Книжка містить цікаві за змістом казки і легенди народів світу, які мають пізнавальне і виховне значення. Лексичний матеріал в основному співвідноситься з підручниками. Для полегшення читання і розуміння прочитаного в книжці дано посторінкові примітки і невеликий словник.
STORIES AND LEGENDS
LITTLE DOG SNIP
Snip is a little dog. He lives in a little dog-house.
Snip says, "I want to run, I want to play". And he runs out of his house. He runs in the street and sees a little kitten.
"Bow, wow", he says. The little kitten runs from him. Snip runs after the cat. "Bow, wow," he says. "This is good. I am big. The little kitten is afraid of me".
Snip runs and runs. He meets three little chicks. "Bow, wow," he says. The little chicks run from him. Snip runs after the chicks. "Bow, wow", he says. "This is good. I am big and strong. The little chicks run from me". And Snip runs and runs. Then he meets Mother Hen. "Bow, wow", he says. But Mother Hen is not afraid of Snip. She docs not run from him. She runs after Snip. "Bow, wow", says Snip. "This is not good. I am not very big. I am not very strong. I am afraid of Mother Hen." And he runs back to his dog-house.
THEY COME TO VISIT LITTLE BUNNY
Little Bunny is a white rabbit. He has red eyes and long white ears. Little Bunny lives in a pretty little house. There is a large garden near it. There are many flowers in his garden. Little Bunny has many apple-trees, pear-trees and cherry-trees. There are many sweet apples, pears and cherries in his garden, and Little Bunny likes to give them to his friends. He has many friends and they like to visit him.
When Mrs. Goat comes to visit Little Bunny he gives her some apples.
When Mr. Pig comes to visit Little Bunny he gives him some pears.
When Mrs. Hen comes to visit him, Little Bunny gives her some cherries.
One day Miss Mouse comes to visit him. Little Bunny is very glad to see Miss Mouse and he gives her a nice sweet cherry.
"Thank you very much", says Miss Mouse and begins to eat the cherry.
Then Pussy comes to visit Little Bunny. Pussy is a big black cat with green eyes and a long tail. Little Bunny wants to give Pussy an apple. "I don't like apples", says Pussy.
Little Bunny gives Pussy a sweet yellow pear. "I don't like pears", says Pussy. Then he gives her some red ripe cherries. "I don't eat cherries, says Pussy again.
"Oh, Pussy, what can I give you?" asks Little Bunny.
"І see a nice grey mouse", says Pussy. "I think I can have it for my lunch". Little Bunny is very angry. "You are not good", he says. "You want to eat up my friend. Go away and never come to my house again". And Pussy goes away.
THE FRIENDS OF THE SUN
Every day the Sun shines in the sky. Every night the Moon shines in the sky. One day the Moon says to the Sun, "You are bright. You are brighter than І. But you are alone in the sky. I am not alone. There are many stars in the sky. They are my little friends. They twinkle and smile at me. They like me and I like them very much".
The bright Sun is very sad. He wants to have as many friends as the Moon.
One day Spring sees that the Sun is sad. "Why are you sad?" asks Spring.
"I am bright", says the Sun, "but I am alone in the sky. The Moon has many friends. The stars are the Moon's friends".
"Well, І can help you," says Spring. "You will have many friends and they will love you very much".
Next morning when the Sun rises in the sky he sees many bright yellow flowers everywhere. They grow in the streets, they grow in the yards, they grow in the parks and in the gardens.
They are called dandelions. The Sun loves them and they open when the Sun shines.
THE FOX AND THE CROW
A Crow once sits in a tree. She has a large piece of cheese in her beak. She wants to eat it, but suddenly she sees a Fox. The Fox comes up to the tree. He looks up and sees the Crow. He sees the cheese also. The Fox wants to get the cheese. He looks at the Crow and says:
"How pretty you are, Mrs. Crow! What beautiful eyes you have! What a pity you cannot sing".
The Crow opens her beak and says:
"I can sing. Car-r! Car-r!"
When the Crow opens her beak, the piece of cheese falls out. The Fox runs up to the cheese and quickly eats it up.
"Thank you very much", says the Fox. "The cheese is good and you sing well. But it's very bad for you that you don't think well".
And the Fox runs away.
THE TURNIP IS BACK
It is winter. It is very cold. The White Rabbit has nothing to eat. He opens the door of his house. Oh, how cold it is!
"But I must get something to eat", says the White Rabbit. He runs to the field to look for some food.
In the field he sees two turnips. The White Rabbit is very happy.
"Two turnips!" he cries. "How good!"
The White Rabbit pulls out the two turnips. He eats one of the turnips but he does not eat the other. He says,
"It is winter. I think the Donkey has nothing to eat. I must take this turnip to him".
The White Rabbit runs to the Donkey's house. The Donkey is not at home. The White Rabbit comes into the house, puts the turnip on the table and runs home.
The Donkey is in the field at this time. He is hungry and wants to get something to eat. He looks round and sees some carrots. The Donkey is happy. He pulls out the carrots and goes home.
When the Donkey comes home and opens the door, he sees the turnip on the table.
"A turnip! Where does it come from?"
He looks at the turnip and says: "It is winter. I think the Lamb4 has nothing to eat. I must take the turnip to him".
The Donkey gees to the Lamb's house, But the Lamb is not at home. The Donkey opens the door, comes into the house, puts the turnip on the table and goes away.
The Lamb is in the field at this time. He is hungry and wants to get some food there. He looks round and sees a cabbage. He takes the cabbage and. goes home.
When the Lamb comes home and opens the door, he sees the turnip on the table. "A turnip! Where does it come from?" The Lamb sits down and eats his cabbage. He looks at the turnip and says, "It is winter now. I think the White Rabbit has nothing to eat. I must take the turnip to him".
The Lamb runs to the White Rabbit's house. The White Rabbit is in bed. He is asleep. The Lamb puts the turnip on the table and goes home.
In the morning the White Rabbit sees the turnip on the table.
"My turnip!" he cries. "My turnip is back! What good friends I have!"
THE MAGIC BASKET
A mother and her little son live in a little house. They are very poor. All they have is a grey goat.
One day the mother says, "We have no money, we have no bread. You must go and sell the goat." The boy takes the goat and goes to the town. He meets a farmer with a large basket in his hands. "Sell me your goat", says the farmer.
"What can you give me for it?" asks the boy.
"I can give you this basket", says the farmer.
"What good is this basket for me?". says the boy. "What can I put in it? I have no bread, I have no eggs, I have no apples!"
"My little girl is ill", says the farmer. "She must drink some milk from a grey goat every day or she will die".
The boy is kind. He is sorry for the little girl. He gives his goaf to the farmer, takes the basket and goes home.
When he comes home, he puts the basket on the table and shows it to his mother.
The mother looks at the basket and says, "What good is this basket for us, what can we put in it?"
But suddenly the basket says, "I am a magic basket". The basket jumps from the table and runs out of the house. When it comes back to the poor boy's house, it is full of good things. Now the mother and her boy have dinner.
Every morning the wonderful basket jumps from the table and runs out of the house. And every day it comes back full of good things. Now the mother and her boy have their breakfast, dinner and supper every day.
THE FOX IS DEAD
A fox and a wolf are friends. „One day the wolf says to the fox," am very hungry. I want to have a rabbit for dinner but rabbits run too quickly. I can never catch them".
"I know how to help you," says the fox. "A fat grey rabbit lives in that small house at the oak-tree. Let us ask magpies to chatter that I am dead l. I go home and get into bed. You must hide somewhere in my house. I am sure that the rabbit will come to see if I am dead. Then you will jump and catch him".
'The fox is dead, the fox is dead", chatter the magpies.
The rabbit wants to know if the fox is dead. But he does not want to go into the fox's house. He looks in through the window, and sees the fox on his bed. His eyes are shut, he looks like a dead fox.
The rabbit thinks, "I must see if the fox is dead or not. If he is not dead, he'll catch me when I go near to him".
He looks at the fox and says, "The magpies chatter that the fox is dead. But he does not look like a dead fox. Dead foxes always open their mouths".
The wily fox hears this, and he thinks, "I'll show the rabbit that I am dead". So he opens his mouth. Now the rabbit sees that the fox is not dead. He jumps up and runs away as fast as he can.
The fox and the wolf cannot catch him.
DOLLY AND THE PAIL OF MILK
Dolly worked on a farm. One day her mistress gave her a pail of milk and said to her, "Dolly, you can have a holiday today. Here is a pail of milk for you."
"Thank you," said Dolly. She was very glad to have a holiday. Then she asked, "May I sell the milk?"
"Yes, you may sell it, it is your milk", answered the mistress.
So Dolly pat the pail of milk on her head and walked to town.
She was happy. She had a lot of plans in her head.
"I shall sell the milk," she thought, "and I shall buy some eggs with the money. Then I shall take one of my mistress's hens and put it on the eggs. I shall soon have a lot of chicks. My chicks soon will be big and fat, and I shall sell them. I shall buy a pretty new dress with the money. I shall buy a nice red dress and a pair of red shoes. I shall be very beautiful in my new dress."
Dolly was very happy and she began to run and jump. And the pail of milk fell to the ground.
Dolly sat down on the grass and cried. She had no milk, no eggs, no chicks, no money, no pretty red dress and no red shoes.
THE FOX AND THE CRANE
One day a fox met a crane. "It will be fun to play a joke on the crane", he thought. The wily fox asked the crane to come to his house for supper.
The bird thanked the fox and they went together.
The fox had only thin soup e to eat, and he put the soup in a flat plate. The crane was a tall bird. She had a long neck and a long beak, so she could not eat from a flat plate. She tried again and again to eat the soup, but she could not get any. The wily fox watched the crane and laughed.
It was easy for the fox to lick up the thin soup from the plate. He ate all the soup and the crane went home hungry.
Next day the crane invited the fox to come to her house for supper. So the fox went to the crane's house. The crane had soup for supper too, but the soup was in a tall jar with a long neck. It was easy for the crane to put her beak into the jar, but the fox could not get at the soup. So the crane ate all her soup while the fox did not get a drop of it, and the crane ate the fox's soup too.
The wily fox ran home to find something to eat. The crane taught him a good lesson.
LITTLE RED HEN
Once upon a time Little Red Hen lived in a barn with her five chicks. A pig, a cat and a duck lived in the same barn. Each day Little Red Hen led her chicks out to look for food. But the pig, the cat and the duck did not look for food. They said, "We do not want to look for food. We like to sleep in the sun".
One day Little Red Hen found some corn.
"Who will sow this fine corn?" said she.
"Not I", said the pig.
"Not I", said the cat.
"Not Г, said the duck.
"Then I shall sow the corn and my five chicks will help me", said Little Red Hen. So Little Red Hen and her chicks sowed the corn.
Soon the corn was up. It was strong and green, but the weeds6 were strong too.
"Who will weed this corn?" said Little Red Hen,
"Not I", said the pig.
"Not I", said the cat.
"Not I", said the duck.
"Then I shall", said Little Red Hen, "and my five chicks will help me".
One day Little Red Hen saw that the corn was not green. It was yellow. It was ripe.
"It is time to cut down this corn"', said Little Red Hen. "Who will cut down the fine ripe corn?"
"Not I", said the pig.
"Not I", said the cat.
"Not I", said the duck.
"Then I shall", said Little Red Hen, "and my five chicks will help me".
And so they did. They cut down the ripe corn and put it into a bag. But the pig, the cat and the duck did not help them.
When the corn was in the bag Little Red Hen said, "Who will take this corn to the mill?"
"Not I", said the pig.
"Not I", said the cat.
"Not I", said the duck.
"Then I shall", said Little Red Hen. "I shall take it to the mill, and my five chicks will help me".
At last Little Red Hen began to make a cake. When it was made she said, "Who will help me to bake this cake?"
"Not I", said the pig.
"Not I", said the cat.
"Not I", said the duck.
So Little Red Hen and her five chicks had to bake the cake, too.
Soon there was a good smell of hot cake. The pig, the cat and the duck liked it very much. "Who will eat this cake?" said Little Red Hen.
"I shall eat the cake," said the pig.
"I shall eat the cake," said the cat.
"I shall eat the cake," said the duck.
"Oh, no, you will not," said Little Red Hen. "I shall eat this cake, and my five good little chicks will help me". And so they did.
An old man sowed a turnip seed. The rain fell, the sun shone, and the seed grew and grew into a very big turnip. One day the old man said, "I want to have my big turnip for supper". He went into the field to pull it out. He took it by the leaves and pulled and pulled, but he could not pull it out.
He called to his wife. She came and took hold of the old man, and the man pulled the turnip; and they pulled and pulled, but they could not pull the turnip out.
The woman called to her little grandson. The boy took hold of the woman, and the woman pulled the old man, and the old man pulled the turnip; and they pulled and pulled, but they could not pull it out.
The boy called to his dog. The dog took hold of the little boy and pulled the boy, and the boy pulled the woman, and the woman pulled the old man, and the old man pulled the turnip; and they pulled and pulled, but they could not pull it out.
Then their cat came up to them and took hold of the dog. The cat pulled the dog, and the dog pulled the boy, and the boy pulled the woman, and the woman pulled the old man, and the old man pulled the turnip; and they pulled and pulled, but they could not pull it out. The cat called to a little grey mouse. The mouse took hold of the cat's tail. The mouse pulled the cat, and the cat pulled the dog, and the dog pulled the boy, and the boy pulled the woman, and the woman pulled the old man, and the old man pulled the turnip. They pulled and pulled and pulled — and out came the turnip, and down they all fell on the ground.
They all had that big turnip for supper. The old man had a very big piece of the turnip, the woman had a big piece of the turnip, the boy had a piece of the turnip, the dog had a small piece of the turnip, the cat had a very small piece of the turnip, the mouse had the smallest piece of the turnip.
The turnip was very big and there was plenty left over for the next day and for the day after that.
HER FRIEND IS LOST
An ant once lived in a neat little cottage beside a corn field. Her name was Bit. A very dear friend called Pat lived with her. Bit swept the cottage and kept it clean, while Pat went out each day with a basket to find something for them to eat.
One day Pat did not come back. Bit sat down on a wooden chair and began to cry. "Oh dear, what can I do? Pat is lost, and I do not know what to do". A grasshopper heard her and said, "Poor little ant! Why do you sit on your chair and cry?".
Bit answered, "I cry because Pat is lost. She is my best friend. Now I do not know what to do'*.
"Then I shall cry too", said the grasshopper. So the grasshopper sat down and began to cry.
Soon the beetle passed that way. He heard them, and looked into the cottage. "Why do you cry?" asked the beetle. They answered, "Oh dear, what else can we do? Pat is lost and we are lost too".
"Is poor Pat lost?" said the beetle. "Then I shall cry too". So the beetle sat down with the ant and the grasshopper, and they all cried together.
Then a spider came. "Why do you all cry?" They answered all together, "Oh dear, what else can we do? Pat is lost and we are lost too.
"If Pat is lost", said the spider, "I shall cry too". The spider sat down beside them and began to cry. At this time a mouse came by. She saw all the friends crying together. So she asked, "Why do you all cry together?"
"Oh dear, what else can we do? Pat is lost and we are lost too".
"Nonsense", said the little mouse. "I saw Pat myself not long ago. She had so much in her basket that she could hardly walk. You had to look for her and help her to carry the basket. But you only cried and did nothing".
The mouse ran away. The ant, the grasshopper, the beetle and the spider stopped crying and went to meet Pat. They helped her to carry her heavy basket and were happy.
THE JACKAL AND THE TURTLE
Two storks lived beside a large lake. One day the first stork said to the second stork, "There are no more fish in this lake. There are no more frogs in the meadow. We must fly away to another lake". There was a turtle in the lake. The turtle said to the storks, "Take me with you to another lake. You are my friends and I don't want to part with you".
"How can we take you to another lake?" said the storks. "You can't fly".
"You are clever birds", said the turtle. "Please think of some plan to take me with you".
