Saturday, 25 July 2009
ONCE upon a time there lived in a certain village a little girl. Her mother was very fond of her, and her grandmother loved her even more. This good old woman made for her a red cloak, which suited the child so well that ever after she was called Little Red-Riding-Hood. One day her mother made some cakes, and said to Little Red-Riding-Hood:—
"Go, my dear, and see how grandmother does, for I hear that she has been very ill. Carry her a cake and a little pot of butter."
Little Red-Riding-Hood set out at once to go to her grandmother, who lived in another village. As she was going through the wood she met a large Wolf. He had a very great mind to eat her up; but he dared not, for there were some wood-choppers near by. So he asked her:—
"Where are you going, little girl?" The poor child did not know that it was dangerous to stop and talk with the Wolf, and she said:—
"I am going to see my grandmother, and carry her a cake and a little pot of butter from my mother."
"Does she live far off?" asked the Wolf.
"Oh, yes. It is beyond that mill, at the first house in the village."
"Well," said the Wolf, "I will go and see her, too. I will go this way; do you go that, and we will see who will be there soonest."
At this the Wolf began to run as fast as he could, taking the nearest way, and Little Red-Riding-Hood went by the farthest. She stopped often to chase a butterfly, or pluck a flower, and so she was a good while on the way. The Wolf was soon at the old woman's house, and knocked at the door—tap, tap!
"Who is there?"
"Your grandchild, Little Red-Riding-Hood," replied the Wolf, changing his voice. "I have brought you a cake and a pot of butter from mother." The good grandmother, who was ill in bed, called out:—
"Pull the string, and the latch will go up."
The Wolf pulled the string, and the latch went up. The door opened, and he jumped in, and fell upon the old woman, and ate her up in less than no time, for he had not tasted food for three days. He then shut the door, and got into the grandmother's bed. By and by, Little Red-Riding-Hood came and knocked at the door—tap, tap!
"Who is there?"
Little Red-Riding-Hood heard the big voice of the Wolf, and at first she was afraid. Then she thought her grandmother must have a bad cold, so she answered:—
"Little Red-Riding-Hood. I have brought you a cake and a pot of butter from mother." The Wolf softened his voice as much as he could, and called out:—
"Pull the string, and the latch will go up."
Little Red-Riding-Hood pulled the string, and the latch went up, and the door opened. The Wolf was hiding under the bedclothes and called out in a muffled voice:—
"Put the cake and the pot of butter on the shelf, and come to bed."
Little Red-Riding-Hood made ready for bed. Then she looked with wonder at her grandmother, who had changed so much, and she said:—
"Grandmother, what great arms you have!"
"The better to hug you, my dear."
"Grandmother, what great ears you have!"
"The better to hear you, my dear."
"Grandmother, what great eyes you have!"
"The better to see you, my dear."
"Grandmother, what great teeth you have!"
"The better to eat you."
And at this the wicked Wolf sprang up and fell upon poor Little Red-Riding-Hood and ate her all up.
CINDERELLA IN THE KITCHEN
ONCE upon a time there lived a man and his wife and one beautiful daughter. The wife fell sick and died, and some time after the father married again, for he needed some one to take care of his child. The new wife appeared very well before the wedding, but afterward she showed a bad temper. She had two children of her own, and they were proud and unkind like their mother. They could not bear their gentle sister, and they made her do all the hard work.
She washed the dishes, and scrubbed the stairs. She swept the floor in my lady's chamber, and took care of the rooms of the two pert misses. They slept on soft beds in fine rooms, and had tall looking-glasses, so that they could admire themselves from top to toe. She lay on an old straw sack in the garret.
She bore all this without complaint. She did her work, and then sat in the corner among the ashes and cinders. So her two sisters gave her the name of Cinderella or the cinder-maid. But Cinderella was really much more beautiful than they; and she surely was more sweet and gentle.
