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Only a fool will despise what he cannot get for himself.
LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD
Once upon a time there was a little girl who was very pretty and very good. Her mother and her grandmother loved her dearly. Her grandmother made her a warm red cloak with a hood and everyone called her Little Red Riding-Hood.
One day her mother made some cakes and said to her: "Go to your grandmother's house. She has not been well. Take her the cakes, and some milk and butter".
So Little Red Riding-Hood went at once to see her grandmother, who lived in another village.
She walked through the woods and met a big wolf on her way. He wanted to eat her right away, but he was afraid of the woodcutters. They were working somewhere nearby. But he asked her where she was going. The little girl did not know it was dangerous to talk to a wolf, so she said:
"I am going to my grandmother, to take her some cakes, some milk and a little butter. My grandmother is not very well."
"Does she live far?" asked the wolf.
"She lives in the village. You can see it from here. Her house is the first house in the village."
The wolf said nothing. But he decided to run fast and get to the house before Little Red Riding-Hood.
The wolf got there quickly and knocked at the door.
"Who is there?" asked the grandmother.
"Little Red Riding-Hood, granny dear", said the wolf. He made his voice as soft as he could.
The grandmother was in bed. She called out: "Pull the string, my dear, and the door will open".
The wolf pulled the string. He ran up to the bed and swallowed the poor woman up. He was very, very hungry.
He did not feel very well after such a heavy dinner. He put on one of grandmother's caps and got into her bed.
By and by Little Red Riding-Hood came and knocked at the door.
"Who is there?" asked a rough voice.
The little girl was frightened. But she thought her granny had a cold. She answered:
"It is me, Little Red Riding-Hood. I have brought you some cakes, a little butter and some milk. My Mother sent it".
The "wolf made his voice as soft as he could and said: "Pull the string, my dear, and the door will open."
Little Red Riding-Hood did as she was told. Then she put her basket on the table and went up to her grandmother. She thought her grandmother looked very strange. She said:
"Granny, dear, what long arms you have!"
"They help me to hug you better, my child!"
"Oh, granny! What great ears you have!"
"They help me to hear you better, my child!"
"Granny, dear! What great eyes you have!"
"They help me to see you better, my child!"
"Oh! granny, granny! What great teeth your have!"
"They will help me to eat you, my child!"
And the bad wolf jumped out of bed and caught Little Red Riding-Hood.
The little girl cried out for help. At that very moment the woodcutters were going by. They rushed in, saved the little girl, and killed the wolf. When they opened him up, what do you think they found inside him? The grandmother! She was alive, but very frightened. You see, the wolf had swallowed her all in one piece!
ONCE UPON A TIME
Once upon a time a little girl went into a wood near her Father's palace. She was a little Princess. She sat down near a pool of cool, clear water. She began to throw a golden ball in the air. Then she caught it, as it fell. Suddenly the ball fell into the pool.
The Princess began to cry bitterly. "Oh! oh!", she said, "I would give everything I have to get my golden ball back".
All of a sudden a big green frog stuck its head out of the pool and asked: "Why do you cry so bitterly, pretty little girl?"
"My golden ball has fallen into the pool", said the Princess, "And I cannot get it. That is why I am crying".
"I heard you said that you will give everything you have to get your golden ball", said the frog in its froggy voice. "I do not want anything from you. But if you will take me to live with you in the palace, I will bring you your golden ball. You will also let me eat from your gold plate and sleep on your little white bed".
The Princess looked at the frog. "What a silly frog!" she thought. "It cannot get out of the pool. It cannot climb up the steps of the palace. But, maybe, it can bring me my golden ball, so I shall promise him everything he wants." And she said to the frog:
"If you bring me my golden ball you can come and live at the palace".
The frog jumped at once into the water. Then it came back with the golden ball in its mouth. It put the ball on the ground and the Princess picked it up. She was very happy. She ran home very fast. She did not even say "Thank you" to the frog.
Next day, when the Princess was having dinner, she heard a funny noise 'flop', 'flop', 'flop', then a funny voice said:
"Beautiful Princess, open your door.
I shall come in and go out no more.
Have you forgotten the promise you made
By the clear, cool pool in the oak tree shade?"
The Princess ran to open the door. There, at her feet, sat the frog! She was so frightened when she saw it! It sat there, all fat and green, and tried to smile with its ugly mouth.
"Who is it, daughter?" asked the King. "What has frightened you so?"
"There is an ugly frog at the door," said the Princess, "and it wants to come in. Yesterday I dropped my golden ball in the pool and the frog got it for me. I told it that it could come and live here, and play with me. I did not think it would come."
The King listened carefully. Then he said: "People must never, never, break their word. They must always tell the truth. You must never break your word! Let the frog come in".
So the Princess opened the door. The frog came 'flop', 'flop', 'flop' into the room and up to her chair.
"I want to sit on the table near you", it said to the Princess in its froggy voice. "Put me there". The Princess picked the frog up and put it on the table. "Now", said the frog "push your plate close to me. I want to eat." The Princess pushed the plate close to the frog, and it began to eat. After dinner the frog said: "I am tired and I am sleepy. Carry me to your room and put me on your little white bed".
