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  The Goose-Girl [Grimm's Fairy Stories] An old queen, whose husband had been dead some years, had a beautiful daughter. When she grew u...

 

The Goose-Girl [Grimm's Fairy Stories]

The Goose-Girl [Grimm's Fairy Stories]

An old queen, whose husband had been dead some years, had a beautiful daughter. When she grew up, she was betrothed to a prince who lived a great way off; and as the time drew near for her to be married, she got ready to set off on her journey to his country. Then the queen, her mother, packed up a great many costly things—jewels, and gold, and silver, trinkets, fine dresses, and in short, everything that became a royal bride; for she loved her child very dearly; and she gave her a waiting-maid to ride with her, and give her into the bridegroom's hands; and each had a horse for the journey. Now the princess' horse was called Falada, and could speak.

  The Magic Fiddle [Hindu Tales Retold] IN India there once lived a sister and seven brothers. The brothers were all married, and their wive...

 

The Magic Fiddle [Hindu Tales Retold]

The Magic Fiddle [Hindu Tales Retold]

IN India there once lived a sister and seven brothers. The brothers were all married, and their wives were older and stronger than the sister, but nevertheless this one poor little girl had all the cooking, cleaning, and serving to do for all seven brothers and all their seven wives as well. 

Even this would not have been so hard to endure if they had been kind to her. But her brothers cared nothing for her, for she was only a girl; and her brothers' wives hated her all the more, because she worked so hard for them and yet never complained. 

" Why cannot the stupid thing say something, at least, w r hen I slap her?" cried the oldest wife. 

“Isn't it vexing," sighed the second wife, "to have to endure such patience? I am fairly sick from it." 

Then the third wife, the big, fat one, burst into tears, and sobbed, "You don't know what I suffer at her hands! Why, just this morning, when I pinched her for letting my rice get cold, all she could do was to smile and say, 'I am so sorry.' Why, you have no idea how nervous I am getting from such things."

So one and all decided that they really could not stand her any more, and would have to find some way to get rid of her before they all became ill because of her and her ways. 

"Couldn't we push her into the well?" asked wife number four. 

“Better put a cobra into her bed, to bite her," said the fifth wife. 

"No, that wouldn't do, for it might bite us," said number six. 

Then little number seven, with the big, big eyes, squealed, "Oh, I know! I know what to do! We must set the Bonga on her."

The Magic Fiddle [Hindu Tales Retold]

"Oh, yes, the Bonga!" they all cried.

 Then someone said, "Ssh! Ssh!" and all else was spoken in whispers. 

That noon when the little sister went to the well to draw water it dried up before her eyes. "Oh, what evil thing have I done, that the water should dry up before my eyes?" she cried. 

No sooner had she said this than the water slowly began to rise again. When it had risen to her ankles she tried to fill her pitcher, but it would not go under the water. 

Then she cried to her brothers, "Oh, my brothers, the water rises to my ankles; still, my brothers, the pitcher will not fill!" 

The water continued to rise until it was even with her knees, when she began to wail again, "Oh, my brothers, the water rises to my knees; still, my brothers, the pitcher will not fill!" 

The water continued to rise, and when it reached her neck she cried, "Oh, my brothers, the water rises to my neck; still, my brothers, the pitcher will not fill!" 

The water kept on rising and rising and rising, until it was over her head, and then she called again, "Oh, my brothers, the water measures a man's height; now, my brothers, the pitcher begins to fill." 

The pitcher filled with water and sank, and with it sank the little sister, and was drowned. Then the Bonga changed her into a Bonga like himself, and carried her off. 

A tall bamboo growing near a spring now became her home. The bamboo grew and grew, until it was much larger than any of the others around the spring. A Yogi saw it, and said to himself, "I'll cut down that huge bamboo and make a fine fiddle of it." 

So he started to cut it with his ax, close to the root, but the bamboo called out, 'Don't cut me at the root! Cut higher up!" 

The Magic Fiddle [Hindu Tales Retold]

He started to cut the bamboo near the top, but the top cried out, "Don't cut me near the top! Cut lower down!" 

Again he tried to cut near the root, but the root cried out, "Don't cut me near the root! Cut higher!" 

At that the Yogi became angry and cut the tree down near the root and made a fine fiddle out of it. It was a wonderful fiddle, and when any one played on it all who heard the music said, 'That sounds just like a girl singing!" and all who heard it longed to hear it again. 

The Yogi went from village to village playing, and everywhere people came in crowds to hear the wonderful fiddle that sounded just like a girl singing. They came to hear it once, and they came to hear it twice, gladly paying any price the fiddler asked, for the music was sweet to their ears.

At last the Yogi became very rich, and very vain, for he thought the people gave so much money to hear his playing instead of the singing voice. In fact, it made him angry to see how much the people loved the wonderful fiddle, and he became most unkind to it, though it, alone, had made his fortune. 

