The RED Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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would watch in the kitchen and see if this were true, and when it had begun to grow dark he went out into the kitchen to the girl. But though he rubbed his eyes and did everything he could to keep himself awake it was all in vain, for the Bushy Bride crooned and sang till his eyes were fast closed, and when the beautiful young maiden came he was sound asleep and snoring.
This time also, as before, she borrowed a brush and brushed her hair with it, and the gold dropped down as she did it; and again she sent the dog out three times, and when day dawned she departed, but as she was going she said as she had said before, ' I shall come once more, and then never again.'
On the third Thursday night the King once more insisted on keeping watch. Then he set two men to hold him ; each of them was to take an arm, and shake him and jerk him by the arm whenever he seemed to be going to fall asleep; and he set two men to watch his Bushy Bride. But as the night wore on the Bushy Bride again began to croon and to sing, so that his eyes began to close and his head to droop on one side. Then came the lovely maiden, and got the brush and brushed her hair till the gold dropped from it, and then she sent her Little Snow out to see if it would soon be day, and this she did three times. The third time it was iust beginning to grow light, and then she said:
' Out on thee, ugly Bushy Bride, Sleeping so soft by the young King's side, On sand and stones my bed I make, And my brother sleeps with the cold snake, Unpitied and unwept.'
' Now I shall never come again,' she said, and then she turned to go. But the two men who were holding the King by the arms seized his hands and forced a knife into his grasp, and then made him cut her little finger j ust enough to make it bleed.
Thus the true bride was freed. The King then awoke, and she told him all that had taken place, and how her step-mother and step-sister had betrayed her. Then the brother was at once taken out of the snake-pit—the snakes had never touched him—and the step-mother and step-sister were flung down into it instead of him.
Xo one can tell how delighted the King was to get rid of that hideous Bushy Bride, and get a Queen who was bright and beau­tiful as day itself.
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