The RED Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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But when the man once more saw this he said to himself, ' What a bad business this is ! Can they all have been so heavy-hearted that they have all three hanged themselves '.' Xo, I can't believe that it is anything but witchcraft ! But I will know the truth,' he said ; ' if the two others are still hanging there it is true but if they are not it's nothing else but witchcraft.'
So he tied up his ox and ran back to see if they really were hanging there. "While he was going, and looking up at every tree as he went, the youth leapt down and took his ox and went off with it. Any one may easily imagine what a fury the man fell into when he came back and saw that his ox was gone. He wept and he raged, but at last he took comfort and told himself that the best thing to do was to go home and take the third ox, without letting his wife know anything about it, and then try to sell it so well that he got a good sum of money for it. So he went home and took the third ox, and drove it off without his wife knowing any­thing about it. But the robbers knew all about it, and they told the youth that if he could steal this as he had stolen the two others, he should be master of the whole troop. So the youth set out and went to the wood, and when the man was coming along with the ox he began to bellow loudly, just like a great ox some­where inside the wood. When the man heard that he was right glad, for he fancied he recognised the voice of his big bullock, and thought that now he should find both of them again. So he tied up the third, and ran away oil* the road to look for them in the wood. In the meantime the youth went away with the third ox. When the man returned and found that he had lost that too, he fell into such a rage that there was no bounds to it. He wept and lamented, and lor many days he did not dare to go home again, for he was afraid that the old woman would slay him outright. The robbers, also, were not very well pleased at this, for they were forced to own that the youth was at the head of them all. So one day they made up their minds to set to work to do something which it was not in his power to accomplish, and they all took to the road together, and left him at home alone. "When they were well out of the house, the first thing that he did was to drive the oxen out on the road, whereupon they all ran home again to the man horn whom he had stolen them, and right glad was the husbandmau to see them. Then he brought out all the horses the robbers had, and loaded them with the most valuable things which he could find— vessels of gold and of bilver, and clothes and other magnificent
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