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Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

And when the fawn heard the holloa


"Oh

dear," he said, "do let me go and see the hunt; I cannot restrain myself." And he begged so hard that at last she reluctantly consented.

"But remember," she said, "I must lock the cottage door against those huntsmen, so when you come back in the evening, and knock, I shall not admit you, unless you say, 'Dear little sister let me in.'"

He bounded off as she spoke, scarcely stopping to listen, for it was so delightful for him to breathe the fresh air and be free again.

He had not run far when the king's chief hunter caught sight of the beautiful animal, and started off in chase of him; but it was no easy matter to overtake such rapid footsteps. Once, when he thought he had him safe, the fawn sprang over the bushes and disappeared.

As it was now nearly dark, he ran up to the little cottage, knocked at the door, and cried, "Dear little sister, let me in." The door was instantly opened, and oh, how glad his sister was to see him safely resting on his soft pleasant bed!

A few days after this, the huntsmen were again in the forest; and when the fawn heard the holloa, he could not rest in peace, but begged his sister again to let him go.

She opened the door, and said, "I will let you go this time; but pray do not forget to say what I told you, when you return this evening."

style="text-align: justify;">The chief hunter very soon espied the beautiful fawn with the golden collar, pointed it out to the king, and they determined to hunt it.

They chased him with all their skill till the evening; but he was too light and nimble for them to catch, till a shot wounded him slightly in the foot, so that he was obliged to hide himself in the bushes, and, after the huntsmen were gone, limp slowly home.

One of them, however, determined to follow him at a distance, and discover where he went. What was his surprise at seeing him go up to a door and knock, and to hear him say, "Dear little sister, let me in." The door was only opened a little way, and quickly shut; but the huntsman had seen enough to make him full of wonder, when he returned and described to the king what he had seen.

"We will have one more chase to-morrow," said the king, "and discover this mystery."

In the meantime the loving sister was terribly alarmed at finding the stag's foot wounded and bleeding. She quickly washed off the blood, and, after bathing the wound, placed healing herbs on it, and said, "Lie down on your bed, dear fawn, and the wound will soon heal, if you rest your foot."

In the morning the wound was so much better that the fawn felt the foot almost as strong as ever, and so, when he again heard the holloa of the hunters, he could not rest. "Oh, dear sister, I must go once more; it will be easy for me to avoid the hunters now, and my foot feels quite well; they will not hunt me unless they see me running, and I don't mean to do that."

But his sister wept, and begged him not to go: "If they kill you, dear fawn, I shall be here alone in the forest, forsaken by the whole world."

"And I shall die of grief," he said, "if I remain here listening to the hunter's horn."

So at length his sister, with a heavy heart, set him free, and he bounded away joyfully into the forest.

As soon as the king caught sight of him, he said to the huntsmen, "Follow that stag about, but don't hurt him." So they hunted him all day, but at the approach of sunset the king said to the hunter who had followed the fawn the day before, "Come and show me the little cottage."


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