When People told themselves their past with stories,
explained their present with stories,
foretold the future with stories,
the best place by the fire was kept for ...

~Henny Penny

Once upon a time there was a dear little chicken named
Chicken Little.
One morning as she was scratching in her garden,
a pebble fell off the roof and hit her on the head.
"Oh, dear me!" she cried, "the sky is falling.
I must go and tell the King," and away she ran down the road.

by Mark Mitchell

By and by she met Henny Penny going to the store.
"Where are you going?" asked Henny Penny.
"I'm going to tell the King the sky is falling,"
answered Chicken Little.
"How do you know the sky is falling?" asked Henny Penny.
"Because a piece of it fell on my head," she replied.
"May I go with you?" begged Henny Penny.
"Certainly," answered Chicken Little, and she hastened on, followed by Henny Penny. Turning up a shady lane they met Cocky Locky.
"Where are you two going?" asked Cocky Locky.
"Oh, we are going to tell the King the sky is falling,"
answered Henny Penny.
"How do you know?"
"Chicken Little told me," said Henny Penny.

"A piece of it fell on my head," cried Chicken Little.
"May I go with you?" asked Cocky Locky.
"Certainly," answered Chicken Little.
Then away went the three, Chicken Little, Henny Penny
and Cocky Locky.
By and by they came to a pond where they met
Ducky Daddles.
"Where are you three going?" he asked.
"The sky is falling and we are going to tell the King,"
answered Cocky Locky.
"How do you know?" asked Ducky Daddies.
"Henny Penny told me," said Cocky Locky.
"Chicken Little told me," said Henny Penny.
"'A piece of it fell on my head," cried Chicken Little.
"May I go with you?" asked Ducky Daddies.

"Certainly," they answered.
By and by whom should they meet but Goosey Poosey,
carrying a basket of gooseberries to market.
"Where are you four going?" she asked.
"The sky is falling and we are going to tell the King," answered Ducky Daddles.
"How do you know it is falling?" asked Goosey Poosey.
"Cocky Locky told me,"answered Ducky Daddles.
"Henny Penny told me," said Cocky Locky.

"Chicken Little told me," said Henny Penny.
"A piece of it fell on my head," cried Chicken Little.
"May I go with you?" asked Goosey Poosey.
"Certainly," said Chicken Little.
Then Goosey Poosey followed Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, and Ducky Daddles until they met
Turkey Lurkey.
"Where are you five going?" asked Turkey Lurkey.
"The sky is falling and we're going to tell the king,"
answered Goosey Poosey.
"How do you know?" asked Turkey Lurkey.

"Ducky Daddies told me so," answered Goosey Poosey.
"Cocky Locky told me," answered Ducky Daddles.
"Henny Penny told me," said Cocky Locky.
"Chicken Little told me," said Henny Penny.
"A piece of it fell on my head," cried Chicken Little.
"May I go with you?" asked Turkey Lurkey.
"Certainly," said Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Ducky Daddies and Goosey Poosey.
So away they went until they met Gander Pander.
"Where are you six going?" he asked.
"The sky is falling and we are going to tell the King."
"How do you know?" asked Gander Pander.
"Goosey Poosey told me," said Turkey Lurkey.
"Ducky Daddies told me," said Goosey Poosey.
"Cocky Locky told me," said Ducky Daddles.

"Henny Penny told me," said Cocky Locky.
"Chicken Little told me," said Henny Penny.
"A piece of it fell on my head," cried Chicken Little.
"May I go with you?" asked Gander Pander.
"Certainly," answered all the little feathered folks.
By and by they became tired, and sat down to rest,
when out from behind the rocks jumped Foxy Loxy.
"Where are you all going?" he asked, with a sly grin.
"The sky is falling and we are going to tell the King,"
they all replied together.
"How do you know?" asked Foxy Loxy squinting his
wicked eyes.
"Turkey Lurkey told me," said Gander Pander.

"Goosey Poosey told me," said Turkey Lurkey.
"Ducky Daddies told me," said Goosey Poosey.
"Cocky Locky told me," said Ducky Daddies.
"Henny Penny told me," said Cocky Locky.
"Chicken Little told me," said Henny Penny.
"A piece of it fell on my head," cried Chicken Little,
"and we are going to tell the King."
"You are not going the right way. Shall I show it to you?"
said Foxy Loxy.
"Oh, certainly," they all answered at once and followed Foxy Loxy, until they came to the door of his cave among the rocks.
"This is a short way to the King's Palace; you'll soon get there if you follow me. I will go in first," said Foxy Loxy.'
Just as the little feathered folks crowded around the dark narrow hole, eager to follow the sly fox, a little gray squirrel,
with very bright eyes, jumped out from behind the bushes and whispered to them: "Don't go in, don't go in, all your little necks he'll wring, and you'll never see the King."
But the sharp ears of Foxy Loxy heard the warning,
and, quick as a wink, he turned and caught Gander Pander.
Just as he was about to twist Gander Pander's neck,
the little squirrel threw a big stone and hit the old fox right on the head.
"The sky surely is falling," groaned Foxy Loxy, creeping into the darkest corner of his cave.

Happy to escape from the wicked old fox,
away ran Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, a
Ducky Daddies, Goosey Poosey, Turkey Lurkey and
Gander Pander.
By and by they came to the beautiful palace in which lived the wise King, and upon being brought before him, they all
shouted at once; "Good and wise King, we have come to
warn you that the sky is falling!"
"How do you know the sky is falling?" asked the King.
"Because a piece of it fell on my head," said Chicken Little.
"Come nearer, Chicken Little," said the King and leaning
from his velvet throne, he picked the pebble from the
feathers of Chicken Little's head.
"You see it was only a little pebble and not part of the sky at all," said the King. "Go home in peace and do not fear because
the sky cannot fall; only rain falls from the sky."

Weary but wiser, the little feathered folks left the palace and started on their long journey homeward.

Chicken Little is hurrying
Umbrella 'neath her wing.
She thinks the sky is falling fast
So goes to tell the King.
But, after she has spread the news
And all is told and said
The good old King just laughs at her
And sends her home instead.

~The boy who cried Wolf

There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep.
To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out,
"Wolf! Wolf!
The Wolf is chasing the sheep!"


The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they arrived at the top of the hill,
they found no wolf.
The boy laughed at the sight of their angry faces.

"Don't cry 'wolf', shepherd boy," said the villagers,
"when there's no wolf!" They went grumbling back down the hill.

Later, the boy sang out again, "Wolf! Wolf! The wolf is chasing the sheep!" To his naughty delight, he watched the villagers run up the hill to help him drive the wolf away.

When the villagers saw no wolf they sternly said,
"Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don't cry 'wolf' when there is NO wolf!"

But the boy just grinned and watched them go grumbling down the hill once more.

Later, he saw a REAL wolf prowling about his flock.
Alarmed, he leaped to his feet and sang out as loudly as he could, "Wolf! Wolf!"

But the villagers thought he was trying to fool them again,
and so they didn't come.

At sunset, everyone wondered why the shepherd boy hadn't returned to the village with their sheep.
They went up the hill to find the boy.
They found him weeping.

"There really was a wolf here! The flock has scattered!
I cried out, "Wolf!" Why didn't you come?"

An old man tried to comfort the boy as they walked
back to the village.

"We'll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning,"
he said, putting his arm around the youth,
"Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!"

~The Three Little Pigs

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

The first that went off met a Man with a bundle of straw,
and said to him, "Please, Man, give me that straw to build me a house"; which the Man did, and the little Pig built a house with it. Presently came along a Wolf, and knocked at the door, and said, "Little Pig, little Pig, let me come in."
To which the Pig answered, "No, no, by the hair of my chinny chin chin."
"Then I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in!"
said the Wolf. So he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew his house in, and ate up the little Pig.

by Leslie Brooke

The second Pig met a Man with a bundle of furze, and said,
"Please, Man, give me that furze to build a house";
which the Man did, and the Pig built his house.
Then along came the Wolf and said, "Little Pig, little Pig,
let me come in."
"No, no, by the hair of my chinny chin chin."
"Then I'll puff and I'll huff, and I'll blow your house in!"
So he huffed and he puffed, and he puffed and he huffed,
and at last he blew the house down,
and ate up the second little Pig.
The third little Pig met a Man with a load of bricks, and said, "Please, Man, give me those bricks to build a house with";
so the Man gave him the bricks, and he built his house with them.

So the Wolf came, as he did to the other little Pigs, and said,
"Little Pig, little Pig, let me come in."

"No, no, by the hair of my chinny chin chin."
"Then I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."
Well, he huffed and he puffed, and he huffed and he puffed,
and he puffed and he huffed; but he could not get the house down. When he found that he could not, with all his huffing and puffing, blow the house down, he said, "Little Pig,
I know where there is a nice field of turnips."
"Where?" said the little Pig.
"Oh, in Mr. Smith's home-field; and if you will be ready
to-morrow morning, I will call for you, and we will go together and get some for dinner."
"Very well," said the little Pig, "I will be ready.
What time do you mean to go?"
"Oh, at six o'clock."
Well, the little Pig got up at five, and got the turnips and was home again before six.

