightened by the lion, but she recognized him by the golden lock on her collar, and told him to go with her into her chamber and said, "Dear lion, what do you want?" He answered, "My lord, who killed the dragon, is here, I shall ask for wine like the king drinks.
Then she sent for the cupbearer, who was to give the lion wine as the king drinks it. The lion said, "I will go with you and see that I get the right one. So he went down with the cupbearer, and when they came down, the cupbearer wanted to give him some of the usual wine that the king's servants drank, but the lion said, "Wait! I want to try the wine first," and he took half a measure and swallowed it all at once. The cupbearer looked at him askance, but went and wanted to give him from another barrel, which was for the king's marshal. The lion said, 'Stop! First I want to try the wine,' drew half a measure and drank it, 'it is better, but not yet the right one. The cupbearer was angry and said, "What a stupid animal wants to understand about wine! But the lion gave him a blow behind the ears, so that he fell rudely to the ground, and when he had risen again, he led the lion silently into a small special cellar, where the king's wine lay, from which no one else got to drink. The lion first drew half a measure and tasted the wine, then he said 'this can be from the right one,' and told the cupbearer to fill six bottles. Now they climbed up, but as the lion came out of the cellar into the open air, he swayed to and fro and was a little drunk, and the cupbearer had to carry the wine to his door, so the lion took the basket in his mouth and brought it to his master. The hunter said, "You see, sir, I have bread, meat, vegetables, sugar and wine, just as the king has, and now I will have a meal with my animals," and sat down, ate and drank, and gave the hare, the fox, the wolf, the bear and the lion something to eat and drink, and was in good spirits, for he saw that the king's daughter was still fond of him.
And when he had eaten, he said, "Sir, now that I have eaten and drunk as the king eats and drinks, I will go to the king's court and marry the king's daughter. The innkeeper asked, "How can that be done, since she already has a bridegroom and the wedding is being celebrated today? Then the hunter pulled out the handkerchief that the king's daughter had given him on Dragon Mountain, and in which the seven tongues of the beast were wrapped, and said, "What I am holding in my hand should help me to do this. Then the host looked at the cloth, and said 'if I believe everything, then I do not believe it, and will probably stake house and home on it'. The hunter, however, took a bag with a thousand gold pieces, placed it on the table and said, "I'll bet that against it.
Now the king said to his daughter at the royal table, "What have all the wild beasts wanted that have come to you and gone in and out of my castle? She answered, "I cannot say, but send and fetch the master of these beasts, and you will do well. The king sent a servant to the inn and invited the stranger, and the servant came just as the hunter had bet the innkeeper. Then he said, "You see, sir, the king sends a servant and invites me, but I am not going yet. And to the servant he said, "I will ask the king to send me royal clothes, a carriage with six horses, and servants to wait on me. When the king heard the answer, he said to his daughter, "What shall I do?" She said, "Send for him as he asks, and you will do well. Then the king sent royal clothes, a chariot with six horses and servants to wait on him. When the hunter saw them coming, he said, 'See, sir, now I am being taken away as I asked,' and he put on the royal clothes, took the cloth with the dragon's tongues and went to the king. When the king saw him coming, he said to his daughter 'how shall I receive him?' She answered, "Go to meet him, and you will do well. Then the king went out to meet him and led him up, and his animals followed him. The king gave him a place next to himself and his daughter, the marshal sat on the other side, as a bridegroom, but he did not know him anymore. Now the seven heads of the dragon were put on display, and the king said 'the marshal has cut off the seven heads of the dragon, therefore I give him today my daughter as his wife'. Then the hunter stood up, opened the seven jaws and said 'where are the seven tongues of the dragon?
Then the marshal was frightened, pale and not knowing what to say, he finally said in fear, "Dragons do not have tongues. Said the hunter 'the liars should not have any, but the dragon's tongues are the sign of the victor,' and wrapped up the cloth, there they all lay in it, and then he put each tongue into the throat where it belonged and it fit exactly. Then he took the cloth in which the name of the king's daughter was embroidered and showed it to the maiden and asked her to whom she had given it, she answered 'to the one who killed the dragon'. And then he called his beast, took from each the collar and from the lion the golden lock, and showed it to the virgin and asked to whom it belonged. She answered 'the necklace and the golden lock were mine, I distributed them among the animals that helped to defeat the dragon'. Then the hunter said, "When I was tired from the battle and slept, the marshal came and cut off my head. Then he carried away the king's daughter and pretended that it was he who killed the dragon; and that he lied, I prove with the tongues, the cloth and the necklace.
