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Archive for May, 2011

PostHeaderIcon The Gingerbread Man

by Sara Cone Bryant

Once upon a time there was a little old woman and a little old man, and they lived all alone in a little old house. They hadn't any little girls or any little boys, at all. So one day, the little old woman made a boy out of gingerbread; she made him a chocolate jacket, and put cinnamon seeds in it for buttons; his eyes were made of fine, fat currants; his mouth was made of rose-colored sugar; and he had a gay little cap of orange sugar-candy. When the little old woman had rolled him out, and dressed him up, and pinched his gingerbread shoes into shape, she put him in a pan; then she put the pan in the oven and shut the door; and she thought, "Now I shall have a little boy of my own."

When it was time for the Gingerbread Boy to be done she opened the oven door and pulled out the pan. Out jumped the little Gingerbread Boy on to the floor, and away he ran, out of the door and down the street! The little old woman and the little old man ran after him as fast as they could, but he just laughed, and shouted,—

"Run! run! as fast as you can! "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

And they couldn't catch him.

The little Gingerbread Boy ran on and on, until he came to a cow, by the roadside. "Stop, little Gingerbread Boy," said the cow; "I want to eat you." The little Gingerbread Boy laughed, and said,—

"I have run away from a little old woman, "And a little old man, "And I can run away from you, I can!"

And, as the cow chased him, he looked over his shoulder and cried,—

"Run! run! as fast as you can! "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

And the cow couldn't catch him.

The little Gingerbread Boy ran on, and on, and on, till he came to a horse, in the pasture. "Please stop, little Gingerbread Boy," said the horse, "you look very good to eat." But the little Gingerbread Boy laughed out loud. "Oho! oho!" he said,—

"I have run away from a little old woman, "A little old man, "A cow, "And I can run away from you, I can!"

And, as the horse chased him, he looked over his shoulder and cried,—

"Run! run! as fast as you can! "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

And the horse couldn't catch him.

By and by the little Gingerbread Boy came to a barn full of threshers. When the threshers smelled the Gingerbread Boy, they tried to pick him up, and said, "Don't run so fast, little Gingerbread Boy; you look very good to eat." But the little Gingerbread Boy ran harder than ever, and as he ran he cried out,—

"I have run away from a little old woman, "A little old man, "A cow, "A horse, "And I can run away from you, I can!"

And when he found that he was ahead of the threshers, he turned and shouted back to them,—

"Run! run! as fast as you can! "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

And the threshers couldn't catch him.

Then the little Gingerbread Boy ran faster than ever. He ran and ran until he came to a field full of mowers. When the mowers saw how fine he looked, they ran after him, calling out, "Wait a bit! wait a bit, little Gingerbread Boy, we wish to eat you!" But the little Gingerbread Boy laughed harder than ever, and ran like the wind. "Oho! oho!" he said,—

"I have run away from a little old woman, "A little old man, "A cow, "A horse, "A barn full of threshers, "And I can run away from you, I can!"

And when he found that he was ahead of the mowers, he turned and shouted back to them,—

"Run! run! as fast as you can! "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

And the mowers couldn't catch him.

By this time the little Gingerbread Boy was so proud that he didn't think anybody could catch him. Pretty soon he saw a fox coming across a field. The fox looked at him and began to run. But the little Gingerbread Boy shouted across to him, "You can't catch me!" The fox began to run faster, and the little Gingerbread Boy ran faster, and as he ran he chuckled,—

"I have run away from a little old woman, "A little old man, "A cow, "A horse, "A barn full of threshers, "A field full of mowers, "And I can run away from you, I can! "Run! run! as fast as you can! "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"

"Why," said the fox, "I would not catch you if I could. I would not think of disturbing you."

Just then, the little Gingerbread Boy came to a river. He could not swim across, and he wanted to keep running away from the cow and the horse and the people.

"Jump on my tail, and I will take you across," said the fox.

So the little Gingerbread Boy jumped on the fox's tail, and the fox swam into the river. When he was a little way from shore he turned his head, and said, "You are too heavy on my tail, little Gingerbread Boy, I fear I shall let you get wet; jump on my back."

The little Gingerbread Boy jumped on his back.

A little farther out, the fox said, "I am afraid the water will cover you, there; jump on my shoulder."

The little Gingerbread Boy jumped on his shoulder.

In the middle of the stream the fox said, "Oh, dear! little Gingerbread Boy, my shoulder is sinking; jump on my nose, and I can hold you out of water."

So the little Gingerbread Boy jumped on his nose.

The minute the fox got on shore he threw back his head, and gave a snap!

"Dear me!" said the little Gingerbread Boy, "I am a quarter gone!" The next minute he said, "Why, I am half gone!" The next minute he said, "My goodness gracious, I am three quarters gone!"

And after that, the little Gingerbread Boy never said anything more at all.

