narrative collection by azkhaz

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									                               Sleeping Beauty
Long ago there lived a King and Queen who said every day, "If only we had a child!" But for a long time
they had none.
One day, as the Queen was bathing in a spring and
dreaming of a child, a frog crept out of the water and said to
her, "Your wish shall be fulfilled. Before a year has passed
you shall bring a daughter into the world."
  And since frogs are such magical creatures, it was no
surprise that before a year had passed the Queen had a baby
girl. The child was so beautiful and sweet that the King
could not contain himself for joy. He prepared a great feast
and invited all his friends, family and neighbours. He
invited the fairies, too, in order that they might be kind and
good to the child. There were thirteen of them in his
kingdom, but as the King only had twelve golden plates for them to eat from, one of the fairies had to be
left out. None of the guests was saddened by this as the thirteenth fairy was known to be cruel and spiteful.
An amazing feast was held and when it came to an end, each of the fairies presented the child with a magic
gift. One fairy gave her virtue, another beauty, a third riches and so on -- with everything in the world that
anyone could wish for.
After eleven of the fairies had presented their gifts, the thirteenth suddenly appeared. She was angry and
wanted to show her spite for not having been invited to the feast. Without hesitation she called out in a
loud voice,
"When she is fifteen years old, the Princess shall prick herself with a spindle and shall fall down dead!"
Then without another word, she turned and left the hall.
The guests were horrified and the Queen fell to the floor sobbing, but the twelfth fairy, whose wish was
still not spoken, quietly stepped forward. Her magic could not remove the curse, but she could soften it so
she said,
"Nay, your daughter shall not die, but instead shall fall into a deep sleep that will last one hundred years."
Over the years, the promises of the fairies came true -- one by one. The Princess grew to be beautiful,
modest, kind and clever. Everyone who saw her could not help but love her.
The King and Queen were determined to prevent the curse placed on the Princess by the spiteful fairy and
sent out a command that all the spindles in the whole kingdom should be destroyed. No one in the
kingdom was allowed to tell the Princess of the curse that had been placed upon her for they did not want
her to worry or be sad.
On the morning of her fifteenth birthday, the Princess awoke early -- excited to be another year older. She
was up so early in the morning, that she realized everyone else still slept. The Princess roamed through the
halls trying to keep herself occupied until the rest of the castle awoke. She wandered about the whole place,
looking at rooms and halls as she pleased and at last she came to an old tower. She climbed the narrow,
winding staircase and reached a little door. A rusty key was sticking in the lock and when she turned it, the
door flew open.
In a little room sat an old woman with a spindle, busily spinning her flax. The old woman was so deaf that
she had never heard the King's command that all spindles should be destroyed.
"Good morning, Granny," said the Princess, "what are you doing?"
"I am spinning," said the old woman.
"What is the thing that whirls round so merrily?" asked the Princess and she took the spindle and tried to
spin too.
But she had scarcely touched the spindle when it pricked her finger. At that moment she fell upon the bed
which was standing near and lay still in a deep sleep.
The King, Queen and servants had all started their morning routines and right in the midst of them fell
asleep too. The horses fell asleep in the stable, the dogs in the yard, the doves on the roof and the flies on
the wall. Even the fire in the hearth grew still and went to sleep. The kitchen maid, who sat with a chicken
before her, ready to pluck its feathers, fell asleep. The cook was in the midst of scolding the kitchen boy
for a mess he'd made but they both fell fast asleep. The wind died down and on the trees in front of the
castle not a leaf stirred.
Round the castle a hedge of brier roses began to grow up. Every year it grew higher until at last nothing
could be seen of the sleeping castle.
There was a legend in the land about the lovely Sleeping Beauty, as the King's daughter was called, and
from time to time Princes came and tried to force their way through the hedge and into the castle. But they
Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
found it impossible for the thorns, as though they were alive, grabbed at them and would not let them
After many years a Prince came again to the country and heard an old man tell the tale of the castle which
stood behind the brier hedge and the beautiful Princess who had slept within for a hundred years. He heard
also that many Princes had tried to make it through the brier hedge but none had succeeded and many had
been caught in it and died.
The the young Prince said, "I am not afraid. I must go and see this Sleeping Beauty."
The good old man did all in his power to persuade him not to go, but the Prince would not listen.
Now the hundred years were just ended. When the Prince approached the brier hedge it was covered with
beautiful large roses. The shrubs made way for him of their own accord and let him pass unharmed.
In the courtyard, the Prince saw the horses and dogs lying asleep. On the roof sat the sleeping doves with
their heads tucked under their wings. When he went into the house, the flies were asleep on the walls and
the servants asleep in the halls. Near the throne lay the King and Queen, sleeping peacefully beside each
other. In the kitchen the cook, the kitchen boy and the kitchen maid all slept with their heads resting on the
The Prince went on farther. All was so still that he could hear his own breathing. At last he reached the
tower and opened the door into the little room where the Princess was asleep. There she lay, looking so
beautiful that he could not take his eyes off her. He bent down and gave her a kiss. As he touched her,
Sleeping Beauty opened her eyes and smiled up at him.
Throughout the castle, everyone and everything woke up and looked at each other with astonished
eyes. Within the month, the Prince and Sleeping Beauty were married and lived happily all their lives.

            The Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Grimm's Fairy Tale version - translated by Margaret Hunt - language modernized a
bit by Leanne Guenther
Once upon a time, long, long ago a king and queen ruled over a distant land. The
queen was kind and lovely and all the people of the realm adored her. The only
sadness in the queen's life was that she wished for a child but did not have one.
One winter day, the queen was doing needle work while gazing out her ebony
window at the new fallen snow. A bird flew by the window startling the queen and
she pricked her finger. A single drop of blood fell on the snow outside her
window. As she looked at the blood on the snow she said to herself, "Oh, how I wish
that I had a daughter that had skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as
black as ebony."
Soon after that, the kind queen got her wish when she gave birth to a baby girl who
had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony. They named the
baby princess Snow White, but sadly, the queen died after giving birth to Snow

Soon after, the king married a new woman who was beautiful, but as well proud and cruel. She had studied
dark magic and owned a magic mirror, of which she would daily ask,
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?.
Each time this question was asked, the mirror would give the same answer, "Thou, O Queen, art the fairest
of all." This pleased the queen greatly as she knew that her magical mirror could speak nothing but the
One morning when the queen asked, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" she was
shocked when it answered:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But Snow White is even fairer than you.
The Queen flew into a jealous rage and ordered her huntsman to take Snow White into the woods to be
killed. She demanded that the huntsman return with Snow White's heart as proof.

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The poor huntsman took Snow White into the forest, but found himself unable to kill the girl. Instead, he
let her go, and brought the queen the heart of a wild boar.
Snow White was now all alone in the great forest, and she did not know what to do. The trees seemed to
whisper to each other, scaring Snow White who began to run. She ran over sharp stones and through
thorns. She ran as far as her feet could carry her, and just as evening was about to fall she saw a little
house and went inside in order to rest.
Inside the house everything was small but tidy. There was a little table with a tidy, white tablecloth and
seven little plates. Against the wall there were seven little beds, all in a row and covered with quilts.
Because she was so hungry Snow White ate a few vegetables and a little bread from each little plate and
from each cup she drank a bit of milk. Afterward, because she was so tired, she lay down on one of the
little beds and fell fast asleep.
After dark, the owners of the house returned home. They were the seven dwarves who mined for gold in
the mountains. As soon as they arrived home, they saw that someone had been there -- for not everything
was in the same order as they had left it.
The first one said, "Who has been sitting in my chair?"
The second one, "Who has been eating from my plate?"
The third one, "Who has been eating my bread?"
The fourth one, "Who has been eating my vegetables?"
The fifth one, "Who has been eating with my fork?"
The sixth one, "Who has been drinking from my cup?"
But the seventh one, looking at his bed, found Snow White lying there asleep. The seven dwarves all came
running up, and they cried out with amazement. They fetched their seven candles and shone the light on
Snow White.
"Oh good heaven! " they cried. "This child is beautiful!"
They were so happy that they did not wake her up, but let her continue to sleep in the bed. The next
morning Snow White woke up, and when she saw the seven dwarves she was frightened. But they were
friendly and asked, "What is your name?"
"My name is Snow White," she answered.
"How did you find your way to our house?" the dwarves asked further.
Then she told them that her stepmother had tried to kill her, that the huntsman had spared her life, and that
she had run the entire day through the forest, finally stumbling upon their house.
The dwarves spoke with each other for awhile and then said, "If you will keep house for us, and cook,
make beds, wash, sew, and knit, and keep everything clean and orderly, then you can stay with us, and you
shall have everything that you want."
"Yes," said Snow White, "with all my heart." For Snow White greatly enjoyed keeping a tidy home.
So Snow White lived happily with the dwarves. Every morning they went into the mountains looking for
gold, and in the evening when they came back home Snow White had their meal ready and their house
tidy. During the day the girl was alone, except for the small animals of the forest that she often played with.
Now the queen, believing that she had eaten Snow White's heart, could only think that she was again the
first and the most beautiful woman of all. She stepped before her mirror and said:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?
It answered:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But Snow White, beyond the mountains
With the seven dwarves,
Is still a thousand times fairer than you.
This startled the queen, for she knew that the mirror did not lie, and she realized that the huntsman had
deceived her and that Snow White was still alive. Then she thought, and thought again, how she could rid
herself of Snow White -- for as long as long as she was not the most beautiful woman in the entire land her
jealousy would give her no rest.
At last she thought of something. She went into her most secret room -- no one else was allowed inside --
and she made a poisoned apple. From the outside it was beautiful, and anyone who saw it would want it.
But anyone who might eat a little piece of it would died. Coloring her face, she disguised herself as an old
peddler woman, so that no one would recognize her, traveled to the dwarves house and knocked on the
Snow White put her head out of the window, and said, "I must not let anyone in; the seven dwarves have
forbidden me to do so."
"That is all right with me," answered the peddler woman. "I'll easily get rid of my apples. Here, I'll give
you one of them."
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"No," said Snow White, "I cannot accept anything from strangers."
"Are you afraid of poison?" asked the old woman. "Look, I'll cut the apple in two. You eat half and I shall
eat half."
Now the apple had been so artfully made that only the one half was poisoned. Snow White longed for the
beautiful apple, and when she saw that the peddler woman was eating part of it she could no longer resist,
and she stuck her hand out and took the poisoned half. She barely had a bite in her mouth when she fell to
the ground dead.
The queen looked at her with an evil stare, laughed loudly, and said, "White as snow, red as blood, black as
ebony wood! The dwarves shall never awaken you."
Back at home she asked her mirror:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?
It finally answered:
You, my queen, are fairest of all.
Then her cruel and jealous heart was at rest, as well as a cruel and jealous heart can be at rest.
When the dwarves came home that evening they found Snow White lying on the ground. She was not
breathing at all. She was dead. They lifted her up and looked at her longingly. They talked to her, shook
her and wept over her. But nothing helped. The dear child was dead, and she remained dead. They laid
her on a bed of straw, and all seven sat next to her and mourned for her and cried for three days. They
were going to bury her, but she still looked as fresh as a living person, and still had her beautiful red cheeks.
They said, "We cannot bury her in the black earth," and they had a transparent glass coffin made, so she
could be seen from all sides. They laid her inside, and with golden letters wrote on it her name, and that
she was a princess. Then they put the coffin outside on a mountain, and one of them always stayed with it
and watched over her. The animals too came and mourned for Snow White, first an owl, then a raven, and
finally a dove.
Now it came to pass that a prince entered these woods and happened onto the dwarves' house, where he
sought shelter for the night . He saw the coffin on the mountain with beautiful Snow White in it, and he
read what was written on it with golden letters.
Then he said to the dwarves, "Let me have the coffin. I will give you anything you want for it."
But the dwarves answered, "We will not sell it for all the gold in the world."
Then he said, "Then give it to me, for I cannot live without being able to see Snow White. I will honor her
and respect her as my most cherished one."
As he thus spoke, the good dwarves felt pity for him and gave him the coffin. The prince had his servants
carry it away on their shoulders. But then it happened that one of them stumbled on some brush, and this
dislodged from Snow White's throat the piece of poisoned apple that she had bitten off. Not long afterward
she opened her eyes, lifted the lid from her coffin, sat up, and was alive again.
"Good heavens, where am I?" she cried out.
The prince said joyfully, "You are with me." He told her what had happened, and then said, "I love you
more than anything else in the world. Come with me to my father's castle. You shall become my
wife." Snow White loved him, and she went with him. Their wedding was planned with great splendor
and majesty.
Snow White's wicked step-mother was invited to the feast, and when she had arrayed herself in her most
beautiful garments, she stood before her mirror, and said:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who in this land is fairest of all?
The mirror answered:
You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
But the young queen is a thousand times fairer than you.
Not knowing that this new queen was indeed her stepdaughter, she arrived at the wedding, and her heart
filled with the deepest of dread when she realized the truth - the evil queen was banished from the land
forever and the prince and Snow White lived happily ever after.

                                        Little Red Hood
Lower Lusatia

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
Once upon a time, there was a little darling damsel, whom everybody loved that looked upon her, but her
old granny loved her best of all, and didn't know what to give the dear child for love. Once she made her a
hood of red samite, and since that became her so well, and she, too, would wear nothing else on her head,
people gave her the name of "Red Hood."
Once her mother said to Red Hood, "Go; here is a slice of cake and a bottle of wine; carry them to old
granny. She is ill and weak, and they will refresh her. But be pretty behaved, and don't peep about in all
corners when you come into her room, and don't forget to say 'Good-day.' Walk, too, prettily, and don't go
out of the road, otherwise you will fall and break the bottle, and then poor granny will have nothing."
Red Hood said, "I will observe everything well that you have told me," and gave her mother her hand upon
But granny lived out in a forest, half an hour's walk from the village. When Red Hood went into the forest,
she met a wolf. But she did not know what a wicked beast he was, and was not afraid of him.
"God help you, Red Hood!" said he.
"God bless you, wolf!" replied she.
"Whither so early, Red Hood?"
"To granny."
"What have you there under your mantle?"
"Cake and wine. We baked yesterday; old granny must have a good meal for once, and strengthen herself
"Where does your granny live, Red Hood?"
"A good quarter of an hour's walk further in the forest, under yon three large oaks. There stands her house;
further beneath are the nut trees, which you will see there," said Red Hood.
The wolf thought within himself, "This nice young damsel is a rich morsel. She will taste better than the
old woman; but you must trick her cleverly, that you may catch both."
For a time he went by Red Hood's side Then said he, "Red Hood! Just look! There are such pretty flowers
here! Why don't you look round at them all? Methinks you don't even hear how delightfully the birds are
singing! You are as dull as if you were going to school, and yet it is so cheerful in the forest!"
Little Red Hood lifted up her eyes, and when she saw how the sun's rays glistened through the tops of the
trees, and every place was full of flowers, she bethought herself, "If I bring with me a sweet smelling
nosegay to granny, it will cheer her. It is still so early, that I shall come to her in plenty of time," and
therewith she skipped into the forest and looked for flowers. And when she had plucked one, she fancied
that another further off was nicer, and ran there, and went always deeper and deeper into the forest.
But the wolf went by the straight road to old granny's, and knocked at the door.
"Who's there?"
"Little Red Hood, who has brought cake and wine. Open!"
"Only press the latch," cried granny. "I am so weak that I cannot stand."
The wolf pressed the latch, walked in, and went without saying a word straight to granny's bed and ate her
up. Then he took her clothes, dressed himself in them, put her cap on his head, lay down in her bed and
drew the curtains.
Meanwhile little Red Hood was running after flowers, and when she had so many that she could not carry
any more, she bethought her of her granny, and started on the way to her. It seemed strange to her that the
door was wide open, and when she entered the room everything seemed to her so peculiar, that she thought,
"Ah! My God! How strange I feel today, and yet at other times I am so glad to be with granny!"
She said, "Good-day!" but received no answer.
Thereupon she went to the bed and undrew the curtains. There lay granny, with her cap drawn down to her
eyes, and looking so queer!
"Ah, granny! Why have you such long ears?"
"The better to hear you."
"Ah, granny! Why have you such large eyes?"
"The better to see you."
"Ah, granny! Why have you such large hands?"
"The better to take hold of you."
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"But, granny! Why have you such a terribly large mouth?"
"The better to eat you up!"
And therewith the wolf sprang out of bed at once on poor little Red Hood, and ate her up. When the wolf
had satisfied his appetite, he lay down again in the bed, and began to snore tremendously.
A huntsman came past, and bethought himself, "How can an old woman snore like that? I'll just have a
look to see what it is."
He went into the room, and looked into the bed; there lay the wolf. "Have I found you now, old rascal?"
said he. "I've long been looking for you."
He was just going to take aim with his gun, when he bethought himself, "Perhaps the wolf has only
swallowed granny, and she may yet be released."
Therefore he did not shoot, but took a knife and began to cut open the sleeping wolf's maw. When he had
made several cuts, he saw a red hood gleam, and after one or two more cuts out skipped Red Hood, and
cried, "Oh, how frightened I have been; it was so dark in the wolf's maw!"
Afterwards out came old granny, still alive, but scarcely able to breathe. But Red Hood made haste and
fetched large stones, with which they filled the wolf's maw, and when he woke he wanted to jump up and
run away, but the stones were so heavy that he fell on the ground and beat himself to death.
Now, they were all three merry. The huntsman took off the wolf's skin; granny ate the cake and drank the
wine which little Red Hood had brought, and became strong and well again; and little Red Hood thought to
herself, "As long as I live, I won't go out of the road into the forest, when mother has forbidden me."

