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A Beautiful Sight

From The Little Green Goblin by James Ball Naylor.

 

dropcap-LLittle Bob Taylor was mad, discouraged, and thoroughly miserable. Things had gone wrong—as things have the perverse habit of doing with mischievous, fun-loving boys of ten—and he was disgruntled, disgusted. The school year drawing to a close had been one of dreary drudgery; at least that was the retrospective view he took of it. And warm, sunshiny weather had come—the season for outdoor sports and vagrant rambles—and the end was not yet. Still he was a galley slave in the gilded barge of modern education; and open and desperate rebellion was in his heart.

One lesson was not disposed of before another intrusively presented itself, and tasks at home multiplied with a fecundity rivaling that of the evils of Pandora’s box. Yes, Bob was all out of sorts. School was a bore; tasks at home were a botheration, and life was a frank failure. He knew it; and what he knew he knew.

He had come from school on this particular day in an irritable, surly mood, to find that the lawn needed mowing, that the flower-beds needed weeding,—and just when he desired to steal away upon the wooded hillside back of the house and make buckeye whistles! He had demurred, grumbled and growled, and his father had rebuked him. Then he had complained of a headache, and his mother had given him a pill—a pill! think of it—and sent him off to bed.

Bob was out of sorts

Bob was out of sorts with himself

So here he was, tossing upon his own little bed in his own little room at the back of the house. It was twilight. The window was open, and the sweet fragrance of the honeysuckle flowers floated in to him. Birds were chirping and twittering as they settled themselves to rest among the sheltering boughs of the wild cherry tree just without, and the sounds of laughter and song came from the rooms beneath, where the other members of the family were making merry. Bob was hurt, grieved. Was there such a thing as justice in the whole world? He doubted it! And he wriggled and squirmed from one side of the bed to the other, kicked the footboard and dug his fists into the pillows—burning with anger and consuming with self-pity. At last the gathering storm of his contending emotions culminated in a downpour of tears, and weeping, he fell asleep.

“Hello! Hello, Bob! Hello, Bob Taylor!”

Bob popped up in bed, threw off the light coverings and stared about him. A broad band of moonlight streamed in at the open window, making the room almost as light as day. Not a sound was to be heard. The youngster peered into the shadowy corners and out into the black hallway, straining his ears. The clock down stairs struck ten deliberate, measured strokes.

“I thought I heard somebody calling me,” the lad muttered; “I must have been dreaming.”

He dropped back upon his pillows and closed his eyes.

“Hello, Bob!”

The boy again sprang to a sitting posture, as quick as a jack-in-a-box, his eyes and mouth wide open. He was startled, a little frightened.

“Hel—hello yourself!” he quavered.

“I’m helloing you,” the voice replied. “I’ve no need to hello myself; I’m awake.”

Bob looked all around, but could not locate the speaker.

“I’m awake, too,” he muttered; “at least I guess I am.”

“Yes, you’re awake all right enough now,” the voice said; “but I nearly yelled a lung loose getting you awake.”

“Well, where are you?” the boy cried.

A hoarse, rasping chuckle was the answer, apparently coming from the open window. Bob turned his eyes in that direction and blinked and stared, and blinked again; for there upon the sill, distinctly visible in the streaming white moonlight, stood the oddest, most grotesque figure the boy had ever beheld. Was it a dwarfed and deformed bit of humanity, or a gigantic frog masquerading in the garb of a man? Bob could not tell; so he ventured the very natural query:

“What are you?”

“I’m a goblin,” his nocturnal visitor made reply, in a harsh strident, parrot-like voice.

“A goblin?” Bob questioned.

“Yes.”

“Well, what’s a goblin?”

“Don’t you know?” in evident surprise.

“No.”

“Why, boy—boy! Your education has been sadly amiss.”

“I know it,” Bob replied with unction, his school grievances returning in full force to his mind. “But what is a goblin? Anything like a gobbler?”

“Stuff!” his visitor exclaimed in a tone of deep disgust. “Anything like a gobbler! Bob, you ought to be ashamed. Do I look anything like a turkey?”

“No, you look like a frog,” the boy laughed.

“Shut up!” the goblin croaked.

“I won’t!” snapped the boy.

“Look here!” cried the goblin. “Surely you know what goblins are. You’ve read of ’em—you’ve seen their pictures in books, haven’t you?”

“I think I have,” Bob said reflectively, “but I don’t know just what they are.”

“You know what a man is, don’t you?” the goblin queried.

“Of course.”

“Well, what is a man?”

“Huh?” the lad cried sharply.

“What is a man?”

“Why, a man’s a—a—a man,” Bob answered, lamely.

“Good—very good;” the goblin chuckled, interlocking his slim fingers over his protuberant abdomen and rocking himself to and fro upon his slender legs. “I see your schooling’s done you some good. Yes, a man’s a man, and a goblin’s a goblin. Understand? It’s all as clear as muddy water, when you think it over. Hey?”

“You explain things just like my teacher does,” the boy muttered peevishly.

“How’s that?” the goblin inquired, seating himself upon the sill and drawing his knees up to his chin.

“Why, when we ask him a question, he asks us one in return; and when we answer it, he tangles us all up and leaves us that way.”

“Does he?” the goblin grinned.

“Yes, he does,” sullenly.

“He must be a good teacher.”

“He is good—good for nothing,” snappishly.

The goblin hugged his slim shanks and laughed silently. He was a diminutive fellow, not more than a foot in height. His head was large; his body was pursy. A pair of big, waggling ears, a broad, flat nose, two small, pop eyes and a wide mouth made up his features. His dress consisted of a brimless, peaked cap, cutaway coat, long waistcoat, tight fitting trousers and a pair of tiny shoes—all of a vivid green color. His was indeed an uncouth and queer figure!

“Say!” Bob cried, suddenly.

“Huh?” the goblin ejaculated, throwing back his head and nimbly scratching his chin with the toe of his shoe.

“What are you called?”

“Sometimes I’m called the Little Green Goblin of Goblinville.”

“Oh!”

“Yes.”

“But what’s your name?”

“Fitz.”

“Fitz?”

“Yes.”

“Fitz what?”

“Fitz Mee.”

“Fits you?” laughed Bob. “I guess it does.”

“No!” rasped the goblin. “Not Fitz Hugh; Fitz Mee.”

“That’s what I said,” giggled the boy, “fits you.”

“I know you did; but I didn’t. I said Fitz Mee.”

“I can’t see the difference,” said Bob, with a puzzled shake of the head.

“Oh, you can’t!” sneered the goblin.

“No, I can’t!”—bristling pugnaciously.

“Huh!”—contemptuously—“I say my name is Fitz Mee; you say it is Fitz Hugh; and you can’t see the difference, hey?”

“Oh, that’s what you mean—that your name is Fitz Mee,” grinned Bob.

“Of course it’s what I mean,” the goblin muttered gratingly; “it’s what I said; and a goblin always says what he means and means what he says.”

“Where’s your home?” the boy ventured to inquire.

“In Goblinville,” was the crisp reply.

“Goblinville?”

“Yes; the capital of Goblinland.”

“And where’s that?”

“A long distance east or a long distance west.”

