The RED Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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296
FARMER WEATHERBEARD
' Good-evening, mother,' said the man.
' Good-evening to you too,' said the old woman. ' No one has called me mother this hundred years.'
' Can I lodge here to-night ? ' said the man.
' No,' said the old woman. But the man took out his roll of tobacco, lighted a little of it, and then gave her a whiff. Then she was so delighted that she began to dance, and thus the man got leave to stay the night there. It was not long before he asked about Farmer Weatherbeard.
She said that she knew nothing about him, but that she ruled over all the four-footed beasts, and some of them might know him. So she gathered them all together by blowing a whistle which she had, and questioned them, but there was not one of them which knew anything about Farmer Weatherbeard.
' Well,' said the old woman, ' there are three of us sisters ; it may be that one of the other two knows where he is to be found. You shall have the loan of my horse and carriage, and then you will get there by night; but her house is three hundred miles off, go the nearest way you will.'
The man set out and got there at night. When he arrived, this old woman also was standing drawing water out of the well with her nose.
' Good-evening, mother,' said the man.
' Good-evening to you,' said the old woman. ' No one has ever called me mother this hundred years.'
' Can I lodge here to-night ? ' said the man.
' No,' said the old woman.
Then he took out the roll of tobacco, took a whiff, and gave the old woman some snuff on the back of her hand. Then she was so delighted that she began to dance, and the man got leave to stay all night. It was not long before he began to ask about Farmer Weatherbeard.
She knew nothing about him, but she ruled over all the fishes, she said, and perhaps some of them might know something. So she gathered them all together by blowing a whistle which she had, and questioned them, but there was not one of them which knew anything about Farmer Weatherbeard.
'Well,' said the old woman, 'I have another sister; perhaps she may know something about him. She lives six hundred miles off, but you shall have my horse and carriage, and then you will get there by nightfall.'
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