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A Free excerpt from “The New Year’s Bargain”
by Susan Coolidge author of “What Katy Did Next” etc.

 

AND now the last evening of November was come; and Winter, stealing a march on the departing Autumn, let loose, as if in a hurry to begin, his first storm upon the world. Strong winds raged in the Forest, driving the leaves in clouds before them, and snapping and rending the patient, tortured trees. Ink-black clouds scared away the Moon, when she tried to shine; sharp sleet struck the windows of the Woodman’s hut, like a myriad of tiny fists; and the blast wailed and moaned about the chimney, like the voice of one in pain.

 

Max and Thekla heard the uproar, and trembled, as they sat by the fire. Often before had they listened to storms with a certain pleasurable sense that home was rendered snugger by the contrast. But now they shivered and clung together, and tears were in Thekla’s eyes as she nestled her head upon her brother’s shoulder. The kitchen did not wear its usual cheery look. And no wonder! There was sorrow in the cottage; for dear old Grandfather, who had loved them both so fondly, and been so loved in return, was gone away forever!

 

Only a week before he had died, quietly, painlessly, with a smile on his lips, and blessing them at the last. The far-away neighbors had assembled; and with pitying looks and kind words had taken the aged form, and laid it to rest beside other graves where slept the friends of his youth. But still, in spite of the lonely house and the vacant chair, Thekla could not feel that Grandfather was far away; and every hour she silently did this thing or that because it would once have pleased him to have them done, and the thought that he still knew and was pleased comforted her. And perhaps Thekla was right in her innocent faith, for the friends we can no longer see may be nearer to us than we think.

 

When an old tree is blown down, all the delicate grasses and sweet herbs which cluster at its foot are uprooted by the shock. So it was with these two little human flowers. The fall of their sheltering friend tore them from their accustomed place. Already the neighbors had talked over and settled what the children must do. Max was to be bound apprentice to a clockmaker in the distant town, and Thekla to live with a farmer’s dame who had offered to take and train her as a servant. The thought of parting was dreadful to them; and they had begged so hard and so tearfully to be allowed to stay together in the hut for a few weeks longer,—just till a new Ranger should take possession,—that at last, won by their distress, consent was given. There was wood and meal and vegetables enough in the cellar to keep them without expense to anybody. If the poor things liked to eat the stores themselves, instead of selling them, why it was a good plan, people said. So there the two sat on this stormy evening, alone in the lonely Forest, and expecting the arrival of December, last of that wonderful company who had made the year so strangely interesting.

 

They had not long to wait. There came a lull in the wind, and far off in the distance a voice was heard raised in a commanding tone, and gradually drawing nearer.

 

image“There! there!” were the first words they caught: “that will do. Leave the oaks alone, you rascals! Time enough for such pranks when I’m gone. As for that hemlock,—winds will be winds, I know, and what’s done can never be undone; but don’t let me catch you at another.” Here the voice ceased; then there was a rattling at the latch, and next moment the door opened, and in came a tall figure leaning on a staff, but moving so lightly and easily that it suggested anything rather than age or infirmity.

This was December, a fine, stately man, dressed in white and green, with a fur cloak flung about his shoulders and a hat decked with holly sprigs. Age and youth seemed funnily contrasted in his face; for, while hair and beard were white as hoar-frost, the cheeks were like ripe winter-apples, and the blue eyes sparkled with fun and fire. He entered with a sort of jolly rush; but, when he saw Thekla’s black frock and the traces of tears upon her cheeks, his mood changed at once. Closing the door gently, he sat down before the fire, and, holding out his hand with an expression of indescribable kindness, said in a tone full of sympathy, “My poor children!”

 

That was all: but in another moment Thekla’s arm was round his neck on one side, and Max’s on the other;—he had drawn them on to his knees, and they were sobbing out their griefs as if they had known him always. They told how sorry they were to part, how lonely the cottage seemed, how forlorn it was to be poor and at the mercy of others; and December listened, his eyes glistening with pity and his kind arms hugging them close. It was like having Grandfather back again, the children thought.

 

The new friend was wise. He did not interrupt or try to comfort till they had got quite through. It was wonderful what relief came just from telling all to somebody who cared to listen. By the time the story was over the boy and girl felt happier than for days; and not till then did December speak.

 

“Courage!” he said. “It’s always darkest just before day. Why, the Lord takes care of birds and cats and squirrels, of a whole world full of tiny winged creatures, and all the fishes of the sea. Do you suppose he will forget just you two, out of all the little ones whom he protects? Never! Why, I could tell you,—but I must not, it is not permitted,—only, even a Month may venture on a hint, and so I’ll just say, wait, and see what’s ahead!” And December ended this mysterious sentence with pursing up his lips very tight, winking hard with both eyes, and nodding his head in a singular and provoking manner.

 

“Oh, what?” cried the children.

 

“I shan’t say another word,” replied December. “No! you needn’t look at me with such big, imploring eyes: it’s no use. But just you keep up brave hearts, and trust in God,—and you’ll see! As for the Grandfather,” here his voice grew deep and solemn, like the sound of bells, “I know you miss him sorely; but don’t cry for him anymore. He has gone where he is young again; and, when your turn comes to go too, you will wonder that ever you shed a tear because he was made so very happy.”

 

December’s face became beautiful as he spoke these last words, and Thekla stole the other arm tenderly about his neck. A glittering chain hung there, with pendants shaped like icicles. Touching it, she started, it was so very cold.

 

“Is it made of ice?” she asked.

 

“Well, you can call it so, if you like,” responded December, smiling; “but I say ‘crystallized gases.’ It sounds better, I think.