Now the king's son gave a ball, and he invited all the rich and the grand. Cinderella's two sisters were fine ladies; they were to go to the ball. Perhaps they would even dance with the prince. So they had new gowns made, and they looked over all their finery.
Here was fresh work for poor Cinderella. She must starch their ruffles and iron their linen. All day long they talked of nothing but their fine clothes.
"I shall wear my red velvet dress," said the elder, "and trim it with my point lace."
"And I," said the younger sister, "shall wear a silk gown, but I shall wear over it a gold brocade, and I shall put on my diamonds. You have nothing so fine."
Then they began to quarrel over their clothes, and Cinderella tried to make peace between them. She helped them about their dresses, and offered to arrange their hair on the night of the ball.
While she was thus busy, the sisters said to her:—
"And pray, Cinderella, would you like to go to the ball?"
"Nay," said the poor girl; "you are mocking me. It is not for such as I to go to balls."
"True enough," they said. "Folks would laugh to see a cinder-maid at a court ball."
Any one else would have dressed their hair ill to spite them for their rudeness. But Cinderella was good-natured, and only took more pains to make them look well.
The two sisters scarcely ate a morsel for two days before the ball. They wished to look thin and graceful. They lost their tempers over and over, and they spent most of the time before their tall glasses. There they turned and turned to see how they looked behind, and how their long trains hung.
At last the evening came, and off they set in a coach. Cinderella watched them till they were out of sight, and then she sat down by the kitchen fire and began to weep.
All at once her fairy godmother appeared, with her wand.
"What are you crying for, my little maid?"
"I wish—I wish," began the poor girl, but her voice was choked with tears.
"You wish that you could go to the ball?"
"Well, then, if you will be a good girl, you shall go. Run quick and fetch me a pumpkin from the garden."
Cinderella flew to the garden and brought back the finest pumpkin she could find. She could not guess what use it would be, but the fairy scooped it hollow, and then touched it with her wand. The pumpkin became at once a splendid gilt coach.
"Now fetch me the mouse-trap from the pantry."
In the mouse-trap were six sleek mice. The fairy opened the door, and as they ran out she touched each with her wand, and it became a gray horse. But what was she to do for a coachman?
"We might look for a rat in the rat-trap," said Cinderella.
"That is a good thought. Run and bring the rat-trap, my dear."
Back came Cinderella with the trap. In it were three large rats. The fairy chose one that had long black whiskers, and she made him the coachman.
"Now go into the garden and bring me six lizards. You will find them behind the water-pot."
These were no sooner brought than, lo! with a touch of the wand they were turned into six footmen, who jumped up behind the coach, as if they had done nothing else all their days. Then the fairy said:—
"Here is your coach and six, Cinderella; your coachman and your footmen. Now you can go to the ball."
"What! in these clothes?" and Cinderella looked down at her ragged frock. The fairy laughed, and just touched her with the wand. In a twinkling, her shabby clothes were changed to a dress of gold and silver lace, and on her bare feet were silk stockings and a pair of glass slippers, the prettiest ever seen.
"Now go to the ball, Cinderella; but remember, if you stay one moment after midnight, your coach will instantly become a pumpkin, your horses will be mice, your coachman a rat, and your footmen lizards. And you? You will be once more only a cinder-maid in a ragged frock and with bare feet."
CINDERELLA IN THE PALACE
CINDERELLA promised and drove away in high glee. She dashed up to the palace, and her coach was so fine that the king's son came down the steps of the palace to hand out this unknown princess. He led her to the hall where all the guests were dancing.
The moment she appeared all voices were hushed, the music stopped, and the dancers stood still. Such a beautiful princess had never been seen! Even the king, old as he was, turned to the queen and said:—
"She is the most beautiful being I ever saw—since I first saw you!"
As for the ladies of the court, they were all busy looking at Cinderella's clothes. They meant to get some just like them the very next day, if possible.