And then he told how his animals had cured him by a miraculous root, and that he had wandered about with them for a year, and at last had come back here, where he had learned of the marshal's deceit through the innkeeper's tale. Then the king asked his daughter, 'is it true that this one killed the dragon?' She answered, "Yes, it is true, now I may reveal the marshal's deed of shame, because it came to light without my doing, for he forced me to promise silence. For this reason, however, I have held out that the wedding should not be celebrated for another year and a day. Then the king summoned twelve councilors to pronounce judgment on the marshal, and they judged that he should be torn apart by four oxen. So the marshal was judged, but the king gave his daughter to the hunter and appointed him his governor over the whole kingdom. The wedding was celebrated with great joy, and the young king sent for his father and foster father and showered them with treasures. He did not forget the innkeeper either, and sent for him and said to him, "You see, Mr. Innkeeper, I have married the king's daughter, and his house and court are mine. Said the innkeeper, 'Yes, that would be according to the law. The young king, however, said 'it shall be according to grace: He shall keep his house and court, and I will give him the thousand gold pieces in addition.
Now the young king and the young queen were in good spirits and lived happily together. He often went out hunting, because that was his joy, and his faithful animals had to accompany him. However, there was a forest nearby, which was said to be unsafe, and once one was in it, he could not easily get out again. The young king, however, had a great desire to hunt in it and did not give the old king a moment's peace until he allowed him to do so. Now he rode out with a large escort, and when he came to the forest, he saw a snow-white hind in it and said to his people, 'Stop here until I return, I want to hunt the beautiful game,' and rode after him into the forest, and only his animals followed him. The people stopped and waited until evening, but he did not come back: then they rode home and told the young queen ' the young king has chased a white hind in the magic forest, and has not come back.' She was very worried about him. But he had always ridden after the beautiful deer, and could never catch up with it; when he thought it was right to shoot, he saw it jumping again in the far distance, and at last it disappeared completely. Now he realized that he was deep in the forest, took his horn and blew, but he got no answer, because his people could not hear.
When night fell, he saw that he would not be able to get home that day, so he got down, built a fire by a tree and wanted to spend the night there. As he sat by the fire, and his animals had also lain down beside him, it seemed to him as if he heard a human voice: he looked around, but could not notice anything. Soon he heard again a groaning as if from above, then he looked up and saw an old woman sitting on the tree, wailing in a continuous 'hu, hu, hu, what I am cold! Said he 'come down and warm thyself if thou art cold.' But she said 'no, your animals bite me.' He answered 'they won't hurt you, old mother, just come down.' But she was a witch and said, "I will throw you a rod from the tree, if you hit them on the back with it, they won't hurt me. So she threw him a little rod, and he struck them with it, and immediately they lay still and were turned to stone. And when the witch was safe from the animals, she jumped down and touched him with a rod and turned him into stone. Then she laughed and dragged him and the animals into a ditch, where more such stones were already lying.
But when the young king did not come back at all, the queen's fear and worry increased. Now it happened that just at this time the other brother, who had wandered to the east at the time of the separation, came to the kingdom. He had been looking for a job and had not found one, and then he had wandered back and forth, making his animals dance. Then he remembered that he wanted to look for the knife that they had stuck into a tree trunk when they separated, to find out how his brother was doing. When he got there, his brother's side was half rusted and half still shiny. Then he was frightened and thought 'a great misfortune must have befallen my brother, but perhaps I can still save him, for half of the knife is still shiny'. He went west with his animals, and when he came to the city gate, the guard met him and asked him to report him to his wife: the young queen had been in great fear for a few days about his absence and feared that he had perished in the magic forest. The guard believed him to be the young king himself, so similar did he look to him, and he also had the wild animals running behind him. Then he noticed that they were talking about his brother and thought 'it would be best if I impersonated him, so that I could save him more easily'. So he let the guard accompany him to the castle, and was received with great joy. The young queen thought it was her husband and asked him why he had stayed away so long. He answered, "I got lost in a forest and could not find my way out again. In the evening he was brought to the royal bed, but he put a double-edged sword between himself and the young queen: she did not know what it meant, but did not dare to ask.
