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NOTE: This is a FREE resource, so do be resourceful yourselves and feel free to update the gifts being sought. If you don’t have any daughters, feel free to swap the girls names for boys names
A dialogue for Two Little Girls, Ten or Twelve Years Old – by John d MacDonald (1919)
SceneSitting room

(For telephone use box ten by fifteen inches or larger. Fix it to an upright that can be moved out on the platform. Have one end fixed like trap door. Tie skates to muff about one foot apart. Shove muff in box first and then skates. Put electric or bicycle bell on box. Run heavy cord to the window for telephone wire. Have mouthpiece on box, and have box high enough so that the speaker must stand on a chair. Have a receiver or an imitation quite a way from the box—perhaps six or seven feet. Do not hurry.)

Esther (seated in small rocker). This is Christmas Eve, Mabel, and I suppose that Santa Claus has his pack all made up, and is off with his reindeer to visit all the good little boys and girls all over the world. I do hope he will be sure and come to (name your own town or city), because I want something very much this year. Just think, last Christmas I laid awake most all night to see him, but I didn’t see him at all. I don’t know when he got in the house or how he got out, but he just fooled me, that’s what he did.

Mabel. No doubt he’s started on his journey by this time. I think he must ride like the wind to get all over the world in a night. Why it took all night and a day for us to go to Aunt Ella’s last Thanksgiving time, and that’s not so far as around the world. But I would like to see Santa this year so I could tell him what I want. They say if Santa Claus knows what you want he will almost always bring it to you.

Esther. Yes, I know he will, because Maggie Brown wrote to him last year and told him that she wanted a pony and a cart and he brought it to her.

Mabel. And Tommy Carter wrote to him, too, and told him that he wanted a bicycle and he got it, too. I guess Santa is a nice old man.

Esther. And Mrs. Santa must be a nice old lady, too, or she wouldn’t dress all those nice dolls for Mr. Santa Claus.

Mabel. It’s too bad that we did not write to him last week, and then he surely would have gotten our letter.

Esther (rising up and putting doll in the chair). Mabel, why not telephone to him? Papa has a long distance telephone, and I talked away down to New York through it once, and I guess if cousin Mary could hear me in New York, Santa Claus ought to hear me in Santa Claus Land.

Mabel. Wasn’t Papa with you when you talked that time, Esther?

Esther. Yes, but I remember just how I did it. You just ring the bell, and talk in the box, and listen for the answer. Let’s try it, anyway.

Mabel. All right, we will, but he may not be at home. He must start early to travel so far.

Esther. I will ask Mrs. Santa Claus anyway. Now let’s do it quick, before any one comes in.

Mabel (getting a chair for Esther to stand on). Here Esther, you must stand upon this chair. Now be careful not to fall off.

Esther (gets upon chair). Now you take the receiver and stand over there (points) and listen to what she says (Esther rings.)

Mabel. Some one is there, Esther. Ask them to give you Santa Claus Land.

Esther. Hello, hello! Give me Santa Claus Land, please.

Mabel. She says that this is Santa Claus Land.

Esther. Hello! Is this Mrs. Santa Claus?

Mabel. She says “yes.” Ask her if Mr. Santa Claus is at home.

Esther. Mrs. Santa Claus, Mrs. Santa Claus, is Mr. Santa Claus at home?

Mabel. She says “no,” he isn’t. He has gone on a journey to visit all the good boys and girls.

Esther. Hello, hello, Mrs. Santa Claus. Does Mr. Santa Claus only make one trip on Christmas Eve?

Mabel. She says “yes,” that is all he makes. Ask her to send some one after him to catch him, because we want something very special.

Esther. Mrs. Santa Claus. (Both wait a moment.)

Mabel. She can’t be at the phone, Esther, ring her up again.

Esther (rings again). Hello, Mrs. Santa Claus, will you please send some one after Mr. Santa Claus, to tell him that we want something special?

Mabel (waits a moment). She’s not there yet, Esther. Ring her up again. (Esther rings quite hard.) Now she is there, and she wants to know why we bother her so on Christmas Eve.

