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Russian fairy tales

A Chapter of Fish

Sometimes in spring, when the big river flooded its banks and made lakes of the meadows, and the little rivers flowed deep, old Peter spent a few days netting fish. Also in summer he set night-lines in the little river not far from where it left the forest. And so…

Irish fairy tales

A Chapter You Can Skip

This is a chapter that you can skip, if you want to. And really I should advise you to. Nothing of importance happened in the next eighteen years. Of course I am obliged to write a little something to fill in all that time, but you are not obliged to…

Indian fairy tales

A Clever Thief

Chapter I A certain man, named Hari-Sarman, who lived in a little village in India, where there were no rich people and everyone had to work hard to get his daily bread, got very weary of the life he had to lead. He had a wife whose name was Vidya,…

Indian fairy tales

A Crow and His Three Friends

Chapter I In the branches of a great tree, in a forest in India, lived a wise old crow in a very comfortable, well-built nest. His wife was dead, and all his children were getting their own living; so he had nothing to do but to look after himself. He…

Andrew Lang’s Fairy BooksFrench fairy tales

A Fairy’s Blunder

Once upon a time there lived a fairy whose name was Dindonette. She was the best creature in the world, with the kindest heart; but she had not much sense, and was always doing things, to benefit people, which generally ended in causing pain and distress to everybody concerned. No…

Andrew Lang’s Fairy BooksAustralian fairy tale

A Fish Story

Perhaps you think that fishes were always fishes, and never lived anywhere except in the water, but if you went to Australia and talked to the black people in the sandy desert in the centre of the country, you would learn something quite different. They would tell you that long,…

Andrew Lang’s Fairy BooksFrench fairy tales

A French Puck

Among the mountain pastures and valleys that lie in the centre of France there dwelt a mischievous kind of spirit, whose delight it was to play tricks on everybody, and particularly on the shepherds and the cowboys. They never knew when they were safe from him, as he could change…

Japanese fairy tales

A Legend of Kwannon

In the days of the gods, Ama-no-Hashidate was the Floating Bridge of Heaven. By way of this bridge came the deities from heaven to earth, bearing their jewelled spears, their great bows and heavenly-feathered arrows, their wonder robes and their magic mirrors. Afterwards, when the direct way was closed that…

Indian fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

A Lesson for Kings

Once upon a time, when Brahma-datta was reigning in Benares, the future Buddha returned to life as his son and heir. And when the day came for choosing a name, they called him Prince Brahma-datta. He grew up in due course; and when he was sixteen years old, went to…

Andrew Lang’s Fairy BooksIndian fairy tales

A Long-Bow Story

One day a bunniah, [1] or banker, was walking along a country road when he overtook a farmer going in the same direction. Now the bunniah was very grasping, like most of his class, and was lamenting that he had had no chance of making any money that day; but…

Andrew Lang’s Fairy BooksFrench fairy tales

A Lost Paradise

In the middle of a great forest there lived a long time ago a charcoal-burner and his wife. They were both young and handsome and strong, and when they got married, they thought work would never fail them. But bad times came, and they grew poorer and poorer, and the…

Indian fairy tales

A Royal Thief-Catcher

Chapter I In one of the smaller cities of India called Sravasti the people gathered together on a very hot day to stare at and talk about a stranger, who had come in to the town, looking very weary and walking with great difficulty because his feet were sore with…

English fairy talesJoseph Jacobs

A Son of Adam

A man was one day working. It was very hot, and he was digging. By-and-by he stopped to rest and wipe his face; and he was very angry to think he had to work so hard only because of Adam’s sin. So he complained bitterly, and said some very hard…

Andrew Lang’s Fairy BooksEnglish fairy tales

A Voyage to Lilliput

CHAPTER I My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire, and I was the third of four sons. He sent me to Cambridge at fourteen years old, and after studying there three years I was bound apprentice to Mr. Bates, a famous surgeon in London. There, as my father now…

Irish fairy tales

A Year and a Day

When Kathleen did not come home at the time she was expected, her father and her grandmother were not much surprised at first. She was in the habit of going where she pleased and of coming back when she pleased. If she chose to be an hour or two late…

Russian fairy tales

Alenoushka and her Brother

Once upon a time there were two orphan children, a little boy and a little girl. Their father and mother were dead, and they had not even an old grandfather to spend his time in telling them stories. They were alone. The little boy was called Vanoushka, and the little…