The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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12
DONKEY SKIN
even if she is the humblest of our slaves. What is there in the whole world that we would not do for you? '
The prince, moved to tears at these words, drew the ring, which was an emerald of the purest water, from under his pillow.
' Ah, dear father and mother, let this be a proof that she whom I love is no peasant girl. The finger which that ring fits has never been thickened by hard work. But be her condition what it may, I will marry no other.'
The king and queen examined the tiny ring very closely, and agreed, with their son, that the wearer could be no mere ■ farm girl. Then the king went out and ordered heralds and trumpeters to go thiough the town, summoning every maiden to the palace. And she whom the ring fitted would some day be queen,
First came all the princesses, then ail tae duchesses' daughters, and so on, in proper order. ]>ut not one of them could slip the ring over the tip of her finger, to the great joy of the prince, whom excitement was fast curing. At last, when the high-born damsels had failed, the shopgirls and chambermaids took thur turn; but with no better fortune.
' Call in the scullions and shepherdesses,' commanded the prince; but the sight of their fat, red fingers satisfied everybody.
' There is not a woman left, your Highness,' said the chamberlain; but the prince waved him aside.
' Have you sent for u Donkey Skin," who made me the cake?' asked he, and the courtiers began to laugh, and replied that they would not have dared to introduce so dirty a creature into the palace.
' Let some one go for her at once,' ordered the king. ' I commanded the presence of every maiden, high or low, and I meant it.'
The princess had heard the trumpets and the pro­clamations, and knew quite well that her ring was at the bottom of it all. She. too, had fallen in love with the
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