The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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The wolf didn't wait to have the offer repeated, but set to work and soon made an end of the poor beast. When the prince saw how different the wolf looked when he had finished his meal, he said to him: "Now, my friend, since you have eaten up my horse, and I have such a long way to go that, with the best will in the world, I couldn't manage it on foot, the least you can do for me is to act as my horse and to take me on your back."
"Most certainly," said the wolf, and letting the prince mount him he trotted gayly through the wood. After they had gone a little way he turned round and asked his rider where he wanted to go to, and the prince proceeded to tell him the whole story of the golden apples that had been stolen out of the king's garden, and how his other two brothers had set forth with many followers to find the thief. When he had finished his story the wolf, who was in reality no wolf, but a mig1 ty magician, said he thought he could tell him who the thief was and could help him to secure him. "There lives," he said, "in a neighboring country a mighty emperor who has a beautiful golden bird in a cage, and this is the creature who steals the golden apples, but it flies so fast that it is impossible to catch it at its theft. You must slip into the emperor's palace by night and steal the bird with the cage; but be very care­ful not to touch the walls as you go out."
The following night the prince stole into the emperor's palace and found the bird in its cage as the wolf had told him he would. He took hold of it carefully, but in spite of all his caution he touched the wall in trying to pass by some sleeping watchmen. They awoke at once and, seiz­ing him, beat him and put him into chains. Next day he was led before the emperor, who condemned him to death and to be thrown into a dark dungeon till the day of his execution arrived.
The wolf, who, of course, knew by his magic arts all that had happened to the prince, turned himself at once into a mighty monarch with a large train of followers and proceeded to the court of the emperor, where he was re­ceived with every show of honor. The emperor and he conversed on many subjects, and among other things the stranger asked his host if he had many slaves. The emperor told him he had more than he knew what to do with, and that a new one had been captured that very
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