lunes, 26 de enero de 2009


The wife of a rich man fell sick, and as she felt that her end was drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, "Dear child, be good and pious, and then the good God will always protect you, and I will look down on you from heaven and be near you."

Thereupon she closed her eyes and departed. Every day the maiden went out to her mother's grave, and wept, and she remained pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white sheet over the grave, and by the time the spring sun had drawn it off again, the man had taken another wife.

The woman had brought with her into the house two daughters, who were beautiful and fair of face, but vile and black of heart. Now began a bad time for the poor step-child. "Is the stupid goose to sit in the parlor with us," they said. "He who wants to eat bread must earn it. Out with the kitchen-wench." They took her pretty clothes away from her, put an old grey bedgown on her, and gave her wooden shoes.

"Just look at the proud princess, how decked out she is," they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before daybreak, carry water, light fires, cook and wash. Besides this, the sisters did her every imaginable injury - they mocked her and emptied her peas and lentils into the ashes, so that she was forced to sit and pick them out again. In the evening when she had worked till she was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the hearth in the cinders. And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella.

It happened that the father was once going to the fair, and he asked his two step-daughters what he should bring back for them.

"Beautiful dresses," said one, "Pearls and jewels," said the second.

"And you, Cinderella," said he, "what will you have?"

"Father break off for me the first branch which knocks against your hat on your way home."

So he bought beautiful dresses, pearls and jewels for his two step-daughters, and on his way home, as he was riding through a green thicket, a hazel twig brushed against him and knocked off his hat. Then he broke off the branch and took it with him. When he reached home he gave his step-daughters the things which they had wished for, and to Cinderella he gave the branch from the hazel-bush. Cinderella thanked him, went to her mother's grave and planted the branch on it, and wept so much that the tears fell down on it and watered it. And it grew and became a handsome tree. Thrice a day Cinderella went and sat beneath it, and wept and prayed, and a little white bird always came on the tree, and if Cinderella expressed a wish, the bird threw down to her what she had wished for.

It happened, however, that the king gave orders for a festival which was to last three days, and to which all the beautiful young girls in the country were invited, in order that his son might choose himself a bride. When the two step-sisters heard that they too were to appear among the number, they were delighted, called Cinderella and said, "comb our hair for us, brush our shoes and fasten our buckles, for we are going to the wedding at the king's palace."

Cinderella obeyed, but wept, because she too would have liked to go with them to the dance, and begged her step-mother to allow her to do so.

"You go, Cinderella," said she, "covered in dust and dirt as you are, and would go to the festival. You have no clothes and shoes, and yet would dance." As, however, Cinderella went on asking, the step-mother said at last, "I have emptied a dish of lentils into the ashes for you, if you have picked them out again in two hours, you shall go with us."

The maiden went through the back-door into the garden, and called, "You tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to pick the good into the pot, the bad into the crop."

Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen window, and afterwards the turtle-doves, and at last all the birds beneath the sky, came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes. And the pigeons nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, pick, and the rest began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all the good grains into the dish. Hardly had one hour passed before they had finished, and all flew out again.

Then the girl took the dish to her step-mother, and was glad, and believed that now she would be allowed to go with them to the festival.

But the step-mother said, "No, Cinderella, you have no clothes and you can not dance. You would only be laughed at." And as Cinderella wept at this, the step-mother said, if you can pick two dishes of lentils out of the ashes for me in one hour, you shall go with us. And she thought to herself, that she most certainly cannot do again.

When the step-mother had emptied the two dishes of lentils amongst the ashes, the maiden went through the back-door into the garden and cried, "You tame pigeons, you turtle-doves, and all you birds beneath the sky, come and help me to pick the good into the pot, the bad into the crop."

Then two white pigeons came in by the kitchen-window, and afterwards the turtle-doves, and at length all the birds beneath the sky, came whirring and crowding in, and alighted amongst the ashes. And the doves nodded with their heads and began pick, pick, pick, pick, and the others began also pick, pick, pick, pick, and gathered all the good seeds into the dishes, and before half an hour was over they had already finished, and all flew out again. Then the maiden was delighted, and believed that she might now go with them to the wedding.

But the step-mother said, "All this will not help. You cannot go with us, for you have no clothes and can not dance. We should be ashamed of you." On this she turned her back on Cinderella, and hurried away with her two proud daughters.

As no one was now at home, Cinderella went to her mother's grave beneath the hazel-tree, and cried,

"Shiver and quiver, little tree, Silver and gold throw down over me."

Then the bird threw a gold and silver dress down to her, and slippers embroidered with silk and silver. She put on the dress with all speed, and went to the wedding. Her step-sisters and the step-mother however did not know her, and thought she must be a foreign princess, for she looked so beautiful in the golden dress. They never once thought of Cinderella, and believed that she was sitting at home in the dirt, picking lentils out of the ashes. The prince approached her, took her by the hand and danced with her. He would dance with no other maiden, and never let loose of her hand, and if any one else came to invite her, he said, "This is my partner."

She danced till it was evening, and then she wanted to go home. But the king's son said, "I will go with you and bear you company," for he wished to see to whom the beautiful maiden belonged. She escaped from him, however, and sprang into the pigeon-house. The king's son waited until her father came, and then he told him that the unknown maiden had leapt into the pigeon-house. The old man thought, "Can it be Cinderella." And they had to bring him an axe and a pickaxe that he might hew the pigeon-house to pieces, but no one was inside it. And when they got home Cinderella lay in her dirty clothes among the ashes, and a dim little oil-lamp was burning on the mantle-piece, for Cinderella had jumped quickly down from the back of the pigeon-house and had run to the little hazel-tree, and there she had taken off her beautiful clothes and laid them on the grave, and the bird had taken them away again, and then she had seated herself in the kitchen amongst the ashes in her grey gown.

Next day when the festival began afresh, and her parents and the step-sisters had gone once more, Cinderella went to the hazel-tree and said,

"Shiver and quiver, my little tree, Silver and gold throw down over me."

Then the bird threw down a much more beautiful dress than on the preceding day. And when Cinderella appeared at the wedding in this dress, every one was astonished at her beauty. The king's son had waited until she came, and instantly took her by the hand and danced with no one but her. When others came and invited her, he said, "This is my partner." When evening came she wished to leave, and the king's son followed her and wanted to see into which house she went. But she sprang away from him, and into the garden behind the house. Therein stood a beautiful tall tree on which hung the most magnificent pears. She clambered so nimbly between the branches like a squirrel that the king's son did not know where she was gone. He waited until her father came, and said to him, "The unknown maiden has escaped from me, and I believe she has climbed up the pear-tree." The father thought, "Can it be Cinderella." And had an axe brought and cut the tree down, but no one was on it. And when they got into the kitchen, Cinderella lay there among the ashes, as usual, for she had jumped down on the other side of the tree, had taken the beautiful dress to the bird on the little hazel-tree, and put on her grey gown.