When the Wolf came he said, "Little Pig, are you ready?"
"Ready!" said the little Pig, "I have been and come back again, and got a nice pot-full for dinner."

The Wolf felt very angry at this, but thought that he would be up to the little Pig somehow or other; so he said,
"Little Pig, I know where there is a nice apple-tree."
"Where?" said the Pig.
"Down at Merry-garden," replied the Wolf; "and if you will not deceive me I will come for you, at five o'clock to-morrow,
and we will go together and get some apples."
Well, the little Pig woke at four the next morning,
and bustled up, and went off for the apples, hoping to get back before the Wolf came; but he had farther to go, and had
to climb the tree, so that just as he was coming down from it,
he saw the Wolf coming, which, as you may suppose, frightened him very much. When the Wolf came up he said,
"Little Pig, what! are you here before me? Are they nice apples?"
"Yes, very," said the little Pig; "I will throw you down one."
And he threw it so far that, while the Wolf was gone to pick it up, the little Pig jumped down and ran home.

The next day the Wolf came again, and said to the little Pig,
"Little Pig, there is a Fair in the Town this afternoon: will you go?"
"Oh, yes," said the Pig, I will go; what time shall you be ready?"
"At three," said the Wolf.
So the little Pig went off before the time, as usual, and got to the Fair, and bought a butter churn, and was on his way home with it when he saw the Wolf coming.
Then he could not tell what to do.
So he got into the churn to hide, and in doing so turned it round, and it began to roll, and rolled down the hill with the
Pig inside it, which frightened the Wolf so much that he
ran home without going to the Fair.

He went to the little Pig's house, and told him how frightened he had been by a great round thing which came down the hill past him.
Then the little Pig said, "Hah! I frightened you, did I?
I had been to the Fair and bought a butter churn, and
when I saw you I got into it, and rolled down the hill."
Then the Wolf was very angry indeed, and declared he
would eat up the little Pig, and that he would get down the chimney after him.
When the little Pig saw what he was about, he hung on
the pot full of water, and made up a blazing fire, and,
just as the Wolf was coming down, took off the cover of the pot, and in fell the Wolf.

And the little Pig put on the cover again in an instant, boiled him up, and ate him for supper, and lived happy ever after.

by Leslie Brooke

~Wolf and Boy

Once upon a time, there was a wolf, and this wolf was all alone.
All of the other wolves had been caught or killed or driven off.
But this last wolf, he stayed. And he did all of the usual wolfish things. He lived in a cave high up in the hills.
He raided the occasional flock for a stray sheep.

He also would appear from time to time late in the evening on a trail from the fields running down to the village to frighten some milk maid or herds boy coming home a little too late from the watch. And this gave rise to the stories of great, gnarled, bloody teeth and wet, long, lolling tongue and fiery, red, hungry eyes... the wolf had quite a reputation in the village.

But that was not the worst of it. The most horrible thing of all,
the thing that froze the souls of the old men, and caused the red faces of the young people to blanche, and the heads of the children to go deep under bed covers at night was what the wolf would do from time to time, in the cold crackling air of the frosty silver moon, high on the stark peak of the stoney mountain near the village. He would sit up there and howl, howl with the sound of a thousand midnights down in a murky bog.
Those who heard it swore it was a sound that only a beast could make whose soul was tortured and lost forever.
And it chilled to the marrow everyone who heard it... everyone, that is, except one person.

For living in the village was a boy who had lived there all of his life. And yet no one really knew this boy. I mean, he spoke to folks, and they spoke to him. But no one really understood him or cared to. Even his parents were at a loss to understand his ways and his thoughts. So they mostly humored him.
And the boy would lie awake in his bed at night wondering about his life and why he felt so lost among the villagers.
And sometimes he would cry or sometimes he would be angry. But when he heard the call of the wolf on the mountain,
right away he knew that here was a voice the like of which he'd not heard before. Here was a voice that spoke to him of feelings no one else knew that he had. And lying there and listening with every fiber of his body, he knew he had to seek out this wolf and know from it why it cried in the night.
Oh, he'd heard the stories of the teeth, the tongue, the eyes so red and burning, but nothing would do except that he had to know that wolf for himself.

And so one day, before the sun rose, he set out on the road to the mountain where it was said the wolf made his den.
It was a long road and a steep one, but the boy took no stick,
nor wore no hat to guard him from the sun.
And it was a dangerous journey to be sure, but the boy
took no weapon to defend himself.
And though the country was barren and rocky and not fruitful where he was going, the boy took no food nor drink to sustain him. And though he'd never been on this way before,
he followed no map, but went the way of his heart, come what may. It was sometime at the end of a day's travel that he
began to grow thirsty and the emptiness inside him began
to make itself known in his stomach. He walked, becoming even more thirsty until darkness overcame him and he was forced to stop for the night in some trees near the road.
And as he sat hungry and thirsty in the growing darkness, he thought for a moment about turning back and rushing blindly down the path and back to the village.
But he knew that was not the way for him. So he sat for a long while shivering in the night and then lay down finally to sleep.
In his dreams, the moon shone silver on the frosty stones,
the air was clear and crisp, and the voice of the wolf rang
out from the top of one of the peaks, calling out the way ahead, perhaps his way.
He awoke in the dawn with a start, wondering if the dream had been real, and the wolf had actually called in the night.

He rose, still hungry, and continued on his way.
Soon the path grew steeper and rockier.
As the sun was moving high and the day was warming, the boy noticed ahead of him a flock of birds swooping and playing in a small pool beside the road.

The boy rushed to the water, fell on his belly and drank his fill. When he rose, the birds were watching him silently
from a nearby tree limb. Realizing he had interrupted their play, he smiled and thanked them for letting him drink and
continued on the path. Though his thirst was slaked, still an emptiness was burning deep in his belly. And as he walked, once again thoughts came to him of quitting, of just sitting down under a tree to wait for whatever might happen.
And what if he never got up again?
Would anyone miss him or come to find him?
But something told him this was not the end of his journey.
If he did not continue he would never know what was at the end of the path or why the wolf cried so in the night.
And so he decided to continue walking knowing not what lay ahead of him.

You can imagine how relieved he was after several minutes to see beside the path a clump of bushes that were heavy and inviting with red, juicy berries. He rushed to them and began to pick and eat the sweet, ripe berries. But then he heard a noise. And looking up, he came face to face with a very large and hairy bear. The bear was only a few feet away in the bushes himself eating the tasty berries, The boy realized that those large arms were entirely capable of reaching out to catch at him and crush the life out of him. And so he did not move, but stood with the berries still sweet on his tongue, his lips red with juice, his cheeks now white with fright.

But the bear only stared and waited too... for a moment.
And then the long white teeth showed in his fuzzy face, and one massive set of claws moved... and he began to pick and munch more of the ripe berries. The boy, realizing that the bear was hungry only for berries, smiled and began to breathe again,
and went back to eating as well. After several minutes of filling himself, the boy was ready to move along, and, smiling and waving to his friend, he left the bushes and continued on the path.

A way up the path the boy noticed it was becoming steeper and so much harder to travel. And he was beginning to wonder when or how or if he would ever see his wolf and meet his wolf and know his wolf and be able to answer the strange desire he held within him to feel what the wolf felt deep in the night. Suddenly he heard a noise;

A stone tumbled; and the clatter echoed as the boy froze on the trail. His eyes darted left and right, looking for the source of the movement when something large moved and leaped into the path. His heart stopped, then began to beat again as he saw the visitor clearly. It wasn't the wolf at all, but a small deer, a yearling, a young male whose nubbish horns were just
beginning to show on the top of his head.
The two of them stared at one another for a moment,
curious, fearless, silent.

The deer gazed at the boy wide-eyed.
The boy gazed back, and suddenly he was concerned that the young fellow might be in danger. And he spoke quietly to the young deer.

"Oh, do be careful here. There's a bear down the path a way.
And a wolf about, I think. I'm searching for that wolf myself,
but you?
I don't think you are ready to meet him."

The deer stared back in wonder and listening."
Be careful, little man. Up here all alone and so friendly.
Be wary of those who would hurt you."

And with that the boy walked on slowly toward the deer who started and scampered away into the rocks.
The boy walked smiling to himself as he thought of the deer now safely hidden in the rocks. Hiding until he grew strong and large enough to defend himself against a bear or a wolf.