 

“I hope it won’t put you out,” he went on, “if I should ask leave to read my story, instead of telling it. I am so very, very old, you see,”—here his eyes twinkled with fun,—“that my memory is almost gone; and, unless I write things down, I am always forgetting them.” Whereupon he pulled a roll of paper from his pocket, and perching a pair of spectacles with tortoise-shell rims on his nose, very high up, looked from under them at the children in a comical manner. Thekla and Max could not help laughing. In spite of his white hair, it seemed somehow a great joke that December should call himself so very, very old.

 

“It’s a cheerful kind of a story,” continued he. “I picked it out on purpose, for I guessed I should find you moping; and I thought something lively would be good for you.”

 

Thus speaking, December pushed the glasses up higher on his forehead, so as to be able to see well from beneath them, and began to read,—

 

“How the Cat kept Christmas.”

 

“What a queer name for a story!” said Thekla.

 

“Yes; and it was a queer Cat too,” replied December. “I knew her. Tortoise-shell, with long whiskers, and rather a ragged tail.”

 

Then he went on.

 

“The ringers were practising the Christmas chimes in low, muffled tones. High up, the steeple rocked in the wind, the clouds drifted rapidly over the moon, and clear and sharp the frost-film glittered on the roofs. The watchman on his round clapped and stamped to warm hands and feet, as he called the hour, ‘Eight o’clock, and all’s well!’ But, to the poor Cat crouched beneath the kitchen-window, all was not well.

 

“‘Oh dear!’ she sighed to herself, ‘what a thing it is to have a Step-mother! Once we were happy! The good Papa loved me, and I slept in Gretchen’s arms. The fire was bright in those days. Porringers of hot milk stood by it, and always a saucer full for me. Ah, dear days! The moment I saw that nose of hers, I knew they were over! Such a nose! so red, so long. Why did the Papa marry her? Men are so foolish. I hissed, I spit, I warned,—nobody listened, and here I am. The good Papa dares not protect me. Gretchen weeps: the Step-dame bars the door. Hew! what a wind! What a Christmas Eve! Poor Gretchen! Poor me!’ Overcome by her sorrows, the Cat gave a loud wail, which rang out into the chilly night. Then the door opened softly.

 

“‘Puss! puss!’ said a small voice, ‘where are you?’

 

“Pussy ran forward into view, and jumped and leaped at her mistress.

“‘Oh, my Katchen,’ went on the little one, ‘how cold it is! You will freeze! you will die. Oh, if I dared but let you in!’

 

“‘I’ll scratch her eyes out!’ muttered the Cat.

“‘Shall I throw my little red shawl to you from the window?’ continued Gretchen. ‘My poor one! my Kitty!’

 

“‘Gretchen!’ screamed a voice, ‘if you let that good-for-nothing Cat into the house, you taste the stick! Dost hear?’

 

“Gretchen turned pale. ‘O Kitty!’ was all she said. She gave a sob of despair. Then the door was shut.

 

“‘This is a nice business,’ thought the Cat. ‘Oh, the witch! I hope the mice will come down to-night, and steal the very teeth out of her head. But I’ll have vengeance yet. There’s that big gray rat in the cellar: I’ll strike a bargain with him,—life and liberty, provided he plagues her to death, eats the linen, claws the jam, gnaws bung-holes in the cask, and lets the beer out! We’ll see! Meantime, I shall freeze unless something is done. Let me explore.’

 

“High and low did the Cat search,—over the fence, under the vine,—but no shelter could be found. The vine was leafless, the fence gave no hiding-place. At last she bethought herself of the roof, which it was easy to mount by means of a long and sloping rain-trough. Perhaps there might be a warm chimney there,—no bad pillow on a wintry night.

 

“There proved to be a warmish one; and, curling into a ball, Puss laid herself to rest against it. Perhaps it was not warm enough, perhaps the remembrance of wrong was too bitter within her; certain it is she could not sleep. She wriggled, she twisted; she sent forth melancholy cries, which rang strangely across the icy roofs as if some ghost afflicted with toothache had gone there for an airing. Nine—ten—eleven—had sounded before she fell into her first doze,—the clock was on the stroke of twelve, when a scraping and scratching sound close by roused her. Was it some other cat? or the big rat from the cellar, scaling the wall? Raising herself cautiously, after the manner of cats, she listened.

 

“No: it was neither rat nor cat. Light hoofs as of goats were climbing the tiles, bells tinkled, a small sledge came in view. Swift as light it flew along, paused at the next chimney, and a little old man jumped out. His face shone in the moonlight like a jolly red apple, his fat body was wrapped in fur, on his back was a bag. Puss had never seen him before; but she knew him well. It was St. Nicholas, the patron saint of Christmas.

 

“Down the chimney he went, with a motion like a bird’s; up again as fast. Then advancing, he searched in his bag. His kind face looked puzzled. The Cat saw his hesitation, and sprang forward.

 

“‘Well, Puss,’ said the Saint, ‘what cheer?’

 

“‘Bad,’ said the Cat, no ways abashed at finding herself in such company. ‘But never mind me, if only you’ve something nice for Gretchen. Such a dear child, St. Nicholas, and such a step-mother! Do put your hand in the pouch, and fetch out something pretty for her,—oh do! there’s a kind Saint!’ And she rubbed her soft fur coaxingly against his legs.

 

“‘Ah! a dear child and a step-mother, eh?’ said St. Nicholas. ‘Let me look again. Certainly! here’s something for Gretchen.—Wo-ho, reindeer! quiet a moment!’ And down the chimney he whipped, a present in his hand,—what, the Cat couldn’t see.

 

“Coming back, ‘Now about yourself?’ he asked, gathering up the reins. ‘What keeps you on the cold roof all night? Something must be done, you know: matters can’t be left this way. Wish a wish, if you have one. I’m in a humor for pleasing everybody while I’m about it.’

