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IYFTYK_front_Cover_A5_Centered

By Elizabeth Rhodes Jackson

Illustrated by L. E. W. KATTELLE

CH 12his book is for all little boys and girls who love fairies and pixies. Here we have a story about a boy named Wendell, who lives in Boston and likes fairy stories and baseball MUCH more than he likes fractions – but he does like reading and can be found in the children’s section of the library on most days.

He even checked fairytale books out of the library and took them home with him. At night his parents had to take the books away from him as he was quite often found in the early hours of the morning reading a book under his covers with a torch.

Then Wendell reads about the Wishing Stone. On making enquiries he finds it is no longer where his book said it would be and he starts to make enquiries as to its current whereabouts – and so starts Wendell’s adventure across Boston and into the land of Fairydom.

This volume is sure to keep you and your young ones enchanted for hours, if not because of the quantity, then their quality. They will have you coming back for more time and again.

WHO SUMMONS ME SAID THE KOBOLD
ISBN: 9788828373902
DOWNLOAD LINK: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/elizabeth-rhodes-jackson/its-your-fairy-tale-you-know-a-fairytale-adventure/
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KEYWORDS/TAGS: fairy tales, folklore, myths, legends, children’s stories, childrens stories, bygone era, fairydom, fairy kingdom, ethereal, fairy land, classic stories, children’s bedtime stories, happy place, happiness, laughter, Wishing Stone, Pixie Starts It, First Task, Wendell, Unexpected, Ally, Frog, Out Of The Common, extraordinary, Enchanted Maiden, Midnight Spell, Cousin Virginia, Caller, Break, Charm, spell, Giant, House, Cloak Of Darkness, invisibility, Blind Man’s Buff, bluff, Cap Of Thought, Magic Book, Choice, Happy Family, Sammy, Tries His Hand, Acorn, Beacon, Beauteous, Beautiful, Boston, Cap, Cousin, electric, freckle-faced, Kobold, library, magic, Maiden, Mummer, Park, Pixie, riddle, Sammy, school, shape, squirrel, stepmother, Stepsister, telephone, Virginia, Wendell, young

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African Scene

An Excerpt from “Old Hendrik’s Tales” 13 South African Folk Tales

 

The little girl was full of excitement. Driving home with her mother from the “dorp,” she had seen Ou’ Jackalse himself—Mynheer Jackal—slinking across the veldt, and all the tales Old Hendrik had told her about him crowded her mind as she watched him. She could hardly contain herself now, as she stood before the old Hottentot pouring forth the story. There was only one regret in it—“He must have been in some trouble, Ou’ Ta’,” said she; “’cause all the time I watched him his tail was right down. I watched and I watched to see if it wouldn’t stick up, ’cause then I’d know he was thinking of a plan; but it never did.”

Old Hendrik smiled. “So his tail was a-hangin’ an’ a-slinkin’ ahter him, was it? An’ didn’t he look back at you over his shoulder as he went?”

“Yes, he did,” answered Annie, still more eager at finding how well Old Hendrik knew the ways and doings of Ou’ Jackalse. “I kept hoping he was thinking of fetching Ou’ Wolf to work for us, then I could tell Ou’ Wolf not to trust him any more, no matter what he said.”

Old Hendrik’s delight bubbled into a jeering shake of the head and a half laugh of derision over the subject as he repeated the name—“Ou’ Jackalse, hey! Ou’ Jackalse!”

“But you needn’t to be feared he’s a-gun’ to get Ou’ Wolf into much more trouble nowadays, Ainkye,” went on the old Hottentot. “He ain’t a-gun’ to get de best o’ so many more folks, not since he went to get even wid Young Tink Tinky, de littlest bird on de veldt. Little Missis Tinky got Ou’ Mammy Reyer, de Crane, to he’p her, an’ dat made all de difference. You seen how he slunk his tail along behind him?—well, dat’s why. He’s a-tinkin’ o’ what happened den, an’ he looked at you over his shoulder, wonderin’ all de time weder you’d heerd de tale or not. It happened dis while or two back, an’ since den he ain’t bin near so sa’cy as he used to was.”

“Oh, poor Old Jackalse!” cried the little girl, “what did happen? Do tell me, Ou’ Ta’.”

“Well,” began Old Hendrik, “if ever you sees Ou’ Jackalse tryin’ to fool Ou’ Wolf into trouble agen, you don’t ha’ to say on’y yust one ting. You’s on’y got to ask him how he likes eggs, an’ den see if he don’t turn round an fair slink off wid his tail draggin’. Dat’s where de trouble come in, he would go ahter eggs.

“You ’members me tellin’ you how Young Tink Tinky bested Ou’ Jackalse when de birds wantto choose a King for demselves? Well, Ou’ Jackalse he never forgot dat, an’ he was al’ays a-studyin’ how he’s a-gun’ to get even, but he couldn’t find de way nohow till at last he sees Missis Tinky a-sittin’ on de nest, an’ he knows by dat dere’s eggs dere. ‘Dat’s me,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse. ‘Eggs is de ting I does like—an’ here’s some. Watch me teach dat Young Tinky dis time.’

