The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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This old man also told him to beware o' the next beasts that he should meet, for they were of a very different kind from any he had yet seen.
So the young man went on, and by-and-by he saw a multitude of very dreadfu' beasts, ilk ane o' them wi' twa heads, and on every head four horns. And he was sore frightened, and ran away from them as fast as he could; and glad was he when he came to a castle that stood on a hillock, wi' the door standing wide to thewa'. And he gaed into the castle for shelter, and there he saw an auld wife sitting beside the kitchen fire. He asked the wife if he might stay there for the night, as he was tired wi' a lang journey; and the wife said he might, but it was not a good place for him to be in, as it belanged to the Bed Etin, who was a very terrible beast, wi' three heads, that spared no living man he could get hold of. The young man would have gone away, but he was afraid of the beasts on the outside of the castle ; so he beseeched the old woman to conceal him as well as she could, and not tell the Etin that he was there. He thought, if he could put over the night, he might get away in the morning without meeting wi' the beasts, and so escape. But he had not been long in his hidy-hole before the awful Etin came in; and nae sooner was he in than he was heard crying:
' Snouk but and snouk ben, I find the smell of an earthly man; Be he living, or be he dead, His heart this night shall kitchen ' my bread.'
The monster soon found the poor young man, and pulled him from his hole. And when he had got him out he told him that if he could answer him three questions his life should be spared. The first was: Whether Ireland or Scotland was first inhabited ? The second was: Whether man was made for woman, or woman for man ? The third was : Whether men or brutes were made first ? The lad not being able to answer one of these questions, the Eed Etin took a mace and knocked him on the head, and turned him into a pillar of stone.
On the morning after this happened the younger brither took out the knife to look at it, and he was grieved to find it a' brown wi' rust. He told his mother that the time was now come for him to go away upon his travels also; so she requested him to take the can to the well for water, that she might bake a cake for him. The
'Kitchen,' that is 'season.'
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