Esther. Mrs. Santa, please send some one after Mr. Santa, and tell him that we are two good little girls, and we want a muff and a pair of skates, and some candy canes as long as your arm. Now don’t forget, Mrs. Santa—a muff, and skates, and candy canes as long as myself.

Mabel. She says that Santa is too far away, and nobody could catch him now. And she says that we must not bother her any more as she is busy making her Christmas pies.

Esther (to Mabel). But I want my candy cane (rings several times).

Mabel (frightened). Oh, Esther, Mrs. Santy will be awfully angry with us. Let’s go away.

Esther (getting impatient). Does she answer the ring?

Mabel. No. (Esther rings harder than before.) Now she is there and she wants to know if it is the same two little girls.

Esther (into the phone). Yes, it’s Mabel and me, and we want Santa Claus to bring us some skates, and a muff and candy canes as long as a fishing-pole.

Mabel. She says that we must be good or Santa won’t come to (name your town) tonight at all. We bother her a lot, she says.

Esther (into the phone). Mrs. Santa—Mrs. Santa—(no answer.)

Mabel. She has gone away again, Esther. Let’s not bother her any more or she may send some one after Santa to tell on us.

Esther. I want to know if Santa is coming to (your town) tonight, anyway (rings long and several times).

Mabel (frightened). I guess she is angry with us, Esther. Please do let’s stop now. Let’s not ring any more, because I don’t care for the skates, anyway.

Esther (to Mabel). Isn’t she there yet?

Mabel. No—I guess not. (Esther rings and rings.) Oh, Oh, Esther do stop!

Esther. Now—is—she—there?

Mabel. Yes, and she wants papa to take those naughty girls away from the “phone,” or Santa won’t come to (your town) tonight. Please do stop ringing, Esther. (Listens.) Oh, Esther, I think I hear papa coming, and he will be angry, too.

Esther. No, papa won’t be angry, he would like to have us get our muff and skates. (Ring, rings and rings.)

Mabel (during the ringing). Oh, Esther, oh, Esther! She says to stop that ringing!!

Esther (stamping her foot, keeps on ringing). I’m mad with her, Mabel (then into the phone). Mrs. Santa—Mrs. Santa—do you hear, Mrs. Santa? Do—you—hear—Mrs. Santa? We want our muff, and our skates, and the candy canes as big as a house. Do—you—hear, Mrs. Santa? Mrs. Santa! I want my muff[7] and skates. (Rings while talking.) I am mad with you, Mrs. Santa. I want my muff. (Here pull the trap and the skates drop out, pulling the muff also. Esther jumps down from the chair, Mabel drops the receiver. They seize the skates and muff and say, as they hold them up): We’ve got them. We’ve got them, the skates and muff, the skates and muff!

(Players Exit)

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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.

—————-
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

 

Now that its winter time for those of us who live in the Northern hemisphere, here is a poignant story about a snowflake.
———–
SNOWFLAKE – A SLAVONIC STORY.

(Contes Populaires Slaves, traduits par Louis Leger.
Paris: Leroux, Editeur.)

