THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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104
THE TWO CASKETS
only looked at her grimly, but the girl was too well pleased with herself to care what anyone thought about her.
After some weeks her third trial came, and the yarn was given her to spin, as it had been given to her step­sister before her.
But no procession of cats entered the room to weave a web of fine cloth, and at sunset she only brought back to her mistress an armful of dirty, tangled wool.
'There seems nothing in the world you can do,' said the old woman, and left her to herself.
Soon after this the year was up, and the girl went to her mistress to tell her that she wished to go home.
'Little desire have I to keep you,' answered the old woman, 'for no one thing have you done as you ought. Still, I will give you some payment, therefore go up into the loft, and choose for yourself one of the caskets that lies there. But see that you do not open it till you place it where you wish it to stay.'
This was what the girl had been hoping for, and so rejoiced was she, that, without even stopping to thank the old woman, she ran as fast as she could to the loft. There were the caskets, blue and red, green and yellow, silver and gold; and there in the corner stood a little black casket, just like the one her stepsister had brought home.
'If there are so many jewels in that little black thing, this big red one will hold twice the number,' she said to herself; and snatching it up she set off on her road home without even going to bid farewell to her mistress.
'See, mother, see what I have brought!' cried she, as she entered the cottage holding the casket in both hands.
'Ah! you have got something very different from that little black box,' answered the old woman with
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