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Folklore, Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends from Around the World narrated by Baba Indaba, the ancient Zulu storyteller
Why buy the whole book when you can just buy the story!
BOYISLAV, YOUNGEST OF THE TWELVE – Boyislav, and his brothers go on a quest. He is the only one brave enough to see a quest through to the end when his brothers desert him half-way through. But Boyislav has the last laugh.
A HEART OF ICE – A Royal Couple eventually have a child. They invite all important people, but omit the Wicked Witch Gorgonzola. On the day of the Christening Gorgonzola flies in on her dragon and snatches the child away.
Follow this link for all the stories URL: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_uSt1pOjiJgXeLdIIQy8MCGB8v4KJiIQbo2mFxQR8K0/pub
Over 185 Stories listed In alphabetical Order
Each issue ranges in price from GBP£0.20 to GBP£0.83 – about US$0.25 to US$1.15
Series number ISSN: 2397-9607
A great many princes came to woo her; but she liked only one of them, called Prince Dobrotek; so they confessed their love for one another to the king, who gave his consent, and the wedding-day was fixed.
Now among the princess’s rejected suitors there was one, who though he had changed himself into the shape of a prince, in order to come to court and make love to her, really was an ugly dwarf, only seven inches high, but with a beard more than seven feet long, and a great hump on his back. He was so offended with the princess for refusing him, that he determined to carry her off; so he watched his opportunity.
As the young couple, with all their followers and their guests, were leaving the palace to go to church, a violent wind began to blow, a regular whirlwind, raising a column of sand, and lifting the princess off her feet. She was carried up over the clouds, to the top of some inaccessible mountains, and dropped down into a magnificent palace, with a golden roof, and a high wall all round.
After a while the princess woke up from the fainting-fit into which she had fallen. She looked round the splendid apartment in which she was, and came to the conclusion that some young and handsome prince must have carried her off.
In the room there was a table ready spread; all the plates and dishes, as well as the knives, forks, and spoons, were of silver and gold; and the dinner itself was so good, that in spite of her grief and terror, she could not refrain from tasting it; and she had no sooner tasted, than she ate, till her appetite was appeased.
Then the doors opened, and there came in a company of negroes, bearing a great chair, in which sat the ugly dwarf, with the long beard and the great hump.
The dwarf now began to pay his court to the princess, and explain how he had carried her off in the guise of the whirlwind, because he loved her so much. But she would not listen to him, and gave him a sounding slap with her open hand right in his face, so that sparks danced before his eyes. Of course he was in a great passion; but for love of her he managed to keep his temper, and turned round to leave the room. But in his haste he caught his feet in his long beard, and was thrown down on the threshold, and in his fall he dropped his cap, which he was holding in one hand.
The negroes helped him again into the chair, and carried him out; but the princess jumped up, locked the door, and took up the cap that was lying on the ground. She put it on; and went to the glass to see how she looked in it. But what was her surprise to find that she could not see herself, till she took it off! So she came to the wise conclusion that this was an invisible cap; at which she was highly delighted; she put on the cap again, and began to walk about the room.
The door opened once more with a loud noise, and the dwarf came in with his long beard thrown back and twisted all round his hump, to be out of the way. But not seeing either his cap, or the princess, he guessed what had happened; so full of wild despair he began to rush madly about the room, knocking himself against the tables and chairs, while the princess made her escape through the door, and ran out into the garden.
The garden was very extensive, and full of beautiful fruit-trees; so she lived upon these fruits, and drank the water of a spring in the garden for some time. She used to make fun of the dwarf’s impotent rage. Sometimes when he rushed wildly about the garden, she would tease him by taking off the invisible cap, so that he saw her before him, in all her beauty; but when he made a rush after her she would put it on again, and become invisible to him; she would then throw cherry-stones at him, come close to him, and laugh loudly: and then run away again.
One day, when she was playing about in this manner, her cap got caught in the boughs of a tree, and fell upon a gooseberry bush. The dwarf saw it, and seized hold of the princess with one hand, and of the cap with the other. But just then—from the summit of the mountain, above the garden itself, was heard the sound of a trumpet-challenge, three times repeated.
At this the dwarf trembled with rage; but first breathing upon the princess, he put her to sleep with his breath, then placed his invisible cap on her head. Having done this he seized his two-edged sword, and flew up into the clouds, so as to strike the knight who had challenged him from above, and destroy him at one stroke.
But where did this knight come from?
When Princess Ladna had been carried off on her wedding-day by the whirlwind, there was the greatest consternation among all the bystanders. Her distracted father and her bridegroom rushed about in all directions, and sent courtiers everywhere in search of her; but the princess had been neither seen nor heard of, nor was any trace left of her.
The king (very unnecessarily) told Prince Dobrotek that if he did not get back his daughter, the princess, he would not only put him to death, but would reduce his whole country to ashes. He also told all the princes there that whoever should bring back his daughter should have her to wife, and receive half of his kingdom into the bargain.
When they heard this they all got to horse, and galloped in various directions; among them Prince Dobrotek.
He went on for three days, never stopping for food or rest; but on the fourth day, at dusk, he felt overcome by sleep; so he let his horse go free in a meadow, and himself lay down on the grass. Then all at once he heard a piercing shriek, and straight before him beheld a hare, and an owl perched upon it—its claws digging into the poor creature’s side.
The prince caught up the first thing that lay near him, and aimed at the screech-owl, so truly that he killed it on the spot, and the hare ran up to him, like a tame creature, licked his hands, and ran away.
Then the prince saw that the thing he had thrown at the owl was a human skull. And it spoke to him, in these words:
“Prince Dobrotek, I thank you for what you have done for me. When I was alive I committed suicide, and was therefore condemned to lie unburied at this cross-way, till I should be the means of saving life. I have lain here for seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and Heaven knows how much longer I should have had to remain, if you had not chanced to throw me at the screech-owl, and so saved the life of the poor hare. Now bury me, so that I may lie peacefully in the ground at this same place, and I will tell you how to summon the Grey Seer-horse, with the golden mane, who will always help you in case of need. Go out into a plain, and without looking behind you, call out:
“Grey Seer-horse, with golden mane!