“Now dere was a t’orn-tree like dis,”—here Old Hendrik indicated the mimosa under which he sat,—“an’ dis t’orn-tree was a-growin close beside de river, an’ a willow-tree dat was bigger yet was a-hangin’ over de t’orn. In dat t’orn-tree Young Tinky build his nest, an ahter de eggs is all laid, an’ his missis is well an’ comfy settled into sittin’ on ’em, Young Tink he offs to look for scoff for hisse’f an’ de missis. Den’s de time when Ou’ Jackalse is a-watchin’ him, an’ as soon as he’s gone, here comes Jackalse to de bottom o’ de t’orn-tree an’ begins to scratch on de bark—scratch! scratch! scratch!

“Little Missis Tinky she look down out o de nest. ‘Who’s dere?’ ses she.

“‘Me,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“‘What you want?’ ses Missis Tinky, all in a tremble.

“‘Want dem eggs you got,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse, wid his hair up. ‘You better be sharp about it too.’

“‘Well, you ain’t a-gun’ to get ’em,’ flutter Missis Tinky; but she’s yust dat frighten’ she cahnt har’ly speak.

“‘Please yourse’f,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse; ‘but if you don’t drop me down a egg dis minute, den I’s a-comin’ up, an’ if I once does come up dere, den I’s a-gun’ to eat you first as well as de eggs. Make a hurry now—drop one!’

“Little missis she get sich a scrik when Ou’ Jackalse ses he’s a-comin’ up dat she yust go all a-flitty flutty, an’ dere ain’t no two ways about it, she hatto drop him one egg to save de rest. So out she pull it an down she drop it, right into Ou’ Jackalse mouf, where he stand on his back legs wid his front feets agen de tree. An’ as soon as he feel it in his mouf he yust gullup it down, an’ off he go for dat day. ‘I’ll make dis ting last a bit,’ ses he to hisse’f.

“Well, little Missis Tinky she’s in dat terr’ble way she cahnt har’ly sit still till Young Tinky comes home, an’ as soon’s ever she sees him she burst out a-cryin’ an’ a-tellin’ him what happened.

“‘What! An’ you b’lieve sich a fool tale as dat about him climbin’ de tree,’ ses Young Tinky, fair fightin’ mad at de way he lose dat egg. ‘He cahnt climb dis tree, not if he break his neck a-tryin’.’

“But Young Tinky he sees it ain’t no use; it ain’t a-gun’ to he’p his missis for him to shout an’ talk about it. ‘Never you mind dis time, little missis,’ ses he. ‘To-morrow you can go an’ look for de scoff, an’ I stay at home an’ wait for Ou’ Jackalse. I’ll show him what’s what dis time, too,’ ses he. An’ his missis she stop cryin’, dough she cahnt stop lookin’ where dat one egg ought to be.

“Well, de nex’ day Young Tinky he stop at home an’ sit on de nest while his missis went for scoff, an’ it ain’t but a while or two ’fore along comes Ou’ Jackalse to de foot o’ de tree-scratch! scratch! scratch!

“Young Tinky he ain’t a-lettin’ Ou’ Jackalse see who’s at home to-day; he yust on’y slant half o’ one eye down at him. ‘Who’s dere?’ ses he.

“‘Me,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“‘An’ what you want scratchin’ dere?’ ses Tinky.

“‘Anoder egg, an’ you best be sharp about it,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“‘Well, you’s yust about got all de eggs you’s a-gun’ to get here,’ ses Tinky, stickin’ all his head an’ shoulders out for Jackalse to have a good look at him.

“‘Oh, it’s you, is it?’ ses Ou’ Jackalse, showin’ his teef. ‘Well, if you won’t drop darie egg down in one minute, den I’s a-comin’ up an’ eat you all up—bones, beak an’ feders!’

“‘Come up den,’ ses Young Tinky, hoppin’ out onto a branch. ‘Yust you come up here if you darse, you hairy skellum you,’ squeak Tinky, hoppin’ up an’ down an’ flickin’ his wings like he’s fair a-gun’ to peck de eyes out o’ de hull fam’ly o’ de Jackalses. ‘You try it on, Mister Ou’ Jackalse, an’ see what I’s do to you!’ an’ Tinky swells hisse’f into a reg’lar ole rage as he tink o’ dat egg yestiday an’ his little missis frighten’ to deaf nearly.

“Dat make Ou’ Jackalse in sich a wax dat he spurt out de word he didn’t mean to. ‘I on’y wish I could yust come up dis tree to you. I’d scoff you down in yust one gullup an’ your eggses ahter you,’ ses he, a-rampin’ an’ a-tearin’.

