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A merchant, who had three daughters, was once setting out upon ajourney; but before he went he asked each  daughter what gift he shouldbring  back for her. The  eldest wished  for pearls; the  second forjewels; but  the third, who was called Lily, said, «Dear  father, bringme a rose.» Now  it was no easy task to find a rose,  for it was themiddle of winter; yet  as she was his prettiest daughter, and  was veryfond of flowers, her  father said he would try what he could do.  So hekissed all three, and bid  them goodbye.

And when the time came for him to go home, he had bought pearls andjewels for the two eldest, but he had sought everywhere in vain for therose; and when he  went into  any garden  and asked  for such  a thing,the  people laughed at him, and asked him whether he thought roses grewin snow.  This grieved him very  much, for  Lily was  his dearestchild; and  as he  was journeying home, thinking  what he  should bringher,  he came  to a  fine castle; and around the castle was a garden, inone half of which it seemed to be summer-time and  in the other  halfwinter. On  one side the  finest flowers were in full bloom, and on theother everything looked dreary  and buried in the snow. «A lucky hit!’said he, as he called to his  servant, and told him to go to a beautifulbed of roses that was there, and  bring him away one of the finestflowers.

This done, they  were riding away  well pleased, when  up sprang afierce lion, and  roared out,  «Whoever has  stolen my  roses shall  beeaten  up alive!» Then the man said,  «I knew not that  the gardenbelonged to  you; can nothing  save my  life?» «No!»  said the  lion,«nothing,  unless  you undertake to give me whatever meets you on yourreturn home; if you  agree to this, I will give you your  life, and therose too for your  daughter.» But the  man was  unwilling to  do so  andsaid,  «It may  be my  youngest daughter, who loves me most, and alwaysruns to meet me when I go  home.» Then the servant was greatlyfrightened, and said, «It may perhaps be only a cat or a dog.» And atlast the man yielded with a heavy heart, and  took the rose; and said hewould give  the lion whatever should meet him  first on his return.

And as he came near home, it was Lily, his youngest and dearestdaughter, that met him; she came running, and kissed him, and welcomedhim home; and when she saw that he  had brought her the rose,  she wasstill more  glad. But her father began to be very sorrowful, and toweep, saying, «Alas,  my dearest child! I have bought this flower at ahigh price, for I have  said I would give you to a wild lion; and whenhe has you, he will tear you  in pieces, and eat you.» Then he told herall that had happened, and said she should not go, let what wouldhappen.

But she comforted  him, and said,  «Dear father, the  word you havegiven must be kept; I will go to the  lion, and soothe him: perhaps hewill  let me come safe home again.»

The next morning she asked  the way she was to  go, and took leave ofher father, and went forth with a bold  heart into the wood. But thelion  was an enchanted prince. By day  he and all his court  were lions,but in  the evening they  took their  right forms  again. And  when Lilycame to  the castle, he welcomed her so courteously  that she agreed tomarry him.  The wedding-feast was held, and they lived  happily togethera long time.  The prince was only to be seen as soon  as evening came,and then he held  his court; but every morning he left his bride, andwent away by himself,  she knew not whither, till the night came again.

After some time he said to her,  «Tomorrow there will be a great feastin your father’s house, for your eldest sister  is to be married; and ifyou wish to  go and  visit her  my lions  shall lead  you thither.’Then  she rejoiced much at the thoughts of seeing her father once more,and set  out with the  lions; and  everyone was  overjoyed  to see  her,for  they  had thought her dead  long since. But  she told  them howhappy  she was,  and stayed till the feast was over, and then went backto the wood.

Her second sister was soon after married, and when Lily was asked to goto the wedding, she said to  the prince, «I will  not go alone thistime—you must go with  me.» But  he would not,  and said  that it wouldbe a  very hazardous thing; for if the least ray of the torch-lightshould fall  upon him his enchantment  would become still  worse, for heshould be  changed into a dove, and be forced to wander about the worldfor seven long years. However, she gave  him no  rest, and  said shewould take  care no  light should fall upon him. So at last they set outtogether, and took with them their little child; and she chose a largehall with thick walls for him to sit in while the wedding-torches werelighted; but, unluckily, no one  saw that there was a crack in thedoor. Then the wedding was held with  great pomp, but as the train camefrom  the church, and passed with the  torches before the hall,  a verysmall  ray of light  fell upon the  prince. In  a moment he disappeared,and when his wife  came in and looked for him,  she found only a whitedove;  and it said to her,  «Seven years must I fly  up and down overthe  face of the earth,  but every now and  then I will  let fall awhite feather, that  will show you the way  I am going; follow  it, andat last you may overtake and set me free.»

This said, he flew out at the door, and poor Lily followed; and everynow and then a white feather fell, and showed her the way she was tojourney. Thus she went roving on through the wide world, and lookedneither to  the right hand nor to the left, nor  took any rest, forseven years. Then  she began to be glad,  and thought to  herself thatthe  time was fast  coming when all her troubles should  end; yet reposewas  still far off, for  one day as she was travelling  on she missedthe  white feather, and when  she lifted up her eyes she could nowheresee the dove. «Now,» thought she  to herself, «no aid of man can be ofuse  to me.» So she went to the sun  and said, «Thou  shinesteverywhere,  on  the hill’s  top  and  the  valley’s depth—hast thouanywhere seen my white dove?» «No,» said the sun, «I  have not seen it;but I will give thee  a casket—open it when thy hour of  need comes.»