Like a bird—and not like steed,
On the blast—and not the mead,
Fly thou hither unto me!”
Thus having spoken, the head was silent; but a blue light shot up from it towards the sky; it was the soul of the deceased, which having now expiated its sin by its long imprisonment in the skull, had attained heaven.
The prince then dug a grave, and buried the skull. He then called out:
“Grey Seer-horse, with golden mane! Like a bird—and not like steed, On the blast—and not the mead, Do thou hither fly to me!”
The wind rose, the lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and the wonderful horse with the golden mane appeared. He flew as fast as the storm-wind, flames shot from his nostrils, sparks from his eyes, and clouds of smoke from his mouth. He stood still, and said in human tones:
“What are your commands, Prince Dobrotek?”
“I am in trouble; I wish you to help me.”
And he told him all that had occurred.
“Creep in at my left ear,” said the horse, “and creep out again at the right.”
So the prince crept in at the horse’s left ear, and came out again at the right one, all clad in golden armour. He also found himself miraculously increased in strength, so that when he stamped on the ground it trembled; and when he shouted a storm arose, which shook the leaves from the trees.
Then he asked the horse:
“What is to be done next?”
“Your betrothed, Princess Ladna,” said the horse, “was carried off by the seven-inch-high dwarf, with the seven-foot-long beard; he is a powerful magician; he dwells beyond the seven seas, among inaccessible mountains. He can only be conquered by the All-Cutting Sword, which sword is jealously guarded by his own brother, the Giant-Head, with basilisk eye. To this Giant-Head we must therefore go.”
Prince Dobrotek mounted on horseback, and they flew like an arrow, over lands and seas, high mountains and wide oceans. They stopped at length upon a wide plain strewn with bones, before a moving mountain. And the horse said:
“This moving mountain, which you see before you, is the giant’s head with the basilisk eyes; and the bones strewn so thickly hereabouts prove how deadly his looks are—so be careful. He is now asleep from the heat of the sun; but only two steps before him lies the sword, with which alone you can conquer your enemy. Lie down along my back, so that his glance cannot reach you through my neck and mane; but when you get near to it, lay hold of the sword; when you have it you will not only be safe from his basilisk glances, but you will even have the giant’s head at your mercy.”
And the horse drew near lightly, and the prince bent down, and secured the wonderful sword; but he shouted so loud that the Giant-Head woke up, sniffed hard, and looked about with his bloodshot eyes; and seeing the wonderful sword in the prince’s hand, he called out:
“Sir knight! are you weary of the world, that you court speedy death?”
“You need not boast like that, you empty head!” replied Prince Dobrotek. “Your looks cannot hurt me now; and you shall die by this All-Cutting Sword! But I would first know who, and what you are.”
“Then I confess, prince,” replied the head; “that I am in your power; but be merciful to me, for I am worthy of pity. I am a knight of the race of giants, and were it not for the envy of my brother, I should still have been happy. He was the black sheep of our family, and was born an ugly dwarf, with a long beard; and my handsome giant-like proportions caused him to hate me bitterly. His only good point is his great strength, and it all resides in his long beard, and so long as it is not cut he cannot be conquered, and this can only be done by that sword, which you now hold.
“One day, being bent upon my destruction, he said to me:
“‘Brother, do not refuse to help me. I have read in my books of magic that beyond the mountains, on a plain lies buried a certain sword, whereby a knight, seeking for his betrothed, shall compass the destruction of us both; let us therefore go and dig it up, so that we shall escape the threatened doom!’
“To this I agreed. I took a hundred-year-old pine—torn up from its roots—on one arm, and carried my brother on my other. We set out; he showed me the spot, and I dug up the sword, on this same plain. Then we began to quarrel about who should possess it. After a long dispute he said:
“‘We were best decide it by lot, brother. Let each of us lay his ear to the ground, and whoever first hears the sound of the evening bell shall have the sword.’
“So he laid his ear to the ground, and I mine. I listened; but heard nothing; and he meantime, having got hold of the sword, crept up to me, and cut my head from my shoulders.
“My headless trunk, left unburied, rotted away, and the grass grew over it; but my head, endowed with supernatural life by the malicious dwarf, my brother, was left here, with charge to guard this sword, and kill everyone who came near with my deadly glance. After many centuries you have won it; so I implore you to cut off his seven-foot beard, and make him into mince-meat; and avenge me.”
“You shall be avenged,” said the prince; “and at once. Grey Seer-Horse, carry me to the kingdom of the dwarf magician, with the seven-foot-long beard.”
So they set off at once, flying with lightning speed through the air, over the seas and over the forests. In an hour or two they halted on the summit of a high mountain, and the horse said:
“These mountains are the kingdom of the dwarf magician, who carried off your betrothed, and they are both now in the garden; challenge him to fight.”
Prince Dobrotek sounded a challenge three times, and the dwarf, as we have seen, flew up into the air, so as to swoop down upon his antagonist, unperceived of him.
All at once the prince heard a murmuring sound above him, and he saw when he looked up, the dwarf soaring above him, like an eagle in the clouds—for he had the magic power of increasing his size and strength—with his sword drawn, ready to fall upon him.
The prince sprang aside, and the dwarf came down, with such an impetus, that his head and neck were rammed into the ground.
The prince dismounted, seized the dwarf by the beard, wound it about his left hand, and began to sever it with the All-Cutting Sword.
The dwarf saw that he had to do with no feather-bed knight; so he tugged with all his strength, and flew up again into the clouds; but the prince, holding fast with his left hand to the beard, kept on severing it with his sword, so that he had nearly cut half of it through; and the dwarf became weaker and weaker the more hair he lost, so he began to cry for mercy.
“Drop down to the ground, off which you took me,” said the prince.
The dwarf dropped down slowly, but the prince cut off the remainder of his beard and threw him—when thus deprived of his charms and his strength alike—on to the ground, wreathed the severed beard round his own helmet, and entered the palace.
The invisible servants of the dwarf, seeing their master’s beard, wreathed about the prince’s helmet, threw open all the doors to him at once.
