The Old Woman In The Wood

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

Grimm's Fairy Tales: The Old Woman In The Wood (1920)
A poor servant-girl was once traveling with the family with which she
was in service, through a great forest, and when they were in the
midst of it, robbers came out of the thicket, and murdered all they
found. All perished together except the girl, who had jumped out of
the carriage in a fright, and hidden herself behind a tree. When the
robbers had gone away with their booty, she came out and beheld the
great disaster. Then she began to weep bitterly, and said, "What can
a poor girl like me do now? I do not know how to get out of the
forest, no human being lives in it, so I must certainly starve."

She walked about and looked for a road, but could find none. When it
was evening she seated herself under a tree, gave herself into God's
keeping, and resolved to sit waiting there and not go away, let
happen what might. When she had sat there for a while, a white dove
came flying to her with a little golden key in its beak. It put the
little key in her hand, and said, "Do you see that great tree,
therein is a little lock, open it with the tiny key, and you will
find food enough, and suffer no more hunger."
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