 

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PostHeaderIcon The Little Red Hen

Narrated by Nina Christou

The little Red Hen was in the farmyard with her chickens, when she found a grain of wheat.

"Who will plant this wheat?" she said.

"Not I," said the Goose.

"Not I," said the Duck.

"I will, then," said the little Red Hen, and she planted the grain of wheat.

When the wheat was ripe she said, "Who will take this wheat to the mill?"

"Not I," said the Goose.

"Not I," said the Duck.

"I will, then," said the little Red Hen, and she took the wheat to the mill.

When she brought the flour home she said, "Who will make some bread with this flour?"

"Not I," said the Goose.

"Not I," said the Duck.

"I will, then," said the little Red Hen.

When the bread was baked, she said, "Who will eat this bread?"

"I will," said the Goose

"I will," said the Duck

"No, you won't," said the little Red Hen. "I shall eat it myself. Cluck! cluck!" And she called her chickens to help her.

from Stories to Tell to Children by Sara Cone Bryant

 

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PostHeaderIcon The Tortoise and the Ducks

 

The Tortoise, you know, carries his house on his back. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot leave home. They say that Jupiter punished him so, because he was such a lazy stay-at-home that he would not go to Jupiter's wedding, even when especially invited.

After many years, Tortoise began to wish he had gone to that wedding. When he saw how gaily the birds flew about and how the Hare and the Chipmunk and all the other animals ran nimbly by, always eager to see everything there was to be seen, the Tortoise felt very sad and discontented. He wanted to see the world too, and there he was with a house on his back and little short legs that could hardly drag him along.

One day he met a pair of Ducks and told them all his trouble.

"We can help you to see the world," said the Ducks. "Take hold of this stick with your teeth and we will carry you far up in the air where you can see the whole countryside. But keep quiet or you will be sorry."

The Tortoise was very glad indeed. He seized the stick firmly with his teeth, the two Ducks took hold of it one at each end, and away they sailed up toward the clouds.

Just then a Crow flew by. He was very much astonished at the strange sight and cried:

"This must surely be the King of Tortoises!"

"Why certainly——" began the Tortoise.

But as he opened his mouth to say these foolish words he lost his hold on the stick, and down he fell to the ground, where he was dashed to pieces on a rock.

Foolish curiosity and vanity often lead to misfortune

 

 

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PostHeaderIcon Can We Make People Stop Talking About Us!!!

Narrated by Nina Christou

One day, Nasreddin and his son went on a journey. Nasreddin preferred to let his son ride the donkey while he walked. Along the way, they passed some travelers.

"Look at that healthy young boy on the donkey! That's today's youth for you! They have no respect for their elders! He rides while his poor father walks!"

The words made the lad feel very ashamed, and he insisted that his father ride while he walked. So Nasreddin climbed on the donkey and the boy walked by his side. Soon they met another group.

"Well, look at that! Poor little boy has to walk while his father rides the donkey," they exclaimed.

This time, Nasreddin climbed onto the donkey behind his son.

Soon they met another group, who said, "Look at that poor donkey! He has to carry the weight of two people."

Nasreddin then told his son, "The best thing is for both of us to walk. Then no one can complain."

So they continued their journey on foot. Again they met some travelers.

"Just look at those fools. Both of them are walking under this hot sun and neither of them is riding the donkey!"

In exasperation, Nasreddin lifted the donkey onto his shoulders and said, "Come on, if we don't do this, it will be impossible to make people stop Talking."

 

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PostHeaderIcon Eat my Coat Eat


Narrated by Nina Christou

Hodja is invited to a wedding feast. He arrives there in his everyday clothes but finds out that the people do not show him the respect he deserves, tucking him in one remote corner of the table. He does not like this, gets off, rushes home and changes into his new fur coat. When he comes back to the wedding reception, people usher him into a prominent spot on the table and serve him generously.

Hodja quickly pushes one end of his coat into the soup saying "Eat my coat eat". Guests at the wedding table go quiet; thinking that Hodja has gone mad. One of them asks, " What on earth are you doing Hodja?"

Hodja answers " It looks as if you people respect my coat more than me, it is only natural that the coat should enjoy the feast first"


Hodja: "If you believe that a saucepan can give birth, then you should believe that it can die as well"

 

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PostHeaderIcon Birth of a Saucepan


Narrated by Nina Christou

One day, Hodja knocks on his neighbour's door to borrow his saucepan. His friend is not pleased but unwillingly lends it to Hodja just to be a good neighbour.

Hodja returns the saucepan the following week with a smaller pan inside it. The neighbour is surprised " What is this small pan?" he asks. Hodja answers " My friend, your saucepan gave birth at our house". The man takes both saucepans without any objections, happy to have an idiot for a neighbour.