 

“So the Cat told her story. ‘And for a wish,’ she said, ‘if your Saintship would only permit me to slip in under your furs, and go along, I should be proud and happy. They look very warm and comfortable. I should sleep; or, if not, it would be most interesting to watch your Worship at work. And I take very little room,’ she added piteously.

If your Saintship would only permit me to slip in under your furs, and go along

“So the Cat told her story. ‘
And for a wish,’ she said, ‘if your Saintship would only permit me
to slip in under your furs, and go along,’—‘
Why, jump in at once,’ said St. Nicholas.”

“‘Is that all? Why, jump in at once,’ said kind St. Nicholas: ‘there is room for forty cats like you. My sledge is never full. Ho! ho! it would be a pretty joke if it were!’ And he laughed a jolly laugh.

 

“So Pussy jumped in. ‘You must let me out in the morning early,’ said she, ‘because Gretchen will be anxious.’

 

“‘Oh, yes!’ replied the Saint, smiling queerly, ‘I’ll let you out in the morning. I’m like a bat, you know, and never fly except by night.’

 

“Off they went, the magic stillness of the flight broken only by the tinkling bells. First one chimney, then another; bag after bag full of toys and sweets; here a doll, there a diamond ring, here only a pair of warm stockings. Everybody had something, except in a few houses over whose roofs St. Nicholas paused a moment with a look half sad, half angry, and left nothing. People lived there who knew him little, and loved him less.

 

“Through the air,—more towns,—more villages. Now the sea was below them, the cold, moon-lit sea. Then again land came in sight,—towers and steeples, halls and hamlets; and the work began again. A wild longing to explore seized the Cat. She begged the Saint to take her down one specially wide chimney on his shoulder. He did so. The nursery within looked strange and foreign; but the little sleeping face in bed was like Gretchen’s, and Pussy felt at home. A whole bag full of presents was left here. And then, hey! presto! they were off again to countless homes,—to roofs so poor and low that only a Saint would have thought of visiting them, to stately palaces, to cellars and toll-gates and lonely attics; at last to a church, dim, and fragrant with ivy-leaves and twisted evergreen, where their errand was to feed a robin who had there found shelter, and was sleeping on the topmost bough. How his beads of eyes sparkled as the Saint awoke him! and how eagerly he pecked the store of good red berries which were his Christmas present, though he had hung up no stocking, and evidently expected nothing. To small, to great, to rich and poor alike, the good Saint had an errand. Little ones smiled in their sleep as he moved by, birds in hidden coverts twittered and chirped, bells faintly tinkled and chimed as in dream, the air sent up incense of aromatic smells, flying fairies made room for the sledge to pass; the world, unconscious what it did, breathed benediction, and in turn received a blessing as it slept,—a Christmas blessing.

 

“Off again. More sea, tumbling and tossed; then a great steamship, down whose funnel St. Nicholas dropped a parcel or two. Then another country, with atmosphere heavy with savory scents,—of doughnuts, of pumpkin pies, of apple turnovers, all of which had been cooked the day before. These dainties stay on earth, and are eaten; but their smell goes up into the clouds, and the ghosts dine upon it. The Cat licked her lips. Flying gives appetite. ‘When morning comes,’ she thought, ‘Gretchen will smuggle me a breakfast.’ But morning was long in coming, and there were many little ones to serve in that wonderful new land.

 

“And now, another continent passed, another ocean came in view. Island after island rose and sank; but the sledge did not stop. Then a shore was seen, with groves of trees, fan-shaped and curious; with rivers whose waters bore fleets of strange misshapen boats, in whose masts hung many-colored lanterns; and cities of odd build, whose spires and pinnacles were noisy with bells. But neither here did the sledge stop. Once only it dipped, and deposited a package in a modest dwelling. ‘A Missionary lives there,’ said the Saint. ‘This is China. Don’t you smell the tea?’

 

“On and on for hundred of leagues. No stay, no errand. St. Nicholas looked sad, for all his round face. ‘So many little children,’ he muttered, ‘and none of them mine!’ And then he cheered again, as, reining his deer upon a hut amid the frozen snows of Siberia, he left a rude toy for an exile’s child. ‘Dear little thing!’ he said, ‘she will smile in the morning when she wakes.’

 

“And now the air grew warm and soft. Great cities were below them, and groves of flowering trees. Some balmy fragrance wrapped the land. A vast building swept into sight, whose sides and roof and spires were traced in glittering lines of fire. It was a church hung with lamps. Odors sweet and heavy met their noses. St. Nicholas sneezed, and shook his head impatiently. ‘Confound that incense!’ he said. ‘It’s the loveliest country in the world, only a fellow can’t breathe in it!’ And then he forgot his discomfort in his work.

 

“Another country, and more smells,—of burning twigs, pungent and spicy; of candles just blown out. These set the Cat to coughing; but St. Nicholas minded them not at all. ‘I like them,’ he declared: ‘I like everything about a Christmas-tree,—singed evergreen, smoking tallow, and all. The sniff of it is like a bouquet of flowers to me. And the children,—bless them!—how they do enjoy it! They don’t object to the smell!’ He ended with a chuckle.

 

“And now the dawn began. The moon grew pale and wan; the stars hid themselves; dark things took form and shape, and were less dark; yellow gleams crept up the sky; the world looked more alive. And, among the roofs over which they were now driving, the Cat spied one which seemed familiar. It was! There stood the well-known chimney, with the thin, starved curl of smoke, telling of someone awake within. There was the little window which was Gretchen’s own. With a mew of delight, she leaped to the roof. The Saint laughed. ‘Good-by!’ he shouted, shook his reins, and was off. Whither the Cat knew not, nor could guess; for where St. Nicholas hides himself during the year is one of the secrets which no man knows.