After a short time the storks said, "We have a plan, but you must not speak. If you open your mouth you will falldown".
Then the storks got a large stick. One stork took one end in his beak, and the other stork took the other end in his beak. The turtle took the middle of the stick in her mouth. The storks flew away with the stick and the turtle.
A jackal was walking in the fields. He looked up and saw the storks flying away with the turtle on the stick.
"What is this?" said the jackal in a loud voice. "That must be a bad animal and the storks are taking this bad animal away".
The turtle was angry. She wanted to say "I am not a bad animal". She opened her mouth and ... fell down to the ground. The two storks flew away.
The jackal ran to the turtle. He had never seen a turtle before.
"What animal is this?" he said. "I shall eat it". But he could not eat the turtle's hard shell. "Why is your skin so hard?" he asked.
"Take me to a lake", the turtle answered. "My skin is hard because I am dry. Put me in water and my skin will become soft".
The jackal took the turtle in his mouth and carried her to a lake. He put the turtle in the water.
"Thank you", said the turtle. "I live in water. I am happy in this lake and you can't catch me. Good-bye!"
The turtle at once went to the bottom of the lake and the jackal could not catch her.
A BRAVE BOY
Every summer the women and children of an Indian village picked nuts and dried them for the winter.
One summer when the nuts were ripe, an old bear came to live near the nut-trees and did not let the women and children pick the nuts. When they came near the nut-trees, the bear began to roar, "Go away! Those are my nuts". All the women and children were afraid of the bear. They did not know what to do.
In the village there lived a boy with his grandmother. One day he came running home and said, "Granny, I am hungry. Give me something to eat".
"Oh, my dear, we have no nuts", said his grandmother.
"I am going out to pick some nuts. I am not afraid of the old bear", said the boy.
"The old bear will catch you and eat you up", cried his grandmother.
But the brave little boy took a basket and went to the place where the nut-trees grew. There were many nuts under the trees. The boy sat down and began to eat them and put some into his basket.
"Those are my nuts. What are you doing?" roared the bear.
"I am eating and gathering nuts", said the boy.
"You must not eat my nuts. Go away or I will eat you up. I am bigger and stronger than you are", cried the bear.
"You are bigger and stronger than me, but you are not braver. Try to scare me and then I'll try to scare you. If you are not afraid, you will have all the nuts. If I am not afraid, I'll have all the nuts", said the boy. The bear began to laugh.
"Do you think you can scare me? Well, let us try!"
So the bear went away. The little boy sat down on the ground again and began to eat some more nuts.
Soon the bear roared and ran at the boy. "I'll eat you up!" But the boy only laughed.
The bear saw that the boy was not afraid of him. He said: "You are a brave boy. Now run and see if you can scare me!"
The boy ran home.
"Oh, Granny!" he cried. "The old bear tried to scare me, but I was not afraid. Give me my bow and arrows, please. I'll go and try to scare the bear".
The boy went back to the nut-trees and climbed up one of theme. Then he called to the bear: "Come up here, bear. I will scare you. I know that you are afraid of me".
When the bear came up to the tree, he opened his big red mouth and began to laugh.
"How can you scare me, you little boy?" he cried.
The boy shot an arrow and killed the old bear. Then he ran home.
"Oh, Granny!" he cried. "Now all the people can go and pick the nuts. I killed the old bear",
THE WOODCUTTER AND THE FAIRY
One day a poor woodcutter was cutting a big tree near a wide river.
Suddenly his old axe slipped from his hand and fell into the deep water. He sat on the bank and was very unhappy because he had lost his only axe, when suddenly a lovely fairy appeared and asked the woodcutter what the matter was.
"I have lost my axe", he said. "It fell into the deep water".
The fairy showed him a gold axe and said, "Is this yours?"
"No", said the woodcutter.
Then the fairy showed him a silver axe and said again in clear voice, "Is this yours?"
"No", answered the woodcutter again.
Then she showed him an old iron axe with an old wooden handle.
"Yes, that's mine", said the happy woodcutter.
"I know it quite well", said the fairy.
"I only wanted to see if you told me the truth. And now I will give you your axe and the gold axe and the silver axe because you are an honest man".
THE COCK AND THE FOX
One day a red Fox saw a fine Cock in the farmer's yard. The Fox caught the Cock and ran away with the Cock in his mouth.
At once all the people from the farm ran after the Fox. They all cried, "Stop the thief!" The Cock tried to think of a way to make the thief open his mouth and let him fall out.
The Cock said, "The people are foolish. How can they catch you? They can never catch you".
The Fox was pleased at these words.
The Cock continued, "They can't catch you. Look, there are too many people behind you. Why do you not call out to them: 'It is my own cock and not one that I have stolen. Then they will turn back, and you will continue your way".
The Fox thought that was a good idea. He opened his mouth and cried, "It's my own cock and not one that I have stolen!"
And at that moment the Cock fell out of his mouth and ran to the farm as quickly as he could.
Many, many years ago there lived a poor farmer in Britain who had three daughters. His wife-died when the girls were very young and the poor man had to take care of his daughters himself.
Kitty, Betsy and Sally were good girls. They helped their father about the house, they worked in their orchard and took care of their chickens and sheep. Still they were poor and the farmer could not buy them nice dresses or shoes.
By and by the girls grew up and became very beautiful. But as they had no pretty dresses and shoes they did not go anywhere. The farmer was very sad because he could not give his daughters their dowries and for that they could not be married to some young farmers.
One day the old farmer was coming home from the forest. He was carrying some firewood and was very tired.
Suddenly he saw a funny old man with white hair, rosy cheeks and bright eyes in front of him. The funny old man said, "Hey! Why are you so sad, my man? What is the matter with you?"
The farmer looked at him and answered. "I have three daughters who are beautiful and kind. They are good girls but we are very poor. 1 can't give my daughters their dowries and that's why they cannot be married to some young farmers in the village".
The funny old man said nothing. He only smiled and went away. He was Santa Claus but the farmer did not know about it.
Late in the evening Kitty, Betsy and Sally hung up their stockings to dry by the fire. That night Santa Claus made his way to their home, and threw three pieces of gold down the chimney. The pieces of gold fell into the girls' stockings.
In this way Kitty, Betsy and Sally got their dowries and could be married to the young farmers of the village.
That is why the children of Britain hang up their stockings over the fire on the eve of Christmas Day and believe that Santa Claus comes down the chimney and puts presents into their stockings.
THE WONDERFUL SPELL
Once upon a time there lived a Wizard. He had spells to turn people into birds, insects and animals. Each spell was in a little bottle with a label on it which told what sort of spell it was. He had his bottles on the shelves of his house, on the window-sills and even on the floor. Everything was in such a disorder that it took him hours to find the bottle he wanted.
That's why the Wizard decided to get his bottles of spells.
He cleared all the shelves, dusted the bottles and began to put them back in alphabetic order.
The spell for turning people into ants had a label with "A". The spell for turning people into donkeys had a label with "D". The spell for turning people into elephants had a label with "E". The spell for turning people into monkeys had a label with "M".
"I wonder what sort of spell this is?" said the Wizard, looking at the bottle in his hand. The bottle had no label. The label was lost.
Just then there was a knock on the door. The Wizard opened the door and saw a mouse. "Go away! I am busy!" said the Wizard.
"I want to buy a bottle of spell", the mouse said. "I am tired of being a mouse. Nobody likes mice. People set traps on us. Cats catch us. It is not a very pleasant life. I want to be something else".
"What do you want to be?" asked the Wizard.
"I haven't made up my mind", said the mouse. "I think I can look at your bottles of spells and choose one of them".
"I must tidy my shelves", said the Wizard. "I don't know myself what bottles are here. Come back tomorrow and ..."
Then he looked at the bottle with no label on it and said, "Here, you can have this one".
"There isn't any label on it", said the mouse. "What will it turn me into?"
"Something else", said the Wizard. "That's what you said you wanted to be". And he shut the door and went back to sort his bottles of spells.
The mouse went home and put the bottle in the middle of the table. He was going to open it. Then he began to think.
"What shall I be? A butterfly, perhaps? Butterflies are pretty, but they don't live very long. I wouldn't like to be a butterfly.
A turtle, perhaps? Turtles live a long time, but they are not very pretty. I am sure I don't want to be a turtle.
A bird, perhaps? Birds sing happy songs and fly in the blue sky. But birds eat worms. I don't want to have worms for my dinner. It seems to me it is not nice to be a bird.
A cat, perhaps? But cats eat mice! I wouldn't like to be a cat. Cats are very bad animals.
An elephant, perhaps? But an elephant can't live in my little pretty house. I love my house very much. I hope I shall not be an elephant. I am sure I don't want to be an elephant
A tiger, perhaps? Tigers are strong. But they are like big cats. Certainly I don't want to be a tiger.
A fish, perhaps? But I don't like water. I am sure I don't want to be a fish.
And what if I become a snake? Snakes are bad. They eat mice. Oh, no! I don't want to be a snake.
A horse, perhaps? Certainly I don't want to become a horse".
The mouse thought for a long time. He did not open the bottle.
"To be a mouse is not so bad", he decided. "I don't want to be something else. There are many problems in my life but I am afraid that there are many problems -in the life of every animal".
So the mouse took trie bottle of spell back to the Wizard. He didn't recognize the mouse at first.
"Well", he said. "Did the spell change you?"
"Perhaps, it changed me", said the mouse. ''^Yesterday I was a very unhappy mouse. And I was not wise. Today I am a happy mouse. I like to be a mouse, I love my friends, I like my house".
The Wizard was astonished.
"That's the first time that my spell ever worked!" he cried. "I am happyl Now I-see that I am a real Wizard"
Little Blue was a mouse. At least, Little Blue thought he was a mouse. But now he was not sure.
You see, Little Blue was blue. Very bright blue. And who heard of a blue mouse?
Little Blue was not always blue. Yesterday in the morning he was just like all the other mice in the barn. He was a happy, grey mouse. Now he was not happy. He was not grey. He was not even sure he was a mouse.
Yesterday in the evening, when Little Blue was playing alone, he fell into a bucket of blue paint. He could not get out of the bucket. He was frightened and squeaked very loudly.
A cow heard the squeaking. She helped Little Blue to
And now Little Blue became blue. He tried and tried to rub the blue paint off, but couldn't.
He slept badly in his hole and in the morning went.to the other mice. They were sitting around in a circle. They were talking about a mouse that had been lost.
"I say the cat got him", said Biggest Mouse. "We are sure the cat got him", said all the others. Little Blue came into the circle.
"Here I am", said Little Blue. "I'm the lost mouse".
"Don't be silly", said Biggest Mouse. "You are not a mouse. Who heard of a blue mouse?"
"Who heard of a blue mouse?" said all the other mice together.
"But I was a mouse yesterday", said Little Blue. "I fell into a bucket of blue paint".
Biggest Mouse thought for a while. He looked wise. "Mice do not have blue coats", said Biggest Mouse. "So even if you were a mouse5, you are not a mouse now".
"Not a mouse now", said all the other mice together.
Little Blue looked at his blue coat. "Maybe I don't look like a mouse", he said. "But I feel like a mouse" .
Biggest Mouse looked angry. Then Youngest Mouse squeaked up, "If he feels like a mouse, maybe he is a mouse. Let's find a way to prove it".
Biggest Mouse was not pleased. He thought for a while.
"Let him go to the cat", he said at last.
"Oh, no!" said Little Blue. "Not the cat!"
"Yes", said Biggest Mouse. "If the cat eats him, he is a mouse. If the cat does not eat him, he is not a mouse".
"Is there no other way?" squeaked Youngest Mouse.
"Just the cat", said Biggest Mouse.
"The cat", said all the other mice together.
Biggest Mouse turned away. All the other mice turned away, too. Little Blue went out of the barn. He was very sad. In the yard Little Blue saw the hens and ducks.
He went up to Biggest Hen. "Have you ever seen a blue mouse?" he asked.
"Don't be silly", said Biggest Hen. "Who heard of a blue mouse?" But when the baby chicks saw Little Blue, they said, "You are pretty. Come and play".
Then Little Blue came up to Biggest Duck. "Have you ever seen a blue mouse?" he asked.
"Don't be silly", said Biggest Duck. "Who heard of a blue mouse?" But when the baby ducks saw Little Blue, they said, "You are pretty. Come and play".
So Little Blue played with the baby chicks and baby ducks. But he was not happy. After a while, he told them about the blue paint, and about the cat. . "Oh, no!" said the baby chicks and baby ducks. "Not the cat! Let's think of another way".
Then the baby chicks and baby ducks thought and thought. They wanted to help their blue friend very much. At last they thought of a way.
"We shall paint you grey again", they said. But they didn't find grey paint in the barn. They found only green paint.
The baby chicks and baby ducks shook their heads. "Who heard of a green mouse?" they asked. Just then Youngest Mouse came by. The baby chicks and baby ducks showed him the green paint. But Youngest Mouse did not shake his head. He laughed. And when he told the baby chicks and baby ducks about his plan, they laughed, too.
That night, all the baby chicks and baby ducks took some feathers from Biggest Hen. They dipped5 the feathers in the green paint. Then Youngest Mouse showed them where
Biggest Mouse was sleeping. Very quickly, they painted Biggest Mouse with the feathers. Then they went away to wait for the morning to come l.
In the morning they sent Little Blue back to the other mice
The mice were sitting in a circle. Biggest Mouse was in the middle. And Biggest Mouse was green! Very brigh green!
Biggest Mouse was trying to look wise. "I don't know why I'm green", said Biggest Mouse. "But I am. So I say it is a new fashion for mice". All the other mice looked at Biggest Mouse. They said nothing at all.
Just then, Little Blue came into the circle. Biggest Mouse looked at him. "I am a green mouse", said Biggest Mouse. "You are a blue mouse. It's the new fashion for mice".
All the other mice looked at Little Blue. "The new fashion for mice", said all the other mice together.
Biggest Mouse looked at Liittle Blue. "You are very pretty", he said.
Youngest Mouse looked at Little Blue and smiled. And Little Blue smiled at Youngest Mouse.
THE BOASTFUL CHICK
Once upon a time there was Mother Hen who had ten chicks. Nine of them were good and obedient but one chick was very boastful.
"You are small, you must stay in our barn, you must not go into the yard", said Mother Hen.
"I don't want to stay in the barn", said the chick and ran out into the yard. An hour later the bad chick came back and began to boast.
"Everybody is afraid of me in the yard", said the boastful chick. "In the yard I saw a very big rat. But the moment I came to it, the rat ran away more dead than alive".
What the boastful chick said was, of course, far from the truth. He saw the big rat but it was in ... a rat-trap.
"What happened next? Come on, tell us!" shouted the chick's brothers and sisters. They wanted to know the story of their brave brother.
"Oh, well, then I saw a dog, ten times bigger than the rat!" said the boastful chick. "The dog began to bark at me; But the moment I came to it', the dog ran away more dead than alive".
What the boastful chick said was, of course, far from the truth. He saw a small puppy playing with a boy.
"Tell us more what happened next?" shouted the chicks.
"Then I met a big bear, ten times bigger than the dog. But the moment I came to the bear, he ran away more dead than alive".
What the boastful chick said was, of course, far from the truth. He saw the big ... Teddy bear that a little girl left on the ground.
"Are you telling the truth?" asked Mother Hen.
"Of course, mother, it's the truth", said the chick.
"Hurrah, hurrah, you are a hero!" shouted the chicks, and began to throw him up in the air.
At that moment a little grey mouse ran across the barn.
"Help! Help!" cried the boastful chick. "This animal will eat me up!"
All the chicks began lo laugh when they saw that their boastful brother was afraid of the little grey mouse.
"Shame on you", said Mother Hen. "You are not brave. Now we see that you are boastful. Did the rat run away from you?"
"The rat was in a rat-trap", said the chick.
"Did the dog run away from you?"
"It was a little puppy", said the chick.
"Did the bear run away from you?"
