The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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offered me, but only that I may keep it for Prince Darling, who is not dead as you suppose ; the Fairy has assured me that *here is still hope that you may some day see him again, good and vir­tuous as he was when he first came to the throne. Alas!' he con­tinued, ' he was led away by flatterers. I knew his heart, and am certain that if it had not been for the bad influence of those who surrounded him he would have been a good king and a father to his people. "We may hate his faults, but let us pity him and hope for his restoration. As for me, I would die gladly if that could bring back our Prince to reign justly and worthily once more.'
These words went to Prince Darling's heart; he realised the true affection and faithfulness of his old tutor, and for the first time reproached himself for all his evil deeds; at the same instant he felt all his anger melting away, and he began quietly to think over his past life, and to admit that his punishment was not more than he had deserved. He left off tearing at the iron bars of the cage in which he was shut up, and became as gentle as a lamb.
The hunters who had caught him took him to a great men­agerie, where he was chained up among all the other wild beasts, and he determined to show his sorrow for his past bad behaviour by being gentle and obedient to the man who had to take care of him. Unfortunately, this man was very rough and unkind, and though the poor monster was quite quiet, he often beat him without rhyme or reason when he happened to be in a bad temper. One day when this keeper was asleep a tiger broke its chain, and flew at him to eat him up. Prince Darling, who saw what was going on, at first felt quite pleased to think that he should be delivered from his persecutor, but soon he thought better of it and wished that he were free.
' I would return good for evil,' he said to himself, ' and save the unhappy man's life.' He had hardly wished this when his iron cage flew open, and he rushed to the side of the keeper, who was awake and was defending himself against the tiger. When he saw the monster had got out he gave himself up for lost, but his fear was soon changed into joy, for the kind monster threw itself upon the tiger and very soon killed it, and then came and crouched at the feet of the man it had saved.
Overcome with gratitude the keeper stooped to caress the strange creature which had done him such a great service; but suddenly a voice said in his ear:
' A good action should never go unrewarded,' and at the same
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