The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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a crab by day and was a man only at night; and he could also change himself into an eagle as often as he wished. No sooner had he said this than he shook himself, and immediately became a handsome youth, but the next morning he was forced to creep back again into his crab-shell. And the same thing happened every day. But the Princess's affection for the Crab, and the polite attention with which she behaved to him, surprised the royal family very much. They suspected some secret, but though they spied and spied, they could not discover it. Thus a year passed away, and the Princess had a son, whom she called Benjamin. But her mother still thought the whole matter very strange. At last she said to the King that he ought to ask his daughter whether she would not like to have another husband instead of the Crab ? But when the daughter was questioned she only answered :
' I am married to the Crab, and him only will I have.'
Then the King said to her, ' I will appoint a tournament in your honour, and I will invite all the princes in the world to it, and if any one of them pleases you, you shall marry him.'
In the evening the Princess told this to the Crab, who said to her, 'Take this rod, go to the garden gate and knock with it, then a black man will come out and say to you, " Why have you called me, and what do you require of me ? " Answer him thus: ' Your master the King has sent me hither to tell you to send him his golden armour and his steed and the silver apple." And bring them to me.'
The Princess did so, and brought him what he desired.
The following evening the Prince dressed himself for the tour­nament. Before he went he said to his wife, ' Now mind you do not say when you see mo that I am the Crab. For if you do this evil will come of it. Place yourself at the window with your sisters; I will ride by and throw you the silver apple. Take it in your hand, but if they ask you who I am, say that you do not know.' So saying, he kissed her, repeated his warning onco more, and went away.
The Frinccss went with her sistei's to tho window and looked on at the tournament. Presently her husband rode by and throw tho apple up to her. She caught it in her hand and went with it to her room, and by-and-by her husband came back to her. But her father was much surprised that she did not seem to care about any of the Princes ; he therefore appointed a second tournament.
The Crab then gave his wife the same directions as before, only
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