The Crimson Fairy Book - online children's book

A Classic fairy tale collection for children by Andrew Lang

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'Yes; but this time you will have to do it properly,' said the herdsman; and he took the youth to the place where the pigs were feeding, and told him to drive them to the woods on the side of the mountain. This the young man did, but as soon as they reached the outskirts of the mountain they grew quite wild, and would have run away altogether, had they not luckily gone towards a narrow ravine, from which the youth easily drove them home to his father's cottage.
'Where do all these pigs come from, and how did you get them?' asked the old man in surprise, when his son knocked at the door of the hut he had left only the day before.
'They belong to the king's chief herdsman,' answered his son. 'He gave them to me to look after, but I knew I could not do it, so I drove them straight to you. Now make the best of your good fortune, and kill them and hang them up at once.'
'What are you talking about?' cried the father, pale with horror. 'We should certainly both be put to death if I did any such thing.'
'No, no; do as I tell you, and I will get out of it somehow,' replied the young man. And in the end he had his way. The pigs were killed, and laid side by side in a row. Then he cut off the tails and tied them together with a piece of cord, and swinging the bundle over his back, he returned to the place where they should have been feeding. Here there was a small swamp, which was just what he wanted, and finding a large stone, he fastened the rope to it, and sank it in the swamp, after which he arranged the tails carefully one by one, so that only their points were seen sticking out of the water. When everything was in order, he hastened home to his master with such a sorrowful face that the herdsman saw at once that something dreadful had happened.
'Where are the pigs?' asked he.
'Oh, don't speak of them!' answered the young man; 'I really can hardly tell you. The moment they got into the field they became quite mad, and each ran in a different direction. I ran too, hither and thither, but as fast as I caught one, another was off, till I was in despair. At last, however, I collected them all and was about to drive them back, when suddenly they rushed down the hill into the swamp, where they
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