He went through all the rooms; but not finding his princess anywhere, went into the garden, traversing all the paths and lawns, and calling her name. He could find her nowhere.
But thus running from one place to another he chanced to touch the invisible cap; he caught hold of it, and pulled it away from where it was, on the head of the princess, and saw her at once in all her loveliness, but fast asleep.
Overcome with joy, he called her by her name; but she had been cast into such a deep sleep by the dwarf’s poisonous breath, that he could not rouse her.
He took her up in his arms, put the invisible cap into his pocket, also picking up the wicked dwarf, whom he carried along with him. He then mounted his horse, flew like an arrow, and in a few minutes stood before the Giant-Head, with the basilisk eyes.
He threw the dwarf into its open jaws, where he was ground at once into powder; the prince then cut up the monstrous head into small pieces, and scattered them all over the plain.
Thus having got rid of both the dwarf and the giant, the prince rode on with the sleeping princess, upon the Golden-Mane horse, and at sunset they came to the same cross-roads, where he had first summoned him.
“Here, prince, we must part,” said the Golden-Mane; “but here in the meadow is your own horse, and it is not far to your own home, so creep into my right ear, and come out at my left.”
The prince did as he was told, and came out as he was before. His own horse recognized him, and came running with a joyful neigh to meet his master.
The prince was tired out with the long journey, so, having laid down his betrothed wife, still sleeping, on the soft grass, and covered her up from the cold, he laid down himself and went to sleep.
But that very night, one of Princess Ladna’s rejected suitors, riding that way, saw by the light of the moon those two asleep, and he recognized in them the princess, and the prince, his fortunate rival. So first stabbing the latter through with his sabre, he carried off the princess, and bore her on horseback before him to her father.
The king welcomed him rapturously, as his daughter’s deliverer. But when he found, to his dismay, that he could not awake her, with all his caresses, he asked the supposed rescuer what this meant.
“I do not know, Sir King,” replied the knight. “After I had overtaken and slain the great enchanter, who was carrying off the princess, I found her as she is now, sound asleep.”
Prince Dobrotek meanwhile, mortally wounded, had just strength enough left to summon the Wonderful Grey Horse, who came instantly; and seeing what was the matter, flew off to the top of the mountain of Everlasting Life. On its summit were three springs—the Water of Loosening, the Water of Healing, and the Water of Life. He sprinkled the dead prince with all three; Prince Dobrotek opened his eyes, and exclaimed:
“Oh! how well I have slept!”
“You were sleeping the sleep of death,” returned the Golden-Mane; “one of your rivals killed you sleeping, and carried off your princess home to her father, pretending to be her deliverer, in the hope of gaining her hand. But do not be afraid; she is still asleep, and only you can awaken her, by touching her forehead with the beard of the dwarf, which you have with you. Go then to her; I must be elsewhere.”
The Golden-Mane vanished, and the prince, calling his own horse, and taking with him his invisible cap, betook himself to the court of his loved one’s father.
But when he drew near he found that the city was all surrounded by enemies, who had already mastered the outer defences, and were threatening the town itself; and half of its defenders being slain, the rest were thinking of surrender.
Prince Dobrotek put on his invisible cap, and drawing his All-Cutting Sword, fell upon the enemy.
They fell to right and left as the sword smote them on each side, till one half of them were slain, and the rest ran away into the forest.
Unseen by anyone the prince entered the city, and arrived at the royal palace, where the king, surrounded by his knights, was hearing the account of this sudden attack, whereby his foes had been discomfited; but by whom no one could inform him.
Then Prince Dobrotek took off his invisible cap, and appearing suddenly in the midst of the assembly, said:
“King and father! it was I who beat your enemies. But where is my betrothed, Princess Ladna, whom I rescued from the wizard dwarf, with the seven-foot beard? whom one of your knights treacherously stole from me? Let me see her, that I may waken her from her magic sleep.”
When the traitor knight heard this he took to his heels; Prince Dobrotek touched the sleeping princess’s forehead with the beard, she woke up directly, gazed at him fondly with her lovely eyes, but could not at first understand where she was, or what had happened to her.
The good ferryman captures the mermaid
The king caught her in his arms, pressed her to his heart, and that very evening he married her to Prince Dobrotek. He gave them half his kingdom, and there was a splendid wedding, such as had never been seen or heard of before.
The twenty tales in this volume originate from countries along the European Amber Road. Perhaps less well known than it’s cousins, the Silk Route and the Spice Route, the Amber Road traveled North to South across Europe passing through:
The Czech Republic
In old times the Amber Road was an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber from coastal areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
THE AMBER WIZARD – A poem
BABA YAGA AND THE LITTLE GIRL WITH THE KIND HEART
THE THREE MEN OF POWER–EVENING, MIDNIGHT, AND SUNRISE
THE GOLD AXE
THE DUCKLING WITH GOLDEN FEATHERS
LUCK, LUCK IN THE RED COAT!
MANNIKIN LONG BEARD
THE FROG PRINCESS
THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN
THE THREE CITRONS
THE TWELVE MONTHS: The Story of Marushka and the Wicked Holena
VITAZKO THE VICTORIOUS
THE GLUNKEZER GIANT
BEAUTY AND THE HORNS
CHILDREN‘S BEDTIME STORIES
narrated by Baba Indaba the ancient Zulu storyteller
Folklore, Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends from Around the World
Why buy the whole book when you can just buy the story!
Listed In alphabetical Order
Issues range in price from GBP£0.20 to GBP£0.83 – about US$0.25 to US$1.15
See all 185 stories at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_uSt1pOjiJgXeLdIIQy8MCGB8v4KJiIQbo2mFxQR8K0/pub
NEW RELEASES – July 09th, 2016
AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT – A King marries a princess but she has a disagreeable disposition and insults the fairies. They steal her one and only daughter. Read how the daughter breaks the spell and escapes from an enchanted castle.
BOKWEWA THE HUMPBACK – an American Indian tale about Bokwewa and how he uses his disability to help his brother.
CAUTH MORRISY LOOKING FOR SERVICE – Cauth (Cath) Morrisy is on employment age and leaves home to find gainful employment. However, we’re sure she was not expecting the adventures she had along the way.
