The PINK FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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140
THE BIRD 'GRIP'
When they arrived at their father's palace there was great rejoicing, and everyone praised the two princes for their courage and bravery.
When the king inquired after the youngest brother they answered that he had led such a life in the inn that he had been hanged for debt. The king sorrowed bitterly over this, because the youngest prince was his dearest son, and the joy over the treasures soon died away, for the bird Grip would not sing so that the king might recover his sight, the princess wept night and day, and no one dared to venture so close to the horse as to have a look at his golden shoes.
Now when the youngest prince was thrown down into the lions' den he found the fox sitting there, and the lions, instead of tearing him to pieces, showed him the greatest friendliness. Nor was the fox angry with him for having forgot his last warning. He only said that sous who could so forget their old father and disgrace their royal birth as these had done would not hesitate to betray their brother either. Then he took the prince up out of the lions' den and gave him directions what to do now so as to come by his rights again.
The prince thanked the fox with all his heart for his true friendship, but the fox answered that if he had been of any use to him he would now for his own part ask a service of him. The prince replied that he would do him any service that was in his powrer.
' I have only one thing to ask of you,' said the fox, ' and that is, that you should cut off my head with your sword.'
The prince was astonished, and said that he could not bring himself to cut the head off his truest friend, and to this he stuck in spite of all the fox's declarations that it was the o-reatest service he could do him. At this the fox became very sorrowful, and declared that the prince's refusal to grant his request now compelled him to do a deed which he was very unwilling to do if the prince would not cut of his head, then he must kill the prince
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