Once upon a time there lived a peasant called Ivan, and he had a wife whose name was Marie. They would have been quite happy except for one thing: they had no children to play with, and as they were now old people they did not find that watching the children of their neighbours at all made up to them for having one of their own.
One winter, which nobody living will ever forget, the snow lay so deep that it came up to the knees of even the tallest man. When it had all fallen, and the sun was shining again, the children ran out into the street to play, and the old man and his wife sat at their window and gazed at them. The children first made a sort of little terrace, and stamped it hard and firm, and then they began to make a snow woman. Ivan and Marie watched them, the while thinking about many things.
Suddenly Ivan’s face brightened, and, looking at his wife, he said, ‘Wife, why shouldn’t we make a snow woman too?’
‘Why not?’ replied Marie, who happened to be in a very good temper; ‘it might amuse us a little. But there is no use making a woman. Let us make a little snow child, and pretend it is a living one.’
‘Yes, let us do that,’ said Ivan, and he took down his cap and went into the garden with his old wife.
Then the two set to work with all their might to make a doll out of the snow. They shaped a little body and two little hands and two little feet. On top of all they placed a ball of snow, out of which the head was to be.
‘What in the world are you doing?’ asked a passer-by.
‘Can’t you guess?’ returned Ivan.
‘Making a snow-child,’ replied Marie.
They had finished the nose and the chin. Two holes were left for the eyes, and Ivan carefully shaped out the mouth. No sooner had he done so than he felt a warm breath upon his cheek. He started back in surprise and looked—and behold! the eyes of the child met his, and its lips, which were as red as raspberries, smiled at him!
‘What is it?’ cried Ivan, crossing himself. ‘Am I mad, or is the thing bewitched?’
The snow-child bent its head as if it had been really alive. It moved its little arms and its little legs in the snow that lay about it just as the living children did theirs.
‘Ah! Ivan, Ivan,’ exclaimed Marie, trembling with joy, ‘heaven has sent us a child at last!’ And she threw herself upon Snowflake (for that was the snow-child’s name) and covered her with kisses. And the loose snow fell away from Snowflake as an egg shell does from an egg, and it was a little girl whom Marie held in her arms.
‘Oh! my darling Snowflake!’ cried the old woman, and led her into the cottage.
And Snowflake grew fast; each hour as well as each day made a difference, and every day she became more and more beautiful. The old couple hardly knew how to contain themselves for joy, and thought of nothing else. The cottage was always full of village children, for they amused Snowflake, and there was nothing in the world they would not have done to amuse her. She was their doll, and they were continually inventing new dresses for her, and teaching her songs or playing with her. Nobody knew how clever she was! She noticed everything, and could learn a lesson in a moment. Anyone would have taken her for thirteen at least! And, besides all that, she was so good and obedient; and so pretty, too! Her skin was as white as snow, her eyes as blue as forget-me-nots, and her hair was long and golden. Only her cheeks had no colour in them, but were as fair as her forehead.
So the winter went on, till at last the spring sun mounted higher in the heavens and began to warm the earth. The grass grew green in the fields, and high in the air the larks were heard singing. The village girls met and danced in a ring, singing, ‘Beautiful spring, how came you here? How came you here? Did you come on a plough, or was it a harrow?’ Only Snowflake sat quite still by the window of the cottage.
‘What is the matter, dear child?’ asked Marie. ‘Why are you so sad? Are you ill? or have they treated you unkindly?’
‘No,’ replied Snowflake, ‘it is nothing, mother; no one has hurt me; I am well.’
The spring sun had chased away the last snow from its hiding place under the hedges; the fields were full of flowers; nightingales sang in the trees, and all the world was gay. But the gayer grew the birds and the flowers the sadder became Snowflake. She hid herself from her playmates, and curled herself up where the shadows were deepest, like a lily amongst its leaves. Her only pleasure was to lie amid the green willows near some sparkling stream. At the dawn and at twilight only she seemed happy. When a great storm broke, and the earth was white with hail, she became bright and joyous as the Snowflake of old; but when the clouds passed, and the hail melted beneath the sun, Snowflake would burst into tears and weep as a sister would weep over her brother.
The spring passed, and it was the eve of St. John, or Midsummer Day. This was the greatest holiday of the year, when the young girls met in the woods to dance and play. They went to fetch Snowflake, and said to Marie: ‘Let her come and dance with us.’
But Marie was afraid; she could not tell why, only she could not bear the child to go. Snowflake did not wish to go either, but they had no excuse ready. So Marie kissed the girl and said: ‘Go, my Snowflake, and be happy with your friends, and you, dear children, be careful of her. You know she is the light of my eyes to me.’
‘Oh, we will take care of her,’ cried the girls gaily, and they ran off to the woods. There they wore wreaths, gathered nosegays, and sang songs some sad, some merry. And whatever they did Snowflake did too.
When the sun set they lit a fire of dry grass, and placed themselves in a row, Snowflake being the last of all. ‘Now, watch us,’ they said, ‘and run just as we do.’
And they all began to sing and to jump one after another across the fire.
Suddenly, close behind them, they heard a sigh, then a groan. ‘Ah!’ They turned hastily and looked at each other. There was nothing. They looked again. Where was Snowflake? She has hidden herself for fun, they thought, and searched for her everywhere. ‘Snowflake! Snowflake!’ But there was no answer. ‘Where can she be? Oh, she must have gone home.’ They returned to the village, but there was no Snowflake.
For days after that they sought her high and low. They examined every bush and every hedge, but there was no Snowflake. And long after everyone else had given up hope Ivan and Marie would wander through the woods crying ‘Snowflake, my dove, come back, come back!’ And sometimes they thought they heard a call, but it was never the voice of Snowflake.
And what had become of her? Had a fierce wild beast seized her and dragged her into his lair in the forest? Had some bird carried her off across the wide blue sea?
No, no beast had touched her, no bird had borne her away. With the first breath of flame that swept over her when she ran with her friends Snowflake had melted away, and a little soft haze floating upwards was all that remained of her.