As he was thinking of this, he noticed the darkening sky and the cold chill of the deepening night air as it gathered about him. He continued along the bare path, trying not too look too far to left or right, trying to keep his footing, wondering if he had been wise in coming here, if he had been right in seeking the wolf in such a lonely and desolate place. He was growing more unsure of each step as he moved carefully and slowly up the path.
When suddenly... he saw something... no felt something ahead.
It might have been nothing. It might have been a shadow
crossing the moon. It might have been everything he sought.

His heart beat faster. His head grew light, but his eyes stayed sharp as he stared ahead of him up the trail.
He waited quietly for another sign, and soon came his reward as the shadows moved up ahead and became living and breathing flesh. There on four paws, eyes reflecting his own bright gaze, head still as stone and pointing down the trail toward him,
was the wolf.

He could not move. The red eyes, the great tongue, the huge claws flashed in his memory. But as he stared, he saw none of them. He could also recall the song that had drawn him here, the singer from the distant night, now only yards from him, breathing in the cold night, and exhaling hot steam.

And as he stood, peering into the wild eyes before him, remembering that sad, sweet song, he felt his heart soften and his fear evaporate. His eyes filled and, without warning, he knew why he had come here. He knew in that instant what he had traveled to find, what he had heard in that song, what he had embraced in his lonely bed as he had lain awake, listening and wanting.
He knew that the song had been a cry for an end to solitude.
The cry was to banish aloneness. It had reached out across the miles and the years and touched him. And it had guided him.
He knew this now.

And so with his heart full and his eyes afire with understanding, the boy faced the wolf and he spoke back... with his smile.
And in that instant, the two... boy and wolf... were one heart.

It is said the boy never returned to the life he had known in the village. No one there could really be sure of his fate.
No one would ever go looking. But there is one tale, told by a brave hunter who became lost after chasing a large deer up the mountain one day. When he returned, he told a wild and unbelievable story of seeing a boy and a wolf through the trees, lying asleep together under a tree some distance away.
But as he made his way thrashing and crashing through the forest to where he thought he would rescue the lad, he became lost,
and could no longer see nor find them.
And so he returned to his safe villager's life, speaking in hushed tones of his brief
glimpse of another life he could never understand.
And as the people listened to his story told over and over again until the words were worn, and as the long years passed,
some who listened would laugh, some would weep quietly,
a few would cross themselves in disgust, and, once and again, some few would take heart and lie awake at night listening with hope to the strange and wolfish duet, sung high upon a distant peak in the silver moonlight.

~The Swineherd

There was once a poor Prince, who had a kingdom.
His kingdom was very small, but still quite large enough
to marry upon; and he wished to marry.

It was certainly rather cool of him to say to the Emperor’s daughter, “Will you have me?” But so he did; for his name was renowned far and wide; and there were a hundred princesses who would have answered, “Yes!” and “Thank you kindly.”
We shall see what this princess said.


It happened that where the Prince’s father lay buried,
there grew a rose tree–a most beautiful rose tree, which blossomed only once in every five years, and even then bore only one flower, but that was a rose! It smelt so sweet that all cares and sorrows were forgotten by him who inhaled its fragrance.

And furthermore, the Prince had a nightingale, who could sing in such a manner that it seemed as though all sweet melodies dwelt in her little throat. So the Princess was to have the rose, and the nightingale; and they were accordingly put into large silver caskets, and sent to her.

The Emperor had them brought into a large hall, where the Princess was playing at “Visiting,” with the ladies of the court;
and when she saw the caskets with the presents,
she clapped her hands for joy.

“Ah, if it were but a little pussy-cat!” said she; but the rose tree, with its beautiful rose came to view.

“Oh, how prettily it is made!” said all the court ladies.
“It is more than pretty,” said the Emperor, “it is charming!
But the Princess touched it, and was almost ready to cry.
“Fie, papa!” said she. “It is not made at all, it is natural!”

“Let us see what is in the other casket, before we get into a bad humor,” said the Emperor. So the nightingale came forth and sang so delightfully that at first no one could say anything ill-humored of her.

“Superbe! Charmant!” exclaimed the ladies; for they all used to chatter French, each one worse than her neighbor.

“How much the bird reminds me of the musical box that belonged to our blessed Empress,” said an old knight.
“Oh yes! These are the same tones, the same execution.”

“Yes! yes!” said the Emperor, and he wept like a child at the remembrance.
“I will still hope that it is not a real bird,” said the Princess.

“Yes, it is a real bird,” said those who had brought it. “Well then let the bird fly,” said the Princess; and she positively refused to see the Prince.

However, he was not to be discouraged; he daubed his face over brown and black; pulled his cap over his ears, and knocked at the door.

“Good day to my lord, the Emperor!” said he.
“Can I have employment at the palace?”

“Why, yes,” said the Emperor. “I want some one to take care of the pigs, for we have a great many of them.”

So the Prince was appointed “Imperial Swineherd.”
He had a dirty little room close by the pigsty; and there he sat the whole day, and worked. By the evening he had made a pretty little kitchen-pot. Little bells were hung all round it; and when the pot was boiling, these bells tinkled in the most charming manner,
and played the old melody,

“Ah! dear Augustine!
All is gone, gone, gone!”

But what was still more curious, whoever held his finger in the smoke of the kitchen-pot, immediately smelt all the dishes that were cooking on every hearth in the city–this, you see, was something quite different from the rose.

Now the Princess happened to walk that way; and when she heard the tune, she stood quite still, and seemed pleased; for she could play “Lieber Augustine”; it was the only piece she knew; and she played it with one finger.

“Why there is my piece,” said the Princess. “That swineherd must certainly have been well educated! Go in and ask him the price of the instrument.”

So one of the court-ladies must run in; however, she drew on wooden slippers first.
“What will you take for the kitchen-pot?” said the lady.
“I will have ten kisses from the Princess,” said the swineherd.
“Yes, indeed!” said the lady.
“I cannot sell it for less,” rejoined the swineherd.
“He is an impudent fellow!” said the Princess, and she walked on; but when she had gone a little way, the bells tinkled so prettily

“Ah! dear Augustine!
All is gone, gone, gone!”

“Stay,” said the Princess. “Ask him if he will have ten kisses from the ladies of my court.”

“No, thank you!” said the swineherd. “Ten kisses from the Princess, or I keep the kitchen-pot myself.”

“That must not be, either!” said the Princess. “But do you all stand before me that no one may see us.”

And the court-ladies placed themselves in front of her, and spread out their dresses–the swineherd got ten kisses, and the Princess–the kitchen-pot.

That was delightful! The pot was boiling the whole evening, and the whole of the following day. They knew perfectly well what was cooking at every fire throughout the city, from the chamberlain’s to the cobbler’s; the court-ladies danced and clapped their hands.

“We know who has soup, and who has pancakes for dinner to-day, who has cutlets, and who has eggs. How interesting!”

“Yes, but keep my secret, for I am an Emperor’s daughter.”

The swineherd–that is to say–the Prince, for no one knew that he was other than an ill-favored swineherd, let not a day pass without working at something; he at last constructed a rattle, which, when it was swung round, played all the waltzes and jig tunes, which have ever been heard since the creation of the world.

“Ah, that is superbe!” said the Princess when she passed by.
“I have never heard prettier compositions! Go in and ask him the price of the instrument; but mind, he shall have no more kisses!”

“He will have a hundred kisses from the Princess!” said the lady who had been to ask.

“I think he is not in his right senses!” said the Princess,
and walked on, but when she had gone a little way,
she stopped again. “One must encourage art,” said she,
“I am the Emperor’s daughter. Tell him he shall, as on yesterday, have ten kisses from me, and may take the rest from the ladies of the court.”

“Oh–but we should not like that at all!” said they.
“What are you muttering?” asked the Princess.
“If I can kiss him, surely you can. Remember that you owe everything to me.” So the ladies were obliged to go to him again.

“A hundred kisses from the Princess,” said he, “or else let everyone keep his own!”

“Stand round!” said she; and all the ladies stood round her whilst the kissing was going on.

“What can be the reason for such a crowd close by the pigsty?” said the Emperor, who happened just then to step out on the balcony; he rubbed his eyes, and put on his spectacles.
“They are the ladies of the court; I must go down and see what they are about!” So he pulled up his slippers at the heel,
for he had trodden them down.

As soon as he had got into the court-yard, he moved very softly, and the ladies were so much engrossed with counting the kisses, that all might go on fairly, that they did not perceive the Emperor. He rose on his tiptoes.

“What is all this?” said he, when he saw what was going on, and he boxed the Princess’s ears with his slipper, just as the swineherd was taking the eighty-sixth kiss.

“March out!” said the Emperor, for he was very angry; and both Princess and swineherd were thrust out of the city.

The Princess now stood and wept, the swineherd scolded, and the rain poured down.

“Alas! Unhappy creature that I am!” said the Princess. “If I had but married the handsome young Prince! Ah! how unfortunate I am!”

And the swineherd went behind a tree, washed the black and brown color from his face, threw off his dirty clothes, and stepped forth in his princely robes; he looked so noble that the Princess could not help bowing before him.

