The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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castle.' He stretched himself out comfortably, and was almost asleep, when he heard a voice calling to him softly:
' Are you a ghost,' it said, ' or a man? '
He looked up, and saw a girl leaning out of a window, and he answered:
' I am a man, and a better one, too, than your father or your grandfather.'
' May all good luck be with you,' said she; ' but what has brought you into this land of ogres and horrors ?'
' Does an ogre really live in this castle?' asked he.
'Certainly he does,' replied the girl, ' and as night is not far off he will be here soon. So, dear friend, depart quickly, lest he return and snap you up for supper.'
' But I am so thirsty! ' said the man. ' Be kind, and give me some drink, or else I shall die! Surely, even in this desert there must be some spring? '
' Well, I have noticed that whenever the ogre brings back water he always comes from that side; so if you follow the same direction perhaps you may find some.'
The man jumped up at once and was about to start, when the maiden spoke again :
' Tell me, where you are going? '
' Why do you want to know ? '
' I have an errand for you; but tell me first whether you go east or west.'
' I travel to Damascus.'
' Then do this for me. As you pass through our village, ask for a man called Dschemil, and say to him : " Dschemila greets you, from the castle, which lies far away, and is rocked by the wind. In my grave lies only a goat. So take heart." '
And the man promised, and went his way, till he came to a spring of water. And he drank a great draught and then lay on the bank and slept quietly. When he woke he said to himself, ' The maiden did a good deed when she told me where to find water. A few hours
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