The RED Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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' Oh yes, there is one to match me,' said Dapplegrim. ' But it will not be easy to get him, for he is underground. However, we will try. Now you must go up to the King and ask for new shoes for me, and for them we must again have ten pounds of iron, twelve pounds of steel, and two smiths, one to hammer and one to hold, but be very particular to see that the hooks are very sharp. And you must also ask for twelve barrels of rye, and twelve slaughtered oxen must we have with us, and all the twelve ox-hides with twelve hundred spikes set in each of them; all these things must we have, likewise a barrel of tar with twelve tons of tar in it. The youth went to the King and asked for all the things that Dapplegrim had named, and once more, as the King thought that it would be disgraceful to refuse them to him, he obtained them all. So he mounted Dapplegrim and rode away from the Court, and when he had ridden for a long, long time over hills and moors, Dapplegrim asked : ' Do you hear anything ? '
' Yes; there is such a dreadful whistling up above in the air that I think I am growing alarmed,' said the youth.
' That is all the wild birds in the forest flying about; they are sent to stop us,' said Dapplegrim. 'But just cut a hole in the corn sacks, and then they will be so busy with the corn that they will forget us.'
The youth did it. He cut holes in the corn sacks so that barley and rye ran out on every side, and all the wild birds that were in the forest came in such numbers that they darkened the sun. But when they caught sight of the corn they could not refrain from it, but flew down and began to scratch and pick at the corn and rye, and at last they began to fight among themselves, and forgot all about the youth and Dapplegrim, and did them no harm.
And now the youth rode onwards for a long, long time, over hill and dale, over rocky places and morasses, and then Dapple­grim began to listen again, and asked the youth if he heard any-thing now.
' Yes; now I hear such a dreadful crackling and crashing in the forest on every side that I think I shall be really afraid,' said the youth.
' That is all the wild beasts in the forest,' said Dapplegrim ; ' they are sent out to stop us. But just throw out the twelve car­casses of the oxen, and they will be so much occupied with them that they will quite forget us.' So the youth threw out the carcasses of the oxen, and then all the wild beasts in the forest, both bears and
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