The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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A nun, a countryman, and a blacksmith were once wandering through the world together. One day they lost their way in a thick, dark forest, and were thankful when they saw, in the distance, the walls of a house, where they hoped they might obtain refuge for the night. When they got close to the house they found that it was an old deserted castle, fast falling into ruins, but with some of the rooms in it still habitable. As they were homeless they determined to take up their abode in the castle, and they arranged that one of them should always stay at home and keep house, while the other two went out into the world to seek their fortunes.
The lot of remaining at home fell first to the nun, and when the countryman and the blacksmith had gone out into the wood, she set to work, tidied up the house, and prepared all the food for the day. As her companions did not come home for their mid-day meal, she ate up her own portion and put the rest in the oven to keep warm. Just as she was sitting down to sewr, the door opened and a little gray man came in, and, standing before her, said : ' Oh ! how cold I am ! '
The nun was very sorry for him, and said at once: ' Sit down by the fire and warm yourself.'
The little man did as he was told, and soon called out: ' Oh ! how hungry I am ! '
The nun answered: 'There is food in the oven, help yourself'
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