The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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Once upon a time there was a man and his wife who had seven boys. The children lived in the open air and grew big and strong, and the six eldest spent part of every day hunting wild beasts. The youngest did not care so much about sport, and he often stayed with his mother.
One morning, however, as the whole seven were going out for a long expedition, they said to their aunt, ' Dear aunt, if a baby sister comes into the world to-day, wave a white handkerchief, and we will return imme­diately ; but if it is only a boy, just brandish a sickle, and we will go on with what we are doing.'
Now the baby when it arrived really proved to be a girl, but as the aunt could not bear the boys, she thought it was a good opportunity to get rid of them. So she waved the sickle. And when the seven brothers saw the sign they said, ' Now we have nothing to go back for,' and plunged deeper into the desert.
The little girl soon grew to be a big girl, and she was called by all her friends (though she did not know it) ' Udea, who had driven her seven brothers into strange lands.'
One day, when she had been quarrelling with her play­mates, the oldest among them said to her, ' It is a pity you were born, as ever since, your brothers have been obliged to roam about the world.'
Udea did not answer, but went home to her mother and asked her, 'Have I really got brothers':'
' Yes,' replied her mother, ' seven of them. But they
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