The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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SPINDLE, SHUTTLE, AND NEEDLE.
285
SPINDLE, SHUTTLE, AND NEEDLE.
Once upon a time there lived a girl who lost her father and mother when she was quite a tiny child. Her god­mother lived all alone in a little cottage at the far end of the village, and there she earned her living by spinning, weaving, and sewing. The old woman took the little orphan home with her and brought her up in good, pious, industrious habits.
When the girl was fifteen years old her godmother fell ill, and calling the child to her bedside she said: "My dear daughter, I feel that my end is near. I leave you my cottage, which will, at least, shelter you, and also my spindle, my weaver's shuttle, and my needle, with which to earn your bread."
Then she laid her hands on the girl's head, blessed her, and added: "Mind and be good, and then all will go well with you." With that she closed her eyes for the last time, and when she was carried to her grave the girl walked behind her coffin weeping bitterly and paid her all the last honors.
After this the girl lived all alone in the little cottage. She worked hard, spinning, weaving, and sewing, and her old godmother's blessing seemed to prosper all she did. The flax seemed to spread and increase; and when she wove a carpet or a piece of linen, or made a shirt, she was sure to find a customer who paid her well, so that not only did she feel no want herself, but she was able to help those who did.
Now, it happened that about this time the king's son was making a tour through the entire country to look out for a bride. lie could not marry a poor woman and he did not wish for a rich one.
"She shall be my wife," said he, "who is at once the poorest and the richest." *
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