The PINK FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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21G
THE TWO BROTHERS
out a hair and laid it on his shoulder, and his limbs grew cold and heavy, and he could not stir.
Now at this very moment the younger brother was thinking of him, and wondering how he had got on during all the years since they had parted. ' I will go to the fig-tree,' he said to himself, ' to see whether he is alive or dead.' So he rode through the forest till he came where the fig-tree stood, and cut a slit in the bark, and waited. In a moment a little gurgling noise was heard, and out came a stream of blood, running fast. ' Ah, woe is me ! ' he cried bitterly. ' My brother is dead or dying! Shall I ever reach him in time to save his life?' Then, leaping on his horse, he shouted, ' Now, my steed, fly like the wind ! ' and they rode right through the world, till one day they came to the town where the young man and his wife lived. Here the princess had been sitting every day since the morning that her husband had left her, weeping Ditter tears, and listening for his footsteps. And when she saw his brother ride under the balcony she mistook him for her own husband, for they were so alike that no man might tell the difference, and her heart bounded, and, leaning down, she called to him, ' At last! at last! how long have I waited for thee ! ' When the younger brother heard these words he said to himself, ' So it was here that my brother lived, and this beautiful woman is my sister-in-law,' but he kept silence, and let her believe he was indeed her husband. Full of joy, the princess led him to the old king, who welcomed him as his own son, and ordered a feast to be made for him. And the princess was beside herself with gladness, but when she would have put her arms round him and kissed him he held up his hand to stop her, saying, ' Touch me not,' at which she marvelled greatly.
In this manner several days went by. And one evening, as the young man leaned from the balcony, he saw a bright light shining on the mountain.
' What can that be ?' he said to the princess.
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