On the third day, when the parents and sisters had gone away, Cinderella went once more to her mother's grave and said to the little tree,

"Shiver and quiver, my little tree, silver and gold throw down over me."

And now the bird threw down to her a dress which was more splendid and magnificent than any she had yet had, and the slippers were golden. And when she went to the festival in the dress, no one knew how to speak for astonishment. The king's son danced with her only, and if any one invited her to dance, he said this is my partner.

When evening came, Cinderella wished to leave, and the king's son was anxious to go with her, but she escaped from him so quickly that he could not follow her. The king's son, however, had employed a ruse, and had caused the whole staircase to be smeared with pitch, and there, when she ran down, had the maiden's left slipper remained stuck. The king's son picked it up, and it was small and dainty, and all golden.

Next morning, he went with it to the father, and said to him, no one shall be my wife but she whose foot this golden slipper fits. Then were the two sisters glad, for they had pretty feet. The eldest went with the shoe into her room and wanted to try it on, and her mother stood by. But she could not get her big toe into it, and the shoe was too small for her. Then her mother gave her a knife and said, "Cut the toe off, when you are queen you will have no more need to go on foot." The maiden cut the toe off, forced the foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the king's son. Then he took her on his his horse as his bride and rode away with her. They were obliged, however, to pass the grave, and there, on the hazel-tree, sat the two pigeons and cried,

"Turn and peep, turn and peep, there's blood within the shoe, the shoe it is too small for her, the true bride waits for you."

Then he looked at her foot and saw how the blood was trickling from it. He turned his horse round and took the false bride home again, and said she was not the true one, and that the other sister was to put the shoe on. Then this one went into her chamber and got her toes safely into the shoe, but her heel was too large. So her mother gave her a knife and said, "Cut a bit off your heel, when you are queen you will have no more need to go on foot." The maiden cut a bit off her heel, forced her foot into the shoe, swallowed the pain, and went out to the king's son. He took her on his horse as his bride, and rode away with her, but when they passed by the hazel-tree, the two pigeons sat on it and cried,

"Turn and peep, turn and peep, there's blood within the shoe, the shoe it is too small for her, the true bride waits for you."

He looked down at her foot and saw how the blood was running out of her shoe, and how it had stained her white stocking quite red. Then he turned his horse and took the false bride home again. "This also is not the right one," said he, "have you no other daughter." "No," said the man, "there is still a little stunted kitchen-wench which my late wife left behind her, but she cannot possibly be the bride." The king's son said he was to send her up to him, but the mother answered, oh, no, she is much too dirty, she cannot show herself. But he absolutely insisted on it, and Cinderella had to be called.

She first washed her hands and face clean, and then went and bowed down before the king's son, who gave her the golden shoe. Then she seated herself on a stool, drew her foot out of the heavy wooden shoe, and put it into the slipper, which fitted like a glove. And when she rose up and the king's son looked at her face he recognized the beautiful maiden who had danced with him and cried, "That is the true bride." The step-mother and the two sisters were horrified and became pale with rage, he, however, took Cinderella on his horse and rode away with her. As they passed by the hazel-tree, the two white doves cried,

"Turn and peep, turn and peep, no blood is in the shoe, the shoe is not too small for her, the true bride rides with you."

And when they had cried that, the two came flying down and placed themselves on Cinderella's shoulders, one on the right, the other on the left, and remained sitting there.

When the wedding with the king's son was to be celebrated, the two false sisters came and wanted to get into favor with Cinderella and share her good fortune. When the betrothed couple went to church, the elder was at the right side and the younger at the left, and the pigeons pecked out one eye from each of them. And thus, for their wickedness and falsehood, they were punished with blindness all their days.


Once upon a time . . . down on an old farm, lived a duck family, and Mother Duck had been sitting on a clutch of new eggs. One nice morning, the eggs hatched and out popped six chirpy ducklings. But one egg was bigger than the rest, and it didn't hatch. Mother Duck couldn't recall laying that seventh egg. How did it get there? TOCK! TOCK! The little prisoner was pecking inside his shell.

"Did I count the eggs wrongly?" Mother Duck wondered. But before she had time to think about it, the last egg finally hatched. A strange looking duckling with grey feathers that should have been yellow gazed at a worried mother. The ducklings grew quickly, but Mother Duck had a secret worry.

"I can't understand how this ugly duckling can be one of mine!" she said to herself, shaking her head as she looked at her lastborn. Well, the grey duckling certainly wasn't pretty, and since he ate far more than his brothers, he was outgrowing them. As the days went by, the poor ugly duckling became more and more unhappy. His brothers didn't want to play with him, he was so clumsy, and all the farmyard folks simply laughed at him. He felt sad and lonely, while Mother Duck did her best to console him.

"Poor little ugly duckling!" she would say. "Why are you so different from the others?" And the ugly duckling felt worse than ever. He secretly wept at night. He felt nobody wanted him.

"Nobody loves me, they all tease me! Why am I different from my brothers?"

Then one day, at sunrise, he ran away from the farmyard. He stopped at a pond and began to question all the other birds. "Do you know of any ducklings with grey feathers like mine?" But everyone shook their heads in scorn.

"We don't know anyone as ugly as you." The ugly duckling did not lose heart, however, and kept on making enquiries. He went to another pond, where a pair of large geese gave him the same answer to his question. What's more, they warned him: "Don't stay here! Go away! It's dangerous. There are men with guns around here!" The duckling was sorry he had ever left the farmyard.

Then one day, his travels took him near an old countrywoman's cottage. Thinking he was a stray goose, she caught him.

"I'll put this in a hutch. I hope it's a female and lays plenty of eggs!" said the old woman, whose eyesight was poor. But the ugly duckling laid not a single egg. The hen kept frightening him:

"Just wait! If you don't lay eggs, the old woman will wring your neck and pop you into the pot!" And the cat chipped in: "Hee! Hee! I hope the woman cooks you, then I can gnaw at your bones!" The poor ugly duckling was so scared that he lost his appetite, though the old woman kept stuffing him with food and grumbling: "If you won't lay eggs, at least hurry up and get plump!"

"Oh, dear me!" moaned the now terrified duckling. "I'll die of fright first! And I did so hope someone would love me!"

