The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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PRUNELLA                          385
oil, this loaf of bread, this piece of rope, and this broom. When you reach the witch's house, oil the hinges of the door with the contents of the flagon, and throw the loaf of bread to the great fierce mastiff, who will come to meet you. When you have passed the dog, you will see in the courtyard a miserable woman trying in vain to let down a bucket into the well with her plaited hair. You must give her the rope. In the kitchen you will find a still more miserable woman trying to clean the hearth with her tongue; to her you must give the broom. You will see the casket on the top of a cup­board, take it as quickly as you can, and leave the house without a moment's delay. If you do all this exactly as I have told you, you will not be killed.
So Prunella, having listened carefully to his instruc­tions, did just what he had told her. She reached the house, oiled the hinges of the door, threw the loaf to the dog, gave the poor woman at the well the rope, and the woman in the kitchen the broom, caught up the casket from the top of the cupboard, and fled with it out of the house. But the witch heard her as she ran away, and rushing to the window called out to the woman in the kitchen : ' Kill that thief, I tell you ! '
But the woman replied : ' I will not kill her, for she has given me a broom, whereas you forced me to clean the hearth with my tongue.'
Then the witch called out in fury to the woman at the well; 'Take the girl, I tell you, and fling her into the water, and drown her! '
But the woman answered; ' No, I will not drown her, for she gave me this rope, whereas you forced me to use my hair to let down the bucket to draw water.'
Then the witch shouted to the dog to seize the girl and hold her fast; but the dog answered : ' No, I will not seize her, for she gave me a loaf of bread, whereas you let me starve with hunger.'
The witch was so angry that she nearly choked, as
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