The prince led Cinderella to the place of highest rank, and asked her hand for the next dance. She danced with so much grace that he admired her more and more. Supper was brought in, but the prince could not keep his eyes off the beautiful stranger. Cinderella went and sat by her sisters, and shared with them the fruit which the prince gave her. They were very proud to have her by them, for they never dreamed who she really was.
Cinderella was talking with them, when she heard the clock strike the quarter hour before twelve. She went at once to the king and queen, and made them a low courtesy and bade them good-night. The queen said there was to be another ball the next night, and she must come to that. The prince led her down the steps to her coach, and she drove home.
At the house the fairy sat waiting for Cinderella. The maiden began to tell all that had happened, and was in the midst of her story, when a knock was heard at the door. It was the sisters coming home from the ball. The fairy disappeared, and Cinderella went to the door, rubbing her eyes, as if she had just waked from a nap. She was once more a poor little cinder-maid.
"How late you are!" she said, as she opened the door.
"If you had been to the ball, you would not have thought it late," said her sisters. "There came the most beautiful princess that ever was seen. She was very polite to us, and loaded us with oranges and grapes."
"Who was she?" asked Cinderella.
"Nobody knew her name. The prince would give his eyes to know."
"Ah! how I should like to see her," said Cinderella. "Oh, do, my Lady Javotte,"—that was the name of the elder sister,—"lend me the yellow dress that you wear every day, and let me go to the ball and have a peep at the beautiful princess."
"What! lend my yellow gown to a cinder-maid! I am not so silly as that."
Cinderella was not sorry to have Javotte say no; she would have been puzzled to know what to do if her sister had really lent her the dress she begged for.
The next night came, and the sisters again went to the court ball. After they had gone, the fairy came as before and made Cinderella ready.
"Now remember," she said, as the coach drove away, "remember twelve o'clock."
Cinderella was even more splendid than on the first night, and the king's son never left her side. He said so many pretty things that Cinderella could think of nothing else. She forgot the fairy's warning; she forgot her promise. Eleven o'clock came, but she did not notice the striking. The half-hour struck, but the prince grew more charming, and Cinderella could hear nothing but his voice. The last quarter—but still Cinderella sat by the prince.
Then the great clock on the tower struck the first stroke of twelve. Up sprang Cinderella, and fled from the room. The prince started to follow her, but she was too swift for him; in her flight, one of her glass slippers fell from her feet, and he stopped to pick it up.
The last stroke of twelve died away, as Cinderella darted down the steps of the palace. In a twinkling the gay lady was gone; only a shabby cinder-maid was running down the steps. The splendid coach and six, driver and footman,—all were gone; only a pumpkin lay on the ground, and a rat, six mice, and six lizards scampered off.
Cinderella reached home, quite out of breath. She had saved nothing of all her finery but one little glass slipper. The prince had its mate, but he had lost the princess. He asked the soldiers at the palace gate if they had not seen her drive away. No; at that hour only a ragged girl had passed out.
Soon the two sisters came home from the ball, and Cinderella asked them if they had again seen the beautiful lady. Yes; she had been at the ball, but she had left suddenly, and no one knew what had become of her. But the prince would surely find her, for he had one of her glass slippers.
They spoke truly. A few days afterward, the king's son sent a messenger with a trumpet and the slipper through all the city. The messenger sounded his trumpet and shouted that the prince would marry the lady who could wear the glass slipper. So the slipper was first tried on by all the princesses; then by all the duchesses; next by all the persons belonging to the court; but in vain: not one could wear it.
Then it was carried to all the fine houses, and it came at last to the two sisters. They tried with all their might to force a foot into the fairy slipper, but they could not. Cinderella stood by, and said:—
"Suppose I were to try." Her two sisters jeered at her, but the messenger looked at Cinderella. He saw that she was very fair, and, besides, he had orders to try the slipper on the foot of every maiden in the kingdom, if need were.
