THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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THE SEA KING'S GIFT                  225
' Get one, then,' said her husband; and so they hired a girl.
Then Maie said : ' We have too little milk for all these folk. Now that I have a servant, with the same amount of trouble she could look after three cows.'
' All right, then,' said her husband, somewhat pro­voked, ' you can sing a song to the fairies.'
This annoyed Maie, but nevertheless she rowed out to sea on Sunday night and sang as before :
Oh, Ahti, with the long, long beard, J Who dwellest in the deep blue sea, A thousand cows are in thy herd, I pray thee give three unto me.
The following morning, instead of one, three cows stood on the island, and they all ate seaweed and fended for themselves like the first one.
' Art thou satisfied now ? ' said Matte to his wife.
' I should be quite satisfied,' said his wife, ' if only I had two servants to help, and if I had some finer clothes. Don't you know that I am addressed as Madam ? '
' Well, well,' said her husband. So Maie got several servants, and clothes fit for a great lady.
' Everything would now be perfect if only we had a little better dwelling for summer. You might build us a two-storey house, and fetch soil to make a garden. Then you might make a little arbour up there to let us have a sea-view ; and we might have a fiddler to fiddle to us of an evening, and a little steamer to take us to church in stormy weather.'
' Anything more ? ' asked Matte ; but he did every­thing that his wife wished. The rock Ahtola became so grand and Maie so great that all the sea-urchins and herring were lost in wonderment. Even Prince was fed on beefsteaks and cream scones till at last he was as round as a butter jar.
' Are you satisfied now ? ' asked Matte.
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