“Well, which?”

“Either or both.”

“Oh, that can’t be!” Bob cried.

“It can’t?”

“Why, no.”

“Why can’t it?”

“The place can’t be east and west both—from here.”

“But it can, and it is,” the goblin insisted.

“Is that so?”—in profound wonder.

“Yes; it’s on the opposite side of the globe.”

“Oh, I see.”

The goblin nodded, batting his pop eyes.

“Well, what are you doing here?” Bob pursued.

“Talking to you,” grinned the goblin.

“I know that,” the lad grumbled irritably. “But what brought you here?”

“A balloon.”

“Oh, pshaw! What did you come here for?”

“For you.”

“For me?”

“Yes; you don’t like to live in this country, and I’ve come to take you to a better one.”

“To Goblinland?”

“Yes.”

“Is that a better country than this—for boys?”

“Yes, indeed.”

“In what way is it better?” Bob demanded, shrewdly. “Tell me about it.”

“Well,” the goblin went on to explain, unclasping his hands and stretching his slender legs full length upon the window-sill, “in your country a boy isn’t permitted to do what pleases him, but is compelled to do what pleases others. Isn’t that so?”

“Yes, it is,” the lad muttered.

“But in our land,” the goblin continued, “a boy isn’t permitted to do what pleases others, but is compelled to do what pleases himself.”

“Oh!” ejaculated Bob, surprised and pleased. “That’s great. I’d like to live in Goblinland.”

“Of course you would,” said the goblin, placing a finger alongside of his flat nose and winking a pop eye. “Your parents and your teacher don’t know how to treat you—don’t appreciate you; they don’t understand boys. You’d better come along with me.”

“I’ve a notion to,” Bob replied thoughtfully. Then, abruptly: “But how did you find out about me, that I was dissatisfied with things here?”

“Oh, we know everything that’s going on,” the goblin grinned; “we get wireless telephone messages from all over the world. Whenever anybody says anything—or thinks anything, even—we learn of it; and if they’re in trouble some one of us good little goblins sets off to help them.”

“Why, how good of you!” Bob murmured, in sincere admiration. “You chaps are a bully lot!”

“Yes, indeed,” the goblin giggled; “we’re a good-hearted lot—we are. Oh, you’ll just love and worship us when you learn all about us!”

And the little green sprite almost choked with some suppressed emotion.

“I’m going with you,” the boy said, with sudden decision. “Will your balloon carry two, though?”

“We can manage that,” said the goblin. “Come here to the window and take a squint at my aërial vehicle.”

Bob crawled to the foot of the bed and peeped out the window. There hung the goblin’s balloon, anchored to the window-sill by means of a rope and hook. The bag looked like a big fat feather bed and the car resembled a large Willow clothes-basket. The boy was surprised, and not a little disappointed.

“And you came here in that thing?” he asked, unable to conceal the contempt he felt for the primitive and clumsy-looking contraption.

“Of course I did,” Fitz Mee made answer.

“And how did you get from the basket to the window here?”

“Slid down the anchor-rope.”

“Oh!” Bob gave an understanding nod. “And you’re going to climb the rope, when you go?”

“Yes; can you climb it?”

“Why, I—I could climb it,” Bob replied, slowly shaking his head; “but I’m not going to.”

“You’re not?” cried the goblin.

“No.”

“Why?”

“I’m not going to risk my life in any such a balloon as that. It looks like an old feather bed.”

“It is a feather bed,” Fitz answered, complacently.

In my land a boy is compelled to do what pleases himself

“WHAT!” exclaimed Fitz Mee

“What!”

The goblin nodded sagely.

“Whee!” the lad whistled. “You don’t mean what you say, do you? You mean it’s a bed tick filled with gas, don’t you?”

“I mean just what I say,” Fitz Mee replied, positively. “That balloon bag is a feather bed.”

“But a feather bed won’t float in the air,” Bob objected.

“Won’t it?” leered the goblin.

“No.”

“How do you know? Did you ever try one to see?”

“N—o.”

“Well, one feather, a downy feather, will fly in the air, and carry its own weight and a little more, won’t it?”

“Yes,” the lad admitted, wondering what the goblin was driving at.

“Then won’t thousands of feathers confined in a bag fly higher and lift more than one feather alone will?”

“No,” positively.

“Tut—tut!” snapped the goblin. “You don’t know anything of the law of physics, it appears. Won’t a thousand volumes of gas confined in a bag fly higher and lift more than one volume unconfined will?”

“Why, of course,” irritably.

“Well!”—triumphantly,—“don’t the same law apply to feathers? Say!”

“I—I don’t know,” Bob stammered, puzzled but unconvinced.

“To be sure it does,” the goblin continued, smoothly. “I know; I’ve tried it. And you can see for yourself that my balloon’s a success.”

“Yes, but it wouldn’t carry me,” Bob objected; “I’m too heavy.”

“I’ll have to shrink you,” Fitz Mee said quietly.

Shrink me?” drawing back in alarm bordering on consternation.

“Yes; it won’t hurt you.”

“How—how’re you going to do it?”

“I’ll show you.”

The goblin got upon his feet, took a small bottle from his waistcoat pocket and deliberately unscrewed the top and shook out a tiny tablet.

“There,” he said, “take that.”

“Uk-uh!” grunted Bob, compressing his lips and shaking his head. “I don’t like to take pills.”

“This isn’t a pill,” Fitz explained, “it’s a tablet.”

“It’s all the same,” the boy declared obstinately.

“Won’t you take it?”

“No.”

“Then you can’t go with me.”

“I can’t?”

The goblin shook his head.

“Isn’t there some other way you can—can shrink me?”

Again Fitz Mee silently shook his head.

“W-e-ll,” Bob said slowly and reluctantly, “I’ll take it. But, say?”

“Well?”

“What’ll it do to me—just make me smaller?”

“That’s all.”

“How small will it make me?”

“About my size,” grinned the goblin.

“Oo—h!” ejaculated Bob. “And will it make me as—as ugly as you are?” in grave concern.

The goblin clapped his hands over his stomach, wriggled this way and that and laughed till the tears ran down his fat cheeks.

“Oh—ho!” he gasped at last. “So you think me ugly, do you?”

“Yes, I do,” the lad admitted candidly, a little nettled.

“Well, that’s funny,” gurgled the goblin; “for that’s what I think of you. So you see the matter of looks is a matter of taste.”

“Huh!” Bob snorted contemptuously. “But will that tablet change my looks? That’s what I want to know.”

“No, it won’t,” was the reassuring reply.

“And will I always be small—like you?”

“Look here!” Fitz Mee croaked hoarsely. “If you’re going with me, stop asking fool questions and take this tablet.”

“Give it to me,” Bob muttered, in sheer desperation.

And he snatched the tablet and swallowed it.

Immediately he shrunk to the size of the goblin.

“My!” he cried. “It feels funny to be so little and light.”

He sprang from the bed to the window-sill, and anticly danced a jig in his night garment.

“Get into your clothes,” the goblin commanded, “and let’s be off.”

Bob nimbly leaped to the floor, tore off his night-robe and caught up his trousers. Then he paused, a look of comical consternation upon his apple face.