So he bade Cinderella sit down on a three-legged stool in the kitchen. She put out her little foot, and the slipper fitted like wax. The sisters stood in amaze. Then Cinderella put her hand into her pocket and drew forth the other glass slipper, and put it on her other foot.
The moment that Cinderella did this, the fairy, who stood by unseen, touched her with her wand, and the cinder-maid again became the beautiful, gayly dressed lady. The sisters saw that she was the same one whom they had seen at the ball. They thought how ill they had treated her all these years, and they fell at her feet and asked her to forgive them.
Cinderella was as good now as she had been when she was a cinder-maid. She freely forgave her sisters, and took them to the palace with her, for she was now to be the prince's wife. And when the old king and queen died, the prince and Cinderella became King and Queen.
THE BEANS ARE PLANTED
IN the days of King Alfred a poor woman lived in a country village in England. She had an only son, Jack, who was a good-natured, idle boy. She was too easy with him. She never set him at work, and soon there was nothing left them but their cow. Then the mother began to weep and to think that she had brought up her boy very ill.
"Cruel boy!" she said. "You have at last made me a beggar. I have not money enough to buy a bit of bread. We cannot starve. We must sell the cow, and then what shall we do?"
At first Jack felt very badly and wished he had done better. But soon he began to think what fun it would be to sell the cow. He begged his mother to let him go with the cow to the nearest village. She was not very willing. She did not believe Jack knew enough to sell a cow, but at last she gave him leave.
Off went Jack with the cow. He had not gone far when he met a Butcher.
"Where are you going with your cow?" asked the Butcher.
"I am going to sell it," said Jack. The Butcher held his hat in his hand and shook it. Jack looked into the hat and saw some odd looking beans. The Butcher saw him eye them. He knew how silly Jack was, so he said to him:—
"Well, if you wish to sell your cow, sell her to me. I will give you all these beans for her."
Jack thought this a fine bargain. He gave the Butcher the cow and took the beans. He ran all the way home and could hardly wait to reach the house. He called out to his mother to see what he had got for the cow.
When the poor woman saw only a few beans, she burst into tears. She was so vexed that she threw the beans out of the window. She did not even cook them for supper. They had nothing else to eat, and they went to bed hungry.
Jack awoke early the next morning and thought it very dark. He went to the window and could hardly see out of it, for it was covered with something green. He ran downstairs and into the garden. There he saw a strange sight.
The beans had taken root and shot up toward the clouds. The stalks were as thick as trees, and were wound about each other. It was like a green ladder, and Jack at once wished to climb to the top.
He ran in to tell his mother, but she begged him not to climb the bean-stalk. She did not know what would happen. She was afraid to have him go. Who ever saw such bean-stalks before?
But Jack had set his heart on climbing, and he told his mother not to be afraid. He would soon see what it all meant. So up he climbed. He climbed for hours. He went higher and higher, and at last, quite tired out, he reached the top.
JACK CAPTURES A HEN
THEN he looked about him. It was all new. He had never seen such a place before. There was not a tree or plant; there was no house or shed. Some stones lay here and there, and there were little piles of earth. He could not see a living person.
Jack sat down on one of the stones. He wished he were at home again. He thought of his mother. He was hungry, and he did not know where to get anything to eat. He walked and walked, and hoped he might see a house.
He saw no house, but at last he saw a lady walking alone. He ran toward her, and when he came near, he pulled off his cap and made a bow. She was a beautiful lady, and she carried in her hand a stick. A peacock of fine gold sat on top of the stick.
The lady smiled and asked Jack how he came there. He told her all about the bean-stalk. Then she said:—
"Do you remember your father?"
"No," said Jack. "I do not know what became of him. When I speak of him to my mother, she cries, but she tells me nothing."
"She dare not," said the lady, "but I will tell you. I am a fairy. I was set to take care of your father, but one day I was careless. So I lost my power for a few years, and just when your father needed me most I could not help him, and he died."
