THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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THE FOUR GIFTS
303
wear in that part of the country. In a moment she heard Denis whistling gaily, and as her aunt was safely counting her cabbages, she hurried out to meet him. The young man was struck dumb by her talk. There was nothing that she did not seem to know, and as for songs she not only could sing those from every part of Britanny, but could compose them herself. Was this really the quiet girl who had been so anxious to learn all he could teach her, or was it somebody else ? Per­haps she had gone suddenly mad, and there was an evil spirit inside her. But in any case, night after night he came back, only to find her growing wiser and wiser. Soon the neighbours whispered their surprise among themselves, for Tephany had not been able to resist the pleasure of putting the feather in her hair for some of the people who despised her for her poor clothes, and many were the jokes she made about them. Of course they heard of her jests, and shook their heads saying :
' She is an ill-natured little cat, and the man that marries her will find that it is she who will hold the reins and drive the horse.'
It was not long before Denis began to agree with them, and as he always liked to be master wherever he went, he became afraid of Tephany's sharp tongue, and instead of laughing as before when she made fun of other people he grew red and uncomfortable, thinking that his turn would come next.
So matters went on till one evening Denis told Tephany that he really could not stay a moment, as he had promised to go to a dance that was to be held in the next village.
Tephany's face fell; she had worked hard all day, and had been counting on a quiet hour with Denis. She did her best to persuade him to remain with her, but he would not listen, and at last she grew angry.
' Oh, I know why you are so anxious not to miss the
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