"It was a Teddy bear".
"Remember, children", said Mother Hen. "Half a truth is no better than a lie".
THE GINGERBREAD MAN
Once upon a time there lived an old man and an old woman. They lived in a little neat house in a wood.
The old woman often baked wonderful cakes and pies for the old man. One day she decided to bake something special for him. So she made a beautiful gingerbread man. He had raisins for eyes, a currants for his nose and a pink sugar waistcoat.
When he was baked the woman took him out of the oven and laid him on the table to cool. Then she went to the yard to water the flowers. As soon as she was out, the gingerbread man sat up on the table, then climbed down and ran out of the door.
The old woman and the old man saw him. "Stop! Stop!" they cried.
But the gingerbread man only laughed and said:
"Run, run as fast as you can.
You can't catch me —
I'm the Gingerbread Man!"
And he ran even faster, with the old man and the old woman running behind him.
A gentle brown cow was grazing in the meadow. She saw the gingerbread man and thought, "I would like to taste him". So she cried, "Stop! Stop!"
But the gingerbread man only laughed:
"Run, run as fast as you can.
You can't catch me —
I'm the Gingerbread Man!
I got away from the old woman
and the old man, and I can get
away from you,
I can, I can."
And he ran faster than ever, with the old woman, the old man, and the gentle brown cow after him.
Then he saw a big brown bear who was eating honey near the tree. When the bear smelled the wonderful ginger smell he wanted to taste the gingerbread man with his honey. So the bear cried, "Stop! Stop!"
But the gingerbread man laughed and cried out:
"Run, run as fast as you can.
You can't catch me —
I'm the Gingerbread Man!
I got away from the old woman,
the old man, and the gentle brown cow.
And I can get away from you,
I can, I can".
And on he ran l with the old woman, the old man, the gentle brown cow and the big brown bear all running after him.
At last the gingerbread man saw a river before him, he did not know how he could cross it. But a wily red fox was sitting near the river, and when he saw the gingerbread man, he decided that he would eat him.
As the gingerbread man ran up to the bank of the river, the wily red fox came out to meet him.
And on he ran — І він побіг далі
"Jump on my tail and I will carry you across the river", he called to the gingerbread man.
"If I do, you.will cat me", said the gingerbread man.
"Oh, no! I don't like gingerbread!" said the wily fox.
So the gingerbread man jumped on the fox's tail, and the wily fox stepped into the river.
But the water grew deeper and soon it came up to the feet of the little gingerbread man.
"Fox!" he said. "I am getting wet".
"Jump on my back!" cried the wily red fox.
The gingerbread man jumped on the fox's back, but again the water reached the gingerbread man's feet.
"Fox!" he said again. "I am getting wet".
"Jump on my head!" cried the wily fox.
The gingerbread man jumped to the fox's head but it did not help. The water reached his feet again.
"Jump on my nose", said the wily red fox.
The gingerbread man jumped on to the fox's nose but the wily fox opened his mouth and swallowed him.
THE KITTEN AND THE KNITTING-NEEDLES
Once upon a time there lived a poor old woman. In winter she knitted socks and sold them. In summer she often went to the forest to gather berries and firewood. One day when she was coming back from the forest, she saw a little sick kitten under a bush. The poor woman took the kitten up and carried it home. Then she gave the kitten some warm milk and put it into an old basket. Soon the kitten was quite well. It ran and played in the house. When the woman was knitting the kitten played with the balls of wool. It liked to play with the balls of wool very much. The kitten used to run after the old woman everywhere. But once he ran into the forest and did not come back.
Some days later the woman was going from the forest. At the same bush she met a tall lady in a long beautiful dress. The lady smiled at the woman and gave her five knitting-needles.
The woman took the knitting-needles home and put them on the table near two balls of wool.
Next morning, much to her surprise she saw no balls of wool on the table but a pair of new socks. In the evening she put the knitting-needles and some wool on the table again. The following morning another pair of new socks was near them.
The woman understood that the magic needles were her reward for her kindness to the kitten.
Every night the magic knitting-needles knitted a pair of new socks and in this way helped the old woman.
Freddie the Frog was sitting on a log. He was not eating. He was not drinking. He was not jumping. He was not thinking. He was just sitting there.
Sammy the Squirrel stopped at the pond. Sammy looked into the water.
"My red fur looks good today, doesn't it?" said Sammy the Squirrel.
'Yes, it does", said Freddie the Frog.
"Do you want to look like me?" asked Sammy the Squirrel.
"No", said Freddie the Frog. "I look all right for a frog".
"But look at you", said Sammy the Squirrel. "You are all green. You are a poor thing". Sammy the Squirrel laughed and ran away.
Freddie the Frog was sitting on his log. He was not eating. He was not drinking. He was not jumping. But he was thinking that he was all green.
Johnny the Rabbit stopped at the pond. Johnny looked into the water.
«My white fur looks good today, doesn't it?" said Johnny the Rabbit.
"Yes, it does", said Freddie the Frog.
"Do you want to look like me?" asked Johnny the Rabbit.
"No", said Freddie the Frog. "I look all right for a frog".
"But look at you", said Johnny the Rabbit. "You're all green. You are a poor thing",
Johnny the Rabbit laughed and ran away.
Freddie,the Frog was sitting on his log. He was not eating. He was not drinking. He was not thinking. He was crying.
Florence the Wise Owl was flying by. She stopped at the pond. She looked at Freddie the Frog. "Why are you crying, Freddie?" she asked. "The sky is blue. The sun shines brightly. It's such a pretty day. Why are you crying?"
"I am crying because I am not red, like Sammy the Squirrel", said Freddie the Frog.
"No, you are not red", said Florence the Wise Owl.
"I am crying because I am not white as Johnny the Rabbit", said Freddie the Frog.
"No, you are not white", said the Wise Owl.
"I am crying because I am all green", said Freddie the Frog. "And that is why I am crying .
"Just stop crying", said Florence the Wise Owl. "I'll give you some good advice".
"I'll be very thankful to you" s, said Freddie. "Look around you", said Florence the Wise Owl. Freddie the Frog looked around. "What colour are the leaves?" asked Florence. "Green", said Freddie the Frog,
"What colour is the grass?" asked Florence the Wise Owl.
"Green", said Freddie the Frog.
"What colour are the trees?"
"Green", said Freddie the Frog.
"What colour are the bushes?"
"Green", said Freddie the Frog.
"What colour is your pond?"
"Green", said Freddie the Frog.
"All right", said Florence the Wise Uwi. "Now stop crying and listen to me. There is green in each leaf on every tree. There is green in the grass. There is green in the pond& Green is the best colour".
Florence the Wise Owl flew away and Freddie the Frog stopped crying.
He was sitting on his log. He was not eating. He was not drinking. He was not jumping. He was not thinking. He was croaking. He was croaking as loudly as he could. He wanted Sammy the Squirrel to hear him. He wanted Johnny the Rabbit to hear him. He wanted everybody to hear him. He croaked very loudly, "Croak, croak, croak ... Green is the best colour. There is green in each leaf on every tree. There is green in the grass. There is green in the pond. I am all green. Croak, croak, croak."
THE MAGIC PURSE
There was once a blacksmith who lived in a house at the foot of a hill. He had one daughter and three small sons.
His wife was dead, but his little daughter, Nell, looked after the house.
The blacksmith worked hard every day and was cheer-full. As he worked he sang:
"The shadow of the hill
Will shelter us from ill,
And bring us much good fortune if
We work with a will".
He could earn only enough money to feed7 himself and his family, but he loved his work and was happy. When he was very tired he rested in the shadow of the hill. He loved the hill with its green trees, its green grass, bushes and flowers.
But one day the blacksmith fell ill, and when he recovered, his doctor said, "You must not work again. All day long you must stay in your bed and rest".
"Now it is my turn to earn some money", said Nell. "I can only sew and that I shall do".
The girl went to the town and many people gave her sewing to do. She did her work so beautifully that people gave her more and more sewing, and she worked day after day very hard. But still she got very little money to buy food for her father and brothers.
One windy morning, as Nell was sewing at the table by the window, she heard a soft voice. "Here I am", said the voice.
Nell looked round, and saw a little man, with a shirt like a red flower, a cap like a green leaf, and a coat that was like a grey cloud. He flew up on the table, and the girl saw a large tear in it.
The little man smiled at Nell and said, "Mend it".
Nell took the thinnest thread and the smallest needle she had and began to mend the coat.
The little man began to sing in his soft voice:
"The shadow of the hill,
Will shelter you from ill,
And bring you much good fortune if
You work with a will".
Nell had never mended anything so delicate before, and she was frightened; but she did her best and mended the coat very well.
As she finished her work the little man disappeared with the coat.
Nell ran to the door and looked here and there, but could not see the old man.
At the door on the ground she only found an old, rusty key.
Suddenly the key cried, "Take me to my home! Take me to my home!"
Then Nell noticed a narrow path running up the hillside, and she understood that that was the path to the key's home.
She climbed and climbed, till she came to a large stone, and at the foot of it she saw a beautiful big chest.
"Place me in the lock!" cried the key.
At that moment Nell heard some voices, and when she looked round she saw a lot of little men In the grass and bushes. Their shirts were like red flowers, their caps were like green leaves, and their coats were like grey clouds.
"Unlock the chest and take out of it what you wish in payment for your sewing", said one.
In the chest were fine dresses, and rings, and golden coins — but the blacksmith's daughter did not take them. She took a small purse with one silver coin in it.
As soon as she picked the purse up, Nell heard a sweet song, and found herself again at her father's door.
When Nell spent the silver coin, she found that another diver coin appeared in its place, so that the purse was never empty! Since then the family was very happy.
THE LITTLE SEAL
It was breakfast time at the Zoo. All the animals were getting their food. The lions had their meat. The elephants had their hay. The monkeys had their bananas. The bears had their honey.
Then it was time for the seals to have their breakfast. Mr Johnson gave them fish. The seals jumped in the water. They liked fish very much. "Thank you for the fish", said the seals. The seals were happy.
But one little seal was not happy. His name was Sammy.
Sammy looked sad.
"What is wrong, Sammy?" said Mr. Johnson. I want to know what it is like outside the Zoo, said the little seal. "I want to go out and look around". "All right", said Mr. Johnson. "You are a good seal. You may go out and look around".
"Good bye, Sammy", said the other seals. Have a good time".
"Good bye", said Sammy.
"Have fun", said the bears.
"Come back soon", said the monkeys.
Sammy walked and walked. He looked at everything. He liked the town very much.
"That is a beautiful fur coat", said a lady. "Where did you buy it?"
"I was born with it" , said Sammy.
The day was hot. "I am hot. I want to go swimming, said Sammy. He saw a pool in the park. The water was cool and Sammy went swimming.
Some children were standing at the door of their school.
"What are you doing here?" asked Sammy.
"This is our school", said a boy. "We are studying here, come with us".
The teacher was not looking. Sammy sat down. The children wrote letters in their notebooks. Sammy tried to write letters too.
"All right, children. Now we shall all sing a song", said the teacher. The children had good voices. They sang well.
"You sing well", said the teacher. "But one of you is barking — just like a seal".
"Is it you, Nell?" said the teacher.
"No", said Nell.
"Is it you, Tom?" said the teacher.
"No", said Tom.
"Is it you, Fred?" said the teacher.
"No", said Fred.
"Then it must be you", said the teacher to Sammy. "I am sorry. This school is only for boys and girls".
"Please let me stay", said Sammy. "I shall be good".
"All right. You may stay", said the teacher.
Sammy was happy. He sat at his desk and looked at the teacher. He learned how to read. He learned how to write.
"And now it is time to play", said the teacher.
"Who wants to play a game?"
"We do", said the children.
They threw a ball over the net. "The ball must not hit the ground", cried the children.
Sammy caught the ball on his nose!
A boy tried to catch the ball on his nose too, but fell down.
"Boys must catch the ball with their hands", said the teacher.
Up and down went the ball, from one side to the other.
At last a bell rang. School was over.
"Will you come tomorrow?" said the children.
"No", said Sammy. "I like you very much but I must stay at the Zoo. I just wanted to know what it is like outside. Now I have to go back".
"Good-bye, Sammy", said the children.
"We shall come to see you".
"Good", said Sammy.
Sammy was in a hurry to get back to the Zoo. He had so much to tell the other seals.
"May I welcome you home, Sammy", said Mr. Johnson. "I am glad you are back. You are just in time for dinner".
"There's no place like home", said Sammy. "East or "West, home is best", said Mr. Johnson and gave Sammy some fish.
LITTLE JACK RABBIT
Three little rabbits lived with Mother Rabbit. Their home was a deep hole in the sand. Each day they came out to sit in the sun and play.
Mother Rabbit said, "Stay close beside me". You are not yet big and strong".
Little Jack Rabbit was not happy. He did not want to stay near the hole. "I am quite big and strong", he said. "I can go all by myself4. I can go far away".
Hop! Hop! He ran off until he came to a garden gate.
"This garden is pretty", said Little Jack Rabbit. "I want to see all I can". Then Jack Rabbit saw something. He saw two white rabbits. They looked at him.
"Who are you?" they said. "We do not know you".
Little Jack Rabbit said, "Look at me. My fur is brown, but I am a rabbit too. I can jump high. I can run about. I can play games with you".
The white rabbits played with him. Little Jack Rabbit was happy. He liked to play all day. Then something big ran in through the garden gate. It was a dog. He was big and strong. He had sharp teeth. He gave a loud bark and ran after the rabbits. "Here is something to chase", he said. "I can chase these rabbits".
The two white rabbits ran to their green hutch.
Poor Little Jack Rabbit did not have a hutch. His home was in the sand. He ran and ran, but he could not find it.
He was far from the pretty garden. He was safe from the dog, but he was lost. He could not find Mother Rabbit.
Night came. Little Jack Rabbit wanted his mother. How he wanted his mother! The stars looked at him, but they could not help. He was not big and strong now. He was just a sad little rabbit. Then something came hop, hop. It was Mother Rabbit. Mother Rabbit saw him there. "Is this my dear little rabbit?" she said. "I have looked and looked for you. Come home with me. You are too small to run away".
Now Little Jack Rabbit was safe. Now he was happy "Oh, Mother, I will be good. I will never run away again. I will stay close beside you", said Little Jack Rabbit.
THE RAVEN AND THE OWL
Believe it or not, but many, many years ago the raven and the owl were both as white as snow. One day they met in the tundra, and the raven said, "I am tired of being so white. And what about you?"
"I am tired of being white too", said the owl.
"I have a plan", said the raven. "Why don't we each paint the other a different colour?".
"All right", answered the owl. "We can try to do it".
The raven was pleased. "Good! Good!" he cried. "Let us begin. You paint me first and then I'll paint you".
"Oh, no", said the owl. "It was your idea, so you must begin".
"Very well", the raven agreed. He took some burn-out fat from a lamp and a large feather from his own tail and started to paint the owl. He painted many beautiful grey and black spots on each feather, large and small.
"Oh, how beautiful I've made you, owl!" cried he after finishing his work.
The owl looked at herself and was very pleased. "These spots are beautiful", she said. "And now let me paint you too".
The raven sat still and the owl began to paint. It took her some time to paint the raven. But when she finished her work she saw that the raven was now more beautiful than she.
The owl get angry and poured all the burn-out fat over the raven and flew away.
"Oh, you, bad owl", cried the raven. I have made you beautiful but you have made me blacker than night".
And from that day on all ravens are black and they don't like owls.
THE GREEDY WOOD GROUSE
One day late in autumn the birds gathered in the forest. It was time for them to fly to the South.
"All here? All here?" they called to each other. Soon they saw that they were not all there. The Wood Grouse was absent. The Golden Eagle told a young Grey-Неn to go and find the Wood Grouse. The Grey-Нen flew into the thick of the forest. The Wood Grouse was sitting on a cedar and picking the nuts out of the cones.
"We are going to fly.to the South", the Grey-Hen said. "You alone are keeping us waiting".
