The Dog and the Bone - Aesop fables

It so happened that a dog had a fine bone and was carrying it home to chew on in peace.

On his way, he had to go across a plank over a stream.

As he walked across the plank, he looked down and saw his reflection in the water.

Thinking that it was another dog with another bone, he made up his mind to have that bone, too.

 
But when he snapped at his reflection, his own bone fell into the water and was lost forever.

*   *   *
The greedy often lose what they have.
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The Ant and the Dove - Aesop fables

An Ant was speeding along on its three pairs of legs when, suddenly, it stopped.

"I'm thirsty," the Ant said aloud.

"Why don't you get a drink of water from the brook?" cooed a Dove perched in a nearby tree.

"The brook is close by. Just be careful you don't fall in."

The Ant sped to the brook and began to drink. But a sudden gust of wind blew the Ant into the water.

 
"Help!" cried the Ant, "I'm drowning!"

The Dove knew it had to act quickly to save the Ant.

With its beak, the Dove broke a twig from the tree.

Then the Dove flew over the brook and dropped the twig to the Ant.

The Ant climbed onto the twig and floated safely ashore.

Not long afterward, the Ant saw a Hunter.

He was setting a trap to catch the Dove. The Dove began to fly toward the trap.

The Ant knew it had to act quickly to save the Dove.

So the Ant opened its strong jaws and bit the bare ankle of the Hunter.

"Ouch!" the Hunter cried.

The Dove heard the Hunter and flew away to safety.

*   *   *

One good turn deserves another.
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The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf - Aesop fables

There was once a young shepherd boy who watched over his sheep every day. 


While the sheep ate grass, he passed the time by seeing how far he could throw a rock, or by looking at the clouds to see how many animal shapes he could find.

He liked his job well enough, but he longed for a little excitement.
So, one day he decided to play a trick on the people of the village.

"Wolf! Wolf!" he shouted as loud as he could.

 
Hearing the shepherd boy's cry, the people in the village picked up pitchforks and clubs and ran to help the boy save his sheep.

When they arrived, they saw no wolf.

They saw only the shepherd boy, doubled up with laughter.

"I fooled you. I fooled you," he said.

The people thought this was a very bad joke, indeed. They warned the boy not to call again, unless he really saw a wolf.

The next week, the boy again played his trick on the villagers.

"Wolf! Wolf!" he cried out.

Once again, the people ran to his aid, and once again, they found no wolf—only the boy, laughing at them.

The next day, a wolf really did come down from the hills to help itself to a few fat sheep.

"Wolf! Wolf!" yelled the shepherd boy with all the power in his lungs.

The people of the village heard his shouts for help and smiled.

"He's trying to trick us again," they said, "but this time we won't be fooled."

Finally, the boy stopped shouting.

He knew the villagers didn't believe him. He knew they wouldn't come.

All he could do was stand back and watch the wolf kill his sheep.


*   *   *
People who tell lies are seldom believed, even when they tell the truth.
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The Hare and the Tortoise - Aesop fables

The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals.

"I have never yet been beaten," said he.


"When I put forth my full speed, I can run faster than any of you. I challenge anyone here to race with me."

The Tortoise said quietly, "I accept your challenge."

"That is a good joke," said the Hare.

"I could dance round you all the way."

 
"Keep your boasting till you've won," answered the Tortoise. "Shall we race?"

So a course was fixed and a start was made.

The Hare darted out of sight at once.

Soon, knowing that he was far ahead, he stopped to have a nap.

Meanwhile, the Tortoise plodded along, slowly and steadily.

When the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise nearing the finish line.

The Hare leaped up and ran as fast as he could.

But he was not in time.

The Tortoise won the race.
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The Crow and the Pitcher - Aesop fables

A crow, half-dead with thirst, came upon a pitcher which had once been full of water. 

But when the Crow put his beak into the pitcher, he found that there was only a little water left in it. 


Try as he would, he could not reach far enough down to get a drink.

Then a thought came to him. 

He took a pebble and dropped it into the pitcher. 


Then he took another pebble and dropped it into the pitcher. 


Before long, he could see the water rising higher and higher. 


After casting a few more pebbles, he was able to get a drink.

*   *   *

Little by little does the trick.
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The Lion and the Mouse - Aesop fables

Once when a Lion was asleep, a little Mouse began running up and down upon him. 

This soon wakened the Lion.


Angry at being disturbed, the Lion placed his huge paw upon the little Mouse and opened his big jaws to swallow him.

"Pardon, O King," cried the little Mouse.

"If you will let me go, I shall never forget your kindness.
Who knows but what I may be able to do you a good turn one day."

The Lion was so amused at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him that he lifted up his paw and let him go.

Some time later, the little Mouse heard the Lion roaring angrily. When he went to see what the trouble was, he found the Lion caught in a-hunter's net.

 
Remembering his promise, the little Mouse set to work nibbling at the ropes with his sharp teeth.

And before long, the Lion was able to crawl out of the net.


*  *  *  *

Little friends may prove great friends.
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Jack and the Beanstalk - Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a poor widow who had an only son named Jack and a cow named Milky-White.
And all they had to live on was the milk the cow gave every morning, which they carried to the market and sold.
But one morning Milky-White gave no milk, and they didn't know what to do.

"What shall we do, what shall we do?" cried the widow, wringing her hands.

"Cheer up, mother, I'll go and get work somewhere," said Jack.

"We've tried that before, and nobody would take you," said his mother. "We must sell Milky-White and with the money start a shop or something."

