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unite, and form an unbroken egg once
more. Then will days of happiness be at
hand. In the meanwhile, make a small
silken bag, as a case for the basket, and
wear it constantly in your bosom; for, if
this precaution be adopted, neither your
stepmother, nor indeed any one else, will
be capable of doing you harm. However,
should any unforeseen mischance arise, just
take the small feathery substance out of the
basket, and blow it into the air. My
appearance will he instantaneous, and to
assist you will be my object. We will now
take a turn into the garden, where, seated
under the branches of the linden tree, we
can have a little further talk."

Astounded at this uninterrupted flow of
words, Yolka thought that her godmother
had talked enough for a month, but as she
would not offend so kind a benefactress,
she accompanied her into the garden, where
another flow of speech commenced and lasted
till nightfall. The godmother then uttered
a few mysterious words over the basket,
and a table laden with delicate viands rose
from the ground as a substantial supplement
to the feast of reason. After they
had partaken of the repast they returned
to the palace, and on their way, the
godmother communicated to Yolka the mysterious
words which had been uttered over
the basket, and which, of course, we should
not feel justified in communicating to the
reader. The basket too, as was afterwards
proved, had a manifest effect upon the
queen's temper, since Yolka, from the time
she wore it, was scarcely ever vexed by a
cross word.

Again years passed away, and Yolka, a
fine girl in her advanced teens was so
exceedingly beautiful, that the young
generation declared nothing so lovely had ever
been seen; while the old and middle-aged
vowed that nobody could be compared with
her, except her godmother, whose appearance
at the christening had never been
forgotten. A war, resulting in a siege of
the city where the king resided, and a
scarcity of provisions, recently caused people
to think of other matters, and the royal
larder being nearly exhausted, even Yolka
herself forgot to look into her own mirror.
Under these distressing circumstances she
blew the fluff into the air and besought her
godmother, who immediately appeared, to
tell her, briefly if possible, how the grand
misery could be alleviated.

"My dearest child," commenced the
brilliant godmother, "the virtues of that
basket are not transferable. I see you do
not apprehend my meaning. Let me,
therefore, dilate. When I say that the
virtues of the basket are not transferable, I
mean that they are only available to you
yourself. Indeed, if we beings of a
superior order assisted everybody in
trouble, as a matter of course, we should
have enough work upon our hands. You,
as you ought to be aware, are a
peculiarly favoured personagedo not ask
whyand you, therefore, I will assist.
As for the others, they must manage as
well as they can."

So saying, the glittering godmother led
Yolka out of the city, rendering her
invisible to the eyes of the besieging soldiers,
and proceeded to a quiet spot, where she
presented her with the dress of a peasant
girl, and so altered her features (not for
the better) that she could not have been
recognised by her most intimate friends.
If she wished to regain her lost good looks
she was to use the power of the basket.

Yolka had not left the city an hour too
soon, for on the following day it was taken
by storm, and all sorts of horrors ensued.
The king and all the members of the royal
family and all the nobility were made
prisoners, with the exception of lucky
Prince William, who got out of the way,
and the unlucky queen, who was killed by
a spear in the general tumult. Moreover,
the ruthless foes so devastated the
surrounding country, that for whole days
Yolka wandered from place to place unable
to find a sheltering roof, though her
"board," as we should now say, was
liberally supplied by the basket. At last she
came to a farm, where she was hired as a
servant, and though she at first found the
work too hard, she became, in three days,
so handy and active that no drudgery was
too much for her strength. Soon her
condition improved. While one morning she
was scouring her milk-pails in the yard, a
fine lady passed in her carriage, and with
the consent of the farmer engaged Yolka
as her "own maid."

After she had been half-a-year in her new
place at the lady's country seat, where she
had nothing to do but to set the room
straight and to attend to the duties of the
toilette, news arrived to the effect that
Prince William had raised an army and
recovered the kingdom, of which he was now
the rightful sovereign, as his father had died
in captivity. When the year of mourning
had expired, a proclamation went forth, after
the good old fashion, to the effect that the