Then one night, finding the hutch door ajar, he escaped. Once again he was all alone. He fled as far away as he could, and at dawn, he found himself in a thick bed of reeds. "If nobody wants me, I'll hid here forever." There was plenty a food, and the duckling began to feel a little happier, though he was lonely. One day at sunrise, he saw a flight of beautiful birds wing overhead. White, with long slender necks, yellow beaks and large wings, they were migrating south.

"If only I could look like them, just for a day!" said the duckling, admiringly. Winter came and the water in the reed bed froze. The poor duckling left home to seek food in the snow. He dropped exhausted to the ground, but a farmer found him and put him in his big jacket pocket.

"I'll take him home to my children. They'll look after him. Poor thing, he's frozen!" The duckling was showered with kindly care at the farmer's house. In this way, the ugly duckling was able to survive the bitterly cold winter.

However, by springtime, he had grown so big that the farmer decided: "I'll set him free by the pond!" That was when the duckling saw himself mirrored in the water.

"Goodness! How I've changed! I hardly recognize myself!" The flight of swans winged north again and glided on to the pond. When the duckling saw them, he realized he was one of their kind, and soon made friends.

"We're swans like you!" they said, warmly. "Where have you been hiding?"

"It's a long story," replied the young swan, still astounded. Now, he swam majestically with his fellow swans. One day, he heard children on the river bank exclaim: "Look at that young swan! He's the finest of them all!"

And he almost burst with happiness.


Once upon a time... a carpenter, picked up a strange lump of wood one day while mending a table. When he began to chip it, the wood started to moan. This frightened the carpenter and he decided to get rid of it at once, so he gave it to a friend called Geppetto, who wanted to make a puppet. Geppetto, a cobbler, took his lump of wood home, thinking about the name he would give his puppet.

"I'll call him Pinocchio," he told himself. "It's a lucky name." Back in his humble basement home and workshop, Geppetto started to carve the wood. Suddenly a voice squealed:

"Ooh! That hurt!" Geppeto was astonished to find that the wood was alive. Excitedly he carved a head, hair and eyes, which immediately stared right at the cobbler. But the second Geppetto carved out the nose, it grew longer and longer, and no matter how often the cobbler cut it down to size, it just stayed a long nose. The newly cut mouth began to chuckle and when Geppetto angrily complained, the puppet stuck out his tongue at him. That was nothing, however! When the cobbler shaped the hands, they snatched the good man's wig, and the newly carved legs gave him a hearty kick. His eyes brimming with tears, Geppetto scolded the puppet.

"You naughty boy! I haven't even finished making you, yet you've no respect for your father!" Then he picked up the puppet and, a step at a time, taught him to walk. But the minute Pinocchio stood upright, he started to run about the room, with Geppetto after him, then he opened the door and dashed into the street. Now, Pinocchio ran faster than Geppetto and though the poor cobbler shouted "Stop him! Stop him!" none of the onlookers, watching in amusement, moved a finger. Luckily, a policeman heard the cobbler's shouts and strode quickly down the street. Grabbing the runaway, he handed him over to his father.

"I'll box your ears," gasped Geppetto, still out of breath. Then he realised that was impossible, for in his haste to carve the puppet, he had forgotten to make his ears. Pinocchio had got a fright at being in the clutches of the police, so he apologised and Geppetto forgave his son.

Indeed, the minute they reached home, the cobbler made Pinocchio a suit out of flowered paper, a pair of bark shoes and a soft bread hat. The puppet hugged his father.

"I'd like to go to school," he said, "to become clever and help you when you're old!" Geppetto was touched by this kind thought.

"I'm very grateful," he replied, "but we haven't enough money even to buy you the first reading book!" Pinocchio looked downcast, then Geppetto suddenly rose to his feet, put on his old tweed coat and went out of the house. Not long after he returned carrying a first reader, but minus his coat. It was snowing outside.

"Where's your coat, father?"

"I sold it."

"Why did you sell it?"

"It kept me too warm!"

Pinocchio threw his arms round Geppetto's neck and kissed the kindly old man.

It had stopped snowing and Pinocchio set out for school with his first reading book under his arm. He was full of good intentions. "Today I want to learn to read. Tomorrow I'll learn to write and the day after to count. Then I'll earn some money and buy Geppetto a fine new coat. He deserves it, for . . ." The sudden sound of a brass band broke into the puppet's daydream and he soon forgot all about school. He ended up in a crowded square where people were clustering round a brightly coloured booth.

"What's that?" he asked a boy.

"Can't you read? It's the Great Puppet Show!"

"How much do you pay to go inside?"


"Who'll give me fourpence for this brand new book?" Pinocchio cried. A nearby junk seller bought the reading book and Pinocchio hurried into the booth. Poor Geppetto. His sacrifice had been quite in vain. Hardly had Pinocchio got inside, when he was seen by one of the puppets on the stage who cried out:

"There's Pinocchio! There's Pinocchio!"

"Come, along. Come up here with us. Hurrah for brother Pinocchio!" cried the puppets. Pinocchio weent onstage with his new friends, while the spectators below began to mutter about uproar. Then out strode Giovanni, the puppet-master, a frightful looking man with fierce bloodshot eyes.

"What's going on here? Stop that noise! Get in line, or you'll hear about it later!"

That evening, Giovanni sat down to his meal, but when he found that more wood was needed to finish cooking his nice chunk of meat, he remembered the intruder who had upset his show.

"Come here, Pinocchio! You'll make good firewood!" The poor puppet started to weep and plead.

"Save me, father! I don't want to die . . . I don't want to die!" When Giovanni heard Pinocchio's cries, he was surprised.

"Are your parents still alive?" he asked.

"My father is, but I've never known my mother," said the puppet in a low voice. The big man's heart melted.

"It would be beastly for your father if I did throw you into the fire . . . but I must finish roasting the mutton. I'll just have to burn another puppet. Men! Bring me Harlequin, trussed!" When Pinocchio saw that another puppet was going to be burned in his place, he wept harder than ever.

"Please don't, sir! Oh, sir, please don't! Don't burn Harlequin!"

"That's enough!" boomed Giovanni in a rage. "I want my meat well cooked!"

"In that case," cried Pinocchio defiantly, rising to his feet, "burn me! It's not right that Harlequin should be burnt instead of me!"

Giovanni was taken aback. "Well, well!" he said. "I've never met a puppet hero before!" Then he went on in a milder tone. "You really are a good lad. I might indeed . . ." Hope flooded Pinocchio's heart as the puppet-master stared at him, then at last the man said: "All right! I'll eat half-raw mutton tonight, but next time, somebody will find himself in a pickle." All the puppets were delighted at being saved. Giovanni asked Pinocchio to tell him the whole tale, and feeling sorry for kindhearted Geppetto, he gave the puppet five gold pieces.

