The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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160
THE WHITE DUCK
But the witch answered, ' My dear husband, what do you mean? There is nothing wonderful in a duck's quacking. Here, servants ! Chase that duck out of the courtyard.' But though the servants chased and chevied, they could not get rid of the duck; for she circled round and round, and always came back to the spot where her children lay, crying;
' Quack, quack—my little loves ! Quack, quack—my turtle-doves ! The wicked witch your lives did take— The wicked witch, the cunning snake. First she stole my King away, Then my children did she slay. Changed me, from a happy wife, To a duck for all my life. "Would I were the Queen again; Would that you had ne'er been slain.'
And as the King heard her words he began to suspect that he had been deceived, and he called out to the servants, ' Catch that duck, and bring it here.' But, though they ran to and fro, the duck always fled past them, and would not let herself be caught. So the King himself stepped down amongst them, and instantly the duck fluttered down into his hands. And as lie stroked her wings she was changed into a beautiful woman, and he recognised his dear wife. And she told him that a bottle would be found in her nest in the garden, containing some drops from the spring of healing. And it was brought to her; and the ducklings and little drake were sprinkled with the water, and from the little dead bodies three lovely children arose. And the King and Queen were overjoyed when they saw their children, and they all lived happily together in the beautiful palace. But the wicked witch was taken by the King's command, and she came to no good end.
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