The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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impossible for her to grind the wheat, prepare the dough, and bake the bread, all in the short time that the witch would be away. At first she set to work bravely, but when she saw how hopeless her task was, she threw her­self on a chair, and began to weep bitterly. She was roused from her despair by hearing Bensiabel's voice at her side saying: ' Prunella, Prunella, do not weep like that. If you will give me a kiss I will make the bread, and you will be saved.'
I will not kiss the son of a witch,' replied Prunella.
But Bensiabel took the wheat from her, and ground it, and made the dough, and when the witch returned the bread was ready baked in the oven.
Turning to the girl, with fury in her voice, she said: ' Bensiabel must have been here and helped you; ' and Prunella looked down, and said nothing.
' We shall see who will win in the end,' said the witch, and her eyes blazed with anger.
Next day she called the girl to her and said : ' Go to my sister, who lives across the mountains. She will give you a casket, which you must bring back to me.' This she said knowing that her sister, who was a still more cruel and wicked witch than herself, would never allow the girl to return, but would imprison her and starve her to death. But Prunella did not suspect any­thing, and set out quite cheerfully. On the way she met Bensiabel.
' Where are you going, Prunella? ' he asked.
' I am going to the sister of my mistress, from whom I am to fetch a casket.'
' Oh poor, poor girl ! ' said Bensiabel. ' You are being sent straight to your death. Give me a kiss, and I will save you.'
But again Prunella answered as before, ' I will not kiss the son of a witch.'
' Nevertheless, I will save your life,' said Bensiabel, ' for I love you better than myself. Take this flagon, of
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