Jack saw that she was very sorry as she told this story, but he begged her to go on.
"I will," she said, "and you may now help your mother. But you must do just as I tell you."
"Your father was a good, kind man. He had a good wife, he had money, and he had friends. But he had one false friend. This was a Giant. Your father had once helped this Giant, but the Giant was cruel. He killed your father and took all his money. And he told your mother she must never tell you about your father. If she did, then the Giant would kill her and kill you too.
"You were a little child then, and your mother carried you away in her arms. I could not help her at the time, but my power came back to me yesterday. So I made you go off with the cow, and I made you take the beans, and I made you climb the bean-stalk.
"This is the land where the Giant lives. You must find him and rid the world of him. All that he has is yours, for he took it from your father. Now go. You must keep on this road till you see a great house. The Giant lives there. I cannot tell you what you must do next, but I will help you when the time comes. But you must not tell your mother anything."
The fairy disappeared and Jack set out. He walked all day, and when the sun set, he came to the Giant's house. He went up to it and saw a plain woman by the door. This was the Giant's wife. Jack spoke to her and asked her if she would give him something to eat and a place where he could sleep.
"What!" she said. "Do you not know? My husband is a Giant. He is away now, but he will be back soon. Sometimes he walks fifty miles in a day to see if he can find a man or a boy. He eats people. He will eat you if he finds you here."
Jack was in great fear, but he would not give up. He asked the Giant's wife to hide him somewhere in the house. She was a kind woman, so she led him in. They went through a great hall, and then through some large rooms. They came to a dark passage, and went through it. There was a little light, and Jack could see bars of iron at the side. Behind the bars were wretched people. They were the prisoners of the Giant.
Poor Jack thought of his mother and wished himself at home again. He began to think the Giant's wife was as bad as the Giant, and had brought him in to shut him up here. Then he thought of his father and marched boldly on.
They came to a room where a table was set. Jack sat down and began to eat. He was very hungry and soon forgot his fears. But while he was eating, there came a loud knock at the outside door. It was so loud that the whole house shook. The Giant's wife turned pale.
"What shall I do?" she cried. "It is the Giant. He will kill you and kill me too! What shall I do?"
"Hide me in the oven," said Jack. There was no fire under it, and Jack lay in the oven and looked out. The Giant came in and scolded his wife, and then he sat down and ate and drank for a long time. Jack thought he never would finish. At last the Giant leaned back in his chair and called out in a loud voice:—
"Bring me my hen!"
His wife brought a beautiful hen and placed it on the table.
"Lay!" roared the Giant, and the hen laid an egg of solid gold.
"Lay another!" And the hen laid another. So it went on. Each time the hen laid a larger egg than before. The Giant played with the hen for some time. Then he sent his wife to bed, but he sat in his chair. Soon he fell asleep, and then Jack crept out of the oven and seized the hen. He ran out of the house and down the road. He kept on till he came to the bean-stalk, and climbed down to his old home.
THE GIANT'S MONEY-BAGS
JACK'S mother was very glad to see him. She was afraid that he had come to some ill end.
"Not a bit of it, mother," said he. "Look here!" and he showed her the hen. "Lay!" he said to the hen, and the hen laid an egg of gold.
Jack and his mother now had all they needed, for they had only to tell the hen to lay, and she laid her golden egg. They sold the egg and had money enough. But Jack kept thinking of his father, and he longed to make another trial. He had told his mother about the Giant and his wife, but he had said nothing about the fairy and his father.
His mother begged Jack not to climb the bean-stalk again. She said the Giant's wife would be sure to know him, and he never would come back alive. Jack said nothing, but he put on some other clothes and stained his face and hands another color. Then, one morning, he rose early and climbed the bean-stalk a second time.
