THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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THE PRINCESS BELLA-FLOR             289
Then he sat under a tree and waited, while his horse cropped the green turf.
'Look there!' said the animal, suddenly raising its head; and Jose looked behind him and saw a little mountain of bran, which he put into a bag that was hung over his saddle.
'Good deeds bear fruit sooner or later,' observed the horse; 'but mount again, as we have far to go.'
When they arrived at the tree, they saw the handker­chief fluttering like a flag from the topmost branch, and Jose's spirits sank again.
'How am I to get that handkerchief?' cried he; 'why I should need Jacob's ladder!' But the horse answered:
'Do not be frightened; call to the eagle you set free from the net, he will bring it to you.'
So Jose called to the eagle, and the eagle flew to the top of the tree and brought back the handkerchief in its beak. Jose* thanked him, and vaulting on his horse they rode on to the river.
A great deal of rain had fallen in the night, and the river, instead of being clear as it was before, was dark and troubled.
'How am I to fetch the ring from the bottom of this river when I do not know exactly where it was dropped, and cannot even see it?' asked Jose. But the horse answered: 'Do not be frightened; call the little fish whose life you saved, and she will bring it to you.'
So he called to the fish, and the fish dived to the bottom and slipped behind big stones, and moved little ones with its tail till it found the ring, and brought it to Jose in its mouth.
Well pleased with all he had done, Jose returned to the palace; but when the king took the precious objects to Bella-Flor, she declared that she would never open her door till the bandit who had carried her off had been fried in oil.
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