The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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130             THE LITTLE GRAY MAN
The little man did not need to be told twice, for he set to work and ate up everything with the greatest possible despatch. When the nun saw this she was very angry, and scolded the dwarf because he had left nothing for her companions.
The little man resented her words, and flew into such a passion that he seized the nun, beat her, and threw her first against one wall and then against the other. When he had nearly killed her he left her lying on the floor, and hastily walked out of the house.
In the evening the couutryman and the blacksmith returned home, and when they found, on demanding their dinner, that there was nothing left for them, they reproached the nun bitterly, and refused to believe her when she tried to tell them what had happened.
The next day the countryman asked to be left in charge of the house, and promised that, if he remained at home, no one should go hungry to bed. So the other two went out into the forest, and the countryman having prepared the food for the day, ate up his own portion, and put the rest in the oven. Just as he had finished clearing away, the door opened and the little gray man walked in, and this time he had two heads. He shook and trembled as before, and exclaimed: ' Oh! how cold I am! '
The countryman, who was frightened out of his wits, begged him to draw near the fire and warm himself.
Soon after the dwarf looked greedily round, and said: ' Oh! how hungry I am !'
' There is food in the oven, so you can eat,' replied the countryman.
Then the little man fell to with both his heads, and soon finished the last morsel.
When the countryman scolded him for this pro­ceeding he treated him exactly as he had done the nun, and left the poor fellow more dead than alive.
Now when the blacksmith came home with the nun
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