Page:The Red Fairy Book.djvu/152

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132
THE WONDERFUL BIRCH

'To give you back your human form again.'

'Alack-a-day! I have nothing to cover me now, poor creature that I am!' cried the young woman, and transformed herself first into a distaff, then into a wooden beetle, then into a spindle, and into all imaginable shapes. But all these shapes the King's son went on destroying till she stood before him in human form again.

Alas! wherefore take me home with you again,' cried the young woman, 'since the witch is sure to eat me up?'

'She will not eat you up,' answered her husband; and they started for home with the child.

But when the witch wife saw them she ran away with her daughter, and if she has not stopped she is running still, though at a great age. And the Prince, and his wife, and the baby lived happy ever afterwards.[1]

  1. From the Russo-Karelian.