The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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The rhymes were not very correct, but you see he had made them up so quickly that it is a miracle that they were not worse ; especially as he was horribly frightened all the time. When Galifron heard these words he looked all about him, and saw Charming standing, sword in hand; this put the giant into a ter­rible rage, and he aimed a blow at Charming with his huge iron club, which would certainly have killed him if it had reached him, but at that instant a raven perched upon the giant's head, and, pecking with its strong beak and beating with its great wings, so confused and blinded him that all his blows fell harmlessly upon the air, and Charming, rushing in, gave him several strokes with his sharp sword so that he fell to the ground. Whereupon Charming cut off his head before he knew anything about it, and the raven from a tree close by croaked out:
'You see I have not forgotten the good turn you did me in killing the eagle. To-day I think I have fulfilled my promise of repaying you.'
' Indeed, I owe you more gratitude than ycu ever owed me,' replied Charming.
And then he mounted his horse and rode off with Galifron's head.
When he reached the city the people ran after him in crowds, crying:
' Behold the brave Charming, who has killed the giant!' And their shouts reached the Princess's ear, but she dared not ask what was happening, for fear she should hear that Charming had been killed. But very soon he arrived at the palace with the giant's head, of which she was still terrified, though it could no longer do her any harm.
'Princess,' said Charming, 'I have killed your enemy; I hope you will now consent to marry the King my master.'
' Oh dear! no,' said the Princess, ' not until you have brought me some water from the Gloomy Cavern.
* Not far from here there is a deep cave, the entrance to which is guarded by two dragons with fiery eyes, who will not allow any­one to pass them. When you get into the cavern you will find an immense hole, which you must go down, and it is full of toads and snakes; at the bottom of this hole there is another little cave, in which rises the Fountain of Health and Beauty. It is some of this water that I really must have : everything it touches becomes won­derful. The beautiful things will always remain beautiful, and the ugly things become lovely. If one is y6*ung one never grows old,
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