The Little Robber Maiden

Theydrovethroughthedarkwood;butthecarriageshonelikeatorch,anditdazzledtheeyesoftherobbers,sothattheycouldnotbeartolookatit. 

"’Tisgold!’Tisgold!"theycried;andtheyrushedforward,seizedthehorses,knockeddownthelittlepostilion,thecoachman,andtheservants,andpulledlittleGerdaoutofthecarriage. 

"Howplump,howbeautifulsheis!Shemusthavebeenfedonnut-kernels,"saidtheoldfemalerobber,whohadalong,scrubbybeard,andbushyeyebrowsthathungdownoverhereyes. "Sheisasgoodasafattedlamb!Howniceshewillbe!" Andthenshedrewoutaknife,thebladeofwhichshonesothatitwasquitedreadfultobehold. 

"Oh!"criedthewomanatthesamemoment.Shehadbeenbittenintheearbyherownlittledaughter,whohungatherback; andwhowassowildandunmanageable,thatitwasquiteamusingtoseeher. "Younaughtychild!"saidthemother:andnowshehadnottimetokillGerda. 

"Sheshallplaywithme,"saidthelittlerobberchild."Sheshallgivemehermuff,andherprettyfrock;sheshallsleepinmybed!" Andthenshegavehermotheranotherbite,sothatshejumped,andranroundwiththepain;andtheRobberslaughed,andsaid, "Look,howsheisdancingwiththelittleone!" 

"Iwillgointothecarriage,"saidthelittlerobbermaiden;andshewouldhaveherwill,forshewasveryspoiledandveryheadstrong. SheandGerdagotin;andthenawaytheydroveoverthestumpsoffelledtrees,deeperanddeeperintothewoods. 

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