Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/134

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longer, saying he must proceed in his search for his youngest sister.

As he was leaving the palace the king gave him a fine large sturgeon, that he might have food on his journey. He, at the same time, offered him his assistance in any difficult undertaking, in the same manner as the king of fishes had done.

The fisherman's son left the palace pleased with the reception he had met with; and, by the help of his magic boots, he soon reached the abode of his youngest sister—a fairy realm, quite distinct in all its features from that in which his elder sisters resided. This proved to be the kingdom of birds, where shrubberies, woodlands, lovely glens, and fine old trees were the homes of innumerable birds, who were busy making their nests, or collected together under rich foliage to chat about their little affairs, whilst others plumed their feathers in sunny ease.

There stood a grim old ruin, with long narrow slits, once intended for windows, through which the chattering members of the feathered tribe went in and out unceasingly. On the battlements were a number of pigeons nestling together. Nothing was wanting here to make the inhabitants happy and comfortable; indeed it was a perfect paradise. There were lakes and ponds where they could bathe at their ease, lakelets hidden by reeds and long grasses, with small islets in their centres; a cool retreat for ducks and other