THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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10
THE SHIFTY LAD
bolder and bolder, and stole great quantities of cattle and sold them and grew quite rich. One day they were returning from the market with a large sum of money in their pockets when they passed a gallows erected on the top of a hill.
' Let us stop and look at that gallows,' exclaimed the Shifty Lad. ' I have never seen one so close before. Yet some say that it is the end of all thieves.'
There was no one in sight, and they carefully examined every part of it.
' I wonder how it feels to be hanged,' said the Shifty Lad. ' I should like to know, in case they ever catch me. I'll try first, and then you can do so.'
As he spoke he fastened the loose cord about his neck, and when it was quite secure he told the Black Rogue to take the other end of the rope and draw him up from the ground.
' When I am tired of it I will shake my legs, and then you must let me down,' said he.
The Black Rogue drew up the rope, but in half a minute the Shifty Lad's legs began to shake, and he quickly let it down again.
' You can't imagine what a funny feeling hanging gives you,' murmured the Shifty Lad, who looked rather purple in the face and spoke in an odd voice. ' I don't think you have ever tried it, or you wouldn't have let me go up first. Why, it is the pleasantest thing I have ever done. I was shaking my legs from sheer delight, and if you had been there you would have shaken your legs too.'
' Well, let me try, if it is so nice,' answered the Black Rogue. ' But be sure you tie the knot securely, for I don't want to fall down and break my neck.'
' Oh, I will see to that! ' replied the Shifty Lad. ' When you are tired, just whistle, and I'll let you down.'
So the Black Rogue was drawn up, and as soon as
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