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Did you know, the town of LAURA is situated in the region of Balochistān, Pakistan, which borders on South Eastern Iran. It is some 900 miles, or 1,449 km, South-West of Islamabad, or 73km / 45 miles west of the regional town of Gwadar.

 

You may wonder how I came to know this piece of useless information……?

 

A part of creating my children’s stories series, “The Baba Indaba’s Children’s Stories”, is to find a place on the map of the world which is related to the story. I do this using Google Maps. The idea is to not just give the children a story, or fairy tale, to read but also give them a bit of an intellectual challenge by having them look up a place on a map. The strategy-hope-plan is that in looking up a town in a place they haven’t yet heard of, that this will encourage them to read a bit about other cultures and peoples in the hope that it will lead to more understanding and, hence, tolerance of other cultures.

 

So in creating the e-Story “ABDALLAH THE UNHAPPY” (which will be published later today, I was looking for “A Great City of the East” for the geographic lookup challenge. Not wanting to use one of the more well known Eastern cities, I selected Laura, if only because of its somewhat unusual name.

 

To lookup the 310+ Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, click on this URL https://goo.gl/5ZcmPP

A sample of 25 Baba Indaba Childre's Stories Covers

A sample of 25 Baba Indaba Childre’s Stories Covers

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Baba Yaga, Russian, Girl with the Kind Heart - Cover

Baba Yaga, Russian, Girl with the Kind Heart – Cover

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 85

In Issue 85 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the Russian tale of “Baba Yaga and the Girl with a Kind Heart”. A while after the death of his wife,  poor peasant farmer decides to marry again, if only to give his daughter a mother. This he does but when he is out working in the fields and in the forest, all is not well at home.

What was the final outcome? Well, you’ll just have to download and read the story to find out what was really going on.

 

BUY ANY 4 BABA INDABA CHILDREN’S STORIES FOR ONLY $1

33% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_BABA_YAGA_AND_THE_LITTLE_GIRL_WITH_TH?id=chQaDAAAQBAJ

Two Burmese Folk Tales - cover

Two Burmese Folk Tales – cover

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 84

In Issue 84 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the Burmese tale of A SAD FATE – how a poor farm boy is taught to fish by a magical bird. So successful was he that he fed more than just his family. The king hears about his and asks the boy his secret. But did he tell the king the truth? Download and read the story to find out just what the boy said. Lookout for the moral of the story.

The second story is FRIENDS – Four brothers are continually fighting until taught a lesson in unity and strength by their father.

 

BUY ANY 4 BABA INDABA CHILDREN’S STORIES FOR ONLY $1

33% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

 

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_TWO_BURMESE_FOLKTALES_Two_Moral_Tales?id=CI4ZDAAAQBAJ

Giant and the cause of Thunder - West Africa - Cover

Giant and the cause of Thunder – West Africa – Cover

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 83

In Issue 83 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the West African Hausa tale of how a man who believed himself to be “A Man Among Men” was bested by a little boy. Download and read the story to find out how the boy did this. Also, lookout for the moral of the story.

 

BUY ANY 4 BABA INDABA CHILDREN’S STORIES FOR ONLY $1

33% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

URL: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_THE_GIANT_AND_THE_CAUSE_OF_THUNDER_A?id=qYYZDAAAQBAJ

Story of Ahuula (Polynesian) - Cover

Story of Ahuula (Polynesian) – Cover

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 082

In Issue 82 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the tale of how the first feather cloak came to be created. Eleio was a kukini, or runner, in the service of Kakaalaneo, King of Maui. On one of his journeys he comes across a spirit in the form of a beautiful women. She gives him instructions and directs him to a house. What happened next? Well, you’ll just have to download and read the story to find out.

 

BUY ANY 4 BABA INDABA CHILDREN’S STORIES FOR ONLY US$1

33% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_THE_STORY_OF_AHUULA_A_Polynesian_tale?id=zW0ZDAAAQBAJ

Son of Adam - Cover

Son of Adam – Cover

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 81

In Issue 81 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the ancient Tibetan tale of a land owner who takes pity on one of his lowest paid employees. He gives him a place at his table and says he may eat from any dish except the covered dish in the middle of the table.

Well, were the employees able to resist temptation? Download and read the story to find out what happened.

