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In a second gleaning of the fields of Fairy Land we cannot expect to find a second Perrault. But there are good stories enough left, and it is hoped that some in the Red Fairy Book may have the attraction of being less familiar than many of the old friends.
ONCE upon a time there lived in the village of Montignies–sur–Roc a
little cow–boy, without either father or mother. His real name was
Michael, but he was always called the Star Gazer, because when he drove
his cows over the commons to seek for pasture, he went along with his
head in the air, gaping at nothing.
As he had a white skin, blue eyes, and hair that curled all over his
head, the village girls used to cry after him, 'Well, Star Gazer, what
are you doing?' and Michael would answer, 'Oh, nothing,' and go on his
way without even turning to look at them.
The fact was he thought them very ugly, with their sun–burnt necks,
their great red hands, their coarse petticoats and their wooden shoes.
He had heard that somewhere in the world there were girls whose necks
were white and whose hands were small, who were always dressed in
the finest silks and laces, and were called princesses, and while his
companions round the fire saw nothing in the flames but common everyday
fancies, he dreamed that he had the happiness to marry a princess.
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