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Little Muck

His departure was immediately resolved on; he only looked around, to see if he could not use some of the goods of the Frau Ahavzi upon his journey. Thereupon, a formidable pair of huge slippers met his eye; they were not, it is true, beautiful, but his own could hold out no longer; moreover their size was an inducement, for when he had these upon his feet, people would see, he hoped, that he had cast off the shoes of childhood. He quickly took off his own slippers, and put on the others. A walking-stick, also, with a fine lion’s head cut upon the handle, seemed to be standing too idly in the corner; so he seized it, and hurried from the apartment. He hastened to his own room, put on his cloak, arranged his paternal turban, placed the dagger in his girdle, and ran as fast as his feet would carry him, out of the house, and out of the city. Fear of his old mistress drove him farther and still farther, until, from fatigue, he could scarcely run any more. He had never gone so quickly in his life; nay, it appeared to him as if he could not cease running, for an invisible power seemed propelling him on. At last he observed that this must be connected with the slippers, for they would continually shoot forward and bear him along with them. He endeavored in various ways, to stand still, but could not succeed; at last, in the greatest distress, he cried out to himself, as a man calls to his horse, “Wo—wo!” Then the slippers stopped, and Muck fell exhausted upon the earth.

The slippers were a source of great joy to him. Thus had he, by his services, gained something that would help him on his way through the world to seek his fortune. In spite of his joy, he fell asleep through fatigue; for the body of Little Muck, which had to carry so heavy a head, could not hold out long. In his dream the little dog appeared to him, which had assisted him to the slippers in the house of the Frau Ahavzi, and thus spoke:—

“Dear Muck, thou dost not still rightly understand the use of the slippers: know that if, in them, thou turnest thyself three times around upon the heel, thou canst fly wherever thou wilt; and with the staff thou canst find treasures, for, wherever gold is buried, it will beat three times upon the earth; where silver, twice.

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