“I am come to despise thee,” said he.
“Thou would’st not have an honorable Prince!
Thou could’st not prize the rose and the nightingale, but thou wast ready to kiss the swineherd for the sake of a trumpery plaything. Thou art rightly served.”

He then went back to his own little kingdom, and shut the door of his palace in her face. Now she might well sing,

“Ah! dear Augustine!
All is gone, gone, gone!”

By Hans Christian Anderson

~The Wolf And The Seven Young Goslings

There was once an old goose who had seven young goslings,
and loved them as only a mother can love her children.
One day she was going into the wood to seek for provender,
and before setting off she called all seven to her and said,
“Dear children, I am obliged to go into the wood, so be on your guard against the wolf; for if he gets in here he will eat you up, feathers, skin, and all. The villain often disguises himself, but you can easily recognise him by his rough voice and black paws.”

The children answered, “Dear mother, we will take great care; you may go without any anxiety.”
So the old lady was comforted, and set off cheerfully for the wood.

Before long, some one knocked at the door, and cried,
“Open, open, my dear children; your mother is here, and has brought something for each of you.”

But the goslings soon perceived, by the rough voice, that it was the wolf. “We will not open,” said they; “you are not our mother, for she has a sweet and lovely voice; but your voice is rough – you are the wolf.”

Thereupon the wolf set off to a merchant and bought a large lump of chalk; he ate it, and it made his voice sweet.
Back he came, knocked at the door, and cried, “Open, open, my dear children; your mother is here, and has brought something for each of you.”

But the wolf had laid his black paw on the window-sill,
and when the children saw it, they cried, “We will not open;
our mother has not black feet like you – you are the wolf.”

So the wolf ran off to the baker, and said, “I have hurt my foot, put some dough on it.” And when the baker had plastered it with dough, the wolf went to the miller and cried,
“Strew some meal on my paws.” But the miller thought to himself, “The wolf wants to deceive some one,” and he hesitated to do it; till the wolf said, “If you don’t do it at once,
I will eat you up.” So the miller was afraid and made his paws white. Such is the way of the world!

Now came the rogue back for the third time, knocked and said, “Open the door, dear children; your mother has come home, and has brought something for each of you out of the wood.”

The little goslings cried, “Show us your paws first, that we may see whether you are indeed our mother.” So he laid his paws on the window-sill, and when the goslings saw that they were white, they believed it was all right, and opened the door; and who should come in but the wolf!

They screamed out and tried to hide themselves; one jumped under the table, another into the bed, the third into the oven;
the fourth ran into the kitchen, the fifth hopped into a chest, the sixth under the wash-tub, and the seventh got into the clock-case. But the wolf seized them, and stood on no ceremony with them; one after another he gobbled them all up,
except the youngest, who being in the clock-case he couldn’t find. When the wolf had eaten his fill, he strolled forth, laid himself down in the green meadow under a tree, and went fast asleep.

Not long after, back came the old goose home from the wood;
but what, alas! did she see? The house-door stood wide open; table, chairs, benches, were all overthrown; the wash-tub lay in the ashes; blankets and pillows were torn off the bed.
She looked for her children, but nowhere could she find them;
she called them each by name, but nobody answered. At last, when she came to the youngest, a little squeaking voice answered, “Dear mother, I am in the clock-case.”
She pulled him out, and he told her how the wolf had come and had eaten up all the others.
You may think how she wept for her dear children.

At last, in her grief, she went out, and the youngest gosling ran beside her. And when she came to the meadow there lay the wolf under the tree, snoring till the boughs shook.
She walked round and examined him on all sides, till she perceived that something was moving and kicking about inside him.

“Can it be,” thought she, “that my poor children whom
he has swallowed for his supper are yet alive?”
So she sent the little gosling back to the house for scissors,
needle, and thread, and began to slit up the monster’s stomach. Scarcely had she given one snip, when out came the head of a gosling, and when she had cut a little further, the six jumped out one after another, not having taken the least hurt,
because the greedy monster had swallowed them down whole. That was a joy! They embraced their mother tenderly, and skipped about as lively as a tailor at his wedding.

But the old goose said, “Now go and find me six large stones, which we will put inside the greedy beast while he is still asleep.” So the goslings got the stones in all haste, and they put them inside the wolf; and the old goose sewed him up again in a great hurry, while he never once moved nor took any notice.

Now when the wolf at last woke up and got upon his legs,
he found he was very thirsty, and wished to go to the spring to drink. But as soon as he began to move the stones began to shake and rattle inside him, till he cried, –

“What’s this rumbling and tumbling,
What’s this rattling like bones?
I thought I had eaten six little geese,
But they’ve turned out only stones.”

And when he came to the spring and bent down his head to drink, the heavy stones overbalanced him, and in he went head over heels. Now when the seven goslings saw this, they came running up, crying loudly, “The wolf is dead, the wolf is dead!” and danced for joy all round the spring, and their mother with them.

~The Seller Of Dreams

Once upon a time a mother called her only son into the kitchen, gave him a basket of fine, fresh eggs, and bade him carry them to his Aunt Jane, who lived a few miles down the valley.
The son, a lively lad about twelve years of age, obeyed his mother with joy, and clapping his little green hat on his head, stepped forth into the road. It was a beautiful clear morning in the spring, and the earth, released from the icy chains of winter, was rejoicing in her freedom and the return of the sun.
A few birds, just back from the southland, rocked on twigs
swollen with bursting buds, a thousand rills flowing from everywhere and in every direction sparkled and sang,
and the air was sweet with the odor of ploughed fields.

The boy, whose name was Peter, walked along whistling. Suddenly he saw a spot on the road shining as dazzlingly
as if a bit of the sun itself had fallen to the earth. “A bit of glass,” thought Peter. But it was not a bit of glass after all, but a fine golden florin which must have dropped from somebody’s purse.

Peter stooped, picked up the gold piece, put it in his pocket,
and walked off whistling louder than ever. In a little while he came to a place where the road wound down a little hill, and Peter saw, trudging up this hill, a very strange looking old man.
He was a very old man; his face was puckered up into a thousand wrinkles like the skin of a shrunken apple, and he had long,
snow-white hair and a white beard which reached almost to his waist. Moreover, he was strangely dressed in a robe of cherry scarlet, and wore golden shoes. From a kind of belt hung two horns on silver chains, one an ordinary cow’s horn, the other a beautiful horn carved of the whitest ivory, and decorated with little figures of men and animals.

“Dreams to sell! Dreams to sell!” called out the old man as soon as he caught sight of Peter. “Don’t you want to buy a dream, young man?”

“What kind of dreams have you?” asked Peter.

“Good, bad, true, false–all kinds,” replied the seller of dreams.
“I have even a few thrilling nightmares. Dreams to sell!
Dreams to sell!”

“How much does a dream cost?” asked Peter.
“A golden florin,” answered the merchant.
“I’ll have one, please,” said Peter; and he handed over the florin he had found.
The old man took a kind of wonderful sugarplum out of the ivory horn, and gave it to Peter to eat.
“You will have the dream next time you sleep,” said he, and trudged on.

So Peter continued his journey, stopping every once in a while to look back at the strange old man, who was slowly climbing the hill. At length Peter came to a little quiet grove of pines,
and there he sat down on a big stone and ate the luncheon which his mother had prepared for him.
The sun was high in the heavens; it was close on to high noon. Now, as Peter was contentedly munching his bread and cheese,
he heard, at first far away, then quite near at hand,
the clear notes of a coachman’s horn.
The notes of the second call died away in a great pattering of hoofs and tinkling of little bells, and suddenly, arriving in a great swirl of yellow dust, came a magnificent coach drawn by twelve white horses. A lady, very richly dressed and wearing many sparkling diamonds, sat within the coach.
To Peter’s astonishment, the lady was his Aunt Jane.

The coach stopped with a great jingling of the twelve harnesses, and Aunt Jane leaned out of the window, and said to Peter,
“What are you doing here, child?”

“I was on my way to your cottage with a basket of fine fresh eggs,” answered Peter.

“Well, it’s fortunate I found you,” said Aunt Jane, “for I have given up living in the cottage, and have now got a castle of my own. Jump in, Peter, and don’t forget your basket.”

So Peter climbed into the coach, closed the door behind him,
and was driven away. The coach went over hill and down dale;
it went through strange forests from whose branches green parrots whooped and shrieked; it rolled through valleys in strange shining mountains.
Peter stole a look at Aunt Jane and saw that she was
wearing a crown.

“Are you a queen, Aunt Jane?” he asked.

“Indeed, I am,” replied his aunt. “You see, Peter, two days ago, while I was looking for my white cow who had strayed away,
I came upon the magnificent castle to which we are now going.
It has four beautiful towers, and a door set with diamonds.

