The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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and barking lustily at all the other little dogs. The joy of the court was great. The father again embraced his fortunate son, commanded the rest of the small dogs to be thrown into the water and drowned, and once more ad­dressed his sons. "The two most difficult tasks have been performed. Now listen to the third and last: whoever brings the fairest wife home with him shall be my heir."
This demand seemed so easy and agreeable and the reward was so great that the princes lost no time in set­ting forth on their travels. At the cross-roads the two elder brothers debated if they should go the same way as the youngest, but when they saw how dreary and deserted it looked they made up their minds that it would be im­possible to find what they sought in these wilds, and so they stuck to their former paths.
The youngest was very depressed this time and said to himself, "Anything else Puddocky could have helped me in, but this task is quite beyond her power. How could she ever find a beautiful wife for me? Her swamps are wide and empty, and no human beings dwell there; only frogs and toads and other creatures of that sort." How­ever, he sat down as usual under the bridge, and this time he sighed from the bottom of his heart.
In a few minutes the toad stood in front of him and asked: "What's the matter with you now, my dear prince?"
"Oh, Puddocky, this time you can't help me, for the task is beyond even your power," replied the prince.
"Still," answered the toad, "you may as well tell me your difficulty, for who knows but I mayn't be able to help you this time also?"
The prince then told her the task they had been set to do. "I'll help you right enough, my dear prince," said the little toad. "Just you go home, and I'll soon follow you." AVith these words Puddocky, with a spring quite unlike her usual slow movements, jumped into the water and disappeared.
The prince rose up and went sadly on his way, for he didn't believe it possible that the little toad could really help him in his present difficulty. He had hardly gone a few steps when he heard a sound behind him, and looking round he saw a carriage made of cardboard, drawn by six big rats, coming toward him. Two hedgehogs rode in
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