The Crimson Fairy Book - online children's book

A Classic fairy tale collection for children by Andrew Lang

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This time it was the third giant's fork that caught the bullet, and snapped in two.
'Well,' said he, 'if I were as foolish as you two, I would also fly into a rage, but I begin to see what time of day it is, and I'm going off this minute to see who it is that's playing these tricks with us.'
So well had the giant made his observations, that though Niels climbed down the tree as fast as he could, so as to hide among the bushes, he had just got to the ground when the enemy was upon him.
'Stay where you are,' said the giant, 'or I'll put my foot on you, and there won't be much of you left after that.'
Niels gave in, and the giant carried him back to his comrades.
'You don't deserve any mercy at our hands,' said his captor 'but as you are such a good shot you may be of great use to us, so we shall spare your life, if you will do us a service. Not far from here there stands a castle, in which the king's daughter lives; we are at war with the king, and want to get the upper hand of him by carrying off the princess, but the castle is so well guarded that there is no getting into it. By our skill in magic we have cast sleep on every living thing in the castle, except a little black dog, and, as long as he is awake, we are no better off than before; for, as soon as we begin to climb over the wall, the little dog will hear us, and its barking will waken all the others again. Having got you, we can place you where you will be able to shoot the dog before it begins to bark, and then no one can hinder us from getting the princess into our hands. If you do that, we shall not only let you off, but reward you handsomely.'
Niels had to consent, and the giants set out for the castle at once. It was surrounded by a very high rampart, so high that even the giants could not touch the top of it. 'How am I to get over that?' said Niels.
'Quite easily,' said the third giant; ' I'll throw you up on it.'
'No, thanks,' said Niels. 'I might fall down on the other side, or break my leg or neck, and then the little dog wouldn't get shot after all.'
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