THE SIX SWANS

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A king was once hunting in a great forest, and he chased his prey so eagerly that none of his men could follow him. As evening approached he stopped and looked around, and saw that he was lost. He looked for a way out of the woods, but he could not find one. Then he saw an old woman with a bobbing head who approached him. She was a witch.

“My dear woman,” he said to her, “can you show me the way through the woods?”

“Oh, yes, your majesty,” she answered, “I can indeed. However, there is one condition, and if you do not fulfill it, you will never get out of these woods, and will die here of hunger.”

“What sort of condition is it?” ...

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