One evening he was playing before the palace of a Prince. The music became sadder and more beautiful than usual, and the singing voice in the fiddle seemed to say, "O Prince, save me from this unkind Yogi!" 

Of course no one but the Prince heard and understood the words, but he at once knew that the fiddle must be a magic one so he called the Yogi into the palace. 

The Magic Fiddle [Hindu Tales Retold]

"What makes this wonderful music, friend Yogi?" asked the Prince. "Is it the cunning of your hand, or is there some magic in the fiddle?” 

The Yogi bowed very low, and answered, 'I hate to admit it, dear Prince, but I must say that the wonderful music is all in my hand. This fiddle is really a very poor affair, and it takes great skill to make any music sound sweet upon it." 

"You are very sure of that?" asked the Prince. 

"Most noble Prince, take from me all that I own if I am not telling you the truth. Really, the fiddle is scarcely worth carrying about at all, but I've nothing better." 

The Magic Fiddle [Hindu Tales Retold]

"Then, my most wonderful Yogi, let me present you with my finest fiddle. What music we shall now hear! But just leave the old fiddle here with me, since it is so poor a one." 

"O best of Princes, how kind you are! But I really couldn't part with that old fiddle, even if it is so worthless, I have carried it so long and am so used to it. I'll take both." 

Just then the Prince heard, very plainly, a soft, sweet song coming from the fiddle. No one was touching the strings, but the song was sweet- ness itself, and seemed to say, "Oh, save me, save me, kind Prince!"

So he said to the Yogi, "If the music is really in your hand, as you say it is, then you are better off with the fine new fiddle I have given you. If, as I believe, you are lying to me, and the music is really in this magic fiddle which you so despise, then I have the right to take anything of yours that I wish, for you just said that I might if you lied to me. Whatever you do, and wherever you go, this old fiddle will stay here with me." 

The Magic Fiddle [Hindu Tales Retold]

The Yogi turned and ran away as fast as he could, taking, of course, the new fiddle, but he never again earned any money by playing, for now no one cared to hear him. 

The Prince took the magic fiddle to his own chamber and stood it in a safe place. In the morning, when he awakened, he found a bowl of steaming rice beside his bed. It was really the best rice he ever had tasted, but he wondered how it came there. That evening, when he returned, there sat another bowl of rice, and also a large dish of sweetmeats. "Someone certainly is my friend," he thought, "but who can it be?" 

The Magic Fiddle [Hindu Tales Retold]

In the morning, when he found his breakfast all ready for him and steaming hot, he determined to watch and see who was so kind to him. He watched and listened all day, but nothing happened until the sun was beginning to sink. Then he heard a soft rustling near him. The top of the fiddle lifted, and out slipped a beautiful girl. She quickly cooked rice and prepared sweetmeats, set them under the head of his bed, and was just slipping back into the fiddle again when he sprang out and caught her. 

"Now you won't have to live in that fiddle any longer and be a Bonga. You shall be my Princess," he said. 

Then how glad she was! 'T was worth being drowned and then living in a bamboo and finally in a fiddle, to have, at last, so kind a husband and so beautiful a home.

The Magic Fiddle [Hindu Tales Retold]

  The Wonderful Garden Of Dreams [Hindu Tales Retold] IN a city in India lived a little girl who had no name. Her mother died when she was j...

 

The Wonderful Garden Of Dreams [Hindu Tales Retold]

The Wonderful Garden Of Dreams [Hindu Tales Retold]

IN a city in India lived a little girl who had no name. Her mother died when she was just a baby, before there was time for her to be named, and her father well, when he wanted to speak to her he just shouted, 'You, there," and she always obeyed him, so that seemed to be name enough. 

As she grew older he found plenty for her to do. Early in the morning she had to get up to milk the cow, clean and polish everything in the house, and prepare breakfast for her father. If there were more than he wished to eat, little You There could have what was left. After that she had to take the cows of the village out to pasture and watch to keep them from wandering away. When the sun was straight above her she returned to her home and prepared dinner for her father, then went again to the fields to care for the cows. At sunset the tired girl re- turned with the cows to finish her work at home. 

The Wonderful Garden Of Dreams [Hindu Tales Retold]

Finally she became so worn out with all this work that she asked her father to bring home a wife to do the work of the house. The father brought home a new wife, just as she asked, but, dear me! what a poor sort of a wife she was! She was big and fat and lazy. She ate enough for three people, and wouldn't even drive the flies off her own food, much less prepare the meals for other people. So poor little You There had twice as much work to do as before. 

It was very hot out in the fields, too, for there were no trees near this village, not even a bush, nothing but the long grass. In fact, the people of that village hardly knew what a tree looked like, for only the men who had traveled far away to other towns had ever seen one. The poor little girl had to stay out in the hot sun all day, watching the cows, with nothing at all to shade her. No wonder that she grew very tired and sometimes fell fast asleep. 

