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Stories to Read or Tell from Fairy Tales and Folklore
by Laure Claire Foucher
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STORIES TO READ OR TELL





STORIES TO READ OR TELL FROM FAIRY TALES AND FOLKLORE

Selected and Edited by LAURE CLAIRE FOUCHER Assistant in the New York Public Library

Illustrated by Ada Budell

NEW YORK MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY 1917

COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY MOFFAT, YARD AND COMPANY NEW YORK

Published October, 1911 New Edition March, 1917



CONTENTS

The Stone-Cutter Japanese 1

Prince Kindhearted Polish 8

The Timid Hare and the Flight of the Beasts Hindu 17

The Bee, the Harp, the Mouse, and the Bum-Clock Irish 24

The Tale of the Pointer Tray German 40

The Enchanted Princess Russian 44

"It Is Quite True!" Danish 57

The Old Hag's Long Leather Bag Irish 63

The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats German 82

The Tale of the Snow and the Steeple German 89

King Longbeard Russian 93

The Toy Goose Danish 118

Yellow Lily Irish 123

The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage German 159

The Tale of the Wolf in Harness German 164



ILLUSTRATIONS

A wonderful horse appeared Frontispiece

FACING PAGE

At the sound of the voice, the Stone-cutter looked around 2

The Bodhisatta saw this headlong flight of the animals 18

The Mouse and the Bum-clock stood up 38

When, behold, they found no less than six brace of live partridges 42

Hardly had she spoken these words, when raging winds came blowing and whistling 48

"Pass it on," piped the bats 60

"Going up to a little house, she found an old hag" 74

"The mother sewed him up so quickly" 86

"I took one of my pistols" 90

All the princesses were there 104

He jumped so high that nobody could see where he went to 120

Up went the lid of the tank 144

The bird tells the others 160

"We both arrived in full career" 165



INTRODUCING THE STORIES

"Stories to Read or Tell" has been compiled for the boys and girls who like to listen to stories as well as to read them, and for the mothers and teachers who are looking for stories "not quite so well known" as those contained in many excellent compilations now in use.

"'Tell me a story' comes before the ability to read," and unfortunate is the child who has not gone to the "Land of Nod" with good Mother Goose and those of her kin.

"The story period of a child's life merges imperceptibly into the reading period.... Listening to stories from books is the natural approach to reading from books and is the first step toward the acquisition of culture," says one believer in story-telling. Another adds "What is more pleasing than an increasing acquaintance with stories of the imagination, for of fact we shall learn more, anon."

The child who is brought up entirely on fact, loses the joys and fine feeling offered to him through the imagery of great minds. To deprive him of fairy tales, myths and legends as given through the medium of story-telling, is to keep from him a knowledge of the fairies, gods and heroes so frequently alluded to by authors and poets of the world's literature.



THE STONE-CUTTER

Once upon a time there lived a stone-cutter, who went every day to a great rock in the side of a big mountain and cut out slabs for gravestones or for houses. He understood very well the kinds of stones wanted for the different purposes, and as he was a careful workman he had plenty of customers. For a long time he was quite happy and contented, and asked for nothing better than what he had.

Now in the mountain dwelt a spirit which now and then appeared to men, and helped them in many ways to become rich and prosperous. The stone-cutter, however, had never seen this spirit, and only shook his head, with an unbelieving air, when anyone spoke of it. But a time was coming when he learned to change his opinion.

One day the stone-cutter carried a gravestone to the house of a rich man, and saw there all sorts of beautiful things, of which he had never even dreamed. Suddenly his daily work seemed to grow harder and heavier, and he said to himself: "Oh, if only I were a rich man, and could sleep in a bed with silken curtains and golden tassels, how happy I should be!"



And a voice answered him: "Your wish is heard; a rich man you shall be!"

At the sound of the voice the stone-cutter looked round, but could see nobody. He thought it was all his fancy, and picked up his tools and went home, for he did not feel inclined to do any more work that day. But when he reached the little house where he lived, he stood still with amazement, for instead of his wooden hut was a stately palace filled with splendid furniture, and most splendid of all was the bed, in every respect like the one he had envied. He was nearly beside himself with joy, and in his new life the old one was soon forgotten.

It was now the beginning of summer, and each day the sun blazed more fiercely. One morning the heat was so great that the stone-cutter could scarcely breathe, and he determined he would stop at home till the evening. He was rather dull, for he had never learned how to amuse himself, and was peeping through the closed blinds to see what was going on in the street, when a little carriage passed by, drawn by servants dressed in blue and silver. In the carriage sat a prince, and over his head a golden umbrella was held, to protect him from the sun's rays.

"Oh, if I were only a prince!" said the stone-cutter to himself, as the carriage vanished round the corner. "Oh, if I were only a prince, and could go in such a carriage and have a golden umbrella held over me, how happy I should be!"

And the voice of the mountain spirit answered: "Your wish is heard; a prince you shall be."

And a prince he was. Before his carriage rode one company of men and another behind it; servants dressed in scarlet and gold bore him along, the coveted umbrella was held over his head, everything heart could desire was his. But yet it was not enough. He looked round still for something to wish for, and when he saw that in spite of the water he poured on his grass the rays of the sun scorched it, and that in spite of the umbrella held over his head each day his face grew browner and browner, he cried in his anger: "The sun is mightier than I; oh, if I were only the sun!"

And the mountain spirit answered: "Your wish is heard; the sun you shall be."

And the sun he was, and felt himself proud in his power. He shot his beams above and below, on earth and in heaven; he burnt up the grass in the fields and scorched the faces of princes as well as of poorer folk. But in a short time he began to grow tired of his might, for there seemed nothing left for him to do. Discontent once more filled his soul, and when a cloud covered his face, and hid the earth from him he cried in his anger: "Does the cloud hold captive my rays, and is it mightier than I? Oh, that I were a cloud, and mightier than any!"

And the mountain spirit answered: "Your wish is heard; a cloud you shall be!"

And a cloud he was, and lay between the sun and the earth. He caught the sun's beams and held them, and to his joy the earth grew green again and flowers blossomed. But that was not enough for him, and for days and weeks he poured forth rain till the rivers overflowed their banks and the crops of rice stood in water. Towns and villages were destroyed by the power of the rain, only the great rock on the mountain side remained unmoved. The cloud was amazed at the sight, and cried in wonder: "Is the rock, then, mightier than I? Oh, if I were only the rock!"

And the mountain spirit answered: "Your wish is heard; the rock you shall be!"

And the rock he was, and glorified in his power. Proudly he stood, and neither the heat of the sun nor the force of the rain could move him. "This is better than all!" he said to himself. But one day he heard a strange noise at his feet, and when he looked down to see what it could be, he saw a stone-cutter driving tools into his surface. Even while he looked a trembling feeling ran all through him, and a great block broke off and fell upon the ground. Then he cried in his wrath: "Is a mere child of earth mightier than a rock? Oh, if I were only a man!"

And the mountain spirit answered: "Your wish is heard. A man once more you shall be!"

And a man he was, and in the sweat of his brow he toiled again at his trade of stone-cutting. His bed was hard and his food scanty, but he had learned to be satisfied with it, and did not long to be something or somebody else. And as he never asked for things he had not got, or desired to be greater and mightier than other people, he was happy at last, and heard the voice of the mountain spirit no longer.



PRINCE KINDHEARTED

Once upon a time there lived a king who had but one son, and he was called the Kindhearted. When the prince was twenty years old, he asked the king, his father, to let him go traveling. His father fitted him out for the journey, gave him a true servant to guard him, and his fatherly blessing. The prince took leave of his father, mounted a brave steed and went to different countries, to see God's world, to learn many things, and to return home a wiser and a better man.

Once when the prince was slowly riding through a silent field, he suddenly perceived an eagle in pursuit of a swan. The white swan was almost caught by the eagle's sharp claws, when the prince, carefully aiming, fired his pistol. The eagle fell dead, and the happy swan came down and said: "Prince Kindhearted, I thank you for your help. It is not a swan that is thanking you, but the enchanted daughter of the Knight Invisible. You have not saved me from an eagle's claws, but from the terrible magician King Koshchey. My father will pay you well for your services. Remember whenever you are in need, to say three times: 'Knight Invisible, come to my help!'" The swan flew away as soon as it had finished speaking, and the prince looked after it, then continued his journey.

