The RED Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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' Why did you come to our house ? ' continued the Dwarfs.
Then she told them how her stepmother had wished her put to death, and how the Huntsman had spared her life, and how she had run the whole day till, she had come to their little house. The Dwarfs, when they had heard her sad story, asked her :
' Will you stay and keep house for us, cook, make the beds, do the washing, sew and knit ? and if you give satisfaction and keep everything neat and clean, you shall want for nothing.'
' Yes,' answered Snowdrop, ' I will gladly do all you ask.'
And so she took up her abode with them. Every morning the Dwarfs went into the mountain to dig for gold, and in the evening, when they returned home, Snowdrop always had their supper ready for them. But during the day the girl was left quite alone, so the good Dwarfs warned her, saying:
' Beware of your step-mother. She will soon find out you are here, and whatever you do don't let anyone into the house.'
Now the Queen, after she thought she had eaten Snowdrop's lungs and liver, never dreamed but that she was once more the most beautiful woman in the world; so stepping before her mirror one day she said:
' Mirror, mirror, hanging there, Who in all the land's most fair ? '
and the mirror replied :
' My Lady Queen, you are fair, 'tis true, But Snowdrop is fairer far than you. Snowdrop, who dwells with the seven little men, Is as fair as you, as fair again.'
When the Queen heard these words she was nearly struck dumb with horror, for the mirror always spoke the truth, and she knew now that the Huntsman must have deceived her, and that Snowdrop was still alive. She pondered day and night how she might destroy her, for as long as she felt she had a rival in the land her jealous heart left her no rest. At last she hit upon a plan. She stained her face and dressed herself up as an old peddler wife, so that she was quite unrecognisable. In this guise she went over the seven hills till she came to the house of the seven Dwarfs. There she knocked at the door, calling out at the same time : ' Fine wares to sell, fine wares to sell!' Snowdrop peeped out of the window, and called out;
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