“What’s the matter?” giggled the goblin.

“Why—why,” the boy gasped, his mouth wide open, “my clothes are all a mile too big for me!”

Fitz Mee threw himself prone upon his stomach, pummeled and kicked the window-sill, and laughed uproariously.

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Just why were his clothes to large, and what happened next you may ask? Well you will have to download the Little Green Goblin to find out for yourself.

The Little Green Goblin by James Ball Naylor – the 12 adventures of Bob and the Little Green Goblin.

ISBN: 9788835375777

DOWNLOAD LINK: https://bit.ly/33XA2Uk

10% of the publisher’s profits are donated to charity.
Yesterday’s books for today’s Charities.

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One nice, warm sunny day, when it was too hot to stay inside the den among the rocks, the nice bears were all out in front, lying in the shade of the woods.

“Oh, my! How hot it is!” cried Dido, and he opened his mouth wide, and let his red tongue hang out, for animals, such as dogs and bears, cool themselves off that way. You must have seen your dog, when he had run fast, after a cat, perhaps, open his mouth and breathe fast, with his tongue hanging out.

“Let’s go swimming in the lake again!” cried Dido to his brothers.

“All right,” agreed Gruffo.

“We’ll all go,” said Mr. Bear. “Come along.”

So off through the woods walked the family of bears toward the cool, blue lake, high up in the mountains. Dido could hardly wait to get there, and as soon as he saw, through the trees, the sparkle of the water he began to run. He ran so fast that he stumbled over a stone, and fell down.

“Oh, Dido!” called his mother. “You must be more careful. You must not go so fast. Something will happen to you some day if you do not look where you are going.”

“I didn’t hurt myself that time, anyhow,” answered Dido, as he got up, and jumped into the lake. There he swam about, as did the father and mother bear, and the other two cubs. Dido splashed his brothers every time he came near them, but they did not mind, for he was such a cute little fellow and he meant no harm. Besides, it was so warm that the more water they had on them the better Gruffo and Muffo liked it.

“It makes me hungry to go in swimming,” said Mrs. Bear. “I am going off in the woods to look for some berries.”

“I’m coming, too,” said Dido. “For I am hungry myself.”

Soon Mrs. Bear found a bush on which were growing some big red berries. These she pulled off with her forepaws, which were, to her, almost like our hands are to us, and the mother bear filled her mouth with the fruit. Dido did the same, and soon he was not as hungry as he had been. Then along came Mr. Bear, with Gruffo and Muffo, and they, too, ate the red berries off the bushes.

All at once Mr. Bear stopped eating, and, lifting his nose up in the air, sniffed very hard two or three times.

“What is the matter?” asked Mrs. Bear quickly.

“I think I smell a man,” answered the papa bear. “See if you can smell anything.”

Mrs. Bear lifted her nose up in the air and she, also, sniffed. Bears, you know, as do most wild animals, use their noses as much as they do their eyes to tell when there is danger. And to wild animals a man, nearly always, means danger. If you were out in the woods, and could not see any one, you could not tell, just by smelling the air, whether some person was near you or not—that is, unless they had a lot of perfume on them, and then, if the wind was blowing toward you, why you might smell that.

But bears have much better noses for smelling than have we, and they can smell a man in the woods even if he has no cologne on him.

“Sniff! Sniff!” went Mr. Bear.

“Sniff! Sniff!” went Mrs. Bear.

“Yes, I can surely smell a man,” the papa bear said in a low voice. “It is the first time I have known them to come around here.”

“And so can I smell a man,” added Mrs. Bear. “We had better get away from here.”

Then the bears ran off through the woods to their den. For though big bears are very strong and can fight well, they would much rather run away from a man than fight him, unless they find they cannot get away. For when a man goes into the woods where there are bears he nearly always has a gun with him, and while bears know they are stronger than a man they also know that a gun is stronger than a dozen bears.

When Dido, with his brothers and father and mother, got back to the den in the rocks, the little bear cub saw that his father was worried about something. Mr. Bear walked up and down in front of the pile of rocks, sniffing the air, and looking on all sides.

“What is the matter, Papa?” asked Dido, in bear talk, of course.

“It’s that man I smelled in the woods,” said Mr. Bear. “I fear he may find our den.”

“Well, what if he does?” asked Dido.

“Then it would not be safe for us to stay here,” answered Mrs. Bear. “If men are coming into our woods it is time for us to go away.”

“What! go away from our nice den?” asked Gruffo. For though the den was only a hole in the rocks, with a pile of leaves in one corner for a bed, still, to the bears, it was as much a home as your house is to you.

“Yes, it would not be safe to stay while men are around,” said Mr. Bear. “That is the first time I have ever smelled them in our woods. Though a friend of mine, Mr. Lion, who lives farther down the mountain, said he has often seen men near his cave. Once some men on elephants chased him, but he got away.”

“Have you ever seen a man?” asked Dido of his father.

“Oh, yes, often, but always afar off. And the men did not see me.”

“What does a man look like?” asked Dido, for he had never seen any, though he had heard of them.

“A man is a queer creature,” said Mr. Bear. “He walks up on his hind feet, as we do sometimes, but when he walks on his four feet he can only go slowly, like a baby. Even you could run away from a man on his four feet, Dido.”

“How queer!” said the little bear.

“But don’t try it,” said Mrs. Bear quickly. “Keep away from men, Dido, for they might shoot you with one of their guns.”

“What else is a man like?” the little bear asked.

“Well, he has a skin that he can take off and put on again,” said Mr. Bear.

“Oh, how very funny!” cried Dido. “Take off his skin? I should think it would hurt!”

“It doesn’t seem to,” said the papa bear. “I don’t understand how they do it, but they do.”

Of course what Mr. Bear thought was skin was a man’s clothes, which he takes off and puts on again. But though bears are very wise and smart in their own way, they don’t know much about men, except to be afraid of them.

“I do not like it that men are coming up in our woods,” said Mr. Bear. “It means danger. So be careful, Dido, and you, too, Gruffo and Muffo, that you do not go too far away. Perhaps the man has come up here to set a trap to catch us.”

“What is a trap?” asked Dido.

“It is something dangerous, to catch bears,” his mother told him. “Some traps are made of iron, and they have sharp teeth in them that catch bears by the leg and hurt very much. Other traps are like a big box, made of logs. If you go in one of these box traps the door will shut and you can not get out.”

“What happens then?” asked Dido.

“Then the man comes and gets you.”

“And what does he do with you?” the little bear cub wanted to know.

“That I cannot say,” answered Mrs. Bear. “Perhaps your father knows.”

Mr. Bear shook his head.

“All I know,” he answered, “is that the man takes you away if he finds you in his trap. But where he takes you I do not know, for I was never caught, and I hope I never will be.”

“I hope so, too,” said Dido, and he sniffed the air to see if he could smell the man, but he could not.

For a number of days after that the bears did not go far from their den in the rocks. They were afraid the man might shoot them.

But, after a while, all the berries and sweet roots close by had been eaten, and the bears had to go farther off. Besides, they wanted some fish, and they must go to the lake or river to catch them. So after Mr. Bear had carefully sniffed the air, and had not smelled the man-smell, the bears started off through the woods again to get something to eat.