“Whose castle is this?’ I said to the lodge-keeper.
“It’s nobody’s, marm,’ said he.
“What,’ said I; ‘do you mean to say that nobody owns this fine castle?’

“That’s just what I mean to say, marm,’ answered he;
‘the castle belongs to anyone who wants it.’

“So into the castle I walked, and I did n’t go out, you may be sure, till I had been into every room that I could find.
Then I put on these clothes and these diamonds, which I found in a cupboard, and went down and told the servants I intended to be queen. You see, Peter dear, there’s nothing that a woman of determination and energy can’t accomplish.”

The coach rolled on, and soon Peter caught sight of Aunt Jane’s castle. It was rather large, and had an enormous round tower at each corner–a thing which brought to Peter’s mind the picture of an elephant lying on its back. Peter and Aunt Jane,
accompanied by a train of servants dressed in blue-and-buff livery, walked into the castle through the diamond-studded door.

“Do you think you could eat a little more of something?”
said Aunt Jane, taking off her white-kid gloves; “because if you can I’ll have a place set for you at the luncheon table.”

And Peter, who like all boys, could eat a little more anywhere and at any time, readily answered, “Yes.”

So Peter and Aunt Jane sat down to a wonderful little table covered with a snow-white cloth.
“Draw your chair nearer, Peter dear,” said Aunt Jane.
“I can’t” said Peter, “it’s stuck to the floor.”
And so it was; the chair was stuck to the floor, and no amount of pushing or pulling could budge it.
“That’s odd,” said Aunt Jane; “but never mind, I’ll push the table over to the chair.”

But like the chair, the table refused to budge.
Peter then tried to slide his plate of soup closer to him, but the plate, which the servant had placed on the cloth but an instant before, had evidently frozen to the table in some extraordinary manner and could not be moved an inch.
The soup in the plate, however, was not fastened to the dish, nor were the wonderful strawberry-cakes and the delicious ices with which the dinner closed.

“You don’t suppose this castle is enchanted, do you, Aunt Jane?” asked Peter.

“Not a bit of it,” replied Aunt Jane. “And even if it were,”
she continued recklessly, “I should n’t mind, for there’s nothing that a woman of determination and energy can’t accomplish.” There was a pause, and then Aunt Jane added,
“I am going to have some guests to dinner this evening,
so run round and amuse yourself as well as you can.
There’s ever so much to see in the castle, and in the garden
there’s a pond with swans in it.”

Attended by her servants, Aunt Jane majestically walked away. Peter spent the afternoon exploring the castle.
He went through room after room; he scurried through
the attics like a mouse, and was even lost for a while in the cellars. And everywhere he went, he found everything immovable.
The beds, tables, and chairs could neither be moved about nor lifted up, and even the clocks and vases were mysteriously fastened to their places on the shelves.

The night came on. Coach after coach rolled up to the diamond door, which sparkled in the moonlight.
When the guests had all arrived, a silver trumpet sounded,
and Aunt Jane, dressed in a wonderful gown of flowering brocade edged with pearls, came solemnly down the great stairway
of the castle hall. Two little black boys, dressed in oriental costume and wearing turbans, held up her gorgeous train,
and she looked very grand indeed. Peter, to his great surprise, found himself dressed in a wonderful suit of plum-colored velvet.

“Welcome, my friends,” said Queen Jane, who had opened a wonderful ostrich-feather fan. “Are we not fortunate in having so beautiful a night for our dinner?”

And the Queen, giving her arm to a splendid personage in the uniform of an officer of the King’s dragoons, led the way to the banquet-hall.

The wonderful party, all silks and satins, and gleaming with jewels, swept like a peacock’s tail behind her.
Soon dinner was over, and the guests began to stray by twos and threes to the ballroom.
Aunt Jane and the soldier led off the grand march;
then came wonderful, stately minuets, quadrilles, and sweet old-fashioned waltzes. The merriment was at its height when somebody ran heavily up the great stairs leading to the ballroom, and the guests, turning round to see whence came the clatter,
saw standing in the doorway a strange old man dressed in a robe of cherry scarlet and wearing golden shoes.
It was the seller of dreams. His white hair was disheveled,
his robe was awry, and there was dust on his golden shoes.

“Foolish people!” screamed the old seller of dreams, his voice rising to a shriek, “Run your lives! This castle lies under a terrible enchantment; in a few minutes it will turn upside-down.
Have you not seen that everything is fastened to the floor?
Run for your lives!”

Immediately there was a great babble of voices, some shrieks, and more confusion, and the guests ran pell-mell down the great stairs and out the castle door.
To Peter’s dismay, Aunt Jane was not among them.
So into the castle he rushed again, calling at the top of his voice, “Aunt Jane! Aunt Jane!” He ran through the brilliantly
lit and deserted ballroom; he saw himself running in the great mirrors of the gallery. “Aunt Jane!” he cried;
but no Aunt Jane replied.

Peter rushed up the stairs leading to the castle tower, and emerged upon the balcony.
He saw the black shadow of the castle thrown upon the grass far below by the full moon; he saw the great forest,
so bright above and so dark and mysterious below,
and the long snow-clad range of the Adamant Mountains. Suddenly a voice, louder than the voice of any human being, a voice deep, ringing, and solemn as the sound of a great bell, cried,–

“‘T is time!”

Immediately everything became as black as ink, people shrieked, the enchanted castle rolled like a ship at sea, and leaning far to one side, began to turn upside-down.
Peter felt the floor of the balcony tip beneath him; he tried to catch hold of something, but could find nothing; suddenly,
with a scream, he fell. He was falling, falling, falling, falling, falling.

When Peter came to himself, instead of its being night,
it was still noonday, and he was sitting on the same stone in the same quiet roadside grove from which he had caught sight of his Aunt Jane in her wonderful coach.
A blue jay screamed at him from overhead. For Aunt Jane,
the coach, and the enchanted castle had been only a dream. Peter, you see, had fallen asleep under the pines,
and while he slept, he had dreamed the dream he
purchased from the seller of dreams.

Very glad to be still alive, Peter rubbed his eyes, took up his basket of eggs, and went down the road whistling.

~The Enchanted Elm

Once upon a time, while riding, a brave, young prince dashed merrily ahead of his friends, and after galloping across a ploughed field, turned his horse’s head down a grassy road leading to a wood. For some time he cantered easily along, expecting any moment to hear the shouts and halloos of his friends following after; but they by mistake took quite another road, and no sound except the pounding of his courser’s hoofs reached the Prince’s ear. Suddenly an ugly snarl and a short bark broke the stillness of the pleasant forest, and looking down, the Prince saw a gray wolf snapping at his horse’s heels.

Though the horse, wild with fear, threatened to run away any instant, the Prince leaned over and struck the wolf with his whip.

Hardly had he done so, when an angry voice cried,
“How dare you strike my pet?”

A little distance ahead, a wicked old witch stood at one side of the road. With its tail between its legs, the wolf cowered close to her skirts, and showed its long yellow fangs.

“Pet, indeed!” cried the Prince. “Keep him away from my horse or I will strike him again.”

“At your peril, Prince,” answered the witch. And then,
as the Prince turned his horse’s head and galloped back, she called out, “You shall rue this day! You shall rue this day!”

Now by the time the Prince had arrived at the ploughed field
and the great road again, his friends had galloped on so far that they were lost to sight. Thinking that he might overtake them by following a shorter road, he turned down a byway skirting the wood in which he had encountered the enchantress.
Presently he began to feel very thirsty.
Chancing to see an old peasant woman in the fields, the Prince called to her and asked where he could find a roadside spring.

Now this old peasant woman was the wicked witch under another form. Overjoyed at having the Prince fall so easily into her power, she curtsied; and replied that within the wood was to be found the finest spring in the country.
Anxious not to lose time, the Prince begged her to lead him
to the water. Little did he know that the witch was leading him back into the wood, and that she had just bewitched the water!

When they arrived at the pool, the Prince dismounted, and kneeling by the brim, made a cup of his hands and drank till his thirst was satisfied. He was just about to seize his horse again by the bridle and put his foot into the stirrup, when a terrible pang shot through his body, darkness swam before his eyes,
his arms lengthened and became branches, his fingers, twigs;
his feet shot into the ground, and he found himself turned
into a giant elm.

A giant elm he was; a giant elm he remained.
Unable to find him after a long search, his friends gave him up for lost, and a new Prince ruled over the land.
Though the elm tried many times to tell passers-by of his plight, none ever seemed to understand his words.
Again and again, when simple wood-cutters ventured into the great dark wood, he would tell them his story and cry out,
“I am the Prince! I am the Prince!” But the wood-cutters heard only the wind stirring in the branches. Ah, how cold it was in winter when the skies were steely black and the giant stars sparkled icily! And how pleasant it was when spring returned, and the gossipy birds came back again!

