THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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THE BELIEVING HUSBANDS            333
the old woman went into the stable, where she found her daughter weeping bitterly.
' What is the matter, my dove ?' and the girl answered, between her sobs :
' When I came in and saw the pack-saddle over my head, I thought how dreadful it would be if it fell and killed me,' and she cried louder than before.
The old woman struck her hands together : ' Ah, to think of it! If that were to be, what should I do ? ' and she sat down by her daughter, and they both wrung their hands and let their tears flow.
' Something strange must have occurred,' exclaimed the old farmer on the moor, who by this time was not only hungry, but cross. ' I must go after them.' And he went and found them in the stable.
' What is the matter ? ' asked he.
' Oh ! ' replied his wife, ' when our daughter came home, did she not see the pack-saddle over her head, and she thought how dreadful it would be if it were to fall and kill her.'
' Ah, to think of it! ' exclaimed he, striking his hands together, and he sat down beside them and wept too.
As soon as night fell the young man returned full of hunger, and there they were, all crying together in the stable.
' What is the matter ? ' asked he.
' When thy wife came home,' answered the farmer, ' she saw the pack-saddle over her head, and she thought how dreadful it would be if it were to fall and kill her.'
' Well, but it didn't fall,' replied the young man, and he went off to the kitchen to get some supper, leaving them to cry as long as they liked.
The next morning he got up with the sun, and said to the old man and to the old woman and to his wife :
' Farewell: my foot shall not return to the house till
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