THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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He thought that he had been climbing that tree for days, and perhaps he had, for suddenly a beautiful country, yellow with fields of maize, stretched before him, and he gladly left the top of the tree and entered it. He walked through the maize without knowing where he was going, when he heard a sound of knocking, and saw two old blind women crushing their food between two stones. He crept up to them on tiptoe, and when one old woman passed her dinner to the other he held out his hand and took it and ate it for himself.
'How slow you are kneading that cake,' cried the other old woman at last.
'Why, I have given you your dinner, and what more do you want?' replied the second.
'You didn't; at least I never got it,' said the other.
'I certainly thought you took it from me; but here is some more.' And again the young man stretched out his hand; and the two old women fell to quarrelling afresh. But when it happened for the third time the old women suspected some trick, and one of them exclaimed:
'I am sure there is a man here; tell me, are you not my grandson?'
'Yes,' answered the young man, who wished to please her, 'and in return for your good dinner I will see if I cannot restore your sight; for I was taught the art of healing by the best medicine men in the tribe.' And with that he left them, and wandered about till he found the herb which he wanted. Then he hastened back to the old women, and begging them to boil him some water, he threw the herb in. As soon as the pot began to sing he took off the lid, and sprinkled the eyes of the women the sight came back to them once more.
There was no night in that country, so, instead of going to bed very early, as he would have done in his own hut, the young man took another walk. A splashing noise near by drew him down to a valley through which ran a large river, and up a waterfall some salmon were
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