Dido ran here and there, sometimes on ahead and again he would stay behind, slipping up back of his brothers to tickle them. Oh, but Dido was a jolly little bear, always looking for fun.

The bears found some more red berries, and a few blue ones, and some sweet roots, and they also caught some fish, which made a good dinner for them. Then they went swimming in the lake again before going back to their den.

In the afternoon, when Gruffo was asleep in the shade, Dido went softly up to him, and poured a paw full of water in his brother’s ear.

“Wuff! Ouch! What’s that? Is it raining?” cried Gruffo, suddenly waking up. Then he saw that Dido had played the trick on him, and he ran after the little bear. But Dido climbed up a tree to get away, and he did it in such a funny way, his little short tail going around like a Fourth of July pinwheel, that Gruffo had to sit down and laugh.

“Oh, you are such a funny cut-up bear!” he said, laughing harder than ever, and when a bear laughs he can’t very well climb a tree.

“Come on down, I won’t do anything to you,” said Gruffo, after a while, so Dido came down. Then he turned somersaults on a pile of soft leaves. Next he stood on his hind legs, and began striking at a swinging branch of a tree with his front paws, as you have seen a kitten play with a cord of a window curtain.

Dido climed a tree to escape
But Dido climbed up a tree to get away.

 “Dido is getting to be a real cute little cub,” said Mrs. Bear.

Then, all of a sudden, Dido struck at the tree branch, but he did not hit it and he fell over backward.

“Look out!” cried Mr. Bear. “You’ll hurt yourself, Dido.”

“I didn’t hurt myself that time,” said the little bear, “for I fell on some soft, green moss.”

“Well, there will not always be moss for you to fall on,” his mother said. “So look out.”

One day, when Mr. Bear came back from a long trip in the woods, he brought some wild honey in his paws. And oh! how good it tasted to Dido and Gruffo and Muffo!

“Show me where the bee-tree is, Papa,” begged Dido. “I want to get some more honey.”

“It is too far away,” answered the papa bear. “Besides, I saw a man in the woods as I was getting the honey out of a hollow tree. It would not be safe for you to go near it when men are around.”

But the honey tasted so good to Dido that the little bear cub made up his mind that he simply must have more.

“I know what I’ll do,” he said to himself. “When none of the others are watching me I am going off by myself in the woods and look for a bee-tree to get some honey. I don’t believe there’s any danger.”

So about a week after this, one day, Dido saw his two brothers asleep outside the den. Mr. Bear had gone off to the lake, perhaps to catch some fish, and Mrs. Bear was in the den, stirring up the leaves that made the bed, so it would be softer to lie on.

“Now’s my chance,” thought Dido, in the way bears have of thinking. “I’ll just slip off in the woods by myself, and find a honey-tree. I’ll bring some honey home, too,” said Dido, for he was not a selfish little bear.

Walking softly, so as not to awaken his brothers, and so his mother, making the leaf-bed in the den, would not know what he was doing, away slipped Dido to the woods.

He shuffled along, now and then finding some red berries to eat, or a bit of sweet root, and every little while he would lift his nose up in the air, as he had seen his father do, and sniff to see if he could smell a man-smell.

“But I don’t smell any,” said Dido. “I guess it’s all right.”

Then, all at once, he felt a little wind blowing toward him, and on the breeze came the nicest smell.

“Oh, it’s honey!” cried Dido. “It’s honey! I have found the honey-tree! Oh, how glad I am!”

He hurried on through the woods, coming nearer and nearer to the honey smell all the while, until, after a bit, he saw in among the trees something square, like a box, made of little logs piled together. And inside the thing like a box was a pile of honey. Dido could see it and smell it. But he did not rush up in a great hurry.

“That doesn’t look like the honey-tree father told about,” the little bear cub thought. “He said he had to climb a tree. This honey is low down. Still it is honey, so this must be a honey-tree, and if it is low down so much the better for me. I will not have to climb.”

Dido sniffed the air again. He wanted to see if there was a man-smell about. But all he could smell was the honey.

“Oh, I guess it’s all right,” said the bear cub. “I’m so hungry for that honey I can’t wait! Here I go!”

Dido fairly ran into the box and began to eat the honey on the floor of it. But, no sooner had he taken a bite, than suddenly a queer thing happened.

Bang! went something behind Dido, and when he looked around he saw that the box was shut tight. A sliding door had fallen down and poor Dido was a prisoner……

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From: “Dido the Dancing Bear”

ISBN: 9788835390220

DOWNLOAD LINK: https://bit.ly/2xmFe8a

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QUEEN ZIXI of IX
More adventures in the Land of Oz
L. Frank Baum author of the Wizard of Oz

“Queen Zixi of Ix” was written by L Frank Baum, author of the many books in the Oz series, and illustrated by F Richardson with 86 exquisitely detailed drawings.

Our story starts on the night of a full moon – the fairies ruled by Queen Lurlene are dancing in the Forest of Burzee. Lurlene calls a halt to it, for “one may grow weary even of merrymaking”. To divert themselves, another fairy recommends that they make something they can imbue with fairy magic. After several ideas are considered and rejected, the fairies decide to make a magic cloak that can grant its wearer one wish. The fairy who proposed it, Espa, and Queen Lulea agree that such a cloak will benefit mortals greatly. However, its wish-granting power cannot be used if the cloak is stolen from its previous wearer. After the fairies finish the golden cloak, Ereol arrives from the kingdom of Noland whose king has just died. On the advice of the Man in the Moon, Ereol is dispatched to Noland to give the magic cloak to the first unhappy person she meets.

 

The deed done the fairies return to Fairyland and they watch and wait to see what happens – and some amazing things do happen which lead to adventures across Noland and Ix. Some amazing things are wished for and given with the magic cloak. But what are they. Well you’ll have to download and read this book for yourself.

 

At some point word of the cloak spreads afar and Queen Zixi hears of it and desires it for herself. Then somone steals the cloak and a search is otganised. During the search for the cloak many journeys have to be taken to find it. But just what happens on these journeys. Well, you’ll just have to download the book to find out for yourself.

YESTERDAY’S BOOKS FOR TODAY’S CHARITIES.

10% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charity.

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Download this book from: https://store.streetlib.com/en/l-frank-baum/queen-zixi-of-ix-more-adventures-in-the-style-of-dorothys-adventures-in-oz/

Search our store for the other ADVENTURES IN OZ series.

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Herein are 25 famous stories from The Greek, German, English, Spanish Scandinavian, Danish, French, Russian, Bohemian, Italian and other sources. These stories are further brought to life by 24 full colour plates

The myths and legends gathered here have appealed and will continue to appeal to every age. Nowhere in the realm of fiction are there stories to compare with those which took form centuries ago when the human race was in its childhood—stories so intimately connected with the life and history and religion of the great peoples of antiquity that they have become an integral part of our own civilization. These are a heritage of wealth to every child that is born into the world. Myths and legends like:
Prometheus The Friend Of Man, The Labors Of Hercules, The Gorgon’s Head, The Golden Fleece, The Cyclops, The Sack Of Troy, Beowulf And Grendel, The Good King Arthur and many, many more.