Next week, Hodja knocks on his door again asking for the saucepan again. This time, the man gives the saucepan to Hodja right away, thinking that there will be another saucepan at the end of this. Several weeks pass by, no news from Hodja. The neighbour worries a bit and knocks on Nasreddin's door. Hodja opens the door and asks, " What can I do for you my neighbour?" His neighbour says, " I came to ask for my saucepan back ".

Hodja answers " My condolences friend, your saucepan has died a few days ago". The man can't believe his ears " What are you talking about Hodja? How can a saucepan die?"

Hodja: "If you believe that a saucepan can give birth, then you should believe that it can die as well"

 

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PostHeaderIcon The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Once upon a time there were three billy goats, who were to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was "Gruff."

On the way up was a bridge over a burn they had to cross; and under the bridge lived a great ugly Troll, with eyes as big as saucers, and a nose as long as a poker.

So first of all came the youngest billy-goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

'Trip, trap; trip, trap!' went the bridge.

'WHO'S THAT tripping over my bridge?' roared the Troll.

'Oh! it is only I, the tiniest billy-goat Gruff; and I'm going up to the hill-side to make myself fat', said the billy-goat, with such a small voice.

'Now, I'm coming to gobble you up', said the Troll.

'Oh, no! pray don't take me. I'm too little, that I am', said the billy-goat; 'wait a bit till the second billy-goat Gruff comes, he's much bigger.'

'Well! be off with you', said the Troll.

A little while after came the second billy-goat Gruff to cross the bridge.

'TRIP, TRAP! TRIP, TRAP! TRIP, TRAP!' went the bridge.

'WHO'S THAT tripping over my bridge?' roared the Troll.

'Oh! it's the second billy-goat Gruff, and I'm going up to the hill- side to make myself fat', said the billy-goat, who hadn't such a small voice.

'Now, I'm coming to gobble you up', said the Troll.

'Oh, no! don't take me, wait a little till the big billy-goat Gruff comes, he's much bigger.'

'Very well! be off with you', said the Troll.

But just then up came the big billy-goat Gruff.

'TRIP, TRAP! TRIP, TRAP! TRIP, TRAP!' went the bridge, for the billy- goat was so heavy that the bridge creaked and groaned under him.

'WHO'S THAT tramping over my bridge?' roared the Troll.

'IT'S I! THE BIG BILLY-GOAT GRUFF', said the billy-goat, who had an ugly hoarse voice of his own.

'Now, I'm coming to gobble you up', roared the Troll.

  Well, come along! I've got two spears,
  And I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears;
  I've got besides two curling-stones,
  And I'll crush you to bits, body and bones.

That was what the big billy-goat said; and so he flew at the Troll and poked his eyes out with his horns, and crushed him to bits, body and bones, and tossed him out into the burn, and after that he went up to the hill-side. There the billy-goats got so fat they were scarce able to walk home again; and if the fat hasn't fallen off them, why they're still fat; and so:

  Snip, snap, snout,

  This tale's told out..

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PostHeaderIcon The Fox And The Grapes

Author: Jean de La Fontaine

Rosy and ripe, and ready to box,
The grapes hang high o'er the hungry Fox.–
He pricks up his ears, and his eye he cocks.

Ripe and rosy, yet so high!–
He gazes at them with a greedy eye,
And knows he must eat and drink–or die.

When the jump proves to be beyond his power–
"Pooh!" says the Fox. "Let the pigs devour
Fruit of that sort. Those grapes are sour!"

Vocabulary:

rosy = pink
prick (up) its ears = if an animal pricks up its ears, it raises them to listen to a sound.

cock an eye = to look very carefully

 

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PostHeaderIcon The Sandy Cat

The sandy cat sat by the kitchen fire. Yesterday it had had no supper; this morning everyone had forgotten it. All night it had caught no mice; all day as yet it had tasted no milk. A little grey mouse, a saucerful of milk, a few fish or chicken bones, would have satisfied it; but no grey mouse, with its soft stringy tail behind it, ran across the floor; no milk was near, no chicken bones, no fish, no anything. The serving-maid had been washing clothes, and was hanging them out to dry. The children had loitered on their way to school, and were wondering what the master would say to them. The father had gone to the fair to help a neighbour to choose a horse. The mother sat making a patchwork quilt. No one thought of the sandy cat; it sat by the fire alone and hungry.

At last the clothes were all a-drying, the children had been scolded, and sat learning a lesson for the morrow. The father came from the fair, and the patchwork quilt was put away. The serving-maid put on a white apron with a frill, and a clean cap, then taking the sandy cat in her arms, said, "Pussy, shall we go into the garden?" So they went and walked up and down, up and down the pathway, till at last they stopped before a rose tree; the serving-maid held up the cat to smell the roses, but with one long bound it leaped from her arms and away—away—away.

Whither?

Ah, dear children, I cannot tell, for I was not there to see; but if ever you are a sandy cat you will know that it is a terrible thing to be asked to smell roses when you are longing for a saucerful of milk and a grey mouse with a soft stringy tail.

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