Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 381

GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS
THE THREE GOLDEN APPLES

I cut off a head, two others grew in its place; and, besides, there was one of the heads that could not possibly be killed, but kept biting as fiercely as ever, long after it was cut off. So I was forced to bury it under a stone, where it is doubtless alive to this very day. But the hydra's body and its eight other heads will never do any further mischief." The damsels, judging that the story was likely to last a good while, had been preparing a repast of bread and grapes, that the stranger might refresh himself in the intervals of his talk. They took pleasure in helping him to this simple food, and now and then one of them would put a sweet grape between her rosy lips lest it should make him bashful to eat alone.
The traveler proceeded to tell how he had chased a very swift stag for a twelvemonth together without ever stopping to take breath, and had at last caught it by the antlers and carried it home alive. And he had fought with a very odd race of people, half horse and half man, and had put them all to death, from a sense of duty, in order that their ugly
figures might never be seen any more. Besides all this, he took to himself great credit for having cleaned out a stable.
" Do you call that a wonderful exploit?" asked one of the young maidens with a smile. "Any clown in the country has done as much."
"Had it been an ordinary stable," replied the stranger, "I should not have mentioned it. But this was so gigantic a task that it would have taken me all my life to perform it if I had not luckily thought of turning the channel of a river through the stable door. That did the business in a very short time."
Seeing how earnestly his fair auditors listened, he next told them how he had shot some monstrous birds, and had caught a wild bull alive and let him go again, and had tamed

travel books:
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