ger has given me a hundred trees to fell, for each of which I am to receive a silver groat. To cut these in the usual way would take many days. I will wish the ax to fell and trim them speedily, so,"--he continued aloud, as he had been taught by the fairy,--"Ax! ax! chop! chop! and work for my profit!"
Thereupon the ax suddenly leapt from his hands, and began to chop with great skill and swiftness. Having soon cut down, trimmed and rolled a hundred trees together, it returned, and placed itself in the hands of Ranier.
The wood-chopper was very much delighted with all this, and sat there pleasantly reflecting upon his good fortune in possessing so useful a servant, when the ranger of the forest came along. The latter, who was a great lord, was much surprised when he saw the trees lying there.
"How is this?" asked the ranger, whose name was Woodmount. "At this time yesterday these trees were standing. How did you contrive to fell them so soon?"
"I had assistance, my lord," replied Ranier; but he sai
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