The first year a pair of wood-pigeons took to housekeeping in his topmost branches. The Prince was glad to welcome them, for though denied human speech, he understood the language of trees and birds. On Midsummer Eve, the pigeons said to him,
“To-night the King of the Trees comes through the wood.
Do you not hear the stir in the forest? All the real trees are preparing for the King’s coming; they are shedding dead leaves and shaking out their branches.”

“Tell me of the King,” said the Prince.

“He is tall and dark and strong,” said the doves.
“He dwells in a great pine in the North. On Midsummer Eve,
he goes through the world to see if all is well with the tree people.”

“Do you think he can help me?” asked the Prince.
“You might ask him,” replied the doves.

The long, long twilight of Midsummer Eve came to a close;
night folded the world beneath its starry curtains.
At twelve o’clock, though not a breath of air was stirring,
the trees were shaken as if by a mighty wind, the rustling of the leaves blending into strange and lovely music, and presently
the King of the Trees entered the haunted wood.
Even as the wood-doves had said, he was tall and dark and stately.

“Is all well with you, O my people?” said the King, in a voice as sweet and solemn as the wind in the branches on a summer’s day.

“Yes, all is well,” answered the trees softly.
Though some replied, “I have lost a branch”; and a little tree called out unhappily, “My neighbors are shutting
out all my sunlight.”

“Then fare ye well, my people, till next Midsummer Eve,”
said the stately King. And he was about to stride onward through the dark wood when the enchanted Prince called aloud to him!

“Stay, O King of the Trees,” cried the poor Prince.
“Hear me even though I am not of your people.
I am a mortal, a prince, and a wicked witch has turned
me into a tree. Can you not help me?”

“Alas, poor friend, I can do nothing,” replied the King.
“However, do not despair. In my travels through the world, I shall surely find someone who can help you.
Look for me on next Midsummer Eve.”

So the great elm swayed his branches sadly, and the King went on his way.

The winter came again, silent and dark and cold. At the return of spring, a maiden who dwelt with a family of wood-cutters came often to rest in the shade of the great tree. Her father had once been a rich merchant, but evil times had overtaken him, and at his death the only relatives who could be found to take care of the little girl were a family of rough wood-cutters in the royal service. These grudging folk kept the poor maiden always hard at work and gave her the most difficult household tasks.
The Prince, who knew the whole story, pitied her very much, and ended by falling quite in love with her.
As for the unhappy maiden, it seemed to her that beneath the sheltering shade of the great elm she enjoyed a peace and happiness to be found nowhere else.

Now it was the custom of the wood-men to cut down, during the summer, such trees as would be needed for the coming winter, and one day the wood-cutter in whose family the maiden dwelt announced his intention of cutting down the great elm.

“Not the great elm which towers above all the forest?”
cried the maiden.

“Yes, that very tree,” answered the woodcutter gruffly.
“To-morrow morning we shall fell it to the ground, and to-morrow night we shall build the midsummer fire with its smaller branches. What are you crying about, you silly girl?”

“Oh, please don’t cut the great elm!” begged the good maiden.

“Nonsense!” said the wood-cutter. “I wager you have been wasting your time under its branches. I shall certainly cut the tree down in the morning.”

All night long, you may be sure, the maiden pondered on the best way to save the great tree; and since she was as clever as she was good, she at length hit upon a plan.
Rising early on Midsummer Morn, she ran to the forest, climbed the great elm, and concealed herself in its topmost branches.
She saw the rest of the wood beneath her, and the distant peaks of the Adamant Mountains; and she rejoiced in the dawn songs of the birds.

An hour after the sun had risen, she heard the voices of
the wood-cutter and his men as they came through the wood. Soon the band arrived at the foot of the tree.
Imagine the feelings of the poor Prince when he saw the sharp axes at hand to cut him down!

“I shall strike the first blow,” said the chief wood-cutter, and he lifted his axe in the air.
Suddenly from the tree-top a warning voice sang,–

“Throw the axe down, harm not me.
I am an enchanted tree.
He who strikes shall breathe his last,
Before Midsummer Eve hath passed.”

“There is a spirit in the tree,” cried the woodcutters,
thoroughly frightened. “Let us hurry away from here before it does us a mischief.” And in spite of all the chief wood-cutter’s remonstrances, they ran away as fast as their legs could carry them.

The chief wood-cutter, however, was bolder-hearted,
and lifted the axe again. As the blade shone uplifted in
the sun, the maiden sang once more,–

“Throw the axe down, harm not me.
I am an enchanted tree.
He who strikes shall breathe his last
Before Midsummer Eve hath passed.”

Hearing the voice again, the chief began to feel just the littlest bit alarmed; nevertheless, he stood his ground and lifted the axe a third time. Once more the girl sang,–

“Throw the axe down, harm not me.
I am an enchanted tree.
He who strikes shall breathe his last
Before Midsummer Eve hath passed.”

At the same moment, the elm managed to throw down a great branch which struck the rogue a sound thump on the shoulders. Now thoroughly terrified, the chief wood-cutter himself fled from the spot.

All day long, for fear lest he return, the maiden remained hidden in the tree. At twilight, overcome by weariness, she fell into a deep sleep. Just before midnight, alas, she was awakened from her slumber by hearing an angry voice cry,–

“Come down from the tree, wicked, deceitful girl, or I shall cut it down at once!”

Very much alarmed, the poor maiden looked down through the branches, and discovered the wood-cutter standing at the foot of the elm. A lantern swung from his left hand, and his sharpest axe rested on his right shoulder. He had returned home, and not finding the maiden there, had suspected that it was her voice which had frightened his men away.

“Come down,” roared the rascal. “I’ll teach you, you minx, to play tricks with me. One–two–three.”
And lifting the axe in the air, he was about to send it crashing
into the trunk of the elm, when the mysterious murmur which heralded the coming of the King of the Trees sounded through
the wood. Perplexed and frightened again, the chief wood-cutter let fall his axe. Presently he perceived two beings coming toward him through the solemn forest. Uttering a howl of fear, the rogue would have fled, but, lifting his wand, the elder of the newcomers transfixed him to the spot.
The two personages were the King of the Trees and
his friend, the mighty enchanter, Gorbodoc.

“Descend and fear not, maiden,” said the King of the Trees.
“You have done bravely and well. Your misfortunes are
over, and a happier day is at hand.”

So the brave girl hurried down the tree, and stood before the enchanter and the King. Very pretty she was, too, in her rustic dress and ribbons.

Lifting his wand with great solemnity, Gorbodoc touched the trunk of the elm. There was a blinding flash of rosy fire;
the great tree appeared to shrink and dissolve, and presently the Prince stood before them.

“Welcome, Prince,” said the enchanter.

“Your enemy, the witch, will trouble you no more.
I have turned her into an owl and given her to the Queen of Lantern Land. As for you,” and here the enchanter turned
fiercely upon the wood-cutter, “you shall be a green monkey, until you have planted and brought to full growth as
many trees as you have cut down.”

An instant later, a green monkey swung off into the tree-tops.

Then the grateful Prince thanked the King of the Trees, the mighty Gorbodoc, and the brave maiden, with all his heart.
I am glad to say that he got his castle back again and
married the maiden who had saved his life, and they
lived happily ever after.

~The Bird-Boy

Late one autumn night a young queen stood by her window, gazing upon the silent and deserted meadows gleaming in the moonlight. Suddenly, far, far up in the sky, she heard the weird cry of birds flying southward, and lifting her eyes, the Queen beheld bird after bird fly across the golden shield of the moon.

“Oh, lovely, happy birds,” said she; “would that I might have a son with wings!”

Now it came to pass that before the harvest moon rose again
over the land, the Queen became the mother of a little boy who was born with wings on his shoulders. But instead of being
pleased with so strange and wonderful a little son, the King
(who was very superstitious and under the domination of wicked chamberlain named Malefico) took it into his head that his wife was a sorceress, and gave orders that she should be imprisoned in a lonely tower and the child destroyed. So the Queen and her baby were taken to an old and gloomy tower on a great rock overlooking the northern sea; and after they had been there a day or two, the chief jailer came to the Queen’s room to take the child and kill him.

The Queen, when she heard this terrible order, uttered a gasping scream, and seizing her little son from out his cradle, pressed him close to her breast. But although she fought for her baby with all her might, the rude strength of the jailers prevailed, and the child was torn from its mother’s arms. Then, before anyone could prevent her, the poor Queen beat open the rotted fastening of an old casement window, sprang upon the ledge, and giving one last look of love and tenderness to her unhappy child, leaped down into the sea surging and pounding over the rocks hundreds of feet below. She certainly would have been dashed to pieces, had not a good spirit of the ocean taken pity on her, and changed her into a great gray bird. Crying mournfully, the bird circled the old tower thrice, and disappeared over the white-capped waters.