 

“Down the long spout ran Puss, with an airy bound. There was the door; and close to it she stationed herself, impatient of the opening. She had not long to wait. In a moment the latch was raised, and a face peeped timidly out,—Gretchen’s face,—pale and swollen with crying. When she saw the Cat, she gave a loud scream, and caught her in her arms.

 

“‘O Katchen!’ she cried, hugging her close. ‘Where have you been all this time? I thought you were dead! I did, I did, my Katchen!’

 

“Pussy stared, as well she might.

 

“‘All day yesterday,’ went on the little one, ‘and all night long. I cried and cried,—how I cried, my Kitty! It wasn’t a bit a nice Christmas, though the Christ-child brought me such a doll! I could think of nothing but my Katchen, lost all day long.’

 

“Puss stood bewildered. Were her night’s adventures a dream? Had she ever studied geography, she might have guessed that chasing morning round the world is a sure way to lose your reckoning. As it was, she could only venture on a plaintive, inquiring ‘Mew?’ Hunger was more engrossing than curiosity. She devoured breakfast, dinner, supper, all at once. The Stepmother had more reason than ever when she grumbled at being ‘eaten out of house and home by a beast.’ But Gretchen’s tears the day before had so moved her Father, that he took courage to declare that Puss must be restored to her former privileges. Warm corner, dainty mess, and the protecting arms of her little mistress became hers again, and are hers to this day.

 

“And that was St. Nicholas’s Christmas present to the Cat.

 

“Well,” said December, rolling up the paper, “how do you like my story?”

 

“So much! oh, so much!” the children cried. “It was almost the nicest of all.”

 

“As for my present,” he went on, “I am not going to give you that just now. It shall come on the Christmas-tree. And mind you look bright, and greet the Christ-child with a smile, or he will be grieved, and go away sorrowful.”

 

“I don’t believe we shall have any tree this year,” said Thekla, sadly. “There isn’t anything to put on it. And beside”—but her voice faltered. Grandfather had always helped to dress the tree.

 

“Oh, but,” cried December, “this will never do. Why, you must have a tree! Never mind if there isn’t anything to put on it. The Christ-child and I will see to that. Now I’ll tell you,—you just cut a nice fir-bough, and set it here against the door, and I’ll pledge my word, as an honest Month, that something shall come from outside and fall upon it. Do you give me your promise that you will?”

 

They promised,—half doubtful, half believing. And then December asked for the can, and, turning it upside down, poured out the last particles of sand.

 

“Dear! dear!” he said reflectively, “what a blessing that these are not lost! How the babies would have cried at being forced to go to bed half an hour sooner on Christmas night! And the Anthem would have been cut short on the blessed morning too, and the bells been cheated of their chime. It’s a great mercy I have got them safely back.”

 

“Good-by! good-by!” cried the children, following him to the door.

He stooped, and kissed both the round faces.

 

“Good-by!” he said. “Remember Christmas Eve.”

‘O Katchen!’ she said, ‘where have you been

“‘O Katchen!’ she said, ‘where have you been?’”

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Chapter 12 from “The New Year’s Bargain” by Susan Coolidge author of “What Katy Did Next” etc.

ISBN: 9788835399308

CLICK the Download Link: https://bit.ly/2UE1Zhb

===============

TABS/KEYWORDS: The New Years Bargain, Max, Thekla, folklore, fairy tale, fairytale, myth, legend, fable, storyteller, narrator, Little one, child, children’s,  cried, old. Good, great, come ye away, voices, poor, Grandfather, woods, forest,  April, Dotty, cat, brown, hair, girls, boy, march September, red, August, fairy, squirrel, wild, friends, brother, snow, November, sun, turkey, sketch, laughter, flowers, December, Greedy, boat, Bargain, Months, Bear, Little Tot, Maria, May, Little Housekeepers, Last of the Fairies, Little Spark, Desert Island, Nippie Nutcracker, Chusey, Christmas, Conclusion, What was on the Tree

TITCH_Front_Cover-A5-Centered

TOLD IN THE COFFEE HOUSE

29 Turkish and Islamic Folk Tales

Herein are 29 of the most notable Turkish and Islamic stories recorded and translated by Adler in partnership with Allan Ramsay.

Herein you will find stories like:
HOW THE HODJA SAVED ALLAH
THE HANOUM AND THE UNJUST CADI
HOW COBBLER AHMET BECAME THE CHIEF ASTROLOGER
THE WISE SON OF ALI PASHA
THE MERCIFUL KHAN
KING KARA-KUSH OF BITHYNIA
WE KNOW NOT WHAT THE DAWN MAY BRING FORTH
THE EFFECTS OF RAKI
and many, many more.

You are invited to download these 29 stories in ebook form for only US$1.99

Link: https://store.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/told-in-the-coffee-house-29-turkish-and-islamic-folk-tales/

 

It must be noted that while Turkish folklore is entertaining and is guaranteed to give rise to a smile, a chuckle or even laughter, the stories do have a gravity of their own and will impart a wisdom only found in Eastern lands.

During the course of a number of visits to Istanbul, Cyrus Adler* became interested in the tales that were being told in the coffee houses of the city, and many they were.

Turkish Coffee Houses have an intimacy which encourages the sharing of stories. They usually consist of a little more than rooms, with walls made of small panes of glass. The furniture consists of a tripod with a contrivance for holding the kettle, and a fire to keep the coffee boiling. A carpeted bench traverses the entire length of the room. This is occupied by turbaned Turks, their legs folded under them, smoking hookahs or chibouks, and sipping coffee. A few will be engaged in a game of backgammon, but the majority enter into conversation, at first only in syllables, which gradually gives rise to a general discussion. Finally, some sage of the neighborhood comes in, and the company appeals to him to settle the point at issue. This he usually does by telling a story to illustrate his opinion. Some of the stories told on these occasions are adaptations of those already known in Arabic and Persian literature, but the Turkish mind gives them a new setting and a peculiar philosophy. They are characteristic of the habits, customs, and methods of thought of the people, and for this reason seem worthy of preservation.

