The BROWN FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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the cock, while her husband did his best to make the man sleepy with wine, but all in vain.
After dinner, which he did not eat without grumbling, for the cock was very tough, the man struck his hand on the table, and said : ' Now listen to me. Go and fetch my cock and my basket, at once. Do you hear ? '
' Your cock, and your basket, Father Grumbler? But you have just-----'
' My cock and my basket!' interrupted he. ' And, if you are too deaf and too stupid to understand what that means, I have got something which may help to teach you.' And opening the bag, he cried : ' Flack ! flick ! switch, be quick.'
And flack ! flick ! like lightning a white switch sprang out of the bag, and gave such hearty blows to the inn­keeper and his wife, and to Father Grumbler into the bargain, that they all jumped as high as feathers when a mattress is shaken.
' Stop ! stop ! make it stop, and you shall have back your cock and basket,' cried the man and his wife. And Father Grumbler, who had no wish to go on, called out between his hops : ' Stop then, can't you ? That is enough for to-day! '
But the switch paid no attention, and dealt out its blows as before, and might have been dealing them to this day, if the Holy Man had not heard their cries and come to the rescue. ' Into the bag, quick !' said he, and the switch obeyed.
' Now go and fetch me the cock and the basket,' and the woman went without a word, and placed them en the table.
' You have all got what you deserved,' continued the Holy Man, ' and I have no pity for any of you. I shall take my treasures home, and perhaps some day I may find a man who knows how to make the best of the chances that are given him. But that will never be you,' he added, turning to Father Grumbler.
[From Contes Populaires.]
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