54 TABULATION OF FOLKTALES.
forgetting danger, declares himself ready to win her. — (7) He is ordered to fetch a gold ring which king flings to bottom of the sea. Should he return without it he will be thrown in again and again till he is drowned. All the people grieve for the handsome youth as they leave him alone by the sea. While he stands considering, the three fishes he had saved come swim- ming towards him, and the middle one lays a mussel shell at his feet. He opens it, and finds inside the ring, which he takes to king, expecting to receive the promised reward. — (8) But princess scorns him as beneath her rank, and requires the performance of another task. She goes to garden, and scatters ten sacksful of millet seed on the grass, and tells him to pick all up before sunrise, leaving not a single grain. Youth considers impossi- bility of performing this task, and sorrowfully awaits his doom at break of day. But by the first sun's ray he sees the ten sacks standing quite full be- side him, not a grain missing. For during the night the grateful ant-king with his thousands had gathered all the millet seeds into the sacks. King's daughter comes down to garden and is amazed to find the task is done.— (9) But her pride is still unconquered, and she requires her suitor to bring her an apple from the Tree of Life. Youth knows not where this tree may stand, and sets out without hope. He wanders through three kingdoms, and lays him down to sleep beneath a tree. Hears a rustling in the branches, and a golden apple falls into his hand. At the same time the three ravens he had saved from starving perch upon his knee and tell him how, when they heard that he was seeking the golden apple, they flew over the sea to the end of the world and plucked it from the Tree of Life.— (10) Full of joy the youth now takes it to the king's beautiful daughter, who has no excuses left. They cut the Apple of Life in two and eat it together. Then her heart is filled with love for him, and a happy lot is theirs.
Alphabetical List of Incidents.
Animals, language of (1).
Ant-hill saved from horse's hoof by servant (4).
Dish with white snake, by which king knows secret things (1)^
Fish delivered from reeds by servant (3).
Grateful beasts, fish (7), ants (8), ravens (9).
Ravens saved from starving by servant (5).
Ring found in duck (2).
Ring lost by queen ; servant condemned as thief (2).
Servant given horse and money to see the world (3).
Snake, eating white, gives knowledge of animals' speech (1).
Tasks wrought by servant to win princess (6).
Tree of Life, apple from (10).
Where published.. — Grimm's Household Tales. London, 1884. Tale No. 17, , vol. i. pp. 72-76.