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The Water Of Life

By Itellyouastory

Long before you or I  were born, there reigned, in  a country a greatway off, a king who had three sons.  This king once fell very ill—so illthat nobody thought he  could live. His  sons were very  much grieved attheir father’s sickness; and as  they were walking  together verymournfully  in the garden of the palace, a little old man met them andasked what was the matter. They told him that their father  was veryill, and that they  were afraid nothing could save  him. «I know whatwould,» said the little  old man; «it is the Water of Life. If  he couldhave a draft of it he  would be well again; but it is very hard  toget.» Then the eldest son said,  «I will soon find it’: and he went tothe sick king, and begged that he might go in search of  the Water ofLife,  as it was the  only thing that  could save him. «No,» said theking. «I had rather die  than place you in  such great danger as youmust meet with in your journey.» But he begged so hard that the king lethim go; and  the prince thought to himself, «If I  bring my father thiswater, he will make me sole heir to his kingdom.»

Then he set out: and when  he had gone on his way  some time he came toa deep valley, overhung with  rocks and woods; and  as he looked around,he saw standing above him  on one of  the rocks a little  ugly dwarf,with  a sugarloaf cap and a scarlet cloak; and  the dwarf called to himand  said, «Prince, whither so fast?» «What is that to thee, you uglyimp?» said  the prince haughtily, and rode on.

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