The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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A SOLDIER came marching along the high road—left, right! left, right! He had his knapsack on his back and a sword by his side, for he had been to the wars and was now returning home.
An old AVitch met him on the road. She was very ugly to look at: her under-lip hung down to her breast.
' Good evening, Soldier! ' she said. '"What a fine sword and knapsack you have ! You are something like a soldier ! You ought to have as much money as you would like to carry ! '
' Thank you, old Witch,' said the Soldier.
' Do you see that great tree there ? ' said the "Witch, pointing to a tree beside them. 'It is hollow within. You must climb up to the top, and then you will see a hole through which you can let yourself down into the tree. I will tie a rope round your waist, so thai I may be able to pull you up again when you call.'
' What shall I do down there ? ' asked the Soldier.
' Get money !' answered the "Witch. ' Listen ! When you reach the bottom of the tree you will find yourself in a large hall; it is light there, for there are more than three hundred lamps burn­ing. Then you will see three doors, which you can open—the keys are in the locks. If you go into the first room, you will see a greal chest in the middle of the iloor with a dog sitting upon it ; lie lias eyes as large as saucers, but you needn't trouble about him. I will give you my blue-check apron, which you must spread out on the floor, and then go back quickly and fetch the dog and set him upon it; open the chest and take as much money as you like. It is copper there. If you would rather have silver, you must go into the next room, where there is a dog with eyes as large as mill-wheels. But don't take any notice of him ; just set him upon my apron, and help yourself to the money, if you prefer gold, you can get that too, if you go into the third room, and as much as you like to carry. Bui the dog that guards the chest there has eyes as large
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