 

BUY ANY 4 BABA INDABA CHILDREN’S STORIES FOR ONLY $1

33% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_A_SON_OF_ADAM_A_Tibetan_Folktale?id=2DMZDAAAQBAJ

Almost a year ago I started a project to keep alive and bring to the world those old and forgotten children’s stories as individual stories. No longer will you have to buy a whole book of stories to have access to just one story.

 

To make it more interesting, I created a fictional persona to narrate the stories based on a tribal storyteller, in this case a Zulu tribal storyteller. His name is Baba Indaba, pronounced Baaba Indaaba, which means “Father of Stories” and he lived in KwaZulu-Natal during the Victorian era. A free downloadable description of Baba Indaba can be found on Google Play and Google Books.

 

As at today the first 260 stories have been loaded in PDF and ePUB formats. Each story sells for US$0.25 – or you can buy 4 for US$1.00

The UK price is £0.20 or 4 for £0.80. For all other countries, Google works out what the equivalent price in your country is.

At least 5 new stories will be added to this collection every week.

 

PLEASE LIKE and SHARE this with your FB friends especially those who are teachers or have children of their own.

 

Below you will find a list of all 260 stories to date listed by the region they originated in.

The URL/link to review the stories, and/or to buy, is https://goo.gl/J5TX98

 

Each story also includes LINKS TO DOWNLOAD 8 FREE BABA INDABA STORIES as well as a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” educational section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story. Our HINT is: use Google maps.

 

AFRICA

Book 01 – The Stars and The Road of Stars

Book 02 – Why the Hare has a Split Nose

Book 06 – Anansi and the Lion

Book 07 – Two Anansi Stories

Book 10 – The Lost message

Book 111 A STORY ABOUT A MAIDEN AND A PUMPKIN

Book 122 The Story of OSIRIS

Book 16 – THE GIRL OF THE EARLY RACE WHO MADE STARS

Book 19 – THE STORY ABOUT A BEAUTIFUL MAIDEN

Book 220 WHY THE HONEY BADGER IS SO KEEN ON HONEY

Book 25 –  Miss Salt Miss Pepper

Book 29 – Why the Whitecrow Never Speaks

Book 43 – Why A Bushman Throws Earth Into the Air

Book 46 – Two Bushmen Tales – HOW A SNAKE ANNOUNCES A DEATH IN THE FAMILY & THE RESURRECTION OF THE OSTRICH

Book 69 A LION’S STORY

Book 83 The Giant and the Cause of Thunder

 

AESOP’s FABLES – Rewritten for Children

Book 08 – The Tortoise and the Ducks

Book 117 TWO AESOPS FABLES – The Astrologer & The Fox and the Pheasants

Book 127 A Cat and Mouse in Partnership

Book 21 – How the Turtle Saved his Own Life

Book 26 –  The Wolf and the Kid

Book 30 – The Old Lion and the Jackal

Book 37 – A Cocks Breakfast

Book 28 – THE EAGLE AND THE CROW

Book 61 – Horse and Turtle

Book 62  THE JACKAL AND THE HYENA

Book 78 Two Aesops Fables

Book 90 BELLING THE CAT

 

AUSTRALASIAN – Aboriginal, Maori, Polynesian

Book 221 The Story of Hine Moa

Book 52 – How the Fish got into Water

Book 82 The Story of Ahuula

 

NORTH AMERICAS – American Indian, Americana, Alaska & Hawaii

Book 114 The Giant Dog

Book 119 UNKTOMI AND THE ARROWHEADS

Book 18 – The Star Maiden

Book 182 BOKWEWA, THE HUMPBACK

Book 191 WUNZH – THE FATHER OF INDIAN CORN

Book 198 THE RETURN OF THE DEAD WIFE

Book 200 RIP VAN WINKLE

Book 201 THE WONDERFUL BASKET

Book 204 GROWING-UP-LIKE-ONE-WHO-HAS-A-GRANDMOTHER

Book 207 THE STORY OF DJUN

Book 208 BLACKSKIN

Book 212 LAND-OTTER THE INDIAN

Book 217 THE CHIEF’S DAUGHTER

Book 238 THE ADVENTURES OF FIRE-DRILL’S SON

Book 245 The Loot of Loma – American Indian

Book 31 – Two American Indian Stories – A Bashful Courtship & Why The Birch-Tree Wears Slashes In It’s Bark