"Take these to your father," he said. "Tell him to buy himself a new coat, and give him my regards."

Pinocchio cheerfully left the puppet booth after thanking Giovanni for being so generous. He was hurrying homewards when he met a half-blind cat and a lame fox. He couldn't help but tell them all about his good fortune, and when the pair set eyes on the gold coins, they hatched a plot, saying to Pinocchio:

"If you would really like to please your father, you ought to take him a lot more coins. Now, we know of a magic meadow where you can sow these five coins. The next day, you will find they have become ten times as many!"

"How can that happen?" asked Pinocchio in amazement.

"I'll tell you how!" exclaimed the fox. "In the land of Owls lies a meadow known as Miracle Meadow. If you plant one gold coin in a little hole, next day you will find a whole tree dripping with gold coins!" Pinocchio drank in every word his two "friends" uttered and off they all went to the Red Shrimp Inn to drink to their meeting and future wealth.

After food and a short rest, they made plans to leave at midnight for Miracle Meadow. However, when Pinocchio was wakened by the innkeeper at the time arranged, he found that the fox and the cat had already left. All the puppet could do then was pay for the dinner, using one of his gold coins, and set off alone along the path through the woods to the magic meadow. Suddenly... "Your money or your life!" snarled two hooded bandits. Now, Pinocchio had hidden the coins under his tongue, so he could not say a word, and nothing the bandits could do would make Pinocchio tell where the coins were hidden. Still mute, even when the wicked pair tied a noose round the poor puppet's neck and pulled it tighter and tighter, Pinocchio's last thought was "Father, help me!"

Of course, the hooded bandits were the fox and the cat. "You'll hang there," they said, "till you decide to talk. We'll be back soon to see if you have changed your mind!" And away they went.

However, a fairy who lived nearby had overheard everything . . . From the castle window, the Turquoise Fairy saw a kicking puppet dangling from an oak tree in the wood. Taking pity on him, she clapped her hands three times and suddenly a hawk and a dog appeared.

"Quickly!" said the fairy to the hawk. "Fly to that oak tree and with your beak snip away the rope round the poor lad's neck!"

To the dog she said: "Fetch the carriage and gently bring him to me!"

In no time at all, Pinocchio, looking quite dead, was lying in a cosy bed in the castle, while the fairy called three famous doctors, crow, owl and cricket. A very bitter medicine, prescribed by these three doctors quickly cured the puppet, then as she caressed him, the fairy said: "Tell me what happened!"

Pinocchio told her his story, leaving out the bit about selling his first reading book, but when the fairy asked him where the gold coins were, the puppet replied that he had lost them. In fact, they were hidden in one of his pockets. All at once, Pinocchio's nose began to stretch, while the fairy laughed.

"You've just told a lie! I know you have, because your nose is growing longer!" Blushing with shame, Pinocchio had no idea what to do with such an ungainly nose and he began to weep. However, again feeling sorry for him, the fairy clapped her hands and a flock of woodpeckers appeared to peck his nose back to its proper length.

"Now, don't tell any more lies," the fairy warned him," or your nose will grow again! Go home and take these coins to your father."

Pinocchio gratefully hugged the fairy and ran off homewards. But near the oak tree in the forest, he bumped into the cat and the fox. Breaking his promise, he foolishly let himself be talked into burying the coins in the magic meadow. Full of hope, he returned next day, but the coins had gone. Pinocchio sadly trudged home without the coins Giovanni had given him for his father.

After scolding the puppet for his long absence, Geppetto forgave him and off he went to school. Pinocchio seemed to have calmed down a bit. But someone else was about to cross his path and lead him astray. This time, it was Carlo, the lazy bones of the class.

"Why don't you come to Toyland with me?" he said. "Nobody ever studies there and you can play all day long!"

"Does such a place really exist?" asked Pinocchio in amazement.

"The wagon comes by this evening to take me there," said Carlo. "Would you like to come?"

Forgetting all his promises to his father and the fairy, Pinocchio was again heading for trouble. Midnight struck, and the wagon arrived to pick up the two friends, along with some other lads who could hardly wait to reach a place where schoolbooks and teachers had never been heard of. Twelve pairs of donkeys pulled the wagon, and they were all shod with white leather boots. The boys clambered into the wagon. Pinocchio, the most excited of them all, jumped on to a donkey. Toyland, here we come!

Now Toyland was just as Carlo had described it: the boys all had great fun and there were no lessons. You weren't even allowed to whisper the word "school", and Pinocchio could hardly believe he was able to play all the time.

"This is the life!" he said each time he met Carlo.

"I was right, wasn't I?" exclaimed his friend, pleased with himself.

"Oh, yes Carlo! Thanks to you I'm enjoying myself. And just think: teacher told me to keep well away from you."

One day, however, Pinocchio awoke to a nasty surprise. When he raised a hand to his head, he found he had sprouted a long pair of hairy ears, in place of the sketchy ears that Geppetto had never got round to finishing. And that wasn't all! The next day, they had grown longer than ever. Pinocchio shamefully pulled on a large cotton cap and went off to search for Carlo. He too was wearing a hat, pulled right down to his nose. With the same thought in their heads, the boys stared at each other, then snatching off their hats, they began to laugh at the funny sight of long hairy ears. But as they screamed with laughter, Carlo suddenly went pale and began to stagger. "Pinocchio, help! Help!" But Pinocchio himself was stumbling about and he burst into tears. For their faces were growing into the shape of a donkey's head and they felt themselves go down on all foursf. Pinocchio and Carlo were turning into a pair of donkeys. And when they tried to groan with fear, they brayed loudly instead. When the Toyland wagon driver heard the braying of his new donkeys, he rubbed his hands in glee.

"There are two fine new donkeys to take to market. I'll get at least four gold pieces for them!" For such was the awful fate that awaited naughty little boys that played truant from school to spend all their time playing games.

Carlo was sold to a farmer, and a circus man bought Pinocchio to teach him to do tricks like his other performing animals. It was a hard life for a donkey! Nothing to eat but hay, and when that was gone, nothing but straw. And the beatings! Pinocchio was beaten every day till he had mastered the difficult circus tricks. One day, as he was jumping through the hoop, he stumbled and went lame. The circus man called the stable boy.

"A lame donkey is no use to me," he said. "Take it to market and get rid of it at any price!" But nobody wanted to buy a useless donkey. Then along came a little man who said: "I'll take it for the skin. It will make a good drum for the village band!"

