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From The The blue fairy book by Andrew lang
Start of Story
With that he dragged them out from under the bed one by one. The poor
children fell upon their knees, and begged his pardon; but they had to
do with one of the most cruel ogres in the world, who, far from having
any pity on them, had already devoured them with his eyes, and told
his wife they would be delicate eating when tossed up with good
savory sauce. He then took a great knife, and, coming up to these poor
children, whetted it upon a great whet-stone which he held in his left
hand. He had already taken hold of one of them when his wife said to
"Why need you do it now? Is it not time enough to-morrow?"
"Hold your prating," said the Ogre; "they will eat the tenderer.
"But you have so much meat already," replied his wife, "you have no
occasion; here are a calf, two sheep, and half a hog."
"That is true," said the Ogre; "give them their belly full that they may
not fall away, and put them to bed."
The good woman was overjoyed at this, and gave them a good supper; but
they were so much afraid they could not eat a bit. As for the Ogre,
he sat down again to drink, being highly pleased that he had got
wherewithal to treat his friends. He drank a dozen glasses more than
ordinary, which got up into his head and obliged him to go to bed.
The Ogre had seven daughters, all little children, and these young
ogresses had all of them very fine complexions, because they used to
eat fresh meat like their father; but they had little gray eyes, quite
round, hooked noses, and very long sharp teeth, standing at a
good distance from each other. They were not as yet over and above
mischievous, but they promised very fair for it, for they had already
bitten little children, that they might suck their blood.
They had been put to bed early, with every one a crown of gold upon her
head. There was in the same chamber a bed of the like bigness, and it
was into this bed the Ogre's wife put the seven little boys, after which
she went to bed to her husband.
Little Thumb, who had observed that the Ogre's daughters had crowns of
gold upon their heads, and was afraid lest the Ogre should repent his
not killing them, got up about midnight, and, taking his brothers'
bonnets and his own, went very softly and put them upon the heads of
the seven little ogresses, after having taken off their crowns of gold,
which he put upon his own head and his brothers', that the Ogre might
take them for his daughters, and his daughters for the little boys whom
he wanted to kill.
All this succeeded according to his desire; for, the Ogre waking about
midnight, and sorry that he deferred to do that till morning which
he might have done over-night, threw himself hastily out of bed, and,
taking his great knife,
"Let us see," said he, "how our little rogues do, and not make two jobs
of the matter."
He then went up, groping all the way, into his daughters' chamber, and,
coming to the bed where the little boys lay, and who were every soul of
them fast asleep, except Little Thumb, who was terribly afraid when
he found the Ogre fumbling about his head, as he had done about his
brothers', the Ogre, feeling the golden crowns, said:
"I should have made a fine piece of work of it, truly; I find I drank
too much last night."
Then he went to the bed where the girls lay; and, having found the boys'
"Ah!" said he, "my merry lads, are you there? Let us work as we ought."
And saying these words, without more ado, he cut the throats of all his
Well pleased with what he had done, he went to bed again to his wife.
So soon as Little Thumb heard the Ogre snore, he waked his brothers, and
bade them all put on their clothes presently and follow him. They stole
down softly into the garden, and got over the wall. They kept running
about all night, and trembled all the while, without knowing which way
The Ogre, when he awoke, said to his wife: "Go upstairs and dress those
young rascals who came here last night."
The wife was very much surprised at this goodness of her husband, not
dreaming after what manner she should dress them; but, thinking that
he had ordered her to go and put on their clothes, she went up, and was
strangely astonished when she perceived her seven daughters killed, and
weltering in their blood.
She fainted away, for this is the first expedient almost all women find
in such cases. The Ogre, fearing his wife would be too long in doing
what he had ordered, went up himself to help her. He was no less amazed
than his wife at this frightful spectacle.
"Ah! what have I done?" cried he. "The wretches shall pay for it, and
He threw a pitcher of water upon his wife's face, and, having brought
her to herself, said:
"Give me quickly my boots of seven leagues, that I may go and catch
He went out, and, having run over a vast deal of ground, both on
this side and that, he came at last into the very road where the poor
children were, and not above a hundred paces from their father's house.
They espied the Ogre, who went at one step from mountain to mountain,
and over rivers as easily as the narrowest kennels. Little Thumb, seeing
a hollow rock near the place where they were, made his brothers hide
themselves in it, and crowded into it himself, minding always what would
become of the Ogre.