The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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recovered her consciousness she begged the shepherd to return with her to her father, who would reward him richly. But the youth answered that he wanted to see something of the world and that he would return again in three years, and nothing would make him change this resolve. The princess seated herself once more in her carriage, and bidding each other farewell, she and the shepherd separated, she to return home and he to see the world.
But while the princess was driving over a bridge the carriage suddenly stood still and the coachman turned round to her and said: "Your deliverer has gone and doesn't thank you for your gratitude. It would be nice of you to make a poor fellow happy; therefore you may tell your father that it was I who slew the dragon, and if you refuse to I will throw you into the river and no one will be any the wiser, for they will think the dragon has devoured you."
The maiden was in a dreadful state when she heard these words, but there was nothing for her to do but tc swear that she would give out the coachman as her deliverer, and not to divulge the secret to any one. So they returned to the capital, and every one was delighted when they saw the princess had returned unharmed; the black flags were taken down from all the palace towers and gay-colored ones put up in their place, and the king em­braced his daughter and her supposed rescuer with tears of joy, and turning to the coachman he said: "You have not only saved the life of my child, but you have also freed the country from a terrible scourge; therefore it is only fitting that you should be richly rewarded. Take, therefore, my daughter for your wife, but as she is still so young do not let the marriage be celebrated for another year."
The coachman thanked the king for his graciousness, and was then led away to be richly dressed and instructed m all the arts and graces that befitted his new position. But the poor princess wept bitterly, though she did not dare to confide her grief to any one. When the year was over, she begged so hard for another year's respite that it was granted to her. But this year passed also, and she threw herself at her father's feet and begged so piteously lor one more year that the king's heart was melted, and
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