The VIOLET FAIRY BOOK - full online book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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PRINCESS HIDDEN UNDERGROUND 317
But the herd answered : ' No, oh king ; I will not sell it; but if you find pleasure therein, I will be willing to oblige you, and I will lend it to you, free of charge, for three days, after that you must give it back to me.'
This the king agreed to do, and he arose and took the lamb to his daughter. When he had led it into her palace, and through many rooms, he came to a shut door. Then he called ' Open, Sartara Martara of the earth!' and the door opened of itself. After that they went through many more rooms, and came to another closed door. Again the king called out: ' Open, Sartara Martara of the earth !' and this door opened like the other, and they came into the apartment where the princess dwelt, the floor, walls, and roof of which were all of silver.
When the king had embraced the princess, he gave her the lamb, to her great joy. She stroked it, caressed it, and played with it.
After a while the lamb got loose, which, when the princess saw, she said: ' See, father, the lamb is free.'
But the king answered: ' It is only a lamb, why should it not be free ?'
Then he left the lamb with the princess, and went his way.
In the night, however, the young man threw off the skin. When the princess saw how beautiful he was, she fell in love with him, and asked him: ' Why did you come here disguised in a sheepskin like that?'
Then he answered: ' When I saw how many people sought you, and could not find you, and lost their lives in so doing, I invented this trick, and so I am come safely to you.'
The princess exclaimed: ' You have done well so to do; but you must know that your wager is not yet won, for my father will change me and my maidens into ducks, and will ask you, " Which of these ducks is the princess ? " Then I will turn my head back, and with my bill will clean my wings, so that you may know me.'
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