And so, for a few pennies, Pinocchio changed hands and he brayed sorrowfully when he heard what his awful fate was to be. The puppet's new owner led him to the edge of the sea, tied a large stone to his neck, and a long rope round Pinocchio's legs and pushed hlm into the water. Clutching the end of the rope, the man sat down to wait for Pinocchio to drown. Then he would flay off the donkey's skin.

Pinocchio struggled for breath at the bottom of the sea, and in a flash, remembered all the bother he had given Geppetto, his broken promises too, and he called on the fairy.

The fairy heard Pinocchio's call and when she saw he was about to drown, she sent a shoal of big fish. They ate away all the donkey flesh, leaving the wooden Pinocchio. Just then, as the fish stopped nibbling, Pinocchio felt himself hauled out of the water. And the man gaped in astonishment at the living puppet, twisting and turning like an eel, which appeared in place of the dead donkey. When he recovered his wits, he babbled, almost in tears: "Where's the donkey I threw into the sea?"

"I'm that donkey", giggled Pinocchio.

"You!" gasped the man. "Don't try pulling my leg. If I get angry . . ."

However, Pinocchio told the man the whole story . . . "and that's how you come to have a live puppet on the end of the rope instead of a dead donkey!"

"I don't give a whit for your story," shouted the man in a rage. "All I know is that I paid twenty coins for you and I want my money back! Since there's no donkey, I'll take you to market and sell you as firewood!"

By then free of the rope, Pinocchio made a face at the man and dived into the sea. Thankful to be a wooden puppet again, Pinocchio swam happily out to sea and was soon just a dot on the horizon. But his adventures were far from over. Out of the water behind him loomed a terrible giant shark! A horrified Pinocchio sawits wide open jaws and tried to swim away as fast as he could, but the monster only glided closer. Then the puppet tried to escape by going in the other direction, but in vain. He could never escape the shark, for as the water rushed into its cavern-like mouth, he was sucked in with it. And in an instant Pinocchio had been swallowed along with shoals of fish unlucky enough to be in the fierce creature's path. Down he went, tossed in the torrent of water as it poured down the shark's throat, till he felt dizy. When Pinocchio came to his senses, he was in darkness. Over his head, he could hear the loud heave of the shark's gills. On his hands and knees, the puppet crept down what felt like a sloping path, crying as he went:

"Help! Help! Won't anybody save me?"

Suddenly, he noticed a pale light and, as he crept towards it, he saw it was a flame in the distance. On he went, till: "Father! It can't be you! . . ."

"Pinocchio! Son! It really is you . . ."

Weeping for joy, they hugged each other and, between sobs, told their adventures. Geppetto stroked the puppet's head and told him how he came to be in the shark's stomach.

"I was looking for you everywhere. When I couldn't find you on dry land, I made a boat to search for you on the sea. But the boat capsized in a storm, then the shark gulped me down. Lucklly, it also swallowed bits of ships wrecked in the tempest, so I've managed to survive by gettlng what I could from these!"

"Well, we're still alive!" remarked Pinocchio, when they had finished recounting their adventures. "We must get out of here!" Taking Geppetto's hand, the pair started to climb up the shark's stomach, using a candle to light their way. When they got as far as its jaws, they took fright, but as so happened, this shark slept with its mouth open, for it suffered from asthma.

As luck would have it, the shark had been basking in shallow waters since the day before, and Pinocchio soon reached the beach. Dawn was just breaking, and Geppetto, soaked to the skin, was half dead with cold and fright.

"Lean on me, father." said Pinocchio. "I don't know where we are, but we'll soon find our way home!"

Beside the sands stood an old hut made of branches, and there they took shelter. Geppetto was running a temperature, but Pinocchio went out, saying, "I'm going to get you some milk." The bleating of goats led the puppet in the right direction, and he soon came upon a farmer. Of course, he had no money to pay for the milk.

"My donkey's dead," said the farmer. "If you work the treadmill from dawn to noon, then you can have some milk." And so, for days on end, Pinocchio rose early each morning to earn Geppetto's food.

At long last, Pinocchio and Geppetto reached home. The puppet worked late into the night weaving reed baskets to make money for his father and himself. One day, he heard that the fairy after a wave of bad luck, was ill in hospital. So instead of buying himself a new suit of clothes, Pinocchio sent the fairy the money to pay for her treatment.

One night, in a wonderful dream, the fairy appeared to reward Pinocchio for his kindness. When the puppet looked in the mirror next morning, he found he had turned into somebody else. For there in the mirror, was a handsome young lad with blue eyes and brown hair. Geppetto hugged him happily.

"Where's the old wooden Pinocchio?" the young lad asked in astonishment. "There!" exclaimed Geppetto, pointing at him. "When bad boys become good, their looks change along with their lives!"


Once upon a time . . . there were three little pigs, who left their mummy and daddy to see the world.

All summer long, they roamed through the woods and over the plains,playing games and having fun. None were happier than the three little pigs, and they easily made friends with everyone. Wherever they went, they were given a warm welcome, but as summer drew to a close, they realized that folk were drifting back to their usual jobs, and preparing for winter. Autumn came and it began to rain. The three little pigs started to feel they needed a real home. Sadly they knew that the fun was over now and they must set to work like the others, or they'd be left in the cold and rain, with no roof over their heads. They talked about what to do, but each decided for himself. The laziest little pig said he'd build a straw hut.

"It wlll only take a day,' he said. The others disagreed.

"It's too fragile," they said disapprovingly, but he refused to listen. Not quite so lazy, the second little pig went in search of planks of seasoned wood.

"Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!" It took him two days to nail them together. But the third little pig did not like the wooden house.

"That's not the way to build a house!" he said. "It takes time, patience and hard work to build a house that is strong enough to stand up to wind, rain, and snow, and most of all, protect us from the wolf!"

The days went by, and the wisest little pig's house took shape, brick by brick. From time to time, his brothers visited him, saying with a chuckle:

"Why are you working so hard? Why don't you come and play?" But the stubborn bricklayer pig just said "no".

"I shall finish my house first. It must be solid and sturdy. And then I'll come and play!" he said. "I shall not be foolish like you! For he who laughs last, laughs longest!"

It was the wisest little pig that found the tracks of a big wolf in the neighbourhood.

The little pigs rushed home in alarm. Along came the wolf, scowling fiercely at the laziest pig's straw hut.

"Come out!" ordered the wolf, his mouth watering. I want to speak to you!"

"I'd rather stay where I am!" replied the little pig in a tiny voice.