One day she fell asleep and dreamed such a pleasant dream. She was sitting in a beautiful garden full of tall, feathery palms and spreading mango trees, and with a lovely fountain splashing its cool waters in the center. But something writhing and squirming in her lap awakened her. It was a huge spotted snake. Ugh! How it wriggled and slipped! 

She was just about to scream and run away, when she saw that the snake was in trouble, and she was sorry for even a snake who needed help. So she asked gently, "What do you want, poor snake? Can I help you?" 

"Yes," said the snake, "the hunters are after me and will kill me. Will you let me coil myself about your feet so that your skirt will hide me until they have gone away?" 

The Wonderful Garden Of Dreams [Hindu Tales Retold]

Now this little girl didn't like cold, crawling, slimy things coiling about her feet any better than you or I would, but she was very kind- hearted and did not want to see even a horrid spotted snake killed, so she said, "Well, coil around quickly, and please, oh, please lie very still and don't squirm one bit, and I'll promise to hide you until they are gone." 

The snake had no sooner hidden than the hunters came. "Have you seen a big spotted snake going this way?" they asked. 

“I was asleep," said the little girl. "The sun was hot, and I was tired. I just woke up, but I don't see any snake here now." So, the hunters went on, thinking the snake was ahead of them. 

After they were gone the snake came out and said, "Little girl, I want to make you a gift as a reward for saving my life. Ask the finest thing you can think of, for I can give you anything." 

'There are just two things I should like to have," said the girl. "One is a name, something besides You There, which I don't like at all; the other is a beautiful garden, full of tall palm and mango trees, with a lovely fountain splashing its cool waters in the center. I really think I'd rather have the garden, for this sun is so very hot." 

"All right," said the snake. "A garden you shall have, a wonderful Garden of Dreams, the most beautiful one possible. You shall have the name, too, but that will come later. Just close your eyes one moment." 

She closed her eyes, and what the snake did then I'll never tell you, but when he said, "Open," she opened her eyes to see the garden of her dreams. 

How cool and pleasant it was in the shade of the tall palm tree, with a fountain, tinkling like a silver bell, in the center of the garden! 

The Wonderful Garden Of Dreams [Hindu Tales Retold]

Just then she noticed the cows were straying away, so she hopped up and ran after them. Then what do you think became of the garden? Why, it hopped up and ran along, too. Really, it did -that beautiful garden full of tall palm and mango trees, with the lovely fountain splashing its cool waters in the center. The tallest palm tree ran right along beside the little girl. Its cool shade covered her every movement, and when she was ready to sit down, there was her beautiful garden with her, and she could rest in its shade. 

When the sun had set and she drove the cows home to the village her garden went with her, and waited all night just outside her door, and the fountain tinkled her a song while she slept. 

One day, as she was sleeping under her palm tree, the great King from a distant city chanced to be riding that way. He was tired, and he was hot, and he was thirsty, and when he saw the cool shade of the trees and heard the tinkle of falling water he cried to his men, "See, here is a garden, as lovely as one in a dream, and the only one in all this treeless land. Dismount, tie your elephants and camels, and rest while I sleep in the shade of this mango tree." 

The King slept, and he awoke to find his mango tree running away and pushing him along as it ran. The palm tree ran, the mango tree ran, the fountain ran; the elephants bellowed and the camels grunted, but they ran also, all after one stray cow. When the little girl, under the tallest palm tree, had driven the cow back to the other cows, she sat down and the beautiful garden settled into quiet again. 

The Wonderful Garden Of Dreams [Hindu Tales Retold]

Then the great King spoke to the little girl, and will you believe it, he called her by a beautiful new name Aramacobha, which means "Wonderful Garden of Dreams" -so at last she had a name, just as the snake had said. The King asked her about her wonderful garden, and she told him all about the snake and how he came to give the garden to her. 

The more the King saw of the garden the better and better he liked it, and he wanted it and the little girl for his own. So he asked her to come to his palace with him and be his Queen, and share her wonderful Garden of Dreams with him always.

 When they reached the palace of the great King the garden sat down outside the door of the palace, just under the windows of the new Queen Aramacobha, and the little fountain tinkled her a song all through the day and all through the night.

The Wonderful Garden Of Dreams [Hindu Tales Retold]



  The Frogs Desiring A King [Aesop's Fables] The Frogs were living as happy as could be in a marshy swamp that just suited them; they we...

