The VIOLET FAIRY BOOK - full online book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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127
THE STORY OF A GAZELLE
Once upon a time there lived a man who wasted all his money, and grew so poor that his only food was a few grains of corn, which he scratched like a fowl from out of a dust heap.
One day he was scratching as usual among adust-heap in the street, hoping to find something for breakfast, when his eye fell upon a small silver coin, called an eighth, which he greedily snatched up. ' Now I can have a proper meal,' he thought, and after drinking some water at a well he lay down and slept so long that it was sun­rise before he woke again. Then he jumped up and returned to the dust-heap. ' For who knows,' he said to himself, ' whether I may not have some good luck again.'
As he was walking down the road, he saw a man coming toward him, carrying a cage made of twigs. ' Hi! you fellow ! ' called he, ■ what have you got inside there?'
' Gazelles,' replied the man.
' Bring them here, for I should like to see them.'
As he spoke, some men who were standing by began to laugh, saying to the man with the cage: ' You had better take care how you bargain with him, for he has nothing at all except what he picks up from a dust-heap, and if he can't feed himself, will he be able to feed a gazelle ?'
But the man with a cage made answer: ' Since I started from my home in the country, fifty people at the least have called me to show them my gazelles, and was
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