He crossed many high mountains, traversed deep rivers, passed foreign countries, and at last he came to a great desert, where there was nothing to see but sky and sand. No man lived there, no animal's voice was ever heard, no vegetable ever grew there; the sun was shining so brightly and burning so terribly that all the rivers were dried up, their beds were lost in the sand, and there was not a drop of water anywhere. The young prince anxious to go everywhere and see everything and not noticing how dry things were, kept going farther and farther, and deeper and deeper, into the desert. But after a while he became terribly thirsty. In order to find some water he sent his servant in one direction and he himself went in another. After a long time he succeeded in finding a well. He called to his servant, "I have found a means of getting some water," and they both were happy. But their happiness did not last, for the well was very deep and they had nothing with which to reach the water.

The prince said to the servant: "Dismount, I will let you down into the well by some long ropes and you shall draw up some water."

"No, my prince," answered the servant, "I am much heavier than you are, and Your Majesty's hands will not be able to hold me. You take hold of the ropes, and I will let you down into the well."

The prince, the ropes tied around him, went down into the well, drank the cold water, and taking some of it for the servant, pulled the ropes, as a sign for the servant to draw him up again.

But instead of pulling him up, the servant said: "Listen, you, kingly son! From your cradle-days until now you have lived a happy life, surrounded by luxury and love, and I have always led the life of a miserable wretch. Now you must agree to become my servant, and I will be the prince instead of you. If you will not exchange, say your last prayer, for I am going to drown you."

"Do not drown me, my true servant, you will not gain anything by it. You will never find such a good master as I am, and you know what a murderer may expect in the next world."

"Let me suffer in the next world, but I will make you suffer in this one," answered the servant and he began to loosen the ropes.

"Stop!" cried the prince, "I will be thy servant and you shall be the prince. I will give you my word for it."

"I do not believe your word. Swear that you will write down what you promise me, now, for words are lost in the air, and writing always remains as a testimony against us."

"I swear!"

The servant let down into the well a sheet of paper and a pencil, and told the prince to write the following: "The bearer of this is Prince Kindhearted, traveling with his servant, a subject of his father's kingdom."

The servant glanced over the note, pulled the prince out of the well, gave him his shabby clothes, and put on the prince's rich dress. Then having changed armor and horses, they went on.

In a week or so they came to the capital of a certain kingdom. When they approached the palace, the false prince gave his horse to the false servant and told him to go to the stable, and he himself went straight into the throne chamber and said to the king: "I come to you to ask for the hand of your daughter, whose beauty and wisdom are known all over the world. If you consent, you will have our favor; if not, we will decide it by war."

"You do not speak to me in a nice way at all, not as a prince ought to speak, but it may be that in your country you are not used to better manners. Now listen to me, my future son-in-law. My kingdom is now in the hands of an enemy of mine. His troops have captured my best soldiers and now they are approaching my capital. If you will clear my kingdom from these troops, my daughter's hand will be yours as a reward."

"All right," answered the false prince, "I will drive your enemies away. Do not worry if they come to the capital. To-morrow morning not one enemy will be left in your land." In the evening he went out of the palace, called his servant and said to him: "Listen, my dear! Go out to the city walls, drive away the foreign troops, and for this service I will return to you your note, by which you denied your kingdom and swore to be my servant."

The honest Prince Kindhearted put on his knightly armor, mounted his steed, went out to the city walls and called in a loud voice: "Knight Invisible! Come to my help!"

"Here I am," said Knight Invisible, "what do you wish me to do for you? I am ready to do everything for you, because you saved my child from the terrible Koshchey."

Prince Kindhearted showed him the troops, and the Knight Invisible whistled loudly and called: "Oh you, my wise horse, come to me quickly!"

There was a rustling in the air, it thundered, the earth trembled, and a wonderful horse appeared, having a golden mane, from his nostrils a fire was burning, from his eyes bright sparks were flying, and from his ears thick clouds of smoke were coming.

Knight Invisible jumped upon the horse and said to the prince: "Take this magic sword and attack the troops from the left, and I upon my golden-maned horse will attack them from the right."

They both attacked the army. From the left the soldiers were falling like wood, from the right like whole forests. In less than an hour the entire army vanished. Some of them remained upon the spot, dead; some of them fled. Prince Kindhearted and the Knight Invisible met upon the battle-field, shook hands in a friendly way, and in a minute the Knight Invisible and his horse turned into a bright red flame, then into thick smoke, which disappeared in the darkness. The prince returned quietly to the palace.

The young princess felt very sad that evening. She could not sleep and so leaned out of her window, whence she overheard the conversation between the prince and the servant. Then she saw what was going on behind the city walls. She also saw the Knight Invisible disappear in the darkness, and Prince Kindhearted return to the palace. She saw the false prince coming out of the palace, taking the knightly armor from the servant, and Prince Kindhearted entering the stable to rest.

The next morning, the old king, seeing his land freed from the enemies, felt very happy, and gave the prince many rich presents. But when he announced the engagement of his daughter to him, she stood up, took the hand of the real prince, who helped to serve at the table, led him before the old king and said: "My dearest father and king, and all you that are present here! This man is my bridegroom, sent to me by God, for he is your savior, and the real prince. And that one who calls himself a prince, is a traitor; a false and dishonest man." Then the princess told everything she knew and said: "Let him show some proof that he really is a prince."

The false prince gave to the king the note, which was given to him in the well. The king opened it and read aloud: "The bearer of this note, the false and untrue servant of Prince Kindhearted, asks for pardon and expects a just punishment. The note was given to him in the well by Prince Kindhearted."

"Is it really so?" cried the wretch and he became pale as death.

"Yes, read it yourself, if you do not believe it," answered the king.

"I cannot read," said the poor fellow. He knelt before his master and begged for mercy, but he received what he deserved.

Prince Kindhearted and the princess were happily married, and I was present at the wedding feast and also felt happy.



THE TIMID HARE AND THE FLIGHT OF THE BEASTS

Once upon a time when Brahmadatta reigned in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as a young lion. And when fully grown he lived in a wood. At this same time there was near the Western Ocean a grove of palms mixed with vilva trees. A certain hare lived here beneath a palm sapling, at the foot of a vilva tree.

One day this hare after feeding came and lay down beneath a young palm tree. And the thought struck him: "If this earth should be destroyed, what would become of me?" And at this very moment a ripe vilva fruit fell on a palm leaf. At the sound of it, the hare thought, "This solid earth is collapsing," and starting up he fled without so much as looking behind him.

Another saw him scampering off as if frightened to death, and asked the cause of his panic flight. "Pray, don't ask me," he said. The other hare cried, "Pray, sir, what is it?" and kept running after him. Then the hare stopped a moment and without looking back he said, "The earth here is breaking up." And at this the second hare ran after the other. And so first one and then another hare caught sight of him running, and joined in the chase till one hundred thousand hares all took flight together. They were seen by a deer, a boar, an elk, a buffalo, a wild ox, a rhinoceros, a tiger, a lion, and an elephant. And when they asked what it meant and were told that the earth was breaking up, they too took flight. So by degrees this host of animals extended to the length of a full league.



When the Bodhisatta saw this headlong flight of the animals, and heard that the cause of it was that the earth was coming to an end, he thought: "The earth is nowhere coming to an end. Surely it must be some sound which was misunderstood by them. And if I don't make a great effort, they will surely perish. I will save their lives."

So with the speed of a lion he got before them to the foot of a mountain, and lion-like roared three times. They were terribly frightened at the lion, and stopped in their flight, stood huddled together. The lion went in amongst them and asked why they were running away.

"The earth is collapsing," they answered.

"Who saw it collapsing?" he said.

"The elephants know all about it," they replied.

He asked the elephants. "We don't know," they said; "the lions know." But the lions said, "We don't know; the tigers know." The tigers said, "The rhinoceroses know." The rhinoceroses said, "The wild oxen know." The wild oxen, "The buffaloes." The buffaloes, "The elks." The elks, "The boars." The boars, "The deer." The deer said, "We don't know; the hares know." When the hares were questioned, they pointed to one particular hare and said, "This one told us."

So the Bodhisatta asked, "Is it true, sir, that the earth is breaking up?"

"Yes, sir, I saw it," said the hare.

"Where," he asked, "were you living when you saw it?"

"Near the ocean, sir, in a grove of palms mixed with vilva trees. For as I was lying beneath the shade of a palm sapling at the foot of a vilva tree, methought, 'If this earth should break up, where shall I go?' And at that very moment I heard the sound of breaking up of the earth, and I fled."