In spite of his roughness, however, the jailer was neither a brutal nor a wicked man, and he did not relish the cruel task which the King had given him. So, instead of killing the bird-boy,
he carried him many leagues back into the dark forest which bordered the sea, and gave him to a family of charcoal-burners. With these rough, good people the bird-boy lived till he was five years old. And every year, on the boy’s birthday, a great gray bird came flying over the forest from the distant ocean, circled thrice the charcoal-burners’ hut, and disappeared again, crying mournfully.

One midsummer day, with a great deal of merry hallooing and blowing of sweet-voiced horns, the King of the country, accompanied by his young wife, came hunting through the wood. There was a pretty spring near the door of the hut,
and the party came to a halt at its edge. Out ran the winged boy and his two little foster-brothers, to see the wonderful sight.
And a wonderful sight it was, indeed, to see the horses tossing their jeweled bridles, the hooded falcons riding on the saddlebow, clutching the leather with their curving claws, the merry young pages in their dark suits, and all the gay company in rich attire.

“Why, see,” said the young Queen to her husband,
“yon little boy hath wings. Really, dear, I must have him for my page. Would n’t it be wonderful to have a winged page?
Besides, he will be a playmate for Rosabella.”

So the King gave the charcoal-burner and his wife fifty pieces of bright gold, which pleased them very much, and the charcoal-burner himself lifted the bird-boy up in his arms, and placed him on the King’s saddle. Then the bird-boy waved good-bye to his two little ragged foster-brothers, who were howling as if their hearts would break, and rode away with the King.
In a few hours the company came to a splendid castle of shining white stone, standing in beautiful green gardens running down to the sea. Once at home, the Queen commanded that the little winged boy be washed and tidied, and his charcoal-burner’s rags replaced with a pretty black velvet suit.
You may be sure that, when the bird-boy was washed and dressed, there was no handsomer, more winning little boy
in all the world.

So the bird-boy became the best beloved playmate of the
Queen’s only child, her darling Rosabella.
Now, if the bird-boy was the prettiest little boy in all the world, Rosabella was the prettiest little girl. Moreover, she had a sweet disposition, which is a gift even more precious than the gift of beauty. It was a lovely picture to see the children building toy castles on the floor of the nursery in the castle tower, the sun streaming on the black-brown hair and silver white wings of the little boy, and on the golden curls of Rosabella.

Twelve years passed. The bird-boy grew into a handsome lad; Rosabella into the loveliest of princesses.
Twice had the bird-boy saved Rosabella’s life.
He had saved her the first time by swooping down and catching her in his wings just as she was about to tread on a wicked yellow viper; he had saved her in the same way when she had fallen over a cliff at the edge of the sea.

Every year, on the bird-boy’s birthday, a great gray bird would fly in from over the sea, circle the castle thrice, and disappear, crying mournfully.

Now when the bird-boy and Rosabella were in their seventeenth year, it came to pass that the King was summoned to war.
His enemy was no other than the wicked chamberlain Malefico, who had succeeded to the kingdom of the bird-boy’s father,
when that Prince had died some years before. So the good King, who had been a real father to the bird-boy, put on his shining armor, kissed his dear wife and child good-bye, and rode off
to the battlefield. The bird-boy begged and pleaded to be taken with him as his squire, but the King would not hear of it,
and insisted that he remain in the castle to take care of
the Queen and Rosabella. There was little cheer in the castle that unhappy evening. And all night long, the bird-boy thought he could hear the wings of a great bird beating fiercely
against the window-panes.

A month passed, an unhappy month in which there were no tidings from the King. Then, one rainy morning, a messenger who had ridden so hard that his poor horse could scarcely stagger, rode to the castle gate bearing very evil news. A great battle had been fought, the army of Rosabella’s father had been completely defeated, and the troops of the wicked Malefico were hurrying toward the castle as fast as they could come.

And so it was; for before the Queen had had time to summon the people and gather together a few belongings, the troops of the enemy burst in at the gate, and a dozen fierce soldiers surrounded the Queen, Rosabella, and the bird-boy, and dragged them to Malefico.

When Malefico saw the bird-boy, a look of surprise appeared on his face, for he had believed that the wonderful child was dead. Then he fell to thinking, and as he thought, wicked purposes swept over his cruel face just as the shadows of dark clouds sweep over a gloomy pool.

“If it were known that the winged child is alive,” he thought,
“the people would thrust me from my place, and restore him
to his father’s throne. Now that the bird-boy is in my hands,
I will destroy him, and be sure of my power.”

So he smiled, and began to think of some manner in which he could bring the bird-boy to a shameful end. At last he hit upon a plan. He would declare that the bird-boy was not a human
lad at all, but a witch-child; he would then accuse the good
King of having protected a witch-child, and condemn them both to be stoned. So he threw the King and the Queen, Rosabella
and the bird-boy, into an old dungeon-tower, and went through the mockery of having a trial. When it was over, he sent a soldier to tell the King and the bird-boy that they were to be punished
the following day.

And now dawned the unhappy day.
The bird-boy took Rosabella’s hand in his, and together they
went to the barred window of the prison and looked out upon the world. The morning was fresh and fair; a pleasant southwest wind was blowing. The King and the bird-boy were to be led forth at noon. The clock marked a quarter to twelve.

“Dear Rosabella,” said the bird-boy sadly,
“we have forgotten that to-day is the day on which the great gray bird comes from the ocean and circles the castle towers.
If thou shouldst see the bird when I am gone, greet it in my name, as we did when we were happy children.”

“The bird may come,” said Rosabella amid her sobs.

“No, Rosabella,” said the bird-boy, “I shall never see the gray bird again. And even if it were to come, what could it do to save us from these cruel people?”

When the clock stood at five minutes to twelve, there was a confused noise below, and Malefico and the judges who shared with him the guilt of the unrighteous punishment took their places on a kind of platform which overlooked the place of execution.

“They will soon be coming to get us,” said the King to the bird-boy.

And sure enough, they heard the jangle of the jailer’s keys at the foot of the stair.

Suddenly the sunlight in the room faded swiftly into a strange gray gloom, and the bird-boy rushed to the window to see if a storm was at hand. A great shadowy cloud, advancing with inconceivable rapidity, already filled half the sky, and as the boy gazed into this cloud, he saw to his astonishment that it was not a cloud at all, but hundreds and hundreds of thousands of great gray birds, flapping their long wings. The shadow of the birds fell over the platform on which the cruel Malefico sat waiting for the King and the bird-boy to be brought forth, and then ceased moving even as a ship that has come into harbor.

Far ahead of the vast swarm flew one lonely bird, and suddenly this bird uttered a shrill and piercing cry.
Immediately every bird let fall a great beach-stone which
he held in his claws, and for a long minute, the sky rained stones, round, polished stones that fell like bolts of thunder. When the storm was over, and the cloud had begun to break into rifts and speckles of light and flapping gray wings, the wicked Malefico and his cruel nobles lay buried forever beneath mound upon mound of stones. The doom which Malefico had intended for
another had overtaken him.

The King and the Queen, Rosabella and the bird-boy, rushed down the stairs and out into the sunlight. As they did so,
the gray bird who had led the cloud, sank through the air and alighted at their feet. But scarcely had the bird’s claws touched the ground, when there was a flash of flame, and the bird-boy’s mother stood before them. She took her son in her arms,
and told them all his history and her misfortunes,
and how she had watched over him year after year and
gathered the birds to save him.

Thus it came to pass that, when the troops of Malefico saw
their former Queen and heard her story, they acclaimed
the bird-boy as their rightful king, and carried him back in triumph into his own country. So the bird-boy became
a king, married Rosabella, and lived happily ever after.

~The Treasure Castle

Once upon a time a hunter was roaming through the wildwood when he heard a voice crying piteously for aid. Following the sound, the hunter plunged ahead, and discovered a dwarf caught in a pit which had been dug to trap wild animals.

After the hunter had rescued the dwarf from his prison,
the little man said to him: “Go ten leagues to the north till you arrive at a gigantic pine; then turn to the east, and go ten leagues more till you come to a black castle. Enter the castle without fear, and you will discover a round room in which stands a round ebony table laden with gold and jewels. Help yourself to the treasure, and return home at once. And do not–now mark me well–go up into the turret of the castle; for if you do, evil will come of it.”

So the hunter thanked the dwarf, and after making sure that he had plenty of bread and cheese in his knapsack, hurried northwards as fast as his legs could carry him. Through bramble and brier, through valley and wooded dale went he, and at dusk he came to a gigantic pine standing solitary in a rocky field. Wearied with his long journey, the hunter lay down beneath the pine and slept.

When it was dawn he woke refreshed, and turning his eyes
toward the level rays of the rising sun, began his journey to the east. Presently he reached a height in the forest, and from this height, he saw, not very far away, a black turret rising over the ocean of bright leaves. At high noon he arrived at the castle.
It was ruinous and quite deserted; grass grew in the courtyard and between the bricks of the terrace, and the oaken door was as soft and rotten as a log that has long been buried in mire.