                                        Little Red Hat
Once there was an old woman who had a granddaughter named Little Red Hat. One day they were both in
the field when the old woman said, "I am going home now. You come along later and bring me some
After a while Little Red Hat set out for her grandmother's house, and she met an ogre, who said, "Hello, my
dear Little Red Hat. Where are you going?"
"I am going to my grandmother's to take her some soup."
"Good," he replied, "I'll come along too. Are you going across the stones or the thorns?"
"I'm going across the stones," said the girl.
"Then I'll go across the thorns," replied the ogre.
They left. But on the way Little Red Hat came to a meadow where beautiful flowers of all colors were in
bloom, and the girl picked as many as her heart desired. Meanwhile the ogre hurried on his way, and
although he had to cross the thorns, he arrived at the house before Little Red Hat. He went inside, killed the
grandmother, ate her up, and climbed into her bed. He also tied her intestine onto the door in place of the
latch string and placed her blood, teeth, and jaws in the kitchen cupboard.
He had barely climbed into bed when Little Red Hat arrived and knocked at the door.
"Come in" called the ogre with a dampened voice.
Little Red Hat tried to open the door, but when she noticed that she was pulling on something soft, she
called out, "Grandmother, this thing is so soft!"
"Just pull and keep quiet. It is your grandmother's intestine!"
"What did you say?"
"Just pull and keep quiet!"
Little Red Hat opened the door, went inside, and said, "Grandmother, I am hungry."
The ogre replied, "Go to the kitchen cupboard. There is still a little rice there."
Little Red Hat went to the cupboard and took the teeth out. "Grandmother, these things are very hard!"
"Eat and keep quiet. They are your grandmother's teeth!"
"What did you say?"
"Eat and keep quiet!"
A little while later Little Red Hat said, "Grandmother, I'm still hungry."
"Go back to the cupboard," said the ogre. "You will find two pieces of chopped meat there."
Little Red Hat went to the cupboard and took out the jaws. "Grandmother, this is very red!"
"Eat and keep quiet. They are your grandmother's jaws!"
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"What did you say?"
"Eat and keep quiet!"
A little while later Little Red Hat said, "Grandmother, I'm thirsty."
"Just look in the cupboard," said the ogre. "There must be a little wine there."
Little Red Hat went to the cupboard and took out the blood. "Grandmother, this wine is very red!"
"Drink and keep quiet. It is your grandmother's blood!
"What did you say?"
"Just drink and keep quiet!"
A little while later Little Red Hat said, "Grandmother, I'm sleepy."
"Take off your clothes and get into bed with me!" replied the ogre.
Little Red Hat got into bed and noticed something hairy. "Grandmother, you are so hairy!"
"That comes with age," said the ogre.
"Grandmother, you have such long legs!"
"That comes from walking."
"Grandmother, you have such long hands!"
"That comes from working."
"Grandmother, you have such long ears!"
"That comes from listening."
"Grandmother, you have such a big mouth!"
"That comes from eating children!" said the ogre, and bam, he swallowed Little Red Hat with one gulp.

The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks. She went for a walk in the forest. Pretty soon,
she came upon a house. She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in.

At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the
porridge from the first bowl.
"This porridge is too hot!" she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.
"This porridge is too cold," she said
So, she tasted the last bowl of porridge.
"Ahhh, this porridge is just right," she said happily and she ate it all up.
After she'd eaten the three bears' breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired. So, she walked into
the living room where she saw three chairs. Goldilocks sat in the first chair to rest her feet.
"This chair is too big!" she exclaimed.
So she sat in the second chair.
"This chair is too big, too!" she whined.
So she tried the last and smallest chair.
"Ahhh, this chair is just right," she sighed. But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into
Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the first bed,
but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed
and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep.

As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.
"Someone's been eating my porridge," growled the Papa bear.
"Someone's been eating my porridge," said the Mama bear.
"Someone's been eating my porridge and they ate it all up!" cried the Baby bear.
"Someone's been sitting in my chair," growled the Papa bear.
"Someone's been sitting in my chair," said the Mama bear.
"Someone's been sitting in my chair and they've broken it all to pieces," cried the Baby bear.

They decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled,
"Someone's been sleeping in my bed,"
"Someone's been sleeping in my bed, too" said the Mama bear

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"Someone's been sleeping in my bed and she's still there!" exclaimed Baby bear.

Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears. She screamed, "Help!" And she jumped up and ran
out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the forest. And she
never returned to the home of the three bears.

                           Beauty and the beast
Once upon a time as a merchant set off for market, he asked each of his three daughters what she would
like as a present on his return. The first daughter wanted a brocade dress, the second a pearl necklace, but
the third, whose name was Beauty, the youngest, prettiest and sweetest of them all, said to her father:

"All I'd like is a rose you've picked specially for me!"

                                When the merchant had finished his business, he set off for home. However,
                                a sudden storm blew up, and his horse could hardly make headway in the
                                howling gale. Cold and weary, the merchant had lost all hope of reaching an
                                inn when he suddenly noticed a bright light shining in the middle of a wood.
                                As he drew near, he saw that it was a castle, bathed in light.

                              "I hope I'll find shelter there for the night," he said to himself. When he
                              reached the door, he saw it was open, but though he shouted, nobody came
                              to greet him. Plucking up courage, he went inside, still calling out to attract
                              attention. On a table in the main hall, a splendid dinner lay already served.
                              The merchant lingered, still shouting for the owner of the castle. But no one
came, and so the starving merchant sat down to a hearty meal.

Overcome by curiosity, he ventured upstairs, where the corridor led into magnificent rooms and halls. A
fire crackled in the first room and a soft bed looked very inviting. It was now late, and the merchant could
not resist. He lay down on the bed and fell fast asleep. When he woke next morning, an unknown hand had
placed a mug of steaming coffee and some fruit by his bedside.

The merchant had breakfast and after tidying himself up, went downstairs to thank his generous host. But,
as on the evening before, there was nobody in sight. Shaking his head in wonder at the strangeness of it all,
he went towards the garden where he had left his horse, tethered to a tree. Suddenly, a large rose bush
caught his eye.

Remembering his promise to Beauty, he bent down to pick a rose. Instantly, out of the rose garden, sprang
a horrible beast, wearing splendid clothes. Two bloodshot eyes, gleaming angrily, glared at him and a deep,
terrifying voice growled: "Ungrateful man! I gave you shelter, you ate at my table and slept in my own bed,
but now all the thanks I get is the theft of my favorite flowers! I shall put you to death for this slight!"
Trembling with fear, the merchant fell on his knees before the Beast.

"Forgive me! Forgive me! Don't kill me! I'll do anything you say! The rose wasn't for me, it was for my
daughter Beauty. I promised to bring her back a rose from my journey!" The Beast dropped the paw it had
clamped on the unhappy merchant.

"I shall spare your life, but on one condition, that you bring me your daughter!" The terror-stricken
merchant, faced with certain death if he did not obey, promised that he would do so. When he reached
home in tears, his three daughters ran to greet him. After he had told them of his dreadful adventure,
Beauty put his mind at rest immediately.

"Dear father, I'd do anything for you! Don't worry, you'll be able to keep your promise and save your life!
Take me to the castle. I'll stay there in your place!" The merchant hugged his daughter.

"I never did doubt your love for me. For the moment I can only thank you for saving my life." So Beauty
was led to the castle. The Beast, however, had quite an unexpected greeting for the girl. Instead of
menacing doom as it had done with her father, it was surprisingly pleasant.

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In the beginning, Beauty was frightened of the Beast, and shuddered at the sight of it. Then she found that,
in spite of the monster's awful head, her horror of it was gradually fading as time went by. She had one of
the finest rooms in the Castle, and sat for hours, embroidering in front of the fire. And the Beast would sit,
for hours on end, only a short distance away, silently gazing at her. Then it started to say a few kind words,
till in the end, Beauty was amazed to discover that she was actually enjoying its conversation. The days
passed, and Beauty and the Beast became good friends. Then one day, the Beast asked the girl to be his

Taken by surprise, Beauty did not know what to say. Marry such an ugly monster? She would rather die!
But she did not want to hurt the feelings of one who, after all, had been kind to her. And she remembered
too that she owed it her own life as well as her father's

"I really can't say yes," she began shakily. "I'd so much like to..." The Beast interrupted her with an abrupt

"I quite understand! And I'm not offended by your refusal!" Life went on as usual, and nothing further was
said. One day, the Beast presented Beauty with a magnificent magic mirror. When Beauty peeped into it,
she could see her family, far away.

"You won't feel so lonely now," were the words that accompanied the gift. Beauty stared for hours at her
distant family. Then she began to feel worried. One day, the Beast found her weeping beside the magic

"What's wrong?" he asked, kindly as always.

"My father is gravely ill and close to dying! Oh, how I wish I could see him again, before it's too late!" But
the Beast only shook its head.

"No! You will never leave this castle!" And off it stalked in a rage. However, a little later, it returned and
spoke solemnly to the girl.

"If you swear that you will return here in seven days time, I'll let you go and visit your father!" Beauty
threw herself at the Beast's feet in delight.

"I swear! I swear I will! How kind you are! You've made a loving daughter so happy!" In reality, the
merchant had fallen ill from a broken heart at knowing his daughter was being kept prisoner. When he
embraced her again, he was soon on the road to recovery. Beauty stayed beside him for hours on end,
describing her life at the Castle, and explaining that the Beast was really
good and kind. The days flashed past, and at last the merchant was able to leave his bed. He was
completely well again. Beauty was happy at last. However, she had failed to notice that seven days had
gone by.

Then one night she woke from a terrible nightmare. She had dreamt that the Beast was dying and calling
for her, twisting in agony.

"Come back! Come back to me!" it was pleading. The solemn promise she had made drove her to leave
home immediately.

"Hurry! Hurry, good horse!" she said, whipping her steed onwards towards the castle, afraid that she might
arrive too late. She rushed up the stairs, calling, but there was no reply. Her heart in her mouth, Beauty ran
into the garden and there crouched the Beast, its eyes shut, as though dead. Beauty threw herself at it and
hugged it tightly.

"Don't die! Don't die! I'll marry you . . ." At these words, a miracle took place. The Beast's ugly snout
turned magically into the face of a handsome young man.

"How I've been longing for this moment!" he said. "I was suffering in silence, and couldn't tell my frightful
secret. An evil witch turned me into a monster and only the love of a maiden willing to accept me as I was,
could transform me back into my real self. My dearest! I'll be so happy if you'll marry me."
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The wedding took place shortly after and, from that day on, the young Prince would have nothing but roses
in his gardens. And that's why, to this day, the castle is known as the Castle of the Rose.

Once upon a time... there lived an unhappy young girl. Unhappy she was, for her mother was dead,
 her father had married another woman, a widow with two daughters, and her stepmother didn't
like her one little bit. All the nice things, kind thoughts and loving touches were
       for her own daughters. And not just the kind thoughts and love, but
  also dresses, shoes, shawls, delicious food, comfy beds, as well as every home
 comfort. All this was laid on for her daughters. But, for the poor unhappy girl,
 there was nothing at all. No dresses, only her stepsisters' hand-me-downs. No
   lovely dishes, nothing but scraps. No nice rests and comfort. For she had to
work hard all day, and only when evening came was she allowed to sit for a while
 by the fire, near the cinders. That is how she got her nickname, for everybody
   called her Cinderella. Cinderella used to spend long hours all alone talking to the cat. The cat

  "Miaow", which really meant, "Cheer up! You have something neither of your stepsisters have
                                     and that is beauty."

It was quite true. Cindaralla, even dressed in rags with a dusty gray face from the cinders, was
a lovely girl. While her stepsisters, no matter how splendid and elegant their clothes, were still
                           clumsy, lumpy and ugly and always would be.

  One day, beautiful new dresses arrived at the house. A ball was to be held at Court and the
 stepsisters were getting ready to go to it. Cinderella, didn't even dare ask, "What about me?"
                   for she knew very well what the answer to that would be:

"You? My dear girl, you're staying at home to wash the dishes, scrub the floors and turn down
the beds for your stepsisters. They will come home tired and very sleepy." Cinderella sighed at
                                           the cat.

                    "Oh dear, I'm so unhappy!" and the cat murmured "Miaow".

   Suddenly something amazing happened. In the kitchen, where Cinderella was sitting all by
                 herself, there was a burst of light and a fairy appeared.

 "Don't be alarmed, Cinderella," said the fairy. "The wind blew me your sighs. I know you would
                           love to go to the ball. And so you shall!"

  "How can I, dressed in rags?" Cinderella replied. "The servants will turn me away!" The fairy
  smiled. With a flick of her magic wand... Cinderella found herself wearing the most beautiful
                           dress, the loveliest ever seen in the realm.

  "Now that we have settled the matter of the dress," said the fairy, "we'll need to get you a
                     coach. A real lady would never go to a ball on foot!"

                              "Quick! Get me a pumpkin!" she ordered.
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        "Oh of course," said Cinderella, rushing away. Then the fairy turned to the cat.

                                            "You, bring me seven mice!"

                         "Seven mice!" said the cat. "I didn't know fairies ate mice too!"

                 "They're not for eating, silly! Do as you are told!... and, remember they must be

                   Cinderella soon returned with a fine pumpkin and the cat with seven mice he
                            had caught in the cellar.

   "Good!" exclaimed the fairy. With a flick of her magic wand... wonder of
 wonders! The pumpkin turned into a sparkling coach and the mice became six
     white horses, while the seventh mouse turned into a coachman, in a
 smart uniform and carrying a whip. Cinderella could hardly believe her eyes.

 "I shall present you at Court. You will soon see that the Prince, in whose honor
 the ball is being held, will be enchanted by your loveliness. But remember! You
 must leave the ball at midnight and come home. For that is when the spell ends. Your coach will
turn back into a pumpkin, the horses will become mice again and the coachman will turn back into
  a mouse... and you will be dressed again in rags and wearing clogs instead of these dainty little
                     slippers! Do you understand?" Cinderella smiled and said,

                                       "Yes, I understand!"

   When Cinderella entered the ballroom at the palace, a hush fell. Everyone stopped in mid-
                   sentence to admire her elegance, her beauty and grace.

   "Who can that be?" people asked each other. The two stepsisters also wondered who the
    newcomer was, for never in a month of Sundays, would they ever have guessed that the
               beautiful girl was really poor Cinderella who talked to the cat!

 When the prince set eyes on Cinderella, he was struck by her beauty. Walking over to her, he
 bowed deeply and asked her to dance. And to the great disappointment of all the young ladies,
                           he danced with Cinderella all evening.

                    "Who are you, fair maiden?" the Prince kept asking her. But Cinderella only

                       "What does it matter who I am! You will never see me again anyway."

                                  "Oh, but I shall, I'm quite certain!" he replied.

Cinderella had a wonderful time at the ball... But, all of a sudden, she heard the sound of a clock:
  the first stroke of midnight! She remembered what the fairy had said, and without a word of
 goodbye she slipped from the Prince's arms and ran down the steps. As she ran she lost one of
her slippers, but not for a moment did she dream of stopping to pick it up! If the last stroke of
midnight were to sound... oh... what a disaster that would be! Out she fled and vanished into the

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The Prince, who was now madly in love with her, picked up her slipper and said to his ministers,

"Go and search everywhere for the girl whose foot this slipper fits. I will never be content until
 I find her!" So the ministers tried the slipper on the foot of all the girls... and on Cinderella's
                      foot as well... Surprise! The slipper fitted perfectly.

"That awful untidy girl simply cannot have been at the ball," snapped the stepmother. "Tell the
 Prince he ought to marry one of my two daughters! Can't you see how ugly Cinderella is! Can't
                                           you see?"

                      Suddenly she broke off, for the fairy had appeared.

   "That's enough!" she exclaimed, raising her magic wand. In a flash, Cinderella appeared in a
 splendid dress, shining with youth and beauty. Her stepmother and stepsisters gaped at her in
                               amazement, and the ministers said,

  "Come with us, fair maiden! The Prince awaits to present you with his engagement ring!" So
Cinderella joyfully went with them, and lived happily ever after with her Prince. And as for the
                                   cat, he just said "Miaow"!

                                       Donkey Skin
               There was once upon a time a king who was so much loved by his subjects that he
               thought himself the happiest man in the whole world, and he had everything his
               heart could desire. His palace was filled with the rarest of curiosities, and his
               gardens with the sweetest flowers, while in the marble stalls of his stables stood
               a row of milk-white Arabs, with big brown eyes.

               Strangers who had heard of the marvels which the
king had collected, and made long journeys to see them, were,
however, surprised to find the most splendid stall of all occupied by
a donkey, with particularly large and drooping ears. It was a very
fine donkey; but still, as far as they could tell, nothing so very
remarkable as to account for the care with which it was lodged; and
                      they went away wondering, for they could not
                      know that every night, when it was asleep, bushels of gold pieces tumbled
                      out of its ears, which were picked up each morning by the attendants.

                      After many years of prosperity a sudden blow fell upon the king in the
                      death of his wife, whom he loved dearly. But before she died, the queen,
                      who had always thought first of his happiness, gathered all her strength,
                      and said to him:

'Promise me one thing: you must marry again, I know, for the good of your people, as well as of
yourself. But do not set about it in a hurry. Wait until you have found a woman more beautiful
and better formed than myself.'

'Oh, do not speak to me of marrying,' sobbed the king; „rather let me die with you!' But the
queen only smiled faintly, and turned over on her pillow and died.

For some months the king's grief was great; then gradually he began to forget a little, and,

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besides, his counselors were always urging him to seek another wife. At first he refused to
listen to them, but by-and-by he allowed himself to be persuaded to think of it, only stipulating
that the bride should be more beautiful and attractive than the late queen, according to the
promise he had made her.

Overjoyed at having obtained what they wanted, the counselors sent envoys far and wide to get
portraits of all the most famous beauties of every country. The artists were very busy and did
their best, but, alas! nobody could even pretend that any of the ladies could compare for a
moment with the late queen.

 At length, one day, when he had turned away discouraged from a fresh collection of pictures,
the king's eyes fell on his adopted daughter, who had lived in the palace since she was a baby,
and he saw that, if a woman existed on the whole earth more lovely than the queen, this was she!
He at once made known what his wishes were, but the young girl, who was not at all ambitious,
and had not the faintest desire to marry him, was filled with dismay, and begged for time to
think about it. That night, when everyone was asleep, she started in a little car drawn by a big
sheep, and went to consult her fairy godmother.

