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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 306 pages of information about Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know.
went directly to the great tower, and took off the fetters from Avenant’s feet and hands herself; after which, putting the crown upon his head, and the royal mantle about his shoulders, “Amiable Avenant,” said she, “I will make you a sovereign prince, and take you for my consort.”  Avenant threw himself at her feet, and in terms the most passionate and respectful returned her thanks.  Every body was overjoyed to have him for their king:  the nuptials were the most splendid in the world; and the Fair One. with Locks of Gold lived a long time with her beloved Avenant, both happy and contented in the enjoyment of each other.

CHAPTER XII

TOM THUMB

In the days of King Arthur, Merlin, the most learned enchanter of his time, was on a journey; and, being very weary, stopped one day at the cottage of an honest ploughman to ask for refreshment.  The ploughman’s wife, with great civility, immediately brought him some milk in a wooden bowl, and some brown bread on a wooden platter.  Merlin could not help observing, that, although every thing within the cottage was particularly neat and clean, and in good order, the ploughman and his wife had the most sorrowful air imaginable.  So he questioned them on the cause of their melancholy, and learned that they were very miserable because they had no children.  The poor woman declared, with tears in her eyes, that she should be the happiest creature in the world if she had a son, although he were no bigger than his father’s thumb.  Merlin was much amused with the thoughts of a boy no bigger than a man’s thumb, and, as soon as he returned home, he sent for the queen of the fairies (with whom he was very intimate), and related to her the desire of the ploughman and his wife to have a son the size of his father’s thumb.  The queen of the fairies liked the plan exceedingly, and declared their wish should speedily be granted.  Accordingly the ploughman’s wife had a son, who in a few minutes grew as tall as his father’s thumb.  The queen of the fairies came in at the window as the mother was sitting up in bed admiring the child.  The queen kissed the infant, and giving it the name of Tom Thumb, immediately summoned several fairies from Fairy Land to clothe her little new favourite: 

  “An oak leaf hat he had for his crown,
   His shirt it was by spiders spun;
   With doublet wove of thistle’s down,
   His trousers up with points were done. 
   His stockings, of apple rind, they tie
   With eye-lash plucked from his mother’s eye,
   His shoes were made of a mouse’s skin,
   Nicely tanned, with the hair within.”

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