johndhalsted:

In the run-up to Christmas, our busiest period, I wonder if Kobo will adopt the Christmas spirit of giving and come clean with just how much they have retained, or should that be stolen, for themselves.

Originally posted on Folklore and Fairytales:

A while ago I registered with Kobo books to make our fundraising books available as eBooks. Kobo then “did the dirty” and decided that they are entitled to the greater share of the profits (70%), much in the same way as Amazon does. When I challenged them on why they have done this and why they believe they have the right to this money and not the charities we raise funds for, I received no reply - not from the CEO nor the FD.

I then “upped the ante” and Kobo responded by closing my account but did not remove the books I had listed with them.

Kobo are now not advising me of any sales and I have to conclude that they are retaining the funds for themselves.

My response is PLEASE DO NOT BUY books or eBooks from Kobo.

Rakuten owns Kobo. Please tweet Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani…

View original 26 more words

ONCE upon a time, a wise raven lived in the top of the Giralda, the Moorish bell tower of the cathedral in Seville, Spain. The raven was old, so old that his head was not black, but gray. The tower, too, is old, and is crowned by the large, bronze figure of Faith which serves as a weather vane. For four centuries, el Girandello, the weather vane, has turned with the wind; and it was four centuries ago, that the raven was living in the tower. All day, he would sit on his perch, with his learned head cocked on one side as he sleepily studied the stonework of the belfry, or alertly discussed weighty matters with his bird comrades and with the wind. At night, he was often deep in talk with his special friend, the owl, who, when tired of roaming through the tops of the giant palm trees or of prowling into out-of-the-way nooks in the cathedral roof, liked to tell of his adventures. For, in night wanderings, the owl sometimes flew near the quiet Guadalquiver which flowed by Seville, and he heard the river murmur tales of the Tower of Gold on its bank; or he peered into the gardens of the Alcazar where Spanish kings had long had their palace, and heard, from the moonbeams, tales which, when repeated, made even the raven’s sober thoughts turn sprightly. What the raven liked best to hear was what the owl, or any one else, could tell of the Giralda itself or of the mighty Cathedral below the tower. For the raven cared for nothing in the world so much as he cared for this tall tower, up whose winding passage, of three hundred feet, men had ridden on horseback, almost to the very top. Yes, with his own eyes he had seen those riders. Before the days of the riders, in the time when the bells of the Giralda summoned the Moors to prayer, there had been, on the spire, four large, gilded, copper balls that shone like golden apples. After an earthquake had thrown down the copper balls, el Girandello was placed on the top of the dome. The raven considered himself the owner of el Girandello and, in truth, of all the Giralda. Who, but himself, had perched on the sills of the twin windows that looked out, high in the tower, over the white-roofed Seville? Who, but himself, had stood upon the helmet on the head of el Girandello? Not the owl!–the raven saw to that! And not another bird of his acquaintance, surely! He knew himself to be the oldest raven in the world; he knew himself to be the wisest raven in the world;–and he certainly owned the whole of the Giralda!

The raven, in short, was entirely satisfied with his belfry and its bells. It was a rectangular belfry, and on the four faces of the rectangular stage, high up, were inscribed the four words: Turris . . . Fortissima . . . Nomen . . . Domini1 The great bells, each christened with holy oil, had their own names. There were Santa Maria and San Juan; there was la Gorda, or The Fat; there was brave San Miguel; there was el Cantor, or The Singer; and there was many another. At times, the bells rang softly through the still air that hovered over the flat-roofed city. At other times, they rang out with such noisy clamor that the vibration penetrated the houses farthest away, and the raven of the Giralda clung to his stone perch as closely as the leaves of the cocoa tree cling to their twigs. The raven liked el Cantor better than all the other bells. He couldn’t sing a note himself, but he liked this singing bell, with its especially clear tone. On spring evenings when the fragrance of orange blossoms and acacias filled the air, The Singer would peal forth such a glad note that the people down in the street would say, “El Cantor is feeling fine tonight”; and the raven, up in the tower, would croak loudly with him, though he never croaked with any other bell.

Now it happened that the wind, even more than the owl, was a friend of the raven. This was not only because the wind was usually a gentle, lovable, sunny-hearted fellow, but because he was always around the tower, day and night, whereas the owl hid all day.

RAVEN OF THE GIRALDA - Raven Ringing the Bell

When the raven felt like talking, the wind was always on hand to listen. That was a friend worth having! The wind, too, often told capital stories.

One afternoon, the wind told the raven an astonishing tale. The wind had it from the owl who, in turn, had it from the passarinno–that small, gray bird who sings like an angel. To this passarinno, the story had come down from his ancestor, of a much earlier time. That ancestor had told it to the wind of his day, who wafted it to the ears of King Alfonso, the Sage. Perhaps, in the later days, it had grown by traveling (passarinno to owl, owl to wind, wind to raven); for, when Alfonso, in the thirteenth century, wrote the tale in his big book of Cantigas, it wasn’t just like the passarinno’s story to the owl three centuries later. Would you like to hear the tale? Anyone may hear it. To believe the tale as it should be believed, and to understand it aright, you must be able to know the power of melodious sounds, as truly as the blind organist of Seville Cathedral knew that power. If you do not know anything about the music of the trees, or the music of the birds, or the music of the air, you may as well stop reading this story and gather nuts instead. Listen to the tale, if you will; here it is, as the wind told it to the raven.