'I know what you have come to tell me,' said the fairy, when the maiden stepped out of the car;
'and if you don't wish to marry him, I will show you how to avoid it. Ask him to give you a dress
that exactly matches the sky. It will be impossible for him to get one, so you will be quite safe.'
The girl thanked the fairy and returned home again.

The next morning, when her father (as she had always called him)
came to see her, she told him that she could give him no answer
until he had presented her with a dress the colour of the sky. The
king, overjoyed at this answer, sent for all the choicest weavers and
dressmakers in the kingdom, and commanded them to make a robe
the colour of the sky without an instant's delay, or he would cut off
their heads at once. Dreadfully frightened at this threat, they all
began to dye and cut and sew, and in two days they brought back
the dress, which looked as if it had been cut straight out of the heavens! The poor girl was
thunderstruck, and did not know what to do; so in the night she harnessed her sheep again, and
went in search of her godmother.

'The king is cleverer than I thought,' said the fairy; „but tell him you must have a dress of

And the next day, when the king summoned her into his presence, the girl told him what she

'Madam, I can refuse you nothing,' said he; and he ordered the dress to be ready in twenty-
four hours, or every man should be hanged.

They set to work with all their might, and by dawn next day, the dress of moonbeams was laid
across her bed. The girl, though she could not help admiring its beauty, began to cry, till the
fairy, who heard her, came to her help.

Well, I could not have believed it of him!' said she; „but ask for a dress of sunshine, and I shall
be surprised indeed if he manages that!'

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The goddaughter did not feel much faith in the fairy after her two previous failures; but not
knowing what else to do, she told her father what she was told.

The king made no difficulties about it, and even gave his finest rubies and diamonds to ornament
the dress, which was so dazzling, when finished, that it could only be looked through smoked

When the princess saw it, she pretended that the sight hurt her eyes, and retired to her room,
where she found the fairy awaiting her, very much ashamed of herself.

'There is only one thing to be done now,' cried she; „you must demand the skin of the ass he
treasures by. It is from that donkey he obtains all his vast riches, and I am sure he will never
give it to you.'

The princess was not so certain; however, she went to the king, and told him she could never
marry him till he had given her the ass's skin.

The king was both astonished and grieved at this new request, but did not hesitate an instant.
The ass was sacrificed, and the skin laid at the feet of the princess.

The poor girl, seeing no escape from the fate she dreaded, wept afresh, and tore her hair; when,
suddenly, the fairy stood before her.

 Take heart,' she said, 'all will now go well! Wrap yourself in this skin, and leave the palace and
go as far as you can. I will look after you. Your dresses and your jewels shall follow you
underground, and if you strike the earth whenever you need anything, you will have it at once.
But go quickly: you have no time to lose.'

So the princess clothed herself in the ass's skin, and slipped from the palace without being
seen by anyone.

Directly she was missed there was a great hue and cry, and every corner, possible and
impossible, was searched. Then the king sent out parties along all the roads, but the fairy threw
her invisible mantle over the girl when they approached, and none of them could see her.

The princess walked on a long, long way, trying to find some one who would take her in, and let
her work for them; but though the cottagers, whose houses she passed, gave her food from
charity, the ass's skin was so dirty they would not allow her to enter their houses. For her
flight had been so hurried she had had no time to clean it.

Tired and disheartened at her ill-fortune, she was wandering, one day, past the gate of a
farmyard, situated just outside the walls of a large town, when she heard a voice calling to her.
She turned and saw the farmer's wife standing among her turkeys, and making signs to her to
come in.

'I want a girl to wash the dishes and feed the turkeys, and clean out the pig-sty,' said the
women, 'and, to judge by your dirty clothes, you would not be too fine for the work.'

The girl accepted her offer with joy, and she was at once set to work in a corner of the kitchen,
where all the farm servants came and made fun of her, and the ass's skin in which she was
wrapped. But by-and-by they got so used to the sight of it that it ceased to amuse them, and

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she worked so hard and so well, that her mistress grew quite fond of her. And she was so clever
at keeping sheep and herding turkeys that you would have thought she had done nothing else
during her whole life!

One day she was sitting on the banks of a stream bewailing her wretched lot, when she suddenly
caught sight of herself in the water. Her hair and part of her face was quite concealed by the
ass's head, which was drawn right over like a hood, and the filthy matted skin covered her
whole body. It was the first time she had seen herself as other people saw her, and she was
filled with shame at the spectacle. Then she threw off her disguise and jumped into the water,
plunging in again and again, till she shone like ivory. When it was time to go back to the farm,
she was forced to put on the skin which disguised her, and now seemed more dirty than ever;
but, as she did so, she comforted herself with the thought that to-morrow was a holiday, and
that she would be able for a few hours to forget that she was a farm girl, and be a princess
once more.

So, at break of day, she stamped on the ground, as the fairy had told her, and instantly the
dress like the sky lay across her tiny bed. Her room was so small that there was no place for
the train of her dress to spread itself out, but she pinned it up carefully when she combed her
beautiful hair and piled it up on the top of her head, as she had always worn it. When she had
                      done, she was so pleased with herself that she determined never to let a
                      chance pass of putting on her splendid clothes, even if she had to wear
                      them in the fields, with no one to admire her but the sheep and turkeys.

                      Now the farm was a royal farm, and, one holiday, when „Donkey Skin' (as
                     they had nicknamed the princess) had locked the door of her room and
                     clothed herself in her dress of sunshine, the king's son rode through the
                     gate, and asked if he might come and rest himself a little after hunting.
                     Some food and milk were set before him in the garden, and when he felt
rested he got up, and began to explore the house, which was famous throughout the whole
kingdom for its age and beauty. He opened one door after the other, admiring the old rooms,
when he came to a handle that would not turn. He stooped and peeped through the keyhole to
see what was inside, and was greatly astonished at beholding a beautiful girl, clad in a dress so
dazzling that he could hardly look at it.

The dark gallery seemed darker than ever as he turned away, but he went back to the kitchen
and inquired who slept in the room at the end of the passage. The scullery maid, they told him,
whom everybody laughed at, and called „ Donkey Skin;' and though he perceived there was some
strange mystery about this, he saw quite clearly there was nothing to be gained by asking any
more questions. So he rode back to the palace, his head filled with the vision he had seen
through the keyhole.

All night long he tossed about, and awoke the next morning in a high fever. The queen, who had
no other child, and lived in a state of perpetual anxiety about this one, at once gave him up for
lost, and indeed his sudden illness puzzled the greatest doctors, who tried the usual remedies in
vain. At last they told the queen that some secret sorrow must be at the bottom of all this, and
she threw herself on her knees beside her son's bed, and implored him to confide his trouble to
her. If it was ambition to be king, his father would gladly resign the cares of the crown, and
suffer him to reign in his stead; or, if it was love, everything should be sacrificed to get for him
the wife he desired, even if she were daughter of a king with whom the country was at war at

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'Madam,' replied the prince, whose weakness would hardly allow him to speak, 'do not think me
so unnatural as to wish to deprive my father of his crown. As long as he lives I shall remain the
most faithful of his subjects! And as to the princesses you speak of, I have seen none that I
should care for as a wife, though I would always obey your wishes, whatever it might cost me.'

'Ah! my son,' cried she, 'we will do anything in the world to save your life ----and ours too, for if
you die, we shall die also.'

'Well, then,' replied the prince, 'I will tell you the only thing that will cure me ---a cake made
by the hand of "Donkey Skin." '

'Donkey Skin?' exclaimed the queen, who thought her son had gone mad; 'and who or what is

'Madam,' answered one of the attendants present, who had been with the prince at the farm,
'"Donkey Skin" is, next to the wolf, the most disgusting creature on the face of the earth. She
is a girl who wears a black, greasy skin, and lives at your farmer's as hen-wife.'

'Never mind,' said the queen; 'my son seems to have eaten some of her pastry. It is the whim of
a sickman, no doubt; but send at once and let her bake a cake.'

                The attendant bowed and ordered a page to ride with the message.

                Now it is by no means certain that „Donkey Skin' had not caught a glimpse of the
                prince, either when his eyes looked through the keyhole, or else from her little
                window, which was over the road. But whether she had actually seen him or only
                heard him spoken of, directly she received the queen's command, she flung off
                the dirty skin, washed herself from head to foot, and put on a skirt and bodice
of shining silver. Then, locking herself into her room, she took the richest cream, the finest
flour, and the freshest eggs on the farm, and set about making her cake.

As she was stirring the mixture in the saucepan a ring that she sometimes wore in secret
slipped from her finger and fell into the dough. Perhaps „Donkey Skin' saw it, or perhaps she did
not; but, any way, she went on stirring, and soon the cake was ready to be put in the oven. When
it was nice and brown she took off her dress and put on her dirty skin, and gave the cake to the
page, asking at the same time for news of the prince. But the page turned his head aside, and
would not even condescend to answer.

The page rode like the wind, and as soon as he arrived at the palace he snatched up a silver tray
and hastened to present the cake to the prince. The sick man began to eat it so fast that
the doctorsthought he would choke; and, indeed, he very nearly did, for the ring was in one of
the bits which he broke off, though he managed to extract it from his mouth without anyone
seeing him.

The moment the prince was left alone he drew the ring from under his pillow and kissed it a
thousand times. Then he set his mind to find how he was to see the owner---for even he did not
dare to confess that he had only beheld „Donkey Skin' through a keyhole, lest they should laugh
at this sudden passion. All this worry brought back the fever, which the arrival of the cake had
diminished for the time; and the doctors, not knowing what else to say, informed the queen that
her son was simply dying of love. The queen, stricken with horror, rushed into the king's
presence with the news, and together they hastened to their son's bedside.

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'My boy, my dear boy!' cried the king, 'who is it you want to marry? We will give her to you for
a bride; even if she is the humblest of our slaves. What is there in the whole world that we
would not do for you?'

The prince, moved to tears at these words, drew the ring, which was an emerald of the purest
water, from under his pillow.

'Ah, dear father and mother, let this be a proof that she whom I love is no peasant girl. The
finger which that ring fits has never been thickened by hard work. But be her condition what it
may, I will marry no other.'

The king and queen examined the tiny ring very closely, and agreed, with their son, that the
wearer could be no mere farm girl. Then the king went out and ordered heralds and trumpeters
to go through the town, summoning every maiden to the palace. And she whom the ring fitted
would some day be queen.

First came all the princesses, then all the duchesses' daughters, and so on, in proper order. But
not one of them could slip the ring over the tip of her finger, to the great joy of the prince,
whom excitement was fast curing. At last, when the high-born damsels had failed, the shopgirls
and chambermaids took their turn; but with no better fortune.

'Call in the scullions and shepherdesses,' commanded the prince; but the sight of their fat, red
fingers satisfied everybody.

'There is not a woman left, your Highness,' said the chamberlain; but the prince waved him

'Have you sent for "Donkey Skin," who made me the cake?' asked he, and the courtiers began to
laugh, and replied that they would not have dared to introduce so dirty a creature into the

'Let some one go for her at once,' ordered the king. 'I commanded the presence of every
maiden, high or low, and I meant it.'

The princess had heard the trumpets and the proclamations, and knew quite well that her ring
was at the bottom of it all. She, too, had fallen in love with the prince in the brief glimpse she
had had of him, and trembled with fear lest someone else's finger might be as small as her own.
When, therefore, the messenger from the palace rode up to the gate, she was nearly beside
herself with delight. Hoping all the time for such a summons, she had dressed herself with
great care, putting on the garment of moonlight, whose skirt was scattered over with emeralds.
But when they began calling to her to come down, she hastily covered herself with her donkey-
skin and announced she was ready to present herself before his Highness. She was taken
straight into the hall, where the prince was awaiting her, but at the sight of the donkey-skin his
heart sank. Had he been mistaken after all?

'Are you the girl,' he said, turning his eyes away as he spoke, „are you the girl who has a room in
the furthest corner of the inner court of the farmhouse?'

'Yes, my lord, I am,' answered she.

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'Hold out your hand then,' continued the prince, feeling that he must keep his word, whatever
the cost, and, to the astonishment of every one present, a little hand, white and delicate, came
from beneath the black and dirty skin. The ring slipped on with the utmost ease, and, as it did
so, the skin fell to the ground, disclosing a figure of such beauty that the
prince, weak as he was, fell on his knees before her, while the king and
queen joined their prayers to his. Indeed, their welcome was so warm, and
their caresses so bewildering, that the princess hardly knew how to find
words to reply, when the ceiling of the hall opened, and the fairy
godmother appeared, seated in a car made entirely of white lilac. In a few
words she explained the history of the princess, and how she came to be
there, and, without losing a moment, preparations of the most magnificent
kind were made for the wedding.

The kings of every country in the earth were invited, including, of course, the princess's
adopted father (who by this time had married a widow), and not one refused.

But what a strange assembly it was! Each monarch traveled in the way he thought most
impressive; and some came borne in litters, others had carriages of every shape and kind, while
the rest were mounted on elephants, tigers, and even upon eagles. So splendid a wedding had
never been seen before; and when it was over the king announced that it was to be followed by a
coronation, for he and the queen were tired of reigning, and the young couple must take their
place. The rejoicings lasted for three whole months, then the new sovereigns settled down to
govern their kingdom, and made themselves so much beloved by their subjects, that when they
died, a hundred years later, each man mourned them as his own father and mother.

                            Gold-Tree and Silver-Tree
Once upon a time there was a king who had a wife, whose name was
Silver tree, and a daughter, whose name was Gold tree. On a
certain day of the days, Gold-tree and Silver-tree went to a glen,
where there was a well, and in it there was a trout.

Said Silver-tree, "Troutie, bonny little fellow, am not I the most
beautiful queen in the world?"

"Oh! indeed you are not."

"Who then?"

"Why, Gold-tree, your daughter."

Silver-tree went home, blind with rage. She lay down on the bed, and vowed she would never be
well until she could get the heart and the liver of Gold-tree, her daughter, to eat.

At nightfall the king came home, and it was told him that Silver- tree, his wife, was very ill. He
went where she was, and asked her what was wrong with her.

"Oh! only a thing--which you may heal if you like."

"Oh! indeed there is nothing at all which I could do for you that I would not do."

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
"If I get the heart and the liver of Gold-tree, my daughter, to eat, I shall be well."

Now it happened about this time that the son of a great king had come from abroad to ask
Gold-tree for marrying. The king now agreed to this, and they went abroad.

The king then went and sent his lads to the hunting-hill for a he- goat, and he gave its heart and
its liver to his wife to eat; and she rose well and healthy.

A year after this Silver-tree went to the glen, where there was the well in which there was the

"Troutie, bonny little fellow," said she, "am not I the most beautiful queen in the world?"

"Oh! indeed you are not."

"Who then?"

"Why, Gold-tree, your daughter."

"Oh! well, it is long since she was living. It is a year since I ate her heart and liver."

"Oh! indeed she is not dead. She is married to a great prince abroad."

Silver-tree went home, and begged the king to put the long-ship in order, and said, "I am going
to see my dear Gold-tree, for it is so long since I saw her." The long-ship was put in order, and
they went away.

It was Silver-tree herself that was at the helm, and she steered the ship so well that they
were not long at all before they arrived.

                                             The prince was out hunting on the hills. Gold-tree
                                             knew the long- ship of her father coming.

                                             "Oh!" said she to the servants, "my mother is coming,
                                             and she will kill me."

                                             "She shall not kill you at all; we will lock you in a room
                                             where she cannot get near you."

                                             This is how it was done; and when Silver-tree came
                                             ashore, she began to cry out:

"Come to meet your own mother, when she comes to see you," Gold tree said that she could not,
that she was locked in the room, and that she could not get out of it.

"Will you not put out," said Silver tree, "your little finger through the key-hole, so that your
own mother may give a kiss to it?"

She put out her little finger, and Silver-tree went and put a poisoned stab in it, and Gold-tree
fell dead.

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
When the prince came home, and found Gold-tree dead, he was in great sorrow, and when he
saw how beautiful she was, he did not bury her at all, but he locked her in a room where nobody
would get near her.

In the course of time he married again, and the whole house was under the hand of this wife but
one room, and he himself always kept the key of that room. On a certain day of the days he
forgot to take the key with him, and the second wife got into the room. What did she see there
but the most beautiful woman that she ever saw.

She began to turn and try to wake her, and she noticed the poisoned stab in her finger. She
took the stab out, and Gold-tree rose alive, as beautiful as she was ever.

At the fall of night the prince came home from the hunting-
hill, looking very downcast.

"What gift," said his wife, "would you give me that I could
make you laugh?"

"Oh! indeed, nothing could make me laugh, except Gold-tree
were to come alive again."

"Well, you'll find her alive down there in the room."

When the prince saw Gold-tree alive he made great
rejoicings, and he began to kiss her, and kiss her, and kiss
her. Said the second wife, "Since she is the first one you had
it is better for you to stick to her, and I will go away."

"Oh! indeed you shall not go away, but I shall have both of you."

At the end of the year, Silver-tree went to the glen, where there was the well, in which there
was the trout.

"Troutie, bonny little fellow," said she, "am not I the most beautiful queen in the world?"

"Oh! indeed you are not."

"Who then?"

"Why, Gold-tree, your daughter."

"Oh! well, she is not alive. It is a year since I put the poisoned stab into her finger."

"Oh! indeed she is not dead at all, at all."

Silver-tree, went home, and begged the king to put the long-ship in order, for that she was
going to see her dear Gold tree, as it was so long since she saw her. The long-ship was put in
order, and they went away. It was Silver-tree herself that was at the helm, and she steered
the ship so well that they were not long at all before they arrived.

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
The prince was out hunting on the hills. Gold-tree knew her father's ship coming.

                                          "Oh!" said she, "my mother is coming, and she will kill

                                          "Not at all," said the second wife; "we will go down to
                                          meet her."

                                          Silver-tree came ashore. "Come down, Gold tree,
                                          love," said she, "for your own mother has come to you
                                          with a precious drink."

                                          "It is a custom in this country," said the second wife,
                                          "that the person who offers a drink takes a draught
                                          out of it first."

Silver-tree put her mouth to it, and the second wife went and struck it so that some of it went
down her throat, and she fell dead. They had only to carry her home a dead corpse and bury her.