 

The Frogs Desiring A King [Aesop's Fables]

The Frogs Desiring A King [Aesop's Fables]

The Frogs were living as happy as could be in a marshy swamp that just suited them; they went splashing about caring for nobody and nobody troubling with them. But some of them thought that this was not right, that they should have a king and a proper constitution, so they determined to send up a petition to Jove to give them what they wanted. "Mighty Jove," they cried, "send unto us a king that will rule over us and keep us in order." Jove laughed at their croaking, and threw down into the swamp a huge Log, which came down splashing into the swamp. The Frogs were frightened out of their lives by the commotion made in their midst, and all rushed to the bank to look at the horrible monster; but after a time, seeing that it did not move, one or two of the boldest of them ventured out towards the Log, and even dared to touch it; still it did not move. Then the greatest hero of the Frogs jumped upon the Log and commenced dancing up and down upon it, thereupon all the Frogs came and did the same; and for some time the Frogs went about their business every day without taking the slightest notice of their new King Log lying in their midst. But this did not suit them, so they sent another petition to Jove, and said to him, "We want a real king; one that will really rule over us." Now this made Jove angry, so he sent among them a big Stork that soon set to work gobbling them all up. Then the Frogs repented when too late.

Better no rule than cruel rule.


The Frogs Desiring A King [Aesop's Fables]

  The Swallow And The Other Birds [Aesop's Fables] It happened that a Countryman was sowing some hemp seeds in a field where a Swallow a...

 

The Swallow And The Other Birds [Aesop's Fables]


The Swallow And The Other Birds [Aesop's Fables]

It happened that a Countryman was sowing some hemp seeds in a field where a Swallow and some other birds were hopping about picking up their food. "Beware of that man," quoth the Swallow. "Why, what is he doing?" said the others. "That is hemp seed he is sowing; be careful to pick up every one of the seeds, or else you will repent it." The birds paid no heed to the Swallow's words, and by and by the hemp grew up and was made into cord, and of the cords nets were made, and many a bird that had despised the Swallow's advice was caught in nets made out of that very hemp. "What did I tell you?" said the Swallow.

"Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin."


  The Story Of Blondine, Bonne-biche, And Beau-minon [Old French Fairy Tales] BLONDINE T here was once a king called Benin. He wa...



 The Story Of Blondine, Bonne-biche, And Beau-minon [Old French Fairy Tales]

T here was once a king called Benin. He was good and all the world loved him; he was just and the wicked feared him. His wife, the Queen Doucette, was also good, and much beloved.

This happy pair had a daughter called the Princess Blondine, because of her superb fair hair, and she was as amiable and charming as her father the king and her mother the queen.

Unfortunately, the poor queen died a short time after the birth of Blondine and for a long time the king wept bitterly at his great loss. Blondine was too young to understand her mother's death: she did not weep but continued to laugh, to play and to sleep peacefully. The king loved her tenderly and she loved him more than all the world. He gave his little daughter the most beautiful jewels, the finest bonbons, and the most rare and delicious fruits. Blondine was very happy.

The Ugly Duckling [Hans Christian Andersen] In the lovely country it was summer-time. The cornfields were ripe. The oats were green. The hay...

The Ugly Duckling [Hans Christian Andersen]

The Ugly Duckling [Hans Christian Andersen]

In the lovely country it was summer-time. The cornfields were ripe. The oats were green. The hay stood in its tall stacks, and the storks Walked about on their long red legs.

Yes, it was a fair, fair country. In the midst of all this beauty and sunshine there stood an old farm with deep canals around it. Near the water was a high wall with bushes growing tall; it was like a deep wood among those bushes and there, upon her nest, sat a duck to hatch her young ones. '

Day after day she kept at her task and ere the little ones came she was very tired. She was lonely too for no one came to see her. The other ducks would rather swim on the canals than talk to her.

But at last one of the eggs cracked. How eagerly the duck now watched her nest! Another and an- other egg did the same.

"Peep! Peep!" cried each little duck as it put forth a soft, downy, yellow head.

And "What a big, big world!" they all exclaimed, for surely the nest was larger than the egg shell.

"Do you think that this is all the world?" asked the proud mother. "Why, this is not much! The world runs way up there across the garden. I have never been so far, but it is quite true for all that."

"Now are you all here?" she asked as she carefully looked about. "No. That large egg is still not hatched. How long is that to last, I wonder?"

But she sat down again.

"How goes it?" asked an old Duck who had heard the news about the new family and had waddled down to see for herself.

"This one egg lasts a very long time," replied the patient mother. "It will not burst. But just look at the little ducks! Are they not sweet? They all look exactly like their father, the dears! But he, the bad fellow, does not come to see me."

"Let me see the egg that will not burst," said the old Duck. "Ah, it is a turkey egg! I was once fooled that way. I had great trouble, for turkeys are afraid of the water. They will never venture on it. You had better leave that egg and go and teach your other children how to swim."

"I'll stay a little longer," answered the mother. "I have sat so long that a few more days now will not matter."

"Just as you please," said the old Duck coldly as she walked off.

At last the egg burst.

"Peep! Peep!" said the little one, and out it crept from the shell.

It was very ugly.

"It is not like the others!" wailed the mother. "Can it be a turkey chick? We will soon find out. It shall go into the water if I have to push it in!"

The next day was bright and fair. The mother duck went early to the pond with all her little ones, and it was indeed a pretty sight.

"Splash!" into the water she went.