“For, sir,” began the wind,” it was a passarinno who told the owl and the owl told me. The owl had been praising the voice of the passarinno, but the passarinno protested and said,

‘My voice is nothing compared to the voice of my ancestress–the passarinna 2 who entranced the monk.’ Now, pray, explain your words,’ said the owl. The passarinno answered, pleasantly, ‘Sit comfortably and I will tell you all.’ They were in the garden of the Alcazar and were perched on a tall cocoa tree. The owl settled himself on a wide, sweeping leaf, and the passarinno perched himself on a leaf above.

‘My ancestress,’ the passarinno went on, ‘was the most marvelous singer ever known. Her home was in the garden, just outside the Court of Oranges beside the Giralda, and when she was singing she would look up at the tower. But she rarely was heard by anyone, because she chose to live in the unfrequented part of the great garden. One morning a monk came, very slowly, along the path that led to the shrubbery where the passarinna lived, and my ancestress knew at once three things about that monk: first, that he was good; second, that he was old; third, that he was weary. The monk sat down, rather heavily, beside the fountain that was sending a cool, orange-scented, shimmering spray of water into the air. Leaning over the edge of the pool, he bathed his hands in the clear water and bathed his face. The passarinna could plainly see how refreshing, to the tired monk, the water felt; for there came into his face a look like the look on a parched tree when a shower renews it. The weary lines on the monk’s brow passed away, as cloud-bars vanish from the evening sky, leaving fairness and tranquillity. He sat, for some time, with a smile on his face, looking up at the tree tops and at the Giralda beyond. Then, kneeling down–and his knees were not as stiff as when he entered the garden–he prayed aloud that he might be permitted to know what the happiness of Paradise would be like. It was at that moment the passarinna–marvelous ancestress of mine–began to sing.

RAVEN OF THE GIRALDA - The Monk rose from his knees

‘The monk rose from his knees, and, with a smile on his face, seated himself in the thickest part of the shrubbery, where he could see the passarinna and where the passarinna could see him. That bird of birds sang on and on, now softly, now triumphantly, now wistfully, now ecstatically. There was such charm in her singing, all the leaves forgot to rustle. There was such charm in the melody, the water in the fountain ceased moving–the breezy air was hushed and wondering–the day faded imperceptibly into night, and the stars came nearer earth to hear the song. Still the passarinna sang on and on and on. Still the monk listened happily, with an exalted look in his eyes, and was unaware of the passing of hours or of days. As the passarinna continued her heavenly song, time itself stopped, though life went on. . . . The monk listened, listened in rapture, while joyous satisfaction held his whole being . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

RAVEN OF THE GIRALDA - There came to the door of the monastery

‘Late one afternoon,’ went on the passarinno, ‘there came to the door of the monastery near the Giralda, an aged, worn-looking man, long-bearded, and in shabby monk’s dress. The prior himself answered his knock and said, “Who are you, poor stranger, and what do you want?”

‘The monk stammered in much confusion, “Good father, I belong here . . . I left the monastery this morning for a walk. . . . I come back–all is changed. I do not understand. The trees look different . . . the monastery is larger . . . you are not my prior . . . nothing is the same. Where am I? . . . What has happened since morning? . .

I heard a bird sing, and I was so entranced with the song I may have stayed away too long.”

‘The prior and the brother monks who had now come to the door looked at one another in surprise, and said, in low tones, “He is evidently not himself. . . . The man does not know what he says.”

‘The prior then spoke to the man, kindly, saying, “What is your name?”

“I am Brother Jubilo,” the monk replied; “I mean, . . . he stammered, “that was my name in the monastery . . . that was what I was called this morning.”

‘The oldest monk among those at the door now looked thoughtful. It was to him that the others always turned whenever any knowledge of the past was wanted. “Attend my words,” he suddenly said to the prior. “Three hundred years ago a brother monk, named Jubilo, wandered off and was never again seen. My Father–my brother monks—I am of the opinion that we have before us, this day, a true marvel! I am sure this poor monk and that Jubilo, of three hundred years ago, are the same!”

‘Then the prior, believing, took the monk warmly by the hand and brought him into the monastery, and all rejoiced.’

‘That, ‘said the passarinno to the owl, ‘is the story of my ancestress, the passarinna of long ago. The Giralda knows I speak truth.’

And the wind, as he finished the tale, remarked, “That’s all the story, sir; but the passarinno does speak truth.”

“Truth it is,” replied the raven, “and I’ll keep the story going.”

Then the sunny wind brushed the tail feathers of the raven and blew along his leisurely way, through the streets of Seville.