Thought the lion: "A ripe vilva fruit evidently must have fallen on a palm leaf and made a 'thud,' and this hare jumped to the conclusion that the earth was coming to an end, and ran away. I will find out the exact truth about it." So he reassured the herd of animals, and said: "I will take the hare and go find out exactly whether the earth is coming to an end or not, in the place pointed out by him. Until I return do you stay here." Then, placing the hare on his back, he sprang forward with the speed of a lion, and putting the hare down in a palm grove, he said, "Come, show us the place you meant."

"I dare not, my lord," said the hare.

"Come, don't be afraid," said the lion.

The hare, not venturing to go near the vilva tree, stood afar off and cried, "Yonder, sir, is the place of dreadful sounds," and so saying, he repeated the first stanza:

"From the spot where I did dwell Issued forth a fearful 'thud'; What it was I could not tell, Nor what caused it understood."

After hearing what the hare said, the lion went to the foot of the vilva tree, and saw the spot where the hare had been lying beneath the shade of the palm tree, and the ripe vilva fruit that fell on the palm leaf, and having carefully ascertained that the earth had not broken up, he placed the hare on his back and with the speed of a lion soon came again to the herd of beasts.

Then he told them the whole story, and said, "Don't be afraid." And having thus reassured the herd of beasts, he let them go.

Verily if it had not been for the Bodhisatta at that time, all the beasts would have rushed into the sea and perished. It was all owing to the Bodhisatta that they escaped death.

Alarmed at sound of fallen fruit, A hare once ran away; The other beasts all followed suit, Moved by that hare's dismay.

They hastened not to view the scene, But lent a willing ear To idle gossip, and were clean Distraught with foolish fear.

They who to Wisdom's calm delight And Virtue's heights attain, Though ill example should invite, Such panic fear disdain.

These three stanzas were inspired by Perfect Wisdom.



THE BEE, THE HARP, THE MOUSE, AND THE BUM-CLOCK

Once there was a widow, and she had one son, called Jack. Jack and his mother owned just three cows. They lived well and happy for a long time; but at last hard times came down on them, and the crops failed, and poverty looked in at the door, and things got so sore against the poor widow that for want of money and for want of necessities she had to make up her mind to sell one of the cows. "Jack," she said one night, "go over in the morning to the fair to sell the branny cow."

Well and good: in the morning my brave Jack was up early, and took a stick in his fist and turned out the cow, and off to the fair he went with her; and when Jack came into the fair, he saw a great crowd gathered in a ring in the street. He went into the crowd to see what they were looking at, and there in the middle of them he saw a man with a wee, wee Harp, a Mouse, and a Bum-clock (Cockroach), and a Bee to play the harp. And when the man put them down on the ground and whistled, the Bee began to play the Harp, and the Mouse and the Bum-clock stood up on their hind legs and got hold of each other and began to waltz. And as soon as the Harp began to play and the Mouse and the Bum-clock to dance, there wasn't a man or woman, or a thing in the fair, that didn't begin to dance also; and the pots and pans, and the wheels and reels jumped and jigged, all over the town, and Jack himself and the branny cow were as bad as the next.

There was never a town in such a state before or since, and after a while the man picked up the Bee, the Harp, and the Mouse, and the Bum-clock and put them into his pocket, and the men and women, Jack and the cow, the pots and pans, wheels and reels, that had hopped and jigged, now stopped, and everyone began to laugh as if to break its heart. Then the man turned to Jack. "Jack," says he, "how would you like to be master of all these animals?"

"Why," says Jack, "I should like it fine."

"Well, then," says the man, "how will you and me make a bargain about them?"

"I have no money," says Jack.

"But you have a fine cow," says the man. "I will give you the Bee and the Harp for it."

"O, but," Jack says, says he, "my poor mother at home is very sad and sorrowful entirely, and I have this cow to sell and lift her heart again."

"And better than this she cannot get," says the man. "For when she sees the Bee play the Harp, she will laugh if she never laughed in her life before."

"Well," says Jack, says he, "that will be grand."

He made the bargain. The man took the cow; and Jack started home with the Bee and the Harp in his pocket, and when he came home, his mother welcomed him back.

"And, Jack," says she, "I see you have sold the cow."

"I have done that," says Jack.

"Did you do well?" says the mother.

"I did well, and very well," says Jack.

"How much did you get for her?" says the mother.

"O," says he, "it was not for money at all I sold her, but for something far better."

"O, Jack! Jack!" says she, "what have you done?"

"Just wait until you see, mother," says he, "and you will soon say I have done well."

Out of his pocket he takes the Bee and the Harp and sets them in the middle of the floor, and whistles to them, and as soon as he did this the Bee began to play the Harp, and the mother she looked at them and let a big, great laugh out of her, and she and Jack began to dance, the pots and pans, the wheels and reels began to jig and dance over the floor, and the house itself hopped about also.

When Jack picked up the Bee and the Harp again the dancing all stopped, and the mother laughed for a long time. But when she came to herself, she got very angry entirely with Jack, and she told him he was a silly, foolish fellow, that there was neither food nor money in the house, and now he had lost one of her good cows also. "We must do something to live," says she. "Over to the fair you must go to-morrow morning, and take the black cow with you and sell her."

And off in the morning at an early hour brave Jack started, and never halted until he was in the fair. When he came into the fair, he saw a big crowd gathered in a ring in the street. Said Jack to himself, "I wonder what are they looking at."

Into the crowd he pushed, and saw the wee man this day again with a Mouse and a Bum-clock, and he put them down in the street and whistled. The Mouse and the Bum-clock stood up on their hind legs and got hold of each other and began to dance there and jig, and as they did there was not a man or woman in the street who didn't begin to jig also, and Jack and the black cow, and the wheels and the reels, and the pots and pans, all of them were jigging and dancing all over the town, and the houses themselves were jumping and hopping about, and such a place Jack or any one else never saw before.

When the man lifted the Mouse and the Bum-clock into his pocket, they all stopped dancing and settled down, and everybody laughed right hearty. The man turned to Jack. "Jack," said he, "I am glad to see you; how would you like to have these animals?"

"I should like well to have them," says Jack, says he, "only I cannot."

"Why cannot you?" says the man.

"O," says Jack, says he, "I have no money, and my poor mother is very down-hearted. She sent me to the fair to sell this cow and bring some money to lift her heart."

"O," says the man, says he, "if you want to lift your mother's heart I will sell you the Mouse, and when you set the Bee to play the Harp and the Mouse to dance to it, your mother will laugh if she never laughed in her life before."

"But I have no money," says Jack, says he, "to buy your Mouse."

"I don't mind," says the man, says he, "I will take your cow for it."

Poor Jack was so taken with the Mouse and had his mind so set on it, that he thought it was a grand bargain entirely, and he gave the man his cow, and took the Mouse and started off for home, and when he got home his mother welcomed him.

"Jack," says she, "I see you have sold the cow."

"I did that," says Jack.

"Did you sell her well?" says she.

"Very well indeed," says Jack, says he.

"How much did you get for her?"

"I didn't get money," says he, "but I got value."

"O, Jack! Jack!" says she, "what do you mean?"

"I will soon show you that, mother," says he, taking the Mouse out of his pocket and the Harp and the Bee and setting all on the floor; and when he began to whistle the Bee began to play, and the Mouse go up on its hind legs and began to dance and jig, and the mother gave such a hearty laugh as she never laughed in her life before. To dancing and jigging herself and Jack fell, and the pots and pans and the wheels and reels began to dance and jig over the floor, and the house jigged also. And when they were tired of this, Jack lifted the Harp and the Mouse and the Bee and put them in his pocket, and his mother she laughed for a long time.

But when she got over that she got very down-hearted and very angry entirely with Jack. "And O, Jack," she says, "you are a stupid good-for-nothing fellow. We have neither money nor meat in the house, and here you have lost two of my good cows, and I have only one left now. To-morrow morning," she says, "you must be up early and take this cow to the fair and sell her. See to get something to lift my heart up."

"I will do that," says Jack, says he. So he went to his bed, and early in the morning he was up and turned out the spotty cow and went to the fair.

When Jack got to the fair, he saw a crowd gathered in a ring in the street. "I wonder what they are looking at, anyhow," says he. He pushed through the crowd, and there he saw the same wee man he had seen before, with a Bum-clock; and when he put the Bum-clock on the ground, he whistled, and the Bum-clock began to dance, and the men, women, and children in the street, and Jack and the spotty cow began to dance and jig also, and everything on the street and about it, the wheels and reels, the pots and pans, began to jig, and the houses themselves began to dance likewise. And when the man lifted the Bum-clock and put it in his pocket, everybody stopped jigging and dancing and everyone laughed loud. The wee man turned, and saw Jack.

