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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "Minnikin"

Minnikin

`Let me have it, then,' said Minnikin.

The old hag gave him the sword, so she got her eye back. Then Minnikin went onwards, and when he had wandered on for some time he again met an old, old crook-backed hag, who had only one eye. Minnikin stole it before she was aware.

`Oh! oh! what has become of my eye?' cried the old hag.

`What will you give me to get your eye back?' said Minnikin.

`I will give thee a ship which can sail over fresh water and salt water, over high hills and deep dales,' answered the old woman.

`Let me have it then,' said Minnikin.

So the old woman gave him a little bit of a ship which was no bigger than he could put in his pocket, and then she got her eye back, and she went her way and Minnikin his. When he had walked on for a long time, he met for the third time an old, old crook-backed hag, who had only one eye. This eye also Minnikin stole, and when the woman screamed and lamented, and asked what had become of her eye, Minnikin said, `What will you give me to get your eye back?'

`I will give thee the art to brew a hundred lasts of malt in one brewing.'

So, for teaching that art, the old hag got her eye back, and they both went away by different roads.

But when Minnikin had walked a short distance, it seemed to him that it might be worth while to see what his ship could do; so he took it out of his pocket, and first he put one foot into it, and then the other, and no sooner had he put one foot into the ship than it became much larger, and when he set the other foot into it, it grew as large as ships that sail on the sea.

Then Minnikin said: `Now go over fresh water and salt water, over high hills and deep dales, and do not stop until thou comest to the King's palace.'

And in an instant the ship went away as swiftly as any bird in the air till it got just below the King's palace, and there it stood still.

From the windows of the King's palace many persons had seen Minnikin come sailing thither, and had stood to watch him; and they were all so astounded that they ran down to see what manner of man this could be who came sailing in a ship through the air.

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