The Little Robber Girl
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES
Animal Sketches And Stories
Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon
BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS
CHINESE MOTHER-GOOSE RHYMES
FABLES FOR CHILDREN
FABLES FROM INDIA
FATHER PLAYS AND MOTHER PLAYS
FIRST STORIES FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK
For Classes Ii. And Iii.
For Classes Iv. And V.
For Kindergarten And Class I.
FUN FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK
Good Little Henry
JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES]
Jean De La Fontaine
King Alexander's Adventures
KINGS AND WARRIORS
LAND AND WATER FAIRIES
Lessons From Nature
LITTLE STORIES that GROW BIG
MODERN FAIRY TALES
MOTHER GOOSE CONTINUED
MOTHER GOOSE JINGLES
MOTHER GOOSE SONGS AND STORIES
Myths And Legends
NEGLECT THE FIRE
ON POPULAR EDUCATION
PLACES AND FAMILIES
Poems Of Nature
RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)
RHYMES CONCERNING "MOTHER"
RIDING SONGS for FATHER'S KNEE
ROMANCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES
SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY
Selections From The Bible
SLEEPY-TIME SONGS AND STORIES
Some Children's Poets
Songs Of Life
STORIES BY FAVORITE AMERICAN WRITERS
STORIES FOR CHILDREN
STORIES for LITTLE BOYS
STORIES FROM BOTANY
STORIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN
STORIES FROM IRELAND
STORIES FROM PHYSICS
STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA
STORIES FROM ZOOLOGY
STORIES _for_ LITTLE GIRLS
THE DAYS OF THE WEEK
The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers
The Little Grey Mouse
THE OLD FAIRY TALES
The Princess Rosette
THE THREE HERMITS
THE TWO OLD MEN
UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES
VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES
WHAT MEN LIVE BY
WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO
The Golden Blackbird
from The Green Fairy Book
Once upon a time there was a great lord who had three sons. He
fell very ill, sent for doctors of every kind, even bonesetters,
but they, none of them, could find out what was the matter with
him, or even give him any relief. At last there came a foreign
doctor, who declared that the Golden Blackbird alone could cure
the sick man.
So the old lord despatched his eldest son to look for the
wonderful bird, and promised him great riches if he managed to
find it and bring it back.
The young man began his journey, and soon arrived at a place where
four roads met. He did not know which to choose, and tossed his
cap in the air, determining that the direction of its fall should
decide him. After travelling for two or three days, he grew tired
of walking without knowing where or for how long, and he stopped
at an inn which was filled with merrymakers and ordered something
to eat and drink.
'My faith,' said he, 'it is sheer folly to waste more time hunting
for this bird. My father is old, and if he dies I shall inherit
The old man, after waiting patiently for some time, sent his
second son to seek the Golden Blackbird. The youth took the same
direction as his brother, and when he came to the cross roads, he
too tossed up which road he should take. The cap fell in the same
place as before, and he walked on till he came to the spot where
his brother had halted. The latter, who was leaning out of the
window of the inn, called to him to stay where he was and amuse
'You are right,' replied the youth. 'Who knows if I should ever
find the Golden Blackbird, even if I sought the whole world
through for it. At the worst, if the old man dies, we shall have
He entered the inn and the two brothers made merry and feasted,
till very soon their money was all spent. They even owed something
to their landlord, who kept them as hostages till they could pay
The youngest son set forth in his turn, and he arrived at the
place where his brothers were still prisoners. They called to him
to stop, and did all they could to prevent his going further.
'No,' he replied, 'my father trusted me, and I will go all over
the world till I find the Golden Blackbird.'
'Bah,' said his brothers, 'you will never succeed any better than
we did. Let him die if he wants to; we will divide the property.'
As he went his way he met a little hare, who stopped to look at
him, and asked:
'Where are you going, my friend?'
'I really don't quite know,' answered he. 'My father is ill, and
he cannot be cured unless I bring him back the Golden Blackbird.
It is a long time since I set out, but no one can tell me where to
'Ah,' said the hare, 'you have a long way to go yet. You will have
to walk at least seven hundred miles before you get to it.'
'And how am I to travel such a distance?'
'Mount on my back,' said the little hare, 'and I will conduct
The young man obeyed: at each bound the little hare went seven
miles, and it was not long before they reached a castle that was
as large and beautiful as a castle could be.
'The Golden Blackbird is in a little cabin near by,' said the
little hare, 'and you will easily find it. It lives in a little
cage, with another cage beside it made all of gold. But whatever
you do, be sure not to put it in the beautiful cage, or everybody
in the castle will know that you have stolen it.'
The youth found the Golden Blackbird standing on a wooden perch,
but as stiff and rigid as if he was dead. And beside the beautiful
cage was the cage of gold.
'Perhaps he would revive if I were to put him in that lovely
cage,' thought the youth.
The moment that Golden Bird had touched the bars of the splendid
cage he awoke, and began to whistle, so that all the servants of
the castle ran to see what was the matter, saying that he was a
thief and must be put in prison.
