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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Andrew Lang > Fairy tale "The Enchanted Canary"

The Enchanted Canary

While it was browning at the fire, Tubby inquired for his goose a second time. The Master Cook himself mounted to the hall to make his excuses, and to beg his lord to have a little patience. Tubby showed his patience by abusing his son.

`As if it wasn't enough,' he grumbled between his teeth, `that the boy should pick up a hag without a penny, but the goose must go and burn now. It isn't a wife he has brought me, it is Famine herself.'


While the Master Cook was upstairs, the golden bird came again to perch on the window-sill, and called in his clear voice to the head scullion, who was watching the spit:

`Good-morning, my fine Scullion!'

`Good-morning, lovely Golden Bird,' replied the Scullion, whom the Master Cook had forgotten in his excitement to warn.

`I pray Heaven,' went on the Canary, `that it will send you to sleep, and that the goose may burn, so that there may be none left for Titty.'

And the Scullion fell fast asleep, and when the Master Cook came back he found the goose as black as the chimney.

In a fury he woke the Scullion, who in order to save himself from blame told the whole story.

`That accursed bird,' said the Cook; `it will end by getting me sent away. Come, some of you, and hide yourselves, and if it comes again, catch it and wring its neck.'

He spitted a third goose, lit a huge fire, and seated himself by it.

The bird appeared a third time, and said: `Good-morning, my fine Cook.'

`Good-morning, lovely Golden Bird,' replied the Cook, as if nothing had happened, and at the moment that the Canary was beginning, `I pray Heaven that it may send,' a scullion who was hidden outside rushed out and shut the shutters. The bird flew into the kitchen. Then all the cooks and scullions sprang after it, knocking at it with their aprons. At length one of them caught it just at the very moment that Tubby entered the kitchen, waving his sceptre. He had come to see for himself why the goose had never made its appearance.

The Scullion stopped at once, just as he was about to wring the Canary's neck.

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