He went straight to the Giant's house. The Giant's wife was again at the door, but she did not know him. He begged for food and a place to sleep. She told him about the Giant, and then she said:—
"There was once a boy who came just as you have come. I let him in, and he stole the Giant's hen and ran away. Ever since the Giant has been very cruel to me. No, I cannot let you come in."
But Jack begged so hard that at last, she let him in. She led him through the house, and he saw just what he had seen before. She gave him something to eat, and then she hid him in a closet. The Giant came along in his heavy boots. He was so big, that the house shook. He sat by the fire for a time. Then he looked about and said:—
"Wife, I smell fresh meat."
"Yes," she said. "The crows have been flying about. They left some raw meat on top of the house. Then she made haste and got some supper for the Giant. He kept talking about his hen, and was very cross. So it went on as before. The Giant ate and drank. Then he called to his wife:—
"Bring me something. I want to be amused. You let that rascal steal my hen. Bring me something."
"What shall I bring?" she asked meekly.
"Bring me my money-bags; they are as heavy as anything." So she tugged two great bags to the table. One was full of silver and one was full of gold. The Giant sent his wife to bed. Then he untied the strings, emptied his bags, and counted his money. Jack watched him, and said to himself:—
"That is my father's money."
By and by the Giant was tired. He put the money back into the bags and tied the strings. Then he went to sleep. He had a dog to watch his money, but Jack did not see the dog. So when the Giant was sound asleep, Jack came out of the closet and laid hold of the bags.
At this the dog barked, and Jack thought his end had come. But the Giant did not wake, and Jack just then saw a bit of meat. He gave it to the dog, and while the dog was eating it, Jack took the two bags and was off.
IT was two whole days before he could reach the bean-stalk, for the bags were very heavy. Then he climbed down with them. But when he came to his house the door was locked. No one was inside, and he knew not what to do.
After a while he found an old woman who showed him where his mother was. She was very sick in another house. The poor thing had been made ill by Jack's going away. Now that he had come back, she began to get well, and soon she was in her own house again.
Jack said no more about the Giant and the bean-stalk. For three years he lived with his mother. They had money enough, and all seemed well. But Jack could not forget his father. He sat all day before the bean-stalk. His mother tried hard to amuse him, and she tried to find out what he was thinking about. He did not tell her, for he knew all would then go wrong.
At last he could bear it no longer. He had changed in looks now, and he changed himself still more. Then, one bright summer morning, very early in the day, he climbed the bean-stalk once more. The Giant's wife did not know him when he came to the door of the house. He had hard work to make her let him in.
This time he was hidden in the copper boiler. The Giant again came home, and was in a great rage.
"I smell fresh meat!" he cried. His wife could do nothing with him, and he began to go about the room. He looked into the oven, and into the closet, and then he came to the great boiler. Jack felt his heart stop. He thought now his end had come, surely. But the Giant did not lift the lid. He sat down by the fire and had his supper.
When supper was over, the Giant told his wife to bring his harp. Jack peeped out of the copper and saw a most beautiful harp. The Giant placed it on the table, and said:—
Jack never heard such music as the harp played. No hands touched it. It played all by itself. He thought he would rather have the harp than the hen or all the money. By and by the harp played the Giant to sleep. Then Jack crept out and seized the harp. He was running off with it, when some one called loudly:—
It was the harp, but Jack would not let it go. The Giant started up, and saw Jack with the harp running down the road.
"Stop, you rascal!" he shouted. "You stole my hen and my money-bags. Do you steal my harp? I'll catch you, and I'll break every bone in your body!"
"Catch me if you can!" said Jack. He knew he could run faster than the Giant. Off they went, Jack and the harp, and the Giant after them. Jack came to the bean-stalk. The harp was all the while playing music, but now Jack said:—
"Stop!" and the harp stopped playing. He hurried down the bean-stalk with the harp. There sat his mother, by the cottage, weeping.