"All right, mother," said Jack. "It's market day today. I'll soon sell Milky-White, and then we'll see what we can do."

So he took the cow's halter in his hand and off he started. He hadn't gone far when he met a funny-looking old man who said to him, "Good morning, Jack."

"Good morning to you," said Jack, wondering how the man knew his name.

"Well, Jack, where are you off to?" asked the man.

"I'm going to the market to sell our cow."

"Oh, you look the proper sort of chap to sell cows," said the man. "I wonder if you know how many beans make five?"

"Two in each hand and one in your mouth," said Jack, as sharp as a needle.

"Right you are," said the man. "And here they are, the very beans themselves," he went on, pulling out of his pocket a number of strange-looking beans.

"As you are so sharp," said he, "I don't mind doing a swop with you—your cow for these beans."

"Go along," says Jack; "wouldn't you like that!"

"Ah! you don't know what these beans are," said the man. "If you plant them tonight, by morning they will grow right up to the sky."

"Really?" said Jack. "You don't say so."

"Yes, that is so. And if it doesn't turn out to be true, you can have your cow back."

"Right," said Jack, handing him Milky-White's halter and pocketing the beans.

As Jack hadn't gone very far, it wasn't even dusk by the time he got to his door.

"Back already, Jack?" said his mother. "I see you haven't got Milky-White, so you've sold her. How much did you get for her?"

"You'll never guess, mother," said Jack.

"What was it? Five pounds, ten, fifteen? No, it can't be twenty."

"I knew you couldn't guess. What do you say to these beans?

They're magical, plant them tonight and—"

"What!" cried Jack's mother,

"Have you been such a fool, such an idiot, as to give away my Milky-White for these beans? Take that! Take that! Take that! And as for your precious beans, here they go out the window! Now off with you to bed. There'll be no supper for you!"

So Jack went upstairs to his little room in the attic, a sad and sorry boy.

When Jack woke up, the room looked very strange.

The sun was shining into part of it, yet all the rest was quite dark and shady. So Jack jumped up and dressed himself and went to the window.

And what do you think he saw?

Why, the beans his mother had thrown out of the window into the garden had sprung up into a big beanstalk that went up and up and up till it reached the sky!

So the man spoke truth after all.

The beanstalk grew quite close to Jack's window.

All he had to do was open the window and jump on to the beanstalk, which ran up just like a big ladder.

Jack climbed and climbed and climbed till at last he reached the sky. And when he got there he found a long, broad road going as straight as an arrow. So he walked along the road till he came to a great big tall house. And on the doorstep there was a great big tall woman.

"Good morning, mum," said Jack, politely.

"Could you be so kind as to give me some breakfast?"

"It's breakfast you want, is it?" cried the great big tall woman.

"It's breakfast you'll be if you don't move off from here. My man is an Ogre, and there's nothing he likes better than boys broiled on toast."

"Oh! please mum, do give me something to eat. I've had nothing to eat since yesterday morning, really and truly, mum."

Well, the Ogre's wife was not half as bad as she looked or sounded. So she took Jack into the kitchen and gave him some bread and cheese and a jug of milk. But Jack hadn't half finished when he heard a great thump! thump! thump! and the whole house began to tremble.

"Goodness gracious me! It's my old man," said the Ogre's wife.

"What on earth shall I do? Come along quick and jump in here." And she bundled Jack into the oven just as the Ogre came in.

He was a big one, to be sure. At his belt he had three calves strung up by the heels. He unhooked them and threw them down on the table and said: "Here, wife, fix me these for breakfast. Ah, what's this I smell?

Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive, or be he dead, I'll have his bones to grind my bread." ?

"Nonsense, dear," said his wife, "you're dreaming. Or perhaps you smell the scraps of that little boy you had for yesterday's dinner. Go and wash, and by the time you come back your breakfast'll be ready for you."

So off the Ogre went.

 Jack was just going to jump out of the oven and run away when the woman told him to stay. "Wait till he's asleep," she said. "He always has a nap after breakfast."

After breakfast, the Ogre went to a big chest and took out a couple of bags of gold. He sat down and began to count, till at last his head started to nod and he began to snore till the whole house shook.

Then Jack crept out of the oven.

Taking one of the bags of gold, he ran until he came to the beanstalk. Then he threw down the bag of gold into his mother's garden and climbed down and down till at last he got home.

He showed his mother the gold and said, "Well, mother, wasn't I right about the beans? They are really magical, you see."

They lived on the gold for some time, but at last it came to an end. So Jack made up his mind to try his luck once more up at the top of the beanstalk.

One fine morning he rose early and climbed and climbed and climbed till at last he came out to the road again and walked up it to the great big tall house. There, sure enough, was the great big tall woman standing on the doorstep.

"Good morning, mum," said Jack, as bold as brass. "Could you be so good as to give me something to eat?"

"Go away, my boy," said the big tall woman, "or else my man will eat you for breakfast. But aren't you the lad who came here once before? Do you know that very day my man missed one of his bags of gold?"

"That's strange, mum," said Jack, "I dare say I could tell you something about that, but I'm so hungry I can't speak till I've had something to eat."

Well, the big tall woman was so curious that she took Jack in and gave him something to eat. But he had scarcely begun munching it as slowly as he could when thump! thump! thump! they heard the giant's footsteps.

"Into the oven with you!" cried the Ogre's wife. "You can tell me about the gold when he goes to sleep."
came the Ogre, with three great oxen tied to his belt. Throwing them down, he began to sniff the air.

"Fee -fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman.