The raven sat stolidly in his niche, gazing with keen eyes at the city spread out below the Giralda–its flat-roofed houses gleaming in soft colours, from blue and gray to palest pink. He watched the women watering their carnations on the roofs. He saw the motionless, dusky Guadalquiver, in the late afternoon light. His eyes followed the group of boys coming to the Cathedral to practice their solemn dance. Turning his wise, old head, he looked toward the gardens of the Alcazar, then down at the Court of Oranges, and at the roof of the vast Cathedral below him–its parapets, and buttresses. His roving gaze went all over the city until sundown. The bells of the Giralda sent out their evening peal, and el Cantor’s vibrating tone fell softly on the waiting breeze. The raven sturdily croaked, croaked, until el Cantor stopped singing; then, humping himself into a ball, he tucked his head under his feathers and went to sleep.

RAVEN OF THE GIRALDA - The Raven Sings

From: TOWER LEGENDS

ISBN: 9781907256349

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/tower-legends_p27279490.htm

Also available as an eBook in PDF and ePub

Footnotes

1 The name of the Lord a most steadfast tower.

2 Passarinna (the feminine form of passarinno) is the diminutive of the Old Spanish pasara (in modern Spanish, pajara). The nearest equivalent today is Passerina (sparrow), the painted finch.

Raven of the Giralda - Sevilla_La_Giralda

Here’s something that might interest you……

For more than half a century, America’s vast literary culture has been disparately policed, and imperceptibly contained, by state and corporate entities well placed and perfectly equipped to wipe out wayward writings. As America does not ban books, other means—less obvious, and so less controversial—have been deployed to vaporize them. The purpose of Forbidden Bookshelf is to bring such disappeared books back to life so that readers may finally learn what those in power did not want anyone to know.

By looking deep into the darker trends and episodes in US history, these brave works help show how America became the land it is today, and how we might start to change it.

 

http://www.openroadmedia.com/forbidden-bookshelf

forbidden Bookshelf

 

THE MAIDEN OF THE MILKY WAY

 

THE stars shine down!

The Northern Lights flash over the sky,

and the Milky Way glows white!

Listen to the song of the Wizard

of the Crystal-Lighted Cavern!

 

AH! BEAUTIFUL was Linda the lovely daughter of Uko. She showed all the skypaths to the little birds, when they came flocking home in the springtime or flew away in autumn. She cared as gently and tenderly for the little birds, as a mother cares for her children. And just as a flower bespangled with a thousand drops of dew shines and smiles in the morning sunshine, so Linda shone while caring for her little winged ones.

Thus it was no wonder that all the world loved Linda. Every youth wished her for his bride, and crowds of suitors came to woo her.

In a handsome coach with six brown horses, the Pole Star drove up, and brought ten gifts. But Linda sent him away, with hurried words:

“You always have to stay in the same place. You cannot move about,” said she.

Then came the Moon in a silver coach drawn by ten brown horses. He brought her twenty gifts. But Linda refused the Moon, saying:

“You change your looks too often. You run in your same old way. You do not suit me.

Hardly had the Moon driven sorrowfully off, before the Sun drove up. In a golden coach with twenty red-gold horses, he rattled up to the door. He brought thirty presents with him. But all his pomp, shining splendor, and fine gifts did not help him. Linda said:

“I do not want you. You are like the Moon. Day after day you run in the same street.”

So the Sun went away sorrowful.

Then at midnight, in a diamond coach drawn by a thousand white horses, came the Northern Lights. His coming was so magnificent, that Linda ran to the door to meet him. A whole coach-load of gold, silver, pearls and jewelled ornaments, the servants of the Northern Lights carried into the house and his gifts pleased her, and she let him woo her.

“You do not always travel in the same course,” said Linda. “You flash where you will, and stop when you please. Each time you appear robed in new beauty and richness, and wear each time a different garment. And each time you ride about in a new coach with new horses. You are the true bridegroom!”

Then they celebrated their betrothal. But the Sun, Moon, and Pole Star looked sadly on. They envied the Northern Lights his happiness.

The Northern Lights could not stay long in the bride’s house, for he had to hurry back to the sky. When he said farewell, he promised to return soon for the wedding, and to drive Linda back with him to his home in the North. Meanwhile, they were to prepare Linda’s bridal garments.

Linda made her bridal robes, and waited and waited. One day followed the other, but the bridegroom did not come to hold the joyous wedding with his beloved. The winter passed, and the lovely spring adorned the earth with fresh beauty, while Linda waited in vain for her bridegroom. Nothing was seen of him!

Then she began to grieve bitterly and lament, and to sorrow day and night. She put on her bridal robes and white veil, and set the wreath on her head, and sat down in a meadow by a river. From her thousand tears little brooks ran into the valleys. In her deep heart-felt sorrow she thought only of her bridegroom.

The little birds flew tenderly about her head, brushing her with their soft wings, to comfort her. But she did not see them, nor did she take care of them anymore. So the little birds wandered about, flying here, flying there, for they did not know what to do or where to go.

Uko, Linda’s father, heard of her sorrow and how the little birds were untended. He ordered his Winds to fetch his daughter to him, to rescue her from such deep grief. And while Linda was sitting alone in the meadow weeping and lamenting, the Winds sank softly down beside her, and gently lifting her, bore her up and away. They laid her down in the blue sky.