DOGS OVER THE WATER – three true stories from the past about dogs who stayed loyal to their masters even after death, living up to their title of Man’s Best Friend.
FAIRER-THAN-A-FAIRY – The fairies are insulted when a king names his daughter Fairer-than-a-Fairy and spirit her away. Many years later, with the help of others, she realises what has happened and plans her escape.
Free eBook on Google Play – THE GREEDY KING – see – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_THE_GREEDY_KING_a_Burmese_Folk_Tale?id=AYL5CwAAQBAJ
There once lived a chief’s daughter who had many relations. All the young men in the village wanted to have her for wife, and were all eager to fill her skin bucket when she went to the brook for water.
There was a young man in the village who was industrious and a good hunter; but he was poor and of a mean family. He loved the maiden and when she went for water, he threw his robe over her head while he whispered in her ear:
“Be my wife. I have little but I am young and strong. I will treat you well, for I love you.”
For a long time the maiden did not answer, but one day she whispered back.
“Yes, you may ask my father’s leave to marry me. But first you must do something noble. I belong to a great family and have many relations. You must go on a war party and bring back the scalp of an enemy.”
The young man answered modestly, “I will try to do as you bid me. I am only a hunter, not a warrior. Whether I shall be brave or not I do not know. But I will try to take a scalp for your sake.”
So he made a war party of seven, himself and six other young men. They wandered through the enemy’s country, hoping to get a chance to strike a blow. But none came, for they found no one of the enemy.
“Our medicine is unfavorable,” said their leader at last. “We shall have to return home.”
Before they started they sat down to smoke and rest beside a beautiful lake at the foot of a green knoll that rose from its shore. The knoll was covered with green grass and somehow as they looked at it they had a feeling that there was something about it that was mysterious or uncanny.
But there was a young man in the party named the jester, for he was venturesome and full of fun. Gazing at the knoll he said: “Let’s run and jump on its top.”
“No,” said the young lover, “it looks mysterious. Sit still and finish your smoke.”
“Oh, come on, who’s afraid,” said the jester, laughing. “Come on you—come on!” and springing to his feet he ran up the side of the knoll.
Four of the young men followed. Having reached the top of the knoll all five began to jump and stamp about in sport, calling, “Come on, come on,” to the others. Suddenly they stopped—the knoll had begun to move toward the water. It was a gigantic turtle. The five men cried out in alarm and tried to run—too late! Their feet by some power were held fast to the monster’s back.
“Help us—drag us away,” they cried; but the others could do nothing. In a few moments the waves had closed over them.
The other two men, the lover and his friend, went on, but with heavy hearts, for they had forebodings of evil. After some days, they came to a river. Worn with fatigue the lover threw himself down on the bank.
“I will sleep awhile,” he said, “for I am wearied and worn out.”
“And I will go down to the water and see if I can chance upon a dead fish. At this time of the year the high water may have left one stranded on the seashore,” said his friend.
And as he had said, he found a fish which he cleaned, and then called to the lover.
“Come and eat the fish with me. I have cleaned it and made a fire and it is now cooking.”
“No, you eat it; let me rest,” said the lover.
“Oh, come on.”
“No, let me rest.”
“But you are my friend. I will not eat unless you share it with me.”
“Very well,” said the lover, “I will eat the fish with you, but you must first make me a promise. If I eat the fish, you must promise, pledge yourself, to fetch me all the water that I can drink.”
“I promise,” said the other, and the two ate the fish out of their war-kettle. For there had been but one kettle for the party.
When they had eaten, the kettle was rinsed out and the lover’s friend brought it back full of water. This the lover drank at a draught.
“Bring me more,” he said.
Again his friend filled the kettle at the river and again the lover drank it dry.
“More!” he cried.
“Oh, I am tired. Cannot you go to the river and drink your fill from the stream?” asked his friend.
“Remember your promise.”
“Yes, but I am weary. Go now and drink.”
“Ek-hey, I feared it would be so. Now trouble is coming upon us,” said the lover sadly. He walked to the river, sprang in, and lying down in the water with his head toward land, drank greedily. By and by he called to his friend.
“Come hither, you who have been my sworn friend. See what comes of your broken promise.”
The friend came and was amazed to see that the lover was now a fish from his feet to his middle.
Sick at heart he ran off a little way and threw himself upon the ground in grief. By and by he returned. The lover was now a fish to his neck.
“Cannot I cut off the part and restore you by a sweat bath?” the friend asked.
“No, it is too late. But tell the chief’s daughter that I loved her to the last and that I die for her sake. Take this belt and give it to her. She gave it to me as a pledge of her love for me,” and he being then turned to a great fish, swam to the middle of the river and there remained, only his great fin remaining above the water.
The friend went home and told his story. There was great mourning over the death of the five young men, and for the lost lover. In the river the great fish remained, its fin just above the surface, and was called by the Indians “Fish that Bars,” because it bar’d navigation. Canoes had to be portaged at great labor around the obstruction.
The chief’s daughter mourned for her lover as for a husband, nor would she be comforted. “He was lost for love of me, and I shall remain as his widow,” she wailed.
In her mother’s tepee she sat, with her head covered with her robe, silent, working, working. “What is my daughter doing,” her mother asked. But the maiden did not reply.
The days lengthened into moons until a year had passed. And then the maiden arose. In her hands were beautiful articles of clothing, enough for three men. There were three pairs of moccasins, three pairs of leggings, three belts, three shirts, three head dresses with beautiful feathers, and sweet smelling tobacco.
“Make a new canoe of bark,” she said, which was made for her.
Into the canoe she stepped and floated slowly down the river toward the great fish.
“Come back my daughter,” her mother cried in agony. “Come back. The great fish will eat you.”
She answered nothing. Her canoe came to the place where the great fin arose and stopped, its prow grating on the monster’s back. The maiden stepped out boldly. One by one she laid her presents on the fish’s back, scattering the feathers and tobacco over his broad spine.
