The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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for firewood; at the same time she warned him once more against approaching or speaking a word to the black girl if he met her in the wTood.
Although his task wras no easier than that of the day before, the youth set out much more cheerfully, because he knew he could count on the help of the black girl. With quicker and lighter step he crossed the bridge of clouds, and hardly had he reached the other side than his friend stood before him and greeted him cheer­fully. When she heard what the Fairy demanded this time, she answered smilingly, ' Never fear,' and handed him another draught, which very soon caused the Prince to sink into a deep sleep.
When he awoke everything wTas done. All the trees of the wood were cut up into firewood and arranged in bundles ready for use.
He returned to the castle as quickly as he could, and told the Fairy that her commands were obeyed. She was even more amazed than she had been before, and asked him again if he had either seen or spoken to the black girl; but the Prince knew better than to betray his word, and once more lied freely.
On the following day the Fairy set him a third task to do, even harder than the other two. She told him he must build a castle on the other side of the lake, made of nothing but gold, silver, and precious stones, and unless he could accomplish this within an hour, the most frightful doom awaited him.
The Prince heard her words without anxiety, so entirely did he rely on the help of his black friend. Full of hope he hurried across the bridge, and recognised at once the spot where the castle was to stand, for spades, hammers, axes, and every other building imple­ment lay scattered on the ground ready for the workman's hand, but of gold, silver, and precious stones there was not a sign. But before the Prince had time to feel despondent the black girl beckoned to him in the distance from behind a rock, where she had hidden herself for fear her mother should catch sight of her. Full of joy the youth hurried towards her, and begged her aid and counsel in the new piece of work he had been given to do.
But this time the Fairy had watched the Prince's movements from her window', and she saw him hiding himself behind the rock with her daughter. She uttered a piercing shriek so that the moun­tains re-echoed with the sound of it, and the terrified pair had hardly dared to look out from their hiding-place when the enraged woman, with her dress and hair flying in the wind, hurried over the
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