The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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76
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
So saying, he drew a whistle from his pocket, and no sooner had he blown it than the princess saw the water of the river bubble and grow muddy, and in another instant up came hundreds of thousands of great oysters, who climbed slowly and laboriously toward her and laid at her feet all the pearls they contained.
"Those are what 1 call pearls," cried Grumedan in high glee. And truly there were enough of them to pave every path in Potentilla's garden and leave some to spare. The next day Prince Narcissus had prepared for the princess* pleasure a charming arbor of leafy branches, with couches of moss and grassy floor and garlands everywhere, with her name written in different-colored blossoms. Here he caused a dainty little banquet to be set forth, while hidden musicians played softly and the silvery fountains plashed down into their marble basins, and when presently the music stopped a single nightingale broke the stillness with his delicious chant.
"Ah!" cried the princess, recognizing the voice of one of her favorites, "Philomel, my sweet one, who taught you that new song?" And he answered: "Love, my princess." Meanwhile the enchanter was very ill-pleased with the entertainment, which he declared was dullness itself.
"You don't seem to have any idea in these parts beyond little squeaking birds!" said he. "And fancy giving a banquet without so much as an ounce of plate!"
So the next day, when the princess went out into her garden, there stood a summer-house built of solid gold, decorated within and without with her initials and the enchanter's combined. And in it was spread an enormous repast, while the table so glittered with golden cups and plates, flagons and dishes, candlesticks and a hundred other things besides, that it was hardly possible' to look steadily at it. The enchanter ate like six ogres, but the princess could not touch a morsel. Presently Grumedan remarked with a grin:
"I have provided neither musicians nor singers; but as
you seem fond of mnsic l wil1 sing to you myself."
Whereupon he began, with a voice like a screech-owl's, to chant the words of his "opera," only this time happily not at such a length and without the frog accompaniment. Alter this the prince again asked the aid of his friends the
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