"Jack, my brave boy," says he, "you will never be right fixed until you have this Bum-clock, for it is a very fancy thing to have."

"O, but," says Jack, says he, "I have no money."

"No matter for that," says the man; "you have a cow, and that is as good as money to me."

"Well," says Jack, "I have a poor mother who is very down-hearted at home, and she sent me to the fair to sell this cow and raise some money and lift her heart."

"O, but Jack," says the wee man, "this Bum-clock is the very thing to lift her heart, for when you put down your Harp and Bee and Mouse on the floor, and put the Bum-clock along with them, she will laugh if she never laughed in her life before."

"Well, that is surely true," says Jack, says he, "and I think I will make a swap with you."

So Jack gave the cow to the man and took the Bum-clock himself, and started for home. His mother was glad to see Jack back, and says she, "Jack, I see that you have sold the cow."

"I did that, mother," says Jack.

"Did you sell her well, Jack?" says the mother.

"Very well indeed, mother," says Jack.

"How much did you get for her?" says the mother.

"I didn't take any money for her, mother, but value," says Jack, and he takes out of his pocket the Bum-clock and the Mouse, and set them on the floor and began to whistle, and the Bee began to play the Harp and the Mouse and the Bum-clock stood up on their hind legs and began to dance, and Jack's mother laughed very hearty, and everything in the house, the wheels and the reels, and the pots and pans, went jigging and hopping over the floor, and the house itself went jigging and hopping about likewise.

When Jack lifted up the animals and put them in his pocket, everything stopped, and the mother laughed for a good while. But after a while, when she came to herself, and saw what Jack had done and how they were now without either money, or food, or a cow, she got very, very angry at Jack, and scolded him hard, and then sat down and began to cry.

Poor Jack, when he looked at himself, confessed that he was a stupid fool entirely. "And what," says he, "shall I now do for my poor mother?" He went out along the road, thinking and thinking, and he met a wee woman who said, "Good-morrow to you, Jack," says she, "how is it you are not trying for the king's daughter of Ireland?"

"What do you mean?" says Jack.

Says she: "Didn't you hear what the whole world has heard, that the King of Ireland has a daughter who hasn't laughed for seven years, and he has promised to give her in marriage, and to give the kingdom along with her to any man who will take three laughs out of her."

"If that is so," says Jack, says he, "it is not here I should be."

Back to the house he went, and gathers together the Bee, the Harp, the Mouse, and the Bum-clock, and putting them into his pocket, he bade his mother good-bye, and told her it wouldn't be long till she got news from him, and off he hurries.

When he reached the castle, there was a ring of spikes all round the castle and men's heads on nearly every spike there.

"What heads are these?" Jack asked one of the king's soldiers.

"Any man that comes here trying to win the king's daughter and fails to make her laugh three times, loses his head and has it stuck on a spike. These are the heads of the men that failed," says he.

"A mighty big crowd," says Jack, says he. Then Jack sent word to tell the king's daughter and the king that there was a new man who had come to win her.

In a very little time the king and the king's daughter and the king's court all came out and sat themselves down on gold and silver chairs in front of the castle, and ordered Jack to be brought in until he should have his trial. Jack, before he went, took out of his pocket the Bee, the Harp, the Mouse, the Bum-clock, and he gave the Harp to the Bee, and he tied a string to one and the other, and took the end of the string himself, and marched into the castle yard before all the court, with his animals coming on a string behind him.

When the queen and the king and the court and the princes saw poor ragged Jack with his Bee, and Mouse, and Bum-clock hopping behind him on a string, they set up one roar of laughter that was long and loud enough, and when the king's daughter herself lifted her head and looked to see what they were laughing at, and saw Jack and his paraphernalia, she opened her mouth and she let out of her such a laugh as was never heard before.

Then Jack dropped a low courtesy, and said, "Thank you, my lady; I have one of the three parts of you won."

Then he drew up his animals in a circle, and began to whistle, and the minute he did, the Bee began to play the Harp, and the Mouse and the Bum-clock stood up on their hind legs, got hold of each other, and began to dance, and the king and the king's court and Jack himself began to dance and jig, and everything about the king's castle, pots and pans, wheels and reels, and the castle itself began to dance also. And the king's daughter, when she saw this, opened her mouth again, and let out of her a laugh twice louder than she let before, and Jack, in the middle of his jigging, drops another courtesy, and says, "Thank you, my lady; that is two of the three parts of you won."



Jack and his menagerie went on playing and dancing, but Jack could not get the third laugh out of the king's daughter, and the poor fellow saw his big head in danger of going on the spike. Then the brave Mouse came to Jack's help and wheeled round upon its heel, and at it did so its tail swiped into the Bum-clock's mouth, and the Bum-clock began to cough and cough and cough. And when the king's daughter saw this she opened her mouth again, and she let the loudest and hardest and merriest laugh that was ever heard before or since; and, "Thank you, my lady," says Jack, dropping another courtesy; "I have all of you won."

Then when Jack stopped his menagerie, the king took himself and the menagerie within the castle. He was washed and combed, and dressed in a suit of silk and satin, with all kinds of gold and silver ornaments, and then was led before the king's daughter. And true enough she confessed that a handsomer and finer fellow than Jack she had never seen, and she was very willing to be his wife.

Jack sent for his poor old mother and brought her to the wedding, which lasted nine days and nine nights, every night better than the other. All the lords and ladies and gentry of Ireland were at the wedding. I was at it, too, and got brogues, broth and slippers of bread and came jigging home on my head.



THE TALE OF THE POINTER TRAY

In a voyage which I made to the East Indies with Captain Hamilton, I took a favorite pointer with me; he was, to use a common phrase, worth his weight in gold, for he never deceived me. One day, when we were, by the best observations we could make, at least three hundred leagues from land, my dog pointed. I observed him for nearly an hour with astonishment, and mentioned the circumstance to the captain and every officer on board, asserting that we must be near land, for my dog smelt game. This occasioned a general laugh; but that did not alter in the least the good opinion I had of my dog. After much conversation pro and con, I boldly told the captain that I placed more confidence in Tray's nose than I did in the eyes of every seaman on board; and therefore boldly proposed laying the sum I had agreed to pay for my passage (viz., one hundred guineas) that we should find game within half an hour. The captain (a good hearty fellow) laughed again, desired Mr. Crawford, the surgeon, who was prepared, to feel my pulse. He did so, and reported me in perfect health. The following dialogue between them took place; I overheard it, though spoken low and at some distance:—

Captain. His brain is turned; I cannot with honor accept his wager.

Surgeon. I am of a different opinion. He is quite sane, and depends more upon the scent of his dog than he will upon the judgment of all the officers on board; he will certainly lose, and he richly merits it.

Captain. Such a wager cannot be fair on my side; however, I'll take him up, if I return his money afterwards.

During the above conversation, Tray continued in the same situation, and confirmed me still more in my opinion. I proposed the wager a second time; it was then accepted.



Done! and done! were scarcely said on both sides, when some sailors who were fishing in the long boat, which was made fast to the stern of the ship, harpooned an exceedingly large shark, which they brought on board and began to cut up for the purpose of barrelling the oil, when, behold, they found no less than SIX BRACE OF LIVE PARTRIDGES in this animal's stomach!

They had been so long in that situation, that one of the hens was sitting upon four eggs, and a fifth was hatching, when the shark was opened!

This young bird we brought up by placing it with a litter of kittens that came into the world a few minutes before. The old cat was as fond of it as any of her own four-legged progeny, and made herself very unhappy when it flew out of her reach till it returned again. As to the other partridges, there were four hens amongst them; one or more were, during the voyage, constantly sitting, and consequently we had plenty of game at the captain's table; and in gratitude to poor Tray (for being a means of winning one hundred guineas) I ordered him the bones daily, and sometimes a whole bird.



THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS

In a certain kingdom there once served in the king's army a soldier. He served him honestly and faithfully for twenty-five years. For his good service the king gave him a leave of absence, and presented him with his war-horse and armor. The soldier bade farewell to his comrades and went home. He traveled one day, another day, a third day, and a whole week. The soldier had no money to buy food for himself or for his horse, and his home was still very far off. He was very hungry and tired. He looked all around and saw a large and beautiful castle.

"Well," thought he, "I will try to enter it; perhaps they will take me into service and I can earn something."

He entered the castle, put his horse in the stable, gave it food, and went to the palace. In one of the rooms a table was set with the best foods and drinks a person could wish for. He ate and drank and thought of taking a rest.