The prince and his two wives were long alive after this, pleased and peaceful.

I left them there.

                                   The Horned Women

                            rich woman sat up late one night carding and preparing wool, while all
                           the family and servants were asleep. Suddenly a knock was given at
                           the door, and a voice called, "Open! open!"

                           "Who is there?" said the woman of the house.

                           "I am the Witch of one Horn," was answered.

                           The mistress, supposing that one of her neighbours had called and
                           required assistance, opened the door, and a woman entered, having in
                           her hand a pair of wool-carders, and bearing a horn on her forehead,
as if growing there. She sat down by the fire in silence, and began to card the wool with violent
haste. Suddenly she paused, and said aloud: "Where are the women? they delay too long."

Then a second knock came to the door, and a voice called as before, "Open! open!"

The mistress felt herself obliged to rise and open to the call, and immediately a second witch
entered, having two horns on her forehead, and in her hand a wheel for spinning wool.

"Give me place," she said; "I am the Witch of the two Horns," and she began to spin as quick as

And so the knocks went on, and the call was heard, and the witches
entered, until at last twelve women sat round the fire - the first
with one horn, the last with twelve horns.

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
And they carded the thread, and turned their spinning-wheels, and wound and wove, all singing
together an ancient rhyme, but no word did they speak to the mistress of the house. Strange to
hear, and frightful to look upon, were these twelve women, with their horns and their wheels;
and the mistress felt near to death, and she tried to rise that she might call for help, but she
could not move, nor could she utter a word or a cry, for the spell of the witches was upon her.

Then one of them called to her in Irish, and said, "Rise, woman, and make us a cake."

Then the mistress searched for a vessel to bring water from the well that she might mix the meal
and make the cake, but she could find none.

And they said to her, "Take a sieve and bring water in it."

And she took the sieve and went to the well - but the water poured from it, and she could fetch none for the cake,
and she sat down by the well and wept.

Then a voice came by her and said, "Take yellow clay and moss, and bind them together, and plaster the sieve so
that it will hold."

This she did, and the sieve held the water for the cake - and the voice said again:

"Return, and when thou comest to the north angle of the house, cry aloud three times and say,
'The mountain of the Fenian women and the sky over it is all on fire.'"

And she did so.

When the witches inside heard the call, a great and terrible cry broke from their lips, and they
rushed forth with wild lamentations and shrieks, and fled away to Slievenamon, where was their
                               chief abode. But the Spirit of the Well bade the mistress of
                               the house to enter and prepare her home against the
                               enchantments of the witches if they returned again.

                                     And first, to break their spells, she sprinkled the water in which
                                     she had washed her child's feet, the feet-water, outside the
                                     door on the threshold - secondly, she took the cake which in her
                                     absence the witches had made of meal mixed with the blood
                                     drawn from the sleeping family, and she broke the cake in bits,
                                     and placed a bit in the mouth of each sleeper, and they were
                                     restored - and she took the cloth they had woven, and placed it
                                     half in and half out of the chest with the padlock - and lastly,
                                     she secured the door with a great crossbeam fastened in the
                                     jambs, so that the witches could not enter, and having done
                                     these things she waited.

                                     Not long were the witches in coming back, and they raged and
called for vengeance.

"Open! open!" they screamed; "open, feet-water!"

"I cannot," said the feet-water; "I am scattered on the ground, and my path is down to the

"Open, open, wood and trees and beam!" they cried to the door.
Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
"I cannot," said the door, "for the beam is fixed in the jambs and I have no power to move."

"Open, open, cake that we have made and mingled with blood!" they cried again.

"I cannot," said the cake, "for I am broken and bruised, and my blood is on the lips of the
sleeping children."

Then the witches rushed through the air with great cries, and fled back to Slievenamon,
uttering strange curses on the Spirit of the Well, who had wished their ruin - but the woman
and the house were left in peace, and a mantle dropped by one of the witches in her flight was
kept hung up by the mistress in memory of that night; and this mantle was kept by the same
family from generation to generation for five hundred years after.

                                Jack and His Master
                         The story of Jack and his two cunning brothers.

A poor woman had three sons. The eldest and second eldest were cunning clever fellows, but
they called the youngest Jack the Fool, because they thought he was no better than a simpleton.
The eldest got tired of staying at home, and said he'd go look for service. He stayed away a
whole year, and then came back one day, dragging one foot after the other, and a poor wizened
face on him, and he as cross as two sticks. When he was rested and got something to eat, he
told them how he got service with the Gray Churl of the Townland of Mischance, and that the
agreement was, whoever would first say he was sorry for his bargain, should get an inch wide of
the skin of his back, from shoulder to hips, taken off. If it was the master, he should also pay
double wages; if it was the servant, he should get no wages at all. "But the thief," says he, "gave
me so little to eat, and kept me so hard at work, that flesh and blood couldn't stand it; and
when he asked me once, when I was in a passion, if I was sorry for my bargain, I was mad enough
to say I was, and here I am disabled for life."

Vexed enough were the poor mother and brothers; and the second eldest said on the spot he'd
go and take service with the Gray Churl, and punish him by all the annoyance he'd give him till
he'd make him say he was sorry for his agreement. "Oh, won't I be glad to see the skin coming
off the old villain's back !" said he. All they could say had no effect : he started off for the
Town land of Mischance, and in a twelvemonth he was back just as miserable and helpless as his

All the poor mother could say didn't prevent Jack the Fool from starting to see if he was able
to regulate the Gray Churl. He agreed with him for a year for twenty pounds, and the terms
were the same.

"Now, Jack," said the Gray Churl, "if you refuse to do anything you are able to do, you must lose
a month's wages."

"I'm satisfied," said Jack ; "and if you stop me from doing a thing
after telling me to do it, you are to give me an additional month's

"I am satisfied," says the master.

"Or if you blame me for obeying your orders, you must give the

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz

"I am satisfied," said the master again.

The first day that Jack served he was fed very poorly, and was worked to the saddle skirts.
Next day he came in just before the dinner was sent up to the parlor. They were taking the
goose off the spit, but well becomes Jack he whips a knife off the dresser, and cuts off one
side of the breast, one leg and thigh, and one wing, and fell to. In came the master, and began
to abuse him for his assurance. "Oh, you know, master, you're to feed me, and wherever the
goose goes won't have to be filled again till supper. Are you sorry for our agreement ?"

The master was going to cry out he was, but he bethought himself in time. "Oh no, not at all,"
said he.

"That's well," said Jack.

Next day Jack was to go clamp turf on the bog. They weren't sorry to have him away from the
kitchen at dinner time. He didn't find his breakfast very heavy on his stomach ; so he said to
the mistress, "I think, ma'am, it will be better for me to get my dinner now, and not lose time
coming home from the bog."

"That's true, Jack," said she. So she brought out a good cake, and a print of butter, and a
bottle of milk, thinking he'd take them away to the bog. But Jack kept his seat, and never drew
rein till bread, butter, and milk went down the red lane.

"Now, mistress," said he, " I'll be earlier at my work to-morrow if I sleep comfortably on the
sheltery side of a pile of dry peat on dry grass, and not be coming here and going back. So you
may as well give me my supper, and be done with the day's trouble." She gave him that, thinking
he'd take it to the bog; but he fell to on the spot, and did not leave a scrap to tell tales on him;
and the mistress was a little astonished.

He called to speak to the master in the haggard, and said he, "What are servants asked to do in
this country after aten their supper?"

"Nothing at all, but to go to bed."

"Oh, very well, sir." He went up on the stable-loft, stripped, and lay down, and some one that
saw him told the master. He came up.

"Jack, you anointed scoundrel, what do you mean?"

"To go to sleep, master. The mistress, God bless her, is after giving me my breakfast, dinner,
and supper, and yourself told me that bed was the next thing. Do you blame me, sir?"

"Yes, you rascal, I do."

"Hand me out one pound thirteen and fourpence, if you please, sir."

"One divel and thirteen imps, you tinker! what for?"

"Oh, I see, you've forgot your bargain. Are you sorry for it ?"

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
"Oh, ya -- NO, I mean. I'll give you the money after your nap."

Next morning early, Jack asked how he'd be employed that day. "You are to be holding the
plough in that fallow, outside the paddock." The master went over about nine o'clock to see
what kind of a ploughman was Jack, and what did he see but the little boy driving the bastes,
and the sock and coulter of the plough skimming along the sod, and Jack pulling ding-dong again'
the horses.

"What are you doing, you contrary thief?" said the master.

"An' ain't I strivin' to hold this divel of a plough, as you told me; but that uncrown of a boy
keeps whipping on the bastes in spite of all I say; will you speak to him?"

"No, but I'll speak to you. Didn't you know, you bosthoon, that when I said 'holding the plough,'
I meant reddening the ground."

"Faith, an' if you did, I wish you had said so. Do you blame me for what I have done?"

The master caught himself in time, but he was so stomached, he said nothing.

"Go on and redden the ground now, you knave, as other ploughmen do."

"An' are you sorry for our agreement?"

"Oh, not at all, not at all !"

Jack ploughed away like a good workman all the rest of the day.

                                       In a day or two the master bade him go and mind the cows in
                                       a field that had half of it under young corn. "Be sure,
                                       particularly," said he, "to keep Browney from the wheat ;
                                       while she's out of mischief there's no fear of the rest."

                                       About noon, he went to see how Jack was doing his duty, and
                                       what did he find but Jack asleep with his face to the sod,
                                       Browney grazing near a thorn-tree, one end of a long rope
                                       round her horns, and the other end round the tree, and the
                                       rest of the beasts all trampling and eating the green wheat.
                                       Down came the switch on Jack.

                                       "Jack, you vagabone, do you see what the cows are at?"

                                       "And do you blame, master?"

"To be sure, you lazy sluggard, I do ?"

"Hand me out one pound thirteen and four pence, master. You said if I only kept Browney out of
mischief, the rest would do no harm. There she is as harmless as a lamb. Are you sorry for
hiring me, master?"

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
"To be -- that is, not at all. I'll give you your money when you go to dinner. Now, understand me;
don't let a cow go out of the field nor into the wheat the rest of the day."

"Never fear, master!" and neither did he. But the churl would rather than a great deal he had
not hired him.

The next day three heifers were missing, and the master bade Jack go in search of them.

"Where will I look for them?" said Jack.

"Oh, every place likely and unlikely for them all to be in."

The churl was getting very exact in his words. When he was coming into the bawn at dinner-time,
what work did he find Jack at but pulling armfuls of the thatch off the roof, and peeping into
the holes he was making?

"What are you doing there, you rascal?"

"Sure, I'm looking for the heifers, poor things!"

"What would bring them there?"

"I don't think anything could bring them in it ; but I looked first into the likely places, that is,
the cow-houses, and the pastures, and the fields next 'em, and now I'm looking in the unlikeliest
place I can think of. Maybe it's not pleasing to you it is."

"And to be sure it isn't pleasing to me, you aggravating goose-cap!"

"Please, sir, hand me one pound thirteen and four pence before you sit down to your dinner. I'm
afraid it's sorrow that's on you for hiring me at all."

"May the div -- oh no; I'm not sorry. Will you begin, if you please, and put in the thatch again,
just as if you were doing it for your mother's cabin?"

"Oh, faith I will, sir, with a heart and a half;" and by the time the farmer came out from his
dinner, Jack had the roof better than it was before, for he made the boy give him new straw.

Says the master when he came out, "Go, Jack, and look for the heifers, and bring them home."

"And where will I look for 'em?"

"Go and search for them as if they were your own. The heifers were all in the paddock before

Next morning, says the master, "Jack, the path across the bog to the pasture is very bad; the
sheep does be sinking in it every step ; go and make the sheep's feet a good path." About an
hour after he came to the edge of the bog, and what did he find Jack at but sharpening a
carving knife, and the sheep standing or grazing round.

"Is this the way you are mending the path, Jack ?" said he.

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
"Everything must have a beginning, master," said Jack, "and a thing well begun is half done. I am
sharpening the knife, and I'll have the feet off every sheep in the flock while you'd be blessing

"Feet off my sheep, you anointed rogue! and what would you be taking their feet off for?"

"An' sure to mend the path as you told me. Says you, 'Jack, make a path with the foot of the
sheep.' "

"Oh, you fool, I meant make good the path for the sheep's feet."

"It's a pity you didn't say so, master. Hand me out one pound thirteen and fourpence if you
don't like me to finish my job."

"Divel do you good with your one pound thirteen and fourpence !"

"It's better pray than curse, master. Maybe you re sorry for your

"And to be sure I am -- not yet, any way."

The next night the master was going to a wedding; and says he to
Jack, before he set out : "I'll leave at midnight; and I wish you to
come and be with me home, for fear I might be overtaken with the
drink. If you're there before, you may throw a sheep's eye at me,
and I'll be sure to see that they'll give you something for yourself."

About eleven o'clock, while the master was in great spirits, he felt something clammy hit him on
the cheek. It fell beside his tumbler, and when he looked at it what was it but the eye of a
sheep. Well, he couldn't imagine who threw it at him, or why it was thrown at him. After a little
he got a blow on the other cheek, and still it was by another sheep's eye. Well, he was very
vexed, but he thought better to say nothing. In two minutes more, when he was opening his
mouth to take a sup, another sheep's eye was slapped into it. He sputtered it out, and cried,
"Man o' the house, isn't it a great shame for you to have any one in the room that would do such
a nasty thing ?"

"Master," says Jack, "don't blame the honest man. Sure it's only myself that was throwin' them
sheep's eyes at you, to remind you I was here, and that I wanted to drink the bride and
bridegroom's health. You know yourself bade me."

"I know that you are a great rascal; and where did you get the eyes ?"

"An' where would I get em' but in the heads of your own sheep? Would you have me meddle
with the bastes of any neighbour, who might put me in the Stone Jug for it?"

"Sorrow on me that ever I had the bad luck to meet with you."

"You're all witness," said Jack, "that my master says he is sorry for having met with me. My
time is up. Master, hand me over double wages, and come into the next room, and lay yourself
out like a man that has some decency in him, till I take a strip of skin an inch broad from your
shoulder to your hip."

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
Every one shouted out against that; but, says Jack, "You didn't hinder him when he took the
same strips from the backs of my two brothers, and sent them home in that state, and
penniless, to their poor mother."

When the company heard the rights of the business, they were only too eager to see the job
done. The master bawled and roared, but there was no help at hand. He was stripped to his hips,
and laid on the floor in the next room, and Jack had the carving knife in his hand ready to

"Now you cruel old villain," said he, giving the knife a couple of scrapes along the floor, "I'll
make you an offer. Give me, along with my double wages, two hundred guineas to support my
poor brothers, and I'll do without the strap."

"No!" said he, "I'd let you skin me from head to foot first."

"Here goes then," said Jack with a grin, but the first little scar he gave, Churl roared out. "
Stop your hand ; I'll give the money."

"Now, neighbours," said Jack, "you mustn't think worse of me than I deserve. I wouldn't have
the heart to take an eye out of a rat itself; I got half a dozen of them from the butcher, and
only used three of them."

So all came again into the other room, and Jack was made sit down, and everybody drank his
health, and he drank everybody's health at one offer. And six stout fellows saw himself and the
master home, and waited in the parlour while he went up and brought down the two hundred
guineas, and double wages for Jack himself. When he got home, he brought the summer along
with him to the poor mother and the disabled brothers; and he was no more Jack the Fool in the
people's mouths, but " Skin Churl Jack."

                                Little Red Riding Hood
The classic fairy tale of Red Riding Hood, and her bravery and wit, to save her grandmother and
                                       herself from the wolf

Once upon a time in the middle of a thick forest stood a small cottage, the home of a pretty
little girl known to everyone as Little Red Riding Hood. One day, her Mummy waved her goodbye
at the garden gate, saying: "Grandma is ill. Take her this basket of cakes, but be very careful.
Keep to the path through the wood and don't ever stop. That way, you will come to no harm."

Little Red Riding Hood kissed her mother and ran off. "Don't worry," she said, "I'll run all the
way to Grandma's without stopping."

Full of good intentions, the little girl made her way through the wood, but she was soon to
forget her mother's wise words. "What lovely strawberries! And so red."

Laying her basket on the ground, Little Red Riding Hood bent over the
strawberry plants. "They're nice and ripe, and so big! Yummy! Delicious!
Just another one.And one more. This is the last. Well, this one
Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
The red fruit peeped invitingly through the leaves in the grassy glade, and Little Red Riding
Hood ran back and forth popping strawberries into her mouth. Suddenly she remembered her
mother, her promise, Grandma and the basket and hurried back towards the path. The basket
was still in the grass and, humming to herself, Little Red Riding Hood walked on.

The wood became thicker and thicker. Suddenly a yellow butterfly fluttered down through the
trees. Little Red Riding Hood started to chase the butterfly.

"I'll catch you! I'll catch you!" she called. Suddenly she saw some large daisies in the grass.

"Oh, how sweet!" she exclaimed and, thinking of Grandma, she picked a large bunch of flowers.

In the meantime, two wicked eyes were spying on her from behind a tree. A strange rustling in
the woods made Little Red Riding Hood's heart thump.

Now quite afraid she said to herself. "I must find the path and run away from here!"

At last she reached the path again but her heart leapt into her mouth at the sound of a gruff
voice which said: "Where are you going, my pretty girl, all alone in the woods?"

"I'm taking Grandma some cakes. She lives at the end of the path," said Little Riding Hood in a
faint voice.

When he heard this, the wolf (for it was the big bad wolf himself) politely asked: "Does
Grandma live by herself?"

"Oh, yes," replied Little Red Riding Hood, "and she never opens the door to strangers!"

"Goodbye. Perhaps we'll meet again," replied the wolf. Then he loped away thinking to himself
"I'll gobble the grandmother first, then lie in wait for the grandchild!" At last, the cottage
came in sight. Knock! Knock! The wolf rapped on the door.

"Who's there?" cried Grandma from her bed.

"It's me, Little Red Riding Hood. I've brought you some cakes because you're ill," replied the
wolf, trying hard to hide his gruff voice.

