The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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cloak of many skins, and made her face and hands black with soot. Then she commended herself to God and went out and traveled the whole night till she came to a large forest. And as she was very much tired she sat down inside a hollow tree and fell asleep.
The sun rose and she still slept on and on, although it was nearly noon. Now, it happened that the king to whom this wood belonged was hunting in it. When his dogs came to the tree they sniffed and ran round and round it, barking. The king said to the huntsmen: "See what sort of a wild beast is in there." The huntsmen went in and then came back and said: "In the hollow tree there lies a wonderful animal that we don't know, and we have never seen one like it. Its skin is made of a thousand picees of fur; but it is lying down asleep." The king said: "See if you can catch it alive, and then fasten it to the cart and we will take it with us."
When the huntsmen seized the maiden, she awoke and was frightened and cried out to them: "I am a poor child, forsaken by father and mother. Take pity on me and let me go with you." Then they said to her: "Many-furred creature, you can work in the kitchen. Come with us and sweep the ashes together." So they put her in the cart and went back to the palace. There they showed her a tiny room under the stairs, where no daylight came, and said to her: "Many-furred creature, you can live and sleep here." Then she was sent into the kitchen, where she carried wood and water, poked the fire, washed vegetables, plucked fowls, swept up the ashes, and did all the dirty work.
So the many-furred creature lived for a long time in great poverty. Ah, beautiful king's daughter, what is going to befall you now?
It happened once when a great feast was being held in the palace that she said to the cook: "Can I go upstairs for a little bit and look on? I will stand outside the doors." The cook replied: "Yes, you can go up, but in half an hour you must be back here to sweep up the ashes." Then she took her little oil-lamp and went into her little room, drew off her fur cloak, and washed off the soot from her face and hands, so that her beauty shone forth, and it was as if one sunbeam after another were coming out of a black cloud. Then she opened the nut
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