Most of the stories have been collected by Mr. Allan Ramsay, who, by a long residence in Constantinople, has had special, and many, opportunities for learning to know the modern Turk.
Cyrus Adler (1863 – 1940) was an American educator, Jewish religious leader and scholar.
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KEYWORDS/TAGS: fairy tales, folklore, myths, legends, children’s stories, children’s stories, bygone era, fairydom, fairy land, classic stories, children’s bedtime stories, fables, Adventures, Turkey, Turkish, coffee house, one, man, Ahmet, Pasha, Jew, wife, Hodja, money, Hadji, Dervish, piasters, father, Cadi, gold, Halid, Allah, Sultan, Ben, Hussein, woman, house, devil, Moïse, horse, Vizier, Grand, Imam, Armenian, thousand, Hanoum, husband, Effendi, Chief, Majesty, olives, judges, slave, Turk, Patriarch, Palace, children, friend, goose, Stamboul, Brother, Alas, God, spokesman, Paradise, priest, monkey, smith, Ali, box, people, twelve, Jesus, Khan, astrologer, Janissary, Governor, begger, Hassan, beadle, faith, death, stranger, necklace, blessing, judgment, desire, master, thief, peace, hands, birds, sword, Forty, heart, dream, true, arm, 25, twenty-five, Astrologer, Detective, statement, pleasure, justice, village, farrier, funeral, punish, tailor, spirit, Egypt, baker, alone, Osman, Porte, child, third, blood, short, Avram, youth, possessions, Mohammed, history, journey, despair, Chepdji, window, evil, rose, Wise, wisdom, conversation, disappear, apprentice, protest, Mustapha, steward Scutari, towers, prison, garden, Bekri, Abdul, raki, Janissaries, thirty-nine, horseshoes, Inshallah, Dervish, gunsmith, Chacham, turban, Konak, Agha, thunderstruck, flute-player, gentlemen, medjidies, Chapkin, baker

Herein are 119 satirical cartoons published in Punch between 1890 and 1915 which focus on the growing threat of war in the years preceding and during the first two years of the GREAT WAR.
The cartoons are grouped into the following categories:

  • The Days Preceding the War
  • The Struggle
  • Uncle Sam
  • The Comedies of the Great Tragedy
  • Women and Children First
  • The New Rake’s Progress—Unser Kaiser
  • The Raider
  • The Unspeakable Turk
  • Italia!

The cartoons encompass all the Allied nations and most of those aligned with the Central Powers. The sea war also features the antics of both navies and of course the sinking of non-military liners.
During the war the media swung into action in effect becoming an Allied propaganda machine. In addition to Punch, Dutchman Louis Raemakers was also proactive in this media. Raemakers cartoons were so effective that he and his family had to flee the Netherlands when the German High Command offered a reward for his capture.
Working in London he continued to publish his cartoons mainly in The Times and even went on a promotional tour of the USA. It was thought that his many works, which can be seen in the eBooks Raemakers Cartoons of WWI – vols. 1 & 2, was partly instrumental in changing the opinion of the American public towards involvement in the “European” war.

The effect of these cartoons on rallying public opinion before and during the Great War was incalculable and the propaganda machine continued to play a major role in the conflicts following the Great War.

Format: eBook – ePub, Kindle/Mobi, PDF
Download Link: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/various/punch-cartoons-of-the-great-war-119-great-war-cartoons-published-in-punch/

Punch Cartoons of the Great War

THERE lived in Constantinople an old Hodja, a learned man, who had a son. The boy followed in his father’s footsteps, went every day to the Mosque Aya Sofia, seated himself in a secluded spot, to the left of the pillar bearing the impress of the Conqueror’s hand, and engaged in the study of the Koran. Daily he might be seen seated, swaying his body to and fro, and reciting to himself the verses of the Holy Book.

The dearest wish of a Mohammedan theological student is to be able to recite the entire Koran by heart. Many years are spent in memorizing the Holy Book, which must be recited with a prescribed cantillation, and in acquiring a rhythmical movement of the body which accompanies the chant.

When Abdul, for that was the young man’s name, had reached his nineteenth year, he had, by the most assiduous study, finally succeeded in mastering three-fourths of the Koran. At this achievement his pride rose, his ambition was fired, and he determined to become a great man.

The day that he reached this decision he did not go to the Mosque, but stopped at home, in his father’s house, and sat staring at the fire burning in the grate. Several times the father asked:
“My son, what do you see in the fire?”
And each time the son answered:
“Nothing, father.”
He was very young; he could not see.
Finally, the young man picked up courage and gave expression to his thoughts.
“Father,” he said, “I wish to become a great man.”
“That is very easy,” said the father.
“And to be a great man,” continued the son, “I must first go to Mecca.” For no Mohammedan priest or theologian, or even layman, has fulfilled all of the cardinal precepts of his faith unless he has made the pilgrimage to the Holy City.

To his son’s last observation the father blandly replied: “It is very easy to go to Mecca.”

“How, easy?” asked the son. “On the contrary, it is very difficult; for the journey is costly, and I have no money.”

“Listen, my son,” said the father. “You must become a scribe, the writer of the thoughts of your brethren, and your fortune is made.”

“But I have not even the implements necessary for a scribe,” said the son.

“All that can be easily arranged,” said the father; “your grandfather had an ink-horn; I will give it you; I will buy you some writing-paper, and we will get you a box to sit in; all that you need to do is to sit still, look wise and your fortune is made.”

