The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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at last the boys and girls ventured to come and play at hide-and-seek in my hair.
The horses of the army and of the royal stables were no longer shy, having been daily led before me; and one of the Emperor's huntsmen, on a large courser, took my foot, shoe and all, which was indeed a prodigious leap. I amused the Emperor one day in a very extraordinary manner. I took nine sticks, and fixed them firmly in the ground in a square. Then I took four other sticks, and tied them parallel at each corner, about two feet from the ground. I
fastened my handkerchief to the nine sticks that stood erect, and extended it on all sides till it was as tight as the top of a drum ; and I desired the Emperor to let a troop of his best horse, twenty-four in number, come and exercise upon this plain. His Majesty approved of the proposal, and I took them up one by one, with the proper officers to exercise them. As soon as they got into order they divided into two parties, discharged blunt arrows, drew their swords, fled and pursued, and, in short, showed the best military discipline I ever beheld. The parallel sticks secured them and
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