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Georgian Folk Tales, by Marjory Wardrop [1894], at


The King's Son

A CERTAIN king had a son, and sent him out to be nursed by a smith's wife. This crafty woman put the king's child in a common cradle, and her own son in the gorgeous royal cradle. Some years afterwards, the king took the changeling to court, and brought his foster-brother with him. One fine day, the king set out for his favourite forest to hunt, and took his pretended son with him. When they arrived, the king asked: 'How do you like this place, my son? Is it not a magnificent wood?' The boy replied: 'O father, if we could only burn it all somehow, what a fine lot of charcoal we should have!'

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Then the king sent for the other boy, and asked him the same question. 'There could not be a better forest, your Majesty!' 'But what would you do with it if it were yours?' 'Nothing, your Majesty. I would double the guards, so that it should not be injured.' Then the king saw how the smith's wife had tried to cheat him, and put her in prison.

Next: VI. Teeth and No-Teeth