The VIOLET FAIRY BOOK - full online book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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264              THE STORY OF HASSEBU
and they worked hard all day, and in the evening they brought the wood back into the town, and sold it for a good sum of money. And for six days they went and did the like, but on the seventh it rained, and the wood-cutters ran and hid in the rocks, all but Hassebu, who did not mind wetting, and stayed where he was.
While he was sitting in the place where the wood­cutters had left him, he took up a stone that lay near him, and idly dropped it on the ground. It rang with a hollow sound, and he called to his companions, and said, ' Come here and listen ; the ground seems hollow!'
' Knock again! ' cried they. And he knocked and listened.
' Let us dig,' said the boy. And they dug, and found a large pit like a well, filled with honey up to the brim.
' This is better than firewood,' said they ; ' it will bring us more money. And as you have found it, Hassebu, it is you who must go inside and dip out the honey and give to us, and we will take it to the town and sell it, and will divide the money with you.'
The following day each man brought every bowl and vessel he could find at home, and Hassebu filled them all with honey. And this he did every day for three months.
At the end of that time the honey was very nearly finished, and there was only a little left, quite at the bottom, and that was very deep down, so deep that it seemed as if it must be right in the middle of the earth. Seeing this, the men said to Hassebu, ' We will put a rope under your arms, and let you down, so that you may scra'pe up all the honey that is left, and when you have done we will lower the rope again, and you shall make it fast, and we will draw yon up.'
' Very well,' answered the boy, and he went down, and he scraped and scraped till there was not so much honey left as would cover the point of a needle. ' Now I am ready! ' he cried; but they consulted together and
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