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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "The Bronze Ring"

The Bronze Ring

"Good-day to you, young traveler," said the beggar- woman.

"Good-day, good woman," answered he.

"Young traveler, have pity upon me."

Take my purse, good woman," said he, "and mount behind me, for your legs can't be very strong."

The old woman didn't wait to be asked twice, but mounted behind him, and in this style they reached the chief city of a powerful kingdom. The minister's son was lodged in a grand inn, the gardener's son and the old woman dismounted at the inn for beggars.

The next day the gardener's son heard a great noise in the street, and the King's heralds passed, blowing all kinds of instruments, and crying:

The King, our master, is old and infirm. He will give a great reward to whoever will cure him and give him back the strength of his youth."

Then the old beggar-woman said to her benefactor:

"This is what you must do to obtain the reward which the King promises. Go out of the town by the south gate, and there you will find three little dogs of different colors; the first will be white, the second black, the third red. You must kill them and then burn them separately, and gather up the ashes. Put the ashes of each dog into a bag of its own color, then go before the door of the palace and cry out, `A celebrated physician has come from Janina in Albania. He alone can cure the King and give him back the strength of his youth.' The King's physicians will say, This is an impostor, and not a learned man,' and they will make all sorts of difficulties, but you will overcome them all at last, and will present yourself before the sick King. You must then demand as much wood as three mules can carry, and a great cauldron, and must shut yourself up in a room with the Sultan, and when the cauldron boils you must throw him into it, and there leave him until his flesh is completely separated from his bones. Then arrange the bones in their proper places, and throw over them the ashes out of the three bags. The King will come back to life, and will be just as he was when he was twenty years old.

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