The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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276                      THE SUNCHILD
Sunball asked her, when she came back: 'Eh, Letiko, where have yon been so long?'
She answered : ' My slippers are too big, and I conld not go faster.'
Then the Sunball made the slippers shorter.
Another time he sent her to fetch water, and when she came to the spring, she sat down and lamented, saying : ' As flows the water even so flows my heart with longing for my mother.'
Thus she again remained so long away that the Sunball asked her: ' Eh, Letiko, why have you re­mained so long away?'
And she answered : ' My petticoat is too long and hinders me in walking.'
Then the Sunball cut her petticoat to make it shorter.
Another time the Sunball sent her to bring him a pair of sandals, and as the girl carried these in her hand she began to lament, saying: ' As creaks the leather so creaks my heart after my little mother.'
When she came home the Sunball asked her again: 'Eh, Letiko, why do you come home so late?'
' My red hood is too wide, and falls over my eyes, therefore I could not go fast.'
Then he made the hood narrower.
At last, however, the Sunball became aware how sad Letiko was. He sent her a second time to bring straw, and, slipping in after her, he heard how she lamented for her mother. Then he went home, called two foxes to him, and said: 'Will you take Letiko home?'
' Yes, why not? '
' But what will you eat and drink if you should become hungry and thirsty by the way?'
' We will eat her flesh and drink her blood.'
When the Sunball heard that, he said : ' You are not suited for this affair.'
Then he sent them away, and called two hares to him, and said : ' Will you take Letiko home to her mother? '
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