And there is Linda now, dwelling in a sky-tent. Her white bridal veil spreads round her. And if you look up at the Milky Way, you will see Linda in her bridal robes. There she is, showing the way to little birds who wander.

Linda is happy! In winter she gazes towards the North. She waves her hand at the Northern Lights flashing nearer and nearer, then he again asks her to be his bride.

But though he flashes very close to Linda, heart to heart, he cannot carry her off. She must stay forever in the sky, robed in white, and must spread out her veil to make the Milky Way.

 

From: Wonder Tales of Baltic Wizards [1928]

ISBN: 9781907256585

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/wonder-tales-from-baltic-wizards

Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards - Cover

Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards – Cover

On this day in 1895, the Delagoa Bay (Maputo, Mozambique) Railway opened in South-Africa by President Paul Kruger. The link connected the Transvaal (Boer) Republic with the coast without having to go through the British controlled ports of Port Natal (Durban) or Cape Town.

 

As such we bring you a South African folktale of heroism during the “Groot Trek” (Great Trek) inland from the Cape Colony. This story occurred in about 1843 approximately 50 years before the Boer Wars (yes, plural, there were 2 Boer Wars)……..

 

Rachel de Beer (1831–1843) (sometimes known by the diminutive form, Racheltjie) is an Afrikaner heroine who gave her life in order to save that of her brother. She was the daughter of George Stephanus de Beer (b. 1794).

 

The fable goes that in the winter months of 1843 Rachel was part of a trek from the Orange Free State to the south-eastern Transvaal. During one of their nightly stopovers, the members of the trek realised that a calf called Frikkie, much-beloved by their children, was missing.

 

A search party was formed, in which Rachel and her six-year old brother also took part. However, during the gathering dusk Rachel and her brother got separated from the search party and became lost. As the night progressed it got very cold and started snowing.

 

Realising that their chances of survival were slim, Rachel found an abandoned anthill, hollowed out by an aardvark, took off her clothes, put them on her brother and commanded him to get into the hollowed-out anthill. She then lay in front of the opening of the anthill in order to keep out the cold.

 

The children were found the next morning by the trekking party. Rachel was dead, but her brother had survived.

 

Note: The story of Rachel de Beer is entrenched in the Afrikaner culture, which is evident by the number of streets and schools named after her.

A while ago I registered with Kobo books to make our fundraising books available as eBooks. Kobo then “did the dirty” and decided that they are entitled to the greater share of the profits (70%), much in the same way as Amazon does. When I challenged them on why they have done this and why they believe they have the right to this money and not the charities we raise funds for, I received no reply - not from the CEO nor the FD.

I then “upped the ante” and Kobo responded by closing my account but did not remove the books I had listed with them.

Kobo are now not advising me of any sales and I have to conclude that they are retaining the funds for themselves.

My response is PLEASE DO NOT BUY books or eBooks from Kobo.

Rakuten owns Kobo. Please tweet Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani @hmikitani_e asking why Kobo needs this money more than charities?

Please also help bring pressure to bear on Kobo Books by sharing this with your friends.

The cry of “STOP THE WAR” is not new. It was happening as far back as 1900…..

1886 – gold had been discovered in South Africa and the dominant nation on earth wanted it! Sound familiar…..?

The Boer War (1899 – 1902) was but a dress-rehearsal for WWI – when forces from across the world were mobilised to ensure that a precious commodity “stayed in the right hands”.

But just as soldiers who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan have written poetry about the conflict, so too did soldiers who fought in the Boer War. This volume contains 26 poems about the conflict, the men and the leaders from both sides.

Download your free copy at http://abelapublishing.com/boer-war-lyrics–a-free-ebook_p26851983.htm

Boer War Lyrics cover wpersp

THERE was once a king, who was very old; but he had three grown-up sons. So he called them to him, and said:

“My dear sons, I am very old, and the cares of government press heavily upon me. I must therefore give them over to one of you. But as it is the law among us, that no unmarried prince may be King, I wish you all to get married, and whoever chooses the best wife shall be my successor.”

So they determined each to go a different way, and settled it thus. They went to the top of a very high tower, and each one at a given signal shot an arrow in a different direction to the others. Wherever their arrows fell they were to go in search of their future wives.

The eldest prince’s arrow fell on a palace in the city, where lived a senator, who had a beautiful daughter; so he went there, and married her.

The second prince’s arrow struck upon a country-house, where a very pretty young lady, the daughter of a rich gentleman, was sitting; so he went there, and proposed to her, and they were married.

But the youngest prince’s arrow shot through a green wood, and fell into a lake. He saw his arrow floating among the reeds, and a frog sitting thereon, looking fixedly at him.

But the marshy ground was so unsafe that he could not venture upon it; so he sat down in despair.

“What is the matter, prince?” asked the frog.

“What is the matter? Why, I cannot reach that arrow on which you are sitting.”

“Take me for your wife, and I will give it to you.”

“But how can you be my wife, little frog?”

“That is just what has got to be. You know that you shot your arrow from the tower, thinking that where it fell, you would find a loving wife; so you will have her in me.”

