THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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A LOST PARADISE
In the middle of a great forest there lived a long time ago a charcoal-burner and his wife. They were both young and handsome and strong, and when they got married, they thought work would never fail them. But bad times came, and they grew poorer and poorer, and the nights in which they went hungry to bed became more and more frequent.
Now one evening the king of that country was hunting near the charcoal-burner's hut. As he passed the door, he heard a sound of sobbing, and being a good-natured man he stopped to listen, thinking that perhaps he might be able to give some help.
' Were there ever two people so unhappy ! ' said a woman's voice. ' Here we are, ready to work like slaves the whole day long, and no work can we get. And it is all because of the curiosity of old mother Eve ! If she had only been like me, who never want to know anything, we should all have been as happy as kings to-day, with plenty to eat, and warm clothes to wear.
Why-----' but at this point a loud knock interrupted
her lamentations.
' Who is there ? ' asked she.
' I! ' replied somebody.
' And who is " I " ? '
' The king. Let me in.'
Full of surprise the woman jumped up and pulled the bar away from the door. As the king entered, he noticed that there was no furniture in the room at all,
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