"Don't speak nonsense!" said the Wood Grouse. "There are so many nuts in the forest. It's silly to go and leave them!"
The Grey-Неп flew back to the birds.
"The Wood Grouse is eating nuts. She does not want to fly to us", she said.
The Golden Eagle got angry. He sent the fast-winged Hawk to fetch the Wood Grouse.
"Hullo, Wood Grouse!" called the Hawk. "It's high time to fly to the South. You are keeping us waiting".
"We can always do that. A good meal is just what one needs before a journey", said the Wood Grouse. The Hawk flew back to the birds and told them that the Wood Grouse was in no hurry to join them.
This made the Golden Eagle very angry and he decided not to wait for the Wood Grouse any more. The Golden Eagle and all the birds flew to the South.
The Wood Grouse picked the nuts out of the cones for some days. At last she stopped eating and decided to fly to the birds. But there were no birds in the forest. The Wood Grouse was alone. She cried and cried bitterly. And so hard she cried that the feathers above her eyes turned red.
That is why all Wood Grouses in the forest today have red feathers above their eyes.
Many years ago there lived a rich proud man and he had a great house which stood in the middle of a park. There were fine trees and beautiful flowers in the park. The man also had many farms and much land. But he had no children. He wanted to have a child —and only a son. "Only a son. No daughter" he often said. "After my death my son will bear my name and all my farms and my land will be his".
He was very proud of his name, indeed!
Time went by and a child was born in the family. But it was a girl. It was a fine, healthy baby, but the proud man did not want even to look at her; he was very angry because the baby was a girl. He hated his daughter and "hated her so much that one day he said, "I don't want to see her. Take her away and never let her come in my sight".
The man was so angry and fierce that his wife and servants had to obey hime.
The little girl was growing older but her father did not want to see her. She grew beautiful, was very clever and kind, but her father refused to see her as before.
When the girl was sixteen years old the father decided to marry his daughter. Не gave orders that she was tp marry the first man that would come and ask for her.
Now it happened that the first man that came to ask for her was ugly and old. He had a big red nose, very big ears and very long arms.
"I shall never marry him", said the young girl to herself. She went and talked to her friend — the hen-woman. This was an old woman who lived in a small hut and took care of hens, ducks and turkeys. Every day she brought chicks and hens and fresh eggs to the great house. The people in the village thought that she was a witch, but the young girl loved her very much. The hen-woman was kind and always helped her.
"What shall I do?" asked the girl. "I don't want to marry that old ugly man with a big red nose and long arms. But I don't know how to get rid of him".
"This is what you must do", said the hen-woman. "Tell them you will marry the old man, but that you must first have a silver dress, as silver as the moon".
So the girl went home and told them she must have a silver dress, as silver as the moon. It was ready in a few days. She looked very pretty in it, but still she did not want to marry the old man. So she went to see the. hen-woman again. "Go back", said her friend, "and tell them you must have a dress of gold, as golden as the sun".
After a few days the dress was ready. It was a very fine dress and the girl looked beautiful in it, but still she did not want to marry the old ugly man with a big red nose and long arms.
"What shall I do now?" she asked the hen-woman.
"Tell them", said the old woman, "that you must have a dress of feathers. Each of the birds of the park must give one feather to it".
The girl went home and told them she must have a dress of feathers. The girl's father told his servants to take a great number of peas and scatter them on the ground.
"A feather for a pea!" the servants shouted to the birds, and all the birds came and laid one of their feathers on the ground and took one pea in return.
The dress of feathers was still more beautiful. But the young girl did not want to marry the old ugly man.
"What shall I do?" she asked her old friend.
"This time tell them that you must have a dress of catskin", answered the old woman.
So they made her a dress of six black cats and seven tabby-cats. But this time the old man did not want to wait any more, and the proud father said, "Tomorrow we shall have the wedding".
The young girl decided to run away. That night she put on her dress of catskin, put her three other dresses into a basket and walked away from her father's house. The night was dark, but soon the moon rose and she could see her way through the woods. She walked for a long time and grew tired. Suddenly she saw a great castle. It stood in a large beautiful park. The girl went into the park and soon came to a small old hut. It was a gardener's hut, but nobody lived in it. .
The young girl opened the door and went in. She hid her basket with the dresses under a pile of straw and ate some bread she had with her. Then she lay down on the floor and fell asleep.
In the morning she went to the castle and knocked at the door of the kitchen. There she saw a tall woman who was busy washing the floor.
The girl said, "I am a poor girl without father and mother. Take pity on me and give me some work".
"Very well", said the woman. "You can work in the kitchen. We just need a scullery-maid. If you work well, you will have your meals and a bed. Come with me and Lash the plates".
So the young girl began to work in the kitchen of the great castle, and they all called her Catskin because of the dress she was wearing. Everyone liked Catskin except the cook. She was an ugly and cruel woman, and she did not like Catskin because she was so beautiful and everybody loved her.
One day the kitchen was in great bustle. The cook and Catskin were very busy. Marivel, the young lord was to return from London and his parents decided to give a ball to welcome him back.
So the cook was cooking nice dishes and Catskin was cleaning and washing everything. She carried wood and water, washed the vegetables and did all the dirty work.
"How much I should like to go to the ball", said Catskin, and the cruel cook answered, "What! A scullery-maid at the ball! I should like to see you in your old catskin among all the, ladies and gentlemen. Stop talking! Go on with your work!' And the angry cook threw a basin of dirty water at Catskin.
Catskin did not say a word. She worked in the kitchen and in the evening she finished her washing and cleaning.
When it was quite dark she ran to the small hut where she had left her fine dresses. She took off her dress of catskin and bathed in the clean water of the river that ran near by; then she combed her long golden hair, put on her silver dress and ran back to the castle.
The windows of the great hall were open, and Catskin could hear the music from the ballroom. She entered the hall and everyone saw Catskin in her silver dress; her eyes were bright and her hair was falling round her shoulders.
The guests began to whisper. Then Marivel came up to Catskin and invited her for a dance. All night they danced together.
"It is growing light", said Catskin. "I must go now".
"But where do you live?" asked Marivel. "Oh", laughed the girl, "at the Sign of the Basin of Water".
"Where?" repeated the young lord. But Catskin ran through the crowd of guests and went quickly to the small hut. There she took off her silver dress, put on her catskin dress and soon was in the kitchen.
She helped to wash the dishes after the great ball.
Lord Marivel asked everywhere for the Sign of the Basin of Water, but nobody could tell him about it. He went to his mother and said, "I must find the girl with the silver dress. I cannot be happy without her. I shall never marry anyone else".
So his mother said, "Well, my dear son. We shall give a second ball. I hope that the unknown girl will come once more to our castle".
The kitchen was in great bustle again. The cook was cooking nice dishes and Catskin was washing and cleaning everything. And again Catskin said, "How much I should like to go to the ball!" But the cruel cook answered at once, "What! A scullery-maid at the ball! Go on with your work and stop talking!" And the angry cook took a wooden ladle and broke it across Catskin's back. But the girl did not say a word.
When evening came, she again hurried to the hut under the trees and bathed in the river. Once more she combed her hair and changed her dress of catskin for her dress of gold. As soon as she was ready she appeared in the great ballroom.
Marivel came to her and took her hand. He danced with her all night.
"It is growing light*', said Catskin looking at the window. "Good night, Lord Marivel. I must go now".
"But tell me", Marivel asked, "tell me where you live". "At the Sign of the Broken Ladle", said Catskin and ran away.
She ran to the little hut and changed the gold dress for her dress of catskin and went back to the kitchen.
Marivel asked everybody for the Sign of the Broken Ladle, but nobody could tell him about it. He was so sad that his mother decided to give another ball.
And again there was a bustle in the kitchen. "Oh, how I should like to go to this ball", said Catskin.
"What! A scullery-maid at the great ball! Stop talking!"
With that the cook threw a crooked fork at Catskin. The girl did not say a word and went on with her work.
That night she again appeared in the ballroom. She looked so pretty in her dress of feathers that even the musicians stopped their music when she entered the ballroom.
Marivel danced with her all night and while they were dancing, he put a gold ring on her finger. But she did not notice anything. She was so happy. When she was leaving, Marivel asked her to tell him where she lived.
"I live", she said, "at the Sign of the Crooked Fork".
But this time the young lord was wiser. He followed her to the door, then put on a large dark cloak and went after her, unseen. The young girl entered the hut, took off her dress of feathers, put on her dress of catskin and tan back to the castle. The young lord followed her. When she entered the kitchen door he said to himself, "So this is where she lives! In my own castle!"
Next morning the young lord went into the kitchen. Catskin was there. She was washing the plates after the great ball.
"Show me your hands", said Marivel.
Catskin showed him her dirty hands and saw ... the ring of the young lord on her finger.
Marivel took her hand with the gold ring on her finger and said, "Come with me, my dear bride". He led Catskin out of the kitchen to the great castle and soon they celebrated their wedding and lived happily ever after.
THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA
Once upon a time, there was a prince. When he grew up he wanted to marry a princess. But he wanted to marry a real princess. The prince went all over the world looking for a real princess whom he could marry. He met many princesses but he did not like them. One was too tall and another was too gay. And the prince was never sure if they were real princesses. At last, the prince came home again. He was very sad because he wanted to marry a real princess very much.
Then one night there was a terrible storm. The lightning flashed, the thunder roared, the wind blew and the rain poured down.
In the middle of the storm there was a knock on the door of the castle. The old king went to open the door.
There he saw a young girl. Her hair was so wet that the water from it was running down her face. Her dress was so wet that the water from it was running down on the floor.
All she could say was, "I am a real princess".
The king led the princess into the castle. The prince was happy when he heard her words, "I am a real princess". But the old queen was not happy.
"We'll see about that", thought the old queen, but she did not say anything.
The princess bathed, put on a dry dress and had supper. The old queen said, "I'll go and see if your bed is ready".
She went to the bedroom that was ready for the princess. Then she told her servants to take everything from the bed. She put a pea on the bed and then the servants put twenty mattresses on top of the pea.
"Now we shall find out if you are a real princess", said the queen to herself.
In the morning, the old queen went to see the princess. "How did you sleep, my dear?" she asked her.
"Dreadfully", answered the princess, "I hardly slept a wink all night!"
"What was the matter?" asked the old queen.
"I do not know what was in the bed", answered the princess, "but there was something hard in it. Now I am black and blue all over".
Then the queen knew that the girl was a real princess. Only a real princess could feel the pea through twenty mattresses!
The prince was very glad when the queen said that the girl was a real princess. He married the princess and they lived happily in the castle.
CATS OF THE ISLE OF MAN
The Isle of Man is situated in the Irish Sea. The people of this island are very fond of cats. There are many cats in the island but they have very short tails. They are called Manx cats and our story is about them.
Once upon a time there lived in the Isle of Man a bold, bad robber-chief. And one day this bold, bad robber-chief stole away a princess who lived on the other side of the island and carried her off to his castle, which stood at the top of a big mountain, with a thick wood all round it.
He shut her up in a high tower where nobody could get at her.
When the bold, bad robber-chief came to carry off the princess, she was playing in the garden with her favourite cat. So the cat clung to her dress with his claws and was carried off too; when they came to the chief's castle and his servants tried to take the cat away from the princess he scratched and struggled so fiercely, that they decided to leave him with her. The princess and the cat were kept prisoners in the high, high tower.
Every morning the bold, bad robber-chief came up to the tower; he unlocked the door with a great key, put some bread and a jug of milk on the table and asked the princess, "Will you be my wife?" Every day she said, "No".
She did not like the bold, bad robber-chief and did not want to be his wife.
There was a prince whom she loved; so, of course, she did not want to marry anyone else.
"I am sure", she said to the cat, "that the prince will come and take me away as soon as he can get to the castle". And she was right. The next day a pigeon flew up to the window of the tower with a note from the prince. The princess opened the note and read: "As soon as I get to the castle, I shall set you free. I am coming on horseback". The young princess took a sheet of paper and wrote quickly: "Hurry up! I am in great danger!"
She sent her note back by the pigeon and the prince sent another note to her. Some days passed. The bold, bad robber could not understand why the princess looked not so sad. Of course, he knew nothing about the notes from the prince that the pigeon brought. But each time he went out, and locked the door of the tower with great care.
The cat was always with the princess. He often sat by her side and purred dear little songs to her. When the pigeon flew up- to the window, he always sat down near the door and listened. He warned the princess at once if he heard the steps of the robber-chief on the stairs.
Two days passed, and at sunset the pigeon brought another note: "I am near the castle in the woods and I shall come to take you away in the morning". The princess sent him an answer at once and asked the prince not to come by day. "The bold, bad robber-chief has fifty men", she wrote, "each one as strong and as bad as he is. They will kill you if they see you. Come at night".
So the prince came at night. He had a long rope with him. He could climb very well and soon he jumped down from the window-sill into the room. The prince and the princess were so happy to see each other that they forgot about the danger. They talked and laughed and talked again.
"Hurry up! Hurry up!'* said the cat. He was listening by the door. "You can talk on the way home. It is dangerous to talk now. You must be off"
"You must come too", said the princess. "I cannot leave you here'*.
"Never mind about me", cried the cat. "Be off! Be off! Oh, dearl3 The robber-chief is coming up the stairs. Quick, quickl Don't wait for me. I shall do something and follow you. Only go, gol"
There was no time to think; the tower was about twenty meters high. The prince and the princess began to climb down.
"In a minute" thought the cat, "the bold, bad robber-chief will open the door, he will come into the room, he will see what has happened. And then ... then he and his robbers will start off after them. What shall I do? How can I stop him?"
At that moment the cat heard that the robber-chief was taking his keys out of his pocket.
Suddenly a brilliant idea came to his head.
Near the door there stood a chair. The cat jumped on the chair and pushed the end of his tail into the keyhole. Only just in time. The robber-chief was just about to push the key in. But he could not turn a key in a keyhole that was full of cat's tail. He tried and-tried. He shouted angrily but of course there was no answer.
It was not very nice for the cat. The end of his tail was aching because the robber-chief pushed it again and again with his great key. But the cat stood quite still. He was listening to the angry words of the robber-chief and also to the sound of the hoofs of the prince's horse.
He was glad that the sound of the hoofs was growing fainter and fainter.
Suddenly the robber-chief got hold of the cat's tail and pulled it through the keyhole.
The poor cat pulled and pulled his tail too.
"Now", thought the cat, "the prince and the princess are far away. I must follow them".
He pulled his tail with great force and ... he was free at last. But alas! — a part of his poor tail was left in the hand of the bold, bad robber-chief.
The cat ran away. And he caught up the prince and the princess and they took him up on their horse and he went home with them and lived happily ever after.
But he lived without his tail. And his children had no tails, and the children of his children had no tails.
That's why so many Manx cats are like that. But they are very proud of it and they are proud of that brave cat that saved the prince and the princess.
THE WISHING POT
Once upon a time there lived a man in Ireland by the name of Pat. He sold pots and pans. It was true that Pat could live honestly. But he was a greedy man and cheated everybody whenever he could.
One day, as Pat walked along the road to Dublin, he found an old pot that somebody had thrown away.
"If I sell this old pot", he said, picking up the pot, "I shall get money for nothing. But who will buy such an old bad pot?"
It was clear that only a fool could buy such a useless pot.
Suddenly Pat smiled. He decided to sell the useless old pot.
Soon Pat met a strange little man sitting under a tree. The little man had a long red nose and very funny ears. His coat was covered with patches. His shoes were very old. It was clear that the man was poor. But Pat saw that the little man had a silver coin in his hand.
"Ah, what a lucky man you are", Pat said.
"Indeed", replied the little man. "And why do you say
"Because I am going to give you a chance to buy something wonderful with it", said Pat.
"Wonderful", exclaimed the little man. "What is so wonderful about an old pot?"
"Why, this is a magic pot", said Pat. "It can bring you anything you wish for. And you can have it for just one silver coin".
