THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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354                       THE MAGIC BOOK
Kirsten nearly fainted with joy at the sight of all the money he brought with him.
'Now that we are rich people we must build a bigger house,' cried she; and was vexed to find that Peder only shook his head and said: 'No; if they did that people would talk, and say that they got their wealth by ill-doing.'
A few mornings later Hans came again.
'Be off before you get us into trouble,' said his father. 'So far the money has come right enough, but I don't trust it.'
'Don't worry over that, father,' said Hans. 'To-morrow you will find a horse outside by the gate. Ride it to mar­ket and you will get a thousand dollars for it. Only don't forget to loosen the bridle when you sell it.'
Well, in the morning there was the horse; Kirsten had never seen so fine an animal. 'Take care it doesn't hurt you, Peder,' said she.
'Nonsense, wife,' answered he crossly. 'When I was a lad I lived with horses, and could ride anything for twenty miles round.' But that was not quite the truth, for he had never mounted a horse in his life.
Still, the animal was quiet enough, so Peder got safely to market on its back. There he met a man who offered nine hundred and ninety-nine dollars for it, but Peder would take nothing less than a thousand. At last there came an old, grey-bearded man who looked at the horse and agreed to buy it; but the moment he touched it the horse began to kick and plunge. 'I must take the bridle off,' said Peder. 'It is not to be sold with the animal as is usually the case.'
'I'll give you a hundred dollars for the bridle,' said the old man, taking out his purse.
'No, I can't sell it,' replied Hans's father.
'Five hundred dollars]'
'No.'
'A thousand!'
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