This volume is sure to keep you and your young ones enchanted for hours, if not because of the content, then because of their quality.

Format: eBook – Mobi/Kindle, ePub, PDF

Download Link: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/myths-and-legends-of-all-nations-25-illustrated-myths-legends-and-stories-for-children/

MYTHS AND LEGENDS of all nations

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 53

In Issue 53 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates an old French tale called The French Puck. Among the mountain pastures and valleys that lie in the centre of France there dwelt a mischievous kind of spirit, whose delight it was to play tricks on everybody, and particularly on the shepherds and the cowboys. They never knew when they were safe from him, as he could change himself into a man, woman or child, a stick, a goat, a ploughshare. He was eventually found out when he tried to turn himself into a needle and thread. Download and read the story to find out just what happened!

This 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 5 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”.

 

URL: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_A_FRENCH_PUCK_A_fairy_story_from_Cent?id=5soIDAAAQBAJ

 

A French Puck - Cover - FREE EBOOK

A French Puck – Cover – FREE EBOOK

Mokete was a chief’s daughter, but she was also beautiful beyond all the daughters of her father’s house, and Morongoe the brave and Tau the lion both desired to possess her, but Tau found not favour in the eyes of her parents, neither desired she to be his wife, whereas Morongoe was rich and the son of a great chief, and upon him was Mokete bestowed in marriage.

But Tau swore by all the evil spirits that their happiness should not long continue, and he called to his aid the old witch doctor, whose power was greater than the tongue of man could tell; and one day Morongoe walked down to the water and was seen no more. Mokete wept and mourned for her brave young husband, to whom she had been wedded but ten short moons, but Tau rejoiced greatly.

When two more moons had waned, a son was born to Mokete, to whom she gave the name of Tsietse (sadness). The child grew and throve, and the years passed by, but brought no news of Morongoe.

One day, when Tsietse was nearly seven years old, he cried unto his mother, saying, “Mother, how is it that I have never seen my father? My companions see and know their fathers, and love them, but I alone know not the face of my father, I alone have not a father’s protecting love.”

“My son,” replied his mother, “a father you have never known, for the evil spirits carried him from amongst us before ever you were born.” She then related to him all that had happened.

From that day Tsietse played no more with the other boys, but wandered about from one pool of water to another, asking the frogs to tell him of his father.

Now the custom of the Basuto, when any one falls into the water and is not found, is to drive cattle into the place where the person is supposed to have fallen, as they will bring him out. Many cattle had been driven into the different pools of water near Morongoe’s village, but as they had failed to bring his father, Tsietse knew it was not much use looking near home. Accordingly, one day he went to a large pond a long distance off, and there he asked the frogs to help him in his search. One old frog hopped close to the child, and said, “You will find your father, my son, when you have walked to the edge of the world and taken a leap into the waters beneath; but he is no longer as you are, nor does he know of your existence.”

This, at last, was the information Tsietse had longed for, now he could begin his search in real earnest. For many days he walked on, and ever on. At length, one day, just as the sun was setting, he saw before him a large sea of water of many beautiful colours. Stepping into it, he began to ask the same question; but at every word he uttered, the sea rose up, until at length it covered his head, and he began falling, falling through the deep sea.

Suddenly he found himself upon dry ground, and upon looking round he saw flocks and herds, flowers and fruit, on every side. At first he was too much astonished to speak, but after a little while he went up to one of the herd boys and asked him if he had ever seen his (Tsietse’s) father. The herd boy told him many strangers visited that place, and he had better see the chief, who would be able to answer his question.

When Tsietse had told his story to the chief, the old man knew at once that the great snake which dwelt in their midst must be the child’s father; so, bidding the boy remain and rest, he went off to consult with the snake as to how they should tell Tsietse the truth without frightening him; but as they talked, Tsietse ran up to them, and, seeing the snake, at once embraced it, for he knew it was his father.

Then there was great joy in the heart of Morongoe, for he knew that by his son’s aid he should be able to overcome his enemy, and return at length to his wife and home. So he told Tsietse how Tau had persuaded the old witch doctor to turn him into a snake, and banish him to this world below the earth. Soon afterwards Tsietse returned to his home, but he was no longer a child, but a noble youth, with a brave, straight look that made the wicked afraid. Very gently he told his mother all that had happened to him, and how eager his father was to return to his home. Mokete consulted an old doctor who lived in the mountain alone, and who told her she must get Tsietse to bring his father to the village in the brightness of the day-time, but that he must be so surrounded by his followers from the land beyond that none of his own people would be able to see him.

Quickly the news spread through the village that Morongoe had been found by his son and was returning to his people.

At length Tsietse was seen approaching with a great crowd of followers, while behind them came all the cattle which had been driven into the pools to seek Morongoe. As they approached Mokete’s house the door opened and the old doctor stood upon the threshold.

Making a sign to command silence, he said:”My children, many years ago your chief received a grievous wrong at the hand of his enemy, and was turned into a snake, but by the love and faithfulness of his son he is restored to you this day, and the wiles of his enemy are made of no account. Cover, then, your eyes, my children, lest the Evil Eye afflict you.”

He then bade the snake, which was in the centre of the crowd, enter the hut, upon which he shut the door, and set fire to the hut. The people, when they saw the flames, cried out in horror, but the old doctor bade them be still, for that no harm would come to their chief, but rather a great good. When everything was completely burnt, the doctor took from the middle of the ruins a large burnt ball; this he threw into the pool near by, and lo! from the water up rose Morongoe, clad in a kaross, the beauty of which was beyond all words, and carrying in his hand a stick of shining black, like none seen on this earth before, in beauty, or colour, or shape. Thus was the spell broken through the devotion of a true son, and peace and happiness restored, not only to Mokete’s heart, but to the whole village.

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This book raises funds for the SENTABALE charity in the African mountain Kingdom of Lesotho – supporting children orphaned by AIDS.

For more info, a table of contents and to buy – click on this link http://abelapublishing.com/folklore-and-tales-from-lesotho_p26444658.htm

Folklore and Tales from Lesotho - cover art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISBN 978-1-909302-56-3

 

There was once an old king who was so wise that he was able to understand the speech of all the animals in the world. This is how it happened. An old woman came to him one day bringing him a snake in a basket.

“If you have this snake cooked,” she told him, “and eat it as you would a fish, then you will be able to understand the birds of the air, the beasts of the earth, and the fishes of the sea.”

The king was delighted. He made the old wise woman a handsome present and at once ordered his cook, a youth named Yirik, to prepare the “fish” for dinner.

“But understand, Yirik,” he said severely, “you’re to cook this ‘fish,’ not eat it! You’re not to taste one morsel of it! If you do, you forfeit your head!”

Yirik thought this a strange order.

“What kind of a cook am I,” he said to himself, “that I’m not to sample my own cooking?”

When he opened the basket and saw the “fish,” he was further mystified.

“Um,” he murmured, “it looks like a snake to me.”

He put it on the fire and, when it was broiled to a turn, he ate a morsel. It had a fine flavor. He was about to take a second bite when suddenly he heard a little voice that buzzed in his ear these words:

“Give us some, too! Give us some, too!”