From: Andrew Lang’s Pink Fairy Book – now part of a 3 book set

ISBN:978-1-907256-75-2

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/andrew-langs-coloured-fairy-tales-3-book-set_p24618764.htm

Andrew Lang's Coloured Fairy Tales 3 Book Set

OOLAH the lizard was tired of lying in the sun, doing nothing. So he said, “I will go and play.” He took his boomerangs out, and began to practise throwing them. While he was doing so a Galah came up, and stood near, watching the boomerangs come flying back, for the kind of boomerangs Oolah was throwing were the bubberahs. They are smaller than others, and more curved, and when they are properly thrown they return to the thrower, which other boomerangs do not.
Oolah was proud of having the happy Galah to watch his skill. In his pride he gave the bubberah an extra twist, and threw it with all his might. Whizz, whizzing through the air, back it came, hitting, as it passed her, the Galah on the top of her head, taking both feathers and skin clean off. The Galah set up a hideous, cawing, croaking shriek, and flew about, stopping every few minutes to knock her head on the ground like a mad bird. Oolah was so frightened when he saw what he had done, and noticed that the blood was flowing from the Galah’s head, that he glided away to hide under a bindeah bush. But the Galah saw him. She never stopped the hideous noise she was making for a minute, but, still shrieking, followed Oolah. When she reached the bindeah bush she rushed at Oolah, seized him with her beak, rolled him on the bush until every bindeah had made a hole in his skin. Then she rubbed his skin with her own bleeding head. “Now then,” she said, “you Oolah shall carry bindeahs on you always, and the stain of my blood.”
“And you,” said Oolah, as he hissed with pain from the tingling of the prickles, “shall be a bald-headed bird as long as I am a red prickly lizard.”
So to this day, underneath the Galah’s crest you can always find the bald patch which the bubberah of Oolah first made. And in the country of the Galahs are lizards coloured reddish brown, and covered with spikes like bindeah prickles.
*******

From: Australian Legendary Tales
ISBN: 978-1-907256-41-7
URL: http://abelapublishing.com/australian-legendary-tales_p23332607.htm

OOLAH THE lizard

A COMPANY of fairies who lived in the recesses of Cader Idris were in the habit of going about from cottage to cottage in that part of the country to test the dispositions of the cottagers. Those who gave the fairies an ungracious welcome were subject to bad luck during the rest of their lives; but those who were good to the little folk who visited them in disguise received substantial favours from them.

