The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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302
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
the raven to dress for their supper. Now, as it happened, this inn was a regular resort of a band of murderers, and the old witch too was in the habit of frequenting it.
As soon as it was dark twelve murderers arrived, with the full intention of killing and robbing the strangers. Before they set to work, however, they sat down to table, and the landlord and the old witch joined them, and they all ate some broth in which the flesh of the raven had been stewed down. They had hardly taken a couple of spoonfuls when they all fell down dead, for the poison had passed from the horse to the raven and so into the broth. So there was no one left belonging to the house but the landlord's daughter, who was a good, well-meaning girl, and had taken no part in all the evil doings.
She opened all the doors and showed the strangers the treasures the robbers had gathered together; but the prince bade her keep them all for herself, as he wanted none of them, and so he rode further with his servant.
After traveliug about for some length of time they reached a town where lived a lovely but most arrogant princess. She had given out that any one who asked her a riddle which she found herself unable to guess should be her husband, but should she guess it he must forfeit his head. She claimed three days in which to think over the riddles, but she was so very clever that she invariably guessed them in a much shorter time. Nine suitors had already lost their lives when the king's son arrived, and dazzled by her beauty he determined to risk his life in hopes of winning her.
So he came before her and propounded his riddle. "What is this?" he asked. "One slew none and yet killed twelve."
She could not think what it was. She thought, and thought, and looked through all her books of riddles and puzzles, but she found nothing to help her and could not guess; in fact, she was at her wits' end. As she could think of no way to guess the riddle, she ordered her maid to steal at night into the prince's bedroom and to listen, for she thought that he might perhaps talk aloud in his dreams and so betray the secret. But the clever servant had taken his master's place, and when the maid came he tore off the cloak she had wrapped herself in and hunted her off with a whip. On the second night the princess
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