The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

TUE MAGICIAN'S HORSE            125
youngest daughter had nothing but the old broken-down horse which helped him in his garden work ; and the king, who was ashamed of this son-in-law, refused to give him any other.
So as he was determined not to be left behind, he went into the garden, mounted the sorry nag, and set out. But scarcely had he ridden a few yards before the horse stumbled and fell. So he dismounted and went down to the brook, to where the black horse lived in the vaulted hall. And the horse said to him: 'Saddle and bridle me, and then go into the next room and you will find a suit of armour and a sword. Put them on, and we will ride forth together to battle.'
And the prince did as he was told ; and when he had mounted the horse his armour glittered in the sun, and he looked so brave and handsome, that no one would have recognised him as the gardener who swept away the dead leaves from the paths. The horse bore him away at a great pace, and when they reached the battle-field they saw that the king was losing the day, so many of his warriors had been slain. But when the warrior on his black charger and in glittering armour appeared on the scene, hewing right and left with his sword, the enemy were dismayed and lied in all directions, leaving the king master of the field. Then the king and his two sons-in-law, when they saw their deliverer, shouted, and all that was left of the army joined in the cry: ' A god has come to our rescue!' And they would have sur­rounded him, but his black horse rose in the air and bore him out of their sight.
Soon after this, part of the country rose in rebellion against the king, and once more he and his two sons-in-law had to fare forth to battle. And the son-in-law who was disguised as a gardener wanted to fight too. So he came to the king and said : ' Dear father, let me ride with you to fight your enemies.'
' I don't want a blockhead like you to fight for me,'
Previous Contents Next