"I'll make you come out!" growled the wolf angrily, and puffing out his chest, he took a very deep breath. Then he blew with all his might, right onto the house. And all the straw the silly pig had heaped against some thin poles, fell down in the great blast. Excited by his own cleverness, the wolf did not notice that the little pig had slithered out from underneath the heap of straw, and was dashing towards his brother's wooden house. When he realized that the little pig was escaping, the wolf grew wild with rage.

"Come back!" he roared, trying to catch the pig as he ran into the wooden house. The other little pig greeted his brother, shaking like a leaf.

"I hope this house won't fall down! Let's lean against the door so he can't break in!"

Outside, the wolf could hear the little pigs' words. Starving as he was, at the idea of a two-course meal, he rained blows on the door.

"Open up! Open up! I only want to speak to you!"

Inside, the two brothers wept in fear and did their best to hold the door fast against the blows. Then the furious wolf braced himself a new effort: he drew in a really enormous breath, and went ... WHOOOOO! The wooden house collapsed like a pack of cards.

Luckily, the wisest little pig had been watching the scene from the window of his own brick house, and he rapidly opened the door to his fleeing brothers. And not a moment too soon, for the wolf was already hammering furiously on the door. This time, the wolf had grave doubts. This house had a much more solid air than the others. He blew once, he blew again and then for a third time. But all was in vain. For the house did not budge an lnch. The three little pigs watched him and their fear began to fade. Quite exhausted by his efforts, the wolf decided to try one of his tricks. He scrambled up a nearby ladder, on to the roof to have a look at the chimney. However, the wisest little pig had seen thls ploy, and he quickly said:

"Quick! Light the fire!" With his long legs thrust down the chimney, the wolf was not sure if he should slide down the black hole. It wouldn't be easy to get in, but the sound of the little pigs' voices below only made him feel hungrier.

"I'm dying of hunger! I'm goin to try and get down." And he let himself drop. But landing was rather hot, too hot! The wolf landed in the fire, stunned by his fall.

The flames licked his hairy coat and his tail became a flaring torch.

"Never again! Never again will I go down a chimneyl" he squealed, as he tried to put out the flames in his tail. Then he ran away as fast as he could.

The three happy little pigs, dancing round and round the yard, began to sing:

"Tra-la-la! Tra-la-la! The wicked black wolf will never come back...!"

From that terrible day on, the wisest little pig's brothers set to work with a will. In less than no time, up went the two new brick houses. The wolf did return once to roam in the neighbourhood, but when he caught sight of three chimneys, he remembered the terrible pain of a burnt tail, and he left for good.

Now safe and happy, the wisest little pig called to his brothers:

"No more work! Come on, let's go and play!"


Once upon a time there was a dear little girl who was loved by every one who looked at her, but most of all by her grandmother, and there was nothing that she would not have given to the child.

Once she gave her a little cap of red velvet, which suited her so well that she would never wear anything else. So she was always called Little Red Riding Hood.

One day her mother said to her, "Come, Little Red Riding Hood, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine. Take them to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing. And when you go into her room, don't forget to say, good-morning, and don't peep into every corner before you do it." I will take great care, said Little Red Riding Hood to her mother, and left

The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village, and just as Little Red Riding Hood entered the wood, a wolf met her. Little Red Riding Hood did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him.

"Good-day, Little Red Riding Hood," said he.
"Thank you kindly, wolf."
"Whither away so early, Little Red Riding Hood?"
"To my grandmother's."
"What have you got in your apron?"
"Cake and wine. Yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is to have something good, to make her stronger."
"Where does your grandmother live, Little Red Riding Hood?"
"A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood. Her house stands under the three large oak-trees. You surely must know it," replied Little Red Riding Hood.

The wolf thought to himself, "What a tender young creature. She will be better to eat than the old woman. I must act carefully." So he walked for a short time by the side of Little Red Riding Hood, and then he said, "See Little Red Riding Hood, how pretty the flowers are about here — why do you not look around? I believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are singing; you walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while everything else out here in the wood is very merry.”

Little Red Riding Hood raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing here and there through the trees, and pretty flowers growing everywhere, she thought, 'Suppose I take grandmother a rose. That would please her too. It is so early in the day that I shall still get there in good time.' And so she ran from the path into the wood to look for a rose.

Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother's house and knocked at the door.
"Who is there?"
"Little Red Riding Hood," replied the wolf. "I am bringing cake and wine. Open the door."
"Lift the latch," called out the grandmother, "I am too weak, and cannot get up."

The wolf lifted the latch, the door sprang open, and without saying a word he went straight to the grandmother's bed, and devoured her. Then he put on her clothes, dressed himself in her cap, laid himself in bed. Little Red Riding Hood, however, had been running about picking roses, and when she had gathered so many that she could carry no more, she remembered her grandmother, and set out on the way to her.

She was surprised to find the cottage-door standing open, and when she went into the room, she had such a strange feeling that she said to herself, 'Oh dear, how uneasy I feel to-day, and at other times I like being with grandmother so much.' She called out, "Good morning," but received no answer. So she went to the bed. There lay her grandmother.

"Oh, grandmother," she said, "what big ears you have."
"The better to hear you with, my child," was the reply.
"But, grandmother, what big eyes you have," she said.
"The better to see you with, my dear."
"But, grandmother, what large hands you have."
"The better to hug you with."
"Oh, but, grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have."
"The better to eat you with."
And scarcely had the wolf said this, he was out of bed and swallowed up Little Red Riding Hood.

When the wolf had appeased his appetite, he lay down again in the bed, fell asleep and began to snore very loud. A huntsman was just passing the house, and thought to himself, 'How the old woman is snoring. I must just see if she wants anything.' So he went into the room, and when he came to the bed, he saw that the wolf was lying in it. "Do I find you here, you old sinner," said he. "I have long sought you." Then just as he was going to fire at him, it occurred to him that the wolf might have devoured the grandmother, and that she might still be saved, so he did not fire, but took a pair of scissors, and began to cut open the stomach of the sleeping wolf.

When he had made two snips, he saw the Little Red Riding Hood, and then he made two snips more, and the little girl sprang out, crying, "Ah, how frightened I have been. How dark it was inside the wolf."