Be he alive, or be he dead, I'll have his bones to grind my bread."

"Nonsense, dear," said his wife. "It's only the bones of the boy you ate last week. They are still in the garbage."

"Humph! Well, broil these oxen over the fire and I'll have breakfast."

After he had eaten, the Ogre said, "Wife, bring me the hen that lays the golden eggs."

So she brought the hen and the Ogre said: "Lay," and it laid an egg all of gold. And then the Ogre began to nod his head and snore till the house shook.

Then Jack crept out of the oven, caught hold of the golden hen, and was off before you could say "Jack Robinson." But the hen gave a cackle which woke the Ogre. Just as Jack got out of the house, he heard him calling:

"Wife, what have you done with my golden hen?"

But that was all Jack heard, for he rushed to the beanstalk and climbed down like a house on fire. When he got home, he showed his mother the wonderful hen, and said "Lay." And it laid a golden egg every time he said "Lay."

Well, it wasn't long before Jack determined to have another try at his luck. So one fine morning, he rose early, got on to the beanstalk, and climbed and climbed and climbed till he got to the top. But this time he knew better than to go straight to the Ogre's house.

When he got near it, he waited behind a bush till he saw the Ogre's wife come out with a pail to get some water.

Jack then crept into the house and hid in a huge copper pot. He hadn't been there long when he heard thump! thump! thump! as before, and in came the Ogre and his wife.

"Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman," cried the Ogre.

"I smell him, wife, I smell him."

"Do you, dearie?" said the Ogre's wife.

"If it's that little rascal who stole your gold and the hen that laid the golden eggs, he's sure to be in the oven."

And they both rushed to the oven. But Jack wasn't there, luckily, and the Ogre's wife said, "There you go again with your 'fee-fi-fo-fum.'

Why of course it's the boy you caught last night that I've just broiled for your breakfast."

So the Ogre sat down to breakfast, but every now and then he would mutter, "Well, I could have sworn—" and he'd get up and search the cupboards. Luckily, he didn't think of the copper pot.

After breakfast was over, the Ogre called out, "Wife, wife, bring me my golden harp." So she brought out the little harp and put it on the table before him.

Then he said: "Sing!" and the tiny golden harp sang most beautifully. And it went on singing till the Ogre fell asleep, and commenced to snore like thunder.

Then Jack very quietly lifted up the lid of the big pot, and got out like a mouse, and crept on hands and knees till he came to the table. He crawled up until he could reach the golden harp. Then he dropped to the floor and, holding the harp under his arm, dashed towards the door. But the harp called out, "Master! Master!" and the Ogre woke up just in time to see Jack running off with his harp.

Jack ran as fast as he could, and the Ogre came rushing after him. When Jack got to the beanstalk, he began to climb down for dear life. Well, the Ogre didn't like trusting himself to such a ladder. While he stood there, Jack got another start.

But just then the harp cried out: "Master! Master!" and the Ogre swung himself down on to the beanstalk, which shook with his weight. By this time Jack had climbed down till he was nearly home. So he called out,

"Mother! Mother! Bring me the ax, bring me the ax." And his mother came rushing out with the ax in her hand.

Jack jumped down, took the ax, and gave a chop at the beanstalk. The Ogre felt the beanstalk shake and quiver. Then Jack gave another chop with the ax, and the beanstalk began to topple over. Then the Ogre fell down and broke his crown, and the beanstalk came toppling after.

What with showing the people the singing harp, and selling the golden eggs that the hen laid, Jack and his mother soon became very rich. Jack then married a beautiful princess and they lived happily ever after.

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The Five Chinese Brothers - fairy tales for kids

Once upon a time there were Five Chinese Brothers and they all looked exactly alike.

They lived with their mother in a little house not far from the sea.

The First Chinese Brother could swallow the sea.

The Second Chinese Brother had an iron neck.

The Third Chinese Brother could stretch and stretch and stretch his legs.

The Fourth Chinese Brother could not be burned.

The Fifth Chinese Brother could hold his breath indefinitely.

 
Every morning the First Chinese Brother would go fishing, and whatever the weather, he would come back to the village with beautiful and rare fish which he had caught and could sell at the market for a very good price.

One day, as he was leaving the market place, a little boy stopped him and asked him if he could go fishing with him.

"No, it could not be done," said the First Chinese Brother.

But the little boy begged and begged and finally the First Chinese Brother consented.

"Under one condition," said he, "and that is that you shall obey me promptly."

"Yes, yes," the little boy promised.

Early next morning, the First Chinese Brother and the little boy went down to the beach.

"Remember," said the First Chinese Brother, "you must obey me promptly. When I make a sign for you to come back, you must come at once."

"Yes, yes," the little boy promised.

Then the First Chinese Brother swallowed the sea.

And all the fish were left high and dry at the bottom of the sea. And all the treasures of the sea lay uncovered.

The little boy was delighted. He ran here and there stuffing his pockets with strange pebbles, extraordinary shells, and fantastic algae.

Near the shore the First Chinese Brother gathered some fish while he kept holding the sea in his mouth.

Presently he grew tired. It is very hard to hold the sea. So he made a sign with his hand for the little boy to come back.

The little boy saw him but paid no attention.

The First Chinese Brother made great movements with his arms and that meant

"Come back!"

But did the little boy care?  Not a bit and he ran further away.

Then the First Chinese Brother felt the sea swelling inside him and he made desperate gestures to call the little boy back. But the little boy made faces at him and fled as fast as he could.