“Oh, fish,” she cried, “Oh, fish, you who were my lover, I shall not forget you. Because you were lost for love of me, I shall never marry. All my life I shall remain a widow. Take these presents. And now leave the river, and let the waters run free, so my people may once more descend in their canoes.”
She stepped into her canoe and waited. Slowly the great fish sank, his broad fin disappeared, and the waters of the St. Croix (Stillwater) were free.
From: MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF THE SIOUX – 38 Sioux Myths, Legends and Folk Tales
Long, long ago, as far back as the time when animals spoke, there lived a community of cats in a deserted house they had taken possession of not far from a large town. They had everything they could possibly desire for their comfort, they were well fed and well lodged, and if by any chance an unlucky mouse was stupid enough to venture in their way, they caught it, not to eat it, but for the pure pleasure of catching it. The old people of the town related how they had heard their parents speak of a time when the whole country was so overrun with rats and mice that there was not so much as a grain of corn nor an ear of maize to be gathered in the fields; and it might be out of gratitude to the cats who had rid the country of these plagues that their descendants were allowed to live in peace. No one knows where they got the money to pay for everything, nor who paid it, for all this happened so very long ago. But one thing is certain, they were rich enough to keep a servant; for though they lived very happily together, and did not scratch nor fight more than human beings would have done, they were not clever enough to do the housework themselves, and preferred at all events to have someone to cook their meat, which they would have scorned to eat raw. Not only were they very difficult to please about the housework, but most women quickly tired of living alone with only cats for companions, consequently they never kept a servant long; and it had become a saying in the town, when anyone found herself reduced to her last penny: ‘I will go and live with the cats,’ and so many a poor woman actually did.
Now Lizina was not happy at home, for her mother, who was a widow, was much fonder of her elder daughter; so that often the younger one fared very badly, and had not enough to eat, while the elder could have everything she desired, and if Lizina dared to complain she was certain to have a good beating.
At last the day came when she was at the end of her courage and patience, and exclaimed to her mother and sister:
‘As you hate me so much you will be glad to be rid of me, so I am going to live with the cats!’
‘Be off with you!’ cried her mother, seizing an old broom-handle from behind the door. Poor Lizina did not wait to be told twice, but ran off at once and never stopped till she reached the door of the cats’ house. Their cook had left them that very morning, with her face all scratched, the result of such a quarrel with the head of the house that he had very nearly scratched out her eyes. Lizina therefore was warmly welcomed, and she set to work at once to prepare the dinner, not without many misgivings as to the tastes of the cats, and whether she would be able to satisfy them.
Going to and fro about her work, she found herself frequently hindered by a constant succession of cats who appeared one after another in the kitchen to inspect the new servant; she had one in front of her feet, another perched on the back of her chair while she peeled the vegetables, a third sat on the table beside her, and five or six others prowled about among the pots and pans on the shelves against the wall. The air resounded with their purring, which meant that they were pleased with their new maid, but Lizina had not yet learned to understand their language, and often she did not know what they wanted her to do. However, as she was a good, kindhearted girl, she set to work to pick up the little kittens which tumbled about on the floor, she patched up quarrels, and nursed on her lap a big tabby—the oldest of the community—which had a lame paw. All these kindnesses could hardly fail to make a favourable impression on the cats, and it was even better after a while, when she had had time to grow accustomed to their strange ways. Never had the house been kept so clean, the meats so well served, nor the sick cats so well cared for. After a time they had a visit from an old cat, whom they called their father, who lived by himself in a barn at the top of the hill, and came down from time to time to inspect the little colony. He too was much taken with Lizina, and inquired, on first seeing her: ‘Are you well served by this nice, black-eyed little person?’ and the cats answered with one voice: ‘Oh, yes, Father Gatto, we have never had so good a servant!’
At each of his visits the answer was always the same; but after a time the old cat, who was very observant, noticed that the little maid had grown to look sadder and sadder. ‘What is the matter, my child has any one been unkind to you?’ he asked one day, when he found her crying in her kitchen. She burst into tears and answered between her sobs: ‘Oh, no! they are all very good to me; but I long for news from home, and I pine to see my mother and my sister.’
Old Gatto, being a sensible old cat, understood the little servant’s feelings. ‘You shall go home,’ he said, ‘and you shall not come back here unless you please. But first you must be rewarded for all your kind services to my children. Follow me down into the inner cellar, where you have never yet been, for I always keep it locked and carry the key away with me.’
Lizina looked round her in astonishment as they went down into the great vaulted cellar underneath the kitchen. Before her stood the big earthenware water jars, one of which contained oil, the other a liquid shining like gold. ‘In which of these jars shall I dip you?’ asked Father Gatto, with a grin that showed all his sharp white teeth, while his moustaches stood out straight on either side of his face. The little maid looked at the two jars from under her long dark lashes: ‘In the oil jar,’ she answered timidly, thinking to herself: ‘I could not ask to be bathed in gold.’
But Father Gatto replied: ‘No, no; you have deserved something better than that.’ And seizing her in his strong paws he plunged her into the liquid gold. Wonder of wonders! when Lizina came out of the jar she shone from head to foot like the sun in the heavens on a fine summer’s day. Her pretty pink cheeks and long black hair alone kept their natural colour, otherwise she had become like a statue of pure gold. Father Gatto purred loudly with satisfaction. ‘Go home,’ he said, ‘and see your mother and sisters; but take care if you hear the cock crow to turn towards it; if on the contrary the ass brays, you must look the other way.’
The little maid, having gratefully kissed the white paw of the old cat, set off for home; but just as she got near her mother’s house the cock crowed, and quickly she turned towards it. Immediately a beautiful golden star appeared on her forehead, crowning her glossy black hair. At the same time the ass began to bray, but Lizina took care not to look over the fence into the field where the donkey was feeding. Her mother and sister, who were in front of their house, uttered cries of admiration and astonishment when they saw her, and their cries became still louder when Lizina, taking her handkerchief from her pocket, drew out also a handful of gold.
For some days the mother and her two daughters lived very happily together, for Lizina had given them everything she had brought away except her golden clothing, for that would not come off, in spite of all the efforts of her sister, who was madly jealous of her good fortune. The golden star, too, could not be removed from her forehead. But all the gold pieces she drew from her pockets had found their way to her mother and sister.
