The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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62            JANNI AND THE DRAKEN
Janni and his sister in course of time came to a great castle, in which dwelt forty Draken, who, when they heard that Janni had come, fled forty fathoms under­ground.
So Janni found the castle deserted, and abode there with his sister, and every day went out to limit with the weapons the Draken had left in the castle.
One day, when he was away hunting, one of the Draken came up to get provisions, not knowing that there was anyone in the castle. When he saw Janni's sister he was terrified, but she told him not to be afraid, and by-and-by they fell in love with each other, for every time that Janni went to hunt the sister called the Drakos up. Thus they went on making love to each other till at length, unknown to Janni, they got married. Then, when it was too late, the sister repented, and was afraid of Janni's wrath when he found it out.
One day the Drakos came to her, and said: 'You must pretend to be ill, and when Janni asks what ails you, and what you wrant, you must answer: " Cherries," and when he inquires where these are to be found, you must say: " There are some in a garden a day's journey from here." Then your brother will go there, and will never come back, for there dwell three of my brothers who will look after him well.'
Then the sister did as the Drakos advised, and next day Janni set out to fetch the cherries, taking his three dogs with him When he came to the garden where the cherries grew he jumped off his horse, drank some water from the spring, which rose there, and fell directly into a deep sleep. The Draken came round about to eat him, but the dogs flung themselves on them and tore them in pieces, and scratched a grave in the ground with their paws, and buried the Draken so that Janni might not see their dead bodies. When Janni awoke, and saw his dogs all covered with blood, he believed that they had caught, somewhere, a wild beast, and was angry because they
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