So she thanked the sun,  and went on her way  till eventide; and whenthe moon arose, she cried unto it, and said, «Thou shinest through thenight, over field and grove—hast thou nowhere seen my white dove?» «No,’said the moon, «I cannot help thee but I  will give thee an egg—break itwhen  need comes.»

Then she thanked the moon, and went  on till the night-wind blew; andshe raised up her voice to it, and said, «Thou blowest through everytree  and under every  leaf—hast  thou not  seen  my  white dove?’«No,»  said  the night-wind, «but I will ask three other winds; perhapsthey have seen it.» Then the east wind and the west wind came, and saidthey too had not  seen it, but the south wind  said, «I have seen thewhite dove—he has fled  to the Red Sea, and is changed once more into alion, for the seven years are passed away, and there he is fighting witha dragon; and the dragon is  an enchanted princess,  who  seeks  toseparate  him  from  you.»  Then  the night-wind said, «I  will givethee  counsel. Go  to the Red  Sea; on  the right shore  stand manyrods—count  them, and  when  thou comest  to  the eleventh, break itoff, and smite the dragon with it; and so the lion will have thevictory, and both of them will appear to you in their own  forms. Thenlook round and thou wilt see a griffin, winged like bird, sitting  bythe Red  Sea; jump  on to  his back  with thy  beloved one  as quicklyas possible, and he will carry you over the waters to your home. I willalso give thee  this nut,»  continued the  night-wind. «When  you arehalf-way over, throw it down, and  out of the waters  will immediatelyspring up  a high nut-tree on  which the  griffin will be  able torest, otherwise  he would not have the strength to bear you the wholeway; if, therefore, thou dost forget to  throw down the  nut, he willlet you both  fall into  the sea.»

So our poor wanderer went forth, and found all as the night-wind hadsaid; and she  plucked the  eleventh rod,  and smote  the dragon,  andthe  lion forthwith became a prince, and the dragon a princess again.But no  sooner was the princess released  from the spell, than  sheseized the prince  by the arm and sprang  on to the  griffin’s back, andwent off carrying  the prince away with her.

Thus the unhappy traveller  was again forsaken and  forlorn; but shetook heart and said, «As far as the wind blows, and so long as the cockcrows, I will journey on, till  I find him once again.»  She went on fora  long, long way, till at length she came  to the castle whither theprincess  had carried the prince; and there  was a feast got  ready, andshe heard  that the wedding was about to be held.  «Heaven aid me now!’said she; and  she took the casket that the sun had given her, and foundthat within it lay a dress as dazzling as the sun itself. So  she put iton, and went into  the palace, and all the people gazed upon her; andthe dress pleased the bride so much  that she  asked whether  it was  tobe  sold. «Not  for gold  and silver.» said she, «but for flesh andblood.» The princess asked what  she meant, and she said, «Let me speakwith the bridegroom this night in  his chamber, and I will give thee thedress.» At last the princess agreed, but she told her chamberlain  togive the prince  a sleeping draught, that  he might not hear or seeher. When evening came,  and the prince had  fallen asleep, she was  ledinto his  chamber, and  she sat herself  down at  his feet, and said: «Ihave followed thee seven years. I have been to the sun, the moon, andthe night-wind, to seek thee, and at last I have helped thee to overcomethe dragon.  Wilt thou then forget  me quite?» But the  prince all thetime slept so  soundly, that her voice  only passed over him,  andseemed like the whistling of the wind among the fir-trees.

Then poor Lily was led away, and  forced to give up the golden dress;and when she saw that there was no help  for her, she went out into ameadow, and sat herself down and wept. But as she sat she bethoughtherself of the egg that the moon had  given her; and when she  broke it,there ran out  a hen and twelve chickens of pure gold, that playedabout, and then  nestled under the old one’s wings, so as  to form themost beautiful sight in  the world. And she rose up and drove thembefore her, till the bride saw  them from her window, and was so pleasedthat she came forth and asked her  if she would sell  the brood.  «Notfor  gold or  silver, but  for flesh  and blood: let me again thisevening speak with the bridegroom in his chamber, and I will give theethe whole brood.»

Then the princess thought to betray her as before, and agreed to whatshe asked: but when the  prince went to his  chamber he asked thechamberlain why the wind had whistled  so in the night.  And thechamberlain told  him all—how he had given  him a sleeping  draught, andhow  a poor maiden  had come and spoken to him in his  chamber, and wasto come again that  night. Then the prince  took care to  throw away thesleeping draught; and  when Lily came and began again to tell him whatwoes had befallen her, and  how faithful and true to him she had  been,he knew his beloved wife’s  voice, and sprang up, and said,  «You haveawakened me as  from a dream, for  the strange princess had thrown  aspell around me,  so that I had  altogether forgotten you; but Heavenhath sent you to me in a lucky hour.»

And they  stole away  out of  the  palace by  night unawares,  andseated themselves on the griffin, who flew back with them over the RedSea.  When they were  half-way across  Lily let  the  nut fall  into thewater,  and immediately a  large nut-tree  arose  from the  sea, whereonthe  griffin rested for a while,  and then carried them  safely home.There they  found their child, now  grown up  to be  comely and  fair;and  after all  their troubles they lived happily together to the end oftheir days.