The YELLOW FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

all the ladies round. And they all took to holding water in their mouths that they might gurgle whenever anyone spoke to them. Then they thought themselves nightingales. Yes, the lackeys and chambermaids announced that they were pleased; which means a great deal, for they are the most difficult people of all to satisfy. In short, the Nightingale was a real success.
She had to stay at Court now ; she had her own cage, and per­mission to walk out twice in the day and once at night.
She was given twelve servants, who each held a silken string which was fastened round her leg. There was little pleasure in flying about like this.
The whole town was talking about the wonderful bird, and when two people met each other one would say ' Nightin,' and the other ' Gale,' and then they would both sigh and understand one another. Yes, and eleven grocer's children were called after her, but not one of them could sing a note.
One day the Emperor received a large parcel on which was written 'The Nightingale.'
' Here is another new book about our famous bird!' said the Emperor.
But it was not a book, but a little mechanical toy, which lay in a box—an artificial nightingale which was like the real one, only that it was set all over with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. "When it was wound up, it could sing the piece the real bird sang, and moved its tail up and down, and glittered with silver and gold. Bound its neck was a little collar on which was written, ( The Nightingale of the Emperor of Japan is nothing compared to that of the Emperor of China.'
' This is magnificent!' they all said, and the man who had brought the clockwork bird received on the spot the title of ' Bringer of the Imperial First Nightingale.'
' Now they must sing together; what a duet we shall have ! ■
And so they sang together, but their voices did not blend, for the real Nightingale sang in her way and the clockwork bird sang waltzes.
' It is not its fault!' said the bandmaster ; ' it keeps very good time and is quite after my style !'
Then the artificial bird had to sing alone. It gave just as much pleasure as the real one, and then it was so much prettier to look at; it sparkled like bracelets and necklaces. Three-and-thirty times it sang the same piece without being tired. People would
Previous Contents Next