The three princesses in the blue mountain
” And the next two nights the same thing happened; he had the same dream, and he felt he must go. So he washed himself and put on his uniform, and went into the kitchen at the Palace. It was the day after the captain and the lieutenant had set out.
“You had better go home again,” said the King, “the Princesses are beyond your reach, I should say; and besides, I have spent so much money on outfits that I have nothing left to-day. You had better come back another time.”
“If I go, I must go to-day,” said the soldier. “Money I do not want; I only need a drop in my flask and some food in my wallet,” he said; “but it must be a good walletful—as much meat and bacon as I can carry.”
Yes, that he might have if that was all he wanted.
So he set off, and he had not gone many miles before he overtook the captain and the lieutenant.
“Where are you going?” asked the captain, when he saw the man in uniform.
“I’m going to try if I can find the Princesses,” answered the soldier.
“So are we,” said the captain, “and since your errand is the same, you may keep company with us, for if we don’t find them, you are not likely to find them either, my lad,” said he.
When they had gone awhile the soldier left the high road, and took a path into the forest.
“Where are you going?” said the captain; “it is best to follow the high road.”
“That may be,” said the soldier, “but this is my way.”
He kept to the path, and when the others saw this they turned round and followed him. Away they went further and further, far across big moors and along narrow valleys.
And at last it became lighter, and when they had got out of the forest altogether they came to a long bridge, which they had to cross. But on that bridge a bear stood on guard. He rose on his hind legs and came towards them, as if he wanted to eat them.
“What shall we do now?” said the captain.
“They say that the bear is fond of meat,” said the soldier, and then he threw a fore quarter to him, and so they got past. But when they reached the other end of the bridge, they saw a lion, which came roaring towards them with open jaws as if he wanted to swallow them.