Suddenly a bear entered. "Do not be afraid, young man. You can do me some good. I am not a frightful bear; I am a fair maiden, an enchanted princess. If you will pass three nights here, my enchantment will be broken, and I will marry you."

The soldier consented. The bear left, and he was all alone. He felt so sad. A great anxiety took hold of him, and he felt such a longing to depart that he almost lost his mind. The third night he decided to leave the castle, and to flee. But no matter how he looked and searched, he could find no way of escape. He had to remain in the castle against his will. In the morning the princess came in. She was as beautiful as a dream. She thanked him for the service and told him to get ready for the wedding. The wedding was celebrated and they lived happily together.

After some time the soldier thought of his old home and wanted to visit it.

"Stay here, my friend! Do not go. Aren't you happy here?" asked the princess.

But the soldier insisted upon going to see his old parents. Before departing, his wife gave him a small bag full of seeds. "Wherever you go throw these seeds on both sides of the road; wherever they fall trees will grow up; upon the trees rare fruits will grow, beautiful birds will sing."

The soldier mounted his good old horse and departed. Wherever he went, he threw the magic seeds; and after him forests rose as if creeping out of the earth. On the third evening of his journey, in the middle of an open field, he saw a group of men sitting upon the grass, playing cards. Near them a kettle was hanging, and though there was no fire under it, the soup inside was boiling.

"What a wonder!" thought the soldier. "No fire is to be seen yet the kettle is boiling hot. Let me look at it." He turned his horse, approached the men and said, "Good evening, honest people. You have a wonderful thing: a kettle boiling without fire, but I have something more wonderful."

He took out one seed and threw it upon the ground. In a minute a tree grew up, rare fruit upon its branches, wonderful birds singing beautiful songs. Now the soldier did not know that these men were the magicians that had enchanted the princess, his wife. They recognized him.

"Oh," said they, "that is the same fellow, who saved the princess. Let us make him sleep for half a year."

They treated him with an enchanted drink. The soldier immediately fell fast asleep, and the men with the kettle disappeared.

Soon after this the princess took a walk in her garden. There she saw that all the tree-tops were dry and dead. "That foretells me nothing good"; thought she. "Something wrong must have happened to my husband. He has been away for three months already. It is time for him to come back, and as yet I have heard nothing of him." She decided then to go to look for him.

She went by the same road over which the soldier had gone. On both sides forests were growing, and birds were singing. But after a while she reached the place where there were no more trees. The road was clearly marked in the open field. She thought, "Where could my husband have gone? I hope he has not been swallowed up by the earth." She looked around and saw aside from the road a wonderful tree, and under it her husband. She ran to him, shook him, called him, but could not wake him up. She pinched him, stuck pins into his body but he felt no pain. He was lying as one dead and did not move.



The princess became angry, and in her anger she cursed him. "O, you wretched sleepyhead! I wish a storm would raise you, and carry you off, far away to unknown countries!"

Hardly had she spoken these words, when raging winds came blowing and whistling, and raised the soldier and carried him off before the princess' eyes. The princess felt sorry for her bad words, but it was too late. She cried bitterly, but could not get her husband back. She returned to her palace, and lived there a sad and lonely life.

The poor soldier was carried by the wind through many lands and seas, and was thrown upon a very lonely sand-bank between two seas. If in his sleep he should turn to his right or to his left, he would fall into the sea and perish. For half a year he slept and did not move a finger. When he awoke, he jumped straight upon his feet and looked around. From both sides the waves were rising, and there was no end to the waters. He asked himself in surprise, "How did I come here? Who brought me hither?"

He went along the bank and came to an island. There he saw a very high and steep mountain. Its top reached the clouds. Upon it there was a large stone. He approached the mountain and saw at its foot three men fighting. They were the sons of a malicious magician.

"What is the matter?" asked the soldier. "What are you fighting for?"

"You see," answered they, "our father died and left us three wonderful things: a flying carpet, seven-league boots, and an invisible cap. But we cannot divide them peaceably."

"O you silly magicians! Stop your fighting! If you wish, I will divide the things between you so that everyone shall be satisfied."

The magicians consented.

"Now," said the soldier, "do you see that large stone upon the mountain top? Climb up to it, push it down the mountain, and run after it; whoever shall reach the stone first, shall choose among the three wonders; the second one, between the two wonders; and the third shall take that which shall be left."

The magicians climbed up, pushed the stone, and ran after it. It was rolling down very quickly. One reached it, seized upon it—the stone turned over, fell upon him and killed him. The same happened to the other two magicians.

The soldier took the seven-league boots, the invisible cap, sat down upon the flying carpet and went to look for his kingdom. After some time he came to a hut; and entered. An old fairy lived there.

"Good morning, grandmother! Tell me how to find my dear little princess."

"I do not know, my dear! I have never seen her, nor heard of her. Go to the other side of the ocean. There lives my older sister. She knows more than I do; perhaps she will tell you."

The soldier flew upon his carpet to the older fairy. The journey was very long. When he felt hungry or thirsty, he had only to put on his invisible cap, go to the shops, and there he had everything he wished. At last he came to the older fairy.

"Good morning, grandmother. Can't you tell me how to find my beautiful princess?"

"No, dear! I can't tell you. But you cross many oceans and many lands until you reach the end of the world. There lives my oldest sister; perhaps she knows about the princess."

The soldier felt very much discouraged, but he was anxious to find his wife. He went then to look for the oldest fairy. He traveled for a very, very long time over many seas and many lands until he came to the end of the world. A single hut was standing, and beyond it nothing could be seen but thick darkness.

"Well," thought the soldier sadly, "if I don't find out anything here, I can fly no further."

He went into the hut. There he saw an old, old fairy. Her teeth had fallen out, her hair was white like snow. She was half blind and lame.

"Good morning, grandmother! Tell me, please, where to find my princess?"

"Wait awhile," said the fairy. "I will call all the winds and ask them. They blow all over the world, so they must know where she lives."

She went out upon the porch and called in a loud voice. Suddenly from all sides raging winds arose and blew, so that the hut trembled. "Be calmer!" cried she, and said, "O you, my raging winds, you blow all over the world; have you seen anywhere the beautiful princess?"

"No, we have not seen her, answered all the winds."

"Are you all here?"

"All but the South Wind."

After a short time the South Wind came. The old fairy asked him angrily, "Where were you until now? I have been waiting impatiently for you."

"Pardon me, grandmother! I went into a new kingdom where a beautiful princess lives. Her husband disappeared no one knows where. Now different kings and princes come to woo her."

"And how far is it to that kingdom?"

"It will take thirty years to walk thither, ten years to fly upon wings, and if I blow I can carry one over in three hours."

Then the soldier with tears in his eyes, begged the South Wind to carry him to his princess.

"Well," said the South Wind, "I will do it if you will allow me to blow in your kingdom for three days and three nights."

"You may blow for three weeks if you like."

"All right. Let me take a rest of three days. I will gather my strength, and then we will go."

The South Wind rested and then said to the soldier, "Now, my friend, get ready for the journey; but do not be afraid; I will not hurt you!"

Suddenly the strong wind whistled and blew, the soldier was raised in the air, and carried over mountains and seas, right under the clouds, and in just three hours he was in the new kingdom where the beautiful princess lived.

The South Wind said, "Good-bye, young man! I pity you, and do not want to blow in your kingdom."

The young prince asked, "Why so?"

"Because, if I begin to blow, not one house will be left in the cities, not one tree in the gardens. I will overthrow everything."

"Good-bye, South Wind! Thank you for your service to me," said the soldier, put on his invisible cap, and went into the palace.

All the time while he had been away, the trees had been standing with dried and faded tops; now when he appeared again, they revived and began to blossom. He entered the large room. Around the table there were sitting all the many kings and princes that had come to woo the princess, feasting. When one of them put the wine-glass to his lips, the soldier hit upon the glass and broke it. All the guests were surprised, but the beautiful princess guessed the meaning of it immediately.

"My husband must have come back," thought she. She looked through the window into the garden. There all the trees were alive again, and covered with blossoms. So she gave to her guests a riddle to solve: "I had a wonderful hand-made casket with a golden key to it. I had lost my key and had never expected to find it; and suddenly the key has found itself. Whoever shall guess the riddle shall be my husband."

All the kings and princes tried in vain to solve it. Then the princess said, "Come out and show yourself, my beloved!"

The soldier took off his invisible cap, took the white hands of the princess, and kissed her sweet lips.

"Here is the key to my riddle," said the fair princess. "The casket is myself, and the golden key is my faithful husband."