Book 32 – A BET BETWEEN THE COOYOKO AND THE FOX

Book 42 – A Dinner and its Consequences

Book 60  A HOPI RAID ON A NAVAHO DANCE

Book 63  Journies to the Skeleton House

Book 64  A KATCINA RACE CONTEST BETWEEN THE WµLPI AND THE ORAÖBI

Book 67 A Legend of Manabozho

Book 70 A LITTLE BRAVE AND THE MEDICINE WOMAN

 

BRITISH – English, Welsh, Scots & Irish

Book 09 – The Three Sillies

Book 101 A Voyage to Lilliput

Book 102 Black Brown and Gray

Book 104 Lazy Jack

Book 109 Nansi Llwyd and the Dog of Darkness

Book 112 THE Milk White Doo and a poem

Book 118 Tom Tit Tot

Book 12 – The Tale of the Hoodie

Book 123 ‘HAME, HAME, HAME, WHERE I FAIN WAD BE’

Book 124 MORE FAITHFUL THAN FAVOURED

Book 130 A NIGHT IN THE KITCHEN (HCA)

Book 132 BEOWULF

Book 133 Two Medieval Stories

Book 134 CHILDE HORN

Book 135 GUY OF WARWICK

Book 136 PRESTER JOHN

Book 137 Cherry

Book 146 THE PHYNODDERREE – Isle of Man

Book 153 A STRANGE TIGER

Book 151 A Rats Tale

Book 155 A White Trout

Book 158 LITTLE THUMB

Book 159 THE MASTER CAT

Book 161 ADVENTURES OF GILLA NA CHRECK AN GOUR

Book 165 ALL CHANGE

Book 166 BINNORIE

Book 168 Birth of Fin MacCumhail

Book 170 BLACK STAIRS ON FIRE

Book 171 Two Ghostly Tales

Book 172 AN BRAON SUAN OR

Book 178 DAY-DREAMING

Book 179 EARL MARs DAUGHTER

Book 183 CAUTH MORRISY LOOKING FOR SERVICE

Book 199 YOUNG AMAZON SNELL

Book 202 AN OLD-WORLD GHOST

Book 203 THE GENTLEMAN HIGHWAYMAN

Book 205 BLIND JACK OF KNARESBOROUGH

Book 206 BLIND JACK – More Adventures

Book 213 THE DISINHERITING OF A SON

Book 247 MR. VINEGAR

Book 250 THE SHEPHERD OF LAUDERDALE

Book 257 – THE CHURCH THE DEVIL STOLE & THE PARSON AND THE CLERK – Two Co

Book 258 – Two Cornish Legends – The Weaver Of Dean Combe And  The Demon Who Helped Drake

Book 259 – Two Cornish Legends – The Samson Of Tavistock And The Midnight Hunter Of The Moor

Book 260 – Two Cornish Legends – The Piskie’s Funeral and The Lost Land of Lyonesse

Book 33 – A Mouthful of Silence

Book 45 – Two Welsh Fables – The Fable Of Gwrgan Farfdrwch & The Story Of The Pig-Trough

Book 54  A Ghostly Rehearsal

Book 57  A Good Action

Book 65  A LEGEND OF KNOCKMANY

Book 66 The Legend of Lough Mask

Book 71 A LOST PARADISE

Book 75 A Pottle O’ Brains

Book 76 A Phantom Funeral

Book 77 A Puzzle

Book 87 TWO WELSH FABLES – A Strange Otter & Melangell’s Lambs

Book 91 Cap O Rushes

Book 92 The Legend of Beth Gellert

Book 93 DAME PRIDGETT AND THE FAIRIES

 

CENTRAL AMERICA – Caribbean, Mexican, Pre-Columbian, Atlantean

Book 138 PRINCESS BLUEGREEN OF THE SEVEN CITIES

Book 173 Bimini and the Fountain of Youth

Book 34 – The Maya Creation Story

Book 38 – The Creation Story of the Mixtecs

Book 48 – The Death Of Tupac King of the Inca

Book 51 – THE STORY OF NEZAHUALPILLI KING OF TEXCOCO

Book 56  The Lost Island

Book 72 The MYTH OF MANCO CCAPAC INCA

Book 73 The Rise and Fall of the Toltec Empire

Book 74 ZLATOVLASKA THE GOLDEN-HAIRED

Book 80 The Fugitive Prince

 