“‘You ses dat,’ squeak young Tinky, ‘but I knows better. It’s not you cahnt—it’s you dahnt. But I’ll teach you to frighten poor little mammickies into givin’ you deir eggses, you skellum! skellum! skellum!’

“Ou’ Jackalse he get dat mad, a-snappin’ an’ a-snarlin’ while he listen, dat he fair turn away an’ slant out o’ dat, an’ Young Tinky is yust dat conceited of hisse’f he cahnt har’ly wait till his missis comes home ’fore he begin a-tellin’ her dat’s de way she ought to done yestiday. An’ Missis Tink she listen an’ she tink she’ll do de same herse’f now, if ever Ou’ Jackalse trouble her agen.

“So de nex’ day Young Tinky he go ahter de scoff, an’ his missis she sit on de eggs, tinkin’ it’s all right now. But Ou’ Jackalse he’d bin a-watchin’, an’ he know’s who’s a-gone an who’s a-stop at home, an in about no time he’s at de foot o’ darie t’orn-tree agen, an’ de same ole scratch! scratch! scratch! at it.

“Little Missis Tink she stick her head out an’ she start to tell him to get out o’ dat, in de biggest voice she’s got. But she hadn’t more dan got out de first two words dan she see his teef where he bare ’em all round, white an’ yammerin’, an’ he look dat savage an’ murderin’ dat de rest o’ de words stuck fast in her froat, an’ she fair chattered wid fright.

“‘Down wi’ darie egg, else I’ll come an’ tear you into smitchies,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“Missis Tinky nearly drop out o’ de nest wid de scrik she got; but she tink o’ what Tink Tinky say, an’ she squeak it out. ‘You cahnt come up dis tree if you try,’ ses she.

“‘Cahnt I?’ ses he, all hair an’ spiky. ‘Yust see me half try!’ an’ he gives de biggest yump he ever make in his life, an’ it scrape him a couple o’ yards up de tree stem.

“Little missis she fair gi’en one big squawk an’ tink she’s all gone—eggs, nest, an’ all. ‘Is you a-gun’ to drop me dat egg?’ shouts Ou’ Jackalse.

“‘Yes, yes. Here it is! Take it, take it!’ squeak de little missis, an’ she drop out de one egg to him.

“Ou’ Jackalse he ketch dat egg an’ he gulp it down an’ off he go agen. ‘Nex’ time I come you better drop one quicker. I ain’t a-gun’ to ax twice no more,’ ses he.

“Well, as soon as he go, little Missis Tinky she cry like her heart break, an’ she cahnt sit dere on de dest at all. Anyhow she’s feared to wait till Young Tinky comes home, ’cause she don’t know what he’ll say when he finds anoder egg gone, an’ she’s in dat misery dat she don’t know what to do. Den she tink of her Aunt, Ou’ Reyer, de Blue Crane, an’ she fly off to her where she’s a-fis’in’ in de reeds, an’ she yust up an’ tell her de hull tale of it.

“‘So darie Ou’ Jackalse’s up to his tricks agen, is he?’ ses Ou’ Reyer. ‘Well, he’s meddle wid de birds before, an’ dis time we’ll teach him to don’t do it no more. Now you yust go home an’ sit on de nest agen, an’ I’ll come in a minute or two—den well be ready for him.’

“Little missis she go back, an’ in a minute or two Ou’ Reyer follows, an’ she hide herse’f in de top o’ de willow-tree over de nest. ‘Now for Ou’ Jackalse,’ ses she.

“Well, it ain’t but a little while rill here come Ou’ Jackalse agen, wid de same ole scratch! scratch! scratch! an’ de same ole terr’fyin’ words—‘Drop me down anoder egg or I’ll come up an’ eat you,’ ses he.

“‘Make like you’s a-gun’ to drop him one,’ whispers Ou’ Reyer; an’ little Missis Tinky she make like she’s a-doin’ it.

“Ou’ Jackalse he rise up on his hine legs, an’ he put his paws agen de tree, an’ he open his mouf an’ shut his eyes, an’ he fair feel de taste o’ dat egg a’ready. An’ den, yust den, Ou’ Reyer she lean out over Missis Tinky an’ she open her big long beak, an’, swock! she drop a great big bull-frog right into Ou’ Jackalse’s froat.

And she dropped one right into Jackal's throat

And she dropped one right into Jackal’s throat

 

“Wow! but dere was a chokin’ an’ a squeal-in’ den. Ou’ Jackalse he yump an’ he roll, an’ he fling hisse’f along de ground a-tryin’ to cough up darie fat bull-frog, an’ darie ou’ bull-frog he puff an’ he wiggle an’ he slip down an’ down till dere he is in Ou’ Jackalse’s tummy, a-hoppin’ an’ a-floppin’ an’ a-croakin’ an’ a-gloakin’ till Ou’ Jackalse is yust dat scared dat he light out f’m dere plump across de scenery. An’ he go dat fast he yust hit de high places as he went an’ never touch’ de low. I tell you Ou’ Jackalse was scared.