He stayed there for a few days and in the meantime investigated everything about the enchanted forest, and finally he said, "I must hunt there again. The king and the young queen wanted to talk him out of it, but he insisted and went out with a large company. When he had come into the forest, it happened to him as it did to his brother. He saw a white hind and said to his people, 'Stay here and wait until I come back, I want to hunt the beautiful deer,' and he rode into the forest, and his animals ran after him. But he could not catch up with the hind, and got so deep into the forest that he had to spend the night there. And when he had lit a fire, he heard a groan above him: "How cold I am! Then he looked up and there was the same witch sitting in the tree. He said, "If you are cold, come down, old mother, and warm yourself. She answered, 'No, your animals are biting me.' But he said, "They won't hurt you. Then she cried, "I will throw you a rod, and if you hit them with it, they will not hurt me. When the hunter heard this, he did not trust the old woman, and said, "I do not hit my animals; you come down, or I will get you. Then she called out, "What do you want? You haven't done anything to me yet. But he answered, "If you don't come, I'll shoot you down. She said, "Go ahead and shoot, I'm not afraid of your bullets. Then he started and shot at her, but the witch was firm against all lead bullets, laughed so hard that it rang, and shouted "you shall not hit me yet. The hunter knew, tore three silver buttons from his skirt and loaded them into the rifle, for against them her art was in vain, and when he pressed the trigger, she immediately fell down with a scream. Then he put his foot on her and said, "Old witch, if you don't confess right away where my brother is, I will grab you with both hands and throw you into the fire. She was in great fear, begged for mercy and said 'he lies petrified in a ditch with his animals'. Then he forced her to go with him, threatened her and said 'old meercat, now you make my brother and all the creatures lying here alive, or you will go into the fire'. She took a rod and touched the stones, and his brother came alive again with the animals, and many others, merchants, craftsmen, shepherds, stood up, gave thanks for their deliverance and went home. The twin brothers, however, when they saw each other again, kissed each other and rejoiced with all their hearts. Then they seized the witch, bound her and put her in the fire, and when she was burned, the forest opened by itself, and was light and bright, and one could see the royal castle three hours away.
Now the two brothers went home together and told each other their fates on the way. And when the youngest said that he was lord of all the land in the king's stead, the other said, 'I have noticed this, for when I came into the city and was considered for you, all royal honors happened to me: the young queen took me for her husband, and I had to eat at her side and sleep in your bed'. When the other heard this, he became so jealous and angry that he drew his sword and cut off his brother's head. But when he lay there dead, and saw his red blood flowing, he repented greatly: 'My brother has redeemed me,' he exclaimed, 'and I have killed him for it!' and wailed aloud. Then his hare came and offered to fetch the root of life, jumped away and brought it in due time: and the dead man was brought back to life and did not even notice the wound.
Then they went on, and the youngest said, 'You look like me, you have royal clothes like me, and the animals follow you like me; we will enter the opposite gates and arrive at the old king from two sides at the same time. So they separated, and at the old king's house the guard came at the same time from one gate and the other and reported that the young king had arrived from the hunt with the animals. The king said, "It is not possible, the gates are an hour away from each other. But then the two brothers entered the castle courtyard from two sides and both climbed up. Then the king said to his daughter, "Which one is your husband? One looks like the other, I can't tell. She was in great fear and could not tell, but at last she remembered the collar she had given to the animals, searched and found her golden lock on one of the lions, and cried happily, 'he who is succeeded by this lion is my true husband. Then the young king laughed and said, 'Yes, that is the right one,' and they sat down together at table, ate and drank, and were merry. In the evening, when the young king went to bed, his wife said, "Why did you always put a two-edged sword in our bed the previous nights, I thought you wanted to kill me. Then he realized how faithful his brother had been.