He looked around to see who was speaking but there was no one in the kitchen. Only some flies were buzzing about.

Just then outside a hissing voice called out:

“Where shall we go? Where shall we go?”

A higher voice answered:

“To the miller’s barley field! To the miller’s barley field!”

Yirik looked out the window and saw a gander with a flock of geese.

“Oho!” he said to himself, shaking his head. “Now I understand! Now I know what kind of ‘fish’ this is! Now I know why the poor cook was not to take a bite!”

He slipped another morsel into his mouth, garnished the “fish” carefully on a platter, and carried it to the king.

After dinner the king ordered his horse and told Yirik to come with him for a ride. The king rode on ahead and Yirik followed.

As they cantered across a green meadow, Yirik’s horse began to prance and neigh.

 

The Horses began to prance and neigh

 

 

“Ho! Ho!” he said. “I feel so light that I could jump over a mountain!”

“So could I,” the king’s horse said, “but I have to remember the old bag of bones that is perched on my back. If I were to jump he’d tumble off and break his neck.”

“And a good thing, too!” said Yirik’s horse. “Why not? Then instead of such an old bag of bones you’d get a young man to ride you like Yirik.”

Yirik almost burst out laughing as he listened to the horses’ talk, but he suppressed his merriment lest the king should know that he had eaten some of the magic snake.

Now of course the king, too, understood what the horses were saying. He glanced apprehensively at Yirik and it seemed to him that Yirik was grinning.

“What are you laughing at, Yirik?”

“Me?” Yirik said. “I’m not laughing. I was just thinking of something funny.”

“Um,” said the king.

His suspicions against Yirik were aroused. Moreover he was afraid to trust himself to his horse any longer. So he turned back to the palace at once.

There he ordered Yirik to pour him out a goblet of wine.

“And I warn you,” he said, “that you forfeit your head if you pour a drop too much or too little.”

Yirik carefully tilted a great tankard and began filling a goblet. As he poured a bird suddenly flew into the window pursued by another bird. The first bird had in its beak three golden hairs.

“Give them to me! Give them to me! They’re mine!” screamed the second bird.

“I won’t! I won’t! They’re mine!” the first bird answered. “I picked them up!”

“Yes, but I saw them first!” the other cried. “I saw them fall as the maiden sat and combed her golden tresses. Give me two of them and I’ll let you keep the third.”

“No! No! No! I won’t let you have one of them!”

The second bird darted angrily at the first and after a struggle succeeded in capturing one of the golden hairs. One hair dropped to the marble floor, making as it struck a musical tinkle, and the first bird escaped still holding in its bill a single hair.

In his excitement over the struggle, Yirik overflowed the goblet.

“Ha! Ha!” said the king. “See what you’ve done! You forfeit your head! However, I’ll suspend sentence on condition that you find this golden-haired maiden and bring her to me for a wife.”

Poor Yirik didn’t know who the maiden was nor where she lived. But what could he say? If he wanted to keep his head, he must undertake the quest. So he saddled his horse and started off at random.

His road led him through a forest. Here he came upon a bush under which some shepherds had kindled a fire. Sparks were falling on an anthill nearby and the ants in great excitement were running hither and thither with their eggs.

“Yirik!” they cried. “Help! Help, or we shall all be burned to death, we and our young ones in the eggs!”

Yirik instantly dismounted, cut down the burning bush, and put out the fire.

“Thank you, Yirik, thank you!” the ants said. “Your kindness to us this day will not go unrewarded. If ever you are in trouble, think of us and we will help you.”

As Yirik rode on through the forest, he came upon two fledgling ravens lying by the path.

“Help us, Yirik, help us!” they cawed. “Our father and mother have thrown us out of the nest in yonder tall fir tree to fend for ourselves. We are young and helpless and not yet able to fly. Give us some meat to eat or we shall perish with hunger.”

The sight of the helpless fledglings touched Yirik to pity. He dismounted instantly, drew his sword, and killed his horse. Then he fed the starving birds the meat they needed.

“Thank you, Yirik, thank you!” the little ravens croaked. “You have saved our lives this day. Your kindness will not go unrewarded. If ever you are in trouble, think of us and we will help you.”

Yirik left the young ravens and pushed on afoot. The path through the forest was long and wearisome. It led out finally on the seashore.

On the beach two fishermen were quarreling over a big fish with golden scales that lay gasping on the sand.

“It’s mine, I tell you!” one of the men was shouting. “It was caught in my net, so of course it’s mine!”

To this the other one shouted back:

“But your net would never have caught a fish if you hadn’t been out in my boat and if I hadn’t helped you!”

“Give me this one,” the first man said, “and I’ll let you have the next one.”

“No! You take the next one!” the other said. “This one’s mine!”

So they kept on arguing to no purpose until Yirik went up to them and said:

“Let me decide this for you. Suppose you sell me the fish and then divide the money.”

He offered them all the money the king had given him for his journey. The fishermen, delighted at the offer, at once agreed. Yirik handed them over the money and then, taking the gasping fish in his hand, he threw it back into the sea.

When the fish had caught its breath, it rose on a wave and called out to Yirik:

“Thank you, Yirik, thank you. You have saved my life this day. Your kindness will not go unrewarded. If ever you are in trouble, think of me and I will help you.”

With that the golden fish flicked its tail and disappeared in the water.

“Where are you going, Yirik?” the fishermen asked.

“I’m going in quest of a golden-haired maiden whom my master, the king, wished to make his wife.”

“He must mean the Princess Zlatovlaska,” the fishermen said to each other.

“The Princess Zlatovlaska?” Yirik repeated. “Who is she?”

“She’s the golden-haired daughter of the King of the Crystal Palace. Do you see the faint outlines of an island over yonder? That’s where she lives. The king has twelve daughters but Zlatovlaska alone has golden hair. Each morning at dawn a wonderful glow spreads over land and sea. That’s Zlatovlaska combing her golden hair.”

The fishermen conferred apart for a moment and then said:

“Yirik, you settled our dispute for us and now in return we’ll row you over to the island.”

So they rowed Yirik over to the Island of the Crystal Palace and left him there with the warning that the king would probably try to palm off on him one of the dark-haired princesses.

Yirik at once presented himself at the palace, got an audience with the king, and declared his mission.

“H’m,” the king said. “So your master desires the hand of my daughter, the Princess Zlatovlaska, eh? H’m, h’m. Well, I see no objection to your master as a son-in-law, but of course before I entrust the princess into your hands you must prove yourself worthy. I tell you what I’ll do: I’ll give you three tasks to perform. Be ready for the first one tomorrow.”

Early the next day the king said to Yirik:

“My daughter, Zlatovlaska, had a precious necklace of pearls. She was walking in the meadow over yonder when the string broke and the pearls rolled away in the tall grasses. Now your first task is to gather up every last one of those pearls and hand them to me before sundown.”

Yirik went to the meadow and when he saw how broad it was and how thickly covered with tall grasses his heart sank for he realized that he could never search over the whole of it in one day. However, he got down on his hands and knees and began to hunt.

Midday came and he had not yet found a single pearl.