''Quack! Quack!" she called. That meant ''Come! Come!" as every one of the little ducks knew and in they followed one after the other. The water closed over them — but what did they care? Their legs went as easily as could be. It was great sport!

And the ugly little duck was there too, swimming with the rest.

"It is not a turkey chick!" exulted the mother duck. "It is my very own child. And if you look at it the right way it is not very ugly. Come, my dears, I will take you to the barnyard and show you the great world. Now keep close to me. Some one might tread on you. And look out for cats!"

There was a hot battle going on in the barnyard. Two parties were fighting desperately for a fish's head, and in the end the cat got it all.

"That's the way of the world!" cried the mother duck, and she sharpened her beak. Ah! how she wanted the fish head!

''Use your legs!" she commanded her family. ''Hurry about and bow your heads to the old Duck over there. She's the grandest of them all. She has Spanish blood in her, and that is why she is so fat. And do you see that she has a red rag around her leg? That is something fine — the greatest thing a duck can have. It means that her owner does not want to lose her. Don't turn in your toes! A well-bred duck always turns them out like father and mother. Now bend your necks and say 'Rap!’”

And they did so; but the other ducks cried coldly:

''Were there not enough ducks here without all these? And look at that ugly one over there! We won't stand that!" and one flew up and bit the poor little gray thing in the neck!

"Oh, shame!" cried out the mother duck. "She is doing no harm!"

"But she's too large and queer," cried the duck who had bitten it, "and so we will tease her!"

Just then the old duck with the rag on her leg said slowly: "Those are pretty children that the mother has there, all but one; that one is a failure. I wish she could make it pretty like the rest."

"That I cannot do, my lady," said the poor mother. "She is not pretty but she is very sweet, and she swims just as well as the others. She may grow pretty," and she smoothed its feathers.

The Ugly Duckling [Hans Christian Andersen]

Well, your other children are graceful. Make yourself at home and the next fish head you see, take it. But do not eat it — you may bring it to me!"

Soon after they went home, and all along the way the ugly duckling was pushed and hurt and jeered.

That was the first day. And as time went on things steadily grew worse and worse.

Her own brothers and sisters were cruel to her and at every turn she was made to suffer. Even her mother wished that the ugly child was far away. As she grew big she flew over the fence, and the little birds were afraid of her. If she went into the barnyard the girl who fed the fowls kicked her with her foot.

 ''It is because I am so very ugly," cried the poor little thing in despair, and one day she flew away to the wild ducks who lived out on the wide moor. Here she lay sad and tired.

When the wild ducks saw her, they said, "What sort of a duck are you.?"

And then when the poor thing tried to make a bow as best she could, they only jeered at her effort to be polite.

''You are very ugly," they laughed, "but we do not mind if you do not marry into our family."

Marry! Poor little duckling, she had not thought of such a thing. She only wanted to find a home where she could rest and have a quiet drink from the river.

So she stayed two days. Then a pair of very saucy ganders came by. They were young and wanted to have a good time.

"You are so ugly that Ave like you," said they. "Will you come with us and be a bird that flies from place to place? Near here there are some lovely wild geese. We are quite sure that one of them would say 'Rap!' to you if you asked one to marry you."

 “Piff! Paff !" a shot rang out. One of the young ganders fell dead.

"Paff! Piff !" spoke another gun. And the second saucy young gander fell as the first.

A great hunt was going on. The water was red with blood. The ugly duckling had never been so frightened. She put her head under her wing, and when she had gathered enough courage to look out again, what do you think she saw?

A frightful great dog, with his tongue hanging far out!

He tried to snap at her, but she knew the land was no place for her. Into the water she went, and the dog ran on.

“I am so ugly," cried she, "that even the dog runs away!"

So she lay still at the water's edge, hidden by some over- hanging bushes. She listened intently as the shots grew further and further apart. Finally they ceased altogether. When she had assured herself that the hunt was really over, she climbed up the bank and walked sadly on. The sun sank lower and lower in the west. Another day was almost done. When it had dipped below the horizon and even the last of its beautiful afterglow had faded and night was indeed near the ugly duckling came to a poor hut. She saw that the one door stood partly open. With the night there had come a storm and as the wind was blowing wildly, the duckling crept into the hovel to find both shelter and rest.

Now in this poor hut there lived a woman with her cat and her hen. The cat she called Sonnie! He could arch his back, and he could purr, and he could make sparks fly from his eyes.

The hen had short legs but a long name. The woman called her Chick-a-biddy-short-shanks. And as she laid good eggs and many of them, the woman loved her as her own child.

Now when the cat and the hen saw the poor duckling the cat purred and the hen clucked.

The old woman could not see very well, and for a time she did not see the duck. When she did she was glad for, as she had no duck of her own, she thought it was quite a prize.

But the hen and the cat did not like to have anyone share their home, selfish creatures that they were, and were so cross that the duckling sat lonely enough in her corner.

