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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "The Golden Snuff-Box"

The Golden Snuff-Box

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And the eagle blinked its eyes and said, "May it please your Majesty that is where I've been."

Then everybody rejoiced exceedingly, and when the eagle had eaten a whole calf so as to be strong enough for the journey, he spread his wide wings, on which Jack stood, with the mouse in one pocket and the frog in the other, and started to obey the King's order to take the owner back to his missing Castle as quickly as possible.

And they flew over land and they flew over sea, until at last in the far distance they saw the Castle standing on its twelve golden pillars. But all the doors and windows were fast shut and barred, for, see you, the servant-master who had run away with it had gone out for the day a-hunting, and he always bolted doors and windows while he was absent lest some one else should run away with it.

Then Jack was puzzled to think how he should get hold of the golden snuff-box, until the little mouse said:

"Let me fetch it. There is always a mouse-hole in every castle, so I am sure I shall be able to get in."

So it went off, and Jack waited on the eagle's wings in a fume; till at last mousekin appeared.

"Have you got it?" shouted Jack, and the little mousie cried:

"Yes!"

So every one rejoiced exceedingly, and they set off back to the palace of the King of all the Birds, where Jack had left his horse; for now that he had the golden snuff-box safe he knew he could get the Castle back whenever he chose to send the three little red men to fetch it. But on the way over the sea, while Jack, who was dead tired with standing so long, lay down between the eagle's wings and fell asleep, the mouse and the eagle fell to quarrelling as to which of them had helped Jack the most, and they quarrelled so much that at last they laid the case before the frog. Then the frog, who made a very wise judge, said he must see the whole affair from the very beginning; so the mouse brought out the golden snuff-box from Jack's pocket, and began to relate where it had been found and all about it.

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