“Oh dear,” he thought to himself in despair, “if only my ants were here, they could help me!”

He had no sooner spoken than a million little voices answered:

“We are here and we’re here to help you!”

And sure enough there they were, the very ants that he supposed were far away!

“What do you want us to do?” they asked.

“Find me all the pearls that are scattered in this meadow. I can’t find one of them.”

Instantly the ants scurried hither and thither and soon they began bringing him the pearls one by one. Yirik strung them together until the necklace seemed complete.

“Are there any more?” he asked.

He was about to tie the string together when a lame ant, whose foot had been burned in the fire, hobbled up, crying:

“Wait, Yirik, don’t tie the string yet! Here’s the last pearl!”

Yirik thanked the ants for their help and at sundown carried the string of pearls to the king. The king counted the pearls and, to his surprise, found that not one was missing.

“You’ve done this well,” he said. “Tomorrow I’ll give you your second task.”

The next day when Yirik presented himself, the king said:

“While my daughter, Zlatovlaska, was bathing in the sea, a golden ring slipped from her finger and disappeared. Your task is to find me this ring before sundown.”

Yirik went down to the seashore and as he walked along the beach his heart grew heavy as he realized the difficulty of the task before him. The sea was clear but so deep that he couldn’t even see the bottom. How then could he find the ring?

“Oh dear,” he said aloud, “if only the golden fish were here! It could help me.”

“I am here,” a voice said, “and I’m here to help you.”

And there was the golden fish on the crest of a wave, gleaming like a flash of fire!

“What do you want me to do?” it said.

“Find me a golden ring that lies somewhere on the bottom of the sea.”

“Ah, a golden ring? A moment ago I met a pike,” the fish said, “that had just such a golden ring. Wait for me here and I’ll go find the pike.”

In a few moments the golden fish returned with the pike and sure enough it was Zlatovlaska’s ring that the pike was carrying.

That evening at sundown the king acknowledged that Yirik had accomplished his second task.

The next day the king said:

“I could never allow my daughter, Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired, to go to the kingdom of your master unless she carried with her two flasks, one filled with the Water of Life, the other with the Water of Death. So today for a third task I set you this: to bring the princess a flask of the Water of Life and a flask of the Water of Death.”

Yirik had no idea which way to turn. He had heard of the Waters of Life and Death, but all he knew about them was that their springs were far away beyond the Red Sea. He left the Crystal Palace and walked off aimlessly until his feet had carried him of themselves into a dark forest.

“If only those young ravens were here,” he said aloud, “they could help me!”

Instantly he heard a loud, “Caw! Caw!” and two ravens flew down to him, saying:

“We are here! We are here to help you! What do you want us to do?”

“I have to bring the king a flask of the Water of Life and a flask of the Water of Death and I don’t know where the springs are. Do you know?”

“Yes, we know,” the ravens said. “Wait here and we’ll soon fetch you water from both springs.”

They flew off and in a short time returned, each bearing a gourd of the precious water.

Yirik thanked the ravens and carefully filled his two flasks.

As he was leaving the forest, he came upon a great spider web. An ugly spider sat in the middle of it sucking a fly. Yirik took a drop of the Water of Death and flicked it on the spider. The spider doubled up dead and fell to the ground like a ripe cherry.

Then Yirik sprinkled a drop of Living Water on the fly. The fly instantly revived, pulled itself out of the web, and flew about happy and free once again.

“Thank you, Yirik,” it buzzed, “thank you for bringing me back to life. You won’t be sorry. Just wait and you’ll soon see that I’ll reward you!”

When Yirik returned to the palace and presented the two flasks, the king said:

“But one thing yet remains. You may take Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired, but you must yourself pick her out from among the twelve sisters.”

The king led Yirik into a great hall. The twelve princesses were seated about a table, beautiful maidens all and each looking much like the others. Yirik could not tell which was Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired, for each princess wore a long heavy white veil so draped over her head and shoulders that it completely covered her hair.

“Here are my twelve daughters,” the king said. “One of them is Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired. Pick her out and you may lead her at once to your master. If you fail to pick her out, then you must depart without her.”

In dismay Yirik looked from sister to sister. There was nothing to show him which was Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired. How was he to find out?

Suddenly he heard a buzzing in his ear and a little voice whispered:

“Courage, Yirik, courage! I’ll help you!”

He turned his head quickly and there was the fly he had rescued from the spider.

“Walk slowly by each princess,” the fly said, “and I’ll tell you when you come to Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired.”

Yirik did as the fly ordered. He stopped a moment before the first princess until the fly buzzed:

“Not that one! Not that one!”

He went on to the next princess and again the fly buzzed:

“Not that one! Not that one!”

So he went on from princess to princess until at last the fly buzzed out:

“Yes, that one! That one!”

So Yirik remained standing where he was and said to the king:

“This, I think, is Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired.”

“You have guessed right,” the king said.

At that Zlatovlaska removed the white veil from her head and her lovely hair tumbled down to her feet like a golden cascade. It shimmered and glowed like the sun in the early morning when he peeps over the mountain top. Yirik stared until the brightness dimmed his sight.

The king immediately prepared Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired, for her journey. He gave her the two precious flasks of water; he arranged a fitting escort; and then with his blessing he sent her forth under Yirik’s care.

Yirik conducted her safely to his master.

When the old king saw the lovely princess that Yirik had found for him, his eyes blinked with satisfaction, he capered about like a spring lamb, and he ordered that immediate preparations be made for the wedding. He was most grateful to Yirik and thanked him again and again.

“My dear boy,” he said, “I had expected to have you hanged for your disobedience and let the ravens pick your bones. But now, to show you how grateful I am for the beautiful bride you have found me, I’m not going to have you hanged at all. Instead, I shall have you beheaded and then given a decent burial.”

The execution took place at once in order to be out of the way before the wedding.

“It’s a great pity he had to die,” the king said as the executioner cut off Yirik’s head. “He has certainly been a faithful servant.”

Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired, asked if she might have his severed head and body. The king who was too madly in love to refuse her anything said: “Yes.”

So Zlatovlaska took the body and the head and put them together. Then she sprinkled them with the Water of Death. Instantly the wound closed and soon it healed so completely that there wasn’t even a scar left.

Yirik lay there lifeless but looking merely as if he were asleep. Zlatovlaska sprinkled him with the Water of Life and immediately his dead limbs stirred. Then he opened his eyes and sat up. Life poured through his veins and he sprang to his feet younger, fresher, handsomer than before.

The old king was filled with envy.

“I, too,” he cried, “wish to be made young and handsome!”

He commanded the executioner to cut off his head and he told Zlatovlaska to sprinkle him afterwards with the Water of Life.

The executioner did as he was told. Then Zlatovlaska sprinkled the old king’s head and body with the Water of Life. Nothing happened. Zlatovlaska kept on sprinkling the Water of Life until there was no more left.

“Do you know,” the princess said to Yirik, “I believe I should have used the Water of Death first.”

So now she sprinkled the body and head with the Water of Death and, sure enough, they grew together at once. But of course there was no life in them. And of course there was no possible way of putting life into them because the Water of Life was all gone. So the old king remained dead.

