The Star Money

Once there was a girl whose father and mother had died. She had no home to live. All she had were the clothes she was wearing and a piece of bread.

One day, she decided to go to the country. While she was walking down, she met an old man who asked her for food. She was a kind girl and without thinking of what she would eat, she gave her bread away. As she moved further, she found a little child shivering with cold. She took pity and gave away her frock to the little child. As she stood in the dark of the night, hungry and shivering in the cold, a few stars fell from the sky. She was surprised to see they were silver coins. She looked down to find herself wearing a pretty dress of the finest linen. She took the coins and was never poor again.

Why the Sky Is So High

Long ago, the sky was very low. It was so low that people could touch it if they raised their hands. At the horizon, where the sky nearly touched the earth, was a village. Here lived an old woman all by herself. All day long she was busy with her household chores. Cleaning her utensils, scrubbing the floor, and dusting her courtyard.

One day, she saw that her courtyard was very dirty. So she picked up her broomstick to clean it. She swept the ground so fast and so hard that it raised a storm of dust. In a minute, her house and the entire village became covered with dust and when it reached the sky, it started coughing. The poor sky nearly choked as the woman continued sweeping the ground. Suddenly the sky ‘Sneezed. It was such a thunderous sneeze that the whole village shook! People ran helter-skelter, scared that the sky might fall. But the old woman kept sweeping oblivious of what was happening.

After a while, it became so unbearable for the sky that he started crying helplessly. Huge teardrops fell on the earth. It made the courtyard muddy. Now this was too much for the woman to bear. She raised her broomstick and whacked the sky, “Get lost you wet blanket!” she yelled. The sky was so scared that he moved higher and higher and swore never to come down again.

Mary Ann and the Front Door

Mary Ann often forgot to close the front door when she went out of the house. Every day she would take lunch for her husband, Joseph, who worked in the fields. Knowing his wife and her annoying habit, always reminded her, “Don’t forget the door.” But poor Mary Ann was very forgetful.

One day, as she was going to take food for her husband, Mary Ann had an idea. The best way not to forget the door was to take it with her.

So she took the door off its hinges and put it on her back. “Now that I am carrying the door, who will carry the lunch? ” she wondered. Then she hung the lunch basket on the handle of the door and said, “Let the door carry the lunch, not me!” and left for the fields. On the way, some thieves saw Mary Ann carrying the door. They understood what had happened and rushed to her house and saw the front door missing. They entered and stole everything that was there!

The Hazel Branch

One afternoon, a mother put her little baby to sleep. Then she decided to go to the woods to collect strawberries for her. After searching for a while, she found a bush with the reddest of strawberries. They were very sweet and juicy. Unfortunately, she did not see the venomous snake hiding there. As she bent to pick up the strawberries, the snake raised its head. She was very afraid and ran fast, but the snake followed her.

Finally, she came to a hazel bush. She decided to hide behind the bush until the snake was gone. When the snake had left, she came out and collected the strawberries. Then she looked gratefully at the hazel bush and said, “The hazel bush has protected me today, so it will protect others in the future too,” and left to go home.

From that day onwards, a green hazel branch has become the surest protection against snakes and other creeping creatures.

The Rose

Once a poor woman had two little girls. The youngest child went to the woods every day to collect wood for the house.

One day, a strange little child helped her collect the wood and carry it home and then disappeared. The little girl told her mother about this strange child in the forest but her mother didn’t believe her and thought that she was telling a tale.

One day, the girl came home and showed her mother a rose and said that the little child had given it to her and told her that when it was in full bloom, the child would come back. The mother put the rose in water.

Many days passed and one morning, the mother found her little girl lying dead but looking very happy..

The next morning the rose was in full bloom.

The Ear of Corn

Long, long ago, when God lived on the earth, the soil was very fertile. The stalk of a corn would bear hundreds of ears. But when anyone gets something in plenty, he takes it for granted.

One day, a woman was walking with her daughter along a cornfield. Suddenly, the daughter fell in a puddle and her frock got dirty. Without thinking, the woman quickly tore many beautiful ears of corn to clean her daughter’s frock. When she had cleaned the frock, she carelessly threw the ears of corn on the roadside and walked away.

When God saw her do this, he was very angry and wanted to teach the people a lesson. He declared that corn would no longer have ears. When people heard about the curse, they begged God to leave something on the stalk at least for the chicken that would starve without corn. God took pity on the chicken and left fifty or sixty ears on the corn.

George and Georgette

Once upon a time there lived two young people named George and Georgette. They both loved each other dearly and were engaged to be married soon.

One day, both George and Georgette went to the nearby woods for a walk. As they walked further and further, they heard the twitter of many birds. George heard the song of a thrush and turned to Georgette to show her the bird. But to his surprise, he found a thrush perched on a plant where Georgette once stood! George realised that the wicked witch of the woods had turned his beloved into a bird. He sat and cried bitterly, and then tired and hungry, he finally went off to sleep.