Entering the castle, the hunter soon discovered the round room. A table laden with wonderful treasures stood in the centre of the chamber, directly under a shower of sunlight pouring through a half-ruined window in the mildewed wall.
How the diamonds and precious stones sparkled and gleamed!

Now, while the hunter was filling his pockets, the flash of a jewel lying on the floor happened to catch his eye, and looking down, he saw that a kind of trail of jewels lay along the floor leading out of the room. Following the scattered gems,–which had the appearance of having been spilled from some treasure-casket heaped too high,–the hunter came to a low door,
and opening this door, he discovered a flight of stone steps leading to the turret. The steps were strewn carelessly with the finest emeralds, topazes, beryls, moonstones, rubies,
and crystal diamonds.

Remembering the counsel of his friend the dwarf, however,
the hunter did not go up the stairs, but hurried home with his treasure.

When the hunter returned to his country, the wonderful treasures which he had taken from the castle in the wood made him a very rich man, and in a short time the news of his prosperity came to the ears of the King. This King was the wickedest of rogues, and his two best friends, the Chamberlain and the Chancellor, were every bit as unscrupulous as he.
They oppressed the people with taxes, they stole from the poor, they robbed the churches; indeed there was no injustice which they were not ready to commit. So, when the Chamberlain heard of the hunter’s wealth, he–being a direct, straightforward rascal–declared that the simplest thing to do would be to kill the hunter and take his money.

The Chancellor, who was somewhat more cunning and worldly, declared that it would be better to throw the hunter into a foul, dark dungeon till he was ready to buy his freedom with all his wealth.

The King, who was the wickedest and wisest of the precious three, declared that the best thing to do was to find out whence the hunter had got his treasure, so that, if there happened to be any left, they could go and get it. Then of course, they could kill the hunter and take his treasure too.

Thus it came to pass that by a royal order the hunter was thrown into a horrible prison, and told that his only hope of release lay in revealing the origin of his riches. So, after he had been slowly starved and cruelly beaten, he told of the treasure castle in the wood.

On the following morning, the King, the Chamberlain, and the Chancellor, taking with them some strong linen bags and some pack mules, rode forth in quest of the treasure. Great was their joy when they found the treasure castle and the treasure room just as the hunter had described. The Chancellor poured the shining gems through his claw-like fingers, and the King and the Chamberlain threw their arms around each others’ shoulders and danced a jig as well as their age and dignity would permit.
The first fine careless rapture over, they began pouring the treasure into the linen sacks they had brought with them, and these, filled to the brim, they carried to the castle door.

Soon not the tiniest gem was left on the table. Suddenly the Chamberlain happened to catch sight of the gems strewn along the floor.

“See, see!” he cried, his voice shrill and greedy.
“There is yet more to be had!”

So the three rogues got down on their hands and knees and began stuffing the stray jewels into their bulging pockets.
The trail of jewels led them across the hall to the little door opening on the stairway, and up this stairway they scrambled as fast as they could go.

At the top of the stair, in the turret, they found another round room lit by three narrow, barred windows, and in the centre of this turret chamber, likewise laden with gold and jewels, they found another ebony table. With shrieks of delight, the King and the Chancellor and the Chamberlain ran to this second treasure, and plunged their hands in the glittering golden mass.

Suddenly, a great bell rang in the castle, a great brazen bell whose deep clang beat about them in throbbing, singing waves.

“What’s that?” said the three rogues in one breath, and rushed together to the door.

It was locked! An instant later there was a heavy explosion which threw them all to the floor, tossing the treasure over them;
and then, wonder of wonders, the castle turret, with the three rogues imprisoned in it, detached itself from the rest
of the castle, and flew off into the air. From the barred windows, the King, the Chamberlain, and the Chancellor saw league upon league of the forest rushing by beneath them. Suddenly the flying room began to descend swiftly, and landed lightly as a bird in the middle of a castle courtyard. Strange-looking fellows with human bodies and heads of horses came rushing toward the enchanted turret, and seized its prisoners. In a few moments they were brought before the King to whom the treasure belonged.

Now this King was a brother of the dwarf whom the hunter had rescued from the pit. He had a little gold crown on his head,
and sat on a little golden throne with cushions of crimson velvet.

“With what are these three charged?” said the Dwarf-King.

“With having tried to rob the treasure castle, Your Majesty,” replied one of the horse-headed servitors in a firm, stable tone.

“Then send for the Lord Chief Justice at once,” said the Dwarf-King.

The three culprits were left standing uneasily in a kind of cage. They would have tried to speak, but every time they opened their mouths, one of the guards gave them a dig in the ribs.

For a space of five minutes there was quiet in the crowded throne-room, a quiet broken now and then by a veiled cough or the noise of shuffling feet. Presently, from far away, came the clear, sweet call of silver trumpets.

“He’s coming! He’s coming!” murmured many voices.
A buzz of excitement filled the room.
Several people had to be revived with smelling salts.

The trumpets sounded a second time. The excitement increased.

The trumpets sounded a third time, near at hand. A man’s voice announced in solemn tones, “The Lord Chief Justice approaches.”

The audience grew very still. Hardly a rustle or a flutter was heard. Suddenly the great tapestry curtains which overhung the door parted, and there appeared, first of all, an usher, clad in red velvet and carrying a golden wand; then came two golden-haired pages, also clad in red velvet and carrying a flat black-lacquer box on a velvet cushion. Last of all came an elderly man dressed in black, and carrying a golden perch on which sat a fine green parrot. On reaching the centre of the hall, the parrot flapped its wings, arranged an upstart feather or two, and then resumed that solemn dignity for which birds and animals are so justly famous.

With great ceremony the gentleman in black placed the Lord Chief Justice on a lacquer stand close by the throne of the Dwarf-King.

Trumpets sounded. Two servitors hurried forward with the captive King.

“Your Venerability,” spoke the Dwarf-King to the parrot, who watched him intently out of its round yellow eye, and nodded its head, “this rascal has been taken in the act of robbing the treasure castle. What punishment do you suggest?”

At these words, the two golden-haired pages, advancing with immense solemnity, lifted the lacquer box to within reach of the parrot’s beak. The box was full of cards. Over them, swaying from one leg to the other as he did so, the parrot swept his head.

An icy silence fell over the throng. The King, the Chancellor,
and the Chamberlain quaked in their shoes. Presently the parrot picked out a card, and the gentleman in black handed it to the Dwarf-King.

“Prisoner,” said the Dwarf-King to the other King,
“the Lord Chief Justice condemns you to be for the rest of your natural life Master Sweeper of the Palace Chimneys.”

Discreet applause was heard. The Chancellor was then hurried forward, and the bird picked out a second card.

“Prisoner,” said the Dwarf-King, “the Lord Chief Justice condemns you to be for the rest of your natural life Master Washer of the Palace Windows.”

More discreet applause was heard. And now the Chamberlain was brought to the bar. The parrot gave him quite a wicked eye, and hesitated for some time before drawing a card.

“Prisoner,” said the Dwarf-King, reading the card which the parrot had finally chosen, “the Lord Chief Justice condemns you for the rest of your natural life to be Master Beater of the Palace Carpets.”

Great applause followed this sage judgment.

So the three rogues were led away, and unless you have heard to the contrary, they are still making up for their wicked lives by enforced diligence at their tasks. The palace has five hundred and ninety-six chimneys, eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty-three windows, and eleven hundred and ninety-nine large dust-gathering carpets, and the chimneys, windows, and carpets have to be swept, washed, and beaten at least once a week.

Now when the King, the Chancellor, and the Chamberlain failed to return, the people took the hunter out of his prison and made him king, because he was the richest and most powerful of them all.

As for the treasure of the treasure castle, it is still there, packed in the linen sacks, lying just inside the great door.

Perhaps some day you may find it. If you do, don’t be greedy, and don’t go up to the turret chamber.

~Little Red Riding Hood


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

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

by Walter Crane

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

Laying her basket on the ground, Little Red Riding Hood bent over the strawberry plants. "They're nice and ripe, and so big! Yummy! Delicious! Just another one. And one more.
This is the last . . . Well, this one . . . Mmmm."

The red fruit peeped invitingly through the leaves in the grassy glade, and Little Red Riding Hood ran back and forth popping strawberries into her mouth. Suddenly she remembered her mother, her promise, Grandma and the basket . . . and hurried back towards the path. The basket was still in the grass and, humming to herself, Little Red Riding Hood walked on.

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

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

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

In the meantime, two wicked eyes were spying on her from behind a tree . . a strange rustling in the woods made
Little Red Riding Hood's heart thump. Now quite afraid
she said to herself. "I must find the path and run away from here!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Goodness, what big eyes you have."

"The better to see you with."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still scared, the little girl hugged her grandmother.
Oh, what a dreadful fright!"

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

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