THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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320 THE GROACH OF THE ISLE OF LOK
Houarn. Unseen by the Groac'h, Bellah hid it in a pocket of her green coat, and then followed her hostess into the garden, and to the pond which contained the fish, their sides shining with a thousand different colours.
' Oh ! what beautiful, beautiful creatures !' said she. ' I'm sure I should never be tired of wratching them.' And she sat down on the bank, with her elbows on her knees and her chin in her hands, her eyes fixed on the fishes as they flashed past.
' Would you not like to stay here always ? ' asked the Groac'h ; and Bellah answered that she desired nothing better.
' Then you have only to marry me,' said the Groac'h. ' Oh ! don't say no, for I have fallen deeply in love wdth you.'
' Well, I won't say " No," ' replied Bellah, wdth a laugh, ' but you must promise first to let me catch one of those lovely fish in your net.'
' It is not so easy as it looks,' rejoined the Groac'h, smiling, ' but take it, and try your luck.'
Bellah took the net which the Groac'h held out, and, turning rapidly, flung it over the witch's head.
' Become in body what you are in soul! ' cried she, and in an instant the lovely fairy of the sea was a toad, horrible to look upon. She struggled hard to tear the net asunder, but it was no use. Bellah only drew it the tighter, and, flinging the sorceress into a pit, she rolled a great stone across the mouth, and left her.
As she drew near the pond she saw a great procession of fishes advancing to meet her, crying in hoarse tones :
' This is our lord and master, who has saved us from the net of steel and the pot of gold !'
' And who will restore you to your proper shapes,' said Bellah, drawing the knife from her pocket. But just as she was going to touch the foremost fish, her eyes fell on a green frog on his knees beside her, his little paws crossed over his little heart. Bellah felt as if
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