ISBN: 9781909302150

As Retold By Arthur Owen Vaughan

Illustrated By J.A. Shepherd

URL http://abelapublishing.com/old-hendiks-tales–13-south-african-folk-tales_p27279516.htm

 

Old Hendrik's Tales cover

Old Hendrik’s Tales cover

 

THIS eStory is FREE – so FEEL FREE to Love it, Save it and Share it with your Friends and Family

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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

Once upon a time there lived a man of learning and wealth who had an only son, named Hanina. To this son, who was grown up and married, he sent a messenger asking that he should immediately come to his father. Hanina obeyed, and found both his father and mother lying ill.

“Know, my son,” said the old man, “we are about to die. Grieve not, for it has been so ordained. We have been companions through life, and we are to be privileged to leave this world together. You will mourn for us the customary seven days. They will end on the eve of the festival of the Passover. On that day go forth into the market place and purchase the first thing offered to thee, no matter what it is, or what the cost that may be demanded. It will in due course bring thee good fortune. Hearken unto my words, my son, and all will be well.”

Hanina promised obedience to this strange injunction of his father, and events fell out in accordance with the old man’s prediction. The aged couple died on the same day, were buried together and after the week of mourning, on the day preceding the Passover festival, Hanina made his way to the market place wondering what adventure was in store for him. He had scarcely entered the market place, where all manner of wares were displayed, when an old man approached him, carrying a silver casket of curious design.

“Purchase this, my son,” he said, “and it will bring thee good fortune.”
“What does it contain?” asked Hanina.
“That I may not inform thee,” was the reply. “Indeed I cannot, for I know not. Only the purchaser can open it at the feast which begins the Passover.”

Naturally, Hanina was impressed by these words. Matters were shaping just as his father foretold.

“What is the price?” he asked.
“A thousand gold pieces.”

That was an enormous sum, nearly the whole that he possessed, but Hanina, remembering his vow, paid the money and took the casket home. It was placed upon the table that night when the Passover festival began. On being opened it was found to contain a smaller casket. This was opened and out sprang a frog.

Hanina’s wife was sorely disappointed, but she gave food to the frog which devoured everything greedily. So much did the creature eat that when the Passover had ended, in eight days it had grown to an enormous size. Hanina built a cabinet for his strange possession, but it continued to grow and soon required a special shed.

Hanina was seriously puzzled, for the frog ate so ravenously that he and his wife had little food for themselves. But they made no complaint, although their hardships increased daily. They were compelled to dispose of almost everything they possessed to keep the frog supplied with food, and at last they were left in a state of abject poverty. Then only did the courage of Hanina’s wife give way and she began to cry.

To her astonishment, the frog, which was now bigger than a man, spoke to her.
“Listen to me, wife of the faithful Hanina,” it said. “Ye have treated me well. Therefore, ask of me what ye will, and I shall carry out your wishes.”
“Give us food,” sobbed the woman.
“It is there,” said the frog, and at that very moment there was a knock at the door and a huge basket of food was delivered.

Hanina had not yet spoken, and the frog asked him to name his desire.

“A frog that speaks and performs wonders must be wise and learned,” said Hanina. “I wish that thou shouldst teach me the lore of men.”

The frog agreed, and his method of teaching was exceedingly strange. He wrote out the Law and the seventy known languages on strips of paper. These he ordered Hanina to swallow. Hanina did so and became acquainted with everything, even the language of the beasts and the birds. All men regarded him as the most learned sage of his time.

One day the frog spoke again.”The day has arrived,” he said, “when I must repay you for all the kindness you have shown me. Your reward shall be great. Come with me to the woods and you shall see marvels performed.”

Hanina and his wife followed the giant frog to the woods very early one morning, and a comical figure it presented as it hobbled along. Arrived at the woods, the frog cried out, in its croaking voice:
“Come to me all ye inhabitants of the trees, the caves and streams, and do my bidding. Bring precious stones from the depths of the earth and roots and herbs.”

Then began the queerest procession. Hundreds upon hundreds of birds came twittering through the trees; thousands upon thousands of insects came crawling from holes in the ground; and all the animals in the woods, from the tiniest to the monsters, came in answer to the call of the frog. Each group brought some gift and laid it at the feet of Hanina and his wife who stood in some alarm. Soon a great pile of precious stones and herbs was heaped before them.

“All these belong to you,” said the frog, pointing to the jewels. “Of equal worth are the herbs and the roots with which ye can cure all diseases. Because ye obeyed the wishes of the dying and did not question me, ye are now rewarded.”

Hanina and his wife thanked the frog and then the former said: “May we not know who thou art?”
“Yes,” replied the frog. “I am the fairy son of Adam, gifted with the power of assuming any form. Farewell.”
With these words, the frog began to grow smaller and smaller until it was the size of an ordinary frog. Then it hopped into a stream and disappeared and all the denizens of the woods returned to their haunts.