‘I will go now and see what I can get out of the pussies,’ said Peppina, the elder girl, one morning, as she took Lizina’s basket and fastened her pockets into her own skirt. ‘I should like some of the cats’ gold for myself,’ she thought, as she left her mother’s house before the sun rose.
The cat colony had not yet taken another servant, for they knew they could never get one to replace Lizina, whose loss they had not yet ceased to mourn. When they heard that Peppina was her sister, they all ran to meet her. ‘She is not the least like her,’ the kittens whispered among themselves.
‘Hush, be quiet!’ the older cats said; ‘all servants cannot be pretty.’
No, decidedly she was not at all like Lizina. Even the most reasonable and large-minded of the cats soon acknowledged that.
The very first day she shut the kitchen door in the face of the tom-cats who used to enjoy watching Lizina at her work, and a young and mischievous cat who jumped in by the open kitchen window and alighted on the table got such a blow with the rolling-pin that he squalled for an hour.
With every day that passed the household became more and more aware of its misfortune.
The work was as badly done as the servant was surly and disagreeable; in the corners of the rooms there were collected heaps of dust; spiders’ webs hung from the ceilings and in front of the window-panes; the beds were hardly ever made, and the feather beds, so beloved by the old and feeble cats, had never once been shaken since Lizina left the house. At Father Gatto’s next visit he found the whole colony in a state of uproar.
‘Caesar has one paw so badly swollen that it looks as if it were broken,’ said one. ‘Peppina kicked him with her great wooden shoes on. Hector has an abscess in his back where a wooden chair was flung at him; and Agrippina’s three little kittens have died of hunger beside their mother, because Peppina forgot them in their basket up in the attic. There is no putting up with the creature—do send her away, Father Gatto! Lizina herself would not be angry with us; she must know very well what her sister is like.’
‘Come here,’ said Father Gatto, in his most severe tones to Peppina. And he took her down into the cellar and showed her the same two great jars that he had showed Lizina. ‘In which of these shall I dip you?’ he asked; and she made haste to answer: ‘In the liquid gold,’ for she was no more modest than she was good and kind.
Father Gatto’s yellow eyes darted fire. ‘You have not deserved it,’ he uttered, in a voice like thunder, and seizing her he flung her into the jar of oil, where she was nearly suffocated. When she came to the surface screaming and struggling, the vengeful cat seized her again and rolled her in the ash-heap on the floor; then when she rose, dirty, blinded, and disgusting to behold, he thrust her from the door, saying: ‘Begone, and when you meet a braying ass be careful to turn your head towards it.’
Stumbling and raging, Peppina set off for home, thinking herself fortunate to find a stick by the wayside with which to support herself. She was within sight of her mother’s house when she heard in the meadow on the right, the voice of a donkey loudly braying. Quickly she turned her head towards it, and at the same time put her hand up to her forehead, where, waving like a plume, was a donkey’s tail. She ran home to her mother at the top of her speed, yelling with rage and despair; and it took Lizina two hours with a big basin of hot water and two cakes of soap to get rid of the layer of ashes with which Father Gatto had adorned her. As for the donkey’s tail, it was impossible to get rid of that; it was as firmly fixed on her forehead as was the golden star on Lizina’s. Their mother was furious. She first beat Lizina unmercifully with the broom, then she took her to the mouth of the well and lowered her into it, leaving her at the bottom weeping and crying for help.
Before this happened, however, the king’s son in passing the mother’s house had seen Lizina sitting sewing in the parlour, and had been dazzled by her beauty. After coming back two or three times, he at last ventured to approach the window and to whisper in the softest voice: ‘Lovely maiden, will you be my bride?’ and she had answered: ‘I will.’
Next morning, when the prince arrived to claim his bride, he found her wrapped in a large white veil. ‘It is so that maidens are received from their parents’ hands,’ said the mother, who hoped to make the king’s son marry Peppina in place of her sister, and had fastened the donkey’s tail round her head like a lock of hair under the veil. The prince was young and a little timid, so he made no objections, and seated Peppina in the carriage beside him.
Their way led past the old house inhabited by the cats, who were all at the window, for the report had got about that the prince was going to marry the most beautiful maiden in the world, on whose forehead shone a golden star, and they knew that this could only be their adored Lizina. As the carriage slowly passed in front of the old house, where cats from all parts of world seemed to be gathered a song burst from every throat:!
Mew, mew, mew! Prince, look quick behind you! In the well is fair Lizina, And you’ve got nothing but Peppina.
When he heard this the coachman, who understood the cat’s language better than the prince, his master, stopped his horses and asked:
‘Does your highness know what the grimalkins are saying?’ and the song broke forth again louder than ever.
With a turn of his hand the prince threw back the veil, and discovered the puffed-up, swollen face of Peppina, with the donkey’s tail twisted round her head. ‘Ah, traitress!’ he exclaimed, and ordering the horses to be turned round, he drove the elder daughter, quivering with rage, to the old woman who had sought to deceive him. With his hand on the hilt of his sword he demanded Lizina in so terrific a voice that the mother hastened to the well to draw her prisoner out. Lizina’s clothing and her star shone so brilliantly that when the prince led her home to the king, his father, the whole palace was lit up. Next day they were married, and lived happy ever after; and all the cats, headed by old Father Gatto, were present at the wedding.
From: THE CRIMSON FAIRY BOOK compiled by Andrew Lang
During the winter there was very little fighting. In the spring the Indians did not fight with any spirit. They had begun to get tired of the war. Many wished for peace. The Narragansetts who had been helping in the war had suffered a terrible defeat from the English.
The English began to understand better the Indian method of fighting. They attacked the Indians wherever they could find them. They surprised several large forces of Indians in different places. Then it began to look as if Philip and the old warriors were right and the young warriors were wrong.
Several sachems had been killed. The Indians had no stores of corn. The English tore up every field that the Indians planted. Finally, the Indians gave up hope. They were being starved out. During the summer of 1676AD, large numbers of them surrendered to the whites.