"Lift the latch and come in," said Grandma, unaware of anything amiss, till a horrible shadow
appeared on the wall. Poor Grandma! For in one bound, the wolf leapt across the room and, in a
single mouthful, swallowed the old lady. Soon after, Little Red Riding Hood tapped on the door.

"Grandma, can I come in?" she called.

Now, the wolf had put on the old lady's shawl and cap and slipped into the bed. Trying to imitate
Grandma's quavering little voice, he replied: "Open the latch and come in!

"What a deep voice you have," said the little girl in surprise.

"The better to greet you with," said the wolf.

Narrative Text Collection, By Azkhaz
"Goodness, what big eyes you have."

"The better to see you with."

"And what big hands you have!" exclaimed Little Red Riding Hood, stepping over to the bed.

"The better to hug you with," said the wolf.

"What a big mouth you have," the little girl murmured in a weak voice.

"The better to eat you with!" growled the wolf, and jumping out of bed, he swallowed her up too.
Then, with a fat full tummy, he fell fast asleep.

In the meantime, a hunter had emerged from the wood, and on noticing the cottage, he decided
to stop and ask for a drink. He had spent a lot of time trying to catch a large wolf that had
been terrorizing the neighborhood, but had lost its tracks. The hunter could hear a strange
whistling sound; it seemed to be coming from inside the cottage. He peered through the window
and saw the large wolf himself, with a fat full tummy, snoring away in Grandma's bed.

"The wolf! He won't get away this time!"

Without making a sound, the hunter carefully loaded his gun and gently opened the window. He
pointed the barrel straight at the wolf's head and BANG! The wolf was dead.

"Got you at last!" shouted the hunter in glee. "You'll never frighten anyone again.

He cut open the wolf's stomach and to his amazement, out popped Grandma and Little Red
Riding Hood, safe and unharmed.

"You arrived just in time," murmured the old lady, quite overcome by all the excitement.

"It's safe to go home now," the hunter told Little Red Riding Hood. "The big bad wolf is dead
and gone, and there is no danger on the path.

Still scared, the little girl hugged her grandmother.

Much later, Little Red Riding Hood's mother arrived, all out of breath, worried because her
little girl had not come home. And when she saw Little Red Riding Hood, safe and sound, she
burst into tears of joy.

After thanking the hunter again, Little Red Riding Hood and her mother set off towards the
wood. As they walked quickly through the trees, the little girl told her mother: "We must always
keep to the path and never stop. That way, we come to no harm!"

                             The Monkey and the Dolphin

A sailor, bound on a long voyage, took along with him a Monkey to amuse him while on shipboard.
As he sailed off the coast of Greece, a violent storm arose in which the
ship was wrecked and he, along with his Monkey and all the crew were
thus forced to swim for their lives. A Dolphin saw the Monkey fighting
with the waves, and thinking him to be a man (whom he is always said to
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befriend), came and placed himself under him, to convey him on his back safely to the shore.
When the Dolphin arrived with his burden in sight of land not far from Athens, he asked the
Monkey if he were an Athenian. The latter replied that he was, and that he had a very noble
origin. The Dolphin then inquired if he knew the Piraeus-the famous harbor of Athens.
Supposing that a man was meant, the Monkey answered boastfully that he knew him very well
and that he was his close friend. The Dolphin, indignant at these false words, dipped the
Monkey under the water and drowned him in the deep blue sea.

Moral of the story:
Those who pretend to be what they are not, sooner or later, find themselves in "deep" trouble.

                      The famous fairy tale of Rapunzel, her long hair, the enchantress, and the

                       There was once a couple who had long in vain wished for a child. At length
                       the woman hoped that God was about to grant her desire. They had a little
                       window at the back of their house from which a splendid garden could be
                       seen, which was full of beautiful flowers and herbs. It was, however,
                       surrounded by a high wall, and no one dared to go into it because it
                       belonged to an enchantress, who had great power and was dreaded by all
                       the world. One day the woman was standing by this window and looking
                       down into the garden, when she saw a bed which was planted with the most
                       beautiful rampion - rapunzel, and it looked so fresh and green that she
                       longed for it, and had the greatest desire to eat some. This desire
                       increased every day, and as she knew that she could not get any of it, she
                       quite pined away, and began to look pale and miserable. Her husband was
                       alarmed, and asked, "what makes you sad, dear wife." "Ah", she replied, "if
I can't eat some of the rampion, which is in the garden behind our house, I shall die". The man,
who loved her, thought, sooner than let your wife die, bring her some of the rampion yourself,
let it cost what it will. At twilight, he clambered down over the wall into the garden of the
enchantress, hastily clutched a handful of rampion, and took it to his wife. She at once made
herself a salad of it, and ate it greedily. It tasted so good to her - so very good, that the next
day she longed for it three times as much as before. If he was to have any rest, her husband
must once more descend into the garden. In the gloom of evening, therefore, he let himself
down again. But when he had clambered down the wall he was terribly afraid, for he saw the
enchantress standing before him. "How dare you", said she with angry look, "descend into my
garden and steal my rampion like a thief. You shall suffer for it". He answered, "let mercy take
the place of justice, I only made up my mind to do it out of necessity. My wife saw your rampion
from the window, and felt such a longing for it that she would have died if she had not got some
to eat". Then the enchantress allowed her anger to be softened, and said to him, if the case be
as you say, I will allow you to take away with you as much rampion as you will, only I make one
condition, you must give me the child which your wife will bring into the world. It shall be well
treated, and I will care for it like a mother. The man in his terror consented to everything, and
when the woman was brought to bed, the enchantress appeared at once, gave the child the name
of Rapunzel, and took it away with her. Rapunzel grew into the most beautiful child under the

When she was twelve years old, the enchantress shut her into a tower, which lay in a forest, and
had neither stairs nor door, but quite at the top was a little window. When the enchantress

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wanted to go in, she placed herself beneath it and cried, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair
to me".

Rapunzel had magnificent long hair, fine as spun gold, and when she heard the voice of the
enchantress she unfastened her braided tresses, wound them round one of the hooks of the
window above, and then the hair fell twenty ells down, and the enchantress climbed up by it.

After a year or two, it came to pass that the king's son rode through the forest and passed by
the tower. Then he heard a song, which was so charming that he stood still and listened. This
Rapunzel, who in her solitude passed her time in letting her sweet voice resound. The king's son
wanted to climb up to her, and looked for the door of the tower, but none was to be found. He
rode home, but the singing had so deeply touched his heart, that every day he went out into the
forest and listened to it. Once when he was thus standing behind a tree, he saw that an
enchantress came there, and he heard how she cried,

"If that is the ladder by which one mounts, I too will try my fortune". thought he, and the next
day when it began to grow dark, he went to the tower and cried, "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down
your hair". Immediately the hair fell down and the king's son climbed up. At first Rapunzel was
terribly frightened when a man, such as her eyes had never yet beheld, came to her. But the
king's son began to talk to her quite like a friend, and told her that his heart had been so
stirred that it had let him have no rest, and he had been forced to see her. Then rapunzel lost
her fear, and when he asked her if she would take him for her husband, and she saw that he was
young and handsome, she thought, he will love me more than old dame gothic does. And she said
yes, and laid her hand in his. She said, I will willingly go away with you, but I do not know how to
get down. Bring with you a skein of silk every time that you come, and I will weave a ladder with
it, and when that is ready I will descend, and you will take me on your horse. They agreed that
until that time he should come to her every evening, for the old woman came by day. The
enchantress remarked nothing of this, until once Rapunzel said to her, tell me, how it happens
that you are so much heavier for me to draw up than the young king's son - he is with me in a
moment. Ah. You wicked child, cried the enchantress. What do I hear you say. I thought I had
separated you from all the world, and yet you have deceived me. In her anger she clutched
rapunzel's beautiful tresses, wrapped them twice round her left hand, seized a pair of scissors
with the right, and snip, snap, they were cut off, and the lovely braids lay on the ground. And
she was so pitiless that she took poor rapunzel into a desert where she had to live in great grief
and misery.

On the same day that she cast out rapunzel, however, the enchantress fastened the braids of
hair, which she had cut off, to the hook of the window, and when the king's son came and cried,
rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair, she let the hair down. The king's son ascended, but
instead of finding his dearest rapunzel, he found the enchantress, who gazed at him with wicked
and venomous looks. Aha, she cried mockingly, you would fetch your dearest, but the beautiful
bird sits no longer singing in the nest. The cat has got it, and will scratch out your eyes as well.
Rapunzel is lost to you. You will never see her again. The king's son was beside himself with pain,
and in his despair he leapt down from the tower. He escaped with his life, but the thorns into
which he fell pierced his eyes. Then he wandered quite blind about the forest, ate nothing
but roots and berries, and did naught but lament and weep over the loss of his dear wife. Thus
he roamed about in misery for some years, and at length came to the desert where Rapunzel,
with the twins to which she had given birth, a boy and a girl, lived in wretchedness. He heard a
voice, and it seemed so familiar to him that he went towards it, and when he approached,
Rapunzel knew him and fell on his neck and wept. Two of her tears wetted his eyes and they

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grew clear again, and he could see with them as before. He led her to his kingdom where he was
joyfully received, and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented.

                     Sleeping Beauty (Little Briar Rose)
                  The classic story of sleeping beauty and the 100 year trance

A long time ago there were a king and queen who were unhappy because they were childless. But
it happened that once when the queen was bathing, a frog crept out of the water on to the land,
and said to her, "Your wish shall be fulfilled, before a year has gone by, you shall have a

What the frog had said came true, and the queen had a little girl who
was so pretty that the king could not contain himself for joy, and
ordered a great feast. He invited not only his kindred, friends and
acquaintances, but also the wise women, in order that they might
be kind and well disposed towards thechild. There were thirteen of
them in his kingdom, but, as he had only twelve golden plates for them
to eat out of, one of them had to be left at home.

The feast was held with all manner of splendor and when it came to an
end the wise women bestowed their magic gifts upon the baby - one gave virtue, another beauty,
a third riches, and so on with everything in the world that one can wish for.

When eleven of them had made their promises, suddenly the thirteenth came in. She wished to
avenge herself for not having been invited, and without greeting, or even looking at anyone, she
cried with a loud voice, "The king's daughter shall in her fifteenth year prick herself with a
spindle, and fall down dead." And, without saying a word more, she turned round and left the

They were all shocked, but the twelfth, whose good wish still remained unspoken, came forward,
and as she could not undo the evil sentence, but only soften it, she said, it shall not be death,
but a deep sleep of a hundred years, into which the princess shall fall.

The king, who would fain keep his dear child from the misfortune, gave orders that every
spindle in the whole kingdom should be burnt. Meanwhile the gifts of the wise women were
plenteously fulfilled on the young girl, for she was so beautiful, modest, good-natured, and wise,
that everyone who saw her was bound to love her.

It happened that on the very day when she was fifteen years old, the king and queen were not
at home, and the maiden was left in the palace quite alone. So she went round into all sorts of
places, looked into rooms and bed-chambers just as she liked, and at last came to an old tower.
She climbed up the narrow winding staircase, and reached a little door. A rusty key was in the
lock, and when she turned it the door sprang open, and there in a little room sat an old woman
with a spindle, busily spinning her flax.

"Good day, old mother," said the king's daughter, "what are you doing there?"

"I am spinning," said the old woman, and nodded her head.

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"What sort of thing is that, that rattles round so merrily," said the girl, and she took the
spindle and wanted to spin too. But scarcely had she touched the spindle when the magic decree
was fulfilled, and she pricked her finger with it.

And, in the very moment when she felt the prick, she fell down upon the bed that stood there,
and lay in a deep sleep. And this sleep extended over the whole palace, the king and queen who
had just come home, and had entered the great hall, began to go to sleep, and the whole of the
court with them. The horses, too, went to sleep in the stable, the dogs in the yard, the pigeons
upon the roof, the flies on the wall, even the fire that was flaming on the hearth became quiet
and slept, the roast meat left off frizzling, and the cook, who was just going to pull the hair of
the scullery boy, because he had forgotten something, let him go, and went to sleep. And the
wind fell, and on the trees before the castle not a leaf moved again.

But round about the castle there began to grow a hedge of thorns, which every year became
higher, and at last grew close up round the castle and all over it, so that there was nothing of it
to be seen, not even the flag upon the roof. But the story of the beautiful sleeping Briar Rose,
for so the princess was named, went about the country, so that from time to time kings' sons
came and tried to get through the thorny hedge into the castle. But they found it impossible,
for the thorns held fast together, as if they had hands, and the youths were caught in them,
could not get loose again, and died a miserable death.

After long, long years a king's son came again to that country, and heard an old man talking
about the thorn hedge, and that a castle was said to stand behind it in which a wonderfully
beautiful princess, named Briar Rose, had been asleep for a hundred years, and that the king
and queen and the whole court were asleep likewise. He had heard, too, from his grandfather,
that many kings, sons had already come, and had tried to get through the thorny hedge, but
they had remained sticking fast in it, and had died a pitiful death.

Then the youth said, "I am not afraid, I will go and see the beautiful Briar Rose." The good old
man might dissuade him as he would, he did not listen to his words.

But by this time the hundred years had just passed, and the day had come when Briar Rose was
to awake again. When the king's son came near to the thorn hedge, it was nothing but large and
beautiful flowers, which parted from each other of their own accord, and let him pass unhurt,
then they closed again behind him like a hedge. In the castle yard he saw the horses and the
spotted hounds lying asleep, on the roof sat the pigeons with their heads under their wings. And
when he entered the house, the flies were asleep upon the wall, the cook in the kitchen was still
holding out his hand to seize the boy, and the maid was sitting by the black hen which she was
going to pluck.

He went on farther, and in the great hall he saw the whole of the court lying asleep, and up by
the throne lay the king and queen. Then he went on still farther, and all was so quiet that a
breath could be heard, and at last he came to the tower, and opened the door into the little
room where Briar Rose was sleeping.

There she lay, so beautiful that he could not turn his eyes away, and he stooped down and gave
her a kiss. But as soon as he kissed her, Briar Rose opened her eyes and awoke, and looked at
him quite sweetly.

Then they went down together, and the king awoke, and the queen, and the whole court, and
looked at each other in great astonishment. And the horses in the courtyard stood up and shook

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themselves, the hounds jumped up and wagged their tails, the pigeons upon the roof pulled out
their heads from under their wings, looked round, and flew into the open country, the flies on
the wall crept again, the fire in the kitchen burned up and flickered and cooked the meat, the
joint began to turn and sizzle again, and the cook gave the boy such a box on the ear that he
screamed, and the maid finished plucking the fowl.

And then the marriage of the king's son with Briar Rose was celebrated with all splendor, and
they lived contented to the end of their days.

               The Sprightly Tailor and the Haunted Church

A sprightly tailor was employed by the great Macdonald, in his castle at Saddell, in order to
make the laird a pair of trews, used in olden time. And trews being the vest and breeches united
in one piece, and ornamented with fringes, were very comfortable, and suitable to be worn in
walking or dancing. And Macdonald had said to the tailor, that if he would make the trews by
night in the church, he would get a handsome reward. For it was thought that the old ruined
church was haunted, and that fearsome things were to be seen there at night.

                     The tailor was well aware of this - but he was a sprightly man, and when the
                     laird dared him to make the trews by night in the church, the tailor was not
                     to be daunted, but took it in hand to gain the prize. So, when night came,
                     away he went up the glen, about half a mile distance from the castle, till he
                     came to the old church. Then he chose him a nice gravestone for a seat and
                     he lighted his candle, and put on his thimble, and set to work at the trews -
                     plying his needle nimbly, and thinking about the hire that the laird would
                     have to give him.

                     For some time he got on pretty well, until he felt the floor all of a tremble
                     under his feet - and looking about him, but keeping his fingers at work, he
                     saw the appearance of a great human head rising up through
                     the stone pavement of the church. And when the head had risen above the
                     surface, there came from it a great, great voice. And the voice said, "Do
you see this great head of mine?"

"I see that, but I'll sew this!" replied the sprightly tailor - and he stitched away at the trews.

Then the head rose higher up through the pavement, until its neck appeared. And when its neck
was shown, the thundering voice came again and said, "Do you see this great neck of mine?"

"I see that, but I'll sew this!" said the sprightly tailor - and he stitched away at his trews.

Then the head and neck rose higher still, until the great shoulders and chest were shown above
the ground. And again the mighty voice thundered, "Do you see this great chest of mine?"

And again the sprightly tailor replied, "I see that, but I'll sew this!" and stitched away at his

And still it kept rising through the pavement, until it shook a great pair of arms in the tailor's
face, and said, "Do you see these great arms of mine?"

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"I see those, but I'll sew this!" answered the tailor - and he stitched hard at his trews, for he
knew that he had no time to lose.

The sprightly tailor was taking the long stitches, when he saw it gradually rising and rising
through the floor, until it lifted out a great leg, and stamping with it upon the pavement, said in
a roaring voice, "Do you see this great leg of mine?"

"Aye, aye, I see that, but I'll sew this!" cried the tailor - and his fingers flew with the needle,
and he took such long stitches, that he was just come to the end of the trews, when it was
taking up its other leg. But before it could pull it out of the pavement, the sprightly tailor had
finished his task - and, blowing out his candle, and springing from off his gravestone, he buckled
up, and ran out of the church with the trews under his arm. Then the fearsome thing gave a loud
roar, and stamped with both his feet upon the pavement, and out of the church he went after
the sprightly tailor.

Down the glen they ran, faster than the stream when the flood
rides it - but the tailor had got the start and a nimble pair of legs,
and he did not choose to lose the laird's reward. And though the
thing roared to him to stop, yet the sprightly tailor was not the man
to be beholden to a monster. So he held his trews tight, and let no
darkness grow under his feet, until he had reached Saddell Castle.
He had no sooner got inside the gate, and shut it, than the
apparition came up to it - and, enraged at losing his prize, struck the
wall above the gate, and left there the mark of his five great
fingers. Ye may see them plainly to this day, if ye'll only peer close

But the sprightly tailor gained his reward - for Macdonald paid him handsomely for the trews,
and never discovered that a few of the stitches were somewhat long.