"Do not cry, mother," he said. "Quick, bring me a hatchet! Make haste!" He knew there was not a minute to spare. The Giant was already coming down. He was half-way down when Jack took his hatchet and cut the bean-stalk down, close to its roots. Over fell the bean-stalk, and down came the Giant upon the ground. He was killed on the spot.
In a moment the fairy was seen. She told Jack's mother everything, and how brave he had been. And that was the end. The bean-stalk never grew again.
Once upon a time . . . in a great castle, a Prince's daughter grew up happy and contented, in spite of a jealous stepmother. She was very pretty, with blue eyes and long black hair. Her skin was delicate and fair, and so she was called Snow White. Everyone was quite sure she would become very beautiful. Though her stepmother was a wicked woman, she too was very beautiful, and the magic mirror told her this every day, whenever she asked it.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the loveliest lady in the land?" The reply was always; "You are, your Majesty," until the dreadful day when she heard it say, "Snow White is the loveliest in the land." The stepmother was furious and, wild with jealousy, began plotting to get rid of her rival. Calling one of her trusty servants, she bribed him with a rich reward to take Snow White intc the forest, far away from the Castle. Then, unseen, he was to put her to death. The greedy servant, attracted to the reward, agreed to do this deed, and he led the innocent little girl away. However, when they came to the fatal spot, the man's courage failed him and, leaving Snow White sitting beside a tree, he mumbled an excuse and ran off. Snow White was all alone in the forest.
Night came, but the servant did not return. Snow White, alone in the dark forest, began to cry bitterly. She thought she could feel terrible eyes spying on her, and she heard strange sounds and rustlings that made her heart thump. At last, overcome by tiredness, she fell asleep curled under a tree.
Snow White slept fitfully, wakening from time to time with a start and staring into the darkness round her. Several times, she thought she felt something, or somebody touch her as she slept.
At last, dawn woke the forest to the song of the birds, and Snow White too, awoke. A whole world was stirring to life and the little girl was glad to see how silly her fears had been. However, the thick trees were like a wall round her, and as she tried to find out where she was, she came upon a path. She walked along it, hopefully. On she walked till she came to a clearing. There stood a strange cottage, with a tiny door, tiny windows and a tiny chimney pot. Everything about the cottage was much tinier than it ought to be. Snow White pushed the door open.
"l wonder who lives here?" she said to herself, peeping round the kitchen. "What tiny plates! And spoons! There must be seven of them, the table's laid for seven people." Upstairs was a bedroom with seven neat little beds. Going back to the kitchen, Snow White had an idea.
"I'll make them something to eat. When they come home, they'll be glad to find a meal ready." Towards dusk, seven tiny men marched homewards singing. But when they opened the door, to their surprise they found a bowl of hot steaming soup on the table, and the whole house spick and span. Upstairs was Snow White, fast asleep on one of the beds. The chief dwarf prodded her gently.
"Who are you?" he asked. Snow White told them her sad story, and tears sprang to the dwarfs' eyes. Then one of them said, as he noisily blew his nose:
"Stay here with us!"
"Hooray! Hooray!" they cheered, dancing joyfully round the little girl. The dwarfs said to Snow White:
"You can live here and tend to the house while we're down the mine. Don't worry about your stepmother leaving you in the forest. We love you and we'll take care of you!" Snow White gratefully accepted their hospitality, and next morning the dwarfs set off for work. But they warned Snow White not to open the door to strangers.
Meanwhile, the servant had returned to the castle, with the heart of a roe deer. He gave it to the cruel stepmother, telling her it belonged to Snow White, so that he could claim the reward. Highly pleased, the stepmother turned again to the magic mirror. But her hopes were dashed, for the mirror replied: "The loveliest in the land is still Snow White, who lives in the seven dwarfs' cottage, down in the forest." The stepmother was beside herself with rage.
"She must die! She must die!" she screamed. Disguising herself as an old peasant woman, she put a poisoned apple with the others in her basket. Then, taking the quickest way into the forest, she crossed the swamp at the edge of the trees. She reached the bank unseen, just as Snow White stood waving goodbye to the seven dwarfs on their way to the mine.
