The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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124
THE MASTER-MAID
' Oh! you will see her quite soon enough,' said the giant.
On the morning of the third day the giant again had to go into the wood with the goats. ' To-day you must go underground and fetch my taxes,' he said to the Prince. ' When you have done this, you may rest for the remainder of the day, for you shall see what an easy master you have come to,' and then he went away.
' Well, however easy a master you may be, you set me very hard work to do,' thought the Prince; ' but I will see if I cannot find your Master-rnaid; you say she is yours, but for all that she may be able to tell me what to do now,' and he went to her. So, when the Master-maid asked him what the giant had set him to do that day, he told her that he was to go underground and get the taxes.
' And how will you set about that ? ' said the Master-maid.
' Oh ! you must tell me how to do it,' said the Prince,' for I have never yet been underground, and even if I knew the way I do not know how much I am to demand.'
* Oh! yes, I will soon tell you that; you must go to the rock there under the mountain-ridge, and take the club that is there, and knock on the rocky wall,' said the Master-maid. ' Then some­one will come out who will sparkle with fire : you shall tell him your errand, and when he asks you how much you want to have you are to say: "As much as I can carry." '
' Yes, I will keep that in mind,' said he, and then he sat there with the Master-maid the whole day, until night drew near, and he would gladly have stayed there till now if the Master-maid had not reminded him that it was time to be off to fetch the taxes before the giant came.
So he set out on his way, and did exactly what the Master-maid had told him. He went to the rocky wall, and took the club, and knocked on it. Then came one so full of sparks that they flew both out of his eyes and his nose. ' What do you want ? ' said he.
' I was to come here for the giant, and demand the tax for him,' said the King's son.
' How much are you to have then ? ' said the other.
' I ask for no more than I am able to carry with me,' said the Prince.
' It is well for you that you have not asked for a horse-load,' said he who had come out of the rock. ' But now come in with me.'
This the Prince did, and what a quantity of gold and silver he
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