                           The Story-Teller At Fault
                                        An Irish Fairy Tale

                                   At the time when the Tuatha De Dannan held the sovereignty
                                   of Ireland, there reigned in Leinster a king, who was
                                   remarkably fond of hearing stories. Like the other princes
                                   and chieftains of the island, he had a favourite story-teller,
                                   who held a large estate from his Majesty, on condition of
                                   telling him a new story every night of his life, before he went
                                   to sleep. Many indeed were the stories he knew, so that he
                                   had already reached a good old age without failing even for a
                                   single night in his task; and such was the skill he displayed
                                   that whatever cares of state or other annoyances might prey
                                   upon the monarch's mind, his story-teller was sure to send
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him to sleep.

One morning the story-teller arose early, and as his custom was, strolled out into his garden
turning over in his mind incidents which he might weave into a story for the king at night. But
this morning he found himself quite at fault; after pacing his whole demesne, he returned to his
house without being able to think of anything new or strange. He found no difficulty in "there
was once a king who had three sons" or "one day the king of all Ireland," but further than that
he could not get. At length he went in to breakfast, and found his wife much perplexed at his

"Why don't you come to breakfast, my dear?" said she.

"I have no mind to eat anything," replied the story-teller; "long as I have been in the service of
the king of Leinster, I never sat down to breakfast without having a new story ready for the
evening, but this morning my mind is quite shut up, and I don't know what to do. I might as well
lie down and die at once. I'll be disgraced for ever this evening, when the king calls for his

Just at this moment the lady looked out of the window.

"Do you see that black thing at the end of the field?" said

"I do," replied her husband.

They drew nigh, and saw a miserable looking old man lying on
the ground with a wooden leg placed beside him.

"Who are you, my good man?" asked the story-teller.

"Oh, then, 'tis little matter who I am. I'm a poor, old, lame,
decrepit, miserable creature, sitting down here to rest

"An' what are you doing with that box and dice I see in your

"I am waiting here to see if any one will play a game with me," replied the beggar man.

"Play with you! Why what has a poor old man like you to play for?"

                                       "I have one hundred pieces of gold in this leathern purse,"
                                       replied the old man.

                                       "You may as well play with him," said the story-teller's wife;
                                       "and perhaps you'll have something to tell the king in the

                                       A smooth stone was placed between them, and upon it they
                                       cast their throws.

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It was but a little while and the story-teller lost every penny of his money.

"Much good may it do you, friend," said he. "What better hap could I look for, fool that I am!"

"Will you play again?" asked the old man.

"Don't be talking, man: you have all my money."

"Haven't you chariot and horses and hounds?"

"Well, what of them!"

"I'll stake all the money I have against thine."

"Nonsense, man! Do you think for all the money in Ireland, I'd run the risk of seeing my lady
tramp home on foot?"

"Maybe you'd win," said the bocough.

"Maybe I wouldn't," said the story-teller.

"Play with him, husband," said his wife. "I don't mind walking, if you do, love."

"I never refused you before," said the story-teller, "and I won't do so now."

Down he sat again, and in one throw lost houses, hounds, and chariot.

"Will you play again?" asked the beggar.

"Are you making game of me, man; what else have I to stake?"

"I'll stake all my winnings against your wife," said the old man.

The story-teller turned away in silence, but his wife stopped him.

"Accept his offer," said she. "This is the third time, and who knows what luck you may have?
You'll surely win now."

They played again, and the story-teller lost. No sooner had he done so, than to his sorrow and
surprise, his wife went and sat down near the ugly old beggar.

"Is that the way you're leaving me?" said the story-teller.

"Sure I was won," said she. "You would not cheat the poor man, would you?"

"Have you any more to stake?" asked the old man.

"You know very well I have not," replied the story-teller.

"I'll stake the whole now, wife and all, against your own self," said the old man.

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Again they played, and again the story-teller lost.

"Well! here I am, and what do you want with me?"

"I'll soon let you know," said the old man, and he took from his pocket a long cord and a wand.

"Now," said he to the story-teller, "what kind of animal would you rather be, a deer, a fox, or a
hare? You have your choice now, but you may not have it later."

To make a long story short, the story-teller made his choice of a hare; the old man threw the
cord round him, struck him with the wand, and lo! a long-eared, frisking hare was skipping and
jumping on the green.

But it wasn't for long; who but his wife called the hounds, and set them on him. The hare fled,
the dogs followed. Round the field ran a high wall, so that run as he might, he couldn't get out,
and mightily diverted were beggar and lady to see him twist and double.

In vain did he take refuge with his wife, she kicked him back again to the hounds, until at length
the beggar stopped the hounds, and with a stroke of the wand, panting and breathless, the
story-teller stood before them again.

"And how did you like the sport?" said the beggar.

"It might be sport to others," replied the story-teller looking at his wife, "for my part I could
well put up with the loss of it."

"Would it be asking too much," he went on to the beggar, "to know who you are at all, or where
you come from, or why you take a pleasure in plaguing a poor old man like me?"

"Oh!" replied the stranger, "I'm an odd kind of good-for-little fellow, one day poor, another day
rich, but if you wish to know more about me or my habits, come with me and perhaps I may show
you more than you would make out if you went alone."

"I'm not my own master to go or stay," said the story-teller, with a sigh.

The stranger put one hand into his wallet and drew out of it before their eyes a well-looking
middle-aged man, to whom he spoke as follows:

"By all you heard and saw since I put you into my wallet, take charge of this lady and of the
carriage and horses, and have them ready for me whenever I want them."

Scarcely had he said these words when all vanished, and the story-
teller found himself at the Foxes' Ford, near the castle of Red
Hugh O'Donnell. He could see all but none could see him.

O'Donnell was in his hall, and heaviness of flesh and weariness of
spirit were upon him.

"Go out," said he to his doorkeeper, "and see who or what may be

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The doorkeeper went, and what he saw was a lank, grey beggarman; half his sword bared behind
his haunch, his two shoes full of cold road-a-wayish water sousing about him, the tips of his two
ears out through his old hat, his two shoulders out through his scant tattered cloak, and in his
hand a green wand of holly.

"Save you, O'Donnell," said the lank grey beggarman.

"And you likewise," said O'Donnell. "Whence come you, and what is your craft?"

"I come from the outmost stream of earth,
From the glens where the white swans glide,
A night in Islay, a night in Man,
A night on the cold hillside."

"It's the great traveller you are," said O'Donnell.

"Maybe you've learnt something on the road."

"I am a juggler," said the lank grey beggarman, "and for five pieces of silver you shall see a
trick of mine."
"You shall have them," said O'Donnell; and the lank grey beggarman took three small straws and
placed them in his hand.

"The middle one," said he, "I'll blow away; the other two I'll leave."

"Thou canst not do it," said one and all.

But the lank grey beggarman put a finger on either outside straw and, whiff, away he blew the
middle one.

"'Tis a good trick," said O'Donnell; and he paid him his five pieces of silver.

"For half the money," said one of the chief's lads, "I'll do the same trick."

"Take him at his word, O'Donnell."

The lad put the three straws on his hand, and a finger on either outside straw and he blew; and
what happened but that the fist was blown away with the straw.

"Thou art sore, and thou wilt be sorer," said O'Donnell.

"Six more pieces, O'Donnell, and I'll do another trick for thee," said the lank grey beggarman.

"Six shalt thou have."

"Seest thou my two ears! One I'll move but not t'other."
"'Tis easy to see them, they're big enough, but thou canst never move one ear and not the two

The lank grey beggarman put his hand to his ear, and he gave it a pull.

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O'Donnell laughed and paid him the six pieces.

"Call that a trick," said the fistless lad, "any one can do that," and so saying, he put up his hand,
pulled his ear, and what happened was that he pulled away ear and head.

"Sore thou art; and sorer thou'ltbe," said O'Donnell.

"Well, O'Donnell," said the lank grey beggarman, "strange are the tricks I've shown thee, but
I'll show thee a stranger one yet for the same money."

"Thou hast my word for it," said O'Donnell.

With that the lank grey beggarman took a bag from under his armpit, and from out the bag a
ball of silk, and he unwound the ball and he flung it slantwise up into the clear blue heavens, and
it became a ladder; then he took a hare and placed it upon the thread, and up it ran; again he
took out a red-eared hound, and it swiftly ran up after the hare.

"Now," said the lank grey beggarman; "has any one a mind to run after the dog and on the

"I will," said a lad of O'Donnell's.

"Up with you then," said the juggler; "but I warn you if you let my hare be killed I'll cut off
your head when you come down."

The lad ran up the thread and all three soon disappeared. After looking up for a long time, the
lank grey beggarman said: "I'm afraid the hound is eating the hare, and that our friend has
fallen asleep."

Saying this he began to wind the thread, and down came the lad fast asleep; and down came the
red-eared hound and in his mouth the last morsel of the hare.

He struck the lad a stroke with the edge of his sword, and so cast his head off. As for the
hound, if he used it no worse, he used it no better.

"It's little I'm pleased, and sore I'm angered," said O'Donnell, "that a hound and a lad should
be killed at my court."

"Five pieces of silver twice over for each of them," said the juggler, "and their heads shall be on
them as before."

"Thou shalt get that," said O'Donnell.

Five pieces, and again five were paid him, and lo! the lad had his head and the hound his. And
though they lived to the uttermost end of time, the hound would
never touch a hare again, and the lad took good care to keep his
eyes open.

Scarcely had the lank grey beggarman done this when he
vanished from out their sight, and no one present could say if he
had flown through the air or if the earth had swallowed him up.

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He moved as wave tumbling o'er wave
As whirlwind following whirlwind,
As a furious wintry blast,
So swiftly, sprucely, cheerily,
Right proudly,
And no stop made
Until he came
To the court of Leinster's King,
He gave a cheery light leap
O'er top of turret,
Of court and city
Of Leinster's King.

Heavy was the flesh and weary the spirit of Leinster's king. 'Twas the hour he was wont to hear
a story, but send he might right and left, not a jot of tidings about the story-teller could he get.

"Go to the door," said he to his doorkeeper, "and see if a soul is in sight who may tell me
something about my story-teller."

The doorkeeper went, and what he saw was a lank grey beggarman, half his sword bared behind
his haunch, his two old shoes full of cold road-a-wayish water sousing about him, the tips of his
two ears out through his old hat, his two shoulders out through his scant tattered cloak, and in
his hand a three-stringed harp.

"What canst thou do?" said the doorkeeper.

"I can play," said the lank grey beggarman.

"Never fear," added he to the story-teller, "thou shalt see all, and not a man shall see thee."

When the king heard a harper was outside, he bade him in.

"It is I that have the best harpers in the five-fifths of Ireland," said he, and he signed them to
play. They did so, and if they played, the lank grey beggarman listened.

"Heardst thou ever the like?" said the king.

"Did you ever, O king, hear a cat purring over a bowl of broth, or the buzzing of beetles in the
twilight, or a shrill tongued old woman scolding your head off?"

"That I have often," said the king.

"More melodious to me," said the lank grey beggarman, "were the worst of these sounds than
the sweetest harping of thy harpers."

When the harpers heard this, they drew their swords and rushed at him, but instead of striking
him, their blows fell on each other, and soon not a man but was cracking his neighbour's skull
and getting his own cracked in turn.

When the king saw this, he thought it hard the harpers weren't content with murdering their

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music, but must needs murder each other.

"Hang the fellow who began it all," said he; "and if I can't have a story, let me have peace."

Up came the guards, seized the lank grey beggarman, marched him to the gallows and hanged
him high and dry. Back they marched to the hall, and who should they see but the lank grey
beggarman seated on a bench with his mouth to a flagon of ale.

"Never welcome you in," cried the captain of the guard, "didn't we hang you this minute, and
what brings you here?"

"Is it me myself, you mean?"

"Who else?" said the captain.

"May your hand turn into a pig's foot with you when you think of tying the rope; why should you
speak of hanging me?"

Back they scurried to the gallows, and there hung the king's favourite brother.

Back they hurried to the king who had fallen fast asleep.

"Please your Majesty," said the captain, "we hanged that strolling vagabond, but here he is back
again as well as ever."

"Hang him again," said the king, and off he went to sleep once more.

They did as they were told, but what happened was that they found the king's chief harper
hanging where the lank grey beggarman should have been.

The captain of the guard was sorely puzzled.

"Are you wishful to hang me a third time?" said the lank grey beggarman.

"Go where you will," said the captain, "and as fast as you please if you'll only go far enough. It's
trouble enough you've given us already."

"Now you're reasonable," said the beggarman; "and since you've given up trying to hang a
stranger because he finds fault with your music, I don't mind telling you that if you go back to
the gallows you'll find your friends sitting on the sward none the worse for what has happened."

As he said these words he vanished; and the story-teller found himself on the spot where they
first met, and where his wife still was with the carriage and horses.

"Now," said the lank grey beggarman, "I'll torment you no longer. There's your carriage and
your horses, and your money and your wife; do what you please with them."

"For my carriage and my houses and my hounds," said the story- teller, "I thank you; but my
wife and my money you may keep."

"No," said the other. "I want neither, and as for your wife, don't think ill of her for what she

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did, she couldn't help it."

"Not help it! Not help kicking me into the mouth of my own hounds! Not help casting me off for
the sake of a beggarly old-"

"I'm not as beggarly or as old as ye think. I am Angus of the Bruff; many a good turn you've
done me with the King of Leinster. This morning my magic told me the difficulty you were in, and
I made up my mind to get you out of it. As for your wife there, the power that changed your
body changed her mind. Forget and forgive as man and wife should do, and now you have a story
for the King of Leinster when he calls for one;" and with that he disappeared.

It's true enough he now had a story fit for a king. From first to last he told all that had
befallen him; so long and loud laughed the king that he couldn't go to sleep at all. And he told
the story- teller never to trouble for fresh stories, but every night as long as be lived he
listened again and he laughed afresh at the tale of the lank grey beggarman.

                                                Sweet Porridge
                                   A small fable about a magic pot that cooked porridge
                        There was a poor but good little girl who lived with her mother. They had
                        nothing to eat. One day, the child went into the forest, and there an aged
                        woman met her who was aware of her sorrow. She gifted her with a little
                        pot, which when she said, "cook, little pot, cook", would cook good, sweet
                        porridge, and when she said, "stop, little pot", it ceased to cook. The girl
                        took the pot home to her mother, and soon they were freed from their
                        poverty and hunger, and ate sweet porridge as often as they chose. Once
on a time when the girl had gone out, her mother said, cook, little pot, cook. And it did cook and
she ate till she was satisfied, and then she wanted the pot to stop cooking, but did not know the
word. So it went on cooking and the porridge rose over the edge, and still it cooked on until the
kitchen and whole house were full, and then the next house, and then the whole street, just as
if it wanted to satisfy the hunger of the whole world, and there was the greatest distress, but
no one knew how to stop it. At last when only one single house remained, the child came home
and just said, stop, little pot, and it stopped and gave up cooking, and whosoever wished to
return to the town had to eat his way back!

                                   The tale of Ivan
          The Story of Ivan, and how he followed the golden advice of his master

There were formerly a man and a woman living in the parish of Llanlavan, in the place which is
called Hwrdh. And work became scarce, so the man said to his wife, "I will go search for work,
and you may live here." So he took fair leave, and travelled far toward the East, and at last
came to the house of a farmer and asked for work.

"What work can ye do?" said the farmer. "I can do all kinds of
work," said Ivan. Then they agreed upon three pounds for the
year's wages.

When the end of the year came his master showed him the three
pounds. "See, Ivan," said he, "here's your wage; but if you will give
it me back I'll give you a piece of advice instead."

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"Give me my wage," said Ivan.

"No, I'll not," said the master; "I'll explain my advice."

"Tell it me, then," said Ivan.
Then said the master, "Never leave the old road for the sake of a new one."

After that they agreed for another year at the old wages, and at the end of it Ivan took
instead a piece of advice, and this was it: "Never lodge where an old man is married to a young

The same thing happened at the end of the third year, when the piece of advice was: "Honesty
is the best policy."

But Ivan would not stay longer, but wanted to go back to his wife.

"Don't go to-day," said his master; "my wife bakes to-morrow, and she shall make thee a cake to
take home to thy good woman."

                             And when Ivan was going to leave, "Here," said his master, "here is a
                             cake for thee to take home to thy wife, and, when ye are most
                             joyous together, then break the cake, and not sooner."

                            So he took fair leave of them and travelled towards home, and at
                            last he came to WaynHer, and there he met three merchants from
                            TreRhyn, of his own parish, coming home from Exeter Fair. "Oho!
Ivan," said they, "come with us; glad are we to see you. Where have you been so long?"

"I have been in service," said Ivan, "and now I'm going home to my wife."

"Oh, come with us! you'll be right welcome." But when they took the new road Ivan kept to the
old one. And robbers fell upon them before they had gone far from Ivan as they were going by
the fields of the houses in the meadow. They began to cry out, "Thieves!" and Ivan shouted out
"Thieves!" too. And when the robbers heard Ivan's shout they ran away, and the merchants
went by the new road and Ivan by the old one till they met again at Market-Jew.

"Oh, Ivan," said the merchants, "we are beholding to you; but for you we would have been lost
men. Come lodge with us at our cost, and welcome."

When they came to the place where they used to lodge, Ivan said, "I must see the host."

"The host," they cried; "what do you want with the host? Here is the hostess, and she's young
and pretty. If you want to see the host you'll find him in the kitchen."

So he went into the kitchen to see the host; he found him a weak old man turning the spit.

"Oh! oh!" quoth Ivan, "I'll not lodge here, but will go next door."

"Not yet," said the merchants, "sup with us, and welcome."

Now it happened that the hostess had plotted with a certain monk in Market-Jew to murder the

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old man in his bed that night while the rest were asleep, and they agreed to lay it on the lodgers.

So while Ivan was in bed next door, there was a hole in the pine-end of the house, and he saw a
light through it. So he got up and looked, and heard the monk speaking. "I had better cover this
hole," said he, "or people in the next house may see our deeds." So he stood with his back
against it while the hostess killed the old man.

