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Stories To Read Or Tell From Fairy Tales And Folklore Part 15

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"When I was younger I roamed about hunting and playing games. Once while away from home, I lost the key to a valuable chest. After a new key was made I found the old one. Which of the two keys should be kept, the old one or the new one?"

The King of Loch Lein looked puzzled, but he answered promptly:

"Keep the old one by all means, for it will fit better and you are more accustomed to it."

"I thank you for your sound advice," continued the prince with a smile.

"Yellow Lily, the daughter of the Giant of Loch Lein, is the old key to my heart, and I will wed no other girl. Your daughter, the princess, is the new key that has never been tried. She is only my father's guest, and no more; but she will be better for having attended my happy wedding in Erin."



Great astonishment of both royal families and their guests when the prince took Yellow Lily by the hand and led her to a seat beside him. But when the musicians began to play a brilliant air, the palace re-echoed from tower to dungeon with joyous shouts of "Long live the Prince of Erin and his future bride, Yellow Lily of Loch Lein!"

THE MOUSE, THE BIRD, AND THE SAUSAGE

Once upon a time, a Mouse, a Bird, and a Sausage, entered into partnership and set up house together. For a long time all went well; they lived in great comfort, and prospered so far as to be able to add considerably to their stores. The Bird's duty was to fly daily into the wood and bring in fuel; the Mouse fetched the water, and the Sausage saw to the cooking.

When people are too well off they always begin to long for something new.

And so it came to pa.s.s, that the Bird while out one day, met a fellow-bird, to whom he told of the excellence of his household arrangements. But the other Bird sneered at him for being a poor simpleton, who did all the hard work while the other two stayed at home and had a good time of it. For, when the Mouse had made the fire and fetched in the water, she could retire into her little room and rest until it was time to set the table. The Sausage had only to watch the pot to see that the food was properly cooked, and when it was near dinnertime, he just threw himself into the broth, or rolled in and out among the vegetables three or four times, and there they were, b.u.t.tered and salted, and ready to be served. Then, when the Bird came home and had laid aside his burden, they sat down to table, and when they had finished their meal, they could sleep their fill till the following morning: and that was really a very delightful life.

[Ill.u.s.tration: The bird tells the others it is time to make a change.]

Influenced by these remarks, the Bird next morning refused to bring in the wood, telling the others that he had been their servant long enough, and had been a fool into the bargain, and that it was now time to make a change, and to try some other way of arranging the work. Beg and pray as the Mouse and the Sausage might, it was of no use; the Bird remained the master of the situation, and the venture had to be made. They therefore drew lots, and it fell to the Sausage to bring in the wood, to the Mouse to cook, and to the Bird to fetch the water.

And now what happened? The Sausage started in search of wood, the Bird made the fire, and the Mouse put on the pot, and then these two waited till the Sausage returned with the fuel for the following day. But the Sausage remained so long away, that they became uneasy, and the Bird flew out to meet him. He had not flown far, however, when he came across a Dog who, having met the Sausage, had regarded him as his legitimate booty, and so seized and swallowed him. The Bird complained to the Dog of this bare-faced robbery, but nothing he said was of any avail, for the Dog answered that he had found false credentials on the Sausage, and that was the reason his life had been forfeited.

The Bird picked up the wood and flew sadly home, and told the Mouse all he had seen and heard. They were both very unhappy but agreed to make the best of things and to remain with one another.

So now the Bird set the table, and the Mouse looked after the food, and wishing to prepare it in the same way as the Sausage, by rolling in and out among the vegetables to salt and b.u.t.ter them, she jumped into the pot; but she stopped short long before she reached the bottom, having already parted not only with her skin and hair, but also with life.

Presently the Bird came in and wanted to serve up the dinner, but he could nowhere see the cook. In his alarm and flurry, he threw the wood here and there about the floor, called and searched, but no cook was to be found.

Then some of the wood that had been carelessly thrown down, caught fire and began to blaze. The Bird hastened to fetch some water, but his pail fell into the well, and he after it, and as he was unable to recover himself, he was drowned.

THE TALE OF THE WOLF IN HARNESS

The horse carried me well. Advancing into the interior parts of Russia, I found traveling on horseback rather unfashionable in winter; therefore I submitted, as I always do, to the custom of the country, took a single-horse sledge, and drove briskly towards St. Petersburg. I do not exactly recollect whether it was in Eastland or Jugemanland, but I remember that in the midst of a dreary forest, I spied a terrible wolf making after me, with all the speed of ravenous winter hunger. He soon overtook me.

There was no possibility of escape. Mechanically I laid myself down flat in the sledge, and let my horse run for our safety. What I wished, but hardly hoped or expected, happened immediately after. The wolf did not mind me in the least, but took a leap over me, and falling furiously on the horse, began instantly to tear and devour the hind part of the poor animal, which ran the faster for his pain and terror. Thus unnoticed and safe myself, I lifted my head slyly up, and with horror I beheld that the wolf had ate his way into the horse's body; it was not long before he had fairly forced himself into it, when I took my advantage, and fell upon him with the b.u.t.t-end of my whip. This unexpected attack in his rear frightened him so much, that he leaped forward with all his might; the horse's carca.s.s dropped on the ground; but in his place the wolf was in harness, and I on my part whipping him continually, we both arrived in full career safe at St. Petersburg, contrary to our respective expectations, and very much to the astonishment of the spectators.

[Ill.u.s.tration: "We both arrived in full career--"]

THE END

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Stories To Read Or Tell From Fairy Tales And Folklore Part 15 summary

You're reading Stories To Read Or Tell From Fairy Tales And Folklore. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Laure Claire Foucher. Already has 700 views.

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