The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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THE MAGICIAN'S HORSE               121
mounted higher and higher, the magic flame which gave the magician all his power grew smaller and smaller, till, with a fizz, it went out, and the old man and the roan horse sank in the river and disappeared. When the prince looked round they were no longer to be seen.
' Now,'said the horse, 'you may dismount; there is nothing more to fear, for the magician is dead. Beside that brook you will find a willow wand. Gather it, and strike the earth with it, and it will open and you will see a door at your feet.'
When the prince had struck the earth with the wand a door appeared, and opened into a large vaulted stone hall.
' Lead me into that hall,' said the horse, ' I will stay there; but you must go through the fields till you reach a garden, in the midst of which is a king's palace. When you get there you must ask to be taken into the king's service. Good-bye, and don't forget me.'
So they parted; but first the horse made the prince promise not to let anyone in the palace see his golden hair. So he bound a scarf round it, like a turban, and the prince set out through the fields, till he reached a beautiful garden, and beyond the garden he saw the walls and towers of a stately palace. At the garden gate he met the gardener, who asked him what he wanted.
' I want to take service with the king,' replied the prince.
' Well, you may stay and work under me in the garden,' said the man ; for as the prince was dressed like a poor man, he could not tell that he was a king's son. ' I need someone to weed the ground and to sweep the dead leaves from the paths. You shall have a florin a day, a horse to help you to cart the leaves away, and food and drink.'
So the prince consented, and set about his work. But when his food was given to him he only ate half of it; the rest he carried to the vaulted hall beside the brook,
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