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The Devil and his Grandmother

The grandmother laid the table, and served up food and drink, so that he was pleased, and they ate and drank together. In the course of conversation, she asked him what kind of a day he had had, and how many souls he had got? "Nothing went very well to-day," he answered, "but I have laid hold of three soldiers,—I have them safe." "Indeed! three soldiers, that's something like, but they may escape you yet." The Devil said mockingly, "They are mine! I will set them a riddle, which they will never in this world be able to guess!" "What riddle is that?" she inquired. "I will tell you. In the great North Sea lies a dead dog-fish, that shall be your roast meat, and the rib of a whale shall be your silver spoon, and a hollow old horse's hoof shall be your wine-glass." When the Devil had gone to bed, the old grandmother raised up the stone, and let out the soldier. "Hast thou paid particular attention to everything?" "Yes," said he, "I know enough, and will contrive to save myself." Then he had to go back another way, through the window, secretly and with all speed to his companions. He told them how the Devil had been overreached by the old grandmother, and how he had learned the answer to the riddle from him. Then they were all joyous, and of good cheer, and took the whip and whipped so much gold for themselves that it ran all over the ground. When the seven years had fully gone by, the Devil came with the book, showed the signatures, and said, "I will take you with me to hell. There you shall have a meal! If you can guess what kind of roast meat you will have to eat, you shall be free and released from your bargain, and may keep the whip as well." Then the first soldier began and said, "In the great North Sea lies a dead dog-fish, that no doubt is the roast meat." The Devil was angry, and began to mutter "Hm! hm! hm!” and asked the second, "But what will your spoon be?" "The rib of a whale, that is to be our silver spoon." The Devil made a wry face, again growled, "Hm! hm!

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