A Children's Fantasy Book By George MacDonald - illustrated version.

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THE WHITE PIGEON.                           15
should he not kill a pigeon? But the fact was, that not till this very moment had he ever known what a pigeon was. A good many discoveries of a similar kind have to be made by most of us. Once more it opened its eyes— then closed them again, and its throbbing ceased. Curdie gave a sob : its last look reminded him of the princess— he did not know why. He remembered how hard he had laboured to set her beyond danger, and yet what dangers she had had to encounter for his sake: they had teen saviours to each other—and what had he done now? He had stopped saving, and had begun killing! What had he been sent into the world for ? Surely not to be a death to its joy and loveliness. He had done the thing that was contrary to gladness ; he was a destroyer ! He was not the Curdie he had been meant to be ! Then the underground waters gushed from the boy's heart. And with the tears came the remembrance that a white pigeon, just before the princess wrent away with her father, came from somewhere—yes* from the grand­mother's lamp, and flew round the king and Irene and himself, and then flew away: this might be that very pigeon ! Horrible to think ! And if it wasn't, yet it was a white pigeon, the same as it. And if she kept a great many pigeons—and white ones, as Irene had told him, then whose pigeon could he have killed but the grand old princess's? Suddenly everything round about him
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