THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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100                   THE THREE CROWNS
heard steps, and in came Seven Inches with the youngest sister by the hand. Well, prince and princess flew into one another's arms, and says the little man, says he, ' Why aren't you eating ? ' 'I think, sir,' says the prince, ' it was only good manners to wait to be asked.' ' The other princes didn't think so,' says he. ' Each o' them fell to without leave, and only gave me the rough words when I told them they were making more free than welcome. Well, I don't think they feel much hunger now. There they are, good marble instead of flesh and blood,' says he, pointing to two statues, one in one corner, and the other in the other corner of the room. The prince was frightened, but he was afraid to say anything, and Seven Inches made him sit down to dinner between himself and his bride; and he'd be as happy as the day is long, only for the sight of the stone men in the corner. Well, that day went by, and when the next came, says Seven Inches to him, ' Now, you'll have to set out that way,' pointing to the sun, ' and you'll find the second princess in a giant's castle this evening, when you'll be tired and hungry, and the eldest princess to-morrow evening ; and you may as well bring them here with you. You need not ask leave of their masters ; and perhaps if they ever get home, they'll look on poor people as if they were flesh and blood like themselves.'
Away went the prince, and bedad ! it's tired and hungry he was when he reached the first castle, at sunset. Oh, wasn't the second princess glad to see him ! and what a good supper she gave him. But she heard the giant at the gate, and she hid the prince in a closet. Well, when he came in, he snuffed, an' he snuffed, and says he, ' By the life, I smell fresh meat.' ' Oh,' says the princess, ' it's only the calf I got killed to-day.' 'Ay, ay,' says he, 'is supper ready?' 'It is,' says she ; and before he rose from the table he ate three-quarters of a calf, and a flask of wine. ' I think,'
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