The First Chinese Brother held the sea until he thought he was going to burst. All of a sudden the sea forced its way out of his mouth, went back to its bed ... and the little boy disappeared.

When the First Chinese Brother returned to the village, alone, he was arrested, put in prison, tried and condemned to have his head cut off.

On the morning of the execution he said to the judge:

"Your Honor, will you allow me to go and bid my mother good-bye?"

"It is only fair," said the judge.

So the First Chinese Brother went home ... and the Second Chinese Brother came back in his place.

All the people were assembled on the village square to witness the execution. The executioner took his sword and struck a mighty blow.

But the Second Chinese Brother got up and smiled. He was the one with the iron neck and they simply could not cut his head off.

Everybody was angry and they decided that he should be drowned.

On the morning of the execution, the Second Chinese Brother said to the judge:

"Your Honor, will you allow me to go and bid my mother good-bye?"

"It is only fair," said the judge.

So the Second Chinese Brother went home ... and the Third Chinese Brother came back in his place.

He was pushed on a boat which made for the open sea.

When they were far out on the ocean, the Third Chinese Brother was thrown overboard.

But he began to S-T-R-E-T-C-H and S-T-R-E-T-C-H and S—T—R—E—T—C—H his legs, way down to the bottom of the sea, and all the time his smiling face was bobbing up and down on the crest of the waves.

He simply could not be drowned.

Everybody was very angry, and they all decided that he should be burned.

On the morning of the execution, the Third Chinese Brother said to the judge:

"Your Honor, will you allow me to go and bid my mother good-bye?"

"It is only fair," said the judge.

So the Third Chinese Brother went home ... and the Fourth Chinese Brother came back in his place.

He was tied up to a stake. Fire was set to it and all the people stood around watching it. In the midst of the flames they heard him say:

"This is quite pleasant."

"Bring some more wood!" the people cried.

The fire roared higher.

"Now it is quite comfortable," said the Fourth Chinese Brother, for he was the one who could not be burned.

Everybody was getting more and more angry every minute and they all decided to smother him.
On the morning of the execution, the Fourth Chinese Brother said to the judge:

"Your Honor, will you allow me to go and bid my mother good-bye?"

"It is only fair," said the judge.

So the Fourth Chinese Brother went home ... and the Fifth Chinese Brother came back in his place.

A large brick oven had been built on the village square and it had been all stuffed with whipped cream.

The Fifth Chinese Brother was shovelled into the oven, right in the middle of the cream, the door was shut tight, and everybody sat around and waited.

They were not going to be tricked again! So they stayed there all night and even a little after dawn, just to make sure.

Then they opened the door and pulled him out. And he shook himself and said,

"My! That was a good sleep!"

Everybody stared open-mouthed and round-eyed. But the judge stepped forward and said,

"We have tried to get rid of you in every possible way and somehow it cannot be done. It must be that you are innocent."

"Yes, yes," shouted all the people. So they let him go and he went home.

And the Five Chinese Brothers and their mother all lived together happily for many years.
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Lazy Jack - fairy tales for kids

Once upon a time there was a boy named Jack. He lived with his mother in a small house in a small village. Jack and his mother were very poor. What little money they had, the old woman earned by spinning wool into thread.

But Jack did nothing, for he was very lazy. In summer, he sat all day in the shade of a huge tree. In winter, he sat all day by the fire. His mother could not get him to do anything to help her.

Finally, the old woman had had enough.

"You lazy boy!" she shouted.

"If you do not go to work for your porridge, I will turn you out of the house."

Frightened by his mother's threat, Jack thought he had best go to work if he wanted to eat. The very next day he went out and hired himself to a neighboring farmer for a penny.
After he got his penny, Jack was very pleased. He had never had any money before. As he walked home, he kept tossing the penny into the air and catching it. But as he crossed a bridge, Jack dropped his penny. He watched in dismay as it rolled off the bridge and into the river below.

When his mother learned what had happened she was very angry.

"You stupid boy," she said.

"You should put the penny in your pocket."

"Ill do so the next time," said Jack.

The next day Jack went out and hired himself to a cowherd. This man gave Jack a jar of milk for his day's work. Remembering what his mother had said, Jack put the jar of milk into the large pocket of his jacket.

Long before he got home, all the milk had spilled out.

"Dear me, you foolish boy," his mother said.

"You should have carried the jar of milk on your head."

"Ill do so the next time," replied Jack.

The next day Jack again hired himself to a farmer.
The farmer agreed to give Jack a cream cheese for his work. In the evening, Jack took the cheese. Remembering what his mother had said, Jack put the cheese on his head and started home. But by the time he got home most of the cheese had melted and run into his hair.

"You stupid lout!" his mother shouted.
 "You should have carried the cheese very carefully in your hands."

"I'll do so the next time," replied Jack.

The following day Jack went out and hired himself to a baker. When Jack had finished work, the baker gave him a large tomcat. Remembering what his mother had said, Jack carried the cat very carefully in his hands.
But in a short time the cat had scratched him so much he had to let it go.

When he got home, his mother said to him,

"You silly boy. You should have tied a string to the cat and dragged it along after you."

"I’ll do so the next time," replied Jack.

The next day Jack hired himself to a butcher.  This good man paid Jack with a leg of lamb. Remembering what his mother had said, Jack tied a string to the leg of lamb and dragged it through the dirt after him.

By the time Jack reached home, the meat was spoiled.

This time, Jack's mother was out of patience with him.

The next day was Sunday, and now they would have nothing but boiled cabbage for their Sunday dinner.