“You are very wise, I see, little frog. But tell me, how can I marry you, or introduce you to my father? And what will the world say?”

“Take me home with you, and let nobody see me. Tell them that you have married an Eastern lady, who must not be seen by any man, except her husband, nor even by another woman.”

The prince considered a little. The arrow had now floated to the margin of the lake; he took the arrow from the little frog, put her in his pocket, carried her home, and then went to bed, sighing very deeply.

Next morning the king was told that all his sons had got married; so he called them all together, and said:

“Well children, are you all pleased with your wives?”

“Very pleased indeed, father and king.”

“Well, we shall see who has chosen best. Let each of my daughters-in-law weave me a carpet by to-morrow, and the one whose carpet is the most beautiful shall be queen.”

The elder princes hastened at once to their ladies; but the youngest, when he reached home, was in despair.

“What is the matter, prince?” asked the frog.

“What is the matter? My father has ordered that each of his daughters-in-law shall weave him a carpet, and the one whose carpet proves the most beautiful shall be first in rank. My brothers’ wives are most likely working at their looms already. But you, little frog, although you can give back an arrow, and talk like a human being, will not be able to weave a carpet, as far as I can see.”

“Don’t be afraid,” she said; “go to sleep, and before you wake the carpet shall be ready.”

So he lay down, and went to sleep.

But the little frog stood on her hind-legs in the window and sang:

“Ye breezes that blow, ye winds that sigh,

Come hither on airy wing;

And all of you straight to my dwelling hie,

And various treasures bring.

Two fleeces I crave of the finest wool,

And of the loveliest flowers a basketful;

From the depths of the ocean bring sands of gold,

And pearl-drops of lustre manifold;

That so I may fashion a carpet bright,

Adorned with fair flow’rets and gems of light,

And weave it in one short day and night,

When my true love’s hands must the treasure hold.”

 

There was a gentle murmur of the breezes, and from the sunbeams descended seven lovely maidens, who floated into the room, carrying baskets of various coloured wools, pearls, and flowers. They curtsied deeply to the little frog, and in a few minutes they wove a wonderfully beautiful carpet; then they curtsied again, and flew away.

Meanwhile the wives of the other princes bought the most beautifully coloured wools, and the best designs they could find, and worked hard at their looms all the next day.

Then all the princes came before the king, and spread out their carpets before him.

The king looked at the first and the second; but when he came to the third, he exclaimed:

“That’s the carpet for me! I give the first place to my youngest son’s wife; but there must be another trial yet.”

And he ordered that each of his daughters-in-law should make him a cake next day; and the husband of the one whose cake proved the best should be his successor.

The youngest prince came back to his frog wife; he looked very thoughtful, and sighed deeply.

 Polish Fairy Tales -  THE FAIRY GIRLS MAKE THE CARPET

THE FAIRY GIRLS MAKE THE CARPET

 

 

 

 

 

“What is the matter, prince?” she asked.

 

“My father demands another proof of skill; and I am not so sure that we shall succeed so well as before; for how can you bake a cake?”

 

“Do not be afraid,” she said: “Lie down, and sleep; and when you wake you will be in a happier frame of mind.”

 

The prince went to sleep; and the frog sprang up to the window, and sang:

 

“Ye breezes that blow, ye winds that sigh,

Come hither on airy wing;

And all of you straight to my dwelling hie,

These various gifts to bring.

From the sunbeams bright

Bring me heat and light;

And soft waters distil

From the pure flowing rill.

From the flowers of the field

The sweet odours they yield.

From the wheatfields obtain

Five full measures of grain,

That so I may bake In the night-time a cake,

For my true love’s sake.”

The winds began to rise, and the seven beautiful maidens floated down into the room, carrying baskets, with flour, water, sweetmeats, and all sorts of dainties. They curtsied to the little frog, and got the cake ready in a few minutes; curtsied again, and flew away.

The next day the three princes brought their cakes to the king. They were all very good; but when he tasted the one made by his youngest son’s wife, he exclaimed:

“That is the cake for me! light, floury, white, and delicious! I see, my son, you have made the best choice; but we must wait a little longer.”

The two elder sons went away much depressed; but the youngest greatly elated. When he reached home he took up his little frog, stroked and kissed her, and said:

“Tell me, my love, how it was that you, being only a little frog, could weave such a beautiful carpet, or make such a delicious cake?”

“Because, my prince, I am not what I seem. I am a princess, and my mother is the renowned Queen of Light, and a great enchantress. But she has many enemies, who, as they could not injure her, were always seeking to destroy me. To conceal me from them she was obliged to turn me into a frog; and for seven years I have been forced to stay in the marsh where you found me. But under this frog-skin I am really more beautiful than you can imagine; yet until my mother has conquered all her enemies I must wear this disguise; after that takes place you shall see me as I really am.”

While they were talking two courtiers entered, with the king’s orders to the young prince, to come to a banquet at the king’s palace, and bring his wife with him, as his brothers were doing by theirs.

