The Princess ascended a narrow, winding staircase and reached a little door. A rusty key was sticking in the lock, and when she turned it the door flew open. In a little room sat an old woman with a spindle, spinning her flax busily.
‘You must take great pains to make my bed well, and shake it up thoroughly, so that the feathers fly about, and then in the world it snows, for I am Mother Hulda.’
‘What will you give me if I spin all this straw into gold for you?’ ‘My necklace,’ said the girl.
And a rumor went abroad in all that country of the beautiful sleeping Rosamond, for so was the Princess called; and from time to time many Kings' sons came and tried to force their way through the hedge.
The Princess had no sooner taken the spindle than it ran into her hand, and she fell down in a swoon.