"You ninny-hammer!" she cried.

"You should have carried the leg of lamb on your shoulder."

"I’ll do so the next time," replied Jack.

Well, on Monday, Lazy Jack went out once more to look for work. This time he hired himself to a cattle keeper. At the end of the day the man gave Jack a donkey.

Remembering what his mother had said, Jack hoisted the donkey onto his shoulders.

Although he was very strong, Jack had difficulty doing this. At last, however, he got the donkey up on his shoulders and started home.

Now it happened that on his way home Jack had to pass the house of a very rich man.

This man had an only daughter, who was very beautiful.  Unfortunately, she could not speak or hear, and she had never laughed in her life.
The doctors had told her father that she would never speak or hear until someone made her laugh.

Many people tried, but without success.

At last, despairing of all hope, her father offered to give her in marriage to the first man who could make her laugh.

Now it happened that the young lady was looking out the window as Jack struggled along with the donkey on his shoulders.

The poor beast, its legs sticking up in the air, was kicking violently and hee-hawing with all its might. Well, the sight was so funny the young lady burst into laughter. Instantly she recovered her speech and her hearing.

Her father was overjoyed. He kept his promise, and gave her to Jack in marriage. He also made Jack a rich man.

After Jack and the girl were married, they went to live in a large house. And Jack's mother lived with them in great happiness for the rest of her life.

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The Shoemaker and the Elves - German Fairy Tale by the Grimm Brothers

There was once a shoemaker who worked very hard but was also very poor. At last, all he had was just enough leather to make one pair of shoes. He cut out the shoes in the evening so that he could set to work on them the next morning. Then he went to bed and, leaving all his cares to heaven, fell asleep.

In the morning, when he went down to work, he found the pair of shoes made and finished, and standing on his table. He was very much astonished, and did not know what to think.

 
After a moment, the poor man took the shoes in his hand to look at them more closely. They were beautifully made. Every stitch was in its right place, just as if they had come from the hand of a master workman.

Soon after, a buyer came in. The shoes fitted him very well, so he gave more than the usual price for them.

Now the shoemaker had enough money to buy leather for two pairs of shoes. He cut out the shoes that night, intending to set to work the next morning.

But that was not to be. When he got up in the morning, the two pairs of shoes were already finished. A customer paid him so much money for these shoes that he was able to buy leather enough for four new pairs.


Early next morning he found the four pairs finished. And so it always happened. Whatever he cut out in the evening was worked up by the morning. He was soon making a good living, and in the end became very well-to-do.

One night, not long before Christmas, when the shoemaker had finished cutting out shoes, and before he went to bed, he said to his wife, “How would it be if we were to sit up tonight and see who it is that makes the shoes?”

His wife agreed, and left a light burning. They both hid behind a curtain in a corner of the room and watched to see what would happen.

As soon as it was midnight, two naked little elves came in and seated themselves at the shoemaker’s table.  They began to stitch, to pierce, and to hammer so cleverly and quickly with their little fingers that the shoemaker’s eyes could scarcely follow them. They did not stop until everything was finished and ready on the table. Then they jumped up and disappeared as quickly as they had come.

The next morning, the shoemaker’s wife said to her husband, “Those little men have made us rich. We ought to show our thanks. With all their running about, and having nothing to cover them, they must be very cold.

I’ll tell you what: I will make little shirts, coats, waistcoats, and breeches for them, and knit each of them a pair of stockings. And you shall make each of them a little pair of shoes.”

The thought pleased the good man very much. One night, when everything was finished, instead of the cut-out work, they laid the gifts on the table. Then they hid themselves so that they could see what the elves would do.

When midnight came, the elves rushed in, ready to set to work. But when they found the neat little garments instead of cut-out leather, they stood a moment in surprise. Then they showed the greatest delight. Swiftly, they took up the clothes and slipped them on, singing,

What spruce and dandy boys are we!

No longer cobblers we will be.

Then they hopped and skipped and leaped over chairs and benches. At last they danced out the door and into the night.

 
The shoemaker never saw them again. But from that time on, everything went well with the shoemaker as long as he lived.
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The Little Red Hen - An English Folk Tale

One day the Little Red Hen was scratching in the farmyard, when she found a grain of wheat.

“Who will plant the wheat?” said she.
“Not I,” said the duck.
“Not I,” said the cat.
“Not I,” said the dog.


“Very well then,” said the Little Red Hen, “I will.” So she planted the grain of wheat.
After some time the wheat grew tall and ripe.

“Who will cut the wheat?” asked the Little Red Hen.

 

“Not I,” said the duck.
“Not I,” said the cat.
“Not I,” said the dog.
“Very well then, I will,” said the Little Red Hen. So she cut the wheat.


“Now,” she said, “who will thresh the wheat?”

“Not I,” said the duck.
“Not I,” said the cat.
“Not I,” said the dog.
“Very well then, I will,” said the Little Red Hen. So she threshed the wheat.


When the wheat was threshed, she said, “Who will take the wheat to the mill to have it ground into flour?”

“Not I,” said the duck.
“Not I,” said the cat.
“Not I,” said the dog.
“Very well then, I will,” said the Little Red Hen. So she took the wheat to the mill.


When the wheat was ground into flour, she said, “Who will make this flour into bread?”

“Not I,” said the duck.
“Not I,” said the cat.
“Not I,” said the dog.
“Very well then, I will,” said the Little Red Hen, and she baked a lovely loaf of bread.


Then she said, “Who will eat the bread?”

