FAIRY TALES FROM MANY LANDS - One of the most read children's book of all time - Anon E. Mouse - ebook

“FAIRY TALES FROM MANY LANDS” is one of the all-time children’s classics. Between 1911 and 1938 it was reprinted on no less than 7 occasions – a record for a children’s book. Like the Grimm Bros. and Andrew Lang before her, Katherine Pyle has collected 15 stories from around the world, then edited and illustrated them. Herein you will find the stories of: The Seven Golden Peahens Mishosha, The Magician Of The Lake Haamdaanee And The Wise Gazelle The Two Sisters The Feather Of The Zhar Bird The Beautiful Maria Di Legno The Evil One Who Married Three Sisters The Faithful Dog Kempion Buttercup The Sun And The Moon How The Elephant And The Whale Were Tricked Cherry Diamonds And Roses And Pearls; and The Three Cows These are not the usual fare of fairy tales, which was why the book has been so successful. Here are tales from Serbia, the American Indians, the spice island of Zanzibar, the Hindus of India, the Cossacks, the Romans, Norse, Italian, Turkish and more besides. So sit back with a steamy beverage and be prepared to be entertained for many-an-hour with this series of forgotten children’s stories. If and when you come to pick up the book where you left it, don’t be surprised if you find a younger reader is now engrossed in these stories and is somewhat reluctant to let it go. 10% of the net sale will be donated to charities by the publisher. ============== KEYWORDS/TAGS: fairy tales, folklore, myths, legends, children’s stories, childrens stories, bygone era, fairydom, ethereal, fairy land, classic stories, children’s bedtime stories, happy place, happiness, seven, golden peahens, mishosha, magician, lake, haamdaanee, wise gazelle, two sisters, feather, zhar bird, beautiful, maria di legno, evil one, marry, three sisters, faithful dog, kempion, buttercup,  sun, moon, elephant, whale, trick, cherry, diamonds, roses, pearls, three cows, Serbia, American Indian, Native American, spice islands, Zanzibar, Hindu, India, Cossack, Roman, Italian, Italy, Japanese, Scots, Scottish, Norse, Viking, Turkish, Turkey, Creole, English, England, French, France, Irish, Ireland,

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Fairy Tales From Many Lands

Compiled and Illustrated ByKatharine Pyle

Author Of “Where The Wind Blows,” And Other Tales,” Etc.

Originally Published by

E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., New York[1911]

Resurrected byAbela Publishing, London[2018]

Fairy Tales from Many Lands

First PrintingOctober, 1911

Second PrintingJuly, 1917

Third PrintingAugust, 1920

Fourth PrintingOctober, 1925

Fifth PrintingMarch, 1926

Sixth PrintingFeb., 1932

Seventh PrintingNov., 1938

Typographical arrangement of this edition

© Abela Publishing 2018

This book may not be reproduced in its current format in any manner in any media, or transmitted by any means whatsoever, electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, or mechanical ( including photocopy, file or video recording, internet web sites, blogs, wikis, or any other information storage and retrieval system) except as permitted by law without the prior written permission

of the publisher.

Abela Publishing,


United Kingdom



[email protected]


Abela Publishing


The Publisher acknowledges the work that

Katherine Pyle

did in compiling, and illustrating

this unique collection of

Fairy Tales from Many Lands

in a time well before any electronic media was in use.

10% of the profit from the sale of this book

will be donated to charities.


The Seven Golden Peahens

Mishosha, The Magician Of The Lake

Haamdaanee And The Wise Gazelle

The Two Sisters

The Feather Of The Zhar Bird

The Beautiful Maria Di Legno

The Evil One Who Married Three Sisters

The Faithful Dog



The Sun And The Moon

How The Elephant And The Whale Were Tricked


Diamonds And Roses And Pearls

The Three Cows


The gulls carried him swiftly back to Mishosha’s Island

There were many beautiful dresses among the treasures of the palace

She lifted it in her hands and tasted it

Each one was said to be handsomer than the others

Overcome with joy at the sight of such a treasure

“Then show me how, and I will hold the ax for you”

“Ha!” cried the Sun, “is it you, fair one?”

He was richly dressed and looked like a foreigner

She lifted the heavy pitcher for her to drink

Fairy Tales

From Many Lands

The Seven Golden Peahens

(From the Servian Folk Lore)

THERE was once a king who had three sons, and he had also a golden apple tree, that bore nothing but golden apples, and this tree he loved as though it had been his daughter. The king was never able, however, to have any of the fruit it bore, for no sooner were the apples ripe than they would disappear in the night, and this in spite of a guard being set around the garden to watch it and see that no one entered in.