EUROPE – Eastern, Western & Scandinavia

Book 04 – The Watchmaker

Book 100 HANSEL AND GRETTEL

Book 105 MASTER AND PUPIL

Book 107 MOTHER HOLLE

book 115 A Very Naughty Boy

book 120 Vasilica The Brave

Book 121 ANDROCLES AND THE LION

Book 125 ‘TOM’ AN ADVENTURE IN THE LIFE OF A BEAR IN PARIS

Book 126 A (NOTHER) STORY OF A FROG

Book 139 Twopence Halfpenny – Gypsy

Book 143 THE JUDGMENT OF THE FLOWERS – Spain

Book 149 A PACK OF RAGAMUFFINS

Book 150 IN HONOUR OF A RAVEN

Book 152 FELICIA AND THE POT OF PINKS

Book 156 THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER or CINDERELLA

Book 157 THE SLEEPING BEAUTY IN THE WOODS

Book 160 BLUE BEARD

Book 162 BEASTS BESIEGED

Book 163 AINO’S FATE

Book 164 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Book 167 ALLERLEIRAUH or THE MANY-FURRED CREATURE

Book 169 ALPHEGE OR THE GREEN MONKEY

Book 174 BLOCKHEAD-HANS

Book 175 CANNETELLA (GFB)

Book 176 CHARCOAL NILS AND THE TROLL-WOMAN

Book 177 DAPPLEGRIM

Book 180 EMELYAN THE FOOL

Book 181 AN IMPOSSIBLE ENCHANTMENT (GFB)

Book 184 DOGS OVER THE WATER

Book 186 Aschenputtel

Book 187 BOYISLAV YOUNGEST OF TWELVE

Book 188 GAZELLE the TORTOISE

Book 189 HEART OF ICE

Book 190 ILMARINEN FORGES THE SAMPO

Book 192 VASSILISSA THE CUNNING AND THE TSAR OF THE SEA

Book 193 VIRGILIUS THE SORCERER (VFB)

Book 194 WAINAMOINEN AND YOUKAHAINEN

Book 195 YELENA THE WISE

Book 196 THE DROWNED BUCCANEER

Book 209 THE PETS OF AURORE DUPIN

Book 210 AURORE DUPIN AT PLAY

Book 211 HOW AURORE DUPIN LEARNs TO RIDE

Book 214 THE SIEGE OF RHODES

Book 216 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Book 218 THE BOYHOOD OF LEONARDO

Book 219 THE ADVENTURES OF A SPANISH NUN

Book 154 A THE STORY OF THREE WONDERFUL BEGGARS

Book 237 Pandoras Box

Book 24 – Salt – A Baba Yaga story

Book 243 AMYS AND AMYLE (Red Romance Book)

Book 246 CINDERELLA or the Little Glass Slipper

Book 251 DONKEY SKIN

Book 248 THree princesses of whiteland (Norway)

Book 249 Famine Among the Gnomes – Norse

Book 36 – A Clever Lass

Book 41 – The  Wind Rider

Book 39 – The Wolves Skoll and Hati

Book 44 – A Dozen At A Blow

Book 55  A GIFT FROM FRIGGA

Book 53 A French Puck

Book 59  A Gullible World

Book 85 Baba Yaga and the Girl with a Kind Heart

Book 86 A Story About a Darning Needle

Book 88 A Tale of Tontawald

Book 89 THE CAT WHO BECAME HEAD-FORESTER

Book 95 Gertrudes Bird

Book 96 A VISITOR FROM PARADISE

Book 98 FIN MacCUMHAIL and the KNIGHT of the FULL AXE

Book 99 GENTLE DORA

 

FAIRY STORIES

Book 103 HOW ETHNE LEFT THE LAND OF THE FAIRIES

Book 108 Minnikin

Book 113 The Fairy Frog

Book 128 A FAIRY’S BLUNDER

Book 140 The Fairy Child

Book 141 The Fairy Cure

Book 142 The Fairy Nurse

Book 144 The Kite That Went to the Moon

Book 145 The Pen Fairy

Book 147 The Rubber Fairy

Book 148 Twelfth Night Fairy

Book 185 FAIRER-THAN-A-FAIRY

Book 232 Twelve Fairy Stories Bumper edition

Book 234 Tinyboy and Other Stories

Book 235 The Leaf Fairy and Other Stories

Book 236 The Rain Fairy and Other Stories

Book 252 THE ELF MAIDEN

Book 49 –  A Fairy Borrowing

Book 50 – A Fairy Dog

Book 94 FAIRY TRANSPORTATION

 