But meanwhile Ivan out with his knife, and putting it through the hole, cut a round piece off the
monk's robe. The very next morning the hostess raised the cry that her husband was murdered,
and as there was neither man nor child in the house but the merchants, she declared they ought
to be hanged for it.

So they were taken and carried to prison, till a last Ivan came to them. "Alas! alas! Ivan," cried
they, "bad luck sticks to us; our host was killed last night, and we shall be hanged for it."

"Ah, tell the justices," said Ivan, "to summon the real murderers."

"Who knows," they replied, "who committed the crime?"

"Who committed the crime!" said Ivan. "if I cannot prove who committed the crime, hang me in
your stead."

So he told all he knew, and brought out the piece of cloth from the monk's robe, and with that
the merchants were set at liberty, and the hostess and the monk were seized and hanged.

Then they came all together out of Market-Jew, and they said to him: "Come as far as Coed
Carrn y Wylfa, the Wood of the Heap of Stones of Watching, in the parish of Burman." Then
their two roads separated, and though the merchants wished Ivan to go with them, he would not
go with them, but went straight home to his wife.

And when his wife saw him she said: "Home in the nick of time. Here's a purse of gold that I've
found; it has no name, but sure it belongs to the great lord yonder. I was just thinking what to
do when you came."

Then Ivan thought of the third counsel, and he said "Let us
go and give it to the great lord."

So they went up to the castle, but the great lord was not in
it, so they left the purse with the servant that minded the
gate, and then they went home again and lived in quiet for a

But one day the great lord stopped at their house for a drink
of water, and Ivan's wife said to him: "I hope your lordship
found your lordship's purse quite safe with all its money in it."

"What purse is that you are talking about?" said the lord.

"Sure, it's your lordship's purse that I left at the castle," said Ivan.

"Come with me and we will see into the matter," said the lord.

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So Ivan and his wife went up to the castle, and there they pointed out the man to whom they
had given the purse, and he had to give it up and was sent away from the castle. And the lord
was so pleased with Ivan that he made him his servant in the stead of the thief.

"Honesty's the best policy!" quoth Ivan, as he skipped about in his new quarters. "How joyful I

Then he thought of his old master's cake that he was to eat when he was most joyful, and when
he broke it, to and behold, inside it was his wages for the three years he had been with him.

                                  The Ugly Duckling
    The story of a small duckling whom everyone thought to be ugly, before it grew up to be
                                         something else

Once upon a time down on an old farm, lived a duck family, and Mother Duck had been sitting on
                     a clutch of new eggs. One nice morning, the eggs hatched and out popped
                     six chirpy ducklings. But one egg was bigger than the rest, and it didn't
                     hatch. Mother Duck couldn't recall laying that seventh egg. How did it
                     get there? TOCK! TOCK! The little prisoner was pecking inside his shell.

                       "Did I count the eggs wrongly?" Mother Duck wondered. But before she
                       had time to think about it, the last egg finally hatched. A strange looking
                       duckling with gray feathers that should have been yellow gazed at a
                       worried mother. The ducklings grew quickly, but Mother Duck had a
secret worry.

"I can't understand how this ugly duckling can be one of mine!" she said to herself, shaking her
head as she looked at her last born. Well, the gray duckling certainly wasn't pretty, and since
he ate far more than his brothers, he was outgrowing them. As the days went by, the poor ugly
duckling became more and more unhappy. His brothers didn't want to play with him, he was so
clumsy, and all the farmyard folks simply laughed at him. He felt sad and lonely, while Mother
Duck did her best to console him.

"Poor little ugly duckling!" she would say. "Why are you so different from the others?" And the
ugly duckling felt worse than ever. He secretly wept at night. He felt nobody wanted him.

"Nobody loves me, they all tease me! Why am I different from my brothers?"

Then one day, at sunrise, he ran away from the farmyard. He stopped at a pond and began to
question all the other birds. "Do you know of any ducklings with gray feathers like mine?" But
everyone shook their heads in scorn.

"We don't know anyone as ugly as you." The ugly duckling did not lose heart, however, and kept
on making inquiries. He went to another pond, where a pair of large geese gave him the same
answer to his question. What's more, they warned him: "Don't stay here! Go away! It's
dangerous. There are men with guns around here!" The duckling was sorry he had ever left the

Then one day, his travels took him near an old countrywoman's cottage. Thinking he was a stray
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goose, she caught him.

"I'll put this in a hutch. I hope it's a female and lays plenty of eggs!" said the old woman, whose
eyesight was poor. But the ugly duckling laid not a single egg. The hen kept frightening him.

"Just wait! If you don't lay eggs, the old woman will wring your neck and pop you into the pot!"
And the cat chipped in: "Hee! Hee! I hope the woman cooks you, then I can gnaw at your bones!"
The poor ugly duckling was so scared that he lost his appetite, though the old woman kept
stuffing him with food and grumbling: "If you won't lay eggs, at least hurry up and get plump!"

"Oh, dear me!" moaned the now terrified duckling. "I'll die of fright first! And I did so hope
someone would love me!"

Then one night, finding the hutch door ajar, he escaped. Once again he was all alone. He fled as
far away as he could, and at dawn, he found himself in a thick bed of reeds. "If nobody wants
me, I'll hid here forever." There was plenty a food, and the duckling began to feel a little
happier, though he was lonely. One day at sunrise, he saw a flight of beautiful birds wing
overhead. White, with long slender necks, yellow beaks and large wings, they were migrating

"If only I could look like them, just for a day!" said the duckling, admiringly. Winter came and
the water in the reed bed froze. The poor duckling left home to seek food in the snow. He
dropped exhausted to the ground, but a farmer found him and put him in his big jacket pocket.

"I'll take him home to my children. They'll look after him. Poor thing, he's frozen!" The duckling
was showered with kindly care at the farmer's house. In this way, the ugly duckling was able to
survive the bitterly cold winter.

However, by springtime, he had grown so big that the farmer decided: "I'll set him free by the
pond!" That was when the duckling saw himself mirrored in the water.

"Goodness! How I've changed! I hardly recognize myself!" The flight of swans winged north
again and glided on to the pond. When the duckling saw them, he realized he was one of
their kind, and soon made friends.

"We're swans like you!" they said, warmly. "Where have you been hiding?"

"It's a long story," replied the young swan, still astounded. Now, he swam majestically with his
fellow swans. One day, he heard children on the river bank exclaim: "Look at that young swan!
He's the finest of them all!"

And he almost burst with happiness.

                                  The Wise Little Girl
                         Illustrates the intelligence of a little girl who easily settles a dispute in

                         Once upon a time in the immense Russian steppe, lay a little village
                         where nearly all the inhabitants bred horses. It was the month of
                         October, when a big livestock market was held yearly in the main town.
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Two brothers, one rich and the other one poor, set off for market. The rich man rode a stallion,
and the poor brother a young mare.

At dusk, they stopped beside an empty hut and tethered their horses outside, before going to
sleep themselves on two heaps of straw. Great was their surprise, when, next morning they saw
three horses outside, instead of two. Well, to be exact the newcomer was not really a horse. It
was a foal, to which the mare had given birth during the night. Soon it had the strength to
struggle to its feet, and after a drink of its mother's milk, the foal staggered its first few
steps. The stallion greeted it with a cheerful whinny, and when the two brothers set eyes on it
for the first time, the foal was standing beside the stallion.

"It belongs to me!" exclaimed Dimitri, the rich brother, the minute he saw it. "It's my stallion's
foal." Ivan, the poor brother, began to laugh.

"Whoever heard of a stallion having a foal? It was born to my mare!"

"No, that's not true! It was standing close to the stallion, so it's the stallion's foal. And
therefore it's mine!" The brothers started to quarrel, then they decided to go to town and
bring the matter before the judges. Still arguing, they headed for the big square where the
courtroom stood. But what they didn't know was that it was a special day, the day when, once a
year, the Emperor himself administered the law. He himself received all who came seeking
justice. The brothers were ushered into his presence, and they told him all about the dispute.

Of course, the Emperor knew perfectly well who was the owner of the foal. He was on the point
of proclaiming in favor of the poor brother, when suddenly Ivan developed an unfortunate
twitch in his eye. The Emperor was greatly annoyed by this familiarity by a humble peasant, and
decided to punish Ivan for his disrespect. After listening to both sides of the story, he
declared it was difficult, indeed impossible, to say exactly who was the foal's rightful owner.
And being in the mood for a spot of fun, and since he loved posing riddles and solving them as
well, to the amusement of his counselors, he exclaimed.

"I can't judge which of you should have the foal, so it will be awarded to whichever of you
solves the following four riddles: what is the fastest thing in the world? What is the fattest?
What's the softest and what is the most precious? I command you to return to the palace in a
week's time with your answers!" Dimitri started to puzzle over the answers as soon as he left
the courtroom. When he reached home, however, he realized he had nobody to help him.

"Well, I'll just have to seek help, for if I can't solve these riddles, I'll lose the foal!" Then he
remembered a woman, one of his neighbors, to whom he had once lent a silver ducat. That had
been some time ago, and with the interest, the neighbor now owed him three ducats. And since
she had a reputation for being quick-witted, but also very astute, he decided to ask her advice,
in exchange for canceling part of her debt. But the woman was not slow to show how astute she
really was, and promptly demanded that the whole debt be wiped out in exchange for the

"The fastest thing in the world is my husband's bay horse," she said. "Nothing can beat it! The
fattest is our pig! Such a huge beast has never been seen! The softest is the quilt I made for
the bed, using my own goose's feathers. It's the envy of all my friends. The most precious thing
in the world is my three-month old nephew. There isn't a more handsome child. I wouldn't
exchange him for all the gold on earth, and that makes him the most precious thing on earth!"

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Dimitri was rather doubtful about the woman's answers being correct. On the other hand, he
had to take some kind of solution back to the Emperor. And he guessed, quite rightly, that if he
didn't, he would be punished.

In the meantime, Ivan, who was a widower, had gone back to the humble cottage where he lived
with his small daughter. Only seven years old, the little girl was often left alone, and as a result,
was thoughtful and very clever for her age. The poor man took the little girl into his confidence,
for like his brother, he knew he would never be able to find the answers by himself.
The child sat in silence for a moment, then firmly said.

"Tell the Emperor that the fastest thing in the world is the cold north wind in winter. The
fattest is the soil in our fields whose crops give life to men and animals alike, the softest thing
is a child's caress and the most precious is honesty."

The day came when the two brothers were to return before the Emperor. They were led into
his presence. The Emperor was curious to hear what they had to say, but he roared with
laughter at Dimitri's foolish answers. However, when it was Ivan's turn to speak, a frown spread
over the Emperor's face. The poor brother's wise replies made him squirm, especially the last
one, about
honesty, the most precious thing of all. The Emperor knew perfectly well that he had been
dishonest in his dealings with the poor brother, for he had denied him justice. But he could not
bear to admit it in front of his own counselors, so he angrily demanded:

"Who gave you these answers?" Ivan told the Emperor that it was his small daughter. Still
annoyed, the great man said.

"You shall be rewarded for having such a wise and clever daughter. You shall be awarded the
foal that your brother claimed, together with a hundred silver ducats... But... but..." and the
Emperor winked at his counselors.

"You will come before me in seven days' time, bringing your daughter. And since she's so clever,
she must appear before me neither naked nor dressed, neither on foot nor on horseback,
neither bearing gifts nor empty-handed. And if she does this, you will have your reward. If not,
you'll have your head chopped off for your impudence!"

The onlookers began to laugh, knowing that the poor man would never to able to fulfill the
Emperor's conditions. Ivan went home in despair, his eyes brimming with tears. But when he had
told his daughter what had happened, she calmly said.

"Tomorrow, go and catch a hare and a partridge. Both must be alive! You'll have the foal and the
hundred silver ducats! Leave it to me!" Ivan did as his daughter said. He had no idea what the
two creatures were for, but he trusted in his daughter's wisdom.

On the day of the audience with the Emperor, the palace was thronged with bystanders, waiting
for Ivan and his small daughter to arrive. At last, the little girl appeared, draped in a fishing
net, riding the hare and holding the partridge in her hand. She was neither naked nor dressed,
on foot or on horseback. Scowling, the Emperor told her.

"I said neither bearing gifts nor empty-handed!" At these words, the little girl held out the
partridge. The Emperor stretched out his hand to grasp it, but the bird fluttered into the air.
The third condition had been fulfilled. In spite of himself, the Emperor could not help admiring

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the little girl who had so cleverly passed such a test, and in a gentler voice, he said.

"Is your father terribly poor, and does he desperately need the foal."

"Oh, yes!" replied the little girl. "We live on the hares he catches in the rivers and the fish he
picks from the trees!"

"Aha!" cried the Emperor triumphantly. "So you're not as clever as you seem to be! Whoever
heard of hares in the river and fish in the trees! To which the little girl swiftly replied.

"And whoever heard of a stallion having a foal?" At that, both Emperor and Court burst into
peals of laughter. Ivan was immediately given his hundred silver ducats and the foal, and the
Emperor proclaimed.

"Only in my kingdom could such a wise little girl be born!"

                                       Three Little Pigs
                          It teaches the small lesson, hard work pays off

once upon a time there were three little pigs, who left their parents to see the world.

                                            All summer long, they roamed through the woods and
                                            over the plains, playing games and having fun. None
                                            were happier than the three little pigs, and they
                                            easily made friends with everyone. Wherever they
                                            went, they were given a warm welcome, but as summer
                                            drew to a close, they realized that all drifting back to
                                            their usual jobs, and preparing for winter. Autumn
                                            came and it began to rain. The three little pigs
started to feel they needed a real home. Sadly, they knew that the fun was over now and they
must set to work like the others, or they'd be left in the cold and rain, with no roof over their
heads. They talked about what to do, but each decided for himself. The laziest little pig said
he'd build a straw hut.

"It will only take a day,' he said. The others disagreed.

"It's too fragile," they said but he refused to listen.
Not quite so lazy, the second little pig went in search of planks of seasoned wood.
It took him two days to nail them together.
But the third little pig did not like the wooden house.” It takes time, patience and hard work to
build a house that is strong enough to stand up to wind, rain, and snow, and most of all, protect
us from the wolf!"

The days passed, and the wisest little pig's house took shape, brick by brick. From time to time,
his brothers visited him, saying,
"Why are you working so hard? Why don't you come and play?" But the stubborn bricklayer pig
just said "no".
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"I shall finish my house first. It must be strong. And then I'll come and play!" he said.” He who
laughs last, laughs longest!"

Now, it was the wisest little pig that found the tracks of a big wolf in the neighborhood.

The little pigs rushed home in alarm. Along came the wolf, scowling fiercely at the laziest pig's
straw hut.

"Come out!" ordered the wolf, his mouth watering. I want to speak to you!"

"I'd rather stay where I am!" replied the little pig in a tiny voice.

"I'll make you come out!" growled the wolf angrily, and puffing out his chest, he took a very
deep breath. Then he blew with all his might, right onto the house. And all the straw the silly
pig had heaped against some thin poles fell down. Excited by his own cleverness, the wolf did
not notice that the little pig had slipped out from underneath the heap of straw, and was
dashing towards his brother's wooden house. When he realized that the little pig was escaping,
the wolf grew wild with rage.

"Come back!" he roared, trying to catch the pig as he ran into the wooden house.

"I hope this house won't fall down! Let's lean against the door so he can't break in!" said the
little pig to his brother.

Outside, the wolf could hear the little pigs' words. Starving as he was, at the idea of a two
course meal, he rained blows on the door.

"Open up! Open up! I only want to speak to you!"

Inside, the two brothers wept in fear and did their best to hold the door fast against the blows.
Then the furious wolf braced himself a new effort: he drew in a really enormous breath, and
went ... WHOOOOO! The wooden house collapsed like a pack of cards.

Luckily, the wisest little pig had been watching the scene from the window of his own brick
house, and he rapidly opened the door to his fleeing brothers. Soon after, the wolf came
hammering furiously on the door. This time, the wolf had grave doubts. This house had a much
more solid air than the others. He blew once, he blew again and then for a third time but all in
vain. For the house did not budge an inch. The three little pigs watched him and their fear
began to fade. Quite exhausted by his efforts, the wolf decided to try one of his tricks. He
scrambled up a nearby ladder, on to the roof to have a look at the chimney. However, the wisest
little pig had seen this ploy, and he quickly said.

"Quick! Light the fire!" With his long legs thrust down the chimney, the wolf was not sure if he
should slide down the black hole. It wouldn't be easy to get in, but the sound of the little pigs'
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voices below only made him feel hungrier.

"I'm dying of hunger! I'm going to try and get down." And he let himself drop. But landing was
rather hot, too hot! The wolf landed in the fire.

The flames licked his hairy coat and his tail became a flaring torch.

“Never again will I go down a chimney" he squealed, as he tried to put out the flames in his tail.
Then he ran away as fast as he could.

Then the three happy little pigs, dancing round and round the yard, began to sing. "Tra-la-
la!Tra-la-la! The wicked black wolf will never come back...!"

From that terrible day on, the wisest little pig's brothers set to work with a will. In less than no
time, up went the two new brick houses. The wolf did return once to roam in the neighborhood,
but when he caught sight of three chimneys, he remembered the terrible pain of a burnt tail,
and he left for good.

Now safe and happy, the wisest little pig called to his brothers. "No more work! Come on, let's
go and play!"

                              Thumbelina (Little Tiny)
                The famous story of Thumbelina, the girl of the size of a thumb

There was once a woman who wished very much to have a little child, but she could not obtain
her wish. At last she went to a witch, and said, "I should so very much like to have a little child;
can you tell me where I can find one?"

"Oh, that can be easily managed," said the witch. "Here is a barleycorn of a different kind to
those which grow in the farmer's fields, and which the chickens eat; put it into a flower-pot,
and see what will happen."