One time the eldest prince came to the king and asked to be allowed to keep watch over the tree that night. “And if I do,” said he, “I promise you that nothing shall be allowed to approach it, not even the smallest sparrow.”

The king consented to this, so that evening the prince took his sword, and went out into the garden to mount guard over the tree. Scarcely had it become dark when he heard a sound of wings beating through the air, and this sound made him so drowsy that his eyelids weighed like lead, and he fell into a deep sleep. When he awoke it was morning, and all the apples were gone from the tree.

The prince returned to the palace, and was obliged to confess to the king that he had slept all the night through.

The king was very angry, but the second son said, “My father, allow me to keep watch over the tree the next time, and I promise you I will do better than my brother, for I will not so much as close my eyes until daybreak.”

The king was willing, so when evening came the second son took his sword and went into the garden to watch the tree as his brother had done before him.

Hardly was it dark before he heard the sound of wings, and then in spite of himself his eyes closed and he fell into a deep sleep. He never stirred until daylight, and when he sat up and looked about him every apple was gone.

After this it was the turn of the third son to watch the tree, but he was a very wise prince. He had listened to all his brothers had to say about the sound of wings they had heard, and how the sound had put them to sleep, and before he went into the garden he stuffed his ears with cotton so that he could hear nothing. Then he placed himself near the tree and began his watch.

As soon as it was dark the sound of beating wings began, and the sound drew nearer and nearer, but the prince did not hear it because of the cotton in his ears. Then a light appeared in the sky, and seven golden peahens flew into the garden. They shone so that all the place was lit up as though by the light of day. Six of the peahens settled on the branches of the apple tree and began to shake down the apples, but the seventh changed into the most beautiful princess the prince had ever seen in all his life. Her hair was like a golden cloud about her; her eyes were as blue as the sky, and from head to foot she was dressed all in cloth of gold. She began to gather up the fruit that the others shook down to her, and for awhile the prince could neither stir nor speak for wonder of her beauty. Then he took the cotton from his ears, and went over to her, and began to talk to her and ask her who she was.

At first when the princess saw him she was frightened, but presently she told him that she and the six peahens were the daughters of a king who lived far away, and that they had flown over seven mountains and over seven seas, all for the love of the golden apples. She also told him that by day she and her sisters lived in a beautiful pleasure palace their father had built for them, but when night came they changed themselves into peahens, and flew about the world wherever they chose.

After a while the day began to break, and then the princess changed herself into a peahen again, and she and her sisters flew away, but she left with the prince three of the golden apples she had gathered.

The prince returned to the palace and gave the apples to his father, and the king was delighted at the sight of them. “And did you find out who it is that steals them?” he asked.

Instead of answering him, the prince managed to put him off, and the next night he said he would watch in the garden again. Then the same thing happened. He stopped his ears with cotton, the seven peahens arrived and six alighted in the tree, but the seventh became a beautiful princess, and came across the garden to him. Then the prince unstopped his ears and they talked together until daybreak, when she flew away with her sisters, and this time, as before, she left three of the apples with him.

As soon as it was morning the prince carried the apples to his father, and now, whether or no, the king would have him say who it was who came into the garden every night to steal the fruit.

The prince was obliged to tell his story, but when he said it was seven golden peahens that stole the apples, and that they were the daughters of a great king his father would scarcely believe him. The brothers, too, laughed him to scorn, for they were very jealous of him. “This is a strange story,” they cried, “and it certainly cannot be true. Either you are trying to deceive us, or you fell asleep and dreamed it all.”

“It is all certainly true,” answered the youngest brother, “and there are the three golden apples to prove it.”

“They are no proof,” answered the others. “If you would have us believe you, keep watch in the garden again to-night, and when the princess comes cut a lock of her golden hair and keep it to show to us. When we see that then we will believe you.”

At first the prince would not consent to do this, but they were so urgent that he finally agreed, and when he went into the garden he took a pair of sharp scissors with him. After a time the golden peahens flew into the garden, and after the youngest sister had changed into a princess, she and the prince talked together all night. When she was about to go the prince managed, without being seen, to take hold of a lock of her hair and cut it off.

No sooner had he done this, however, than the princess gave a sorrowful cry. “Alas, alas!” said she, “If you had only been patient for a little while longer all would have gone well. Now I must go away forever, and you will never see me again unless you journey over the seven seas and over the seven mountains to seek me.” Then she changed into a peahen, and flew away with the others.