And indeed the advice was good. For letter-writing is an art which only the few possess. The ability to write by no means carries with it the ability to compose. Epistolary genius is rare.

Abdul was much rejoiced at the counsel that had been given him, and lost no time in carrying out the plan. He took his grandfather’s ink-horn, the paper his father bought, got himself a box and began his career as a scribe.

Abdul was a child, he knew nothing, but deeming himself wise he sought to surpass the counsel of his father.

“To look wise,” he said, “is not sufficient; I must have some other attraction.”

And after much thought he hit upon the following idea. Over his box he painted a legend: “The wisdom of man is greater than the wisdom of woman.” People thought the sign very clever, customers came, the young Hodja took in many piasters and he was correspondingly happy.

This sign one day attracted the eyes and mind of a Hanoum (Turkish lady). Seeing that Abdul was a manly youth, she went to him and said:

“Hodja, I have a difficult letter to write. I have heard that thou art very wise, so I have come to thee. To write the letter thou wilt need all thy wit. Moreover, the letter is a long one, and I cannot stand here while it is being written. Come to my Konak (house) at three this afternoon, and we will write the letter.”

The Hodja was overcome with admiration for his fair client, and surprised at the invitation. He was enchanted, his heart beat wildly, and so great was his agitation that his reply of acquiescence was scarcely audible.

The invitation had more than the charm of novelty to make it attractive. He had never talked with a woman outside of his own family circle. To be admitted to a lady’s house was in itself an adventure.

Long before the appointed time, the young Hodja—impetuous youth—gathered together his reeds, ink, and sand. With feverish step he wended his way to the house. Lattices covered the windows, a high wall surrounded the garden, and a ponderous gate barred the entrance. Thrice he raised the massive knocker.

“Who is there?” called a voice from within.

“The scribe,” was the reply.

“It is well,” said the porter; the gate was unbarred, and the Hodja permitted to enter. Directly he was ushered into the apartment of his fair client.

The lady welcomed him cordially.

“Ah! Hodja Effendi, I am glad to see you; pray sit down.”

The Hodja nervously pulled out his writing-implements.

“Do not be in such a hurry,” said the lady. “Refresh yourself; take a cup of coffee, smoke a cigarette, and we will write the letter afterwards.”

So he lit a cigarette, drank a cup of coffee, and they fell to talking. Time flew; the minutes seemed like seconds, and the hours were as minutes. While they were thus enjoying themselves there suddenly came a heavy knock at the gate.

“It is my husband, the Pasha,” cried the lady. “What shall I do? If he finds you here, he will kill you! I am so frightened.”

The Hodja was frightened too. Again there came a knock at the gate.

“I have it,” and taking Abdul by the arm, she said, “you must get into the box,” indicating a large chest in the room. “Quick, quick, if you prize your life utter not a word, and Inshallah I will save you.”

Abdul now, too late, saw his folly. It was his want of experience; but driven by the sense of danger, he entered the chest; the lady locked it and took the key.

A moment afterwards the Pasha came in.

“I am very tired,” he said; “bring me coffee and a chibook.”

“Good evening, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady. “Sit down. I have something to tell you.”

“Bah!” said the Pasha; “I want none of your woman’s talk; ‘the hair of woman is long, and her wits are short,’ says the proverb. Bring me my pipe.”

“But, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady, “I have had an adventure to-day.”

“Bah!” said the Pasha; “what adventure can a woman have—forgot to paint your eyebrows or color your nails, I suppose.”

“No, Pasha Effendi. Be patient, and I will tell you. I went out to-day to write a letter.”

“A letter?” said the Pasha; “to whom would you write a letter?”

“Be patient,” she said, “and I will tell you my story. So I came to the box of a young scribe with beautiful eyes.”

“A young man with beautiful eyes,” shouted the Pasha. “Where is he? I’ll kill him!” and he drew his sword.

The Hodja in the chest heard every word and trembled in every limb.

“Be patient, Pasha Effendi; I said I had an adventure, and you did not believe me. I told the young man that the letter was long, and I could not stand in the street to write it. So I asked him to come and see me this afternoon.”

“Here? to this house?” thundered the Pasha.

“Yes, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady. “So the Hodja came here, and I gave him coffee and a cigarette, and we talked, and the minutes seemed like seconds, and the hours were as minutes. All at once came your knock at the gate, and I said to the Hodja, ‘That is the Pasha; and if he finds you here, he will kill you.'”

“And I will kill him,” screamed the Pasha, “where is he?”

“Be patient, Pasha Effendi,” said the lady, “and I will tell you. When you knocked a second time, I suddenly thought of the chest, and I put the Hodja in.”

“Let me at him!” screamed the Pasha. “I’ll cut off his head!”

“O Pasha,” she said, “what a hurry you are in to slay this comely youth. He is your prey; he cannot escape you. The youth is not only in the box, but it is locked, and the key is in my pocket. Here it is.”

The lady walked over to the Pasha, stretched out her hand and gave him the key.
As he took it, she said:

“Philopena!”

“Bah!” said the Pasha, in disgust. He threw the key on the floor and left the harem, slamming the door behind him.

After he had gone, the lady took up the key, unlocked the door, and let out the trembling Hodja.

“Go now, Hodja, to your box,” she said. “Take down your sign and write instead: ‘The wit of woman is twofold the wit of man,’ for I am a woman, and in one day I have fooled two men.”
====================
From TOLD IN THE COFFEE HOUSE – 29 Turkish and Islamic Folk Tales

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Authentic Gypsy Folk Tales illustrated 2 book set - Black Friday Special

Authentic Gypsy Folk Tales illustrated 2 book set – Black Friday Special

 

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Francis Hindes Groome (Born 30 August 1851 in Monk Soham, Suffolk, England – died 24 January 1902 in London), son of Robert Hindes Groome Archdeacon of Suffolk. A writer and foremost commentator of his time on the Romani people, their language, life, history, customs, beliefs, and lore.

