The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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310               THE BRAVE LITTLE TAILOR
'1 didn't throw anything,' growled the first one. They wrangled on for a time, till, as both were tired, they made up the matter and fell asleep again. The little tailor began his game once more, and flung the largest stone he could find in his wallet with all his force, and hit the first giant on the chest. ' This is too much of a good thing !' he yelled, and springing up like a madman, he knocked his companion against the tree till he trembled. He gave, however, as good as he got, and they became so enraged that they tore up trees and beat each other with thera, till they both fell dead at once on the ground. Then the little tailor jumped down. ' It's a mercy,' he said, ' that they didn't root up the tree on which I was perched, or I should have had to jump like a squirrel on to another, which, nimble though I am, would have been no easy job.' He drew his sword and gave each of the giants a very fine thrust or two on the breast, and then went to the horsemen and said : ' The deed is done, I've put an end to the two of them; but I assure you it has been no easy matter, for they even tore up trees in their struggle to de­fend themselves; but all that's of no use against one who slays seven men at a blow.' ' Weren't you wounded'? ' asked the horse­men. ' No fear,' answered the tailor ; ' they haven't touched a hair of my head.' But the horsemen wouldn't believe him till they rode into the wood and found the giants weltering in their blood, and the trees lying around, torn up by the roots.
The little tailor now demanded the promised reward from the King, but he repented his promise, and pondered once more how he could rid himself of the hero. ' Before you obtain the hand of my daughter and half my kingdom,' he said to him, ' you must do another deed of valour. A unicorn is running about loose in the wood, and doing much mischief; you must first catch it.' ' I'm even less afraid of one unicorn than of two giants; seven at a blow, that's my motto.' He took a piece of cord and an axe with him, went out to the wood, and again told the men who had been sent with him to remain outside. He hadn't to search long, for the unicorn soon passed by, and, on perceiving the tailor, dashed straight at him as though it were going to spike him on the spot. ' Gently, gently,' said he, ' not so fast, my friend;' and standing still he waited till the beast was quite near, when he sprang lightly behind a tree ; the unicorn ran with all its force against the tree, and rammed its horn so firmly into the trunk that it had no strength left to pull it out again, and was thus successful^' captured. ' Now I've caught my bird,' said the tailor, and he came out from
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