"Let me see it", said the little man.
He looked inside the pot and cried, "Indeed this is a wonderful pot. Already it has brought me good fortune. There is a gold coin stuck to the bottom of the pot".
"Wait", shouted Pat. "That gold coin is mine". And he snatched the pot from the little man's hands. Now when Pat looked inside he couldn't see a thing and he shouted angrily, "You stole my gold coin".
"Come, come", replied the little man. "Put your head inside the pot and you will surely see the coin".
Without thinking , Pat did just that, but it was a terrible mistake. Because when he tried to pull his head out, he could not do it.
"There's no gold coin in this old pot. Help me to get my head out".
"Give me a silver coin back and I'll help you", said the little man.
Pat had ten silver coins in his purse, but he did not want to part even with a single one.
"No, I shall not give you a silver coin", he shouted.
"Well then", said the little man, "why don't you wish your wonderful pot off your head". And he went away.
Pat tried to get his head out again and again but nothing helped. So Pat went to look for a tinker. Seeing poor Pat's condition, the tinker said, "Well, I think I must help you. But it is not easy to take this pot off. Give me ten silver coins and I'll try to do it".
Pat paid him ten silver coins and the tinker took the pot off.
And so the greedy man was left with empty pockets and an old useless pot.
THE LITTLE TROLL
Once upon a time a little troll lived in a little barn on a little farm. For many years the troll brought good luck to the farm. But one day the little farm was sold, the little barn was taken down and the little troll had no place to live. So the little troll jumped on his little cat and rode across the fields to the big farm.
But there already lived an old, old troll with a long white beard. "What are you doing here?" he cried.
"May I, please, live in your barn?" asked the little troll. "I do not have a home".
"Go away!" cried the old, old troll. "I am the troll of this farml I bring luck here!"
"Let's go to the lighthouse", said the little troll to his little cat. "I'll be a lighthouse troll and bring luck to ships at sea".
At the lighthouse, the little troll and the cat went up the stairs. They were almost at the top when a loud voice cried, "What are you doing here?"
"May I, please, live in your lighthouse?" asked the little troll. "I do not have a home".
"Go away!" cried the old, old, old troll. "I am the troll of this lighthousel I bring luck here!"
The little troll and the cat went down the lighthouse stairs as fast as they could.
When they were down, the little troll said, "I bring luck to farms, I bring luck to ships at sea. But it seems to me that there is no place for me anywhere". And the little troll began to cry.
"Don't cry", said the cat. "I am sure that people need you". And the cat licked a tear off the troll's face. The little troll smiled at the cat and said, "Left go to a place where trolls do not live. Trolls live on farms but they do not live in towns. Let us look for a place in the city".
The troll jumped on the cat and away they went. They went up streets and down streets1, and past houses end houses and houses. It was midnight when they stopped.
"Which house will it be?" asked the troll. "There are so many".
"The little grey house", said the cat.
"All right", said the troll. "But let's have a look inside".
They came to a window. The cat arched his back. The troll stood on it. He saw a child sleeping in bed.
"We shall stay here", said the troll.
They found a good place for sleeping near the door on the door mat. They lay on it and fell asleep. They slept well but they slept too long! The Mistress of the little grey house was up with the sun. She opened the door and saw the cat.
"Go away!" said Mrs. Brown to.the cat. "We have no food for cats. We are poor. Mister Brown cannot find work. We have no money to buy milk for our daughter. Go away!"
Then she saw the troll. "What is this?" she said. "Oh, it's a troll doll that the cat brought here. It will be a fine doll for Kate".
The little troll said not a word. He did not move. He didn't even blink as Mrs. Brown carried him into the house and gave him to her daughter Kate.
Kate smiled. Then she laughed.
The little troll stayed very quiet. He was not ready to say that he was really real!
But when little Kate put a ribbon in his hair, he cried, "I don't wear ribbons in my hair".
Kate dropped the troll on the floor. The troll looked at Kate and saw that she was afraid.
"I am sorry I frightened you", said the little troll. "But I'm really real".
Не told Kate the story of the little farm and how he could bring luck to farms and to ships at sea. And he told her there was no place for liim anymore.
"Poor little troll", said Kate, as she picked him up and took the ribbon from his hair. "I'll ask Father and Mother if you may live with us".
"I'll wait under the bed while you ask", said the little troll.
"No", said Kate. "They must see that you are really real".
"All right", said the little troll.
Mrs. Brown was so surprised to see the little troll was really real that she dropped her spoon on the floor.
Mister Brown was so surprised that the troll was really real that he dropped his glasses.
"May he stay with us?" asked Kate.
"I'll try to bring you luck", said the little troll.
"Do you eat much?" asked Mrs. Brown,
"No", said the little troll. "A bowl of rice on New Year's Eve is all any troll eats".
"Where will you sleep?" asked Mrs. Brown.
"Since you haven't any hay, a slipper will do", said the little troll.
"You may sleep in my slipper", said Mister Brown.
"Thank you", said the little troll.
Then the little troll went out to look for his cat. He found the cat near the door.
"I have a home", said the cat. "I shall live in that little blue house. There are many mice and rats there and the people asked me to live with them".
"I have a home, too", said the little troll. "I am glad that all is well with you. Now I must work hard. I must bring luck to the Browns".
That evening the little troll tried to wish some meat into Mrs. Brown's cabbage soup. He wished and wished. He «wished so hard that he fell into the soup.
"Please, little troll", said Mrs. Brown. "Get out of my soup".
The little troll got out of the soup and felt very sad because his wish had not come true.
The next day the littlt trail went with Mister Brown to get water from the well. The little troll tried to wish the water into milk. He wished and wished. He wished so hard that he fell into the pail.
"Please, little troll", said Mister Brown. "Get out of my раіl"
The little troll got out of the pail and felt very sad because his wish had not come true.
At last the little troll said to the little girl, "I can bring luck to farms and luck to ships at sea, but I can't bring luck to the city".
"If you can bring luck to farms", said Kate, "maybe you can bring luck to our backyard".
"But nothing is growing there", said the little troll.
"We can plant something", said Kate.
"What?" asked the little troll.
"I have five pear seeds", said Kate.
So they planted the five pear seeds, and five pear-trees sprang from the ground.
"I will wish for the pear-trees to bring forth the best golden pears in all the world" said the little troll.
Soon the pear-trees were full of golden pears.
Mister Brown picked the golden pears and took them to the market.
He sold them, and the Browns got so much money that they could buy milk and meat and rice!
The little troll took care of the pear-trees and they all lived happily ever after in the city.
THE GOLDEN GOOSE
There was once a man who had three sons, the youngest was called the Simpleton. People did not like him because he was not clever and often laughed at him.
Now it happened one day that the eldest son wanted to go into the forest to cut wood, and his mother gave him a fine big cake and a bottle of wine.
When he came to the forest he met a little old man who wished him good morning and then said, "Give me a small piece of the cake you have in your bag, and let me drink a mouthful of your wine; I am so hungry".
But the clever son answered, "I shall eat my cake myself and I shall drink my wine myself", and he left the little man and walked away.
Hardly had he begun to cut down a tree, when his axe slipped and cut his arm. He had to go home at once and could not work for a long period of time.
This was the work of the little old man who wanted to punish him for his greediness.
The next day the second son went into the wood, and his mother gave him a sweet cake and a bottle of wine.
The little old man met him too, and asked for a small piece of cake and a mouthful of wine.
But the second son said, "I shall eat my lunch myself". He left the little old man and went away.
Very soon the second son cut his leg so badly that he had to go home.
Then said the Simpleton, "Father, let me go into the forest and cut wood". His father answered him, "Your brothers cut themselves. You understand nothing about wood-cutting, I think you must not try".
But the Simpleton asked for so long that at last his father said, "Well, go if you like".
To the Simpleton his mother gave a small loaf of brown bread and a bottle of water. When he came to the forest the little old man met him and said, "Give me a small piece of the cake you have in your bag, and let me drink a mouthful of your wine, I am so hungry".
The Simpleton answered, "I have only a small loaf of brown bread and some water but let us sit down and eat together".
So they sat down under a tree, and as the Simpleton took out his food, the small loaf of brown bread turned into a big sweet cake and the water became good wine. So they ate and drank together, and when the lunch was finished, the little man said, "As you have a good heart I want to help you. Cut that tree and you will find something". And the man went away.
The Simpleton began to work. And when he cut down the tree and when it fell, there among its branches sat a goose, with feathers of pure gold.
The Simpleton took the goose and went to an inn to have his dinner. But as he was very tired he decided to spend the night in the inn.
The innkeeper had three daughters and all three of them liked the golden goose very much. The eldest daughter thought to herself, "It seems to me I have a chance to get a wonderful golden feather".
When the Simpleton fell asleep she went to his room to pull out one of those beautiful feathers.
She caught the goose by the wing and ... her hand stuck to it!
Some minutes later the second daughter came to the Simpleton's room. She wanted to get one of those golden feathers too. But hardly had she touched her sister's hand she stuck to her.
Then the third daughter came in to pull out a feather. "Keep away!" cried her sisters. But she did not understand why they told her to keep away and hardly had she touched her sisters she stuck to them.
They had all to pass the night beside the goose.
Next morning the Simpleton took the goose under his arm and went out.
He said to himself, "I shall see a little of the world before going home". He did not trouble himself about the three girls who were stuck to the bird. They were running behind him. By and by they met a parson. He saw the procession and cried, "Shame on you, you naughty girls. Why do you run after a boy in this way?"
With these words he caught the youngest daughter by the hand. Hardly had he touched her hand he stuck to it. Now the parson was running behind the girls.
Then an old peasant came along and saw the parson behind the girls. He was so astonished that he cried, "Your Reverence! Why do you run after the girls in this way? Shame on you!"
He wanted to stop the parson but hardly had he touched the parson's hand he stuck to it.
As the five ran, one behind the other, they met a fat merchant coming back from the market. The parson and the peasant cried, "Help us! Stop us!"
The fat merchant tried to stop them. But hardly had tie touched the peasant's hand he stuck to it. Now there were six running after the Simpleton and the goose.
At last they came to a city. Here reigned a King with an only daughter who was so serious that no one could make her laugh. The King had promised that whoever could make his daughter laugh should have her for his wife.
When the Simpleton heard this he went with his goose and his train of six before the Princess. When she saw the six people all running behind each other, she began to laugh, and she laughed and laughed and laughed till it seemed as though she could never stop.
The King was very glad. The Simpleton married the Princess, and lived happily ever after. But what became of the goose we do not know.
THE STORY OF THE BROWNIES
Once upon a time, many years ago, a poor man and his wife lived with their two children, Tommy and Betty, in a small cottage not far from a wood.
The mother loved both the children but she was often very sad because they were lazy and untidy.
When they played their games, they ran about their cottage and shouted. They often broke the cups and the plates and spoiled their clothes. Betty's dress and apron and Tommy's shirt and trousers were always terribly dirty. So long as the children had a good time they never thought about other people.
One evening, at the end of a very busy day, the mother said, "Oh dear, how different things were when we had a Brownie!"
"What is a Brownie?" asked the children.
"The Brownie," answered their mother, "was a small fairy creature4 who came to the house before anyone was up, and swept the floor and lit the fire, brought the water and prepared the breakfast. He tidied up the rooms, he weeded the garden, he cleaned the shoes, he polished the tea-kettle. He did every kind of useful work, but nobody ever saw him. He always went away before the people of the house got up, but he was the greatest friend of us. We were happy and the home was bright and clean."
"My word, I wish we had a Brownie!" exclaimed Tommy. "He could do everything for us. He could tidy our house, he could weed our garden, he could polish our tea-kettle."
"Yes," agreed Betty, "and he could bring water, he could wash the cups and plates, he could tidy up after ourselves. Mother, do tell us how we can find a Brownie."
"There Is only one person who can tell you that," answered mother, "and that's the wise brown owl in the woods; she knows all about the Brownies."
Tommy and Betty decided to go to the wise brown owl.
So after dark the two children went out into the wood to look for the wise bird. Tommy led the way very bravely at first, but as the path became darker and darker he was ready to go back. But Betty wanted to find the wise brown owl very much. She did not turn back and now she led her brother after her. Suddenly they heard the hoo-hooting of the owl among the trees. The children were frightened. They stood still and wanted to turn and run back home.
Then Betty said, "We want to learn about the Brownies and we must find the owl. Let us go and look for her." She went forward, a gain and Tommy followed his sister.
The children heard the hoo-hooting of the owl again and again. It sounded louder and louder. Then they came to the tree in whose branches the owl was sitting.
"Mrs. Owl, Mrs. Owl, we have come to see you," Betty whispered.
"Oo-hoo-hoo, I am glad to hear it. Climb up the tree, my dears, and come and sit by me on this branch". Tommy and Betty climbed up the tree, sat by the owl and said, "Mother always asks us to work when we want to play. Help us to find the Brownie. We want to ask the Brownie to come and live in our house. We want to ask the Brownie to do everything for us."
"Oo-hoo-hoo, hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" said the owl. "You see that pool down there. Go to the north side of it when the moon is bright and then turn round three times and say:
Twist me and turn me and show me the elf. I looked in the water and there saw...
To get the finishing word of the rhyme look down into the water and there you will see the Brownie. The name of the Brownie will be the finishing word of the rhyme. In this way you will meet the Brownie."
So when the moon was bright, Betty went to the pool, turned herself round three times and cried:
"Twist me and turn me and show me the elf. I looked in the water and there saw ..."
But when she looked in the pool she saw nobody but herself.
Betty went back to the owl and said "I did not see the Brownie in the pool."
"Did you see no one whose name could be the finishing word of the rhyme?" asked the owl.
Betty said, "No one but myself."
Then Mrs. Owl said, "The word myself is the finishing word of the rhyme, isn't it?"
"Twist me and turn mc and show me the elf.
I looked in the water and there saw myself." — exclaimed Betty. But lam not a Brownie!"
The old wise owl said, "No, but you can be one if you try. You are a strong little girl. You can sweep the floor, you can light a fire, you can put the kettle on to boil. You can make your bed and clean your shoes. You can do all these things before your father and mother get up, and they will think that the Brownies live in the house and do everything."
"My word, I like this idea very much," exclaimed Tommy. "May I become a Brownie too?"
The wise owl nodded her head.
Betty and Tommy said goodnight to the wise owl and went home. Next morning they got up early before mother and father were up. They cleaned up the kitchen and lit the fire, they prepared the breakfast and polished the spoons and knives, they watered the vegetables in their kitchen-garden and put some ripe red tomatoes and shining green cucumbers on the kitchen table. Then they went quietly back to their beds, so that when their father and mother got up and wanted to do all the work themselves, they saw that everything was already done.
"Oh, dear, we have a Brownie in our house!" exclaimed mother.
Day after day this went on. The children used to get up early and do everything about the house. They began to love their work. They were not lazy and untidy any more. Father and mother were very pleased with their children.
Once upon a time there lived a man and his wife. They had all that they wanted in the world. Still the wife was very whimsical and often asked her husband to get her something else.
At the back of their house was a window which looked out over a beautiful garden, full of lovely flowers and fine fruits and vegetables.
The garden was surrounded by a high wall. No one ever tried to climb the wall, for the garden belonged to a witch.
One day the wife stood at the back window looking down into the witch's garden. And there she saw some fresh red berries. She thought that they were much better than the berries in her own garden.
Immediately she wanted to eat some of them. But as she was afraid of the witch she just began to cry bitterly.
"What is the matter with you, dear wife?" her husband asked.
His wife pointed out to the fresh red berries in the witch's garden.
"Ah!" she cried, "if I cannot eat some of those berries, I shall die."
"I shall climb into the witch's garden and bring you some berries," said the man. He climbed over the high wall into the witch's garden, gathered a handful of berries and came back over the wall.
The wife ate the berries and liked them very much. Next day she wanted some more of them. That's why the man went to the witch's garden again.
