«And now, mamma, until your tea is ready, we know what you must do,» said the children, in a breath. «Tell us a story—a 'real, truly' fairy tale, about a giant and a dwarf, lots and lots of fairies, a prince and a beautiful princess with hair to her very feet, a champion with a magic sword, a dragon-chariot, a witch dressed in snake-skin—and, if you can, an ogre. Don't punish anybody but the witch and the ogre; and please don't have any moral, only let everybody 'live in peace and die in a pot of grease,' at the end of it.» «To be sure, we know most of mamma's stories by heart,» said the sage elder of nine. «If she could only make up some new ones that aren't in any of our books! Or else, mamma, tell us something you heard a little bit of, long, long ago, from your nurse, and then make up the rest. But whatever one you tell, we'll be sure to like it anyhow.» The stories told, the mother fell to musing, and the result is the little book here presented to the judgment of children other than her own—a few new fairy tales, on the old, old pattern! (Summary by Constance Cary Harrison (in her Introduction)).
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