The book of saints and heroes (1912) by Mrs. Lang and Edited by Andrew Lang

The book of saints and heroes 


Long, long ago, when the world was young and gay, grown-up people must have been much more Uke children than they are at present. The grown-ups were quite as fond of fairy tales as any child can be to-day, and they actually believed in fairies more than some wise and grave little boys and girls do at present. 

Why should they not believe in them, for they met them dancing in the open dells of the forests, and saw them, beautiful girl fairies, wading and swimming in the river pools? These fairies were as friendly as they were fair to see, and the fairy of the oak tree or the well would step out of it when a handsome shepherd or warrior passed, and the pair would fall in love with each other, and sometimes marry. 

Homer, the oldest of Greek poets, tells us, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, about a man who married a fairy, and how, as they were kind, friendly people, they built their house near a road and entertained all the passers-by. This sort of thing is still going on in the islands of the Pacific, or so the natives believe. A native of New Caledonia, a young man, the friend of a cousin of mine named Jim, came to see him once, and stayed long, and seemed nervous and cried when he was saying good-bye..

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