Philip was not seen from the time he swam across Narragansett Bay until in July, 1676AD, when he returned to his old home at Mount Hope. His wife and son had been captured earlier in the spring, and he knew that the cause of the Indians was lost.
He wanted to see his old home once more, the place where he had lived for sixty years, but which he felt he was now going to lose forever. We can see him as he returned to his home, now desolated by war, his wigwam destroyed, his cornfield trodden down, his family taken from him, his friends taken captive in the war. He felt that the war was wrong, that his young warriors had been too hasty in starting it without making proper preparations for it. He looked into the future. It seemed very dark to him.
The war indeed was nearly over. The Wampanoags were talking about surrendering. Philip knew that surrender meant death for him. He refused even to think of it. When one of his warriors suggested it to him he killed him on the spot.
The English soon learned that Philip had returned to his old home. They surrounded him. On the twelfth day of August, 1676AD, he was shot in an ambuscade by the brother of the Indian he had killed for suggesting that he surrender.
And now, see how barbarous the English settlers could be. They cut off his hands and quartered his body, leaving it to decay on four trees. They carried his head to Plymouth, and placed it on the end of a pole. Then they appointed a public day of thanksgiving.
Philip’s wife and children were taken to the Bermudas and sold as slaves, in common with the other Indians captured in the war. Thus the Wampanoag tribe of Indians came to an end.
Philip was unjustly blamed by the Plymouth people for starting the war. They thought that he was in league with several other tribes in New England and New York, and that he intended to drive out the English if he could. That was why they fought so desperately, and at the end of the war removed the remnants of the tribe from New England. It is true that the Indians would have been obliged to move in time. Philip undoubtedly saw that, but he believed that peace was best and he urged it on his followers. The English did not know this, and the result was that Philip was held responsible for a war which he had opposed from the outset.
This ends the story of King Philip.
From: LEGENDS AND STORIES FROM MARTHA’S VINEYARD, NANTUCKET AND BLOCK ISLAND
23 stories and legends from the most famous part of America’s East Coast
Philip did his best to keep at peace with the English. For a while he succeeded. But his young warriors began to steal hogs and cattle belonging to the settlers, and on one pleasant Sunday in June, 1675AD, when the people were at church, eight young Indians burned a few houses in the village of Swansea, the nearest town to the Wampanoag headquarters at Mount Hope. The whites immediately raised a few troops, marched after the Indians, and had a little skirmish with them.
Philip was not with his warriors at the time. The attack on the whites had been made against his express orders. When he heard that the Indians and settlers had really had a battle, he wept from sorrow, something which an Indian rarely does.
Everything seemed to go wrong. He tried to make peace with the whites, but they would not listen to him. The young warriors no longer paid any attention to what he said. They went on destroying property and killing cattle.
After leaving Swansea, they went to Taunton and Middleboro, where they burned several houses and killed a few persons. But troops soon arrived from Boston and Plymouth, and in a few days the Indians were driven back to their homes at Mount Hope.
The English hurried on after them, and the war that followed is known in history as King Philip’s War.
Philip and the Indians swam across Narragansett Bay and went to some of their friends in the Connecticut Valley. There they obtained the help of the Nipmucks, who had never been very friendly towards the English.
We do not know where Philip was during the war. He knew that he would be held responsible for it, although he had done everything in his power to prevent it. For a year the war was carried on, one hundred miles away from his home, and never once was he known to have been connected with any fighting, nor was he even seen by the English during that time. Some of them thought that he was directing the war, but really it was carried on by other tribes of Indians that had not been very friendly towards the whites. The Wampanoags seem to have had very little connection with the war.
The Indians attacked the English towns in the Connecticut Valley, and the more exposed places on the frontier of the colony where the people were few and scattered.
No battle was fought in the open field. The Indians did not fight in that way. They secretly surrounded a town, rushed in from all sides, killed as many people as possible, took what property they could carry away, and burned all that remained.
They knew all the paths in the forests, swamps, and thickets. They were fast runners, and went rapidly from town to town.
Their favorite method of fighting was in an ambuscade. That was something peculiar to the Indians. The English had never heard of that way of fighting before they came to America. The Indians would lie down flat on the ground or stand behind trees or in a bush or thicket. When the enemy came along with no suspicion that any one was near, the Indians suddenly gave a yell and fired their arrows or guns at them. This would startle them and generally cause them to run away.
The war was one of the most dreadful in the history of our country. A farmer left his home in the morning not knowing whether he would ever see his wife and children again. His gun was always in his hand. Laborers were cut off in the field. Reapers, millers, women at home, and people on their way to and from church were killed.
Nearly every town in the Connecticut Valley was destroyed by the Indians, and the people suffered terribly. The Indians were very successful during the first year of the war. They lost but few warriors and did an immense amount of injury to the whites. This caused the young warriors to believe that Philip and the old warriors were wrong, and that it was really possible for them to drive the English from the country.
From: Legends and Stories from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island
Philip thought the matter over. He felt that the English had done the Indians great injustice.
In the first place, the land had originally belonged to the Indians. It was not of great value to them, for they used it mainly for hunting purposes. So they had very willingly parted with a few acres to the English in return for some trinkets of very little value—such as a jack-knife, or a few glass beads, or little bells, or a blanket.
Then the English had forbidden the Indian to sell his land to any white man. He was allowed to sell only to the colonial government. This was done in order to protect him from white men who wanted to cheat him; but Philip only saw that it prevented his giving away something of little value to himself, and getting something he wanted in return.
Before the English came, the woods were full of game and the streams were full of fish. Now Philip noticed that the game was going from the woods and the fish from the rivers. He felt that the Indians were becoming poorer and the English were getting richer.
Only the poorer lands were owned by the Indians now. All the best were in the hands of the white men.
Philip was also tired of the airs of superiority assumed by the whites. They looked upon the Indians as fit only for servants and slaves. He thought that his people were as good as the whites. He felt that the bonds of love and sympathy between the two races had been broken.
In spite of his many complaints and requests, the English had failed to punish unprincipled white men who had done wrong to the Indians.