“Oh! I will,” said the duck.
“Oh! I will,” said the cat.
“Oh! I will,” said the dog.
“Oh, no you won’t!” said the Little Red Hen. “I will.”


And she called her chicks and shared the bread with them.
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Why the Bear Has a Stumpy Tail - A Norwegian Folk Tale

One winter day, the Bear met the Fox, who was slinking along with a string of fish he had stolen.

“Hi, stop a minute, Mr. Fox!

Where did you get those fish?” demanded the Bear.

Now the Fox, as you know, is a sly one indeed. He didn’t want the Bear to know that he had stolen the fish. So he said,

“Oh, my Lord Bruin, I’ve been out fishing and caught them.”

Well, the Bear was hungry and thought he would enjoy some fish. So he asked the Fox to tell him how to go about catching fish.

“Oh, it is quite easy,” answered the fox, “and soon learned.

You have only to go down to the river and cut a hole in the ice.

Then you put your tail in the hole and keep it there as long as you can.

Don’t mind if it hurts a little. That will be the fish biting.

The longer you keep your tail in the hole, the more fish you will catch.

Then, all at once, pull out your tail. But be sure to give a good hard pull.”

Well, the Bear did as the Fox said. Before long, he was very cold and his tail really hurt. But he kept his tail in the hole until he was sure that he must have caught a great many fish.

Then, remembering what the Fox had said, he gave a really hard pull. But what he didn’t know was that his tail was frozen in the ice.

So, when he pulled, his tail snapped off short. And that is why, to this day, the Bear has a stumpy tail.
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Goldilocks and the Three Bears - An English Folk Tale

Once upon a time there were three Bears who lived in a little house in the woods.

There was a Great Big Father Bear with a great big voice, and a Middle-Sized Mother Bear with a middle-sized voice, and a Little Wee Baby Bear with a little wee voice.

One morning the three Bears had porridge for breakfast.

The Mother Bear said, “This porridge is too hot to eat. Let us go for a walk until it cools.’'

So the three Bears went for a walk in the woods.

While they were gone, along came a little girl named Goldilocks.

Seeing the little house, she wondered who lived there, so she knocked at the door. No one answered, so she knocked again. Still no one answered, so Goldilocks opened the door and walked in.

There before her, in the little room, she-saw a table set for three.

There was a great big bowl of porridge, a middle-sized bowl of porridge, and a little wee bowl of porridge.

She tasted the great big bowl of porridge. “Oh, this is too hot!” she said.

Then she tasted the middle-sized bowl of porridge.

“Oh, this is too cold!”

Then she tasted the little wee bowl of porridge.

“Oh, this is just right!” she said, and ate it all up.

She went into another room.

There she saw three chairs.

There was a great big chair, a middle-sized chair, and a little wee chair. Goldilocks sat down in the great big chair.

 “Oh, this is too hard!” she said.

Then she sat down in the middle-sized chair. “Oh, this is too soft!”

Then she sat in the little wee chair.

“Oh, this is just right!”

But even as she said this, the chair broke.

Then she went into another room.

There she saw three beds.

There was a great big bed, and a middle-sized bed, and a little wee bed.

Goldilocks lay down on the great big bed.

“Oh, this is too hard!” she said.

Then she tried the middle-sized bed.

“Oh, this is too soft!”

Then she tried the little wee bed.

“Oh, this is just right!” she sighed. And pulling Up the covers, she fell fast asleep.

By this time, the three Bears thought their porridge would be cool enough, so they returned from their walk in the woods.

When the Great Big Father Bear saw a spoon in his porridge bowl, he said in his great big voice:

“Someone has been eating my porridge!”

When the Middle-Sized Mother Bear saw a spoon in her porridge bowl, she said in her middle-sized voice:

“Someone has been eating my porridge!”

And the Little Wee Baby Bear, seeing a spoon in his porridge bowl, said in his little wee voice:

“Someone has been eating my porridge and has eaten it all up”

Then the three Bears went into the next room.

When the Great Big Father Bear saw that the cushion on his chair was out of place, he said in his great big voice:

“Someone has been sitting in my chair!”

When the Middle-Sized Mother Bear saw that the cushion on her chair was all pushed in, she said in her middle-sized voice:

“Someone has been sitting in my chair!”

And the Little Wee Baby Bear took one look at his chair and cried in his little wee voice:

“Someone has been sitting in my chair and broken the seat!”

Then the three Bears went into their bedroom. As soon as the Great Big Father Bear saw the wrinkled blankets on his bed, he said in his great big voice:

“Someone has been lying on my bed!”

When the Middle-Sized Mother Bear saw that the spread on her bed was pulled back, she said in her middle-sized voice:

“Someone has been lying on my bed!”

And when the Little Wee Baby Bear looked at his bed, he cried in his little wee voice:

“Someone has been lying on my bed—and there she is!”

Now Goldilocks was sleeping so soundly, the great big voice of the Great Big Father Bear was only like the roaring of the wind.

And the middle-sized voice of the Middle-Sized Mother Bear was like someone speaking in a dream. But the little wee voice of the Little Wee Baby Bear was so sharp and shrill it woke her up at once.

When she saw the three Bears looking at her, she leaped from the bed, ran across the room, and jumped out of the low window. Then she ran through the woods as fast as ever her legs could carry her.

Whatever happened to her, I do not know, but the three Bears never saw her again.