                         "Thank you," said the woman, and she gave the witch twelve shillings,
                         which was the price of the barleycorn. Then she went home and planted
                         it, and immediately there grew up a large handsome flower, something
                         like a tulip in appearance, but with its leaves tightly closed as if it were
                         still a bud. "It is a beautiful flower," said the woman, and she kissed
                         the red and golden colored leaves, and while she did so the flower
                         opened, and she could see that it was a real tulip. Within the flower,
upon the green velvet stamens, sat a very delicate and graceful little maiden. She was scarcely
half as long as a thumb, and they gave her the name of "Thumbelina," or Tiny, because she was
so small. A walnut shell, elegantly polished, served her for a cradle; her bed was formed of blue
violet-leaves, with a roseleaf for a counterpane.

Here she slept at night, but during the day she amused herself on a table, where the woman had
placed a plateful of water. Round this plate were wreaths of flowers with their stems in the
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water, and upon it floated a large tulip-leaf, which served Tiny for a boat. Here the little
maiden sat and rowed herself from side to side, with two oars made of white horsehair. It
really was a very pretty sight. Tiny could, also, sing so softly and sweetly that nothing like her
singing had ever before been heard. One night, while she lay in her pretty bed, a large, ugly, wet
toad crept through a broken pane of glass in the window, and leaped right upon the table where
Tiny lay sleeping under her roseleaf quilt. "What a pretty little wife this would make for my son,
said the toad, and she took up the walnut-shell in which little Tiny lay asleep, and jumped
through the window with it into the garden.

In the swampy margin of a broad stream in the garden lived the toad, with her son. He was
uglier even than his mother, and when he saw the pretty little maiden in her elegant bed, he
could only cry, "Croak, croak, croak."

"Don't speak so loud, or she will wake," said the toad, "and then she might run away, for she is
as light as swan's down. We will place her on one of the water-lily leaves out in the stream; it
will be like an island to her, she is so light and small, and then she cannot escape; and, while she
is away, we will make haste and prepare the state-room under the marsh, in which you are to live
when you are married."

Far out in the stream grew a number of water lilies, with broad green leaves, which seemed to
float on the top of the water. The largest of these leaves appeared farther off than the rest,
and the old toad swam out to it with the walnut-shell, in which little Tiny lay still asleep. The
tiny little creature woke very early in the morning, and began to cry bitterly when she found
where she was, for she could see nothing but water on every side of the large green leaf, and no
way of reaching the land. Meanwhile the old toad was very busy under the marsh, decking her
room with rushes and wild yellow flowers, to make it look pretty for her new daughter-in-law.
Then she swam out with her ugly son to the leaf on which she had placed poor little Tiny. She
wanted to fetch the pretty bed, that she might put it in the bridal chamber to be ready for her.
The old toad bowed low to her in the water, and said, "Here is my son, he will be your husband,
and you will live happily in the marsh by the stream."

"Croak, croak, croak," was all her son could say for himself; so the toad took up the elegant
little bed, and swam away with it, leaving Tiny all alone on the green leaf, where she sat and
wept. She could not bear to think of living with the old toad, and having her ugly son for a
husband. The little fishes, who swam about in the water beneath, had seen the toad, and heard
what she said, so they lifted their heads above the water to look at the little maiden. As soon
as they caught sight of her, they saw she was very pretty, and it made them very sorry to think
that she must go and live with the ugly toads. "No, it must never be!" so they assembled
together in the water, round the green stalk which held the leaf on which the little maiden
stood, and gnawed it away at the root with their teeth. Then the leaf floated down the stream,
carrying Tiny far away out of reach of land.

Tiny sailed past many towns, and the little birds in the bushes saw her, and sang, "What a lovely
little creature;" so the leaf swam away with her farther and farther, till it brought her to other
lands. A graceful little white butterfly constantly fluttered round her, and at last alighted on
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the leaf. Tiny pleased him, and she was glad of it, for now the toad could not possibly reach her,
and the country through which she sailed was beautiful, and the sun shone upon the water, till it
glittered like liquid gold. She took off her girdle and tied one end of it round the butterfly, and
the other end of the ribbon she fastened to the leaf, which now glided on much faster than
ever, taking little Tiny with it as she stood. Presently a large cockchafer flew by; the moment
he caught sight of her, he seized her round her delicate waist with his claws, and flew with her
into a tree. The green leaf floated away on the brook, and the butterfly flew with it, for he was
fastened to it, and could not get away.

Oh, how frightened little Tiny felt when the cockchafer flew with her to the tree! But
especially was she sorry for the beautiful white butterfly which she had fastened to the leaf,
for if he could not free himself he would die of hunger. But the cockchafer did not trouble
himself at all about the matter. He seated himself by her side on a large green leaf, gave her
some honey from the flowers to eat, and told her she was very pretty, though not in the least
like a cockchafer. After a time, all the cockchafers turned up their feelers, and said, "She has
only two legs! How ugly that looks." "She has no feelers," said another. "Her waist is quite slim.
Pooh! She is like a human being."

"Oh! She is ugly," said all the lady cockchafers, although Tiny was very pretty. Then the
cockchafer who had run away with her, believed all the others when they said she was ugly, and
would have nothing more to say to her, and told her she might go where she liked. Then he flew
down with her from the tree, and placed her on a daisy, and she wept at the thought that she
was so ugly that even the cockchafers would have nothing to say to her. And all the while she
was really the loveliest creature that one could imagine, and as tender and delicate as a
beautiful roseleaf.

During the whole summer poor little Tiny lived quite alone in the wide forest. She wove herself a
bed with blades of grass, and hung it up under a broad leaf, to protect herself from the rain.
She sucked the honey from the flowers for food, and drank the dew from their leaves every
morning. So passed away the summer and the autumn, and then came the winter,- the long, cold
winter. All the birds who had sung to her so sweetly were flown away, and the trees and the
flowers had withered. The large cloverleaf under the shelter of which she had lived, was now
rolled together and shriveled up, nothing remained but a yellow withered stalk.

She felt dreadfully cold, for her clothes were torn, and she was herself so frail and delicate,
that poor little Tiny was nearly frozen to death. It began to snow too; and the snowflakes, as
they fell upon her, were like a whole shovelful falling upon one of us, for we are tall, but she was
only an inch high. Then she wrapped herself up in a dry leaf, but it cracked in the middle and
could not keep her warm, and she shivered with cold. Near the wood in which she had been living
lay a cornfield, but the corn had been cut a long time; nothing remained but the bare dry
stubble standing up out of the frozen ground. It was to her like struggling through a large wood.
Oh! How she shivered with the cold. She came at last to the door of a field mouse, who had a
little den under the corn-stubble. There dwelt the field mouse in warmth and comfort, with a
whole roomful of corn, a kitchen, and a beautiful dining room. Poor little Tiny stood before the
door just like a little beggar-girl, and begged for a small piece of barleycorn, for she had been
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without a morsel to eat for two days.

"You poor little creature," said the field-mouse, who was really a good old field-mouse, "come
into my warm room and dine with me." She was very pleased with Tiny, so she said, "You are
quite welcome to stay with me all the winter, if you like; but you must keep my rooms clean and
neat, and tell me stories, for I shall like to hear them very much." And Tiny did all the field
mouse asked her, and found herself very comfortable.

"We shall have a visitor soon," said the field-mouse one day; "my neighbor pays me a visit once a
week. He is better off than I am; he has large rooms, and wears a beautiful black velvet coat. If
you could only have him for a husband, you would be well provided for indeed. But he is blind, so
you must tell him some of your prettiest stories.

But Tiny did not feel at all interested about this neighbor, for he was a mole. However, he came
and paid his visit dressed in his black velvet coat.

"He is very rich and learned, and his house is twenty times larger than mine," said the field

He was rich and learned, no doubt, but he always spoke slightingly of the sun and the pretty
flowers, because he had never seen them. Tiny was obliged to sing to him, "Lady-bird, lady-bird,
fly away home," and many other pretty songs. And the mole fell in love with her because she had
such a sweet voice; but he said nothing yet, for he was very cautious. A short time before, the
mole had dug a long passage under the earth, which led from the dwelling of the field mouse to
his own, and here she had permission to walk with Tiny whenever she liked. But he warned them
not to be alarmed at the sight of a dead bird which lay in the passage. It was a perfect bird,
with a beak and feathers, and could not have been dead long, and was lying just where the mole
had made his passage. The mole took a piece of phosphorescent wood in his mouth, and it
glittered like fire in the dark; then he went before them to light them through the long, dark

When they came to the spot where lay the dead bird, the mole pushed his broad nose through
the ceiling, the earth gave way, so that there was a large hole, and the daylight shone into the
passage. In the middle of the floor lay a dead swallow, his beautiful wings pulled close to his
sides, his feet and his head drawn up under his feathers; the poor bird had evidently died of
the cold. It made little Tiny very sad to see it, she did so love the little birds; all the summer
they had sung and twittered for her so beautifully. But the mole pushed it aside with his
crooked legs, and said, "He will sing no more now. How miserable it must be to be born a little
bird! I am thankful that none of my children will ever be birds, for they can do nothing but cry,
'Tweet, tweet,' and always die of hunger in the winter."

"Yes, you may well say that, as a clever man!" exclaimed the field-mouse, "What is the use of his
twittering, for when winter comes he must either starve or be frozen to death. Still birds are
very high bred."

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Tiny said nothing; but when the two others had turned their backs on the bird, she stooped
down and stroked aside the soft feathers which covered the head, and kissed the closed eyelids.
"Perhaps this was the one who sang to me so sweetly in the summer," she said; "and how much
pleasure it gave me, you dear, pretty bird."

The mole now stopped up the hole through which the daylight shone, and then accompanied the
lady home. But during the night Tiny could not sleep; so she got out of bed and wove a large,
beautiful carpet of hay; then she carried it to the dead bird, and spread it over him; with some
down from the flowers which she had found in the field-mouse's room. It was as soft as wool,
and she spread some of it on each side of the bird, so that he might lie warmly in the cold earth.
"Farewell, you pretty little bird," said she, "farewell; thank you for your delightful singing
during the summer, when all the trees were green, and the warm sun shone upon us. Then she
laid her head on the bird's breast, but she was alarmed immediately, for it seemed as if
something inside the bird went "thump, thump." It was the bird's heart; he was not really dead,
only benumbed with the cold, and the warmth had restored him to life.

In autumn, all the swallows fly away into warm countries, but if one happens to linger, the cold
seizes it, it becomes frozen, and falls down as if dead; it remains where it fell, and the cold
snow covers it. Tiny trembled very much; she was quite frightened, for the bird was large, a
great deal larger than herself,- she was only an inch high. But she took courage, laid the wool
more thickly over the poor swallow, and then took a leaf which she had used for her own
counterpane, and laid it over the head of the poor bird. The next morning she again stole out to
see him. He was alive but very weak; he could only open his eyes for a moment to look at Tiny,
who stood by holding a piece of decayed wood in her hand, for she had no other lantern. "Thank
you, pretty little maiden," said the sick swallow; "I have been so nicely warmed, that I shall soon
regain my strength, and be able to fly about again in the warm sunshine."

"Oh," said she, "it is cold out of doors now; it snows and freezes. Stay in your warm bed; I will
take care of you."

Then she brought the swallow some water in a flower-leaf, and after he had drank, he told her
that he had wounded one of his wings in a thorn-bush, and could not fly as fast as the others,
who were soon far away on their journey to warm countries. Then at last he had fallen to the
earth, and could remember no more, nor how he came to be where she had found him. The whole
winter the swallow remained underground, and Tiny nursed him with care and love. Neither the
mole nor the field mouse knew anything about it, for they did not like swallows. Very soon the
springtime came, and the sun warmed the earth. Then the swallow bade farewell to Tiny, and
she opened the hole in the ceiling which the mole had made. The sun shone in upon them so
beautifully, that the swallow asked her if she would go with him; she could sit on his back, he
said, and he would fly away with her into the green woods. But Tiny knew it would make the
field-mouse very grieved if she left her in that manner, so she said, "No, I cannot."

"Farewell, then, farewell, you good, pretty little maiden," said the swallow; and he flew out into
the sunshine.

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Tiny looked after him, and the tears rose in her eyes. She was very fond of the poor swallow.

"Tweet, tweet," sang the bird, as he flew out into the green woods, and Tiny felt very sad. She
was not allowed to go out into the warm sunshine. The corn which had been sown in the field
over the house of the field mouse had grown up high into the air, and formed a thick wood to
Tiny, who was only an inch in height.

"You are going to be married, Tiny," said the field mouse. "My neighbor has asked for you. What
good fortune for a poor child like you. Now we will prepare your wedding clothes. They must be
both woolen and linen. Nothing must be wanting when you are the mole's wife."

Tiny had to turn the spindle, and the field mouse hired four spiders, who were to weave day and
night. Every evening the mole visited her, and was continually speaking of the time when the
summer would be over. Then he would keep his wedding-day with Tiny; but now the heat of the
sun was so great that it burned the earth, and made it quite hard, like a stone. As soon, as the
summer was over, the wedding should take place. But Tiny was not at all pleased; for she did not
like the tiresome mole. Every morning when the sun rose, and every evening when it went down,
she would creep out at the door, and as the wind blew aside the ears of corn, so that she could
see the blue sky, she thought how beautiful and bright it seemed out there, and wished so much
to see her dear swallow again. But he never returned; for by this time he had flown far away
into the lovely green forest.

When autumn arrived, Tiny had her outfit quite ready; and the field mouse said to her, "In four
weeks the wedding must take place."

Then Tiny wept, and said she would not marry the disagreeable mole.

"Nonsense," replied the field mouse. "Now don't be obstinate, or I shall bite you with my white
teeth. He is a very handsome mole; the queen herself does not wear more beautiful velvets and
furs. His kitchen and cellars are quite full. You ought to be very thankful for such good

So the wedding-day was fixed, on which the mole was to fetch Tiny away to live with him, deep
under the earth, and never again to see the warm sun, because he did not like it. The poor child
was very unhappy at the thought of saying farewell to the beautiful sun, and as the field mouse
had given her permission to stand at the door, she went to look at it once more.

"Farewell bright sun," she cried, stretching out her arm towards it; and then she walked a short
distance from the house; for the corn had been cut, and only the dry stubble remained in the
fields. "Farewell, farewell," she repeated, twining her arm round a little red flower that grew
just by her side. "Greet the little swallow from me, if you should see him again."

"Tweet, tweet," sounded over her head suddenly. She looked up, and there was the swallow
himself flying close by. As soon as he spied Tiny, he was delighted; and then she told him how
unwilling she felt to marry the ugly mole, and to live always beneath the earth, and never to see
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the bright sun any more. And as she told him she wept.

"Cold winter is coming," said the swallow, "and I am going to fly away into warmer countries. Will
you go with me? You can sit on my back, and fasten yourself on with your sash. Then we can fly
away from the ugly mole and his gloomy rooms,- far away, over the mountains, into warmer
countries, where the sun shines more brightly- than here; where it is always summer, and the
flowers bloom in greater beauty. Fly now with me, dear little Tiny; you saved my life when I lay
frozen in that dark passage."

"Yes, I will go with you," said Tiny; and she seated herself on the bird's back, with her feet on
his outstretched wings, and tied her girdle to one of his strongest feathers.

Then the swallow rose in the air, and flew over forest and over sea, high above the highest
mountains, covered with eternal snow. Tiny would have been frozen in the cold air, but she crept
under the bird's warm feathers, keeping her little head uncovered, so that she might admire
the beautiful lands over which they passed. At length they reached the warm countries, where
the sun shines brightly, and the sky seems so much higher above the earth. Here, on the hedges,
and by the wayside, grew purple, green, and white grapes; lemons and oranges hung from trees
in the woods; and the air was fragrant with myrtle and orange blossoms. Beautiful children ran
along the country lanes, playing with large gay butterflies; and as the swallow flew farther and
farther, every place appeared still more lovely.

At last they came to a blue lake, and by the side of it, shaded by trees of the deepest green,
stood a palace of dazzling white marble, built in the olden times. Vines clustered round its lofty
pillars, and at the top were many swallows' nests, and one of these was the home of the swallow
who carried Tiny.

"This is my house," said the swallow; "but it would not do for you to live there- you would not be
comfortable. You must choose for yourself one of those lovely flowers, and I will put you down
upon it, and then you shall have everything that you can wish to make you happy."

"That will be delightful," she said, and clapped her little hands for joy.

A large marble pillar lay on the ground, which, in falling, had been broken into three pieces.
Between these pieces grew the most beautiful large white flowers; so the swallow flew down
with Tiny, and placed her on one of the broad leaves. But how surprised she was to see in the
middle of the flower, a tiny little man, as white and transparent as if he had been made of
crystal! He had a gold crown on his head, and delicate wings at his shoulders, and was not much
larger than Tiny herself. He was the angel of the flower; for a tiny man and a tiny woman dwell
in every flower; and this was the king of them all.

"Oh, how beautiful he is!" whispered Tiny to the swallow.

The little prince was at first quite frightened at the bird, who was like a giant, compared to
such a delicate little creature as himself; but when he saw Tiny, he was delighted, and thought
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her the prettiest little maiden he had ever seen. He took the gold crown from his head, and
placed it on hers, and asked her name, and if she would be his wife, and queen over all the

This certainly was a very different sort of husband to the son of a toad, or the mole, with my
black velvet and fur; so she said, "Yes," to the handsome prince. Then all the flowers opened,
and out of each came a little lady or a tiny lord, all so pretty it was quite a pleasure to look at
them. Each of them brought Tiny a present; but the best gift was a pair of beautiful wings,
which had belonged to a large white fly and they fastened them to Tiny's shoulders, so that she
might fly from flower to flower. Then there was much rejoicing, and the little swallow who sat
above them, in his nest, was asked to sing a wedding song, which he did as well as he could; but
in his heart he felt sad for he was very fond of Tiny, and would have liked never to part from
her again.

"You must not be called Tiny any more," said the spirit of the flowers to her. "It is an ugly name,
and you are so very pretty. We will call you Maia."

"Farewell, farewell," said the swallow, with a heavy heart as he left the warm countries to fly
back into Denmark. There he had a nest over the window of a house in which dwelt the writer of
fairy tales. The swallow sang, "Tweet, tweet," and from his song came the whole story.

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