The Girl in the Chest - The Story of the Third Sister Who was Brave and Good
Then he ate the beans—every last one of them!
The King gave the old woman some golden ducats and begged her to prepare another dish for the Prince on the morrow.
So the next day the girl again sent a tiny ringlet of her hair on the side of the plate and again the Prince after scorning all the other food offered him took the old woman's dish and ate it clean.
On the third day the Prince engaged the old woman in conversation.
"Where do you live, granny?"
"In a little tumble-down house beside the nettles," she told him.
"Do you live alone?"
"Just now," the old woman said, "I have a dear girl living with me. I found her one morning lying in the nettles where some ruffians had left her for dead. She's a good girl and she scrubs and bakes and cooks for me and lets me rest my poor old bones."
Now the Prince knew what he wanted to know.
"Granny," he said, "to-morrow's Sunday. Now I want you to stay home in the afternoon because I'm coming to see you."
In great excitement the old woman hurried home and told the girl that the Prince was coming to see them on Sunday afternoon.
"He mustn't see me!" the girl said. "I'll hide in the bread trough under a cloth and if he goes looking for me you tell him that I've gone out."
"Foolish child!" the old woman said. "Why should you hide from a handsome young man like the Prince?"
But the girl insisted and at last when Sunday afternoon came the old woman was forced to let her lie down in the bread trough and cover her with a cloth.
The Prince arrived and when he found the old woman there alone he was mightily disappointed.
"Where's that girl who lives with you?" he asked.
"She's gone out," the old woman said.
"Then I think I'll wait till she comes back."
This made the old woman feel nervous.
"But, my Prince, I don't know when she's coming back."
Just then the Prince thought he saw something move in the bread trough.
"What's that lumpy thing in the bread trough, granny?"
"That? Oh, that's just dough that's rising, my Prince.