THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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THE GIRL-FISH
231
'Perhaps he will be so frightened at the sight of me that he may die of fear, and I shall never get the crown,' thought the monkey. 'I had better become something else.' And she called softly: 'Parrot, come to me!'
Then a pink and grey parrot hopped up to the giant, who by this time was stretching himself and giving yawns which shook the castle. The parrot waited a little until he was really awake, and then she said boldly that she had been sent to take away the crown, which was not his any longer, now his daughter the queen was dead.
On hearing these words the giant leapt out of bed with an angry roar, and sprang at the parrot in order to wring her neck with his great hands. But the bird was too quick for him, and, flying behind his back, begged the giant to have patience, as her death would be of no use to him.
'That is true,' answered the giant; 'but I am not so foolish as to give you that crown for nothing. Let me think what I will have in exchange!' And he scratched his huge head for several minutes, for giants' minds always move slowly.
'Ah, yes, that will do!' exclaimed the giant at last, his face brightening. 'You shall have the crown if you will bring me a collar of blue stones from the Arch of St. Martin, in the great City.'
Now when the parrot had been a girl she had often heard of this wonderful arch and the precious stones and marbles that had been let into it. It sounded as if it would be a very hard thing to get them away from the building of which they formed a part, but all had gone well with her so far, and at any rate she could but try. So she bowed to the giant, and made her way back to the window where the giant could not see her. Then she called quickly:
'Eagle, come to me!'
Before she had even reached the tree she felt herself
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