Hanina and his wife made their way home with their treasures. They became famous for their wealth, their wisdom and their charity, and lived in happiness with all peoples for many, many years.

ISBN: 978-1-907256-14-1
URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/jewish-fairy-tales-and-legends_p23332628.htm

An Ox came down to a reedy pool to drink. As he splashed heavily into the water, he crushed a young Frog into the mud. The old Frog soon missed the little one and asked his brothers and sisters what had become of him.

 

“A great big monster,” said one of them, “stepped on little brother with one of his huge feet!”

 

“Big, was he!” said the old Frog, puffing herself up. “Was he as big as this?”

 

“Oh, much bigger!” they cried.

 

The Frog puffed up still more.

 

“He could not have been bigger than this,” she said. But the little Frogs all declared that the monster was much, much bigger and the old Frog kept puffing herself out more and more until, all at once, she burst.

 

Moral: Do not attempt the impossible.

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From: Æsop for Children

 

To be published during the summer of 2012

The book will raise funds for CECILY’S FUND, a charity educating and supporting Zambian children orphaned by aids.

The Tsarevna Frog - from FOLK TALES FROM THE RUSSIAN

 

 

Vassilissa, when she came back, searched for the skin, and when she could not find it her beautiful face grew sad and her bright eyes filled with tears. She said to Tsarevitch Ivan, her husband:

 

“Oh, dear Tsarevitch, what hast thou done? There was but a short time left for me to wear the ugly frogskin. The moment was near when we could have been happy together forever. Now I must bid thee good-by. Look for me in a far-away country to which no one knows the roads, at the palace of Kostshei the Deathless;” and Vassilissa turned into a white swan and flew away through the window.

 

Tsarevitch Ivan wept bitterly. Then he prayed to the almighty God, and making the sign of the cross northward, southward, eastward, and westward, he went on a mysterious journey.

 

No one knows how long his journey was, but one day he met an old, old man. He bowed to the old man, who said:

 

“Good-day, brave fellow. What art thou searching for, and whither art thou going?”

 

Tsarevitch Ivan answered sincerely, telling all about his misfortune without hiding anything.

 

“And why didst thou burn the frogskin? It was wrong to do so. Listen now to me. Vassilissa was born wiser than her own father, and as he envied his daughter’s wisdom he condemned her to be a frog for three long years. But I pity thee and want to help thee. Here is a magic ball. In whatever direction this ball rolls, follow without fear.”

 

Ivan Tsarevitch thanked the good old man, and followed his new guide, the ball. Long, very long, was his road. One day in a wide, flowery field he met a bear, a big Russian bear. Ivan Tsarevitch took his bow and was ready to shoot the bear.

 

“Do not kill me, kind Tsarevitch,” said the bear. “Who knows but that I may be useful to thee?” And Ivan did not shoot the bear.

 

Above in the sunny air there flew a duck, a lovely white duck. Again the Tsarevitch drew his bow to shoot it. But the duck said to him:

 

“Do not kill me, good Tsarevitch. I certainly shall be useful to thee some day.”

 

And this time he obeyed the command of the duck and passed by. Continuing his way he saw a blinking hare. The Tsarevitch prepared an arrow to shoot it, but the gray, blinking hare said:

 

“Do not kill me, brave Tsarevitch. I shall prove myself grateful to thee in a very short time.”

 

The Tsarevitch did not shoot the hare, but passed by. He walked farther and farther after the rolling ball, and came to the deep blue sea. On the sand there lay a fish. I do not remember the name of the fish, but it was a big fish, almost dying on the dry sand.

 

“O Tsarevitch Ivan!” prayed the fish, “have mercy upon me and push me back into the cool sea.”

 

The Tsarevitch did so, and walked along the shore. The ball, rolling all the time, brought Ivan to a hut, a queer, tiny hut standing on tiny hen’s feet.

 

“Izboushka! Izboushka!”—for so in Russia do they name small huts—”Izboushka, I want thee to turn thy front to me,” cried Ivan, and lo! the tiny hut turned its front at once. Ivan stepped in and saw a witch, one of the ugliest witches he could imagine.

 

“Ho! Ivan Tsarevitch! What brings thee here?” was his greeting from the witch.

 

“O, thou old mischief!” shouted Ivan with anger. “Is it the way in holy Russia to ask questions before the tired guest gets something to eat, something to drink, and some hot water to wash the dust off?”

 

Baba Yaga, the witch, gave the Tsarevitch plenty to eat and drink, besides hot water to wash the dust off. Tsarevitch Ivan felt refreshed. Soon he became talkative, and related the wonderful story of his marriage. He told how he had lost his dear wife, and that his only desire was to find her.

 

“I know all about it,” answered the witch. “She is now at the palace of Kostshei the Deathless, and thou must understand that Kostshei is terrible. He watches her day and night and no one can ever conquer him. His death depends on a magic needle. That needle is within a hare; that hare is within a large trunk; that trunk is hidden in the branches of an old oak tree; and that oak tree is watched by Kostshei as closely as Vassilissa herself, which means closer than any treasure he has.”

