The BROWN FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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BALL-CARRIER AND THE BAD ONE 57
wa.ter, and get him ready for cooking, while I go and invite my friends the water-demons to the feast.'
The woman seized Ball-Carrier between her finger and thumb, and was going to carry him to the kitchen, when the boy spoke :
' I am very lean and small now,' he said, ' hardly worth the trouble of cooking; but if you were to keep me two days, and gave me plenty of food, I should get big and fat. As it is, your friends the water-demons would think you meant to laugh at them, when they found that I was the feast.'
' Well, perhaps you are right,' answered the Bad One ; ' I will keep you for two days.' And he went out to visit the water-demons.
Meanwhile the servant, whose name was Lung-Woman, led him into a little shed, and chained him up to a ring in the wall. But food was given him every hour, and at the end of two days he was as fat and big as a Christmas turkey, and could hardly move his head from one side to the other.
' He will do now,' said the Bad One, who came con­stantly to see how he was getting on. 'I shall go and tell the water-demons that we expect them to dinner to-night. Put the kettle on the fire, but be sure on no account to taste the broth.'
Lung-Woman lost no time in obeying her orders. She built up the fire, which had got very low, filled the kettle with water, and passing a rope which hung from the ceiling through the handle, swung it over the flames. Then she brought in Ball-Carrier, who, seeing all these pre­parations, wished that as long as he was in the kettle the water might not really boil, though it would hiss and bubble, and also, that the spirits would turn the water into fat.
The kettle soon began to sing and bubble, and Ball-Carrier was lifted in. Very soon the fat which wras to make the sauce rose to the surface, and Ball-Carrier, who
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