Page:Christmas Fireside Stories.djvu/189

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ASHIEPATTLE AND THE KING'S HARES, 177 rhind seiling it to her, if she would give him three hundred dollars and a smacking kiss for each dollar in the bargain. He got that, and much more, for she was not so stingy in that respect. When she had got the whistle, she <tied it up well and put it in a safe place ; but she fared no better than the others, for when she was going to pull the whistle out it was gone, and in the even ing Ashiepattle came home driving the king's hares before him like a tame flock of sheep. " This is all stuff and nonsense," said the king ; " I shall have to go myself, if wc are to get this confounded whistle from him. I see no other way out of it." So when Ashiepattle next day had got into the wood with the hares, the king set out after him, and found him on the same sunny hill-side where the women folk had met him, and made the bargain with him. Well, the king and Ashiepattle became good friends and got on very well together, and Ashiepattle showed him the whistle and blew both in the one and the other end. The king thought it was a funny whistle, and wou»ld buy it by all means, even if he should pay a thousand dollars for it. " Yes, it is something like a pipe," said Ashiepattle, and it was not to be had for money ; " but do you see that white horse down yonder ? " he said, and pointed over in the wood. " Yes, that's my own mare, Snowfiake," said the king, He knew that himself without anybody telling him. " Well, if you will give me a thousand dollars and will kiss that white mare down in the bog behind that big fir-tree you shall have the whistle." "Is it not to be had at any other price ? " said the king. " No, it is not," said Ashiepattle. " But I suppose I may put my silk handkerchief between ? " said the king. Yes, he might do that. And so the king got the whistle, and put it into his purse, and this he put into his pocket and buttoned it well up, and set off on his way home. But when he came to the palace, and was going to pull out the whistle, he was no better off than the women folk ; he had not N