The prince was filled with despair at the thought that he had lost her, for he loved her so well that he did not know how he could live without her.

In the morning his father and his brothers came to seek him in the garden, and when they saw the lock of golden hair they were obliged to believe him, and they could not wonder enough.

But the young prince saddled his horse and set out in search of his princess. On he went and on he went, and everywhere he rode he asked those he met whether they had seen seven golden peahens, but no one could tell him anything about them.

At last after he had journeyed over seven mountains, and over seven seas, he came to a palace that stood beside a lake, and in this palace lived an enchantress queen and her daughter. He knocked at the door and when the queen came to see who was there he once more asked whether she could tell him anything of the seven golden peahens who were the daughters of a king.

“Oh, yes, that I can,” answered the queen, “and if you are in search of them you have not much further to go. Every morning they come to bathe in this lake, and anyone who watches them can see them.”

When the prince heard this he was filled with joy and would have set out for the lake at once, but the queen, seeing how young and handsome he was, begged him to come in and rest for awhile. “Why do you follow after these seven princesses?” she asked. “My daughter is a princess, too, and a beautiful girl. If you can take a fancy to her you shall marry her and live here and after I die this palace and all that is in it shall be yours.”

The prince, however, would not listen to this, for he loved the golden peahen princess with all his heart, and her alone would he marry.

When the queen found that he was not to be persuaded she pretended to fall in with his wishes. “Very well,” said she, “it shall be as you desire, but let me send someone with you to show you the way to the lake.”

The prince thanked her, and she called a servant to go with him, but before they set out she took the servant aside and gave him privately a small pair of bellows. “When you reach the lake,” said she, “take an opportunity to get behind the prince and blow upon the back of his neck with these bellows. If you do this I will reward you well.”

The servant promised to obey her and then he and the prince set out together.

When they reached the shore the prince sat down on some rocks to watch for the peahens, but the servant got back of him and blew upon his neck with the bellows and immediately the prince fell asleep.

Presently there was a light in the sky and the seven golden peahens came flying and alighted upon the borders of the lake. Six of them began to bathe themselves in its waters but the seventh one changed into a princess. She came over to the prince and began to call to him and caress him, but she could not awaken him from his sleep.

After a time the peahens came up from the water, and the princess said to the servant, “Tell your master when he awakens twice more will I come but never again.” Then she and the others all flew away together.

When the prince awoke and found that the princess had been there and had tried in vain to awaken him, he was ready to die with grief and disappointment. However, she would return the next day, and he determined he would be there watching for her and that this time he would not by any means allow himself to fall asleep.

So the next morning he hurried down to the lake again, and the servant went with him, but before they left the castle the queen gave the servant the pair of bellows, and bade him blow upon the back of the prince’s neck when he was not aware of it.

They reached the lake, and the prince would not sit down for he feared he might fall asleep again, but the servant managed to get back of him and blow upon his neck with the bellows. Then, in spite of himself the prince sank down in a deep sleep.

Presently the peahens came flying, and as before the youngest sister came over to the prince and began to call and caress him, but he still slept on in spite of her. Then she turned to the servant and said to him, “Tell your master when he awakens that once more will I come and never again, but unless he cuts the head of the nail from the body he will never see me.”

When the prince awoke and heard the message the princess had left he understood that the servant had deceived him, and that the princess meant unless he destroyed the servant he would never find her. So the next day when they started out together the prince took a sharp sword with him. He waited until they were out of sight of the castle, and then he turned and cut the servant’s head from his shoulders and went on down, alone, to the lake.

He had not been there long when he saw a light, and heard the seven peahens coming. No sooner had they alighted than the seventh one changed into the beautiful princess. When she saw that the prince was awake and watching for her, she was overcome with joy. “Now we shall never be parted again,” she said, “but you shall go to our palace with me and be my own dear husband.”

Then she changed him into a golden peacock, and the six peahens came up from the water and they all flew away together. On and on they went until they came to the pleasure palace the king had built for his daughters, and there the golden peacock was changed back into a prince, and the peahens became seven princesses. The prince was married to the youngest one, amidst great rejoicings and they all lived there happily together.

Everything went joyfully for seven months, and then the princess came to the prince and said, “My dear husband, the time has now come when my sisters and I must go to pay a visit to the king our father. You cannot go with us, but if you will obey what I am about to tell you all will go well. We will be away for three days, and during that time the palace and all that is in it will be yours. You may go where you please except into the third cellar that is over beyond the others. There you must not go, for if you do some terrible misfortune will certainly come upon both of us.”