FAR EAST – Burma, China, Japan

Book 106 – A TRADITIONAL PHYSICIAN CALLED JIVAKA

Book 11 – The Moon that Shone on the Porcelain Pagoda

Book 110 The Sparrow with the Slit Tongue

Book 116 OF THE MAIDEN SSUWARANDARI

Book 129 A Laung Khit

Book 13 – The Monkey and the Crocodile

Book 131 Aladdin and the Magic Lamp

Book 22 -The Elephant Girlie Face

Book 35 – TIKI-PU AND WIO-WANI

Book 47 – Two Burmese Tales – A DISRESPECTFUL DAUGHTER & THE THREE SISTERS

Book 58 – A Greedy King

Book 68 A Lesson for Kings

Book 79 A Rabbit Story

Book 81 A Son of Adam

Book 84 – Two Burmese Folktales – A SAD FATE & FRIENDS

 

INDIA – India, Bangladesh, Pakistan

Book 03 – The Evil Eye of Sani

Book 14 – CONKIAJGHARUNA

Book 23 – The Broken Pot

Book 233 Tiger Tom

Book 244 The Son of Seven Queens

 

MIDDLE EAST – Arabian Nights, Persian, Turkish, Jewish, Armenian

Book 05 – The Pixie of the Well

Book 15 – Ameen and the Ghool

Book 17 – The Story of Bostanai – Persian

Book 197 THE PERPLEXITY OF ZADIG – Babylon

Book 20 – ARA AND SEMIRAMIS – Armenian

Book 215 THE PRINCESS OF BABYLON

Book 222 THE THREE CALENDERS – Arabian Nights

Book 223 THE FISHERMAN AND THE GENIE – Arabian Nights

Book 224 THE STORY OF THE KING OF THE EBONY ISLES – Arabian Nights

Book 225 Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves – Arabian Nights

Book 226 THE STORY OF THE MAGIC HORSE – Arabian Nights

Book 227 THE STORY OF THE WICKED HALF-BROTHERS – Arabian Nights

Book 228 HOW THE CAMEL GOT HIS HUMP – Arabian

Book 229 THE CAT THAT WALKED BY HIMSELF – Arabian

Book 230 THE STORY OF THE MERCHANT AND THE JINNEE – Arabian

Book 231 THE STORY OF THE FISHERMAN – Arabian

Book 239 THE STORY OF THE THREE APPLES

Book 241 THE STORY OF NOOR-ED-DEEN AND ENEES-EL-JELEES

Book 242 THE SUMERIAN STORY OF THE GREAT FLOOD

Book 240 THE STORY OF THE HUMPBACK

Book 253 THE STORY OF THE PORTER AND THE LADIES OF BAGHDAD

Book 254 THE STORY OF THE FIRST ROYAL MENDICANT – Arabian Nights

Book 255 THE STORY OF THE SECOND ROYAL MENDICANT – Arabian Nights

Book 256 THE STORY OF THE THIRD ROYAL MENDICANT – Arabian Nights

Book 27 – The Soothsayer

Book 40 – An Armenian Story and an Armenian Poem

Book 97 Little Hyacinths Kiosk

A sample of 25 Baba Indaba Children's Stories Covers

A sample of 25 Baba Indaba Children’s Stories Covers

a-victorian-christmas-cover

ISBN: 978-1-910882-83-2

Herein are 32 Victorian Christmas poems and stories for children. The 16 stories are drawn from that bountiful library of French, Spanish and English authors. You will find stories like:

 

THE CHRISTMAS CUCKOO,

THE LOUIS-D’OR,

THE PRINCESS AND THE RAGAMUFFIN and

THE YULE LOG.

 

There are even three relatively unknown Christmas stories from the pen of that master of storytelling – CHARLES DICKENS.