And after that the aged grandmother came out alive also, but scarcely able to breathe. Little Red Riding Hood, however, quickly fetched great stones with which they filled the wolf's belly, and when he awoke, he wanted to run away, but the stones were so heavy that he collapsed at once, and fell dead.

sábado, 24 de enero de 2009


One hot day, an ant was searching for some water. After walking around for some time, she came to a spring.
To reach the spring, she had to climb up a blade of grass. While making her way up, she slipped and fell into the water.
She could have drowned if a dove up a nearby tree had not seen her. Seeing that the ant was in trouble, the dove quickly plucked off a leaf and dropped it into the water near the struggling ant. The ant moved towards the leaf and climbed up there. Soon it carried her safely to dry ground.
Just at that time, a hunter nearby was throwing out his net towards the dove, hoping to trap it.
Guessing what he was about to do, the ant quickly bit him on the heel. Feeling the pain, the hunter dropped his net. The dove was quick to fly away to safety.
The ant and the dove. (La hormiga y la paloma). Fábulas infantiles en inglés.

Fables Aesop’s


Hard by a great forest dwelt a poor wood-cutter with his wife and his two children. The boy was called Hansel and the girl Gretel. He had little to bite and to break, and once, when great dearth fell on the land, he could no longer procure even daily bread. Now when he thought over this by night in his bed, and tossed about in his anxiety. He groaned and said to his wife, “What is to become of us? How are we to feed our poor children, when we no longer have anything even for ourselves?” “I’ll tell you what, husband,” answered the woman, “early tomorrow morning we will take the children out into the forest to where it is the thickest. There we will light a fire for them, and give each of them one more piece of bread, and then we will go to our work and leave them alone. They will not find the way home again, and we shall be rid of them.” “No, wife,” said the man, “I will not do that. How can I bear to leave my children alone in the forest? The wild animals would soon come and tear them to pieces.” “Oh! you fool,” said she, “then we must all four die of hunger, you may as well plane the planks for our coffins,” and she left him no peace until he consented. “But I feel very sorry for the poor children, all the same,” said the man. The two children had also not been able to sleep for hunger, and had heard what their step-mother had said to their father. Gretel wept bitter tears, and said to Hansel, “Now all is over with us.” “Be quiet, Gretel,” said Hansel, “do not distress yourself, I will soon find a way to help us.” And when the old folks had fallen asleep, he got up, put on his little coat, opened the door below, and crept outside. The moon shone brightly, and the white pebbles which lay in front of the house glittered like real silver pennies. Hansel stooped and stuffed the little pocket of his coat with as many as he could get in. Then he went back and said to Gretel, “Be comforted, dear little sister, and sleep in peace, God will not forsake us,” and he lay down again in his bed.
When day dawned, but before the sun had risen, the woman came and awoke the two children, saying, “Get up, you sluggards. We are going into the forest to fetch wood.” She gave each a little piece of bread, and said, “There is something for your dinner, but do not eat it up before then, for you will get nothing else.” Gretel took the bread under her apron, as Hansel had the pebbles in his pocket. Then they all set out together on the way to the forest. When they had walked a short time, Hansel stood still and peeped back at the house, and did so again and again. His father said, “Hansel, what are you looking at there and staying behind for? Pay attention, and do not forget how to use your legs.” “Ah, father,” said Hansel, “I am looking at my little white cat, which is sitting up on the roof, and wants to say good-bye to me.” The wife said, “Fool, that is not your little cat, that is the morning sun which is shining on the chimneys.” Hansel, however, had not been looking back at the cat, but had been constantly throwing one of the white pebble-stones out of his pocket on the road. When they had reached the middle of the forest, the father said, “Now, children, pile up some wood, and I will light a fire that you may not be cold.” Hansel and Gretel gathered brushwood together, as high as a little hill. The brushwood was lighted, and when the flames were burning very high, the woman said, “Now, children, lay yourselves down by the fire and rest, we will go into the forest and cut some wood. When we have done, we will come back and fetch you away.” Hansel and Gretel sat by the fire, and when noon came, each ate a little piece of bread, and as they heard the strokes of the wood-axe they believed that their father was near. It was not the axe, however, but a branch which he had fastened to a withered tree which the wind was blowing backwards and forwards. And as they had been sitting such a long time, their eyes closed with fatigue, and they fell fast asleep. When at last they awoke, it was already dark night. Gretel began to cry and said, “How are we to get out of the forest now?” But Hansel comforted her and said, “Just wait a little, until the moon has risen, and then we will soon find the way.” And when the full moon had risen, Hansel took his little sister by the hand, and followed the pebbles which shone like newly-coined silver pieces, and showed them the way. They walked the whole night long, and by break of day came once more to their father’s house. They knocked at the door, and when the woman opened it and saw that it was Hansel and Gretel, she said, “You naughty children, why have you slept so long in the forest? We thought you were never coming back at all.” The father, however, rejoiced, for it had cut him to the heart to leave them behind alone. Not long afterwards, there was once more great dearth throughout the land, and the children heard their mother saying at night to their father: “Everything is eaten again, we have one half loaf left, and that is the end. The children must go, we will take them farther into the wood, so that they will not find their way out again. There is no other means of saving ourselves.” The man’s heart was heavy, and he thought, “It would be better for you to share the last mouthful with your children.” The woman, however, would listen to nothing that he had to say, but scolded and reproached him. He who says a must say b, likewise, and as he had yielded the first time, he had to do so a second time also. The children, however, were still awake and had heard the conversation. When the old folks were asleep, Hansel again got up, and wanted to go out and pick up pebbles as he had done before, but the woman had locked the door, and Hansel could not get out. Nevertheless he comforted his little sister, and said, “Do not cry, Gretel, go to sleep quietly, the good God will help us.” Early in the morning came the woman, and took the children out of their beds. Their piece of bread was given to them, but it was still smaller than the time before. On the way into the forest Hansel crumbled his in his pocket, and often stood still and threw a morsel on the ground. “Hansel, why do you stop and look round?” Said the father. “Go on.” “I am looking back at my little pigeon which is sitting on the roof, and wants to say good-bye to me, answered Hansel. “Fool.” Said the woman, “That is not your little pigeon, that is the morning sun that is shining on the chimney.” Hansel, however, little by little, threw all the crumbs on the path. The woman led the children still deeper into the forest, where they had never in their lives been before. Then a great fire was again made, and the mother said, “Just sit there, you children, and when you are tired you may sleep a little. We are going into the forest to cut wood, and in the evening when we are done, we will come and fetch you away.” When it was noon, Gretel shared her piece of bread with Hansel, who had scattered his by the way. Then they fell asleep and evening passed, but no one came to the poor