The PINK FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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flowers, perhaps not even the birds. Altogether the parting was not pleasant.
When the tree came to itself again it was packed in a yard with other trees, and a man was saying, ' This is a splendid one, we shall only want this.'
Then came two footmen in livery and carried the fir-tree into a large and beautiful room. There were pic­tures hanging upon the walls, and near the Dutch stove stood great Chinese vases with lions on their lids; there were armchairs, silk-covered sofas, big tables laden with picture-books and toys, worth hundreds of pounds — at least, so the children said. The fir-tree was placed in a great tub filled with sand, but no one could see that it was a tub, for it was all hung with greenery and stood on a gay carpet. How the tree trembled! What was coming now? The young ladies and the servants decked it out. On its branches they hung little nets cut out of coloured paper, each full of sugarplums; gilt apples and nuts hung down as if they were growing, and over a hundred red, blue, and white tapers were fastened among the branches. Dolls as life-like as human beings — the fir-tree had never seen any before — were suspended among the green, and right up at the top was fixed a gold tinsel star; it was gorgeous, quite unusually gorgeous!
k To-night,' they all said, 'to-night it will be lighted! '
' Ah! ' thought the tree, ' if it were only evening! Then the tapers would soon be lighted. What will happen then? I wonder whether the trees will come from the wood to see me, or if the sparrows will fly against the window panes? Am I to stand here decked out thus through winter and summer?'
It was not a bad guess, but the fir-tree had real bark-ache from sheer longing, and bark-ache in trees is just as bad as head-ache in human beings.
Now the tapers were lighted. What a glitter! What splendour! The tree quivered in all its branches so much, that one of the candles caught the green, and
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