The Goose Girl /p1
There was once an old Queen who had a very beautiful daughter. The time came when the maiden was to go into a distant country to be married. The old Queen packed up everything suitable to a royal outfit.
She also sent a Waiting-woman with her. When the hour of departure came they bade each other a sorrowful farewell and set out for the bridegroom's country.
When they had ridden for a time the Princess became very thirsty, and said to the Waiting-woman, "Go down and fetch me some water in my cup from the stream. I must have something to drink."
"If you are thirsty," said the Waiting-woman, "dismount yourself, lie down by the water and drink. I don't choose to be your servant."
Being very thirsty, the Princess dismounted, and knelt by the flowing water.
Now, when she was about to mount her horse again, the Waiting-woman said, "By rights your horse belongs to me; this jade will do for you!"
The poor little Princess was obliged to give way. Then the Waiting-woman, in a harsh voice, ordered her to take off her royal robes, and to put on her own mean garments. Finally she forced her to swear that she would not tell a person at the Court what had taken place. Had she not taken the oath she would have been killed on the spot.
There was great rejoicing when they arrived at the castle. The Prince hurried towards them, and lifted the Waiting-woman from her horse, thinking she was his bride. She was led upstairs, but the real Princess had to stay below.
The old King looked out of the window and saw the delicate, pretty little creature standing in the courtyard; so he asked the bride about her companion. "I picked her up on the way, and brought her with me for company. Give the girl something to do to keep her from idling."
The old King said, "I have a little lad who looks after the geese; she may help him.