In his dream, he saw a red flower with a pearl in the centre. When George woke up, he went in search of this flower that he had seen in his dream. He knew it was magical. George found this red flower deep in the valley. There was a dewdrop settled in the centre of the flower. He went to the witch’s house with the flower. He saw many cages with all sorts of birds. He knew these birds were all young girls that the witch had captured. How would he find Georgette among these birds? The witch

spotted him. Quickly, George touched her with the magical flower. The witch was reduced to ashes at once and all the birds turned into lovely young girls.

Georgette ran to George and now they both were very happy. The king heard how brave George was and rewarded him with many gifts. The couple then got married and they lived happily ever after.

Lazy Harry

Harry was an unhappy shepherd. He always grumbled I that he had to take his goat for grazing. He decided to marry Trina, his neighbour, who also had a goat, so that she would take both the goats to graze together.

But Trina was also just as lazy as Harry. After they got married, she decided to exchange their goats with their neighbour for his beehive. Harry agreed and after that, they slept all day, as bees don’t need to be taken care of.

One day Harry complained, “Trina, you eat away all the honey, so we will exchange the beehive for a goose that would lay eggs.” Trina agreed and said, “We will have a child who would take care of the goose and sell the eggs.” Harry said, “What if our child doesn’t listen to us?” Trina said, “I will hit him like this.” And she took a stick and waved it in the air.

Alas! It struck the pitcher of honey, which broke and all the honey spilled out.

The Nurse and the Wolf

Once upon a time there lived a wolf. One day, he was very hungry and began to prowl in a village nearby. He hoped to lay his hands on a piece of meat.

After a while, he came upon a nurse who was scolding a little child. She was saying, “If you don’t stop crying this instant, I will feed you to the wolves! Stop crying now!” But the child did not listen to her and kept on crying. Now, this wolf was very foolish and he thought that the nurse really meant what she said and was going to give away the child. The hungry wolf waited and waited. But the nurse did not throw away the crying child. After a long time, the child stopped crying and the nurse took him home. Finally, the foolish wolf walked away, hungry and bitter.

Sleeping Beauty

Once upon a time there lived a good king and his queen. They had no children for many years and were very sad.

Then one day, the queen gave birth to a lovely baby girl and the whole kingdom was happy. There was a grand celebration and all the fairies in the kingdom were invited. But the king forgot to invite an old fairy. She came to the celebrations but was very angry. Soon it was time to gift the baby with special wishes. The good fairies wished her well and said, “May she grow to be the most beautiful girl in the world! She will sing sweetly and dance so well! She will live happily!” All the fairies blessed the baby and gave her beautiful gifts.

When it was the old fairy’s turn, she said, “When the baby is sixteen she will touch a spindle, and die!” The king and queen were shocked and begged the fairy to forgive them and take her words back but the fairy refused to do so. When the other fairies saw the king and queen crying, they said, “We cannot undo what the old fairy has spoken. But we certainly can make it different. Your child shall not die when she touches the spindle. But she will fall into a deep sleep for a hundred years. Then, a prince will come along and wake her up.” Hearing this, the king and the queen were relieved. The king forbade everyone from spinning so that the princess would never touch a spindle.

The princess grew up to be a kind girl and helped people in need. Everybody loved her. Years passed. When the princess was sixteen years old, she was walking in the woods when she saw an old lady spinning. “What is this? May I try?” she asked The old lady said, “Of course, my pretty little child!” And the princess sat down to spin. But the moment she touched the spindle, she fell to the floor in a deep slumber. The old lady took her back to the palace and the king and queen laid her on her bed and tucked her in. They were very sad and called the good fairies. The fairies felt sorry for them and cast a spell over the whole kingdom so that when the princess woke up after a hundred years, she would not be alone in the palace. Everyone, including the guards and the servants and the animals were now fast asleep. For a hundred years, they all slept soundly.

A hundred years passed. There came a prince from a far off land. He, along with his servants, went deep into the forest and crossed many rivers. Once the prince lost his way and was separated from the rest of the travellers. He came to the sleeping kingdom and was amazed. The guards, the servants, the cats and the cows were all fast asleep and snoring.

The prince reached the palace and entered it. No one moved. The prince then found the sleeping princess. She was such a beautiful girl that the prince kissed her. By that time, a hundred years had passed by and everyone was waking up, one by one. The princess yawned and opened her eyes. She saw the prince and smiled. She asked him “Are you my prince?” He was happy to hear her speak. The prince and the princess fell in love with each other. The prince wanted to marry the princess so they went to ask for permission from their parents.

The king and the queen arranged for a royal wedding. All the clothes the bride wore were a hundred years old, but she looked beautiful. Soon, they were married and then they rode away to the prince’s kingdom far, far away.