 

Old Morgan ap Rhys was sitting one night by himself in his own chimney corner, solacing his loneliness with his pipe and some Llangollen ale. The generous liquor made Morgan very light-hearted, and he began to sing–at least he was under the impression that he was singing. His voice, however, was anything but sweet, and a bard whom he had offended–it is a very dangerous thing to fall foul of the bards in Wales, because they often have such bitter tongues–had likened his singing to the lowing of an old cow or the yelping of a blind dog which has lost its way to the cowyard. His singing, however, gave Morgan himself much satisfaction, and this particular evening he was especially pleased with the harmony he was producing. The only thing which marred his sense of contentment was the absence of an audience. Just as he was coming to the climax of his song, he heard a knock at the door. Delighted with the thought that there was someone to listen to him, Morgan sang with all the fervour he was capable of, and his top note was, in his opinion, a thing of beauty and a joy forever. When he had quite finished, he again heard a knock at the door, and shouted out, “What is the door for but to come in by? Come in, whoever you are.” Morgan’s manners, you will see, were not very polished.

 

The door opened and in came three travellers, travel-stained and weary-looking. Now these were fairies from Cader Idris disguised in this manner to see how Morgan treated strangers, but he never suspected they were other than they appeared. “Good sir,” said one of the travellers, “we are worn and tired, but all we seek is a bite of food to put in our wallets, and then we will go on our way.”

 

“Brensiach,” said Morgan, “is that all you want? Welt, there, look you, is the loaf and the cheese, and the knife lies by them, and you cut what you like. Eat your heartiest and fill your wallets, for never shall it be said that Morgan ap Rhys denied bread and cheese to strangers that came into his house.” The travellers proceeded to help themselves, and Morgan, determined not to fail in hospitality, sang to them while they ate, moistening his throat occasionally with Llangollen ale when it became dry.

 

The fairy travellers, after they had regaled themselves sufficiently, got up to go and said, “Good sir, we thank you for our entertainment. Since you have been so generous we will show that we are grateful. It is in our power to grant you any one wish you may have: tell us what that wish may be.”

 

“Well, indeed,” said Morgan, “the wish of my heart is to have a harp that will play under my fingers, no matter how ill I strike it: a harp that will play lively tunes, look you–no melancholy music for me. But surely it’s making fun of me you are.”

 

But that was not the case: he had hardly finished speaking when, to his astonishment, there on the hearth before him stood a splendid harp. He looked round and found his guests had vanished. “That’s the most extraordinary thing I have ever seen in my life,” said Morgan, “they must have been fairies,” and he was so flabbergasted that he felt constrained to drink some more ale. This allayed to some extent his bewilderment, and he proceeded to try the instrument he had been so mysteriously presented with. As soon as his fingers touched the strings, the harp began to play a mad and capering tune. Just then there was a sound of footsteps, and in came his wife with some friends. No sooner did they hear the strains of the harp than they began dancing, and as long as Morgan’s fingers were on the strings, they kept footing it like mad creatures.

 

The news that Morgan had come into possession of a harp with some mysterious power spread like wildfire over the whole country, and many were the visitors who came to see him and it. Every time he played it everyone felt irresistibly impelled to dance, and could not leave off until Morgan stopped. Even lame people capered away, and a one legged man who visited him danced as merrily as any biped.

 

One day, among the company who had come to see if the stories about the harp were true, was the bard who had made such unpleasant remarks about Morgan’s singing. Morgan determined to pay him out, and instead of stopping as usual after the dance had been going on for a few minutes, he kept on playing. He played on and on until the dancers were exhausted and shouted to him to stop. But Morgan was finding the scene much too amusing to want to stop. He laughed until his sides ached and the tears rolled down his cheeks at the antics of his visitors, and especially at those of the bard. The longer he played the madder became the dance: the dancers spun round and round, wildly knocking over the furniture, and some of them bounded up against the roof of the cottage till their heads cracked again. Morgan did not stop until the bard had broken his legs and the rest had been jolted almost to pieces. By that time his revenge was satisfied, and his sides and jaws were so tired with laughing that he had to take his fingers away from the strings.

 

But this was the last time he was to have the chance of venting his spite on his enemies. By next morning the harp had disappeared, and was never seen again. The fairies, evidently displeased with the evil use to which their gift had been put, must have taken it away in the night. And this is a warning to all who abuse the gifts of the fairies.

————————-

From “The Welsh Fairy Book”

ISBN: 978-1-907256-68-4

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

 

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