beard, who, on hearing his request, replied: "Though all these women be exactly alike, thy wife will have a black thread in the shoe of her right foot."
So saying he vanished, and the traveller, thanking the twelve, descended the mountain.
Sure it is that without the black thread he would never have recognised her. And though the Magician tried to hide her, the spell was broken; and the two returned rejoicing to their home, where they lived happily ever after.
THE TWELVE MONTHS
There was once a widow who had two daughters, Helen, her own child by her dead husband, and Marouckla, his daughter by his first wife. She loved Helen, but hated the poor orphan, because she was far prettier than her own daughter. Marouckla did not think about her good looks, and could not understand why her stepmother should be angry at the sight of her. The hardest work fell to her share; she cleaned out the rooms, cooked, washed, sewed, spun, wove, brought in the hay