He knew not what to do; but the little frog said:

“Do not be afraid, my prince. Go to your father alone; and when he asks for me, it will begin to rain. You must then say that your wife will follow you; but she is now bathing in May-dew. When it lightens say that I am dressing; and when it thunders, that I am coming.”

The prince, trusting to her word, set out for the palace; and the frog jumped up to the window, and standing on her hind-legs, began to sing:

 

“Ye breezes that blow,

ye winds that sigh,

Come hither on airy wing;

And all of you straight to my dwelling hie,

These several gifts to bring.

My beauty of yore;

And my bright youth once more;

All my dresses so fair;

And my jewels so rare;

And let me delight

My dear love by the sight.”

 

Then the seven beautiful damsels, who were the handmaidens of the princess—when she lived with her mother—floated on the sunbeams into the room. They curtsied, walked three times round her, and pronounced some magical words.

Then the frog-skin fell off her, and she stood among them a miracle of beauty, and the lovely princess she was.

Meanwhile the prince, her husband, had arrived at the royal banquet-hall, which was already full of guests. The old king welcomed him warmly, and asked him:

“Where is your wife, my son?”

Then a light rain began to fall, and the prince said:

“She will not be long; she is now bathing herself in May-dew.”

Then came a flash of lightning, which illuminated all the palace, and he said:

“She is now adorning herself.”

But when it thundered, he ran to the door exclaiming:

“Here she is!”

And the lovely princess came in, seeming to bring the sunshine with her. They all stood amazed at her beauty. The king could not contain his delight; and she seemed to him all the more beautiful, because he thought her the very image of his long-deceased queen. The prince himself was no less astonished and overjoyed to find such loveliness in her, whom he had only as yet seen in the shape of a little frog.

“Tell me, my son,” said the king, “why you did not let me know what a fortunate choice you had made?”

The prince told him everything in a whisper; and the king said:

“Go home then, my son, at once, and pick up that frog-skin of hers; throw it in the fire, and come back here as fast as you can. Then she will have to remain just as she is now.”

The prince did as his father told him, went home, and threw the frog-skin into the fire, where it was at once consumed.

But things did not turn out as they expected; for the lovely princess, on coming home, sought for her frog-skin, and not finding it, began to cry bitterly. When the prince confessed the truth, she shrieked aloud, and taking out a green poppy-head, threw it at him. He went to sleep at once; but she sprang up to the window, sang her songs to the winds; upon which she was changed into a duck, and flew away.

The prince woke up in the morning, and grieved sadly, when he found his beautiful princess gone.

Then he got on horseback, and set out to find her, inquiring everywhere for the kingdom of the Queen of Light—his princess’s mother—to whom he supposed she must have fled.

He rode on for a very, very long time, till one day he came into a wide plain, all covered with poppies in full flower, the odour of which so overpowered him, that he could scarce keep upright in his saddle. Then he saw a queer little house, supported on four crooked legs. There was no door to the house; but knowing what he ought to do, he said:

“Little house, move On your crooked legs free; Turn your back to the wood, And your front door to me.”

The hut with the crooked legs made a creaking noise, and turned round, with its door towards the prince. He went straight in, and found an old fury, whose name was Jandza, inside  she was spinning from a distaff, and singing.

NOTE: Jandza pronounced Yen-jar.

“How are you, prince?” she said, “what brings you here?”

So the prince told her, and she said:

“You have done wisely to tell me the truth. I know your bride, the beautiful daughter of the Queen of Light; she flies to my house daily, in the shape of a duck, and this is where she sits. Hide yourself under the table, and watch your opportunity to lay hold of her. Hold her fast, whatever shapes she assumes; when she is tired she will turn into a spindle; you must then break the spindle in two, and you will find that which you are seeking.”

Presently the duck flew in, sat down beside the old fury, and began to preen her feathers with her beak. The prince seized her by the wing. The duck quacked, fluttered, and struggled to get loose. But seeing this was useless she changed herself into a pigeon, then into a hawk, and then into a serpent, which so frightened the prince, that he let her go; on which she became a duck again, quacked aloud, and flew out of the window.

The prince saw his mistake, and the old woman cried aloud: “What have you done, you careless fellow! you have frightened her away from me forever.

But as she is your bride, I must find some other way to help you. Take this ball of thread, throw it before you, and wherever it goes follow after it; you will then come to my sister’s house, and she will tell you what to do next.”

So the prince went on day and night, following the ball of thread, till he came to another queer little house, like the first, to which he said the same rhyme, and going in, found the second old fury, and told her his story.

“Hide under the bench,” she exclaimed; “your bride is just coming in.”

The duck flew in, as before, and the prince caught her by the wing; she quacked, and tried to get away.

Then she changed herself into a turkey, then into a dog, then into a cat, then into an eel, so that she slipped through his hands, and glided out of the window.

Polish Fairy Tales -  THE LITTLE HOUSE TURNS

 

 

THE LITTLE HOUSE TURNS

 

 

 

 

 

 

The prince was in despair; but the old woman gave him another ball of thread, and he again followed it, determining not to let the princess escape again so easily. So going on after the thread, as it kept unwinding, he came to a funny little house, like the two first, and said:

“Little house, move On your crooked legs free; Turn your back to the wood, And your front door to me.”