He climbed over the wall but as his feet touched the ground there stood the witch in front of him.
"How dare you come into my garden!" she shouted angrily. "And how dare you steal my berries!"
"It was for my wife," answered the poor man. When the witch heard the man's story, she took pity on him. "I will let you go home without any harm," she said, "because it was your wife who was greedy and whimsical. But you must promise mc one thing. When your wife has a child, you must give it to me, I shall treat it well and look after it like a mother"
The poor man was so frightened that he agreed. Some time later a beautiful baby girl was born. That very same day, the witch came to them. She reminded the man of his promise and took the child away with her.
The witch named the baby Rapunzel. As the child grew, she became the most beautiful girl in the world.
When Rapunzel was sixteen years old, the witch shut her up in a tower in the forest. The tower had neither a door nor a staircase but, right at the top, there was one small window. When the witch came to visit Rapunzel, she stood at the foot of the tower and cried:
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your plait."
Rapunzel had wonderful, long, fine hair, the colour of gold. Whenever she heard the voice of the witch, she threw her long plait of hair out of the window. It was so long that it fell right to the ground.
The witch climbed up the wall of the tower and in at the window.
Once a prince rode through the forest. As he passed by the tower he heard the sound of someone singing. The singing was so lovely that the prince stopped to listen. The song came from the top of the tower. It was Rapunzel, singing to herself. The prince wanted to go into the tower to find the singer. He looked for a door but could not find one, so he rode sadly home. Yet the prince could not forget the sweet song and he wanted to see the singer. Every day he used to return to the forest. He used to stand by the tower, listening to Rapunzel singing.
One day the witch came to the tower. The prince heard her cry:
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your plait."
Immediately, a long, thick plait of golden hair fell down to the ground. The witch climbed up the tower and in at the window.
Now the prince knew how to get to the tower.
The next day the prince came to the tower and cried:
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Let down your plait."
The plait came down and the prince climbed up. Rapunzel was surprised, and rather afraid, when she saw the prince. But he talked kindly to her and she soon lost her fear1. He told her how he used to come to the tower every day to listen to her sweet singing.
The prince asked Rapunzel if he might come to visit her again. She answered, "Come to see me each evening, for the witch comes only during the day".
So, for many evenings, the prince visited Rapunzel and they grew to love each other.
The prince asked Rapunzel to marry him and she agreed.
Then they talked together of how Rapunzel could get out of the tower.
At last Rapunzel thought of a plan. "Every evening, when you come to see me," she said to the prince, "bring a skein of silk. I shall weave the silk into a ladder. When it is long enough to reach the ground, I shall come down. Then you carry me away on your horse."
He agreed to this plan. Every night the prince brought a skein of silk, and every day Rapunzel wove a little more of the ladder.
During all this time, the witch knew nothing of the prince's visits to Rapunzel.
Then one day when the witch had climbed up the tower by the plait of hair, Rapunzel spoke without thinking. "How is it, good mother," she asked, "that you are so much heavier than the prince?"
"Oh! You bad child!" cried the witch. "I thought that I had separated you from all the world. Now I see that you have deceived me."
In her anger, the witch seized a pair of scissors and cut off Rapunzel's beautiful hair. She then took the poor girl away to a desert, where she left her alone and unhappy.
That same night, the witch returned to the tower. She fastened Rapunzel's plait of hair to a hook above the window.
The prince came to the tower and cried:
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your plait."
Then the witch threw the plait out of the window. The prince climbed up and found himself face to face, not with his beautiful Rapunzel, but with the angry witch.
"Ah!" cried the witch. "You have come to see your love. You will never see her again."
The prince thought that Rapunzel was dead. In his sorrow he jumped from the high window of the tower and fell to the ground. He was not killed but hurt his eyes by the thorns among which he fell.
For some years the poor, blind prince wandered sadly through the forest. His only food was the roots and berries he found there. He did not care about anything. His only thought was about his dear Rapunzel.
At last he came to the desert where Rapunzel lived in sorrow. In the distance, he heard her singing and he knew her voice at once.
The blind prince went towards the voice he loved. As soon as Rapunzel saw him, she knew that the poor man in rags was her prince. She ran into his arms.
She was so glad to see him and so sad to find him blind that she burst into tears. Two large tear-drops fell upon his eyes. Immediately he could see as well as ever before.
How happy Rapunzel and the prince were to be together again. It did not matter to them that they were in rags. They forgot the sad days.
Hand in hand, they made their way happily through the desert to the prince's kingdom. There they were married and lived happily ever after.
THE THORN TREE
There was once a farmer called Danny O'Connor who lived in Donegal. He only had two fields and in the middle of one field there was a thorn tree. Danny did not want to cut down the thorn tree, because people in Ireland think that thorn trees belong to the fairy folk.
One day the farm that was near Danny's farm was sold to Mick O'Hara from the town.
First of all Mick O'Hara said, "There are many thorn trees on my farm. They are useless for me and I'll cut them down."
"Don't do it," said Danny, "because old wise people say that thorn trees belong to the fairy folk".
Mick only laughed and soon cut all his thorn trees down.
In Danny's field where the thorn tree grew, lived three of the happiest animals in all Ireland. They were the Donkey, the Cow and the Goat. All summer long they lived in the field, and in winter they lived in the shed at the side of Danny's cottage. Danny was a very kind master and his animals loved him very much. As they loved him they wanted him to be happy. That is why they were sorry that Danny had no wife.
One spring evening the animals were lying near the thorn tree and talking.
"Isn't it a terrible thing that our kind master can't find a nice wife?" said the Donkey.
"Terrible indeed," said the Cow.
"Our master is too shy", said the Goat.
The three of them lay there and thought very hard. It got darker and darker, the stars came out bright and shiny, and then a big round moon came up over the hills.
"I was thinking about a wife for Danny," said the Goat suddenly. "Perhaps the leprechauns could help us."
"The leprechauns are not kind. They are sly. I don't think it is wise to ask them," said the Cow.
"Still we may try. Why not?" said the Donkey.
"І don't think we must do it," said the Cow.
"It seems to me," said the Donkey, "that we must try to help our master. I am not sure that the leprechauns will help us but ..."
But just then a voice said, "Well, are you going to ask us or not?"
Three animals jumped up.
"It's a leprechaun! He was listening," said the Cow.
A tiny little man was standing in front of them." Of course I was," said the little man. "You want to ask us to help Danny O'Connor to find a wife, do you?"
"Yes, we do," said the animals.
"We'll help you but you must do something for us," said the tiny little man.
The Cow, the Goat and the Donkey said that they were ready to do everything they could.
"Follow me," said the leprechaun and led the animals to the thorn tree in the middle of the field. Suddenly there was a great flash of golden light and instead of the thorn tree they saw a passage.
The little man went into the passage and the animals followed him. They all went down and down along the passage and suddenly came to a big hall. There were hundreds and hundreds of leprechauns in green jackets and red caps everywhere.
At the end of the room there was a throne and on it the King of all the leprechauns sat.
"Come here," said the King. "I sent for you because I want you to do something for us."
"We'll do if we can," said the animals.
"Your master. Danny O'Connor, is a good man, he respects us," said the King, "but his neighbour, Mick O'Hara, is our great enemy. That man cut down every thorn tree in his fields, and we are not pleased with him."
"Well?" said the Goat. "What can we do?"
"You can take this bag full of gold coins and at night you can put these coins everywhere in the fields of Mick O'Hara. It will not be easy and you must work hard."
"And then will you help Danny to find a wife?" asked the Goat.
"I'll tell you something," said the King. "Your friend Danny loves a very pretty kind girl. She can be a good wife for him. But he does not ask the girl to marry him. He thinks his two fields and his poor old cottage aren't good enough. But I promise you, if you do as I ask, Danny will be rich."
With these words the King let the animals go away. Some minutes later they were in their field again and then they went to the Mick's farm.
The Goat opened the bag and the animals started their work. They went up and down the field putting coins everywhere. Soon the field was shining in the moonlight. Then they moved on to the next field, and so on, till every field on Mick O'Hara's farm was shining brightly with gold coins.
When the Goat, the Cow and the Donkey woke up next morning they saw that Mick's farm had turned into a forest of thorn trees. Everywhere instead of the gold coin a thorn tree had grown up. O'Hara's fields were covered with thorn trees as thick as wheat in the harvest!
When Danny saw his neighbour's fields he was very surprised. Then O'Hara himself came to him and cried, "I'm ruined — how could such a thing happen?"
"I told you not to cut down the fairy thorn," said Danny.
"Well, since you are so clever," shouted O'Hara, "perhaps you can make a farm out of seven fields of thorn trees. Take my land and good luck to you! I want nothing more to do with this terrible place."
And that very day he packed his things and left. But the minute he left the thorn trees disappeared. The farm was again with potatoes or wheat or grass — except for one thing. In the middle of each field stood a thorn tree. And under each tree there were golden coins shining in the grass. Danny O'Connor had only to pick them up.
When Danny became a rich man and had a fine farm with a good house on it, he found all the courage to marry the girl he loved. And Danny and his wife and his animals lived happily in Donegal for the rest of their lives.
THE LITTLE COCK AND THE DIAMOND BUTTON
Once upon a time there lived a poor old woman. The poor old woman had a Little Cock. One day the Little Cock walked out of the yard to look for insects and worms.
All the insects and worms in the yard were his friends. The Little Cock was hungry, but he could not eat his friends! So he walked out of the yard and looked for insects and worms in the road. He ate some insects and worms and suddenly he found a Diamond Button. The Diamond Button smiled at him and said, "Pick me up, Little Cock, and take me to your old mistress. She likes Diamond Buttons.
So the Little Cock picked up the Button. Just then the Turkish Sultan walked by. The Turkish Sultan was very, very fat. Three fat servants walked behind him. He saw the Little Cock with the Diamond button and cried, "Little Cock, give me your Diamond Button."
"I am going to give it to my poor old mistress. She likes Diamond Buttons," said the Little Cock.
"Catch the Cock and take the Diamond Button from him," said the Turkish Sultan to his servants.
The three fat servants caught the Little Cock and took the Diamond Button from him. Then they gave it to the Sultan. The Sultan went to his palace with it and put it into a large box that was full of golden coins.
The Little Cock was very angry. He went to the palace of the Turkish Sultan, flew up to the window and cried, "Cock-a-doodle-doo! Turkish Sultan, give me back my Diamond Button."
The Turkish Sultan did not like this, so he walked into another room.
The Little Cock flew up to the window of another room and cried, "Cock-a-doodle-doo! Turkish Sultan, give me back my Diamond Button!"
The Turkish Sultan went from one room to another but the Little Cock flew up to every window of the palace and cried, "Cock-a-doodle-doo! Turkish Sultan, give me back my Diamond Button."
The Turkish Sultan was terribly angry. He called his three fat servants.
"Catch the Little Cock. Throw him into the well, let him drown"
The three fat servants caught the Little Cock and threw him into the well. But the Little Cock cried, "Come, my empty stomach, drink up all the water."
His empty stomach drank up all the water. The Little Cock flew back to the window and cried, "Cock-a-doodle-doo! Turkish Sultan, give me back my Diamond Button."
The Turkish Sultan was mad with anger. He called his three servants.
"Catch the Little Cock and throw him into the fire. Let him burn!"
The three fat servants caught the Little Cock and threw him into the fire.
But the Little Cock cried, "Come, my full stomach, let out all the water to put out the fire."
His full stomach let out all the water. It put out the fire.
The Little Cock flew back to the window again and cried, "Cock-a-doodle-doo! Turkish Sultan, give me back my Diamond Button."
The Turkish Sultan was madder than ever. He called his three fat servants.
"Catch the Little Cock, throw him into a beehive, and let the bees sting him!" The servants threw the Cock into a beehive. But the Little Cock cried, "Come, my empty stomach, eat up all the bees."
His empty stomach ate up all the bees. He flew back to the window again and cried, "Cock-a-doodle-doo! Turkish Sultan, give me back my Diamond Button."
The Turkish Sultan was so mad he didn't know what to do.
He called his three fat servants. "What shall I do with the Little Cock?"
The first fat servant said, "Hang him!" The second fat servant said: "Cut his head off!" The third fat servant said, "Sit on him!" The Turkish Sultan cried, "That's it! I'll sit on him! Catch the Little Cock and bring him to me!"
The three fat servants caught the Little Cock and brought him to the Sultan. Then the Turkish Sultan sat on him.
But the Little Cock cried, "Come, my full stomach, let out all the bees to sting the Turkish Sultan."
His stomach let out all the bees. And did they sting the Turkish Sultan? They did! The Turkish Sultan jumped up in the air.
"Save me! Save me!" he cried. "Take this Little Cock away! Give him his Diamond Button!"
The three fat servants took the Little Cock to the room where the big box was and said, "Find your Diamond Button and go away!" Then they ran back to the Sultan.
But the Little Cock cried, "Come, my empty stomach, eat up all the golden coins". His empty stomach ate up all the golden coins. Then the Little Cock took his Diamond Button and went home. He gave all the coins and the Diamond Button to his poor old mistress. Then he went out into the yard to tell his friends, the insects and worms, about the Turkish Sultan and the Diamond Button.
HONEY WITHOUT MONEY
In a meadow full of flowers sat a brown and white dog. A little bee flew by.
Bow-wow-wow, barked the brown and white dog. The dog jumped up and followed the bee to see what it was doing. Finally they came to a red wooden house. It stood on four legs.
The bee flew to this house and, buzz-buzz-buzz, got inside. The dog tried to follow the bee, but he could not. He was much too big to follow the bee. He looked around, found a dog-size door and got inside the house too.
There he saw a yellow honey-comb full of honey. Quickly he carried it outside.
But before he could lick it a large cloud of angry bees flew out of the house and made straight for the brown and white dog.
The dog got frightened and rushed home. He could hear the bees close behind him. He would like to hide in his doghouse, but the bees followed him inside. They stung him all over.
Wrapped in bandages, he went to sleep thinking of honey. Then he began to dream. He was standing on the edge of a big honey-comb when a bee flew up and scolded him for stealing honey. The bee gave the brown and white dog a pair of wings and told him to follow close behind. Then it flew to a large pink flower and drank the sweet nectar inside. The dog was surprised, when he saw how fat the bee had grown. He thought the bee was very greedy to eat so much nectar.
The next minute they flew to the odd-looking house. Inside there were rows of empty cells5. The bee began to fill a cell with the nectar it had brought. A moment later, more and more bees flew in. They were bringing nectar too. When the bees had flown away again a crowd of smaller bees hurried over to the cell and began to drink up every drop of nectar.
The dog thought they were stealing the nectar and wanted to chase them away. But the friendly bee told him they were only helping to turn the nectar into honey.
After a while the little bees went back to cell and filled it up again. But now the nectar had changed into thin honey. The bees beat their wings over the honey and it became thicker and thicker.
Suddenly the dog woke up. He heard a noise and opened one eye. Three little mice were carefully approaching the odd-looking house. The brown and white dog waited until the mice had moved on, and then he followed them. He saw that they squeesed through the bees front door.
The dog jumped up and began to bark. The mice ran away. The dog hurried up to catch those mice. But the mice ran so fast that in no time they were out of sight. The brown and white dog was proud and glad to help the bees.
At that moment he heard a loud buzzing noise and looked up.
A large cloud of bees was coming towards him. The dog turned and ran to his dog-house as quick as he could. The buzzing came nearer and nearer.
Then it stopped for a moment, then began again and died away in the distance.
The brown and white dog looked out and got surprised. The bees had brought a big honey-comb. How good it tasted — and no stings this time.
CORKY LEARNS A LESSON
In a little village near the forest there lived a cock and a hen. The cock's name was Corky and the hen's name was Henny.
The cock was always the first to get up in the morning. He awoke, shook his feathers and began to crow, "Cock-a-doodle-doo! Wake up, wake up! Soon the sun will rise. It will be a fine day today! Cock-a-doodle-doo!"