So the Princess took the frog in her fingers and carried it to her room. She put it on her little white bed and went to bed herself. Suddenly the frog came up quite close to her. The Princess was frightened. She cried out and pushed it away. It fell on the floor and then there was no more frog. In its place stood a nice young boy. He looked at her with grateful eyes.
"Who are you? Where is the frog?" cried the Princess.
"An old witch changed me into a frog, because she was angry with my Mother and Father. I had to be a frog, until a Princess allowed me to eat from her plate and rest on her bed. So now, thanks to you, I am free from the spell of the old witch".
The boy, who was a Prince, went back to his own country. Some years later, when the Princess grew up, he came to visit her with his Father and Mother. They married and lived happily together.
The Princess always remembered what her Father had told her: "People must never break their word". She taught her children to be kind to animals, to tell the truth always, and to never break their word.
THE BREMEN TOWN MUSICIANS
Once upon a time a man had a Donkey. The Donkey had served him well for many years, but now it was very old. The man began to think how he could get rid of the Donkey. The Donkey decided that he better leave his master and he ran away. He ran along the road to the town of Bremen.
"I shall be a town musician there", he thought.
Suddenly he saw a Dog lying by the side of the road.
"Why are you gasping?" asked the Donkey.
"Ah," replied the Dog, "every day now I grow older. I cannot hunt with my master any more. So he wants to get rid of me. I ran away and now I do not know how to earn my bread".
"Well," said the Donkey, "I am going to the town of Bremen. I shall be a town musician and play on the lute. Come along and beat the drums."
The dog thought it was a fine idea. So they went off together.
A little while later they saw a Cat in the middle of the road. It had a terribly sad face!
"Dear me," said the Donkey. "What has happened to you, old thing, to make you look so sad?"
"My mistress is angry that I do not want to catch mice any more. She says she will drown me. So I ran away. But now I do not know what to do."
"Come to Bremen with us", said the Donkey. "You are good at night music, so you can be a town musician, too."
So the Cat went with them.
The three future musicians soon came up to a farm. There they saw a Cock, sitting upon the gate. The Cock was crowing with all his might.
"What is the matter with you, Friend Cock?" asked the Donkey. "Why do you crow so loud?"
"My mistress has invited many people for dinner on* Sunday", said the cock sadly. "She has told the cook to make me into soup. So I crow as loud as I can now. Because after Sunday I will not crow any more!"
"Come along with us, Friend Cock", said the Donkey. "We are going to Bremen. Your fine voice is just what we need. We are going to be the town musicians".
The Cock was very pleased with the idea. So all four went along together. They stopped for the night in the forest.
The Donkey and the Dog lay down under a tree. The Cat climbed into the branches. The Cock flew right up to the top of the tree. From there he looked around and saw a light in the distance. He called out to his friends and told them they were not far from a house.
The Donkey said, "Let us go there. It is very cold out here in the forest".
They agreed and went towards the light. They soon came to a cottage; this was well-lighted and there was a lot of singing and laughing inside. The Donkey went up to the window and peeped in.
"What do you see, Gray-sides?" asked the Cock. "I see a table laid with meat and drinks. Around it the robbers are sitting and having a good time".
"That is just what we need", said the Cock.
"Oh! yes, I do wish we could he there", said the Donkey.
Then the musicians thought of a plan to frighten the robbers and make them go away.
The Donkey stood up on his hind legs and put his forefeet on the window-sill, the Dog climbed on his back, the Cat climbed on the Dog's back and the Cock flew up to the very top of the group and perched on the head of the Cat.
The Donkey brayed, the Dog barked, the Cat mewed, and the Cock crowed!
They made a terrific noise and finally broke the window panes and fell into the room.
The robbers were so frightened that they ran away into the forest. The four friends sat down at the table and ate up everything that was on it.
Then the Donkey lay down on some straw in the yard. The Dog went to sleep behind the door. The Cat made itself comfortable near the stove. The Cock flew up to the roof. They were all very tired and went to sleep very soon.
At midnight the robbers saw from the forest that the lights were out in their house. So the captain sent one of his men to examine the house.
The man entered the house and found everything quiet there. He went into the kitchen to light the stove. Then the Cat jumped at him, scratching and spitting. The man got terribly frightened and ran to the back door. The Dog that was lying there, sprang up and bit his leg. Then the man ran across the yard; he passed near the Donkey, and Gray-sides gave him a terrific kick. The Cock awoke and cried
"Cock-a-doodle-doo" as loud as he could.
The robber ran back to the Captain and said: "Master! there is a horrible thing in the house that spits and scratches. There is a man near the door, who cut my leg with a sharp knife. In the yard there is a great monster who beat me with a heavy stick. On the roof sits the judge, who called out 'Bring the rogue up, do!' So I ran as fast as I could".
Of course the robbers never went near the house again. This was just fine for the four town musicians of Bremen, who liked the house so much that they decided to live there always. And there they are still, as happy as they can be.
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