All the wooers had to go home with nothing, and the princess and the soldier lived happily ever after.



"IT IS QUITE TRUE!"

"That is a terrible story!" said a Hen in a quarter of the town where the affair had not happened. "That is a terrible story from a poultry-yard. I dare not sleep alone to-night! It is quite fortunate that there are so many of us on the roost together!" And she told a tale, which made the feathers of the other hens stand on end, and the cock's comb fall down flat. It is quite true!

But we will begin at the beginning; and that took place in a poultry-yard in another part of the town. The sun went down, and the fowls jumped up on their perch to roost. There was a Hen, with white feathers and short legs, who laid eggs regularly and was a respectable hen in every way; as she flew up on to the roost she pecked herself with her beak, and a little feather fell from her.

"There it goes!" said she; "the more I peck myself the handsomer I grow!" And she said it quite merrily, for she was a joker among the hens, though, as I have said, she was very respectable; and then she went to sleep.

It was dark all around; the hens sat side by side on the roost, but the one that sat next to the merry Hen did not sleep: she heard and she didn't hear, as one should do in this world if one wishes to live in peace; but she could not help telling it to her neighbor.

"Did you hear what was said here just now? I name no names; but here is a hen who wants to peck her feathers out to look well. If I were a cock I should despise her."

And just above the hens sat the Owl, with her husband and her children; the family had sharp ears, and they all heard every word that the neighboring Hen had spoken. They rolled their eyes, and the Mother-Owl clapped her wings and said, "Don't listen to it! But I suppose you heard what was said there? I heard it with my own ears, and one must hear much before one's ears fall off. There is one among the fowls who has so completely forgotten what is becoming conduct in a hen that she pulls out all her feathers, while the cock sits looking at her."

"Prenez garde aux enfants," said the Father-Owl. "That's not a story for the children to hear."

"I'll tell it to the neighbor owl; she's a very proper owl to associate with." And she flew away.

"Hoo! hoo! to-whoo!" they both screeched in front of the neighbor's dove-cote to the doves within. "Have you heard it? Have you heard it? Hoo! hoo! there's a hen who has pulled out all her feathers for the sake of the cock. She'll die with cold, if she's not dead already."

"Coo! coo! Where, where?" cried the Pigeons.

"In the neighbor's poultry-yard. I've as good as seen it myself. It's hardly proper to repeat the story, but it's quite true!"

"Believe it! believe every single word of it!" cooed the Pigeons, and they cooed down into their own poultry-yard. "There's a hen, and some say that there are two of them that have plucked out all their feathers, that they may not look like the rest, and that they may attract the cock's attention. That's a dangerous thing to do, for one may catch cold and die of a fever, and they are both dead."



"Wake up! wake up!" crowed the Cock, and he flew up on to the plank; his eyes were still heavy with sleep, but yet he crowed. "Three hens have died of a broken heart. They have plucked out all their feathers. That's a terrible story. I won't keep it to myself; pass it on."

"Pass it on!" piped the Bats; and the fowls clucked and the cocks crowed, "Pass it on! Pass it on!" And so the story traveled from poultry-yard to poultry-yard, and at last came back to the place from which it had gone forth.

"Five fowls," it was told, "have plucked out all their feathers to show which of them had become thinnest out of love to the cock; and then they have pecked each other, and fallen down dead, to the shame and disgrace of their families, and to the great loss of their master."

And the Hen who had lost the little loose feather, of course did not know her own story again; and as she was a very respectable Hen, she said,—

"I despise those hens; but there are many of that sort. One ought not to hush up such a thing, and I shall do what I can that the story may get into the papers, and then it will be spread over all the country, and that will serve those hens right, and their families too."

It was put into the newspaper; it was printed; and it's quite true—that one little feather may easily become five hens.



THE OLD HAG'S LONG LEATHER BAG

Once on a time, long, long ago, there was a widow woman who had three daughters. When their father died, their mother thought they never would want, for he had left her a long leather bag filled with gold and silver. But he was not long dead, when an old hag came begging to the house one day and stole the long leather bag filled with gold and silver, and went away out of the country with it, no one knew where.

So from that day, the widow woman and her three daughters were poor, and she had a hard struggle to live and to bring up her three daughters.

But when they were grown up, the eldest said one day: "Mother, I'm a young woman now, and it's a shame for me to be here doing nothing to help you or myself. Bake me a bannock and cut me a callop, till I go away to push my fortune."

The mother baked her a whole bannock, and asked her if she would have half of it with her blessing or the whole of it without. She said to give her the whole bannock without.

So she took it and went away. She told them if she was not back in a year and a day from that, then they would know she was doing well, and making her fortune.

She traveled away and away before her, far further than I could tell you, and twice as far as you could tell me, until she came into a strange country, and going up to a little house, she found an old hag living in it. The hag asked her where she was going. She said she was going to push her fortune.

Said the hag: "How would you like to stay here with me, for I want a maid?"

"What will I have to do?" said she.

"You will have to wash me and dress me, and sweep the hearth clean; but on the peril of your life, never look up the chimney," said the hag.

"All right," she agreed to this.

The next day, when the hag arose, she washed her and dressed her, and when the hag went out, she swept the hearth clean, and she thought it would be no harm to have one wee look up the chimney. And there what did she see but her own mother's long leather bag of gold and silver? So she took it down at once, and getting it on her back, started for home as fast as she could run.

But she had not gone far when she met a horse grazing in a field, and when he saw her, he said: "Rub me! Rub me! for I haven't been rubbed these seven years."

But she only struck him with a stick she had in her hand, and drove him out of her way.

She had not gone much further when she met a sheep, who said "O, shear me! Shear me! for I haven't been shorn these seven years."

But she struck the sheep, and sent it scurrying out of her way.

She had not gone much further when she met a goat tethered, and he said: "O, change my tether! Change my tether! for it hasn't been changed these seven years."

But she flung a stone at him, and went on.

Next she came to a lime-kiln, and it said: "O, clean me! Clean me! for I haven't been cleaned these seven years."

But she only scowled at it, and hurried on.

After another bit she met a cow, and it said:

"O, milk me! Milk me! for I haven't been milked these seven years."

She struck the cow out of her way, and went on.

Then she came to a mill. The mill said: "O, turn me! Turn me! for I haven't been turned these seven years."

But she did not heed what it said, only went in and lay down behind the mill door, with the bag under her head, for it was then night.

When the hag came into her hut again and found the girl gone, she ran to the chimney and looked up to see if she had carried off the bag. She got into a great rage, and she started to run as fast as she could after her.

She had not gone far when she met the horse, and she said: "O, horse, horse of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

"Ay," said the horse, "it is not long since she passed here."

So on she ran, and it was not long till she met the sheep, and said she: "Sheep, sheep of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

"Ay," said the sheep, "it is not long since she passed here."

So she goes on, and it was not long before she met the goat, and said she: "Goat, goat of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

"Ay," said the goat, "it is not long since she passed here."

So she goes on, and it was not long before she met the lime-kiln, and said she: "Lime-kiln, lime-kiln of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and with all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

"Ay," said the lime-kiln, "it is not long since she passed here."

So she goes on, and it was not long before she met the cow, and said she, "Cow, cow of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

"Ay," said the cow, "it is not long since she passed here."

So she goes on, and it was not long before she met the mill, and said she: "Mill, mill of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

And the mill said: "Yes, she is sleeping behind the door."

She went in and struck her with a white rod, and turned her into a stone. She then took the bag of gold and silver on her back, and went away back home.

A year and a day had gone by after the eldest daughter left home, and when they found she had not returned, the second daughter got up, and said: "My sister must be doing well and making her fortune, and isn't it a shame for me to be sitting here doing nothing, either to help you, mother, or myself. Bake me a bannock," said she, "and cut me a callop, till I go away to push my fortune."

The mother did this, and asked her would she have half the bannock with her blessing or the whole bannock without.

She said the whole bannock without, and she set off. Then she said: "If I am not back here in a year and a day, you may be sure that I am doing well and making my fortune," and then she went away.

She traveled away and away on before her, far further than I could tell you, and twice as far as you could tell me, until she came into a strange country, and going up to a little house, she found an old Hag living in it. The old Hag asked her where she was going. She said she was going to push her fortune.

Said the hag: "How would you like to stay here with me, for I want a maid?"

"What will I have to do?" says she.

"You'll have to wash me and dress me, and sweep the hearth clean; and on the peril of your life never look up the chimney," said the hag.

"All right," she agreed to this.