children. They did not awake until it was dark night, and Hansel comforted his little sister and said, “Just wait, Gretel, until the moon rises, and then we shall see the crumbs of bread which I have strewn about, they will show us our way home again.” When the moon came they set out, but they found no crumbs, for the many thousands of birds which fly about in the woods and fields had picked them all up. Hansel said to Gretel, “We shall soon find the way.” But they did not find it. They walked the whole night and all the next day too from morning till evening, but they did not get out of the forest, and were very hungry, for they had nothing to eat but two or three berries, which grew on the ground. And as they were so weary that their legs would carry them no longer, they lay down beneath a tree and fell asleep. It was now three mornings since they had left their father’s house. They began to walk again, but they always came deeper into the forest, and if help did not come soon, they must die of hunger and weariness. When it was mid-day, they saw a beautiful snow-white bird sitting on a bough, which sang so delightfully that they stood still and listened to it. And when its song was over, it spread its wings and flew away before them, and they followed it until they reached a little house, on the roof of which it alighted. And when they approached the little house they saw that it was built of bread and covered with cakes, but that the windows were of clear sugar. “We will set to work on that,” said Hansel, “and have a good meal. I will eat a bit of the roof, and you Gretel, can eat some of the window, it will taste sweet.” Hansel reached up above, and broke off a little of the roof to try how it tasted, and Gretel leant against the window and nibbled at the panes. Then a soft voice cried from the parlor - “Nibble, nibble, gnaw who is nibbling at my little house?” The children answered - “The wind, the wind, the heaven-born wind,” and went on eating without disturbing themselves. Hansel, who liked the taste of the roof, tore down a great piece of it, and Gretel pushed out the whole of one round window-pane, sat down, and enjoyed herself with it. Suddenly the door opened, and a woman as old as the hills, who supported herself on crutches, came creeping out. Hansel and Gretel were so terribly frightened that they let fall what they had in their hands. The old woman, however, nodded her head, and said, “Oh, you dear children, who has brought you here? Do come in, and stay with me. No harm shall happen to you.” She took them both by the hand, and led them into her little house. Then good food was set before them, milk and pancakes, with sugar, apples, and nuts. Afterwards two pretty little beds were covered with clean white linen, and Hansel and Gretel lay down in them, and thought they were in heaven. The old woman had only pretended to be so kind. She was in reality a wicked witch, who lay in wait for children, and had only built the little house of bread in order to entice them there. When a child fell into her power, she killed it, cooked and ate it, and that was a feast day with her. Witches have red eyes, and cannot see far, but they have a keen scent like the beasts, and are aware when human beings draw near. When Hansel and Gretel came into her neighborhood, she laughed with malice, and said mockingly, “I have them, they shall not escape me again.” Early in the morning before the children were awake, she was already up, and when she saw both of them sleeping and looking so pretty, with their plump and rosy cheeks, she muttered to herself, that will be a dainty mouthful. Then she seized Hansel with her shrivelled hand, carried him into a little stable, and locked him in behind a grated door. Scream as he might, it would not help him. Then she went to Gretel, shook her till she awoke, and cried, “Get up, lazy thing, fetch some water, and cook something good for your brother, he is in the stable outside, and is to be made fat. When he is fat, I will eat him.” Gretel began to weep bitterly, but it was all in vain, for she was forced to do what the wicked witch commanded. And now the best food was cooked for poor Hansel, but Gretel got nothing but crab-shells. Every morning the woman crept to the little stable, and cried, “Hansel, stretch out your finger that I may feel if you will soon be fat.” Hansel, however, stretched out a little bone to her, and the old woman, who had dim eyes, could not see it, and thought it was Hansel’s finger, and was astonished that there was no way of fattening him. When four weeks had gone by, and Hansel still remained thin, she was seized with impatience and would not wait any longer. “Now, then, Gretel,” she cried to the girl, “stir yourself, and bring some water. Let Hansel be fat or lean, to-morrow I will kill him, and cook him.” Ah, how the poor little sister did lament when she had to fetch the water, and how her tears did flow down her cheeks. “Dear God, do help us,” she cried. “If the wild beasts in the forest had but devoured us, we should at any rate have died together.” “Just keep your noise to yourself,” said the old woman, “it won’t help you at all.” Early in the morning, Gretel had to go out and hang up the cauldron with the water, and light the fire. “We will bake first,” said the old woman, “I have already heated the oven, and kneaded the dough.” She pushed poor Gretel out to the oven, from which flames of fire were already darting. “Creep in,” said the witch, “and see if it properly heated, so that we can put the bread in.” And once Gretel was inside, she intended to shut the oven and let her bake in it, and then she would eat her, too. But Gretel saw what she had in mind, and said, “I do not know how I am to do it. How do I get in?” “Silly goose,” said the old woman, “the door is big enough. Just look, I can get in myself.” And she crept up and thrust her head into the oven. Then Gretel gave her a push that drove her far into it, and shut the iron door, and fastened the bolt. Oh. Then she began to howl quite horribly, but Gretel ran away, and the godless witch was miserably burnt to death. Gretel, however, ran like lightning to Hansel, opened his little stable, and cried, “Hansel, we are saved. The old witch is dead.” Then Hansel sprang like a bird from its cage when the door is opened. How they did rejoice and embrace each other, and dance about and kiss each other. And as they had no longer any need to fear her, they went into the witch’s house, and in every corner there stood chests full of pearls and jewels. “These are far better than pebbles.” Said Hansel, and thrust into his pockets whatever could be got in. And Gretel said, “I, too, will take something home with me,” and filled her pinafore full. “But now we must be off,” said Hansel, “that we may get out of the witch’s forest.” When they had walked for two hours, they came to a great stretch of water. “We cannot cross,” said Hansel, “I see no foot-plank, and no bridge. “And there is also no ferry,” answered Gretel, “but a white duck is swimming there. If I ask her, she will help us over.” Then she cried - “Little duck, little duck, dost thou see, Hansel and Gretel are waiting for thee. There’s never a plank, or bridge in sight, take us across on thy back so white.” The duck came to them, and Hansel seated himself on its back, and told his sister to sit by him. “No,” replied Gretel, “that will be too heavy for the little duck. She shall take us across, one after the other.” The good little duck did so, and when they were once safely across and had walked for a short time, the forest seemed to be more and more familiar to them, and at length they saw from afar their father’s house. Then they began to run, rushed into the parlor, and threw themselves round their father’s neck. The man had not known one happy hour since he had left the children in the forest. The woman, however, was dead. Gretel emptied her pinafore until pearls and precious stones ran about the room, and Hansel threw one handful after another out of his pocket to add to them. Then all anxiety was at an end, and they lived together in perfect happiness. My tale is done, there runs a mouse, whosoever catches it, may make himself a big fur cap out of it.