The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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317
THE STREET MUSICIANS
A man once possessed a donkey which had served him faithfully for many years, but at last the poor beast grew old and feeble, and every day his work became more of a burden. As he was no longer of any use, his master made up his mind to shoot him ; but when the donkey learnt the fate that was in store for him, he determined not to die, but to run away to the nearest town and there to become a street musician.
When he had trotted along for some distance he came upon a greyhound lying on the road, and panting for dear life. ' Well, brother,' said the donkey, ' what's the matter with you? You look rather tired.'
' So I am,' replied the dog, ' but because I am getting old and am growing weaker every day, and cannot go out hunting any longer, my master wanted to poison me; and, as life is still sweet, I have taken leave of him. But how I am to earn my own livelihood I have n't a notion.'
'Well,' said the donkey, 'I am on my way to the nearest big town, where I mean to become a street musician. Why don't you take up music as a profession and come along with me? I '11 play the flute and you can play the kettle-drum.'
The greyhound was quite pleased at the idea, and the two set off together. When they had gone a short distance they met a cat with a face as long as three rainy days. ' Now, what has happened to upset your happiness, friend puss?' inquired the donkey.
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