The little house turned round, so that he could go in, and he found a third old fury inside; much older than her sisters, and having white hair. He told her his story, and begged for help.

“Why did you go against the wishes of your clever and sensible wife?” said the old woman. “You see she knew better than you what her frog-skin was good for; but you must needs be in such a hurry to display her beauty, to gain the world’s applause, that you have lost her; and she was forced to fly away from you.”

The prince hid himself under the bench: the duck flew in and sat at the old woman’s feet; on which he caught her by the wings.

She struggled hard; but she felt his strength was too great for her to resist; so she turned herself into a spindle at once. He broke it across his knee…. And lo! and behold! instead of the two halves of the spindle he held the hands of his beautiful princess, who looked at him lovingly with her beautiful eyes, and smiled sweetly.

And she promised him that she would always remain as she was then, for since her mother’s enemies were all dead she had nothing to fear.

They embraced each other, and went out of the old fury’s hut. Then the princess spoke some magical spells; and in the twinkling of an eye there appeared a wonderful bridge, reaching from where they stood hundreds of miles, up to the very gallery of the palace, belonging to the prince’s father. It was all made of crystal, with golden hand-rails, and diamond bosses upon them.

The princess spoke some more magical words, and a golden coach appeared, drawn by eight horses, and a coachman, and two tall footmen, all in golden liveries.

 

Polish Fairy Tales - THE WAY HOME

 

 

THE WAY HOME

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there were four outriders on splendid horses, riding by the side of the coach, and an equerry, riding in front, and blowing a brazen trumpet. And a long procession of followers, in splendid dresses, came after them.

Then the prince and princess got into the golden coach, and drove away, thus accompanied, along the crystal bridge, till they reached home, when the old king came out to meet them, and embraced them both tenderly. He appointed the prince his successor; and such magnificent festivities were held on the occasion, as never were seen or heard of before.

 

 

Polish_Fairy_Tales_Cover_tight

Herein are classic folklore selections from a large collection made by A. J. Glinski in 1862. These fairy tales come from a far and distant past and may even date from primitive Aryan times. They represent the folklore current among the peasantry of the Eastern provinces of Poland, and also in those provinces formerly known as White Russia.

In this 200 page volume, with 20 exquisite and beautiful colour plates by CECILE WALTON, you will find the stories of THE FROG PRINCESS, PRINCESS MIRANDA AND PRINCE HERO, THE EAGLES, THE WHIRLWIND, THE GOOD FERRYMAN AND THE WATER NYMPHS, THE PRINCESS OF THE BRAZEN MOUNTAIN and the THE BEAR IN THE FOREST HUT.

ISBN: 978-1-909302-67-9
URL: http://abelapublishing.com/polish-fairy-tales–6-polish-folklore-stories_p26719758.htm

Polish Fairy Tales -  THE FAIRY GIRLS MAKE THE CARPETPolish Fairy Tales -  THE HORSE APPEARS IN THE STORMPolish Fairy Tales - THE DRAGON WHO KEPT WATCH
Polish_Fairy_Tales_Cover_tight

 

There were six falcons living in a nest, five of whom were still too young to fly, when it so happened that both the parent birds were shot in one day. The young brood waited anxiously for their return; but night came, and they were left without parents and without food.

Gray Eagle, the eldest, and the only one whose feathers had become stout enough to enable him to leave the nest, took his place at the head of the family, and assumed the duty of stifling their cries and providing the little household with food, in which he was very successful. But, after a short time had passed, by an unlucky mischance, while out on a foraging excursion, he got one of his wings broken. This was the more to be regretted, as the season had arrived when they were soon to go to a southern country to pass the winter, and the children were only waiting to become a little stronger and more expert on the wing to set out on the journey.

Finding that their elder brother did not return, they resolved to go in search of him. After beating up and down the country for the better part of a whole day, they at last found him, sorely wounded and unable to fly, lodged in the upper branches of a sycamore-tree.

“Brothers,” said Gray Eagle, as soon as they were gathered around, and questioned him as to the extent of his injuries, “an accident has befallen me, but let not this prevent your going to a warmer climate. Winter is rapidly approaching, and you cannot remain here. It is better that I alone should die, than for you all to suffer on my account.”

“No, no,” they replied, with one voice. “We will not forsake you. We will share your sufferings; we will abandon our journey, and take care of you as you did of us before we were able to take care of ourselves. If the chill climate kills you, it shall kill us. Do you think we can so soon forget your brotherly care, which has equalled a father’s, and even a mother’s kindness? Whether you live or die, we will live or die with you.”

They sought out a hollow tree to winter in, and contrived to carry their wounded nest-mate thither; and before the rigor of the season had set in, they had, by diligence and economy, stored up food enough to carry them through the winter months.

To make the provisions they had laid in last the better, it was agreed among them that two of their number should go south; leaving the other three to watch over, feed, and protect their wounded brother. The travelers set forth, sorry to leave home, but resolved that the first promise of spring should bring them back again. At the close of day, the three brothers who remained, mounting to the very peak of the tree, and bearing Gray Eagle in their arms, watched them, as they vanished away southward, till their forms blended with the air and were wholly lost to sight.

