The VIOLET FAIRY BOOK - full online book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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148
HOW A FISH SWAM IN THE AIR AND A HARE IN THE WATER
Once upon a time an old man and his wife lived together-in a little village. They might have been happy if only the old woman had had the sense to hold her tongue at proper times. But anything which might happen in­doors, or any bit of news which her husband might bring in when he had been anywhere, had to be told at once to the whole village, and these tales were repeated and altered till it often happened that much mischief was made, and the old man's back paid for it.
One day, he drove to the forest. When he reached the edge of it he got out of his cart and walked beside it. Suddenly he stepped on such a soft spot that his foot sank in the earth.
' What can this be? ' thought he. ' I'll dig a bit and see.'
So he dug and dug, and at last he came on a little pot full of gold and silver.
' Oh, what luck! Now, if only I knew how I could take this treasure home with me — but I can never hope to hide it from my wife, and once she knows of it she'll tell all the world, and then I shall get into trouble.'
He sat down and thought over the matter a long­time, and at last he made a plan. He covered up the pot again with earth and twigs, and drove on into the town, where he bought a live pike and a live hare in the market.
Then he drove back to the forest and hung the pike
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