It was not easy to get sleepy-head out of bed. Henny, however, was not one of the lazy-bones. She woke up at the first cock-crow, looked out of the hen-house, and then flew out after Corky into the yard. The cock paid no attention to her. He was very busy doing his job.
At last Corky's work was over. The whole yard woke up. The cock started looking for beetles and worms with Henny. They began with the farm-yard, pecking at anything they found.
The sun shone brightly as the cock and the hen passed the garden gate and made for the woods.
On the way to the woods they found flies, caterpillars and worms, all of which they shared.
When they came to the woods, Henny said, "Listen, my dear, let's go back to the yard. We are too far away from our house".
"Oh, but it's so nice here", said the cock. "We shall find nuts and berries there".
"Well, but promise not to stay too long", said the hen. And so they went deeper into the woods. They found pine-cones on the ground and how delicious they tasted! Corky did not know what to peck at first.
Suddenly he saw bunches of bright red berries hanging from the tree. He left the little hen and ran to the tree. The cock forgot everything and threw himself on the berries and swallowed them one after the other as fast as he could. But he swallowed so- fast that the red berries stuck in his throat.
Corky started to choke and fell over on his back. He couldn't even call out to the little hen. His comb grew pale and his eyes were closed. Henny called to him but in vain. Suddenly she saw him lying on the ground.
"What's happened?" she cried. "He must have choked himself. If only I had some milk to pour down his throat so that the berries would slip down and he could breathe again." And with that she ran to the farm yard as fast as she could. She took a blue jug and hurried on to see the cow. The noise in the farm-yard woke the brown cow from her midday sleep. She got up and started to lick her lips, thinking of something nice to eat. But instead of green grass she saw the thistles which grew by the door of the cowshed. Then she saw the hen.
"Dear little brown cow. Something terrible has happened. Corky is unable to breathe. Some berries have got stuck in his throat. Please let me have a drop of milk for the poor cock", she said to the cow.
"I'd willingly give you some milk for the cock", said the cow, "but I haven't got any. I have had no fresh green grass for a long time. If you bring me some green grass I'll give you some nice creamy milk".
Henny thanked the cow and ran to the meadow. But there was no green grass in the meadow.
"Dear little meadow, please give me some green grass. The cock is ill and he needs some milk to get well again. If I bring the cow some green grass, she will give me some milk".
The meadow answered softly, "I should like to help you, little hen. But what can I do if I have no water. The green grass will not grow until the brook waters me".
The little hen grew very sad and hurried off as fast as she could go. She came to the brook which flowed down the hillside. But instead of a brook, Henny saw only a thin trickle of water.
"Dear little brookl Why haven't you enough water to water the meadow?"
"I would gladly water the meadow", said the brook, "but the children who played here some time ago built a dam from stones and twigs, and now the water cannot get through".
"Ill help you", said the little hen. And she started to ruin the dam and very soon the dam was no more.
Once again the brook went merrily and quickly reached the meadow and water it. The meadow began to grow green. When Henny came to the meadow she saw beautiful green grass there. She gathered some juicy green grass, thanked the meadow and ran to the cow. She was very tired but she hurried on.
The cow met Henny with the juicy green grass. She began to eat it. Then she gave her a jug of creamy milk.
Henny thanked her and set off to the woods. Finally she arrived at the woods and came up to the cock. Very carefully she poured some milk into his beak. At last the cock was able to breathe. He opened one eye, then the other, shook his comb and got up on his feet, "Thank you, my dear. You have saved my life", he said to Henny.
Since that day Corky was always very careful. He always shared everything he found with his brave and devoted friend.
THE WAWEL DRAGON
Long, long ago there were thick woods on the banks of the Vistula River in Poland. These woods were full of wild animals. The people of Poland were afraid of them and built their huts on stakes driven into the river bed. The river gave water and fish to the people. In the woods the women gathered mushrooms, berries and eatable roots of plants while the men with bows and spears hunted for animals.
In one of the huts there lived a villager, his wife and his son Slavko.
One day the villager said to his wife, "Slavko is quite big now. It's time to take him hunting with me".
The wife said, "Our son is a clever boy. He can make different things from wood, clay and leather. Let us send him to town to learn to make shoes".
The words of his mother made Slavko happy. He often thought about far away towns and even saw them in his dreams.
"I am happy, mother. I shall return when I can make shoes", said Slavko.
He kissed his parents, took some food and left his native village. He decided to go along the bank of the river. It helped him not to lose his way. He went down the Vistula River and by and by he came to Krakow. Here on Wawel Hill King Krak built himself a castle. There he lived with his family. The peasants built a city at the foot of the hill. It was named Krakow after the King.
Slavko saw a city for the first time in his life. He went from one place to another. Everything was new and interesting for him. An old man asked Slavko, "Where are you coming from, my boy? What are you going to do here all alone?"
"I want to learn how to make shoes".
"Well then, stay with me. I am a shoemaker. My name is Skuba. I need a boy to help me".
This is how Slavko happened to come to Krakow and meet the shoemaker named Skuba.
Skuba was a kind man. He taught Slavko how to make shoes. They made many fine shoes together. Skuba's wife took care of Slavko. She washed his shirts and gave him his meals. Skuba's granddaughter Maryla became his devoted friend and they often walked together through the noisy and bright streets of Krakow.
Some years passed. Slavko learned to make shoes. He grew up and became a young man. He was going to return home.
Then one night a huge Green Dragon came out from a cave under Wawel Hill. The Green Dragon was really terrible.
"I want a sheep", roared the Dragon. The people were terribly frightened. They gave the Dragon many sheep. Then the Dragon wanted some goats and pigs. The Dragon swallowed all the goats and pigs the peoDle brought him and then he asked for more. Then the Green Dragon wanted some horses and cows.
One day the greedy Dragon roared, "I shall eat up all your cattle, then I shall eat you, people, one by one, and at last I shall eat the King".
The warriors of the king tried to kill the Dragon but their arrows and spears made him no harm.
The frightened people sat in their houses. The women cried and kept their children near them.
The Royal Council assembled at Wawel Castle. The people tried to find a way to get rid of the Dragon but everything was in vain.
Skuba and his old wife were very sad and frightened. Maryla was crying bitterly and suddenly Slavko looked at her and said, "Stop crying, Maryla. I know how to do away with the Green Dragon. I'll go to King Krak".
Slavko came to the palace on Wawel Hill.
"Who are you and what do you want, my boy?" asked the king.
"I am a young shoemaker. I make shoes at master Skuba's. I know how to do away with the Dragon".
Then Slavko told the King about his plan.
You are a brave and clever boy", said the King and he called his best servants and told them to do everything what Slavko would order them to do.
Slavko told the servants to bring him some tar, a bag of sulphur, the skin of a big ram and four oak sticks. Then Slavko and Skuba began to work. They made something like a bag from the skin of the ram, put inside the tar and the sulphur. Then they put the stuffed ram skin on those four oak sticks.
Now the stuffed skin looked like a real ram. At night Slavko and Skuba put their "ram" just in front of the cave where the Green Dragon was sleeping.
In the morning the Dragon came out of the cave and the first thing he saw was "the ram" made by Slavko and Skuba.
In a moment the Dragon swallowed up "the ram" and ... he began to jump and roar. The Dragon ran, then fell down, then got up and ran to the river. "Water, water", roared the Dragon. The Green Dragon began to drink water from the Vistula, then he turned into a huge balloon and burst with a terrible crash.
That was how the Wawel Dragon met his end. The King made Slavko his court shoemaker and even wanted Slavko to marry one of the beautiful ladies of his court.
But Slavko married Maryla and they lived happily for many years.
From the skin of the Dragon Slavko made himself a pair of fine green shoes and put them on when he went for a walk.
PRINCE LIAM AND THE WOLFHOUNDS
Long, long ago when Ireland was divided into many kingdoms, there was one king who was very cruel. Even his own children were afraid of him. The King had three sons and three daughters and only his youngest son, Prince Liam, was not afraid of his cruel father.
When the time came for them to marry, the King found the richest wives for his sons and the richest husbands for his daughters. Those persons were neither beautiful nor kind. The King made his sons and daughters marry them only because they were rich.
Prince Liam refused to obey his father, he did not want to marry the ugly old woman. The King was terribly angry. He ordered Prince Liam to go away from his kingdom and never come back.
"If you come to my country I'll order my servants to kill you!" cried the angry King.
Prince Liam walked and walked till he came to another part of Ireland. As the evening came he found himself in the middle of the forest. There were wild animals in Ireland in those days, and Prince Liam did not want to sleep in the forest. He walked on though he was very tired. At last he saw a house in the distance. It was a large and beautiful farm. A rich old farmer lived there. He was a kind man and when he heard Liam's story, he asked him. to come in.
"You are welcome", l he said, "for I have no sons now, I had seven, but they were all lost in the forest. They went hunting and never came back. Now I live alone with my daughter. Please stay and work for me. You can help me very much".
And the beautiful daughter of the farmer said, "We are lonely here. Do stay with us! My father needs a young strong man to help him".
When the young prince saw the fine fields and meadows of the farm, he liked them very much. He liked farmer's daughter too. So he said, "I shall stay on your farm and work for you".
Prince Liam stayed on the farm and worked for the farmer. The farmer's daughter soon became his best friend.
One day the farmer said, "My workers are finishing to gather the harvest in the fields. I want to give a feast for them at the end of the day. Go to the hill and kill the fattest sheep you can find. We'll roast it for the feast".
So Liam went to the hills, found the fattest sheep, killed it and wanted to carry it to the farm. Suddenly he saw a woman coming towards him down the hill. She was tall and had long red hair. The woman was leading a big wolfhound on a golden chain. She came to Liam and said, "Give me the sheep. In return you can have this wolfhound".
"This sheep belongs to my master. I can't give it to you", said Liam.
"This hound will bring happiness to your master", said the woman. "He is called Quicksilver, and he can run quicker than anything else on earth".
Liam agreed to give her the sheep. The woman took it and disappeared. Liam was astonished. But then he remembered his task, so he began to look for the second fattest sheep. But when he found and killed it, the young woman with long red hair came again to him and asked for the sheep. And again she had a beautiful wolfhound on a golden chain. Liam gave the sheep to her and she gave him her hound in return.
This time she said, "Your master will be happy because of this hound. This hound is called Heavy Load, for he can
carry anything, no matter how heavy. You'll find him very useful."
She took the sheep and disappeared. Now Liam had two fine dogs — but still no sheep.
He found a good sheep but again the same thing happened. The woman took the sheep and gave the prince the third hound.
"This hound is called Knowledge", she said. "He knows everything and is very clever. You'll find him very useful."
Liam did not look for any more sheep and went home. When he came home with three fine hounds the farmer was not angry. "We can roast some chickens for the feast," he said. "The wolfhounds are really very beautiful, strong and big."
A few days later Liam said to the farmer, "I'm going hunting in the forest with our three fine hounds."
The farmer was frightened. "Don't go hunting to the forest," he said. "I've lost seven sons hunting in the forest— am I now to lose you the same way?"
"I'll be careful," said Liam, "and I am sure that Quicksilver, Knowledge and Heavy Load will help me."
It happened as he said. Knowledge knew where to find a large flocks of birds. Quicksilver led Liam to them. In no time Liam shot many birds, and Heavy Load lifted them on his back and carried them home. There were enough birds to feed all the people on the farm for a long time, and the farmer was very pleased.
After this, the three hounds and Liam went hunting into the forest very often. And every time they went farther and farther in the thick of the forest.
One day, when they were on the way home, the three dogs stopped suddenly and began to speak among themselves, "Attention! Be ready! Our time has come! Be carefull"
At that moment Liam saw a terrible giant coming to them. His great mouth was open and ready to swallow Liam and the hounds. In a flash Quicksilver, Knowledge and Heavy Load sprang at the giant. A terrible fight began. The giant was very strong but the hounds were stronger. Soon the giant lay on the ground.
"Save me," he cried to Liarn, "save me and I'll give you everything I have!'*
"What will you give me?" asked Liam.
"I'll give you my lands! I'll give you my castle! Save mc from these terrible hounds, and everything 1 have is yours. I promise you!" cried the giant.
"Very well," said Liam, and called the hounds away.
"Now, lead me to your castle and show me your fine lands. But if you try to run away, my hounds will be on you again."
"I'll be very good," said the giant, "only don't let those terrible animals rush at me again."
So the giant led the way to his castle and indeed it was very large and beautiful. The walls were made of marble, the doors were made of gold, the stairs were made of silver. The rooms were beautiful and full of different treasures.
Then Knowledge led the way through the castle to a great heavy iron door. It was locked but Heavy Load sprang at it and the door fell down.
And inside, there were seven fine young men tied up in chains. They were the seven sons of the farmer. The cruel giant kept them in his castle.
There was a great feast in the farmer's home that night when his seven sons returned. Prince Liam was rich, now all the giant's land belonged to him. He went to live in the castle and soon married the farmer's daughter.
They kept the giant locked for a while but one day he broke the wall and ran away. And he was never seen again.
The woman, who gave the hounds to Liam came to him once more. "I have come for Quicksilver, Knowledge and Heavy Load," she said. "They have done their work. You are rich. You have a beautiful kind wife. You thanked the farmer for his kindness giving him back his sons. Now I'll take the hounds. There are many people in Ireland that need help."
She took the wolfhounds, put the golden chains on them again and walked away up the hill. She was never seen again there but Liam and his wife often spoke about her and told that story to their children.
Napier is a town in New Zealand. This town has many parks with wonderful flowers and trees. There is a beautiful statue in one of the parks on the seashore. It is the bronze statue of Pania, mermaid of a Maori legend»
Pania was a beautiful mermaid. She was the beloved daughter of the sea people that lived among reefs. Every evening she used to swim to the seashore to look at the people of land. She used to hide herself in a large bush near a fresh water-spring.
Everything was interesting for her. Many people came to the spring for water. Children came to irink water and played at the spring. Women came to the spring to fill their gourds with water. Girls used to sit near the spring and sing songs. Late at night everything was silent and dark. One evening Pania walked along the seashore and looked at the stars and the moon. It happened so that a young chief whose name was Karitoki came to the spring. He saw Pania and spoke to her but she was afraid of him and ran away.
Then Karitoki used to come to the spring every evening. By and by Pania was not afraid of the young chief. The young people fell in love with one another and soon Pania became Karitoki's wife. They lived together happily and Pania did not return to the sea people any more. The sea people swam to the seashore and looked for Pania because they loved her very much.
Pania never left Karitoki and did not even go to the seashore. Yet when her husband went fishing or hunting Pania felt lonely. Once when Karitoki was far away in the mountains she was very sad. "I must visit my people", she said to herself. "I'll see them and then I'll return to my husband".
So Pania swam to the reef where her people lived. The sea people were happy to see Pania again. But they did not want her to return to the people of land. They tied her to the reef so that she could not leave. And so great was Pania's sorrow and love for Karitoki that she turned into a rock.
The people of Napier like this rock far away in the sea and they like the legend. That's why they made that beautiful bronze statue of Pania and set it up in their park.
Long, long ago, there was a time when Indian maize was unknown to Indians of America. Their food consisted of meat — the deer and wild turkey — and fish from the little rivers. Sometimes they found sweet berries.
In summer Indians lived well. They had much meat and fish. But when the long, snowy winter came, it was very hard for them. The rivers froze, the birds flew south, and the deer went away into the deep forests.
In summer Indian women cut up the meat of the deer into strips and dried them in the bright summer sun. This dried meat was the only food they had during the long winter. But the food seldom lasted until spring.
In those days there lived an Indian boy named Waso. He was the son of a chief, and like his father had a kind and gentle heart.
One day the boy had a strange dream. He dreamed of a beautiful boy dressed all in green and yellow. The boy said to him, "I am Mandowin. I am your friend. I shall tell you the secret of the food which will help your people to live during long winters. But first you must find me".
And so Waso decided to go and find that wonderful food. He travelled for many days and got very tired. Then he built a little wigwam and slept there at night on a bed of skins.
