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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Toads and Diamonds
By Charles Perrault (1628–1703)
 
THERE was once upon a time a widow who had two daughters. The eldest was like herself in face and humor. Both were so disagreeable and so proud that there was no living with them. The youngest, who was the very picture of her father for courtesy and sweetness of temper, was withal one of the most beautiful girls ever seen. As people naturally love their own likeness, this mother doted on her eldest daughter, and had a horrible aversion for the youngest: she made her eat in the kitchen and work continually.  1
  Among other things, this poor child was forced twice a day to draw water above a mile and a half off the house, and bring home a pitcher full of it. One day, as she was at this fountain, there came to her a poor woman, who begged of her to let her drink.  2
  “Oh! ay, with all my heart, Goody,” said this pretty little girl; and immediately rinsing the pitcher, she took up some water from the clearest place of the fountain and gave it to her, holding up the pitcher all the while that she might drink the easier.  3
  The good woman having drunk, said to her, “You are so very pretty, my dear, so good and so mannerly, that I cannot help giving you a gift.” For this was a fairy, who had taken the form of a poor countrywoman to see how far the civility and good manners of this pretty girl would go. “I will give you for gift, that at every word you speak, there shall come out of your mouth either a flower or a jewel.”
          [When this occurred on her return, the mother at once sent the elder sister, with the best silver tankard, to the fountain on the same errand; which she resented as menial’s work.]
  4
  [The elder sister] was no sooner at the fountain than she saw coming out of the wood a lady most gloriously dressed, who came up to her and asked to drink. This was the very fairy who appeared to her sister, but had now taken the air and dress of a princess to see how far this girl’s rudeness would go.  5
  “Am I come hither,” said the proud, saucy slut, “to serve you with water, pray? I suppose the silver tankard was brought purely for your Ladyship, was it? However, you may drink out of it if you have a fancy.”  6
  The fairy answered without putting herself in a passion, “Since you have so little breeding and are so disobliging, I give you for gift that at every word you speak there shall come out of your mouth a snake or a toad.”
          [This also occurring, the mother blamed and beat the younger sister, who ran away and hid in the forest, where the king’s son met her and asked why she was alone there weeping.]
  7
  [Said the younger sister,] “Alas, sir! my mamma has turned me out of doors.”  8
  The king’s son, who saw five or six pearls and as many diamonds come out of her mouth, desired her to tell him how that happened. She hereupon told him the whole story; and so the king’s son fell in love with her, and considering with himself that such a gift was worth more than any marriage portion, conducted her to the palace of the king his father, and there married her.  9
  As for her sister, she made herself so much hated that her own mother turned her off; and the miserable wretch, having wandered about a good while without finding anybody to take her in, went to a corner of the wood, and there died.  10
 
 
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