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THE DOLL IN THE GRASS
ONCE upon a time there was a King who had twelve sons.
When they were grown up he told them they must go out
into the world and find themselves wives, who must all
be able to spin and weave and make a shirt in one day,
else he would not have them for daughters-in-law. He
gave each of his sons a horse and a new suit of armor,
and so they set out in the world to look for wives.
When they had traveled a bit on the way they said they
would not take Ashiepattle with them, for he was good
for nothing. Ashiepattle must stop behind; there was
no help for it. He did not know what he should do or
which way he should turn; he became so sad that he got
off the horse and sat down on the grass and began to
When he had sat a while, one of the tussocks among the
grass began to move, and out of it came a small white
figure; as it came nearer Ashiepattle saw that it was
a beautiful little girl, but she was so tiny, so very,
She went up to him and asked him if he would come
below and pay a visit to the doll in the grass.
Yes, that he would; and so he did. When he came down
below, the doll in the grass was sitting in a chair,
dressed very finely and looking still more beautiful.
She asked Ashiepattle where he was going and what was
He told her they were twelve brothers, and that the
King had given them each a horse and a suit of armor,
and told them to go out in the world and find
themselves wives, but
 they must all be able to
spin and weave and make a shirt in a day.
"If you can do that and will become my wife, I will
not travel any farther," said Ashiepattle to the doll
in the grass.
Yes, that she would, and she set to work at once to
get the shirt spun, woven, and made; but it was so
tiny, so very, very tiny, no bigger than—so!
Ashiepattle then returned home, taking the shirt with
him; but when he brought it out he felt very shy
because it was so small. But the King said he could
have her for all that, and you can imagine how happy
and joyful Ashiepattle became.
The road did not seem so long to him as he set out to
fetch his little sweetheart. When he came to the doll
in the grass he wanted her to sit with him on his
horse; but no, that she wouldn't; she said she would
sit and drive in a silver spoon, and she had two small
white horses which would draw her. So they set out, he
on his horse and she in the silver spoon; and the
horses which drew her were two small white mice.
Ashiepattle always kept to one side of the road, for
he was so afraid he should ride over her; she was so
very, very tiny.
When they had traveled a bit on the way they came to a
large lake; there Ashiepattle's horse took fright and
shied over to the other side of the road, and upset
the spoon, so that the doll in the grass fell into the
water. Ashiepattle became very sad, for he did not
know how he should get her out again; but after a
while a merman brought her up. But now she had become
just as big as any other grown-up being and was much
more beautiful than she was before. So he placed her
in front of him on the horse and rode home.
When Ashiepattle got there all his brothers had also
returned, each with a sweetheart; but they were so
ugly and ill-favored and bad-tempered that they had
come to blows with their sweethearts on their way
home. On their heads they had hats which were painted
with tar and soot, and this had run from their hats
down their faces, so that they were still uglier
and more ill-favored to behold.
When the brothers saw Ashiepattle's sweetheart they
 envious of him, but the King was so
pleased with Ashiepattle and his sweetheart that he
drove all the others away, and so Ashiepattle was
married to the doll in the grass; and afterwards they
lived happy and comfortable for a long, long while;
and if they are not dead, they must be still alive.