Finally, those Indians who had been converted to Christianity had left their old tribes and their former modes of life. This had weakened the power of the Indians, and Philip began to think that the English were Christianizing the Indians simply for the purpose of getting control of their lands.
Philip felt that the question was too deep a one for him to solve. He called the sachems of the Wampanoags together, and talked the matter over with them. Several meetings were held, and every member expressed himself on the subject very freely.
The question then arose, what should they do? It very soon became evident that two opposite opinions were held.
It was not the custom of the Indians to vote on any questions that were discussed at their meetings. They talked the matter over and then adopted the plan that most of them thought was best. But at this time they were unable to decide what to do in order to get back that which they had lost, and how to prevent losing any more. And so they kept on talking over plans.
Fifty-five years of peace and friendship with the English had resulted in giving the white men all the land of any value, while the Wampanoags were decreasing in numbers and each year were finding it more and more difficult to live.
The young warriors urged immediate action. They wanted war, and wanted it then, and desired to keep it up until the English should be driven out of the country.
Philip was opposed to this. He knew how strong the English were, and that it would be impossible to drive them out. He saw that the time had gone by when the English could be expelled from the country. He threw his influence with the older warriors, and for a while succeeded in holding the younger men in check. He felt that the Indians could never be successful in a war with the English when the tribe owned only thirty guns and had no provisions laid aside to carry them through the war.
From: LEGENDS AND STORIES OF MARTHA’S VINEYARD, NANTUCKET AND BLOCK ISLAND
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE MAY-FLOWER COMPACT
MARTHA’S VINEYARD AND NANTUCKET
LOVE AND TREASON
THE HEADLESS SKELETON OF SWAMPTOWN
THE CROW AND CAT OF HOPKINSHILL
THE OLD STONE MILL
THE ORIGIN OF A NAME
MICAH ROOD APPLES
A DINNER AND ITS CONSEQUENCES
THE NEW HAVEN STORM SHIP
THE WINDAM FROGS
THE LAMB OF SACRIFICE
ROBERT LOCKWOOD’S FATE
LOVE AND RUM
THE WHOLE HISTORY OF GRANDFATHER’S CHAIR
THE LOYALISTS OF MASSACHUSETTS
PUNISHMENT FOR WEARING LONG HAIR IN NEW ENGLAND
SCHOOL DISCIPLINE IN THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
THE SCHOOLMASTER’S SOLILOQUY
THE STORY OF KING PHILIP
Ten years passed by peacefully, except for one little trouble, which occurred in 1667AD, six years after Philip became sachem. An Indian told the people at Plymouth that Philip had said that he wished the Dutch would beat the English in the war which was then being carried on between Holland and England.
The Plymouth people were very much surprised at this, and immediately called Philip to account. But he denied ever making any such statement, and offered to surrender all his arms to the English in order to show that he had no hostile designs against them. This satisfied the English. Everything went on quietly until 1671AD, when troubles between the two races finally began to arise.
In that year Philip complained that the English were not living up to their agreement which they had made with him ten years before. At the request of the people of Plymouth, Philip went to Taunton, a village near his hunting-grounds, and talked matters over with them.
He was accompanied by a band of warriors armed to the teeth and painted. The meeting was held in the little village church. Philip and his Indians sat on one side of the room and the English on the other.
A man from Boston, who was thought to be friendly to both parties, was chosen to preside over the meeting. Then the Indians and the settlers made speeches, one after the other, just as is done in meetings to-day.
Philip admitted that lately he had begun to prepare for war, and also that some of his Indians had not treated the whites justly. But he also showed that the English were arming themselves, and that many of them had cheated the Indians when dealing with them.
Philip said that he preferred peace to war, and had only armed his warriors in self-defense. Finally, it was decided to make a new treaty.
Here is a copy of the new treaty as it was drawn up. Notice the quaint way of expressing the ideas, and also, that many words are not spelled as we spell them to-day. Notice, too, how one-sided the treaty is, and that it is signed only by Philip and the Indians.
A FACSIMILE OF THE TREATY MADE AT TAUNTON, APRIL 10, 1671.
Whereas my Father, my Brother, and myself have formerly submitted ourselves and our people unto the Kings Majesty of England, and this Colony of New-Plymouth, by solemn Covenant under our Hand, but I having of late through my indiscretion, and the naughtiness of my heart, violated and broken this my Covenant with my friends by taking up arms, with evill intent against them, and that groundlessly; I being now deeply sensible of my unfaithfulness and folly, do desire at this time solemnly to renew my Covenant with my ancient Friends and my Father’s friends above mentioned; and doe desire this may testifie to the world against me, if ever I shall again fail in my faithfulness towards them (that I have now and at all times found so kind to me) or any other of the English colonyes; and as a reall Pledge of my true Intentions, for the future to be faithful and friendly, I doe freely ingage to resign up unto the Government of New-Plymouth, all my English Armes to be kept by them for their security, so long as they shall see reason. For true performance of the Premises I have hereunto set my hand together with the rest of my council.
In the presence of:
The Mark of Philip, Chief Sachem of Pokanoket
The Mark of Tavoser
William Hudson. —— ——
Thomas Brattle —— ——
Woonkaponehunt —— ——
But Philip doubted the sincerity of the English. He hesitated to give up his arms. Then the settlers ordered him to come to Plymouth and explain why.
Instead of obeying, he went to Boston and complained there of the treatment he had received. He said that his father, his brother, and himself had made treaties of friendship with the English which the latter were trying to turn into treaties of subjection. He said he was a subject of the King of England, but not of the colony of Plymouth, and he saw no reason why the people of Plymouth should try to treat him as a subject.
The people of Massachusetts again made peace between Philip and the settlers at Plymouth. But it could not long continue, for each side had now become thoroughly suspicious of the other.
In 1674AD, an Indian reported to the settlers that Philip was trying to get the sachems of New England to wage war on the whites. A few days later, that Indian’s dead body was found in a lake. The English arrested three Indians and tried them for the murder. They were found guilty and were executed, although the evidence against them was of such a character that it would not have been admitted in a court of justice against a white man.
From Stories and Legends from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Block Island –