THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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i nui un I
From the Senna {Oral Tradition)
Once upon a time, at the town of Senna on the banks of the Zambesi, was born ?. child. He was not like other children, for he was very tall and strong; over his shoul­der he carried a big sack, and in his hand an iron ham­mer. He could also speak like a grown man, but usually he was very silent.
One day his mother said to him: 'My child, by what name shall we know you?'
And he answered: 'Call all the head men of Senna here to the river's bank.' And his mother called the head men of the town, and when they had come he led them down to a deep black pool in the river where all the fierce crocodiles lived.
'O great men!' he said, while they all listened, 'which of you will leap into the pool and overcome the croco­diles?' But no one would come forward. So he turned and sprang into the water and disappeared.
The people held their breath, for they thought: 'Surely the boy is bewitched and throws away his life, for the crocodiles will eat him!' Then suddenly the ground trembled, and the pool, heaving and swirling, became red with blood, and presently the boy rising to the sur­face swam on shore.
But he was no longer just a boy! He was stronger than any man and very tall and handsome, so that the people shouted with gladness when they saw him.
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