THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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18                       THE MAGIC MIRROR
great snake's skin wrapped round him for covering; and on his arms and neck were rings of pure gold.
The man smiled. 'I am Insato,' said he; 'but in my own country I take man's shape — even as you see me — for this is Pita, the land over which I am king.' He then took Gopani-Kufa by the hand and led him towards the town.
On the way they passed rivers in which men and women were bathing and fishing and boating; and farther on they came to gardens covered with heavy crops of rice and maize, and many other grains which Gopani-Kufa did not even know the name of. And as they passed, the people who were singing at their work in the fields, abandoned their labours and saluted Insato with delight, bringing also palm wine and green cocoa-nuts for refresh­ment, as to one returned from a long journey.
'These are my children!' said Insato, waving his hand towards the people. Gopani-Kufa was much astonished at all that he saw, but he said nothing. Presently they came to the town; everything here, too, was beautiful, and everything that a man might desire he could obtain. Even the grains of dust in the streets were of gold and silver.
Insato conducted Gopani-Kufa to the palace, and showing him his rooms, and the maidens who would wait upon him, told him that they would have a great feast that night, and on the morrow he might name his choice of the riches of Pita and it should be given him. Then he went away.
Now Gopani-Kufa had a wasp called Ze"ngi-mizi. Ze'ngi-mizi was not an ordinary wasp, for the spirit of the father of Gopani-Kufa had entered it, so that it was exceedingly wise. In times of doubt Gopani-Kufa always consulted the wasp as to what had better be done, so on this occasion he took it out of the little rush basket in which he carried it, saying: 'Zengi-mizi, what gift shall
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