 

The 16 Christmas poems are an extract from THE BELLS OF CHRISTMAS by various poets collated by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith originally published in 1906 with poems like Let the Holly Be Hung by Frank Dempster Sherman, The Adoration of the Wise Men by Cecil Frances Alexander and The Christmas Silence by Margaret Deland.

 

So download and read this volume of festive goodwill which brings out the real meaning of Christmas.

 

eBook Link on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Various_A_VICTORIAN_CHRISTMAS?id=3JikDQAAQBAJ

 

Below is a FREE excerpt:

CHRISTMAS IN THE FOREST.

From the French of André Theuriet.

 

Christmas Eve that year was bleak and cold, and the village seemed benumbed. The houses were closed hermetically, and so were the stables, from which came the muffled sound of animals chewing the cud. From time to time the clacking of wooden shoes on the hardened ground resounded through the deserted streets, then a door was hastily opened and closed, and all relapsed into silence. It was evident from the thick smoke rising through the chimneys into the gray air that every family was huddled around its hearth while the housewife prepared the Christmas supper. Stooping forward, with their legs stretched out to the fire, their countenances beaming with pleasure at the prospect of the morrow’s festival and the foretaste of the fat and juicy blood-sausages, the peasants laughed at the north wind that swept the roads, at the frost that powdered the trees of the forest, and the ice that seemed to vitrify the streams and the river. Following their example, my friend Tristan and I spent the livelong day in the old house of the Abbatiale at the corner of the hearth, smoking our pipes and reading poetry. At sundown we had grown tired of seclusion and determined to venture out.

 

“The forest must be a strange sight with this heavy frost,” said I to Tristan. “Suppose we take a turn through the wood after supper; besides, I must see the sabotiers from Courroy about a little matter.”

 

So we pulled on our gaiters, stuffed our pipes, wrapped ourselves in our cloaks and mufflers, and penetrated into the wood.

 

We walked along cheerfully over the rugged, hardened soil of the trenches furrowed with deep, frozen ruts. Through the copse on either side we saw mysterious white depths. After a damp night the north wind had transformed the mists and vapors that overhung the branches into a tangle of snowy lace. In the half light of the gloaming we could still distinguish the sparkling needles of the junipers, the frosted puffs of the clematis, the bluish crystallizations of the beech, and the silver filigree of the nut-trees. The silence was broken by the occasional creaking of the frozen limbs, and every now and then a breath of impalpable white dust dampened our cheeks as it melted there.

 

We walked along at a steady pace, and in less than an hour caught sight of the red and flickering glow of the sabotiers’ camp pitched on the edge of the forest above a stream that flowed down toward the valley of Santonge. The settlement consisted of a spacious, cone-shaped, dirt-coated hut and a cabin with board walls carefully sealed with moss. The hut answered the combined purposes of dormitory and kitchen; the cabin was used for the stowing away of tools and wooden shoes, and also for the two donkeys employed in the transportation of goods. The sabotiers, masters, apprentices, friends, and children were seated on beech logs around the fire in front of the hut, and their mobile silhouettes formed intensely black profiles against the red of the fire. Three short posts driven into the ground and drawn together at the top formed the crane, from which hung an iron pot that simmered over the coals. An appetizing odor of stewed hare escaped from the tin lid as it rose and fell under the puffs of vapor. The master, a lively, nervous, hairy little man, welcomed us with his usual cordiality.

 

“Sit down and warm yourselves,” said he. “You find us preparing the Christmas supper. I’m afraid we’ll not sleep over soundly to-night. My old woman is ill. I’ve fixed her a bed in the cabin where she’ll be more comfortable, and warmer on account of the animals. My boy has gone to Santonge to get the doctor. There’s no time to be lost. My little girl is kept busy running from the cabin to the hut.”

 

We had no sooner taken our seats around the fire than the snowflakes began to whirl about in the stillness above us. They fell so thick and fast that in less than a quarter of an hour we were compelled to protect the fire with a hurdle covered with sackcloth.

 

“By my faith! gentlemen,” said the sabotier, “you’ll not be able to start out again in this storm. You’ll have to stay and have your Christmas supper with us,—and taste of our stew.”

