The Crimson Fairy Book - online children's book

A Classic fairy tale collection for children by Andrew Lang

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brought the dagger call him whom your majesty believes to be your son Labakan, and say he was a crazy tailor? '
'Yes,' replied the queen; 'but what of that?'
'Might it not be,' said the old lady, 'that the impostor has called your real son by his own name? If this should be the case, I know of a capital way to find out the truth.'
And she whispered some words to the queen, who seemed much pleased, and went off at once to see the king.
Now the queen was a very wise woman, so she pretended to think she might have made a mistake, and only begged to be allowed to put a test to the two young men to prove which was the real prince.
The king, who was feeling much ashamed of the rage he had been in with his dear wife, consented at once, and she said: 'No doubt others would make them ride or shoot, or something of that sort, but every one learns these things. I wish to set them a task which requires sharp wits and clever hands, and I want them to try which of them can best make a kaftan and pair of trousers.'
The king laughed. 'No, no, that will never do. Do you suppose my son would compete with that crazy tailor as to which could make the best clothes? Oh, dear, no, that won't do at all.'
But the queen claimed his promise, and as he was a man of his word the king gave in at last. He went to his son and begged that he would humour his mother, who had set her heart on his making a kaftan.
The worthy Labakan laughed to himself. 'If that is all she wants,' thought he, 'her majesty will soon be pleased to own me.'
Two rooms were prepared, with pieces of material, scissors, needles and threads, and each young man was shut up in one of them.
The king felt rather curious as to what sort of garment his son would make, and the queen, too, was very anxious as to the result of her experiment.
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