“This will never do,” the people said. “We must have a king. And with the wedding feast and everything prepared we simply must have a wedding, too. If Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired, cannot marry the old king, she’ll have to marry someone else. Now who shall it be?”

Someone suggested Yirik because he was young and handsome and because, like the old king, he could understand the birds and the beasts.

“Yirik!” the people cried. “Let Yirik be our king!”

And Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired, who had long since fallen in love with handsome Yirik, consented to have the wedding at once in order that the feast already prepared might not be wasted.

So Yirik and Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired, were married and they ruled so well and they lived so happily that to this day when people say of some one: “He’s as happy as a king,” they are thinking of King Yirik, and when they say of some one: “She’s as beautiful as a queen,” they are thinking of Zlatovlaska, the Golden-Haired.

——-

 

From: THE SHOEMAKER’s APRON – 20 Czech and Slovak Folk Tales

 

Paperback: http://abelapublishing.com/the-shoemakers-apron–20-czech-and-slovak-folk-tales_p25032987.htm

 

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NOT far from the summit of Hualalai, on the island of Hawaii, in the cave on the southern side of the ridge, lived Hina and her son, the kupua, or demigod, Hiku. All his life long as a child and a youth, Hiku had lived alone with his mother on this mountain summit, and had never once been permitted to descend to the plains below to see the abodes of men and to learn of their ways. From time to time, his quick ear had caught the sound of the distant hula drum and the voices of the gay merrymakers. Often had he wished to see the fair forms of those who danced and sang in those far-off cocoanut groves. But his mother, more experienced in the ways of the world, had never given her consent. Now, at length, he felt that he was a man, and as the sounds of mirth arose on his ears, again he asked his mother to let him go for himself and mingle with the people on the shore. His mother, seeing that his mind was made up to go, reluctantly gave her consent and warned him not to stay too long, but to return in good time. So, taking in his hand his faithful arrow, Pua Ne, which he always carried, he started off.

This arrow was a sort of talisman, possessed of marvellous powers, among which were the ability to answer his call and by its flight to direct his journey.

Thus he descended over the rough clinker lava and through the groves of koa that cover the southwestern flank of the mountain, until, nearing its base, he stood on a distant hill; and consulting his arrow, he shot it far into the air, watching its bird-like flight until it struck on a distant hill above Kailua. To this hill he rapidly directed his steps, and, picking up his arrow in due time, he again shot it into the air. The second flight landed the arrow near the coast of Holualoa, some six or eight miles south of Kailua. It struck on a barren waste of pahoehoe, or lava rock, beside the water-hole of Waikalai, known also as the Wai a Hiku (Water of Hiku), where to this day all the people of that vicinity go to get their water for man and beast.

Here he quenched his thirst, and nearing the village of Holualoa, again shot the arrow, which, instinct with life, entered the courtyard of the alii, or chief, of Kona, and from among the women who were there singled out the fair princess Kawelu, and landed at her feet. Seeing the noble bearing of Hiku as he approached to claim his arrow, she stealthily hid it and challenged him to find it. Then Hiku called to the arrow, “Pua ne! Pua ne!” and the arrow replied, “Ne!” thus revealing its hiding-place.
This exploit with the arrow and the remarkable grace and personal beauty of the young man quite won the heart of the princess, and she was soon possessed by a strong passion for him, and determined to make him her husband.

With her wily arts she detained him for several days at her home, and when at last he was about to start for the mountain, she shut him up in the house and thus detained him by force. But the words of his mother, warning him not to remain too long, came to his mind, and he determined to break away from his prison. So he climbed up to the roof, and removing a portion of the thatch, made his escape.

When his flight was discovered by Kawelu, the infatuated girl was distracted with grief. Refusing to be comforted, she tasted no food, and ere many days had passed was quite dead. Messengers were despatched who brought back the unhappy Hiku, author of all this sorrow. Bitterly he wept over the corpse of his beloved, but it was now too late; the spirit had departed to the nether world, ruled over by Milu. And now, stung by the reproaches of her kindred and friends for his desertion, and urged on by his real love for the fair one, he resolved to attempt the perilous descent into the nether world and, if possible, to bring her spirit back.

With the assistance of her friends, he collected from the mountain slope a great quantity of the kowali, or convolvulus vine. He also prepared a hollow cocoanut shell, splitting it into two closely fitting parts. Then anointing himself with a mixture of rancid cocoanut and kukui oil, which gave him a very strong corpse-like odor, he started with his companions in the well-loaded canoes for a point in the sea where the sky comes down to meet the water.

Arrived at the spot, he directed his comrades to lower him into the abyss called by the Hawaiians the Lua o Milu. Taking with him his cocoanut-shell and seating himself astride of the cross-stick of the swing, or kowali, he was quickly lowered down by the long rope of kowali vines held by his friends in the canoe above.

Soon he entered the great cavern where the shades of the departed were gathered together. As he came among them, their curiosity was aroused to learn who he was. And he heard many remarks, such as “Whew! what an odor this corpse emits!” “He must have been long dead.” He had rather overdone the matter of the rancid oil. Even Milu himself, as he sat on the bank watching the crowd, was completely deceived by the stratagem, for otherwise he never would have permitted this bold descent of a living man into his gloomy abode.

The Hawaiian swing, it should be remarked, unlike ours, has but one rope supporting the cross-stick on which the person is seated. Hiku and his swing attracted considerable attention from the lookers-on. One shade in particular watched him most intently; it was his sweetheart, Kawelu. A mutual recognition took place, and with the permission of Milu she darted up to him and swung with him on the kowali. But even she had to avert her face on account of his corpselike odor. As they were enjoying together this favorite Hawaiian pastime of lele kowali, by a preconcerted signal the friends above were informed of the success of his ruse and were now rapidly drawing them up.

At first she was too much absorbed in the sport to notice this. When at length her attention was aroused by seeing the great distance of those beneath her, like a butterfly she was about to flit away, when the crafty Hiku, who was ever on the alert, clapped the cocoanut-shells together, imprisoning her within them, and was then quickly drawn up to the canoes above.

With their precious burden, they returned to the shores of Holualoa, where Hiku landed and at once repaired to the house where still lay the body of his beloved. Kneeling by its side, he made a hole in the great toe of the left foot, into which with great difficulty he forced the reluctant spirit, and in spite of its desperate struggles he tied up the wound so that it could not escape from the cold, clammy flesh in which it was now imprisoned. Then he began to lomilomi, or rub and chafe the foot, working the spirit further and further up the limb.

Gradually, as the heart was reached, the blood began once more to flow through the body, the chest began gently to heave with the breath of life, and soon the spirit gazed out through the eyes. Kawelu was now restored to consciousness, and seeing her beloved Hiku bending tenderly over her, she opened her lips and said: “How could you be so cruel as to leave me?”

All remembrance of the Lua o Milu and of her meeting him there had disappeared, and she took up the thread of consciousness just where she had left it a few days before at death. Great joy filled the hearts of the people of Holualoa as they welcomed back to their midst the fair Kawelu and the hero, Hiku, from whom she was no more to be separated.

 

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“Maruru” Woodcut by Gaugin