The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search



Share page  


Previous Contents Next

346
THE OGRE
' What wages do you give? ' replied Antonio.
' If you serve me faithfully,' returned the ogre, ' I '11 be bound you '11 get enough wages to satisfy you.'
So the bargain was struck, and Antonio agreed to become the ogre's servant. He was very well treated, in every way, and he had little or no work to do, with the result that in a few days he beoame as fat as a quail, as round as a barrel, as red as a lobster, and as impudent as a bantam-cock.
But, after two years, the lad got weary of this idle life, and longed desperately to visit his home again. The ogre, who could see into his heart and knew how unhappy he was, said to him one day: ' My dear Antonio, I know how much you long to see your mother and sisters again, and because I love you as the apple of my eye, I am willing to allow you to go home for a visit. Therefore, take this donkey, so that you may not have to go on foot; but see that you never say " Bricklebrit" to him, for if you do you'll be sure to regret it.'
Antonio took the beast without as much as saying thank you, and jumping on its back he rode away in great haste; but he hadn't gone two hundred yards when he dismounted and called out ' Bricklebrit.'
No sooner had he pronounced the word than the donkey opened its mouth and poured forth rubies, emeralds, diamonds and pearls, as big as walnuts.
Antonio gazed in amazement at the sight of such wealth, and joyfully filling a huge sack with the precious stones, he mounted the donkey again and rode on till he came to an inn. Here he got down, and going straight to the landlord, he said to him: ' My good man, I must ask you to stable this donkey for me. Be sure you give the poor beast plenty of oats and hay, but beware of saying the word "Bricklebrit" to him, for if you do I can promise you will regret it. Take this heavy sack, too, and put it carefully away for me.'
Previous Contents Next