The Green Fairy Book

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So here we give you the last of the old stories, for the present, and hope you will like them, and feel grateful to the Brothers Grimm, who took them down from the telling of old women, and to M. Sebillot and M. Charles Marelles, who have lent us some tales from their own French people, and to Mr. Ford, who drew the pictures, and to the ladies, Miss Blackley, Miss Alma Alleyne, Miss Eleanor Sellar, Miss May Sellar, Miss Wright, and Mrs. Lang, who translated many of the tales out of French, German, and other languages.

If we have a book for you next year, it shall not be a fairy book. What it is to be is a secret, but we hope that it will not be dull. So good-bye, and when you have read a fairy book, lend it to other children who have none, or tell them the stories in your own way, which is a very pleasant mode of passing the time.

Contents

The Blue Bird The Half-Chick The Story of Caliph Stork The Enchanted Watch Rosanella Sylvain and Jocosa Fairy Gifts Prince Narcissus and the Princess Potentilla Prince Featherhead and the Princess Celandine The Three Little Pigs Heart of Ice The Enchanted Ring The Snuff-box The Golden Blackbird The Little Soldier The Magic Swan The Dirty Shepherdess The Enchanted Snake The Biter Bit King Kojata Prince Fickle and Fair Helena Puddocky The Story of Hok Lee and the Dwarfs The Story of the Three Bears Prince Vivien and the Princess Placida Little One-eye, Little Two-eyes, and Little Three-eyes Jorinde and Joringel Allerleirauh; or, the Many-furred Creature The Twelve Huntsmen Spindle, Shuttle, and Needle The Crystal Coffin The Three Snake-leaves The Riddle Jack my Hedgehog The Golden Lads The White Snake The Story of a Clever Tailor The Golden Mermaid The War of the Wolf and the Fox The Story of the Fisherman and his Wife The Three Musicians The Three Dogs

THE BLUE BIRD

Once upon a time there lived a King who was immensely rich. He had broad lands, and sacks overflowing with gold and silver; but he did not care a bit for all his riches, because the Queen, his wife, was dead. He shut himself up in a little room and knocked his head against the walls for grief, until his courtiers were really afraid that he would hurt himself. So they hung feather-beds between the tapestry and the walls, and then he could go on knocking his head as long as it was any consolation to him without coming to much harm. All his subjects came to see him, and said whatever they thought would comfort him: some were grave, even gloomy with him; and some agreeable, even gay; but not one could make the least impression upon him. Indeed, he hardly seemed to hear what they said. At last came a lady who was wrapped in a black mantle, and seemed to be in the deepest grief. She wept and sobbed until even the King's attention was attracted; and when she said that, far from coming to try and diminish his grief, she, who had just lost a good husband, was come to add her tears to his, since she knew what he must be feeling, the King redoubled his lamentations. Then he told the sorrowful lady long stories about the good qualities of his departed Queen, and she in her turn recounted all the virtues of her departed husband; and this passed the time so agreeably that the King quite forgot to thump his head against the feather-beds, and the lady did not need to wipe the tears from her great blue eyes as often as before. By degrees they came to talking about other things in which the King took an interest, and in a wonderfully short time the whole kingdom was astonished by the news that the King was married again to the sorrowful lady.

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