FRUIT FOR THE KING'S SON
OW when Girl-go-with-the-Goats came back from the
stepping-stones with a shining star on her forehead
(and how that star came to be there will be told to you
afterwards), when she came back to the house of her
step-mother, lo and behold! A surprising thing was
coming to happen.
For the King's son, no less! Had come as far as the
garden fornenst that house, and sitting upon his white
jennet, he was looking across the ditch into the
Garden. And there was Buttercup and Berry-bright
 standing on the doorstep and making curtseys to him.
Girl-go-with-the-Goats stood one side of the garden
ditch, letting a bush hide her from the King's son and
from her two step-sisters.
"Give me berries out of your garden, fair maids," said
the King's son to Berry-bright and to Buttercup. One
came towards him, and one went back into the house. To
the one who came to him, he handed a cup of silver.
"Take it into your hand, damsel," he said, "and fill it
It was Buttercup who had come towards him.
 She took the silver cup from the King's son and went
into the garden. Berry-bright had gone into the house
for a vessel, and she came back with an earthenware cup
in her hands. When she saw her sister holding the
silver cup in her hands she bit her lips in rage.
Buttercup went into the garden. She went to the
raspberry bush to pick the berries. But as soon as she
came near it, a flock of birds flew at her; sparrows
and starlings they were, and they pecked at her eyes
and her arms and drove her back to the door of the
"Unlucky wench," cried the King's son. "Let the other
maid come now and gather me berries in her earthenware
Berry-bright ran towards the red-currant bush to pick
from it the full of her earthenware cup of berries.
But the swallows of the air darted down upon her. With
their fierce eyes and wicked mouths they drove
Berry-bright out of the garden.
"Unlucky wenches, both," cried the King's son. "Will I
not be able to get from your garden a cup full of
 Then Girl-go-with-the-Goats slipped from behind the
bush and darted into the garden. She took up an old
shoe that lay on the ground. She went towards the
black-currant bush, and no bird darted in anger at her.
Instead two starlings flew down and lighting, one on
each shoulder, sang to her. Then
Girl-go-with-the-Goats gathered the black currants into
the old shoe and brought them to the King's son.
"Oh, to be served with black currants out of an old
shoe and by a girl as ragged as this wench," cried the
King's son. "Out of my sight," he cried when he ate
the berries. He took up the old shoe and he struck
Girl-go-with-the-Goats on the arm with it.
Still she did not move, but stood looking up at him,
her mouth trembling, but her eyes steady, and the two
starlings resting, on each shoulder.
"Gawk of a girl, out of my way," cried the King's son.
Saying this, he rode his jennet forward and pushed
Girl-go-with-the-Goats against the garden ditch.
Then he rode down the road, and the birds
 that had pecked at Berry-bright and Buttercup flew up
into the air.
And there stood Buttercup on the step of the house with
the silver cup in her hands, and there stood
Berry-bright inside the garden gate with the
earthenware cup in her hands, and each one saying to
herself, "Who was it that put bad luck on me to-day?"
And there was Girl-go-with-the-Goats crouching against
the garden ditch with the two starlings upon her
shoulders, thinking that the very trees around her were
singing and that their songs were like the light and
like the darkness.
And there was her step-mother, Dame Dale, coming up the
path from the stepping-stones.
But now we have to tell you how it was that
Girl-go-with-the-Goats came to get that shining star
upon her forehead:
A shining star
Like a lonely blossom.
It was the Old Woman in the Crow-feather Cloak who had
placed it there for her. They had come
 together to the stepping-stones, the Old Woman, holding
under her arm the cake that Girl-go-with-the-Goats had
kneaded and made and given her. "There is not much I
can do for you, Maid-alone," said the Old Woman (for
the Girl had not called herself
"Girl-go-with-the-Goats" but "Maid-alone"). "There is
not much I can do for you," she said, "except let the
world see what I see in you." And saying that, she
took water from the stream and splashed it on the
girl's forehead. And then came out the shining star.
She told the Girl to bend down and look at herself in
the water of the stream. The Girl-go-with-the-Goats
bent down and saw the shining star on her forehead.
Oh, long and in wonder did she look on it. And when
she lifted her face from the flowing stream the Old
Woman in the Crow-feather Cloak was not to be seen.
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