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Perhaps you did not know that fairy tales were ever truths, but they are—the best and oldest of them. That does not mean they are facts like the things you see around you or learn from history books. Facts and truths are as different as the body and the spirit. Facts are like the body that we can see and touch and measure; we cannot see or measure the Spirit, but it is there. No one knows who first told them, nor where nor when. Perhaps none of them was told by any one particular person. Perhaps they just grew upon the Tree of Wisdom when the world was young, like shining fruit, and our wise and simple first parents plucked them, and gave them to their children to play with, and to taste. These are not new fairy-tales, the ones in this book that has been newly made for you and placed in your hands. They are old fairy-tales gathered together, some from one country, and some from another. They are old, old, old. As old as the hills or the human race,—as old as truth itself. Long ago, even so long ago as when your grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother was a little rosy-cheeked girl, and your grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather was a noisy shouting little boy, these stories were old.They could not harm the children, these fruits from the tree of wisdom, for each one was a lovely globe of truth, rich and wholesome to the taste. Magic fruit, for one could eat and eat, and still the fruit was there as perfect as ever to be handed down through generations, until at last it comes to you, as beautiful as in those days of long ago - Summary from the introduction