The Crimson Fairy Book - online children's book

A Classic fairy tale collection for children by Andrew Lang

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'I am coming, mother,' replied he; but first he took out his bones, and, crouching down on the ground behind the hut, asked them how he should escape the ogre.
'Change yourself into a mouse,' said the bones; and so he did, and the ogre grew tired of waiting, and told the woman she must invent some other plan.
'To-morrow I will send him into the field to pick some beans for me, and you will find him there, and can eat him.'
'Very well,' replied the ogre, 'and this time I will take care to have him,' and he went back to his lake.
Next morning Motikatika was sent out with a basket, and told to pick some beans for dinner. On the way to the field he took out his bones and asked them what he was to do to escape from the ogre. 'Change yourself into a bird and snap off the beans,' said the bones. And the ogre chased away the bird, not knowing that it was Motikatika.
The ogre went back to the hut and told the woman that she had deceived him again, and that he would not be put off any longer.
'Return here this evening,' answered she, 'and you will find him in bed under this white coverlet. Then you can carry him away, and eat him at once.'
But the boy heard, and consulted his bones, which said: 'Take the red coverlet from your father's bed, and put yours on his,' and so he did. And when the ogre came, he seized Motikatika's father and carried him outside the hut and ate him. When his wife found out the mistake, she cried bitterly; but Motikatika said: 'It is only just that he should be eaten, and not I; for it was he, and not I, who sent you to fetch the water.'
[Adapted from the Ba-Ronga (H. Junod).]
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