One day, at sunset, Waso met a beautiful boy. He Was dressed all in green and yellow. He was the boy of Waso's dream.
"I shall tell you the secret of the food which will help your people to live during long winters. But first you must wrestle with me, as it is only by overcoming me that you may learn the secret", he said.
Waso began to wrestle with the unknown boy. But soon he lay on his back. He was defeated.
"I'll come back tomorrow", said the strange boy and went away.
The next day at the same time the boy came to Waso's wigwam, and again they wrestled. Once more Waso was defeated. But the boy only smiled his kind, friendly smile and said, "Be brave, little Waso! You have another chance — tomorrow — but last — remember".
On the third day Waso was very weak but he said to himself that he must win in order to learn the great secret for his people. And so much his strong will helped his weak body that at last he defeated the strange boy.
"Well done, little Waso", said the boy. "You have defeated me and I must die. Take off my green and yellow clothes, clear the ground of stones, weeds and roots, dig up the earth and bury me there. Then visit my grave from time to time and see me come back to life again".
Those were the last words of the boy. He died. Waso cried bitterly. He was very sorry for his new beautiful friend but he had to do as he was told.
He cleared the ground of stones, weeds and roots. He dug up the earth and he buried his strange friend in the soft black soil, and returned to his father's wigwam.
But every day he visited the lonely grave near the forest. Carefully he pulled out the weeds and in the dry season he watered the earth to keep it soft. Then one day Waso saw that green sprouts were shooting through the soil. His friend was coming back to life.
All this time Waso had kept his secret, but as autumn came he led his father to the grave of the unknown boy. He told his father the strange story and pointed to the plant. As tall as a man it stood, straight and green, with broad shining leaves. From either side grew long green husks full of pearly white grain, sweet and juicy.
"It is my unknown friend", cried Waso. "It is Mandowin, the Indian maize. And so long as we plant it from year to year, and take care of it, and water it, we shall never be hungry in winter".
Hinemoa was the beautiful daughter of a native chief, who lived near a great lake in New Zealand. In the middle of the lake there was an island. Tutanekai, a brave young warrior, lived with his tribe on the island.
One day Hinemoa's father gave a great feast, at which many young Maori warriors from different tribes were present.
These young warriors all danced and sang at the feast. Tutanekai was among them. He was the most handsome young warrior and the bravest one. He sang and played his flute beautifully. Hinemoa fell in love with Tutanekai and he fell in love with her.
But when Hinemoa told her father that she loved Tutanekai and wanted to become his wife, the old chief became very angry and said, "You are the chief's daughter and you must marry a chief. Forget that man. If you try to see him, I shall lock you in the house. If he comes to our village, he will die."
Hinemoa was unhappy. Tutanekai's friends told him that he had not to leave his island.
Then in the evening Hinemoa heard the sound of a flute. It came across the lake from the island. Tutanekai's flute told Hinemoa about his great love.
Night after night Hinemoa went down to the shore to listen to Tutanekai's flute, and dreamed of meeting him. This made her father still more angry. He ordered his warriors to take away all canoes from the water, so that his daughter might not go to the island in one of them.
For a time Hinemoa spent her evenings near the lake, always looking towards the island, but she never found a canoe there which could take her over the water.
At last Hinemoa thought of a plan. She tied six empty gourds together as floats. She hoped that they would help her to swim to the island.
The island was very far, and even by day it was very difficult to swim to it. But she decided to swim by night when nobody could see her.
She waited for the night when the moon was behind the clouds and when it was dark she slipped into the water and began to swim. All was quiet in the village. Nobody saw her.
But how cold and dark the water was! Something touched her leg and she got terribly frightened. On through the night she swam and swam, until she was so tired and weak that she could not swim any longer.
She cried out in the darkness. Then the moon came out from behind the dark cloud and the girl saw that the island was near.
A few minutes more and she could feel the earth under her feet.
She rested a moment and when she came to dry land, she found that it was warm: there was a hot spring nearby.
She entered the warm water, and quickly recovered her strength.
Hinemoa found Tutanekai and became his wife. They lived on the island happily for many years.
Hinemoa's father could not be angry with his daughter for a long time.
Soon he went to the island with many beautiful gifts for her and Tutanekai.
The hot spring which gave her life and strength back is known even to this day as Hinemoa's Bath.
Once upon a time there lived a fisherman and his wife. They lived near the North Sea.
They had a nice little cottage that was cool in summer and warm in winter. The fisherman always brought much fish from the sea. But they were not happy because they had no children.
Each morning when the fisherman went to the sea his wife said, "You have your boat and your nets. But I am always alone. I have no baby to hold in my arms."
The fisherman was also unhappy that they had no child. Yet he tried to keep his sorrow to himself and never told his wife about it.
One sunny day the fisherman as usual went down to his boat. Suddenly he saw a small grey seal stranded on the sand bar. The fisherman looked up and down the shore. He looked in front of him and behind. But there were no other seals anywhere.
The man decided to help the little seal. He took off his shirt, dipped it into the water of the sea and wrapped the seal carefully in it.
"You have no father and you have no mother," he said, "and I have no child. So you can come home with me."
The fisherman did not go fishing that day but brought the seal, wrapped in his shirt, straight home to his wife.
When the fisherman's wife saw him coming home early with no shirt on, she ran out of the cottage. Then she looked at the bundle which he held in his arms.
"It's nothing," he said, "but a small seal I found on the sand bar. I thought we could give it love and care until he could look for other seals in the sea."
The fisherman's wife took the bundle. Then she uncovered it and gave a loud cry. "Nothing!" she cried, "You call this nothing?"
The fisherman looked. Instead of a seal he saw a child with great grey eyes and silvery grey hair, smiling up to him.
"It is a selchie", the fisherman cried. "I have heard of them. They are men upon the land and seals in the sea. I thought it was a tale."
"Then he must remain a man upon the land," said the fisherman's wife, kissing the child in her arms, "for I shall never let him return to the sea."
"Never," agreed the fisherman. "We shall call him Greyling," said the woman, "for his eyes and hair are grey. Greyling, though he has brought sunlight in our home."
Greyling was a nice child. He loved his father and mother. They loved him too and they never allowed him to go into the sea.
He grew from a child to a young boy. He gathered driftwood for his mother, he mended his father's nets and took care of his boat. But he never went into the sea.
He often stood on the great grey cliffs, looking at the sea. His heart was longing for something he did not know himself.
Then one morning when Greyling was about sixteen years old, a terrible storm began in the North Sea. The fisherman was far away in the sea. The wind brought great waves to the shore and the water reached the fisherman's cottage.
Greyling and his mother had to run to the town on the great grey cliffs.
There they looked down at the stormy sea and far from shore they saw the fisherman's boat that was half broken. The boat was sinking deeper with every wave.
The fisherman's wife gave a terrible cry. "Will no one save him?" she called to the people of the town who were standing on the cliffs.
"Will no one save my own dear husband?"
But the people were silent. There was no man there who wanted to risk his life in that sea.
"Will no one at all save him?" she cried out again.
"Let the boy go," said one old man, pointing at Greyling with his stick. "He looks strong enough". But the fisherman's wife put her hands on Greyling's ears. She did not want him to go to the sea. She was afraid he would never come back.
"Will no one save my own dear husband?" cried the fisherman's wife for a third and last time.
But shaking their heads, the people of the town went to their houses and shut their doors.
"I will save him, Mother," cried Greyling.
Before she could tell him to stop, he dived from the rock into the roaring sea.
"He will certainly drown," called the people.
Greyling disappeared in the waves. And as he went deeper and deeper, his shirt, his trousers and his shoes were snatched from him by the water, his skin changed, he turned into a beautiful grey seal.
The selchie returned to the sea.
But the people of the town did not see this. All they saw was the diving boy who disappeared under the waves and then a large seal swimming towards the boat.
The large grey seal brought the boat with the fisherman to the shore and swam away.
The fisherman's wife and the people of the town went to look for the boy but they did not find him.
"A brave son," said the men when they found his shirt.
"A very brave son," said the women when they found his shoes. "He gave his life for his father."
"Has Greyling really gone?" asked the fisherman's wife of her husband when at last they were alone.
"Yes, he has gone where his heart calls," said the fisherman. "Our Greyling has gone to the great wide sea. And though we are unhappy because he is not with us, I am sure it is best for he is both man and seal".
So again they lived alone by the side-of the sea.
Yet, once a year, a great grey seal comes at night to the fisherman's home.
It is Greyling himself. He comes to tell his father and mother fairy tales of the lands that lie deep under the waters. He sings them songs of the wonders that lie deep in the North Sea.
THE SWORD IN THE STONE
Wart was a page who lived in the castle of Sir Ector. The boy's real name was Arthur but nobody called him by his name. Everybody called him just Wart.
Sir Ector had a big, lazy son named Kay. Kay liked to lie in the sun and sleep. His favourite place for sleeping was a green meadow near the castle.
But poor Wart had to work and work. He cleaned pots and pans in the castle kitchen. He brought water to the cook of the castle. He swept the castle yard. He polished, washed, cleaned all day long.
Poor Wart. He was always tired.
But one day there was a strange noise in the great ball of the castle. There was a puff of smoke and there stood a strange old man.
"My name is Merlin. I am a wizard", he said. "I must give some lessons to Wart. So I am here."
Sir Ector and Kay laughed. "Lessons! Why do you want to teach Wart? Go away, old man," said Sir Ector.
Merlin waved his wand. And right there inside the great hall it began to snow! It snowed and it snowed and it snowed. Now Sir Ector was afraid of the old man. He let Merlin stay on, and said, "Give Wart lessons, if you like."
Nobody understood why Wart needed lessons, but Merlin began to teach him.
One day Merlin led Wart to a lake, waved his wand and Wart changed into a little fish, and fell into the water. At first it was great fun. But then a big fish came along. The big fish wanted to catch the little fish for lunch. Poor little Wart. What could he do? He used his head. *
He hid in a hole so the big fish couldn't find him. "Very good," said Merlin. "You learned your lesson, Wart. WHEN IN TROUBLE, USE YOUR HEAD."
Merlin gave Wart many lessons. Once he changed Wart into a squirrel. Wart learned to climb trees and gather nuts. Another time Merlin changed him into a bird. Wart flew high in the sky. He saw many different things and learned much. Wart grew wiser and wiser. But still nobody understood why did Wart need lessons?
One day a man came to the castle. He brought news of a great tournament in London. Many brave knights were going to take part in it. The winner had to become king of all England.
"It is the best way to choose an English king" said Sir Ector.
He thought that Kay could win.
And so they all went to London. Kay rode a beautiful white horse. Sir Ector rode a big grey horse. And Wart rode an old donkey because he was only a page.
After many days and many nights they came to London.
And when they came at last to the tournament field Kay smiled proudly and said, "Soon with my sword I shall fight to become king".
Suddenly Wart ran from the field. Where is Kay's sword? Poor Wart forgot Kay's sword at the inn where they had slept.
Wart ran as fast as he could. But when he got to the inn it was closed.
Poor Wart — where could he find a sword? He ran and ran. Suddenly in the meadow he saw a very large stone. And stuck through the stone was a shining sword. A sword! Wart quickly pulled it out, and quickly carried it back to the tournament field.
"But that's not Kay's sword!" cried Sir Ector when he saw it.
Then he saw some words written in gold on the sword.
Sir Ector and other people read: "Who can pull this sword out of this stone must be king of all England."
Now the people understood that in that way they had to choose their king. But how could Wart pull it out? There must be some mistake.
They all went to the meadow. Wart put back the sword into the stone. Then everybody tried to pull the sword out. But nobody could do it. Only Wart could pull it out again. So it was no mistake.
But kings must know many things. How could Wart be a king? Wart was wise and knew many things. Merlin's lessons prepared Wart to be king. And Wart became a great king. There are many wonderful stones about King Arthur and his brave knights.
HOW KIEV WAS FOUNDED
The town was first raised on the high hill near the River Dnieper fifteen hundred years ago by the Polyane, and after a few centuries it grew into the grandiose capital of the Old Rus state.
One of the legends tells about the founding of Kiev as follows.
Once there were three brothers: one was Kiy, another Shchek and the third Khoriv, and they had a sister called Lybed.
One day they were boating to a beautiful place on the bank of the Dnieper. They saw green hills covered with a thick forest. There was much game e and lots of mushrooms and berries could be found there.
"This is a fine place", said Kiy. "Let us settle here". The three brothers settled on the three hills and they built a house for Lybed near a small stream that ran into the Dnieper.
Kiy, the eldest brother, was a tall strong handsome man with a sunburned face, dark eyes and black hair. He was reasonable, wise and highly generous.
Kiy was a fine boatman. He liked to ferry people across the Dnieper in his boat. He also was a gifted craftsman and made fine boats. People used to come from everywhere to buy his boats or to learn how to make them. Kiy loved the river and spent much time at and on the Dnieper.
Shchek, his younger brother, had a freckled face, green eyes and red hair. Shchek was kind but a little quick-tempered. He was a very good potter who made wonderful pots, jugs and basins out of clay. Shchek wanted his pots, jugs and basins to be really fine. If he did not like his jug or his basin, he broke it with a laugh and began to make a new one. He was never tired of his work and was famous for his good pottery among the Polyane.
Khoriv, their youngest brother, was known as a gentle and sincere young man with hazel eyes and fair hair. Khoriv was a fine psaltery-player and sang beautiful songs. But he was a talented craftsman too. He made wonderful silver rings, necklaces and ear-rings and his ornaments were admired by the Polyane women and girls.
Their young sister Lybed was a pretty girl with blue eyes and long golden hair. She was gentle and modest. Lybed was a very good spinner and her snow-white linen was famous among the Polyane women.
The three brothers loved their sister very much and took care of her.
Kiy made a fine boat for Lybed and often brought her fish.
Shchek presented Lybed with his best jugs, pots and basins.
Khoriv made the most beautiful rings and ear-rings for his sister.
Lybed loved her brothers and she wove snow-white linen for their shirts.
By and by many people settled around the three hills near the Dnieper. The three brothers always helped their neighbours.
For a long time the people lived happily, but one day an enemy Avar tribe came to their land.
The invadors robbed the Polyane houses and burnt them down. They wanted to make the people their slaves. The Polyane were brave and fearless. They did not run from the enemies but began to fight. They bravely defended their homes, their wives and children.
Kiy, Shchek and Khoriv were in the first ranks of the fighters. The three brothers fought bravely and killed many of their enemies. Kiy was always in front of the Polyane. He had a big solid oar in his hands which he used as his weapon.
The Polyane tribe and the Avar tribe fought for many days but no side could win. The terrible battle went on and on. Then the chief of the Avar tribe said, "Let us have a single combat1 between two warriors. I'll fight for my people and one of your warriors will fight for your people. If I win your people will pay us a big tribute every year. If I am defeated my people will leave your land forever."
Shchek and Khoriv were eager to fight but Kiy said, "I am the eldest brother, I will fight".
The single combat began. It was the most terrible combat that took place on the banks of the Dnieper. Long and bitter was the struggle, the Avar chief was a man of great strength and Kiy could not overcome him.
At last the Avar chief aimed his spear at Kiy's heart. Kiy threatened withe his oar.
There was a terrible blow and ... the spear and the oar were broken.
"Come then, my hands will serve me as they served me in my work", cried Kiy.
He seized the Avar chief, lifted him into the air and threw him into the Dnieper. That was the end of the enemy.
The Avar tribe ran away as quickly as it could.
Great was the joy of the Polyane, and the people said, "You have won the victory, Kiy. You are both strong and wise. You are honest and we respect you. Be our Prince Kiy became the first Prince of the Polyane tribe. He said to his people, "We must unite and we must always be ready to defend our land and our people. That's why we must build a high wall around our settlement. It will defend us from enemies." And the Polyane built the first walled town on one of the hills at the River Dnieper and named it Kiev in honour of their Prince.