Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 306 pages of information about Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know.

In this sad condition, I was ready to die with grief.  I cried out in agony, beat my head and breast, and threw myself upon the ground, where I lay some time in despair.  I upbraided myself a hundred times for not being content with the produce of my first voyage, that might have sufficed me all my life.  But all this was in vain, and my repentance came too late.  At last I resigned myself to the will of God.  Not knowing what to do, I climbed up to the top of a lofty tree, from whence I looked about on all sides, to see if I could discover anything that could give me hopes.  When I gazed toward the sea I could see nothing but sky and water; but looking over the land, I beheld something white; and coming down, I took what provision I had left and went toward it, the distance being so great, that I could not distinguish what it was.

As I approached, I thought it to be a white dome, of a prodigious height and extent; and when I came up to it, I touched it, and found it to be very smooth.  I went round to see if it was open on any side, but saw it was not, and that there was no climbing up to the top, as it was so smooth.  It was at least fifty paces round.

By this time the sun was about to set, and all of a sudden the sky became as dark as if it had been covered with a thick cloud.  I was much astonished at this sudden darkness, but much more when I found it occasioned by a bird of a monstrous size, that came flying toward me.  I remembered that I had often heard mariners speak of a miraculous bird called the Roc, and conceived that the great dome which I so much admired must be its egg.  In short, the bird alighted, and sat over the egg.  As I perceived her coming, I crept close to the egg, so that I had before me one of the legs of the bird, which was as big as the trunk of a tree.  I tied myself strongly to it with my turban, in hopes that the roc next morning would carry me with her out of this desert island.  After having passed the night in this condition, the bird flew away as soon as it was daylight, and carried me so high, that I could not discern the earth; she afterward descended with so much rapidity that I lost my senses.  But when I found myself on the ground, I speedily untied the knot, and had scarcely done so, when the roc, having taken up a serpent of a monstrous length in her bill, flew away.

The spot where it left me was encompassed on all sides by mountains, that seemed to reach above the clouds, and so steep that there was no possibility of getting out of the valley.  This was a new perplexity; so that when I compared this place with the desert island from which the roc had brought me, I found that I had gained nothing by the change.

As I walked through this valley, I perceived it was strewed with diamonds, some of which were of surprising bigness.  I took pleasure in looking upon them; but shortly saw at a distance such objects as greatly diminished my satisfaction, and which I could not view without terror, namely, a great number of serpents, so monstrous that the least of them was capable of swallowing an elephant.  They retired in the day-time to their dens, where they hid themselves from the roc, their enemy, and came out only in the night.

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Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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