Snow White was in the kitchen when she heard the sound at the door: KNOCK! KNOCK!
"Who's there?" she called suspiciously, remembering the dwarfs advice.
"I'm an old peasant woman selling apples," came the reply.
"I don't need any apples, thank you," she replied.
"But they are beautiful apples and ever so juicy!" said the velvety voice from outside the door.
"I'm not supposed to open the door to anyone," said the little girl, who was reluctant to disobey her friends.
"And quite right too! Good girl! If you promised not to open up to strangers, then of course you can't buy. You are a good girl indeed!" Then the old woman went on.
"And as a reward for being good, I'm going to make you a gift of one of my apples!" Without a further thought, Snow White opened the door just a tiny crack, to take the apple.
"There! Now isn't that a nice apple?" Snow White bit into the fruit, and as she did, fell to the ground in a faint: the effect of the terrible poison left her lifeless instantaneously.
Now chuckling evilly, the wicked stepmother hurried off. But as she ran back across the swamp, she tripped and fell into the quicksand. No one heard her cries for help, and she disappeared without a trace.
Meanwhile, the dwarfs came out of the mine to find the sky had grown dark and stormy. Loud thunder echoed through the valleys and streaks of lightning ripped the sky. Worried about Snow White they ran as quickly as they could down the mountain to the cottage.
There they found Snow White, lying still and lifeless, the poisoned apple by her side. They did their best to bring her around, but it was no use.
They wept and wept for a long time. Then they laid her on a bed of rose petals, carried her into the forest and put her in a crystal coffin.
Each day they laid a flower there.
Then one evening, they discovered a strange young man admiring Snow White's lovely face through the glass. After listening to the story, the Prince (for he was a prince!) made a suggestion.
"If you allow me to take her to the Castle, I'll call in famous doctors to waken her from this peculiar sleep. She's so lovely . . . I'd love to kiss her. . . !" He did, and as though by magic, the Prince's kiss broke the spell. To everyone's astonishment, Snow White opened her eyes. She had amazingly come back to life! Now in love, the Prince asked Snow White to marry him, and the dwarfs reluctantly had to say good bye to Snow White.
From that day on, Snow White lived happily in a great castle. But from time to time, she was drawn back to visit the little cottage down in the forest.
Once upon a time there were three little pigs and the time came for them to leave home and seek their fortunes.
Before they left, their mother told them " Whatever you do , do it the best that you can because that's the way to get along in the world.
The first little pig built his house out of straw because it was the easiest thing to do.
The second little pig built his house out of sticks. This was a little bit stronger than a straw house.
The third little pig built his house out of bricks.
One night the big bad wolf, who dearly loved to eat fat little piggies, came along and saw the first little pig in his house of straw. He said "Let me in, Let me in, little pig or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!"
"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin", said the little pig.
But of course the wolf did blow the house in and ate the first little pig.
The wolf then came to the house of sticks.
"Let me in ,Let me in little pig or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in" "Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin", said the little pig. But the wolf blew that house in too, and ate the second little pig.
The wolf then came to the house of bricks.
" Let me in , let me in" cried the wolf
"Or I'll huff and I'll puff till I blow your house in"
"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin" said the pigs.
Well, the wolf huffed and puffed but he could not blow down that brick house.
But the wolf was a sly old wolf and he climbed up on the roof to look for a way into the brick house.
The little pig saw the wolf climb up on the roof and lit a roaring fire in the fireplace and placed on it a large kettle of water.
When the wolf finally found the hole in the chimney he crawled down and KERSPLASH right into that kettle of water and that was the end of his troubles with the big bad wolf.
The next day the little pig invited his mother over . She said "You see it is just as I told you. The way to get along in the world is to do things as well as you can." Fortunately for that little pig, he learned that lesson. And he just lived happily ever after!