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Gingerbread Boy Story - Fairy Tales for Kids

an American folk tale
There was once a little old man and a little old woman, who lived in a little old house at the edge of a wood. They would have been a very happy old couple but for one thing—they had no little child, and they wished for one very much.
One day, when the little old woman was baking gingerbread, she cut a cake in the shape of a little boy and put it into the oven. Presently, she went to the oven to see if it was baked. As soon as the oven door was opened, the little Gingerbread Boy jumped out and began to run away as fast as he could go.
The little old woman called her husband, and they both ran after him. But they could not catch him.
Soon, the Gingerbread Boy came to a barn where men were threshing wheat. He called out to the men as he went by, saying:

“I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
And I can run away from you, I can!”


Then all the men in the barn set out to run after him. But, though they ran fast, they could not catch him.
The Gingerbread Boy ran on till he came to a field full of mowers. He called out to them:

“I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
And I can run away from you, I can!”


Then the mowers began to run after him, but they couldn’t catch him.
The Gingerbread Boy ran on till he came to a cow. He called out to her:

“I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
And I can run away from you, I can!”


Though the cow started at once, she couldn’t catch him. Soon, the Gingerbread Boy came to a pig. He called out to the pig:

“I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow,
And I can run away from you, I can!”


The pig ran after him, but couldn’t catch him.
The Gingerbread Boy ran till he came across a fox, and to him he called out:

“I’ve run away from a little old woman,
A little old man,
A barn full of threshers,
A field full of mowers,
A cow and a pig,
And I can run away from you, I can!”


Then the fox set out after him. Now foxes can run very fast, and so the fox soon caught the Gingerbread Boy and began to eat him.

Presently the Gingerbread Boy said,
“Oh, dear! I’m a quarter gone!”

And then,

“Oh, I’m half gone!”

And soon,

“I’m three-quarters gone!”

And at last,

“I’m all gone!”


And that was the end of the Gingerbread Boy.
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The Three Billy Goats Gruff - FAIRY TALES FOR KIDS

a Norwegian folk tale
Once upon a time there were three Billy Goats who wanted to go up to the hillside to make themselves fat, and the name of all three was “Gruff.”
On the way up, they had to cross a bridge over a stream. And under this bridge lived a great ugly Troll with eyes as big as saucers and a nose as long as a poker.
The first to cross the bridge was the youngest Billy Goat Gruff.
“Trip, trap! Trip, trap” went his hoofs on the bridge.

“Who’s that trip-trapping over my bridge?” roared the Troll.

“Oh! It is only I, the tiniest Billy Goat Gruff. I am going up to the hillside to make myself fat,” said the Billy Goat in a very small voice.
“Well, I’m coming to gobble you up!” said the Troll.
“Oh, no! Please do not 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.”
“Very well, be off with you!” said the Troll.
A little while later, the second Billy Goat Gruff came across the bridge.
“Trip, Trap! Trip, trap! Trip, trap!” went his hoofs on the bridge.
“Who’s that trip-trapping over my bridge?” roared the Troll.
“Oh! It’s the second Billy Goat Gruff. I am going up to make myself fat,” said the Billy Goat in a strong voice.


“Well, I’m coming to gobble you up!” said the Troll.
“Oh, no! Don’t take me. Wait a bit till the big Billy Goat Gruff comes. He’s much bigger.”
“Very well, be off with you!” said the Troll.
Just then, along came the big Billy Goat Gruff. “Trip, trap! Trip, trap! Trip, trap! Trip, trap!” went his hoofs on the bridge.
The big Billy Goat Gruff was so heavy, the bridge creaked and groaned under him.
“Who’s that trip-trapping over my bridge?” roared the Troll.
“It is I! The big Billy Goat Gruff!” said the Billy Goat, who had a very loud voice of his own.
“Well, I’m coming to gobble you up,” roared the Troll.
Then the big Billy Goat Gruff said:

“I’ve got two hoofs as hard as stones,
And I’ll dance on you ’til I bruise your bones.
I’ve got two horns upon my head
And I’ll throw you into a watery bed!”

And so he rushed at the Troll and knocked him down and danced all over him with his hard hoofs. Then he caught him on his horns and tossed him into the stream, and that was the end of the Troll. After that he went up to the hillside.

There, the three Billy Goats Gruff got so fat they were hardly able to walk home again. And if they haven’t gotten thinner, why they’re still fat; and so,

Snip, snap, snout,
This tale’s told out.


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Time Rhymes From Mother Goose

HICKORY, DICKORY, DOCK

Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock.

BELL HORSES

Bell horses, bell horses,
What time of day?
One o'clock, two o'clock,
Three and away.

A DILLER, A DOLLAR

A diller, a dollar,
A ten o'clock scholar!
What makes you come so soon?
You used to come at ten o'clock
But now you come at noon.

THE CLOCK

Tick, tock, tick, tock,
Merrily sings the clock;
It's time for work,
It's time for play,
So it sings throughout the day.
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
Merrily sings the clock.
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NURSERY RHYMES DAYS OF THE WEEK


WASH ON MONDAY

 Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday.
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday, 

Rest on Sunday.


7 Days of the Week - Children's Song by The Learning Station


Lyrics:
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – Seven days are in a week.

I like to sing them quiet.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – Seven days are in week.

I like to sing them loud.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – Seven days are in week. I like to clap them out.     

(Clap with each one)
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – Seven days are in week. I like to stomp them out.

(Stomp sound for each one)
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – Seven days are in week. I sing them proud.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday – Seven days are in week.

I like to sing again. Seven days are in a week.

I like it one more time.  Seven days are in a week.

