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good tinder box, if I can so easily get all I want by it. Give me some money," he said to the dog. It was gone in an instant, and almost in the same moment returned with a purse of money in its jaws.
Now the soldier saw what a precious box it was. If he struck the flint once the dog that guarded the pence appeared; if he struck it twice the dog came that guarded the silver; if he struck it three times it produced the dog that guarded the gold. The soldier now went back to his splendid house, and all his friends came round him again:
It seemed to him that it was very strange that there was no way by which he could see the princess. Rumour said she was very beautiful, but what was the use of being beautiful if she was to be always confined in the castle of brass with the many towers. "Is it impossible to see her by any means?" he thought. "Where is my tinder box?" He struck fire, and in an instant the dog with eyes like a tea cup appeared.
"It is the middle of the night, certainly," said the soldier, "but I should like to see the princess, if only for a moment."
The dog went away in a moment, and before the soldier thought it was possible, returned with the princess. She was lying asleep on the dog's back, and was so beautiful that every one could see she was a real princess. The soldier could not
help kissing her, for he was a true soldier.
Then the dog ran back with the princess; but the next morning, when she was breakfasting with
the king and queen, she told them she had had a very strange dream about a dog and a soldier. She dreamt that she had ridden on the dog, and that the soldier had kissed her.
"That is a very pretty story, indeed," the queen said.
It was now arranged that one of the old ladies of the court should stay by the bedside of the princess the next night to see whether it was really a dream, or what else it might be.
The soldier had a great desire to see the princess again; so the dog came in the night, and ran off with her as quickly as possible. The old lady, however, put on a pair of magic boots, and ran after her, and when she saw her go into the soldier's house, she made a cross with some chalk on the soldier's door. The dog saw that, and so he went round and made a cross on all the doors of the town.
But the queen was a very clever woman, and could do more things than ride in her carriage; so she took her large golden scissors, cut up a large piece of silk, and made a neat little bag, which she filled with meal, and tied it round the neck of the princess. When she had done this she cut a small hole in the bag, so that the meal might fall out as she went along, and thus enable them to find the house to which the dog took her.
In the middle of the night the dog again came and carried the princess to the soldier, who loved her dearly, and wished heartily he were a prince himself so that he might marry her.
The dog did not notice the little bag of meal round the Princess's neck, so the next morning the king and queen saw clearly enough where she had been; so they had the soldier arrested and put in prison.
It was a dark and dismal place to be in, and what did not make him more comfortable was that they told him he was to be hanged in the morning. His tinder-box he had left behind him at his house. When he rose in the morning he saw through his prison bars the crowd hurrying to the place of execution to see him hanged. The drum beat, and the soldiers marched down the streets. Among the crowd was a shoemaker's lad with his leather apron on, and with slippers on his feet, one of which fell off as he ran on, just against the wall where the soldier's window
Here, you shoemaker's boy," said the soldier, "you need not run so fast, for nothing will be done till I am there, and if you will run to my house and fetch my tinder-box, you shall have a shilling. But you must be quick or you will not be in time." The lad ran and fetched the tinderbox, which he gave to the soldier.
A gallows very high was erected outside the town, and thousands of people stood before it. It was strongly guarded by soldiers. On a splendid throne sat the king and queen, and opposite to them the judges and all the privy council.
The soldier had already reached the top of the ladder, but when they wanted to place the rope
round his neck, he said he understood that condemned criminals were always allowed any inno-cent desire they might wish to gratify. He had a great desire to smoke one more pipe of tobacco, the last he should ever smoke in the world.
The king did not like to refuse this, so the soldier took up his tinder-box and struck fire. He struck once, and the dog with eyes like tea cups appeared; he struck twice, and the dog came with eyes like mill wheels; he struck three times, and the dog with eyes like the Round Tower of Copenhagen, astonished the crowd.
"Deliver me now, so that I may not be hanged," said the soldier, and the dogs fell upon the judges and the council, and tossed them up so high in the air, that when they fell down they were dashed to pieces.
"Don't touch me," said the king, but the biggest dog threw him and the queen after the others, and they too were killed. This greatly frightened the soldiers, and the people cried out, "Good soldier we will have you for our king, and you shall marry the lovely princess."
Then they placed him in the king's carriage, and the dogs sprang up in front shouting, "Hurrah!" The princess came out of the brazen tower, and was chosen queen, with which she was very well pleased. The marriage feast was not finished for a whole week, and the dogs sat at table with the others, making faces at those around them.
The cock is crowing,
The small birds twitter,
The green fields sleep in the sun;
Are at work with the strongest;
Their heads never raising;
Like an army defeated,
On the top of the bare hill;
Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone!
THE CANARY BIRD.
Canary birds to sell! Who'll buy my canary birds!"
Thus cried a man passing by the house of little