a time there was
a Glass Mountain at the top of which stood a castle made of pure gold,
and in front of the castle there grew an apple-tree on which there were
picked an apple
gained admittance into the golden castle, and there in a silver room
an enchanted Princess of surpassing fairness and beauty. She was as
too as she was beautiful, for the cellars of the castle were full of
stones, and great chests of the finest gold stood round the walls of
knights had come from
afar to try their luck, but it was in vain they attempted to climb the
mountain. In spite of having their horses shod with sharp nails, no one
managed to get more than half-way up, and then they all fell back right
down to the bottom of the steep slippery hill. Sometimes they broke an
arm, sometimes a leg, and many a brave man had broken his neck even.
beautiful Princess sat
at her window and watched the bold knights trying to reach her on their
splendid horses. The sight of her always gave men fresh courage, and
flocked from the four quarters of the globe to attempt the work of
her. But all in vain, and for seven years the Princess had sat now and
waited for some one to scale the Glass Mountain.
A heap of
corpses both of
riders and horses lay round the mountain, and many dying men lay
there unable to go any farther with their wounded limbs. The whole
had the appearance of a vast churchyard. In three more days the seven
would be at an end, when a knight in golden armour and mounted on a
steed was seen making his way towards the fatal hill.
his spurs into his
horse he made a rush at the mountain, and got up half-way, then he
turned his horse's head and came down again without a slip or stumble.
The following day he started in the same way; the horse trod on the
as if it had been level earth, and sparks of fire flew from its hoofs.
All the other knights gazed in astonishment, for he had almost gained
summit, and in another moment he would have reached the apple-tree; but
of a sudden a huge eagle rose up and spread its mighty wings, hitting
it did so the knight's horse in the eye.
shied, opened its
wide nostrils and tossed its mane, then rearing high up in the air, its
hind feet slipped and it fell with its rider down the steep mountain
Nothing was left of either of them except their bones, which rattled in
the battered golden armour like dry peas in a pod.
there was only one
more day before the close of the seven years. Then there arrived on the
scene a mere schoolboy --a merry, happy hearted youth, but at the same
time strong and well grown. He saw how many knights had broken their
in vain, but undaunted he approached the steep mountain on foot and
For long he
had heard his
parents speak of the beautiful Princess who sat in the golden castle at
the top of the Glass Mountain. He listened to all he heard, and
that he too would try his luck. But first he went to the forest and
a lynx, and cutting off the creature's sharp claws, he fastened them on
to his own hands and feet.
he boldly started up the Glass Mountain.
The sun was
down, and the youth had not got more than half-way up. He could hardly
draw breath he was so worn out, and his mouth was parched by thirst. A
huge black cloud passed over his head, but in vain did he beg and
her to let a drop of water fall on him. He opened his mouth, but the
cloud sailed past and not as much as a drop of dew moistened his dry
were torn and bleeding,
and he could only hold on now with his hands. Evening closed in, and he
strained his eyes to see if he could behold the top of the mountain.
he gazed beneath him, and what a sight met his eyes! A yawning abyss,
certain and terrible death at the bottom, reeking with half decayed
of horses and riders! And this had been the end of all the other brave
men who like himself had attempted the ascent.
almost pitch dark
now, and only the stars lit up the Glass Mountain. The poor boy still
on as if glued to the glass by his blood-stained hands. He made no
to get higher, for all his strength had left him, and seeing no hope he
calmly awaited death. Then all of a sudden he fell into a deep sleep,
forgetful of his dangerous position, he slumbered sweetly. But all the
same, although he slept, he had stuck his sharp claws so firmly into
glass that he was quite safe not to fall.
was guarded by the eagle which had overthrown the golden knight and his
horse. Every night it flew round the Glass Mountain keeping a careful
and no sooner had the moon emerged from the clouds than the bird rose
from the apple tree, and circling round in the air, caught sight of the
carrion, and sure
that this must be a fresh corpse, the bird swooped down upon the boy.
he was awake now, and perceiving the eagle, he determined by its help
dug its sharp claws
into the tender flesh of the youth, but he bore the pain without a
and seized the bird's two feet with his hands. The creature in
lifted him high up into the air and began to circle round the tower of
the castle. The youth held on bravely. He saw the glittering palace,
by the pale rays of the moon looked like a dim lamp; and he saw the
windows, and round one of them a balcony in which the beautiful
sat lost in sad thoughts. Then the boy saw that he was close to the
and drawing a small knife from his belt, he cut off both the eagle's
The bird rose up in the air in its agony and vanished into the clouds,
and the youth fell on to the broad branches of the apple-tree.
drew out the claws
of the eagle's feet that had remained in his flesh, and put the peel of
one of the golden apples on the wound, and in one moment it was healed
and well again. He pulled several of the beautiful apples and put them
in his pocket; then he entered the castle. The door was guarded by a
dragon, but as soon as he threw an apple at it, the beast vanished.
At the same
moment a gate
opened, and the youth perceived a courtyard full of flowers and
trees, and on a balcony sat the lovely enchanted Princess with her
As soon as
she saw the youth,
she ran towards him and greeted him as her husband and master. She gave
him all her treasures, and the youth became a rich and mighty ruler.
he never returned to the earth, for only the mighty eagle, who had been
the guardian of the Princess and of the castle, could have carried on
wings the enormous treasure down to the world. But as the eagle had
feet it died, and its body was found in a wood on the Glass Mountain.