THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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'Ho! you diggers, tell me: Who was it you heard sing­ing over the work?'
'Why, it was you, of course, jackal! You sang so loud that the whole world might have heard you!'
'And who is it that sings—he who draws the water, or he who empties it ?'
'Why, certainly he who draws the water!'
' You hear ?' said the jackal, turning to the sheep. Now come and carry away your own portion, or else I shall take it for myself.'
'You have got the better of me,' answered the sheep; 'and I suppose I must confess myself beaten! But as I bear no malice, go and eat some of the dates that I have brought in that sack.' And the jackal, who loved dates, ran instantly back, and tore open the mouth of the sack. But just as he was about to plunge his nose in he saw two brown eyes calmly looking at him. In an instant he had let fall the flap of the sack and bounded back to where the sheep was standing.
'I was only in fun; and you have brought my uncle the greyhound. Take away the sack, we will make the division over again.' And he began re-arranging the heaps.
'One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, for my mother the sheep, and one for the jackal,' counted he; casting timid glances all the while at the sack.
'Now you can take your share and go,' said the sheep. And the jackal did not need twice telling! Whenever the sheep looked up, she still saw him flying, flying across the plain; and, for all I know, he may be flying across it still.
(Conies Berbhres, par Ren£ Basstf.)
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