The Crimson Fairy Book - online children's book

A Classic fairy tale collection for children by Andrew Lang

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So in this fashion the old woman was brought to court.
'You have declared that you can bring hither the maiden from the wood?' said the emperor, who was seated on his throne.
'Yes, your Majesty, and I will keep my word,' said she.
'Then bring her at once,' said the emperor.
'Give me first a kettle and a tripod,' asked the old w omen, and the emperor ordered them to be brought instantly. The old woman picked them up, and tucking them under her arm went on her way, keeping at a little distance behind the royal huntsmen, who in their turn followed the prince.
Oh, what a noise that old woman made as she walked along! She chattered to herself so fast and clattered her kettle so loudly that you would have thought that a whole campful of gipsies must be coming round the next corner. But when they reached the forest, she bade them all wait outside, and entered the dark wood by herself.
She stopped underneath the tree where the maiden dwelt and, gathering some dry sticks, kindled a fire. Next, she placed the tripod over it, and the kettle on top. But something was the matter with the kettle. As fast as the old woman put it where it was to stand, that kettle was sure to roll off, falling to the ground with a crash.
It really seemed bewitched, and no one knows what might have happened if Wildrose, who had been all the time peeping out of her nest, had not lost patience at the old woman's stupidity, and cried out: 'The tripod won't stand on that hill, you must move it!'
'But where am I to move it to, my child?' asked the old woman, looking up to the nest, and at the same moment trying to steady the kettle with one hand and the tripod with the other.
'Didn't I tell you that it was no good doing that,' said Wildrose, more impatiently than before. 'Make a fire near a tree and hang the kettle from one of the branches.'
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