Andrew Lang (1844 – 1912) was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. The Andrew Lang lectures at the University of St Andrews are named after him. Lang was also a prolific author of works both fiction and non; he wrote his own fairy tales such as Prince Prigio (1889) and Prince Ricardo of Pantouflia (1893), and wrote numerous historical texts.
The Billy Goat and the King is an eastern Indian fairy tale, included in The Olive Fairy Book. This is the story about a king, who had a special gift – he could understand what were the animals around him talk about. But this ability had a drawback – under no circumstances he could reveal whatever he learned from animal talks lest turn to stone. The King tried to live a life as normal as a king can have. But hearing and knowing more, than a man should, always comes at price.