The Golden Blackbird
They called to him to stop, and did all they could to prevent his going further.
'No,' he replied, 'my father trusted me, and I will go all over the world till I find the Golden Blackbird.'
'Bah,' said his brothers, 'you will never succeed any better than we did. Let him die if he wants to; we will divide the property.'
As he went his way he met a little hare, who stopped to look at him, and asked:
'Where are you going, my friend?'
'I really don't quite know,' answered he. 'My father is ill, and he cannot be cured unless I bring him back the Golden Blackbird. It is a long time since I set out, but no one can tell me where to find it.'
'Ah,' said the hare, 'you have a long way to go yet. You will have to walk at least seven hundred miles before you get to it.'
'And how am I to travel such a distance?'
'Mount on my back,' said the little hare, 'and I will conduct you.'
The young man obeyed: at each bound the little hare went seven miles, and it was not long before they reached a castle that was as large and beautiful as a castle could be.
'The Golden Blackbird is in a little cabin near by,' said the little hare, 'and you will easily find it. It lives in a little cage, with another cage beside it made all of gold. But whatever you do, be sure not to put it in the beautiful cage, or everybody in the castle will know that you have stolen it.'
The youth found the Golden Blackbird standing on a wooden perch, but as stiff and rigid as if he was dead. And beside the beautiful cage was the cage of gold.
'Perhaps he would revive if I were to put him in that lovely cage,' thought the youth.
The moment that Golden Bird had touched the bars of the splendid cage he awoke, and began to whistle, so that all the servants of the castle ran to see what was the matter, saying that he was a thief and must be put in prison.
'No,' he answered, 'I am not a thief. If I have taken the Golden Blackbird, it is only that it may cure my father, who is ill, and I have travelled more than seven hundred miles in order to find it.
Little One-Eye, Little Two-Eyes, and Little Three-Eyes
Category: Andrew Lang
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