The BROWN FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

' I want to know why other people have all the luck, and only misfortunes happen to me ! '
The Holy Man did not answer, but went into an inner cave, from which he came out bearing something in his hand. ' Do you see this basket ? ' said he. ' It is a magi­cal basket, and if you are hungry you have only got to say: " Little basket, little basket, do your duty," and you will eat the best dinner you ever had in your life. But when you have had enough, be sure you don't forget to cry out: " That will do for to-day." Oh!—and one thing more—you need not show it to everybody and declare that I have given it to you. Do you understand ? '
Father Grumbler was always accustomed to think of himself as so unlucky that he did not know whether the Holy Man was not playing a trick upon him ; but he took the basket without being polite enough to say either ' Thank you,' or ' Good-morning,' and went away. How­ever, he only waited till he was out of sight of the cave before he stooped down and whispered : ' Little basket, little basket, do your duty.'
Now the basket had a lid, so that he could not see what was inside, but he heard quite clearly strange noises, as if a sort of scuffling was going on. Then the lid burst open, and a quantity of delicious little white rolls came tumbling out one after the other, followed by a stream of small fishes all ready cooked. What a quantity there were to be sure ! The whole road was covered with them, and the banks on each side were beginning to disappear. Father Grumbler felt quite frightened at the torrent, but at last he remembered what the Holy Man had told him, and cried at the top of his voice: ' Enough ! enough! That will do for to-day !' And the lid of the basket closed with a snap.
Father Grumbler sighed with relief and happiness as he looked around him, and sitting down on a heap of stones, he ate till he could eat no more. Trout, salmon, turbot, soles, and a hundred other fishes whose names he
Previous Contents Next