The BROWN FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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RUBEZAHL
295
that I love him only, but that I am held captive by the gnome in his palace under the mountains.'
So the cricket hopped off gaily, determined to do his best to deliver his message ; but, alas ! a long-legged stork who was prancing along the same road caught him in her cruel beak, and before he could say a word he had disappeared down her throat.
These two unlucky ventures did not prevent the princess from trying once more.
This time she changed the turnip into a magpie.
' Flutter from tree to tree, chattering bird,' said she, ' till you come to Eatibor, my love. Tell him that I am a captive, and bid him come with horses and men, the third day from this, to the hill that rises from the Thorny Valley.'
The magpie listened, hopped awhile from branch to branch, and then darted away, the princess watching him anxiously as far as she could see.
Now Prince Eatibor was still spending his life in wandering about the woods, and not even the beauty of the spring could soothe his grief.
One day, as he sat in the shade of an oak tree, dreaming of his lost princess, and sometimes crying her name aloud, he seemed to hear another voice reply to his, and, starting up, he gazed around him, but he could see no one, and he had just made up his mind that he must be mistaken, when the same voice called again, and, looking up sharply, he saw a magpie which hopped to and fro among the twigs. Then Eatibor heard with surprise that the bird was indeed calling him by name.
' Poor chatterpie,' said he; ' who taught you to say that name, which belongs to an unlucky mortal who wishes the earth would open and swallow up him and his memory for ever? '
Thereupon he caught up a great stone, and would have hurled it at the magpie, if it had not at that moment uttered the name of the princess,
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