 

The weather was certainly not tempting, and we accepted the invitation. Besides, the adventure amused us, and we were delighted at the prospect of a Christmas supper in the heart of the forest. An hour later we were in the hut, and by the light of a miserable little candle-end we had our Christmas supper, devouring our hare-stew with a sharp appetite and washing it down with a draught of unfermented wine that scraped our throats. The snow fell thicker and thicker, wrapping the forest in a soft white wadding that deadened every sound. Now and then the sabotier rose and went into the cabin, then came back looking worried, listening anxiously for the good woman from Santonge. Suddenly a few metallic notes, muffled by the snow, rose softly from the depth of the valley. A similar sound from an opposite direction rang out in answer, then followed a third and a fourth, and soon a vague confusion of Christmas chimes floated over the forest.

 

Our hosts, without interrupting the process of mastication and while they passed around the wine-jug, tried to recognize the various chimes by the fulness of the sounds.

 

“Those—now—those are the bells from Vivey. They are hardly any louder than the sound of the donkey’s hoofs on the stones.”

 

“That is the bell of Auberive!”

 

“Yes; and that peal that sounds like the droning of a swarm of beetles, that’s the Grancey chimes.”

 

During this discussion Tristan and I began to succumb to the combined action of warmth and fully satisfied appetite. Our eyes blinked, and before we knew it we fell asleep on the moss of the hut, lulled by the music of the Christmas chimes. A piercing shriek followed by a sound of joyful voices woke us with a start.

 

It had ceased snowing. The night was growing pale, and through the little skylight we could see above the fleecy trees a faint light in the sky, where a belated star hung quivering.

 

“It is a boy!” shouted the master, bursting in upon us. “Gentlemen, if you think you would like to see him, why, I should be very glad; and it might bring him luck.”

 

We went crunching over the snow after him to the cabin, lighted by a smoky lamp. On her bed of laths and moss lay the young mother, weak and exhausted, her head thrown back, her pale face framed in by a mass of frowzy auburn hair. The “good woman,” assisted by the little girl, was bundling up the new-comer, who wailed feebly. The two donkeys, amazed at so much stir and confusion, turned their kindly gray faces toward the bed, shook their long ears, and gazed around them with wide, intelligent eyes, blowing through their nostrils puffs of warm vapor that hung like a thin mist on the air. At the foot of the bed stood a young shepherd, with a black and white she-goat and a new-born kid.

 

“I have brought you the she-goat, Ma’am Fleuriot,” said he, in his Langrois drawl. “You can have her for the boy as long as you wish.”

 

The goat was baaing, the new-born child wailed, and the donkeys breathed loudly. There was something primitive and biblical about the whole scene.

 

Without, in the violet light of the dawn, while a distant church-bell scattered its early notes through the air, one of the young apprentices, dancing in the snow to keep warm, sang out at the top of his lungs that old Christmas carol, which seemed then full of new meaning and poetry,—

 

“He is born, the little Child.

 

Ring out, hautbois! ring out, bagpipes!

 

He is born, the little Child;

 

Let us sing the happy news.”

Pottle of Brains - A Baba Indaba Children's Story

Pottle of Brains – A Baba Indaba Children’s Story

 

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 75

 

In Issue 75 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the old English tale “A Pottle o’ Brains” – a story about a fool who was forever getting into scrapes through his foolishness, and being laughed at by everyone. Folks told him that he could get everything he liked from the wise woman that lived on the top o’ the hill, and dealt in potions and herbs and spells and things. And so he goes off to buy a pottle of brains……..

You’ll have to download and read the story to find out what happened.

 

eBook link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_A_POTTLE_O_BRAINS_An_Old_English_Folk?id=IbkQDAAAQBAJ

 

Each issue also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE DOWNLOADS

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

Zlatovkaska The Golden Haired - Baba Indaba Children's Stories

Zlatovkaska The Golden Haired – Baba Indaba Children’s Stories

 

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 74

 

In Issue 74 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the Slovak tale of Zlatovlaska the Golden-Haired, also known as Yirik And The Snake. A cook disobeys his king and tastes a meal to a magic recipe and learns the speech of animals. His animal speaking triggers adventure, and the empathy he feels and shows to the animals secures his ultimate success.

You’ll have to download and read the story to find out what happened.

 

eBook Link: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_ZLATOVLASKA_THE_GOLDEN_HAIRED_A_Slova?id=oLIQDAAAQBAJ

 

Each issue also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE DOWNLOADS

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.