Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/409

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Collectanea. 399

happened ; so they decided to make him lose his mind and all his feelings, just as they had done with all the others.

But our Lad ? It seemed that the hedge-hog had told him that the princesses were going to talk about him.

Unseen by anyone, he slipped into their room, and heard every- thing. So now that he knew everything that there was to know, he went to his laurels and said :

"Laurels, laurels, With a golden hoe have I hoed you, Out of a golden ewer have I watered you. With a silken towel have I wiped you. Now give me the brains and the wealth of an Emperor's son."

As it had happened last time, a bud appeared upon a laurel, it grew, and then opened into a beautiful flower. The Lad took it, and then put it in his bosom. At once the sunburn fell from his face, and his skin became clear and bright. He felt a change in his brains, although he did not realise what it was. He began to judge differently. You see, his mind got sharper. At the same time, he found himself dressed in the most beautiful clothes.

So then he went to the Emperor, and asked him if he might watch his daughters during that night.

The Emperor pitied his youth, and told him that he had better look after his business, and leave this matter alone. The Lad insisted, however, until the Emperor granted his wish. You see, the Emperor had no idea that this was his Gardener's boy ! When the Lad was introduced to the princesses and the Emperor told them of his wish, they didn't recognise him either, he had become so very beautiful. Only the Youngest One, who had the " Augh " in her heart, knew him, and she began to pine away with love !

That night the princesses took him with them. He knew what was awaiting him, but he kept a look-out.

They arrived at the Bewitched Castle, and again they danced till dawn, when they all sat at the table and rejoiced. A drink was brought to the Lad ; it was a drink that had been brought to all the lads before him, a drink to make him lose his mind and feel- ings, a drink that was to be the undoing of him as it had been of the others.