The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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298
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOR.
die. So he sat there full of grief and misery, eating every day only a tiny bit of bread and drinking only a mouthful of wine, and he watched death creeping nearer and nearer to him. One day as he was sitting staring moodily in front of him he saw a snake creep out of the corner toward the corpse. Thinking it was going to touch it he drew his sword, and saying, "As long as I am alive you shall not harm her," he cut it in three pieces. After a little time a second snake crept out of the corner, but when it saw the first one lying dead and in pieces it went back and came again soon, holding three green leaves in its mouth. Then it took the three bits of the snake and laid them in order and put one of the leaves on each wound. Imme­diately the pieces joined together, the snake moved itself and became alive, and then both hurried away. The leaves remained lying on the ground, and it suddenly occurred to the unfortunate man who had seen everything that the wonderful power of the leaves might also be exer­cised upon a human being.
So he picked up the leaves and laid one of them on the mouth and the other two on the eyes of the dead woman. And scarcely had he done this before the blood began to circulate in her veins, and then it mounted and brought color back to her white face. Then she drew her breath, opened her eyes, and said: "Ah! where am I?" "You are with me, dear lady," he answered, and told her all that had happened and how he had brought her to life again. He then gave her some wine and bread, and when all her strength had returned she got up, and they went to the door and knocked and called so loudly that the guards heard them and told the king. The king came himself to open the door, and there he found both happy and well, and he rejoiced with them that now all trouble was over. But the young king gave the three snake-leaves to a servant, saying to him: "Keep them carefully for me, and always carry them with you. Who knows but that they may help us in a time of need!"
It seemed, however, as if a change had come over the young queen after she had been restored to life, and as if all her love for her husband had faded from her heart. Some time afterward, when he wanted to take a journey over the sea to his old father and they were on board the ship, she forgot the great love and faithfulness he had shown her and how he had saved her from death, and fell
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