The prince promised that all should be as she wished, and then she and her sisters flew away together leaving him alone.

For the first day the prince did not go near the cellar and scarcely thought of it. The second day he looked to see where it was, and when he came to the door it was so heavily chained and bolted that he could not but wonder what was back of it, and the third day he could think of nothing but the cellar and what was in it. At last he felt that come what might he must see what treasure it was that was kept locked away behind that door. He went down to it again and began to unfasten the bolts and bars; the last one fell and he opened the door and stepped inside and looked about him. There was nothing there to see but a great chest with holes bored in the lid, and bound about with nine bands of iron.

The prince stared and wondered, and while he still stood there he heard a groaning sound from within the chest, and a voice cried, “Brother, for the love of mercy give me some water to wet my poor mouth.”

The prince was always pitiful toward those in trouble, and as soon as he heard this, without stopping to inquire what was inside of the chest he ran and fetched a cup of water and poured it through one of the holes.

Scarcely had he done this before there was a straining sound, and three of the iron bands burst asunder.

“Brother, that was scarcely enough to wet my mouth,” said the voice inside. “For the love of mercy give me another cup of water to cool my throat.”

The prince ran and fetched the water and poured it through the hole in the lid, and now three more of the iron bands burst asunder.

“More water, brother; more, for the love of mercy,” cried the voice. “That still is not enough to quench my thirst.”

The prince fetched a third cup of water and poured it into the chest, and now with a sound like thunder the last of the iron bands were broken, and out from the chest flew a great green dragon. It flew up through the cellars and out of the castle, and the prince ran after it.

The seven princesses were just coming home, and without even stopping for a moment the dragon caught up the youngest one in his claws and flew away with her, and the prince still ran after them shouting like one distracted. Even after the dragon had disappeared over the mountains the prince ran on, and when he could no longer run he walked.

On and on he went, and after a while he came to a stream, and in a hole near it lay a small fish gasping for breath.

“Brother,” it cried, “for the love of mercy put me back in the water; but first take one of my scales, and if you are ever in need rub it and call upon me, and I may be able to help you.”

The prince stooped and took up the fish, but before he put it back in the water he took from it a tiny scale as it had bade him. This scale he wrapped carefully in his handkerchief, and journeyed on again, leaving the fish happy at being again in the stream.

Later on he came to a forest, and under some bushes lay a fox whining to itself with its paw caught in a trap. “Brother,” it called to the prince as soon as it saw him, “for the love of mercy open this trap and let me go free. It may be that I may succor you in a time of need.”

The prince was sorry for the poor animal, and managed to pry open the trap.

The fox thanked him, and before it ran away it told him to pull three hairs from its tail. “If you are ever in need, rub those hairs and call upon me,” it said, “and wherever I am I will hear and come to help you.”

The prince thanked him and journeyed on, and in the depths of the forest he came upon a wolf which was caught by a rock that had fallen on its paw.

“Help, brother, for the love of mercy,” cried the wolf.

The prince managed to roll away the rock, and when the wolf found it was free it gave him three hairs from its tail. “If you are ever in need, rub these hairs and call upon me,” he said, “and wherever I am I will come and help you.”

The prince thanked him and journeyed on, and before long he came out of the forest and saw before him a great castle that stood upon a mountain. While he stood there looking at it the gate opened and out rode the dragon on a great coal-black horse. Then the prince knew that this was the place he was in search of. He waited until the dragon had disappeared, and then he went up to the castle and entered in, and the very first person he saw was his own dear wife sitting alone and weeping. As soon as she saw him she jumped up and ran into his arms, and after they had kissed and caressed each other they began to plan how they could escape.

Out in the stable was another horse, and this the prince saddled. He mounted upon it and took the princess up before him, and then they rode down the mountain and away as fast as they could go.

It was not until evening that the dragon returned to the castle, but as soon as he came in and found the princess was gone he knew what had happened, and that she had ridden away with the prince.

Then he took counsel with his coal-black horse, and asked it, “Shall we ride after them at once, or shall we eat and drink first?”

“Let us eat and drink first,” answered the horse, “for even after that we can easily catch up with them.”

So the dragon sat down and ate and drank, and then he mounted his steed and rode after the runaways. He soon caught up with them, and took the princess from the prince, and set her on his own horse in front of him. “This one time I will spare you,” he said to the prince, “because you had mercy upon me when I was a prisoner in the cellar, but if you ever come to my castle again I will certainly destroy you.” Then he rode back home again faster than the wind, carrying the princess with him.