 

Then the witch told Ivan Tsarevitch how and where to find the oak tree. Ivan hastily went to the place. But when he perceived the oak tree he was much discouraged, not knowing what to do or how to begin the work. Lo and behold! that old acquaintance of his, the Russian bear, came running along, approached the tree, uprooted it, and the trunk fell and broke. A hare jumped out of the trunk and began to run fast; but another hare, Ivan’s friend, came running after, caught it and tore it to pieces. Out of the hare there flew a duck, a gray one which flew very high and was almost invisible, but the beautiful white duck followed the bird and struck its gray enemy, which lost an egg. That egg fell into the deep sea. Ivan meanwhile was anxiously watching his faithful friends helping him. But when the egg disappeared in the blue waters he could not help weeping. All of a sudden a big fish came swimming up, the same fish he had saved, and brought the egg in his mouth. How happy Ivan was when he took it! He broke it and found the needle inside, the magic needle upon which everything depended.

 

At the same moment Kostshei lost his strength and power forever. Ivan Tsarevitch entered his vast dominions, killed him with the magic needle, and in one of the palaces found his own dear wife, his beautiful Vassilissa. He took her home and they were very happy ever after.

 

 

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From folk tales from the russian

Format: Currently only in PDF ebook format

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_ftftr.html

 

Folktales from the Russian

 

 

 

There Lived a Prince with his wife - from FOLK TALES FROM THE RUSSIAN

In an old, old Russian tsarstvo, I do not know when, there lived a sovereign prince with the princess, his wife. They had three sons, all of them young, and such brave fellows that no pen could describe them. The youngest had the name of Ivan Tsarevitch. One day their father said to his sons:

 

“My dear boys, take each of you an arrow, draw your strong bow and let your arrow fly; in whatever court it falls, in that court there will be a wife for you.”

 

The arrow of the oldest Tsarevitch fell on a boyar-house just in front of the terem where women live; the arrow of the second Tsarevitch flew to the red porch of a rich merchant, and on the porch there stood a sweet girl, the merchant’s daughter. The youngest, the brave Tsarevitch Ivan, had the ill luck to send his arrow into the midst of a swamp, where it was caught by a croaking frog.

 

Ivan Tsarevitch came to his father: “How can I marry the frog?” complained the son. “Is she my equal? Certainly she is not.”

 

“Never mind,” replied his father, “you have to marry the frog, for such is evidently your destiny.”

 

Thus the brothers were married: the oldest to a young boyarishnia, a nobleman’s child; the second to the merchant’s beautiful daughter, and the youngest, Tsarevitch Ivan, to a croaking frog.

 

After a while the sovereign prince called his three sons and said to them:

 

“Have each of your wives bake a loaf of bread by to-morrow morning.”

 

Ivan returned home. There was no smile on his face, and his brow was clouded.

 

“C-R-O-A-K! C-R-O-A-K! Dear husband of mine, Tsarevitch Ivan, why so sad?” gently asked the frog. “Was there anything disagreeable in the palace?”

 

“Disagreeable indeed,” answered Ivan Tsarevitch; “the Tsar, my father, wants you to bake a loaf of white bread by to-morrow.”

 

“Do not worry, Tsarevitch. Go to bed; the morning hour is a better adviser than the dark evening.”

 

The Tsarevitch, taking his wife’s advice, went to sleep. Then the frog threw off her frogskin and turned into a beautiful, sweet girl, Vassilissa by name. She now stepped out on the porch and called aloud:

 

“Nurses and waitresses, come to me at once and prepare a loaf of white bread for to-morrow morning, a loaf exactly like those I used to eat in my royal father’s palace.”

 

In the morning Tsarevitch Ivan awoke with the crowing cocks, and you know the cocks and chickens are never late. Yet the loaf was already made, and so fine it was that nobody could even describe it, for only in fairyland one finds such marvelous loaves. It was adorned all about with pretty figures, with towns and fortresses on each side, and within it was white as snow and light as a feather.

 

The Tsar father was pleased and the Tsarevitch received his special thanks.

 

“Now there is another task,” said the Tsar smilingly. “Have each of your wives weave a rug by to-morrow.”

 

Tsarevitch Ivan came back to his home. There was no smile on his face and his brow was clouded.

 

“C-R-O-A-K! C-R-O-A-K! Dear Tsarevitch Ivan, my husband and master, why so troubled again? Was not father pleased?”

 

“How can I be otherwise? The Tsar, my father, has ordered a rug by to-morrow.”

 

“Do not worry, Tsarevitch. Go to bed; go to sleep. The morning hour will bring help.”

 

Again the frog turned into Vassilissa, the wise maiden, and again she called aloud:

 

“Dear nurses and faithful waitresses, come to me for new work. Weave a silk rug like the one I used to sit upon in the palace of the king, my father.”

