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THE JUNIOR CLASSICS

 

Many, many weary miles did he travel, till at last he came to a thick
jungle; and, being very tired, sat down under a tree and fell asleep.
He was awakened by a soft rustling sound, and looking about him, saw a
large serpent which was making its way to an eagle's nest built in the
tree under which he lay, and in the nest were two young eagles. The
Prince seeing the danger of the young birds, drew his sword, and killed
the serpent; at the same moment a rushing sound was heard in the air,
and the two old eagles, who had been out hunting for food for their
young ones, returned. They quickly saw the dead serpent and the young
Prince standing over it; and the old mother eagle said to him, "Dear
boy, for many' years all our young ones have been devoured by that
cruel serpent; you have now saved the lives of our children; whenever
you are in need therefore, send to us and we will help you; and as for
these little eagles, take them, and let them be your servants."

At this the Prince was very glad, and the two eaglets crossed their
wings, on which he mounted; and they carried him far, far away over the
thick, jungles, until he came to the place where grew the circle of
palm trees, in the midst of which stood the six chattees full of water.
It was the middle of the day, and the heat was very great. All round
the trees were the genii fast asleep; nevertheless, there were such
countless thousands of them, that it would have been quite impossible
for anyone to walk through their ranks to the place; down swooped the
strong-winged eaglets-down jumped the Prince; in an instant he had
overthrown the six chattees full of water, and seized the little green
parrot, which he rolled up in his cloak; while, as he mounted again
into the air, all the genii below awoke, and finding their treasure
gone, set up a wild and melancholy howl.

Away, away flew the little eagles, till they came to their home in the
great tree; then the Prince said to the old eagles, "Take back your
little ones; they have done me good service; if ever again I stand in
need of help, I will not fail to come to you." He then continued his
journey on foot till he arrived once more at the Magician's palace,
where he sat down at the door and began playing with the Parrot.
Punchkin saw him, and came to him quickly, and said, "My boy, where did
yon get that parrot? Give it to me, I pray you."

But the Prince answered, "Oh no, I cannot give away my parrot, it is a
great pet of mine; I have had it many years."

Then the Magician said, "If it is an old favorite, I can understand
your not caring to give it away; but come, what will you sell it for?"

"Sir," said the Prince, "I will not sell my parrot."

Then Punchkin got frightened, and said, "Anything, anything; name what
price you will, and it shall be yours." The Prince answered, "Let the
seven Raja's sons whom you turned into rocks and trees be instantly
liberated."

"It is done as you desire," said the Magician, "only give me my
parrot." And With that, by a stroke of his wand, Balna's husband and
his brothers resumed their natural shapes. "Now, give me my parrot,"
repeated Punchkin.

"Not so fast, my master," rejoined the Prince; "I must first beg that
you will restore to life all whom you have thus imprisoned."

The Magician immediately waved his wand again; and whilst he cried, in
an imploring voice, "Give me my parrot!' the whole garden became
suddenly alive: where rocks, and stones, and trees had been before,
stood Rajas, and Punts, and Sirdars, and mighty men on prancing horses,
and jeweled pages, and troops of armed attendants.

"Give me my parrot!" cried Punchkin. Then the boy took hold of the
parrot, and tore off one of its wings; and as he did so the Magician's
right arm fell off.

Punchkin then stretched out his left arm, crying, "Give me my parrot!"
The Prince pulled off the parrot's second wing, and the Magician's left
arm tumbled off.

"Give me my parrot!" cried he, and fell on his knees. The Prince
pulled off the parrot's right leg, and the Magician's right leg fell
off: the Prince pulled off the parrot's left leg, down fell the
Magician's left.

Nothing remained of him save the limbless body and the head; but still
he rolled his eyes, and cried "Give me my parrot!" "Take your parrot,
then, cried the boy, and with that. he wrung the bird's neck, and
threw it at the magician; and as he did so, Punchkin's head twisted
round and, with a fearful groan, he died!

Then they let Balna out of the tower; and she, her son, and the seven
Princes went to their own country, and lived very happily ever
afterward. And as to the rest of the world, everyone went to his own
house.


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