The Blue Fairy Book
East Of The Sun And West Of The
Once upon a time there was a poor husbandman who had many children and
little to give them in the way either of food or clothing. They were all pretty, but
the prettiest of all was the youngest daughter, who was so beautiful that there
were no bounds to her beauty.
So once--it was late on a Thursday evening in autumn, and wild weather outside,
terribly dark, and raining so heavily and blowing so hard that the walls of the
cottage shook again--they were all sitting together by the fireside, each of them
busy with something or other, when suddenly some one rapped three times
against the window- pane. The man went out to see what could be the matter,
and when he got out there stood a great big white bear.
"Good-evening to you," said the White Bear.
"Good-evening," said the man.
"Will you give me your youngest daughter?" said the White Bear; "if you will, you
shall be as rich as you are now poor.
Truly the man would have had no objection to be rich, but he thought to himself:
"I must first ask my daughter about this," so he went in and told them that there
was a great white bear outside who had faithfully promised to make them all rich
if he might but have the youngest daughter.
She said no, and would not hear of it; so the man went out again, and settled
with the White Bear that he should come again next Thursday evening, and get
her answer. Then the man persuaded her, and talked so much to her about the
wealth that they would have, and what a good thing it would be for herself, that at