Their next business was to set the household in order, and this, with the judicious direction of Gray Eagle, who was propped up in a snug fork, with soft cushions of dry moss, they speedily accomplished. One of the sisters, for there were two of these, took upon herself the charge of nursing Gray Eagle, preparing his food, bringing him water, and changing his pillows when he grew tired of one position. She also looked to it that the house itself was kept in a tidy condition, and that the pantry was supplied with food. The second brother was assigned the duty of physician, and he was to prescribe such herbs and other medicines as the state of the health of Gray Eagle seemed to require. As the second brother had no other invalid on his visiting-list, he devoted the time not given to the cure of his patient, to the killing of game wherewith to stock the house-keeper’s larder; so that, whatever he did, he was always busy in the line of professional dutykilling or curing. On his hunting excursions, Doctor Falcon carried with him his youngest brother, who, being a foolish young fellow, and inexperienced in the ways of the world, it was not thought safe to trust alone.

In due time, what with good nursing, and good feeding, and good air, Gray Eagle recovered from his wound, and he repaid the kindness of his brothers by giving them such advice and instruction in the art of hunting as his age and experience qualified him to impart. As spring advanced, they began to look about for the means of replenishing their store-house, whose supplies were running low; and they were all quite successful in their quest except the youngest, whose name was Peepi, or the Pigeon-Hawk, and who had of late begun to set up for himself.

Being small and foolish, and feather-headed, flying hither and yonder without any set purpose, it so happened that Peepi always came home, so to phrase it, with an empty game-bag, and his pinions terribly rumpled.

At last Gray Eagle spoke to him, and demanded the cause of his ill-luck.

“It is not my smallness nor weakness of body,” Peepi answered, “that prevents my bringing home provender as well as my brothers. I am all the time on the wing, hither and thither. I kill ducks and other birds every time I go out; but just as I get to the woods, on my way home, I am met by a large ko-ko-ho, who robs me of my prey; and,” added Peepi, with great energy, “it’s my settled opinion that the villain lies in wait for the very purpose of doing so.”

“I have no doubt you are right, Brother Peepi,” rejoined Gray Eagle. “I know this pirate his name is White Owl; and now that I feel my strength fully recovered, I will go out with you to-morrow and help you look after this greedy bush-ranger.”

The next day they went forth in company, and arrived at a fine fresh-water lake. Gray Eagle seated himself hard by, while Peepi started out, and soon pounced upon a duck.

“Well done!” thought his brother, who saw his success; but just as little Peepi was getting to land with his prize, up sailed a large white owl from a tree where he, too, had been watching, and laid claim to it. He was on the point of wresting it from Peepi, when Gray Eagle, calling out to the intruder to desist, rushed up, and, fixing his talons in both sides of the owl, without further introduction or ceremony, flew away with him.

The little Pigeon-Hawk followed closely, with the duck under his wing, rejoiced and happy to think that he had something to carry home at last. He was naturally much vexed with the owl, and had no sooner delivered over the duck to his sister, the housekeeper, than he flew in the owl’s face, and, venting an abundance of reproachful terms, would, in his passion, have torn the very eyes out of the White Owl’s head.

“Softly, Peepi,” said the Gray Eagle, stepping in between them. “Don’t be in such a huff, my little brother, nor exhibit so revengeful a temper. Do you not know that we are to forgive our enemies? White Owl, you may go; but let this be a lesson to you, not to play the tyrant over those who may chance to be weaker than yourself.”

So, after adding to this much more good advice, and telling him what kind of herbs would cure his wounds, Gray Eagle dismissed White Owl, and the four brothers and sisters sat down to supper.

The next day, betimes, in the morning, before the household had fairly rubbed the cobwebs out of the corners of their eyes, there came a knock at the front doorwhich was a dry branch that lay down before the hollow of the tree in which they lodgedand being called to come in, who should make their appearance but the two nest-mates, who had just returned from the South, where they had been wintering. There was great rejoicing over their return, and now that they were all happily re-united, each one soon chose a mate and began to keep house in the woods for himself.

Spring had now revisited the North. The cold winds had all blown themselves away, the ice had melted, the streams were open, and smiled as they looked at the blue sky once more; and the forests, far and wide, in their green mantle, echoed every cheerful sound.

But it is in vain that spring returns, and that the heart of Nature is opened in bounty, if we are not thankful to the Master of Life, who has preserved us through the winter. Nor does that man answer the end for which he was made who does not show a kind and charitable feeling to all who are in want or sickness, especially to his blood relations.

The love and harmony of Gray Eagle and his brothers continued. They never forgot each other. Every week, on the fourth afternoon of the week (for that was the time when they had found their wounded elder brother), they had a meeting in the hollow of the old sycamore-tree, when they talked over family matters, and advised with each other, as brothers should, about their affairs.

ISBN: 978-1-907302-65-5

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/the-american-indian-fairy-book–26-native-american-tales-and-legends_p26555202.htm

 

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