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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Brothers Grimm > Fairy tale "The Water Of Life"

The Water Of Life

Such is the fate of all haughty people.

Now, when the second Son did not return, the youngest begged leave to go and fetch the water, and the King was obliged at last to give his consent. When he met the Dwarf, and was asked whither he was going so hurriedly, he stopped and replied, "I seek the water of life, for my Father is sick unto death." "Do you know where to find it?" asked the Dwarf. "No," replied the Prince. "Since you have behaved yourself as you ought," said the Dwarf, "and not haughtily like your false Brothers, I will give you information and show you where you may obtain the water of life. It flows from a fountain in the court of an enchanted castle, into which you can never penetrate if I do not give you an iron rod and two loaves of bread. With the rod knock thrice at the iron door of the castle, and it will spring open. Within lie two lions with open jaws, but if you throw down to each a loaf of bread they will be quiet. Then hasten and fetch some of the water of life before it strikes twelve, for then the door will shut again, and you will be imprisoned."

The Prince thanked the Dwarf, and, taking the rod and bread, he set out on his journey, and as he arrived at the castle he found it as the Dwarf had said. At the third knock the door sprang open; and, when he had stilled the lions with the bread, he walked into a fine, large hall, where sat several enchanted Princes, from whose fingers he drew off the rings, and he also took away with him a sword and some bread which lay there. A little farther on he came to a room wherein stood a beautiful maiden, who was so pleased to see him that she kissed him and said he had freed her, and should have her whole kingdom, and if he came in another year their wedding should be celebrated. Then she told him where the fountain of water of life was placed, and he hastened away lest it should strike twelve ere he gained it. He came next into a room where a fine, clean covered bed stood, and, being tired, he lay down to rest himself a bit.

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