One day she longed so to have a swim that she told the hen all about it.

"What a queer thought!" scoffed the hen. "If you had more to do you would not have time to be thinking of such silly things."

"But it is lovely to swim on the water," insisted the duckling. "It is fine to dive down to the bottom."

 "You must be crazy," replied the hen. "I am sure you are crazy. At any rate, you had better ask the cat about it. He is the wisest creature I know roundabout here. Ask him if he likes to swim on the water. Ask the old woman;' I do not think they would care to go diving down to the bottom of the water."

''You don't know what I mean!" cried the duck- ling in despair.

''No, we do not," answered the hen. "But who does, pray? You had better be thankful you have enough food and a warm home, and stop talking so silly."

"I think I will go away," at last the duckling thought, "away into the great wide world."

And she went. She soon found the water and swam and dived. Oh, it was good! But it was the same story— every bird and beast hurt her, or was afraid of her.

Then came the autumn. The leaves fell. The clouds hung gray and low. At last the snowflakes whirled through the chill air.

One day as the sun was setting there came a great flock of splendid birds out of the bushes. They were pure white with long necks; they were swans.

They gave a long, low cry, spread out their beautiful strong wings and flew away to warmer lands.

So high, so high they went! And the ugly duck- ling felt very queer as she watched them go. She turned round and round in the water, and then she too gave a long, low cry. It almost made her afraid, that cry she uttered.

She could not forget the lovely white birds, and she knew that soon she would see them no more.

She dived to the bottom of the river, and when she came up she was almost beside herself with grief. She knew not the name of the wonderful birds, nor where they had gone, but she did know that she loved them every one.

She did not envy them. She could not be like them. But oh! she loved them. Poor little ugly duckling!

The winter grew cold! The duckling had to swim around a great deal to keep the water from freezing in the river. But in spite of all her efforts each night the hole in which she swam grew smaller and smaller and smaller. She had to keep her legs going all the time until at last, quite worn out with her efforts, she sat still and the water froze about her. But early in the morning a man passing by saw the poor duckling and he broke the ice and carried her to his home. The children wanted to play with her but that made her afraid and she flew into the milk pan and the flour. At which the mother struck at her with a stick and that made her still more afraid. But just then the door was flung open. The poor duckling flew out and dropped half dead upon the snow.

 I will not try to tell you how dreadful that long, cold winter was to the poor duckling. It would make your hearts far too sad to hear.

Then spring came. The sun shone warm, the larks sang as they pierced the sky, and the duckling could flap her weak wings.

Each day her wings grew stronger and soon, without knowing just how it happened, she found herself in a lovely garden where bright flowers blossomed and shed their perfume on the warm air, and a canal ran nearby.

This was fine indeed! And then one day there came three dear white swans and they swam on the canal.

The duckling knew them. Had she not thought of them every day the long winter through? She said sadly, "I will fly to them and tell them how I suffer. They may kill me because I am so very ugly, but I do not care. I would far rather die than be beaten and left to live another winter."

The duckling flew out on the canal and the three swans saw it and came with spread wings.

''Kill me!" cried the poor duckling as she bent her head.

What did she see? She saw herself in the water, and lo! no longer was she a gray ugly duckling, hateful to look upon — she was a swan!

It did not matter if she were born in a duck yard; she had come out of a swan egg. The swans came nearer, and touched her with their beaks. Into the garden came some little children and they threw bread to the swans. The youngest child cried, "There is a new swan!" and all the rest shouted, "Yes, a new one, and it is the sweetest of all! So young! So pretty!" 

She was so happy she did not know what to do; all the old trouble was gone and from her glad heart she cried, ''I never dreamed of so much joy when I was an ugly duckling!"


  The Ass And The Lapdog [Aesop's Fables] A Farmer one day came to the stables to see to his beasts of burden: among them was his favour...

 

The Ass And The Lapdog [Aesop's Fables]


The Ass And The Lapdog [Aesop's Fables]

A Farmer one day came to the stables to see to his beasts of burden: among them was his favourite Ass, that was always well fed and often carried his master. With the Farmer came his Lapdog, who danced about and licked his hand and frisked about as happy as could be. The Farmer felt in his pocket, gave the Lapdog some dainty food, and sat down while he gave his orders to his servants. The Lapdog jumped into his master's lap, and lay there blinking while the Farmer stroked his ears. The Ass, seeing this, broke loose from his halter and commenced prancing about in imitation of the Lapdog. The Farmer could not hold his sides with laughter, so the Ass went up to him, and putting his feet upon the Farmer's shoulder attempted to climb into his lap. The Farmer's servants rushed up with sticks and pitchforks and soon taught the Ass that .

Clumsy jesting is no joke.


  The Lion And The Mouse [Aesop's Fables] Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and down upon him; this soon waken...

