The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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PREFACE
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Children who have read our Fairy Books may have noticed that there are not so very many fairies in the stories after all. The most common characters are birds, beasts, and fishes, who talk and act like Christians. The reason of this is that the first peo­ple who told the stories were not very clever, or, if they were clever, they had never been taught to read and write, or to distinguish between Vegetable, Ani­mal, and Mineral. They took it that all things were 4 much of a muchness:' they were not proud, and held that beast and bird could talk like themselves, only, of course, in a different language.
After offering, then, so many Fairy Books (though the stories are not all told yet), we now present you (in return for a coin or two) with a book about the friends of children and of fairies — the beasts. The stories are- all true, more or less, but it is possible that Monsieur Dumas and Monsieur Thdophile Gautier rather improved upon their tales. I own that I have my doubts about the bears and serpents in the tales by the Baron Wogan. This gentleman's ancestors were famous Irish people. One of them
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