The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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T HERE was once a woman who wanted to have quite a tiny, little child, but she did not know where to get one from. So one day she went to an old Witch and said to her: ' I should so much like to have a tiny, little child ; can you tell me where I can get one?'
' Oh, we have just got one ready ! ' said the Witch. ' Here is a barley-corn for you, but it's not the kind the farmer sows in his field, or feeds the cocks and hens with, I can tell you. Put it in a flower­pot, and then you will see something happen.'
' Oh, thank you !' said the woman, and gave the Witch a shilling, for that was what it cost. Then she went home and planted the barley-corn ; immediately there grew out of it a large and beautiful flower, which looked like a tulip, but the petals were tightly closed as if it were still only a bud.
'What a beautiful flower!' exclaimed the woman, and she kissed the red and yellow petals; but as she kissed them the flow er burst open. It was a real tulip, such as one can see any day ; but in the middle of the blossom, on the green velvety petals, sat a little girl quite tiny, trim, and pretty. She was scarcely half a thumb in height; so they called her Thunibelina. An elegant polished walnut-shell served Thunibelina as a cradle, the blue petals of a violet were her mattress, and a rose-leaf her coverlid. There she lay at night, but in the day-time she used to play about on the table; here Liu; woman had put a bowl, surrounded by a ring of flowers, with their stalks in water, in the middle of which floated a great tulip pedal, and on this Thumbelina sat, and sailed from one side of the bowl to the other, rowing herself with two white horse-hairs for oars. It was such a pretty Bight! She could sing, too, with a voice more soft and sweet than had cut been heard before.
One night, when she was lying in her pretty little bed, an old
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