The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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200
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
Full of wrath they ran to Simon's house, and refusing to listen to a word of explanation or excuse they seized the old man and put him into a sack, meaning to drown him in the neighboring river. On their way there, however, a sudden noise threw them into such a panic that they dropped the sack with Simon in it and ran for their lives.
Soon after this a shepherd happened to pass by with his flock, and while he was slowly following the sheep, who paused here and there by the wayside to browse on the tender grass, he heard a pitiful" voice wailing: "They insist on my taking her, and I don't want her, for I am too old and I really can't have her." The shepherd was much startled, for he couldn't make out where these words, which were repeated more than once, came from, and looked about him to the right and left. At last he perceived the sack in which Simon was hidden, and going up to it he opened it and discovered Simon repeating his dismal complaint. The shepherd asked him why he had been left there tied up in the sack.
Simon replied that the king of the country had insisted on giving him one of his daughters as a wife, but that he had refused the honor because he was too old and too frail. The simple-minded shepherd, who believed his story implicitly, asked him: "Do you think the king of the country would give his daughter to me?"
"Yes, certainly. 1 know he would," answered Simon, "if you were tied up in this sack instead of me." Then getting out of the sack, he tied the confiding shepherd up in it instead, and at his request fastened it securely and drove the sheep on himself.
An hour had scarcely passed when the three rogues re­turned to the place where they had left Simon in the sack, and without opening it, one of them seized it and threw it into the river. And so the poor shepherd was drowned instead of Mr. Simon!
The three rogues, having wrecked their vengeance, set out for home. On their way they noticed a flock of sheep grazing not far from the road. They longed to steal a few of the lambs, and approached the flock, and were more than startled to recognize Mr. Simon, whom they had drowned in the river, as the shepherd who was look­ing after the sheep. They asked him how he had man­aged to get out of the river, to which be replied:
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