I hired a page named Pinkel to serve my little son. I liked the boy. He was clever and amusing, and he saw everything that passed under his eye.
One day, I went to the stables to make my weekly check on the horses. We had recently hired two brothers and I visited with them. They had groomed the horses so well their coats gleamed like satin.
In our conversation, one of the brothers mentioned a lantern he’d seen on an island in the middle of the lake. It was in the possession of the witch who lived there.
“I wonder how I might acquire that lantern,” I mused aloud. I could already see it in my collection of marvelous things.
“Send Pinkel for it,” said one of the boys. “The witch no doubt came by it in some evil way. Pinkel has a smooth tongue and he can get the better of any woman, old or young.”
“Can he now?” Well, I’ll get him go this very night,” I said. “And if he can bring me the lantern, I’ll make him one of my chief men.”
King Who Wants a Lantern in Pinkel the Thief, Orange Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.