The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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King has got to dessert.' So he threw himself down on the grass, and, as the sun was very dazzling, he closed his eyes, and in a few seconds had fallen sound asleep.
In the meantime all the ship's crew were anxiously awaiting him ; the King's dinner would soon be finished, and their comrade had not yet returned. So the man with the marvellous quick hearing lay down and, putting his ear to the ground, listened.
' That's a nice sort of fellow !' he suddenly exclaimed, ' He's lying on the ground, snoring hard !'
At this the marksman seized his gun, took aim, and fired in the direction of the world's end, in order to awaken the sluggard. And a moment later the swift runner reappeared, and, stepping on board the ship, handed the healing water to the Simpleton. So while the King was still sitting at table finishing his dinner news was brought to him that his orders had been obeyed to the letter.
"What was to be done now ? The King determined to think of a still more impossible task. So he told another courtier to go to the Simpleton with the command that he and his comrades were instantly to eat up twelve oxen and twelve tons of bread. Once more the sharp-eared comrade overheard the King's words while he was still talking to the courtier, and reported them to the Simpleton.
' Alas, alas !' he sighed; ( what in the world shall I do ? "Why, it would take us a year, possibly our whole lives, to cut up twelve oxen and twelve tons of bread.'
' Never fear,' said the glutton. ' It will scarcely be enough for me, I'm so hungry.'
So when the courtier arrived with the royal message he was told to take back word to the King that his orders should be obeyed. Then twelve roasted oxen and twelve tons of bread were brought alongside of the ship, and at one sitting the glutton had devoured it all.
'I call that a small meal,' he said. 'I wish they'd brought me some more.'
Next, tlhe King ordered that forty casks of wine, containing forty gallons each, were to be drunk up on the spot by the Simple­ton and his party. When these words were overheard by the sharp-eared comrade and repeated to the Simpleton, ho was in despair.
'Alas, alas!' he exclaimed; 'what is to bo done? It would take us a year, possibly our whole lives, to drink so much.'
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