THE OLIVE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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be thankful to know you are alive,' said she. ' But one last counsel will I give you, and that is, take no man into your service who desires to be paid every month.'
The young prince thought this advice rather odd. If the servant had to be paid anyhow, he did not under­stand what difference it could make whether it was by the year or by the month. However, he had many times proved that his mother was wiser than he, so he promised obedience.
After a voyage of several weeks, he arrived at the island of which his mother had spoken. It was full of hills and woods and flowers, and beautiful white houses stood everywhere in gardens.
' What a charming spot to live in,' thought the prince. And he lost no time in buying one of the prettiest of the dwellings.
Then servants came pressing to offer their services; but as they all declared that they must have payment at the end of every month, the young man, who remem­bered his mother's words, declined to have anything to say to them. At length, one morning, an Arab appeared and begged that the prince would engage him.
' And what wages do you ask ?' inquired the prince, when he had questioned the new-comer and found him suitable.
' I do not want money,' answered the Arab; ' at the end of a year you can see what my services are worth to you, and can pay me in any way you like.' And the young man was pleased, and took the Arab for his servant.
Now, although no one would have guessed it from the look of the side of the island where the prince had landed, the other part was a complete desert, owing to the ravages of a horrible monster which came up from the sea, and devoured all the corn and cattle. The governor had sent bands of soldiers to lie in wait for the creature in order to kill it; but, somehow, no one
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