 

The Lion And The Mouse [Aesop's Fables]

The Lion And The Mouse [Aesop's Fables]

Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and down upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him. "Pardon, O King," cried the little Mouse: "forgive me this time, I shall never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these days?" The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted up his paw and let him go. Some time after the Lion was caught in a trap, and the hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a waggon to carry him on. Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts. "Was I not right?" said the little Mouse.

Little friends may prove great friends.

  The Sick Lion [Aesop's Fables] A Lion had come to the end of his days and lay sick unto death at the mouth of his cave, gasping for br...

 

The Sick Lion [Aesop's Fables]


The Sick Lion [Aesop's Fables]

A Lion had come to the end of his days and lay sick unto death at the mouth of his cave, gasping for breath. The animals, his subjects, came round him and drew nearer as he grew more and more helpless. When they saw him on the point of death they thought to themselves: "Now is the time to pay off old grudges." So the Boar came up and drove at him with his tusks; then a Bull gored him with his horns; still the Lion lay helpless before them: so the Ass, feeling quite safe from danger, came up, and turning his tail to the Lion kicked up his heels into his face. "This is a double death," growled the Lion.

Only cowards insult dying majesty.


  The Fox And The Crow [Aesop's Fables] A Fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tre...

 

The Fox And The Crow [Aesop's Fables]

The Fox And The Crow [Aesop's Fables]

A Fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree. "That's for me, as I am a Fox," said Master Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree. "Good-day, Mistress Crow," he cried. "How well you are looking to-day: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds." The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox. "That will do," said he. "That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I will give you a piece of advice for the future .

"Do not trust flatterers."


The Fox And The Crow [Aesop's Fables]

  The Town Mouse And The Country Mouse [Aesop's Fables] Now you must know that a Town Mouse once upon a time went on a visit to his cous...

 

The Town Mouse And The Country Mouse [Aesop's Fables]

The Town Mouse And The Country Mouse [Aesop's Fables]

Now you must know that a Town Mouse once upon a time went on a visit to his cousin in the country. He was rough and ready, this cousin, but he loved his town friend and made him heartily welcome. Beans and bacon, cheese and bread, were all he had to offer, but he offered them freely. The Town Mouse rather turned up his long nose at this country fare, and said: "I cannot understand, Cousin, how you can put up with such poor food as this, but of course you cannot expect anything better in the country; come you with me and I will show you how to live. When you have been in town a week you will wonder how you could ever have stood a country life." No sooner said than done: the two mice set off for the town and arrived at the Town Mouse's residence late at night. "You will want some refreshment after our long journey," said the polite Town Mouse, and took his friend into the grand dining-room. There they found the remains of a fine feast, and soon the two mice were eating up jellies and cakes and all that was nice. Suddenly they heard growling and barking. "What is that?" said the Country Mouse. "It is only the dogs of the house," answered the other. "Only!" said the Country Mouse. "I do not like that music at my dinner." Just at that moment the door flew open, in came two huge mastiffs, and the two mice had to scamper down and run off. "Good-bye, Cousin," said the Country Mouse, "What! going so soon?" said the other. "Yes," he replied;

"Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear."


  The Man And The Serpent [Aesop's Fables] A Countryman's son by accident trod upon a Serpent's tail, which turned and bit him s...

 

The Man And The Serpent Aesop's Fables

The Man And The Serpent [Aesop's Fables]

A Countryman's son by accident trod upon a Serpent's tail, which turned and bit him so that he died. The father in a rage got his axe, and pursuing the Serpent, cut off part of its tail. So the Serpent in revenge began stinging several of the Farmer's cattle and caused him severe loss. Well, the Farmer thought it best to make it up with the Serpent, and brought food and honey to the mouth of its lair, and said to it: "Let's forget and forgive; perhaps you were right to punish my son, and take vengeance on my cattle, but surely I was right in trying to revenge him; now that we are both satisfied why should not we be friends again?"

"No, no," said the Serpent; "take away your gifts; you can never forget the death of your son, nor I the loss of my tail."

Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.

 The Clever Wife There was a man, he was called Friedel, and his young wife, she was called Kotti. Newly wedded they were, these two, and ha...



 The Clever Wife

There was a man, he was called Friedel, and his young wife, she was called Kotti. Newly wedded they were, these two, and had just set up housekeeping on a farm of their own.

Said Friedel one day, “Now I’m off to the fields, Kotti. When I return I shall expect to find some meat on the table for my hunger, and a cool drink beside it for my thirst.”

“But the meat is raw, Friedel!” said the young wife who had not yet learned to cook and who was none too bright besides.

“Raw it is, to be sure,” said Friedel. “You must cook it.”

“But how, Friedel?” asked Kotti.

“That’s easy enough,” said Friedel. “Just sprinkle it with salt and pepper, put it in a pan with some butter, then lay it in among the coal, and soon it will be roasted fine and brown. Now I’m off to my ploughing, Kotti-girl, and don’t forget to do what I told you.”

