The Woodcutter's Son And Other English Tales Retold - Violet Moore Higgins

The Woodcutter's Son And Other English Tales Retold By Violet Moore Higgins


The Woodcutter's Son

ONCE upon a time, long long ago, there lived in a deep dark forest a woodcutter, his wife and their son Werdon. He was a bright boy, and though he had never traveled beyond his deep dark forest, he had read many books. He knew that beyond the wood there was a wonder world which he longed to see, where there were palaces and princesses, kings and knights. He longed to leave his home and see that world, and at last his parents consented to let him go. He bade them farewell, tenderly, and started on his way. As he reached the turn of the road, his father hurried after him, and slipped into his pocket a golden snuff box.

"Do not open it until you are near death," he said, and returned home.

At nightfall, after a long hard day's journey, in which Werdon grew very tired and hungry, he reached a castle, and knocking at the back gate, he was admitted by a maid servant, who seated him by the fire and gave him some food.

Her master's daughter came out into the kitchen as Werdon was eating, and straightway fell in love with the tall, handsome young man, while he, who had seen lovely ladies only in books, as straightway fell in love with her. Then came the master himself, and began questioning Werdon as to what he could do to pay for his bread and cheese and soup.