THE OLIVE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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' What nonsense,' exclaimed Samba, ' I never heard of such a thing. Why, I might be wounded, or even killed ! You have three brothers. The king can choose one of them.'
' They are all too young,' replied his wife; ' the men would not obey them. But if, indeed, you will not go, at least you can help me to harness my horse.' And to this Samba, who was always ready to do anything he was asked when there was no danger about it, agreed readily.
So the horse was quickly harnessed, and when it was done the princess said :
Now ride the horse to the place of meeting outside the gates, and I will join you by a shorter way, and will change places with you.' Samba, who loved riding in times of peace, mounted as she had told him, and when he was safe in the saddle, his wife dealt the horse a sharp cut with her whip, and he dashed off through the town and through the ranks of the warriors who were waiting for him. Instantly the whole place was in motion. Samba tried to check his steed, but he might as well have sought to stop the wind, and it seemed no more than a few minutes before they were grappling hand to hand with the Moors.
Then a miracle happened. Samba the coward, the skulker, the terrified, no sooner found himself pressed hard, unable to escape, than something sprang into life within him, and he fought with all his might. And when a man of his size and strength begins to fight he generally fights well.
That day the victory was really owing to Samba, and the shouts of the people were louder than ever. When he returned, bearing with him the sword of the Moorish chief, the old king pressed him in his arms and said:
' Oh, my son, how can I ever show you how grateful I am for this splendid service.'
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