The next day, when the hag arose, she washed her and dressed her, and when the hag went out she swept the hearth, and she thought it would be no harm to have one wee look up the chimney. And there what did she see but her own mother's long leather bag of gold and silver? So she took it down at once, and getting it on her back, started away for home as fast as she could run.

But she had not gone far when she met a horse grazing in a field, and when he saw her, he said: "Rub me! Rub me! for I haven't been rubbed these seven years."

But she only struck him with a stick she had in her hand, and drove him out of her way.

She had not gone much further when she met the sheep, who said: "O, shear me! Shear me! for I haven't been shorn in seven years."

But she struck the sheep, and sent it scurrying out of her way.

She had not gone much further when she met the goat tethered, and he said: "O, change my tether! Change my tether! for it hasn't been changed in seven years."

But she flung a stone at him, and went on.

Next she came to the lime-kiln, and that said: "O, clean me! Clean me! for I haven't been cleaned these seven years."

But she only scowled at it, and hurried on.

Then she came to the cow, and it said: "O, milk me! Milk me! for I haven't been milked these seven years."

She struck the cow out of her way, and went on.

Then she came to the mill. The mill said: "O, turn me! Turn me! for I haven't been turned these seven years."

But she did not heed what it said, only went in and lay down behind the mill door, with the bag under her head, for it was then night.

When the hag came into her hut again and found the girl gone, she ran to the chimney and looked up to see if she had carried off the bag. She got into a great rage, and she started to run as fast as she could after her.

She had not gone far when she met the horse, and she said: "O, horse, horse of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

"Ay," said the horse, "it is not long since she passed here."

So on she ran, and it was not long until she met the sheep, and said she: "Oh, sheep, sheep of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

"Ay," said the sheep, "it is not long since she passed here."

So she goes on, and it was not long before she met the goat, and said: "Goat, goat of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

"Ay," said the goat, "it is not long since she passed here."

So she goes on, and it was not long before she met the lime-kiln, and said she: "Lime-kiln, lime-kiln of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

"Ay," said the lime-kiln, "it is not long since she passed here."

So she goes on, and it was not long before she met the cow, and says she: "Cow, cow of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

"Ay," said the cow, "it is not long since she passed here."

So she goes on, and it was not long before she met the mill, and said she: "Mill, mill of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

And the mill said: "Yes, she is sleeping behind the door."



She went in and struck her with a white rod, and turned her into a stone. She then took the bag of gold and silver on her back and went home.

When the second daughter had been gone a year and a day and she hadn't come back, the youngest daughter said: "My two sisters must be doing very well indeed, and making great fortunes when they are not coming back, and it's a shame for me to be sitting here doing nothing, either to help you, mother, or myself. Make me a bannock and cut me a callop, till I go away and push my fortune."

The mother did this and asked her would she have half of the bannock with her blessing or the whole bannock without.

She said: "I will have half of the bannock with your blessing, mother."

The mother gave her a blessing and half a bannock, and she set out.

She traveled away and away on before her, far further than I could tell you, and twice as far as you could tell me, until she came into a strange country, and going up to a little house, she found an old hag living in it. The hag asked her where she was going. She said she was going to push her fortune.

Said the hag: "How would you like to stay here with me, for I want a maid?"

"What will I have to do?" said she.

"You'll have to wash me and dress me, and sweep the hearth clean; and on the peril of your life never look up the chimney," said the hag.

"All right," she agreed to this.

The next day when the hag arose, she washed her and dressed her, and when the hag went out she swept the hearth, and she thought it would be no harm to have one wee look up the chimney, and there what did she see but her own mother's long leather bag of gold and silver? So she took it down at once, and getting it on her back, started away for home as fast as she could run.

When she got to the horse, the horse said: "Rub me! Rub me! for I haven't been rubbed these seven years."

"Oh, poor horse, poor horse," she said, "I'll surely do that." And she laid down her bag, and rubbed the horse.

Then she went on, and it wasn't long before she met the sheep, who said: "Oh, shear me, shear me! for I haven't been shorn these seven years."

"O, poor sheep, poor sheep," she said, "I'll surely do that," and she laid down the bag, and sheared the sheep.

On she went till she met the goat, who said: "O, change my tether! Change my tether! for it hasn't been changed these seven years."

"O, poor goat, poor goat," she said, "I'll surely do that," and she laid down the bag, and changed the goat's tether.

Then she went on till she met the lime-kiln. The lime-kiln said: "O, clean me! clean me! for I haven't been cleaned these seven years."

"O, poor lime-kiln, poor lime-kiln," she said, "I'll surely do that," and she laid down the bag and cleaned the lime-kiln.

Then she went on and met the cow. The cow said: "O, milk me! Milk me! for I haven't been milked these seven years."

"O, poor cow, poor cow," she said, "I'll surely do that," and she laid down the bag and milked the cow.

At last she reached the mill. The mill said: "O, turn me! turn me! for I haven't been turned these seven years."

"O, poor mill, poor mill," she said, "I'll surely do that," and she turned the mill too.

As night was on her, she went in and lay down behind the mill door to sleep.

When the hag came into her hut again and found the girl gone, she ran to the chimney to see if she had carried off the bag. She got into a great rage, and started to run as fast as she could after her.

She had not gone far until she came up to the horse and said: "O, horse, horse of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

The horse said: "Do you think I have nothing to do only watch your maids for you? You may go somewhere else and look for information."

Then she came upon the sheep. "O, sheep, sheep of mine, have you seen this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

The sheep said: "Do you think I have nothing to do only watch your maids for you? You may go somewhere else and look for information."

Then she went on till she met the goat. "O, goat, goat of mine, have you seen this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

The goat said: "Do you think I have nothing to do only watch your maids for you? You can go somewhere else and look for information."

Then she went on till she came to the lime-kiln. "O, lime-kiln, lime-kiln of mine, did you see this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

Said the lime-kiln: "Do you think I have nothing to do only watch your maids for you? You may go somewhere else and look for information."

Next she met the cow. "O, cow, cow of mine, have you seen this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

The cow said: "Do you think I have nothing to do only watch your maids for you? You may go somewhere else and look for information."

Then she got to the mill. "O, mill, mill of mine, have you seen this maid of mine, with my tig, with my tag, with my long leather bag, and all the gold and silver I have earned since I was a maid?"

The mill said: "Come nearer and whisper to me."

She went nearer to whisper to the mill, and the mill dragged her under the wheels and ground her up.

The old hag had dropped the white rod out of her hand, and the mill told the young girl to take this white rod and strike two stones behind the mill door. She did that, and her two sisters stood up. She hoisted the leather bag on her back, and the three of them set out and traveled away and away till they reached home.

The mother had been crying all the time while they were away, and was now ever so glad to see them, and rich and happy they all lived ever after.



THE WOLF AND THE SEVEN LITTLE GOATS

There was once an old goat who had seven little ones, and was as fond of them as ever mother was of her children. One day she had to go into the wood to fetch food for them, so she called them all round her.

"Dear children," said she, "I am going out into the wood; and while I am gone, be on your guard against the wolf, for if he were once to get inside he would eat you up, skin, bones, and all. The wretch often disguises himself, but he may always be known by his hoarse voice and black paws."

"Dear mother," answered the kids, "you need not be afraid, we will take good care of ourselves." And the mother bleated good-bye, and went on her way with an easy mind.

It was not long before some one came knocking at the house-door, and crying out, "Open the door, my dear children, your mother is come back, and has brought each of you something."

But the little kids knew it was the wolf by the hoarse voice.

"We will not open the door," cried they; "you are not our mother, she has a delicate and sweet voice, and your voice is hoarse; you must be the wolf."

Then off went the wolf to a shop and bought a big lump of chalk, and ate it up to make his voice soft. And then he came back, knocked at the house-door, and cried, "Open the door, my dear children, your mother is here, and has brought each of you something."

But the wolf had put up his black paws against the window, and the kids seeing this, cried out, "We will not open the door; our mother has no black paws like you; you must be the wolf."

The wolf then ran to a baker.

"Baker," said he, "I am hurt in the foot; pray spread some dough over the place."

And when the baker had plastered his feet, he ran to the miller.

"Miller," said he, "strew me some white meal over my paws." But the miller refused, thinking the wolf must be meaning harm to some one.

"If you don't do it," cried the wolf, "I'll eat you up!"

And the miller was afraid and did as he was told. And that just shows what men are.

And now came the rogue the third time to the door and knocked. "Open, children!" cried he. "Your dear mother has come home, and brought you each something from the wood."