The prince waited until he was out of sight, and then he turned the horse loose and started back toward the castle, for even the dragon’s threat could not keep him away from his dear princess.

When he had come within sight of the castle again he hid himself and waited until the next day when the dragon had ridden away. Then he went up to the castle and hunted through the rooms until he found the princess.

When she saw him she began to tremble with fear and wring her hands. “Why have you returned?” she cried. “Do you not remember that if the dragon finds you here he will tear you to pieces?”

“Listen, dear one,” said the prince. “I will hide myself behind the curtains, and when the dragon comes home you must find out from him where he got his coal-black steed, for I can easily see that unless we find a match to it we will never be able to escape from him.”

This the princess agreed to do, and they talked together until they heard the dragon returning, and then the prince hid himself back of the curtains.

When the dragon came in the princess pretended to be very glad to see him, and at this he was delighted, for always before she had met him with tears and reproaches.

After a time she said, “That is a very wonderful horse that you have. Do you suppose there is another one like it in all the world?”

“Yes,” said the dragon, “there is one and only one, and that is the brother of my steed.”

The princess asked him where this wonderful steed was to be found, and the dragon told her it belonged to the old gray woman who had but one eye and lived at such and such a place. “She has twelve beautiful horses standing in her stable,” the dragon went on, “but this steed is none of them. It is the lean and sorry nag that is crowded away in the furthest stall, and no one to look at it would think it worth anything, but all the same it is the brother of my horse, and to the full as good as he is.”

“And would it be possible for anyone to get that horse?” asked the princess.

“Possible but difficult. If anyone serves the old gray woman for three days, and during that time is able to fulfill her bidding he will be able to ask his own reward and she cannot refuse him; in that way can he gain possession of that horse and in no other.”

The prince heard all this behind the curtain where he was hidden, and after a time, when the dragon had gone to sleep he stole out and set forth in search of the old gray woman who had but one eye.

He went on and on, and after a while he came to the house and there was the old gray woman herself looking out of the window.

He knocked at the door, and when she opened it he asked whether he might take service with her.

“Yes, you may,” answered the old gray woman, “for I am in need of a stout lad to drive my black mare out to the pasture and keep her from running away. If you can do this for three days you may ask what reward you choose and it shall be yours, but if you are not able to bring her home every evening your head shall be cut from your shoulders and set upon a stake.”

The prince agreed to this bargain, and the next morning, as soon as it was light, he drove the black mare out to the pasture. Before they started however the old woman went to the black mare’s stall and whispered in her ear, “To-day you must change yourself into a fish and hide down in the stream for there the lad will never be able to find you.”

When the prince reached the pasture with the mare he determined to sit upon her back all day, for if he did that he was sure she could never escape from him. He sat there for a long time, but he grew drowsier and drowsier, and at last he fell fast asleep. When he awoke he was seated on a log of wood with the halter still in his hand, and the mare was gone.

The prince was in despair, but suddenly he remembered the promise the little fish had made him. He took out the scale which he had been carrying all this time, and rubbing it gently he cried:

“Little fish, if friend indeed,Help me in my time of need.”

Immediately the little fish stuck its head up from a stream nearby. “What can I do to help you, brother?” it asked.

“Can you tell me where the black mare has gone?” asked the prince.

“Yes; she has changed herself into a fish and is hiding down in the stream with us. But do not trouble yourself about that. Just strike the halter upon the ground and call out, ‘Black mare, black mare, come out from among the fishes for it is time to go home.’”

The prince did as the fish bade him and as soon as the black mare down in the stream heard those words it was obliged to come out and take its natural shape again. The prince then mounted upon it and rode it home.

When they reached the stable the old gray woman was on the watch, and she could scarcely hide her rage and disappointment at finding the serving lad had managed to bring the black mare home. However, she bade him go to the kitchen and get his supper, and she followed the black mare to the stall. “You fool,” she cried, and she was ready to beat it in her rage, “why did you not hide among the fishes as I bade you?”

“Mistress, I did,” answered the mare, “but the fishes are friends of the lad, and told him where I was, so I was obliged to come forth.”

“To-morrow, change yourself into a fox and hide among the pack. There he will certainly be unable to find you.”

After that she went into the kitchen where the lad was eating his supper.

“Well,” she said, “you have done very well so far, but to-morrow is still another day, and we will see how things go then.”

On the morrow the prince rode the black mare out to pasture, and again he sat on her back so that she should not escape him. After awhile he fell asleep in spite of himself, and when he awoke he was sitting astride of a branch with the halter in his hand.