 

Once said, quickly done. When the cocks began their early “cock-a-doodle-doo,” Tsarevitch Ivan awoke, and lo! there lay the most beautiful silk rug before him, a rug that no one could begin to describe. Threads of silver and gold were interwoven among bright-colored silken ones, and the rug was too beautiful for anything but to admire.

 

The Tsar father was pleased, thanked his son Ivan, and issued a new order. He now wished to see the three wives of his handsome sons, and they were to present their brides on the next day.

 

The Tsarevitch Ivan returned home. Cloudy was his brow, more cloudy than before.

 

“C-R-O-A-K!.C-R-O-A-K! Tsarevitch, my dear husband and master, why so sad? Hast thou heard anything unpleasant at the palace?”

 

“Unpleasant enough, indeed! My father, the Tsar, ordered all of us to present our wives to him. Now tell me, how could I dare go with thee?”

 

“It is not so bad after all, and might be much worse,” answered the frog, gently croaking. “Thou shalt go alone and I will follow thee. When thou hearest a noise, a great noise, do not be afraid; simply say: ‘There is my miserable froggy coming in her miserable box.'”

 

The two elder brothers arrived first with their wives, beautiful, bright, and cheerful, and dressed in rich garments. Both the happy bridegrooms made fun of the Tsarevitch Ivan.

 

“Why alone, brother?” they laughingly said to him. “Why didst thou not bring thy wife along with thee? Was there no rag to cover her? Where couldst thou have gotten such a beauty? We are ready to wager that in all the swamps in the dominion of our father it would be hard to find another one like her.” And they laughed and laughed.

 

Lo! what a noise! The palace trembled, the guests were all frightened. Tsarevitch Ivan alone remained quiet and said:

 

“No danger; it is my froggy coming in her box.”

 

To the red porch came flying a golden carriage drawn by six splendid white horses, and Vassilissa, beautiful beyond all description, gently reached her hand to her husband. He led her with him to the heavy oak tables, which were covered with snow-white linen and loaded with many wonderful dishes such as are known and eaten only in the land of fairies and never anywhere else. The guests were eating and chatting gayly.

 

Vassilissa drank some wine, and what was left in the tumbler she poured into her left sleeve. She ate some of the fried swan, and the bones she threw into her right sleeve. The wives of the two elder brothers watched her and did exactly the same.

 

When the long, hearty dinner was over, the guests began dancing and singing. The beautiful Vassilissa came forward, as bright as a star, bowed to her sovereign, bowed to the honorable guests and danced with her husband, the happy Tsarevitch Ivan.

 

While dancing, Vassilissa waved her left sleeve and a pretty lake appeared in the midst of the hall and cooled the air. She waved her right sleeve and white swans swam on the water. The Tsar, the guests, the servants, even the gray cat sitting in the corner, all were amazed and wondered at the beautiful Vassilissa. Her two sisters-in-law alone envied her. When their turn came to dance, they also waved their left sleeves as Vassilissa had done, and, oh, wonder! they sprinkled wine all around. They waved their right sleeves, and instead of swans the bones flew in the face of the Tsar father. The Tsar grew very angry and bade them leave the palace. In the meantime Ivan Tsarevitch watched for a moment to slip away unseen. He ran home, found the frogskin, and burned it in the fire.

 

 

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From folk tales from the russian

Format: Currently only in PDF ebook format

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_ftftr.html

 

Folk Tales from the Russian

 

 

 

Today is our last African folk tale (this time around). Tomorrow we travel up the prime meridian into the land of the Celts, Angles and Saxons only to begin our Eastwards journey again. Todays tale is titled “The Daughter of the Sun and Moon”.

 

Kimanaweze’s (Kima-nah-whe-zee) son, when the time came for him to choose a wife, declared that he would not “marry a woman of the earth, but must have the daughter of the Sun and Moon. He wrote “a letter of marriage”-a modern touch, no doubt added by the narrator(1) -and cast about for a messenger to take it up to the sky. The little duiker (mbambi – a rock rabbit) refused, so did the larger antelope, known as soko, the hawk, and the vulture. At last a frog(2) came and offered to carry the letter. The son of Kimanaweze, doubtful of his ability to do this, said, “Begone! Where people of life, who have wings, gave it up dost thou say, ‘I will go there But the frog persisted, and was at last sent off, with the threat of a thrashing if he should be unsuccessful. It appears that the Sun and Moon were in the habit of sending their handmaidens down to the earth to draw water, descending and ascending by means of a spider’s web. The frog went and hid himself in the well to which they came, and when the first one filled her jar he got into it without being seen, having first placed the letter in. his mouth. The girls went up to heaven, carried their water-jars into the room, and set them down. When they had gone away he came out, produced the letter, laid it on a table, and hid.