"First show us your paws," said the kids, "so that we may know if you are really our mother or not."

And he put up his paws against the window, and when they saw that they were white, all seemed right, and they opened the door; and when he was inside they saw it was the wolf, and they were terrified and tried to hide themselves. One ran under the table, the second got into the bed, the third into the oven, the fourth in the kitchen, the fifth in the cupboard, the sixth under the sink, and the seventh in the clock-case. But the wolf found them all, and gave them short shrift; one after the other he swallowed down, all but the youngest, who was hid in the clock-case. And so the wolf, having got what he wanted, strolled forth into the green meadows, and laying himself down under a tree, he fell asleep.

Not long after, the mother goat came back from the wood; and oh! what a sight met her eyes! the door was standing wide open, table, chairs, and stools, all thrown about, dishes broken, quilt and pillows torn off the bed. She sought her children, they were nowhere to be found. She called to each of them by name, but nobody answered, until she came to the name of the youngest.

"Here I am, mother," a little voice cried, "here, in the clock-case."

And so she helped him out, and heard how the wolf had come, and eaten all the rest. And you may think how she cried for the loss of her dear children. At last in her grief she wandered out of doors, and the youngest kid with her; and when they came into the meadow, there they saw the wolf lying under a tree, snoring so that the branches shook. The mother goat looked at him carefully on all sides and she noticed how something inside his body was moving and struggling.



"Dear me!" thought she, "can it be that my poor children that he devoured for his evening meal are still alive?" And she sent the little kid back to the house for a pair of shears, and needle, and thread. Then she cut the wolf's body open, and no sooner had she made one snip than out came the head of one of the kids, and then another snip, and then one after the other of the six little kids all jumped out alive and well, for in his greediness the rogue had swallowed them down whole. How delightful this was! so they comforted their dear mother and hopped about like tailors at a wedding.

"Now fetch some good hard stones," said the mother, "and we will fill his body with them, as he lies asleep."

And so they fetched some in all haste, and put them inside him, and the mother sewed him up so quickly again that he was none the wiser.

When the wolf at last awoke, and got up, the stones inside him made him feel very thirsty, and as he was going to the brook to drink, they struck and rattled one against another. And so he cried out:

"What is this I feel inside me Knocking hard against my bones? How should such a thing betide me! They were kids, and now they're stones."

So he came to the brook, and stooped to drink, but the heavy stones weighed him down, so he fell over into the water and was drowned. And when the seven little kids saw it they came up running.

"The wolf is dead, the wolf is dead!" they cried, and taking hands, they danced with their mother all about the place.



THE TALE OF THE SNOW AND THE STEEPLE

I set off from Rome on a journey to Russia, in the midst of winter, from a just notion that frost and snow must of course mend the roads, which every traveler had described as uncommonly bad through the northern parts of Germany, Poland, Courland, and Livonia. I went on horseback as the most convenient manner of traveling. I was but lightly clothed, and of this I felt the inconvenience the more I advanced northeast. What must not a poor old man have suffered in that severe weather and climate, whom I saw on a bleak common in Poland lying on the road helpless, shivering, and hardly having the wherewithal to cover his nakedness? I pitied the poor soul: though I felt the severity of the air myself, I threw my mantle over him, and immediately I heard a voice from the heavens blessing me for that piece of charity, saying, "You will be rewarded, my son, for this in time."



I went on: night and darkness overtook me. No village was to be seen. The country was covered with snow, and I was unacquainted with the road.

Tired, I alighted, and fastened my horse to something, like a pointed stump of a tree, which appeared above the snow; for the sake of safety, I placed my pistols under my arm, and laid down on the snow, where I slept so soundly that I did not open my eyes till full daylight. It is not easy to conceive my astonishment to find myself in the midst of a village, lying in a churchyard; nor was my horse to be seen, but I heard him soon after neigh somewhere above me. On looking upwards, I beheld him hanging by his bridle to the weather-cock of the steeple. Matters were now very plain to me; the village had been covered with snow overnight: a sudden change of weather had taken place: I had sunk down to the churchyard whilst asleep, gently, and in the same proportion as the snow had melted away; and what in the dark I had taken to be a stump of a little tree appearing above the snow, to which I had tied my horse, proved to be the cross or weather-cock of the steeple!

With long consideration, I took one of my pistols, shot the bridle in two, brought down the horse, and proceeded on my journey. [Here the baron seems to have forgotten his feelings: he should certainly have ordered his horse a feed of corn after fasting so long.]



KING LONGBEARD

A story about King Berendey; his son Prince Ivan; about the cunning of the immortal King Koshchey, and about the wisdom of his daughter, Princess Mary.

Once upon a time there lived King Berendey, called Longbeard, for his beard reached far below his knees. He lived very happily with his wife the queen, but God gave no children to them, and this grieved the king very much.

The king had to visit his kingdom. He bade farewell to his queen, and stayed away for a long time. At the end of the visit on a very warm afternoon, when he was approaching his capital, he decided to stop for a rest in the meadow. He felt very thirsty and wanted some cold water to drink, but there was no water around. What should he do? He was all dried up with thirst. So the king decided to ride all over the meadow, perhaps he would strike a spring. And sure enough, he soon found a well.

Hurriedly he jumped down from his horse, and looked into the well. It was full of water to the brim, and upon its surface there was floating a golden cup. The king reached his hand after the cup, but he could not grasp it. The cup swam away from his reach. He grasped impatiently at the amber handle now with his right hand, now with his left; but the handle, quickly turning to the left or to the right, as if but mocking the king, could not be caught. What was the matter? The king waited until the cup stood up again straight in the water, grasped it at once from the right and the left, but in vain! Slipping out from his hands like a fish, the cup dived straight to the bottom, and again it was swimming on the surface as if nothing had happened.

"Now wait," thought King Longbeard, "I will drink without you," and stretching himself upon the grass, he began to drink with eagerness the cold spring water, forgetting about his beard, which was drowned in the water.

When he had drunk enough, he wanted to raise his head, but he could not do it: somebody was holding the king's beard and did not want to let it go. Leaning upon the fence of the well, he tried to get himself loose, shook himself, turned his head, but all was in vain; he could not free his beard. "Let me go," cried he. No answer. Only a terrible monster looked up to him from the bottom, two big eyes shining like emeralds; the widely open mouth queerly smiling, two rows of shining pearly teeth, and a red tongue sticking out between them. The monster was laughing at the king. With its paws it was firmly holding the king's beard.

At last a hoarse voice said from under the water, "It is no use trying, King. I shall not let you go. But if you want to be free, give me that which you possess, but which you do not know about."

The king thought, "What could that be that I have and do not know about? It seems to me that I know everything," so he answered the monster, "All right, I agree."

"Very well," the hoarse voice was heard to answer once more, "but look out, keep your word, that no harm may happen to you." With the last word the claws disappeared, with the monster.

Having freed his beard, the king mounted his horse, and continued his journey. As he entered his capital, all the people came out to meet him, cannons were playing, and all the bells were ringing from the city towers. The king approached his gilded palace. The queen was standing upon the balcony, near her the prime minister; in his arms he held a brocaded pillow upon which there was lying a baby, fair and beautiful like the moon.

Then the king guessed and groaned, "There is what I did not know about! O, you monster, you will be the death of mine!" So thought the king and cried bitterly.

All wondered, but no one said a word. Taking the baby into his arms, King Longbeard admired it long, carried it into the palace, put it into the cradle, and hiding his sorrow, he began to rule over his country as formerly. Nobody knew the king's secret. But everybody saw the king was sad—he was always expecting somebody to come for his son. During the day he found no rest, at night he could not sleep. The time was passing meanwhile, and nobody came. The young prince grew very rapidly and developed into a beautiful youth. The king himself forgot all that happened at the well—but not everybody was so forgetful.

Once the prince, while hunting, came into a very thick forest. He looked around: a wild glade was before him. Upon it stood a hollow lime tree. A rustling came from the hollow, and a very queer looking old man came out with a green beard and green eyes.

"Hello! Prince Ivan," said he, "we were looking for you. It is time to think of us."

"Who are you?" asked Ivan.

"I will tell you later about it. Now do this for me: give my regards to your father, King Longbeard, and ask him whether it is not time for him to pay his debt? The term has passed long ago. He will understand the rest. Now good-bye," and the bearded old man disappeared.

Prince Ivan, very sad and thoughtful, left the dark forest. He went straight to his father, King Longbeard.

"Dear father king," said he, "a miracle occurred to me,"—and he told him what he had seen and heard.

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