THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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226                 THE SEA KING'S GIFT
'1 should be quite satisfied,' said Maie, ' if only I had thirty cows. At least that number is required for such a household.'
' Go to the fairies,' said Matte.
His wife set out in the new steamer and sang to the .sea-king. Next morning thirty cows stood on the shore, all finding food for themselves.
' Know'st thou, good man, that we are far too cramped on this wretched rock, and where am I to find room for so many cows ? '
' There is nothing to be done but to pump out the sea.'
' Rubbish !' said his wife. ' Who can pump out the sea ? '
' Try with thy new steamer, there is a pump in it.'
Maie knew well that her husband was only making fun of her, but still her mind was set upon the same subject. ' I never could pump the sea out,' thought she, ' but perhaps I might fill it up, if I were to make a big dam. I might heap up sand and stones, and make our island as big again.'
Maie loaded her boat with stones and went out to ,sea. The fiddler was with her, and fiddled so finely that Ahti and Wellamos and all the sea's daughters rose to the surface of the water to listen to the music.
' What is that shining so brightly in the waves ? ' asked Maie.
' That is sea foam glinting in the sunshine,' answered the fiddler.
' Throw out the stones,' said Maie.
The people in the boat began to throw out the stones, splash, splash, right and left, into the foam. One stone hit the nose of Wellamos's chief lady-in-waiting, another .scratched the sea queen herself on the cheek, a third plumped close to Ahti's head and tore off half of the .sea-king's beard ; then there was a commotion in the
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