The Crimson Fairy Book - online children's book

A Classic fairy tale collection for children by Andrew Lang

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The Boy Who Could Keep A Secret
Once upon a time there lived a poor widow who had one little boy. At first sight you would not have thought that he was different from a thousand other little boys; but then you noticed that by his side hung the scabbard of a sword, and as the boy grew bigger the scabbard grew bigger too. The sword which belonged to the scabbard was found by the little boy sticking out of the ground in the garden, and every day he pulled it up to see if it would go into the scabbard. But though it was plainly becoming longer and longer, it was some time before the two would fit.
However, there came a day at last when it slipped in quite easily. The child was so delighted that he could hardly believe his eyes, so he tried it seven times, and each time it slipped in more easily than before. But pleased though the boy was, he determined not to tell anyone about it, particularly not his mother, who never could keep anything from her neighbours.
Still, in spite of his resolutions, he could not hide altogether that something had happened, and when he went in to breakfast his mother asked him what was the matter.
'Oh, mother, I had such a nice dream last night,' said he; 'but I can't tell it to anybody.'
'You can tell it to me,' she answered. 'It must have been a nice dream, or you wouldn't look so happy.'
'No, mother; I can't tell it to anybody,' returned the boy, 'till it comes true.'
'I want to know what it was, and know it I will,' cried she, 'and I will beat you till you tell me.'
But it was no use, neither words nor blows would get the secret out of the boy; and when her arm was quite tired and she had to leave off, the child, sore and aching, ran into the garden and knelt weeping beside his little sword. It was working round and round in its hole all by itself, and if anyone except the boy had tried to catch hold of it, he
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