THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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264 THE BATTLE OF THE BIRDS
' I am that raven, and I was delivered by thee from the spells that bound me, and in reward thou wilt get this bundle. Go back by the road thou earnest, and lie as before, a night in each house, but be careful not to unloose the bundle till thou art in the place wherein thou wouldst most wish to dwell.'
Then the king's son set out, and thus it happened as it had happened before, till he entered a thick wood near his father's house. He had walked a long way, and suddenly the bundle seemed to grow heavier ; first he put it down under a tree, and next he thought he would look at it.
The string was easy to untie, and the king's son soon unfastened the bundle. What was it he saw there ? Why, a great castle with an orchard all about it, and in the orchard fruit and flowers and birds of every kind. It was all ready for him to dwell in, but instead of being in the midst of the forest, he did wish he had left the bundle unloosed till he had readied the green valley close to his father's palace. Well, it was no use wishing, and with a sigh he glanced up, and beheld a huge giant coming towards him.
' Bad is the place where thou hast built thy house, king's son,' saii the giant.
' True ; it is not here that I wish it to be,' answered the king's son.
' What reward wilt thou give me if I put it back in the bundle ? ' asked the giant.
' What reward dost thou ask ? ' answered the king's son.
' The first boy thou hast when he is seven years old,' said the giant.
' If I have a boy thou shalt get him,' answered the king's son, and as he spoke the castle and the orchard were tied up in the bundle again.
' Now take thy road, and I will take mine,' said the
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