The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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326                THE TWIN BROTHERS
morrow I must fight with his negro. He is only another man like myself, and I hope to subdue him, and to gain the contest.'
But the princess answered : ' This is the hardest of all. I myself am the black man, for I swallow a drink that changes me into a negro of unconquerable strength. Go to-morrow morning to the market, buy twelve buffalo hides and wrap them round your horse; fasten this cloth round you, and when I am let loose upon you to-morrow show it to me, that I may hold myself back and may not kill you. Then when you fight me you must try to hit my horse between the eyes, for when you have killed it you have conquered me.'
Next morning, therefore, he went to the market and bought the twelve buffalo hides which he wrapped round his horse. Then he began to fight with the black man, and when the combat had already lasted a long time, and eleven hides were torn, then the stranger hit the negro's horse between the eyes, so that it fell dead, and the black man was defeated.
Then said the king: ' Because you have solved the three problems I take you for my son-in-law.'
But the stranger answered : ' I have some business to conclude first; in fourteen days I will return and bring the bride home.'
So he arose and went into another country, where he came to a great town, and alighted at the house of an old woman. When he had had supper he begged of her some water to drink, but she answered: 'My son, I have no water; a giant has taken possession of the spring, and only lets us draw from it once a year, when we bring him a maiden. He eats her up, and then he lets us draw water; just now it is the lot of the king's daughter, and to-morrow she will be led forth.'
The next day accordingly the princess was led forth to the spring, and bound there with a golden chain. After that all the people went away and she was left alone.
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