THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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THE WHITE SLIPPER
337
though I cannot cure it, I can at least deaden the pain, and enable you to walk without so much suffering.'
'Oh, if you can only do that,' cried the king, 'I shall be grateful to you for life! Give your own orders; they shall be obeyed.'
'Then let your majesty bid the royal shoemaker make you a shoe of goat-skin very loose and comfortable, while I prepare a varnish to paint over it of which I alone have the secret!' So saying, the doctor bowed himself out, leaving the king more cheerful and hopeful than he had been for long.
The days passed very slowly with him during the making of the shoe and the preparation of the varnish, but on the eighth morning the physician appeared, bringing with him the shoe in a case. He drew it out to slip it on the king's foot, and over the goat-skin he had rubbed a polish so white that the snow itself was not more dazzling.
'While you wear this shoe you will not feel the slight­est pain,' said the doctor. 'For the balsam with which I have rubbed it inside and out has, besides its healing balm, the quality of strengthening the material it touches, so that, even were your majesty to live a thousand years, you would find the slipper just as fresh at the end of that time as it is now.'
The king was so eager to put it on that he hardly gave the physician time to finish. He snatched it from the case and thrust his foot into it, nearly weeping for joy when he found he could walk and run as easily as any beggar boy.
'What can I give you?' he cried, holding out both hands to the man who had worked this wonder. ' Stay with me, and I will heap on you riches greater than ever you dreamed of.' But the doctor said he would ac­cept nothing more than had been agreed on, and must return at once to his own country, where many sick people were awaiting him. So king Balancin had to
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