The Crimson Fairy Book - online children's book

A Classic fairy tale collection for children by Andrew Lang

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would have been badly cut. But the moment he stretched out his hand it stopped and slid quietly into the scabbard.
For a long time the child sat sobbing, and the noise was heard by the king as he was driving by. 'Go and see who it is that is crying so,' said he to one of his servants, and the man went. In a few minutes he returned saying: 'Your Majesty, it is a little boy who is kneeling there sobbing because his mother has beaten him.'
'Bring him to me at once,' commanded the monarch, 'and tell him that it is the king who sends for him, and that he has never cried in all his life and cannot bear anyone else to do so.' On receiving this message the boy dried his tears and went with the servant to the royal carriage. 'Will you be my son?' asked the king.
'Yes, if my mother will let me,' answered the boy. And the king bade the servant go back to the mother and say that if she would give her boy to him, he should live in the palace and marry his prettiest daughter as soon as he was a man.
The widow's anger now turned into joy, and she came running to the splendid coach and kissed the king's hand. 'I hope you will be more obedient to his Majesty than you were to me,' she said; and the boy shrank away half-frightened. But when she had gone back to her cottage, he asked the king if he might fetch something that he had left in the garden, and when he was given permission, he pulled up his little sword, which he slid into the scabbard.
Then he climbed into the coach and was driven away.
After they had gone some distance the king said: 'Why were you crying so bitterly in the garden just now?'
'Because my mother had been beating me,' replied the boy.
'And what did she do that for?' asked the king again.
'Because I would not tell her my dream.'
'And why wouldn't you tell it to her?'
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