The VIOLET FAIRY BOOK - full online book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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345
THE STORY OF HALFMAN
In a certain town there lived a judge who was married but had no children. One day he was standing lost in thought before his house, wiien an old man passed by.
' What is the matter, sir,' said he; ' you look troubled ?'
' Oh, leave me alone, my good man!'
' But what is it?' persisted the other.
' Well, I am successful in my profession and a person of importance, but I care nothing for it all, as I have no children.'
Then the old man said, ' Here are twelve apples. If your wife eats them, she will have twelve sons.'
The judge thanked him joyfully as he took the apples, and went to seek his wife. ' Eat these apples at once,' he cried, ' and you will have twelve sons.'
So she sat down and ate eleven of them, but just as she was in the middle of the twelfth her sister came in, and she gave her the half that was left.
The eleven sons came into the world, strong and handsome boys; but when the twelfth was born, there was only half of him.
By-and-by they all grew into men, and one day they told their father it was high time he found wdves for them. ' I have a brother,' he answered, ' who lives away in the East, and he has twelve daughters; go and marry them.' So the twelve sons saddled their horses and rode for twelve clays, till they met an old woman.
' Good greeting to you, young men !' said she, ' we have
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