  TOM THUMB Long ago, in the merry days of good King Arthur, there lived a ploughman and his wife. They were very poor, but would have bee...

 

TOM THUMB

Long ago, in the merry days of good King Arthur, there lived a ploughman and his wife. They were very poor, but would have been contented and happy if only they could have had a little child. One day, having heard of the great fame of the magician Merlin, who was living at the Court of King Arthur, the wife persuaded her husband to go and tell him of their trouble. Having arrived at the Court, the man besought Merlin with tears in his eyes to give them a child, saying that they would be quite content even though it should be no bigger than his thumb. Merlin determined to grant the request, and what was the countryman's astonishment to find when he reached home that his wife had a son, who, wonderful to relate, was no bigger than his father's thumb!

The parents were now very happy, and the christening of the little fellow took place with great ceremony. The Fairy Queen, attended by all her company of elves, was present at the feast. She kissed the little child, and, giving it the name of Tom Thumb, told her fairies to fetch the tailors of her Court, who dressed her little godson according to her orders. His hat was made of a beautiful oak leaf, his shirt of a fine spider's web, and his hose and doublet were of thistledown, his stockings were made with the rind of a delicate green apple, and the garters were two of the finest little hairs imaginable, plucked from his mother's eyebrows, while his shoes were made of the skin of a little mouse. When he was thus dressed, the Fairy Queen kissed him once more, and, wishing him all good luck, flew off with the fairies to her Court.

  THE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS Once upon a time there was an old Sow with three little Pigs, and as she had not enough to keep them,...

 

THE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS

Once upon a time there was an old Sow with three little Pigs, and as she had not enough to keep them, she sent them out to seek their fortune.

The first that went off met a Man with a bundle of straw, and said to him, "Please, Man, give me that straw to build me a house"; which the Man did, and the little Pig built a house with it. Presently came along a Wolf, and knocked at the door, and said, "Little Pig, little Pig, let me come in."

To which the Pig answered, "No, no, by the hair of my chinny chin chin."

"Then I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in!" said the Wolf. So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew his house in, and ate up the little Pig.

The second Pig met a Man with a bundle of furze, and said, "Please, Man, give me that furze to build a house"; which the Man did, and the Pig built his house. Then along came the Wolf and said, "Little Pig, little Pig, let me come in."

"No, no, by the hair of my chinny chin chin."

  THE STORY OF THE THREE BEARS Once upon a time there were Three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own, in a wood. One of them...

 


THE STORY OF THE THREE BEARS

Once upon a time there were Three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own, in a wood. One of them was a Little, Small, Wee Bear; and one was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great, Huge Bear. They had each a pot for their porridge; a little pot for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized pot for the Middle Bear, and a great pot for the Great, Huge Bear. And they had each a chair to sit in; a little chair for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized chair for the Middle Bear, and a great chair for the Great, Huge Bear. And they had each a bed to sleep in; a little bed for the Little, Small, Wee Bear; and a middle-sized bed for the Middle Bear, and a great bed for the Great, Huge Bear.

THE GOLDEN GOOSE There was once a man who had three sons, the youngest of whom was called the Simpleton. He was laughed at and despised an...



THE GOLDEN GOOSE

There was once a man who had three sons, the youngest of whom was called the Simpleton. He was laughed at and despised and neglected on all occasions. Now it happened one day that the eldest son wanted to go into the forest, to hew wood, and his Mother gave him a beautiful cake and a bottle of wine to take with him, so that he might not suffer from hunger or thirst. When he came to the wood he met a little old grey man, who, bidding him good-day, said: "Give me a small piece of the cake in your wallet, and let me drink a mouthful of your wine; I am so hungry and thirsty." But the clever son answered: "If I were to give you my cake and wine, I should have none for myself, so be off with you," and he left the little man standing there, and walked away. Hardly had he begun to hew down a tree, when his axe slipped and cut his arm, so that he had to go home at once and have the wound bound up. This was the work of the little grey man.

The Wolf And The Crane [Aesop's Fables] A Wolf had been gorging on an animal he had killed, when suddenly a small bone in the meat stu...

The Wolf And The Crane [Aesop's Fables]


The Wolf And The Crane [Aesop's Fables]

A Wolf had been gorging on an animal he had killed, when suddenly a small bone in the meat stuck in his throat and he could not swallow it. He soon felt terrible pain in his throat, and ran up and down groaning and groaning and seeking for something to relieve the pain. He tried to induce every one he met to remove the bone. "I would give anything," said he, "if you would take it out." At last the Crane agreed to try, and told the Wolf to lie on his side and open his jaws as wide as he could. Then the Crane put its long neck down the Wolf's throat, and with its beak loosened the bone, till at last it got it out.

"Will you kindly give me the reward you promised?" said the Crane.

The Wolf grinned and showed his teeth and said: "Be content. You have put your head inside a Wolf's mouth and taken it out again in safety; that ought to be reward enough for you."

Gratitude and greed go not together.