The Crimson Fairy Book - online children's book

A Classic fairy tale collection for children by Andrew Lang

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On the third day they sent for the two young men and their work. Labakan came first and spread out his kaftan before the eyes of the astonished king. 'See, father,' he said; 'see, my honoured mother, if this is not a masterpiece of work. I'll bet the court tailor himself cannot do better.
The queen smiled and turned to Omar: 'And what have you done, my son?'
Impatiently he threw the stuff and scissors down on the floor. 'I have been taught how to manage a horse, to draw a sword, and to throw a lance some sixty paces, but I never learnt to sew, and such a thing would have been thought beneath the notice of the pupil of Elfi Bey, the ruler of Cairo.'
'Ah, true son of your father,' cried the queen; 'if only I might embrace you and call you son! Forgive me, my lord and husband,' she added, turning to the king, 'for trying to find out the truth in this way. Do you not see yourself now which is the prince and which the tailor? Certainly this kaftan is a very fine one, but I should like to know what master taught this young man how to make clothes.'
The king sat deep in thought, looking now at his wife and now at Labakan, who was doing his best to hide his vexation at his own stupidity. At last the king said: 'Even this trial does not satisfy me; but happily I know of a sure way to discover whether or not I have been deceived.'
He ordered his swiftest horse to be saddled, mounted, and rode off alone into a forest at some little distance. Here lived a kindly fairy called Adolzaide, who had often helped the kings of his race with her good advice, and to her he betook himself.
In the middle of the forest was a wide open space surrounded by great cedar trees, and this was supposed to be the fairy's favourite spot. When the king reached this place he dismounted, tied his horse to the tree, and standing in the middle of the open place said: 'If it is true that you have helped my ancestors in their time of need, do not despise their descendant, but give me counsel, for that of men has failed me.'
He had hardly finished speaking when one of the cedar trees opened, and a veiled figure all dressed in white stepped from it.
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