 

After a while “Lord Sun” (Kumbi Mwene) came in, found the letter, and read it. Not knowing what to make of it, he put it away, and said nothing about it. The frog got into an empty water-jar, and was carried down again when the girls went for a fresh supply. The son of Kimanaweze, getting no answer, refused at first to believe that the frog had executed his commission; but, after waiting for some days, he wrote another letter and sent him again. The frog carried it in the same way as before, and the Sun, after reading it, wrote that he would consent, if the suitor came himself, bringing his ‘first-present’-the usual gift for opening marriage negotiations. On receiving this the young man wrote another letter, saying that he must wait till told the amount of the ‘wooing-present,’ or bride-price (kilembu).

 

He gave this to the frog, along with a sum of money, and it was conveyed as before. This time the Sun consulted his wife, who was quite ready to welcome the mysterious son-in-law. She solved the question of providing refreshments for the invisible messenger by saying, “We will cook a meal anyhow, and put it on the table where he leaves the letters.” This was done, and the frog, when left alone, came out and ate. The letter, which was left along with the food, stated the amount of the bride-price to be “a sack of money.” He carried the letter back to the son of Kimanaweze, who spent six days in collecting the necessary amount, and then sent it by the frog with this message: “Soon I shall find a day to bring home my wife.” This, however, was more easily said than done, for when his messenger had once more returned he waited twelve days, and then told the frog that he could not find people to fetch the bride. But the frog was equal to the occasion. Again he had himself carried up to the Sun’s palace, and, getting out of the water-jar, hid in a corner of the room till after dark, when he came out and went through the house till he found the princess’s bed chamber. Seeing that she was fast asleep, he took out one of her eyes without waking her, and then the other.He tied up the eyes in a handkerchief, and went back to his corner in the room where the water-jars were kept. In the morning, when the girl did not appear, her parents came to inquire the reason, and found that she was blind. In their distress they sent two men to consult the diviner, who, after casting lots, said (not having heard from them the reason of their coming), “Disease has brought you; the one who is sick is a woman; the sickness that ails her the eyes. You have come, being sent; you have not come of your own will. I have spoken.” The Sun’s messengers replied, “Truth. Look now what caused the ailment.” He told them that a certain suitor had cast a spell over her, and she would die unless she were sent to him. Therefore they had best hasten on the marriage. The men brought back word to the Sun, who said, “All right. Let us sleep. To-morrow they shall take her down to the earth.” Next day, accordingly, he gave orders for the spider to “weave a large cobweb” for sending his daughter down. Meanwhile the frog had gone down as usual in the water-jar and hidden himself in the bottom of the well. When the water-carriers had gone up again he came out and went to the village of the bridegroom and told him that his bride would arrive that day. The young man would not believe him, but he solemnly promised to bring her in the evening, and returned to the well.

 

After sunset the attendants brought the princess down by way of the stronger cobweb and left her by the well. The frog came out, and told her that he would take her to her husband’s house; at the same time he handed back her eyes. They started, and came to the son of Kimanaweze, and the marriage took place. And they lived happy ever after-on earth.

 

NOTES

In its present form, as will have been noticed, this story is strongly coloured by Portuguese influence. The water-carriers, the Sun’s house, with its rooms and furniture, the bag of money, all belong to present-day Loanda (Luanda). But, for all that, the groundwork is essentially African. The frog and the diviner would, by themselves, be sufficient to prove this. (The frog, by the way, is usually a helpful creature in African folklore.) The glaring improbabilities in the story must not be regarded too critically; it is constantly taken for granted, as we shall find when considering the animal stories proper, that any animal may speak and act like a human being-though the frog, in this instance, seems to possess more than ordinary human powers. The specially strong cobweb prepared for the daughter’s descent, while the water-carriers had been going up and down every day without difficulty, may have been necessitated by the number of the bride’s attendants; but we are not told why they should have returned and left her alone at the foot of the heavenly ladder.’

 

The people of the Lower Congo have a story about the spider fetching fire from heaven at the request of Nzambi, who is here regarded as the Earth-mother and the daughter (according to R.E. Dennett) of Nzambi Mpungu, the “first father,” or the personified sky. (Other authorities insist that everywhere in Africa the relation of sky and earth is that of husband and wife.) He was helped by the tortoise, the woodpecker, the rat, and the sandfly, whom he conveyed up by means of his thread. The story maybe found in Dennett, Folk-lore of the Fjort [Fiote], p.74

 

In other cases we find people reaching the Heaven country by climbing a tree, as is done by the mother in the Yao tale of “The Three Women.” In the Zulu story of “The Girl and the Cannibals” a brother and sister, escaping from these ogres, climb a tree and reach the Heaven country.

 ————————–

Footnotes

1 We often find stories brought up to date in this way.

2 The frog’s magic powers are implied, if not explicitly stated.

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From Bantu Myths and Legends compiled by Alice Werner (1933)

ISBN: 978-1-907256-38-7

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_bmal.html

 

 

 

 


 

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