The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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A LONG time ago there lived a King who had three sons; the eldest was called Szabo, the second Warza, and the youngest Iwanich.
One beautiful spring morning the King was walking through his gardens with these three sons, gazing with admiration at the various fruit-trees, some of which were a mass of blossom, whilst others were bowed to the ground laden with rich fruit. During their wanderings they came unperceived on a piece of waste land where three splendid trees grew. The King looked on them for a moment, and then, shaking his head sadly, he passed on in silence.
The sons, who could not understand why he did this, asked him the reason of his dejection, and the King told them as follows :
I These three trees, which I cannot see without sorrow, were planted by me on this spot when I was a youth of twenty. A celebrated magician, who had given the seed to my father, promised him that they woidd grow into the three finest trees the world had ever seen. My father did not live to see his words come true ; but on his death-bed he bade me transplant them here, and to look after thein with the greatest care, which I accordingly did. At last, after the lapse of five long years, I noticed some blossoms on the branches, and a few days later the most exquisite fruit my eyes had ever seen.
' I gave my head-gardener the strictest orders to watch the trees carefully, for the magician had warned my father that if one unripe fruit were plucked from the tree, all the rest would become rotten at once. When it was quite ripe the fruit would become a golden yellow.
'Every day I gazed on the lovely fruit, which became gradually more and more tempting-looking, and it was all I could do not tc break the magician's commands.
1 From the Russian, Kletke.
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