Just then, the same ancient crone stepped from the dusky shadows, leaning on her gnarled stick. “Have you a coin for an old woman?” she asked in her thin voice, holding out her wrinkled hand.
“Yes, certainly,” said the youngest brother, dipping into his little purse and selecting a small silver coin. “It’s not much, but you’re welcome to it.”
She took the coin and hid it in the folds of her ragged gown. “And have you bread to share with a poor old woman?” she asked, holding out her hand again.
“Yes, and you are welcome to it too,” said the boy, breaking off and handing her a chunk of his simple brown bread.
“So be it,” said the old woman, her voice stronger. The youngest brother watched, amazed, as the old woman grew and ...