In October 1901, Francis Hindes Groome’s library of books, letters, and manuscripts bearing upon the study of the Gypsies was purchased by the Boston Athenæum. The collection comprises over one hundred volumes, some which are rare, and others contain rare tracts and magazine articles. There are also Mr. Groome’s own books with his marginal additions, over thirty volumes of manuscript notes, lectures, and his correspondence with M. Paul Bataillard, the eminent French student of the Gypsies, covering the years 1872-1880.

 

There was once a Padishah (Shah) who one day found a little insect. The Padishah called his lala and they both examined the tiny creature. What could it be? What could it feed on? Every day an animal was killed for its sustenance, and by thus living it grew and grew until it was as big as a cat. Then they killed it and skinned it, hanging up the skin on the palace gate. The Padishah now issued a proclamation that whoever could guess correctly to what animal the skin belonged should receive the Sultan’s daughter in marriage.

A great crowd collected and examined the skin from all sides, but no one was found wise enough to answer the question. The story of the skin spread far and wide until it reached the ears of a Dew (a supernatural being). “That is exceedingly fortunate for me,” thought he to himself, “I have had nothing to eat for three days; now I shall be able to satisfy myself with the Princess.” So he went to the Padishah, told him the name of the creature, and immediately demanded the maiden.

“Woe is me” groaned the Padishah, “how can I give this Dew my only daughter?” He offered him, in ransom for her, as many slaves as he liked, but all in vain! The Dew insisted on having the Sultan’s daughter. Therefore the Padishah called the maiden and told her to prepare for the journey, as her kismet was the Dew. All weeping and wailing were fruitless. The maiden put on her clothes, while the Dew waited for her outside the palace.

The Padishah had a horse that drank attar of roses and ate grapes; Kamer-taj, or Moon-horse, was its name. This was the creature on which the Sultan’s daughter was to accompany the Dew to his abode. A cavalcade escorted her a portion of the way and then, turning, rode back. Now the maiden offered up a prayer to Allah to deliver her from the fiend.

Suddenly the Moon-horse began to speak: “Lady, fear not! shut both your eyes and hold my mane firmly.” Hardly had she shut her eyes when she felt the horse rise with her, and when she opened her eyes again she found herself in the garden of a lovely palace on an island in the midst of the sea.

The Dew was very angry at the disappearance of the maid. “Still, never mind!” he said, “I will soon find her,” and went his way home alone.

Not far from the island a Prince sat in a canoe with his lala. The Prince, seeing on the calm surface of the water the reflection of the golden-hued steed, said to his lala that perhaps someone had arrived at his palace. They rode to the island, got out of the canoe, and entered the garden. Here the youth saw the beautiful Princess, who, however much she essayed to veil her face, could not succeed in hiding from him her loveliness.

“Oh, Peri!” said the Prince, “fear me not; I am not an enemy!”
“I am only a Sultan’s daughter, a child of man and no Peri,” announced the Princess, and told the Prince how she had been delivered from the Dew (a Peri is and exquisite, winged, fairy-like creature). The Prince assured her that she could not have come to a better place. His father also was a Padishah; with her permission he would take her to him, and by the grace of Allah he would make her his wife. So they went to the Padishah, the Prince told him of the maiden’s adventure, and in the end they were married, merriment and feasting lasting forty days and forty nights.

For a time they lived in undisturbed bliss, but war broke out with a neighbouring kingdom and, in accordance with the custom of that period, the Padishah also must set out for the campaign. Hearing of this the Prince went to his father and asked permission to go to the war. The Padishah was unwilling to consent, saying: “you are young, also you have a wife whom you must not forsake.” But the son begged so assiduously that in the end the Padishah agreed to stay at home and let Prince go in his stead.

The Dew discovered that the Prince would be on the battlefield, and he also made the further discovery that during his absence a son and a daughter had been born to him.

At that time Tartars were employed as messengers and carried letters between the Padishah at home and the Prince at the seat of war. One of these messengers was intercepted by the Dew and invited into a coffee house. There the Dew entertained him so long that night came on. The messenger now wished to be off, but was persuaded that it would be better to remain till morning.

The Prince sees the reflection.

At midnight, while he was asleep, the Dew searched his letter-bag and found a letter from the Padishah to the Prince informing the latter that a baby son and daughter had come to the palace during his absence. Tearing up this letter, the Dew wrote another to the effect that a

couple of dogs had been born. “Shall we destroy them or keep them till your return?” wrote the Dew in the false letter. This missive he placed in the original envelope, and in the morning the Tartar arose, took his sack of letters, and went into the Prince’s camp.

When the Prince had read his father’s letter he wrote the following answer: “Shah and father, do not destroy the young dogs, but keep them until I return.” This was given to the Tartar, who set out on his return journey.

He was again met by the Dew, who enticed him into a coffeehouse and detained him till next morning. During the night the Dew abstracted the letter and wrote another, which said: “Shah and father, take my wife and her two children and throw them down a precipice, and bind the Moon-horse with a fifty-ton chain.”

In the evening of the day following the Tartar delivered the letter to the Padishah. When the Princess saw the Tartar she hastened joyfully to the monarch that he might show her her husband’s letter. The Padishah, having read it, was astonished and dared not show it to the Princess, so he denied that any letter had arrived. The woman answered: “I have indeed seen the letter with my own eyes; perchance some misfortune has happened to him and you are keeping it from me.” Then catching a glimpse of the letter she put forth her hand quickly and took it. Having read it the poor woman wept bitterly. The monarch did his best to comfort her, but she refused to remain longer in the palace. Taking her children she left the city and went forth into the wide world.

