The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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314
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
The children grew up both tall and handsome, and the foals and the lilies grew with them.
One day the children came to their father and said: "Father, we want to mount on golden steeds and ride forth to see the world."
Their father answered sadly: "How can I bear it if, when you are far away, I know nothing about you?" And they said: "The golden lilies will tell you all about us if you look at them. If they seem to droop you will know we are ill, and if they fall down and fade away it will be a sign we are dead."
So off they rode and came to an inn where were a num­ber of people who, as soon as they saw the two golden lads, began to laugh and jeer at them. When one of them heard this his heart failed him, and he thought he would go no further into the world, so he turned back and rode home to his father, but his brother rode on till he reached the outskirts of a huge forest. Here he was told: "It will never do for you to ride through the forest. It is full .of robbers, and you're sure to come to grief, especially when they see that you and your horse are golden. They will certainly fall on you and kill you." But he was not to be intimidated, and said: "I must and will ride on."
So he procured some bearskins and covered himself and his horse with them, so that not a particle of gold could be seen, and then rode bravely on into the heart of the forest.
When he had got some way he heard a rustling through the bushes and presently a sound of voices. Some one whispered on one side of him, "There goes some one," and was answered from the other side: "Oh, let him pass. He's only a bear-keeper and as poor as any church mouse." So the golden lad rode through the forest and no harm befell him.
One day he came to a village, where he saw a girl who struck him as being the loveliest creature in the whole world, and as he felt a great love for her he went up to her and said: "I love you with all my heart. Will you be my wife?" And the girl liked him so much that she put her hand in his and replied: "Yes, I will be your wife, and will be true to you as long as I live."
So they were married, and in the middle of all the fes-
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