The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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174
THE WHITE WOLF
And the sun answered, ' Yes, I have seen him, and he has chosen another bride, for he thought you had left him, and would never return, and he is preparing for the wedding. But I will help you. Here are a pair of shoes. If you put these on you will be able to walk on glass or ice, and to climb the steepest places. And here is a spinning-wheel, with which you will be able to spin moss into silk. When you leave me you will reach a glass mountain. Put on the shoes that I have given you and with them you will be able to climb it quite easily. At the summit you will find the palace of the white wolf.'
Then the princess set out, and before long she reached the glass mountain, and at the summit she found the white wolf's palace, as the sun had said.
But no one recognised her, as she had disguised herself as an old woman, and had wound a shawl round her head. Great preparations were going on in the palace for the wedding, which was to take place next day. Then the princess, still disguised as an old woman, took out her spinning-wheel, and began to spin moss into silk. And as she spun the new bride passed by, and seeing the moss turn into silk, she said to the old woman: ' Little mother, I wish you would give me that spinning-wheel.'
And the princess answered, ' I will give it to you if you will allow me to sleep to-night on the mat outside the prince's door.'
And the bride replied, ' Yes, you may sleep on the mat outside the door.'
So the princess gave her the spinning-wheel. And that night, winding the shawl all round her, so that no one could recognise her, she lay down on the mat outside the white wolf's door. And when every­one in the palace was asleep she began to tell the whole of her story. She told how she had been one of three sisters, and that she had been the youngest and the fairest of the three, and that her father had betrothed her to a white wolf. And she told how she had gone first to
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