'No,' he answered, 'I am not a thief. If I have taken the Golden
Blackbird, it is only that it may cure my father, who is ill, and
I have travelled more than seven hundred miles in order to find
'Well,' they replied, 'we will let you go, and will even give you
the Golden Bird, if you are able to bring us the Porcelain
The youth departed, weeping, and met the little hare, who was
munching wild thyme.
'What are you crying for, my friend?' asked the hare.
'It is because,' he answered, 'the castle people will not allow me
to carry off the Golden Blackbird without giving them the
Porcelain Maiden in exchange.'
'You have not followed my advice,' said the little hare. 'And you
have put the Golden Bird into the fine cage.'
'Don't despair! the Porcelain Maiden is a young girl, beautiful as
Venus, who dwells two hundred miles from here. Jump on my back and
I will take you there.'
The little hare, who took seven miles in a stride, was there in no
time at all, and he stopped on the borders of a lake.
'The Porcelain Maiden,' said the hare to the youth, 'will come
here to bathe with her friends, while I just eat a mouthful of
thyme to refresh me. When she is in the lake, be sure you hide her
clothes, which are of dazzling whiteness, and do not give them
back to her unless she consents to follow you.'
The little hare left him, and almost immediately the Porcelain
Maiden arrived with her friends. She undressed herself and got
into the water. Then the young man glided up noiselessly and laid
hold of her clothes, which he hid under a rock at some distance.
When the Porcelain Maiden was tired of playing in the water she
came out to dress herself, but, though she hunted for her clothes
high and low, she could find them nowhere. Her friends helped her
in the search, but, seeing at last that it was of no use, they
left her, alone on the bank, weeping bitterly.
'Why do you cry?' said the young man, approaching her.
'Alas!' answered she, 'while I was bathing someone stole my
clothes, and my friends have abandoned me.'
'I will find your clothes if you will only come with me.'
And the Porcelain Maiden agreed to follow him, and after having
given up her clothes, the young man bought a small horse for her,
which went like the wind. The little hare brought them both back
to seek for the Golden Blackbird, and when they drew near to the
castle where it lived the little hero said to the young man:
'Now, do be a little sharper than you were before, and you will
manage to carry off both the Golden Blackbird and the Porcelain
Maiden. Take the golden cage in one hand, and leave the bird in
the old cage where he is, and bring that away too.'
The little hare then vanished; the youth did as he was bid, and
the castle servants never noticed that he was carrying off the
Golden Bird. When he reached the inn where his brothers were
detained, he delivered them by paying their debt. They set out all
together, but as the two elder brothers were jealous of the
success of the youngest, they took the opportunity as they were
passing by the shores of a lake to throw themselves upon him,
seize the Golden Bird, and fling him in the water. Then they
continued their journey, taking with them the Porcelain Maiden, in
the firm belief that their brother was drowned. But, happily, he
had snatched in falling at a tuft of rushes and called loudly for
help. The little hare came running to him, and said 'Take hold of
my leg and pull yourself out of the water.'
When he was safe on shore the little hare said to him:
'Now this is what you have to do: dress yourself like a Breton
seeking a place as stable-boy, and go and offer your services to
your father. Once there, you will easily be able to make him
understand the truth.'
The young man did as the little hare bade him, and he went to his
father's castle and enquired if they were not in want of a stable-
'Yes,' replied his father, 'very much indeed. But it is not an
easy place. There is a little horse in the stable which will not
let anyone go near it, and it has already kicked to death several
people who have tried to groom it.'
'I will undertake to groom it,' said the youth. 'I never saw the
horse I was afraid of yet.' The little horse allowed itself to be
rubbed down without a toss of its head and without a kick.
'Good gracious!' exclaimed the master; 'how is it that he lets you
touch him, when no one else can go near him?'
'Perhaps he knows me,' answered the stable-boy.
Two or three days later the master said to him: 'The Porcelain
Maiden is here: but, though she is as lovely as the dawn, she is
so wicked that she scratches everyone that approaches her. Try if
she will accept your services.'
When the youth entered the room where she was, the Golden
Blackbird broke forth into a joyful song, and the Porcelain Maiden
sang too, and jumped for joy.
'Good gracious!' cried the master. 'The Porcelain Maiden and the
Golden Blackbird know you too?'
'Yes,' replied the youth, 'and the Porcelain Maiden can tell you
the whole truth, if she only will.'
Then she told all that had happened, and how she had consented to
follow the young man who had captured the Golden Blackbird.
'Yes,' added the youth, 'I delivered my brothers, who were kept
prisoners in an inn, and, as a reward, they threw me into a lake.
So I disguised myself and came here, in order to prove the truth
So the old lord embraced his son, and promised that he should
inherit all his possessions, and he put to death the two elder
ones, who had deceived him and had tried to slay their own
The young man married the Porcelain Maiden, and had a splendid
Next: The Little Soldier
Previous: The Snuff-box