The Frost knew all about the weakness of human beings; he knew very well that few of them are really good and kind.
One day, as Margery was coming home from the next village, she met with some wicked, idle boys, who had tied a young raven to a staff. She offered at once to buy the raven for a penny, and this they agreed to.
Her father was a very respectable farmer but misfortunes and persecutions ruined this worthy man, and was the source of all poor Margery’s troubles.
‘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.’
The unfortunate child had to go twice a day to draw water more than a mile and a half from the house, and bring home a pitcherful of it.
The King had an only daughter who was so serious that no one could make her laugh; therefore he had given out that whoever should make her laugh should have her in marriage.
‘Far away,’ continued the statue, ‘far away in a little street there is a poor house. In a bed in the corner of the room a little boy is lying ill.’
Though it was a raven, it spoke thus, just like a human being: ‘I am very grateful for having been fed on fish by you. If you will come with me to my old father, he too will thank you.’
Early in the morning she had to get up to milk the cow, clean and polish everything in the house, and prepare breakfast for her father.
‘Ah!’ said the Hare; ‘the king of England has the finest orchard in the whole land, but it does not bear so much as a crab, for there lies a heavy gold chain in three turns round the orchard. If he got that dug up, there would not be a garden like it for bearing in all his kingdom.’