NUMBER RHYMES FOR KIDS

ONE TO MAKE READY

One to make ready,
And two to prepare;
Good luck to the rider,
And away goes the mare.

ONE FOR THE MONEY


One for the money,
And two for the show,
Three to make ready,
And four to go.

SEVEN BLACKBIRDS IN A TREE

Seven blackbirds in a tree,
Count them and see what they be.
One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret
That's never been told.

ONE FOR ANGER

One for anger,
Two for mirth,
Three for a wedding,
Four for a birth,
Five for rich,
Six for poor,
Seven for a witch,
I can tell you no more.

1, 2, 3, 4

1, 2, 3, 4,
Mary at the cottage door
5, 6, 7, 8,
Eating cherries off a plate.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5!
I caught a hare alive;
6, 7, 8, 9, 10!
I let her go again.

ONE, TWO, BUCKLE MY SHOE

One, two,
Buckle my shoe;

Three, four,
Knock at the door;

Five, six,
Pick up sticks;

Seven, eight,
Lay them straight;

Nine, ten,
A big fat hen.
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NURSERY RHYMES FOR KIDS

OLD MOTHER GOOSE

Old Mother Goose,
When she wanted to wander,
Would ride through the air
On a very fine gander.

Mother Goose had a house,
‘Twas built in a wood,
Where an owl at the door
For a sentinel stood.



BYE, BABY BUNTING

Bye, baby bunting,
Daddy's gone a-hunting,
Gone to get a rabbit skin
To wrap the baby bunting in.


PAT-A-CAKE

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man,
Bake me a cake as fast as you can;
Pat it and prick it, and mark it with B,
Put it in the oven for baby and me.



HUSH, BABY, MY DOLL

Hush, baby, my doll, I pray you don't cry,
And I'll give you some bread and some milk by and by;
Or, perhaps, you like custard, or, maybe, a tart-
Then to either you're welcome, with all my whole heart.



ROCK-A-BYE BABY

Rock-a-bye, baby,
Thy cradle is green, Father's a nobleman,
Mother's a queen; And Betty's a lady,
And wears a gold ring; And Johnny's a drummer,
And drums for the king.


HUSH-A-BYE BABY

Hush-a-bye, baby, on the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock;
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
Down will come baby, cradle, and all.



LULLABY

Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Flowers are closed and lambs are sleeping;
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Stars are up, the moon is peeping;
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
While the birds are silence keeping,
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Sleep, my baby, fall a-sleeping,
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!



THE SONG OF THE FROG

So hushaby, baby, if you'll go to sleep,
I'll give you a pretty red flower to keep.
But if you keep crying, a big ugly frog
Will croak by your side—kerchog! kerchog!



THIS LITTLE PIG WENT TO MARKET

This little pig went to market,
This little pig stayed at home,
This little pig had roast beef,
This little pig had none,
And this little pig cried, "Wee, wee, wee!"
All the way home.



THIS IS THE WAY THE LADIES RIDE

This is the way the ladies ride,
Nimble, nimble, nimble, nimble!
This is the way the ladies ride,
A-nimble, nimble, nimble!



THIS IS THE WAY THE GENTLEMEN RIDE

Gallop-a-trot, gallop-a-trot!
This is the way the gentlemen ride,
Gallop-a-gallop-a-trot!

This is the way the farmers ride,
Hobbledy-hoy, hobbledy-hoy!
This is the way the farmers ride, 
Hobbledy-hobbledy-hoy!


RIDE A COCKHORSE

Ride a cockhorse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.


TO MARKET, TO MARKET

To market, to market,
To buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again,
Jiggety-jig.

To market, to market,
To buy a fat hog,
Home again, home again,
Jiggety-jog.

To market, to market,
To buy a plum bun,
Home again, home again,
Market is done.



 

HUMPTY DUMPTY

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses,
And all the King's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again.


LITTLE MISS MUFFET

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
There came a big spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.



THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN

There was an old woman
Lived under a hill,
And if she's not gone
She lives there still.



I HAD A LITTLE NUT TREE

I had a little nut tree,
Nothing would it bear
But a silver nutmeg
And a golden pear;



THE KING OF SPAIN'S DAUGHTER

Came to visit me,
And all for the sake
Of my little nut tree.


 

ONE MISTY, MOISTY MORNING

One misty, moisty, morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man
Clothed all in leather;
Clothed all in leather,
With a strap beneath his chin.
How do you do, and how do you do,
And how do you do again?



SING A SONG OF SIXPENCE

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds
Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing;
Was not that a dainty dish
To set before the king?

The king was in his counting-house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlor,
Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes;
There came a little blackbird
And snapped off her nose.
But there came a Jenny Wren
And popped it on again.


 JEREMIAH OBEDIAH

Jeremiah Obediah puffs, puffs, puffs;
When he gets his messages, he snuffs, snuffs, snuffs;  
When he goes to school by day, he roars, roars, roars;
And when he goes to bed at night, he snores, snores, snores.



IT'S RAINING, IT'S POURING

It's raining, it's pouring,
The old man's a-snoring.
He went to bed
And bumped his head
And couldn't get up in the morning.



WEE WILLIE WINKIE

Wee Willie Winkie
Runs through the town,
Upstairs and downstairs
In his nightgown,
Rapping at the window,
Crying through the lock,
“Are the children in their beds,
For now it's eight o'clock?"



DIDDLE, DIDDLE, DUMPLING

Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John,
Went to bed with his trousers on;
One shoe off, and one shoe on,
Diddle, diddle, dumpling, my son John.
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