The VIOLET FAIRY BOOK - full online book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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263
THE STORY OF HASSEBU
Once upon a time there lived a poor woman who had only one child, and he was a little boy called Hassebu. When he ceased to be a baby, and his mother thought it was time for him to learn to read, she sent him to school. And, after he had done with school, he was put into a shop to learn how to make clothes, and did not learn; and he was put to do silversmith's work, and did not learn ; and whatsoever he was taught, he did not learn it. His mother never wished him to do anything he did not like, so she said : ' Well, stay at home, my son.' And he stayed at home, eating and sleeping.
One day the boy said to his mother: ' What was my father's business ?'
' He was a very learned doctor,' answered she.
' Where, then, are his books?' asked Hassebu.
' Many days have passed, and I have thought nothing of them. But look inside and see if they are there.' So Hassebu looked, and saw they were eaten by insects, all but one book, which he took away and read.
He was sitting at home one morning poring over the medicine book, when some neighbours came by and said to his mother : ' Give us this boy, that we may go together to cut wood.' For wood-cutting was their trade, and they loaded several donkeys with the wood, and sold it in the town.
And his mother answered, ' Very well; to-morrow I will buy him a donkey, and you can all go together.'
So the donkey was bought, and the neighbours came,
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