Days and weeks passed away and she was without food to appease her hunger or bed on which to rest her tired body, until worn out with fatigue she could go no step farther. “Let not my children die of hunger!” she prayed. Behold! instantly water gushed forth from the earth and flour fell from the skies, and making bread with these she fed her children.

In the meantime the Dew heard of the woman’s fate and set out immediately to destroy the children. The Princess saw the Dew coming and in her terrible agony she cried: “Hasten, my Kamer-taj, or I die!” In the far-off land the magic horse heard this cry for help; he strained at his fifty-ton fetters but could not break them. The nearer the Dew came the more the poor Princess’s anguish increased. Clasping her children to her breast, she sent up another despairing cry to the Moon-horse. The fettered steed strained still more at his chain, but it was of no avail. The Dew was now quite close upon her, and for the last time the poor mother shrieked with all her remaining strength. Kamer-taj, hearing it, put forth all the force he could muster, broke his chain, and appeared before the Princess. “Fear not, lady!” he said, “shut your eyes and grasp my mane,” and immediately they were on the other side of the ocean. Thus the Dew went away hungry once more.

The Moon-horse took the Princess to his own country. He felt that his last hour had now come, and told his beloved mistress that he must die. She implored him not to leave her alone with her children. If he did, who would protect them from the evil designs of the Dew? “Fear not,” the horse comforted her, “no evil will befall you here. When I am dead, off my head and set it in the earth. Slit up my stomach, and having done this, lay yourself and your children within it.” Saying these words the magic horse breathed his last.

The Princess now cut off his head and stuck it in the ground, then opened his stomach and laid herself and her children in it. Here they fell fast asleep. When she awoke she saw that she was in a beautiful palace; one finer than either her father’s or her husband’s. She was lying in a lovely bed, and hardly had she risen when slaves appeared with water: one bathed her, others clothed her. The twins lay in a golden cradle, and nurses stood around them, soothing them with sweet songs. At dinnertime, gold and silver dishes appeared laden with delicious food. It was like a dream; but days and weeks passed away, weeks passed into months, and the months into a year, and still the dream–if dream it was–did not come to an end.

Meanwhile the war was over and the Prince hastened home. Seeing nothing of his wife he asked his father what had become of her and her children. The Padishah was astonished at this strange question. The letters were produced, and the Tartar messenger was sent for. Being closely questioned he related the account of his meeting with the Dew on both occasions. They now realized that the Dew had tampered with the messenger and the correspondence. There was no more thought of peace for the Prince until he had discovered his wife. With that intention he set out in the company of his lala.

They wandered on and on unceasingly. Six months had passed already, yet they-continued their way-over hill and down dale, never stopping to rest. One day they reached the foot of a mountain, whence they could see the palace of the Moon-horse. The Prince was entirely exhausted and said to his lala: “Go to that palace and beg a crust of bread and a little water, that we may-continue our journey.

When he reached the palace gate, the lala was met by two little children, who invited him in to rest. Entering, he found the floor of the apartment so beautiful that he hardly dared set his foot upon it. But the children pulled him to the divan and made him sit down while food and drink were set before him. The lala excused himself, saying that outside waited his tired son, to whom he wished to take the refreshment.

“Father Dervish,” said the children, “eat first yourself, then you can take food to your son.” So the lala ate, drank coffee, and smoked, and while he was preparing to return to the Prince, the children went to tell their mother about their guest.

Looking out of the window, the Princess recognised the Prince her husband. She took food with her own hands, and putting it in golden vessels sent it out by the lala. On receiving it the Prince was struck with the richness of the service. He lifted the cover of one of the dishes, set it on the ground, and it rolled back to the palace of its own accord. The same happened with the other dishes, and when the last had disappeared, a slave came to invite the stranger to take coffee in the palace.

While this was happening the Princess gave each of her children a wooden horse, and sent them to the gate to receive the guests. “When the dervish comes with his son,” said their mother, “take them to such and such an apartment.” The dervish and his son came up, the two children on their wooden horses greeted them with a salaam and escorted them to their apartments. Again the Princess took dishes of food and said to the children: “Take these to our guests and press them to eat. If they say they have already had sufficient and ask you to partake of the food, answer that you also are satisfied, but perhaps your horses are hungry, and put them to the table. They will then probably ask, how can wooden horses eat? And you must reply” (here she whispered something into the children’s ears).

The children did as their mother had commanded them. The food was so delicious that the guests tried to eat a second time, but becoming satisfied very soon, they asked: “Will you not eat also, children?” “We cannot eat,” answered the children, “but perhaps our horses are hungry,” so saying they drew them up to the table. “Children,” remonstrated the Prince, “wooden horses cannot eat.” “That you seem to know,” answered the children, “but apparently you do not know that it is impossible for little dogs to become human children such as we are.” The Prince sprang up with a cry of joy, kissed and embraced both his children. His wife entering at the moment, he humbly begged her pardon for the suffering she had experienced. They related to each other all that had befallen them during the time of their separation, and their joy knew no bounds. Now the Princess and her children prepared to accompany the Prince back to his own kingdom. After they had gone some distance, they turned to take a farewell look at the palace, and lo! the windswept over the place as though no building had ever been there.

The Dew was lurking on the wayside, but the Prince caught him and killed him, and after that they arrived home without further adventure. Soon afterwards the old Padishah died, and the Prince became chief of the land.

Three apples have fallen from the sky. One belongs to the storyteller, the second to the listener, the third to me.

– – –

From “Forty-Four Turkish Fairy Tales” by Dr Ignacz Kunos, Illustrated by Willy Pogany ISBN 978-1-907256-37-0

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Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales