VIEW THE MOBILE VERSION of www.childrenstories.ca Informational Site Network Informational
Privacy
Home - Stories - Categories - Books - Search

Featured Stories

The Little Robber Girl
The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Categories

A FAIRY-TALE

Aesop

ALPHABET RHYMES

AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES

AMUSING ALPHABETS

Animal Sketches And Stories

ANIMAL STORIES

ARBOR DAY

BIRD DAY

Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon

Bohemian Story

BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS

CATS

CHINESE MOTHER-GOOSE RHYMES

CHRISTMAS DAY

COLUMBUS DAY

CUSTOM RHYMES

Didactic Stories

Everyday Verses

EVIL SPIRITS

FABLES

FABLES FOR CHILDREN

FABLES FROM INDIA

FATHER PLAYS AND MOTHER PLAYS

FIRST STORIES FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

For Classes Ii. And Iii.

For Classes Iv. And V.

For Kindergarten And Class I.

FUN FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

GERMAN

Good Little Henry

HALLOWEEN

Happy Days

INDEPENDENCE DAY

JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES]

Jean De La Fontaine

King Alexander's Adventures

KINGS AND WARRIORS

LABOR DAY

LAND AND WATER FAIRIES

Lessons From Nature

LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY

LITTLE STORIES that GROW BIG

Love Lyrics

Lyrics

MAY DAY

MEMORIAL DAY

Modern

MODERN FABLES

MODERN FAIRY TALES

MOTHER GOOSE CONTINUED

MOTHER GOOSE JINGLES

MOTHER GOOSE SONGS AND STORIES

MOTHERS' DAY

Myths And Legends

NATURE SONGS

NEGLECT THE FIRE

NUMBER RHYMES

NURSERY GAMES

NURSERY-SONGS.

NURSEY STORIES

OLD-FASHIONED STORIES

ON POPULAR EDUCATION

OURSON

Perseus

PLACES AND FAMILIES

Poems Of Nature

Polish Story

Popular

PROVERB RHYMES

RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)

RHYMES CONCERNING "MOTHER"

RIDDLE RHYMES

RIDING SONGS for FATHER'S KNEE

ROMANCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES

SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY

Selections From The Bible

Servian Story

SLEEPY-TIME SONGS AND STORIES

Some Children's Poets

Songs Of Life

STORIES BY FAVORITE AMERICAN WRITERS

STORIES FOR CHILDREN

STORIES for LITTLE BOYS

STORIES FROM BOTANY

STORIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN

STORIES FROM IRELAND

STORIES FROM PHYSICS

STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA

STORIES FROM ZOOLOGY

STORIES _for_ LITTLE GIRLS

SUPERSITITIONS

THANKSGIVING DAY

The Argonauts

THE CANDLE

THE DAYS OF THE WEEK

THE DECEMBRISTS

The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers

The Little Grey Mouse

THE OLD FAIRY TALES

The Princess Rosette

THE THREE HERMITS

THE TWO OLD MEN

Theseus

Traditional

UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES

VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES

WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY

WHAT MEN LIVE BY

WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO

Puddocky

from The Green Fairy Book - GERMAN





There was once upon a time a poor woman who had one little
daughter called 'Parsley.' She was so called because she liked
eating parsley better than any other food, indeed she would hardly
eat anything else. Her poor mother hadn't enough money always to
be buying parsley for her, but the child was so beautiful that she
could refuse her nothing, and so she went every night to the
garden of an old witch who lived near and stole great branches of
the coveted vegetable, in order to satisfy her daughter.

This remarkable taste of the fair Parsley soon became known, and
the theft was discovered. The witch called the girl's mother to
her, and proposed that she should let her daughter come and live
with her, and then she could eat as much parsley as she liked. The
mother was quite pleased with this suggestion, and so the
beautiful Parsley took up her abode with the old witch.

One day three Princes, whom their father had sent abroad to
travel, came to the town where Parsley lived and perceived the
beautiful girl combing and plaiting her long black hair at the
window. In one moment they all fell hopelessly in love with her,
and longed ardently to have the girl for their wife; but hardly
had they with one breath expressed their desire than, mad with
jealousy, they drew their swords and all three set upon each
other. The struggle was so violent and the noise so loud that the
old witch heard it, and said at once 'Of course Parsley is at the
bottom of all this.'

And when she had convinced herself that this was so, she stepped
forward, and, full of wrath over the quarrels and feuds Parsley's
beauty gave rise to, she cursed the girl and said, 'I wish you
were an ugly toad, sitting under a bridge at the other end of the
world.'

Hardly were the words out of her mouth than Parsley was changed
into a toad and vanished from their sight. The Princes, now that
the cause of their dispute was removed, put up their swords,
kissed each other affectionately, and returned to their father.

The King was growing old and feeble, and wished to yield his
sceptre and crown in favour of one of his sons, but he couldn't
make up his mind which of the three he should appoint as his
successor. He determined that fate should decide for him. So he
called his three children to him and said, 'My dear sons, I am
growing old, and am weary of reigning, but I can't make up my mind
to which of you three I should yield my crown, for I love you all
equally. At the same time I would like the best and cleverest of
you to rule over my people. I have, therefore, determined to set
you three tasks to do, and the one that performs them best shall
be my heir. The first thing I shall ask you to do is to bring me a
piece of linen a hundred yards long, so fine that it will go
through a gold ring.' The sons bowed low, and, promising to do
their best, they started on their journey without further delay.

The two elder brothers took many servants and carriages with them,
but the youngest set out quite alone. In a short time they came to
three cross roads; two of them were gay and crowded, but the third
was dark and lonely.

The two elder brothers chose the more frequented ways, but the
youngest, bidding them farewell, set out on the dreary road.

Wherever linen was to be bought, there the two elder brothers
hastened. They loaded their carriages with bales of the finest
linen they could find and then returned home.

The youngest brother, on the other hand, went on his weary way for
many days, and nowhere did he come across any linen that would
have done. So he journeyed on, and his spirits sank with every
step. At last he came to a bridge which stretched over a deep
river flowing through a flat and marshy land. Before crossing the
bridge he sat down on the banks of the stream and sighed dismally
over his sad fate. Suddenly a misshapen toad crawled out of the
swamp, and, sitting down opposite him, asked: 'What's the matter
with you, my dear Prince?'

The Prince answered impatiently, 'There's not much good my telling
you, Puddocky, for you couldn't help me if I did.'

'Don't be too sure of that,' replied the toad; 'tell me your
trouble and we'll see.'

Then the Prince became most confidential and told the little
creature why he had been sent out of his father's kingdom.

'Prince, I will certainly help you,' said the toad, and, crawling
back into her swamp, she returned dragging after her a piece of
linen not bigger than a finger, which she lay before the Prince,
saying, 'Take this home, and you'll see it will help you.'

The Prince had no wish to take such an insignificant bundle with
him; but he didn't like to hurt Puddocky's feelings by refusing
it, so he took up the little packet, put it in his pocket, and
bade the little toad farewell. Puddocky watched the Prince till he
was out of sight and then crept back into the water.

The further the Prince went the more he noticed that the pocket in
which the little roll of linen lay became heavier, and in
proportion his heart grew lighter. And so, greatly comforted, he
returned to the Court of his father, and arrived home just at the
same time as his brothers with their caravans. The King was
delighted to see them all again, and at once drew the ring from
his finger and the trial began. In all the waggon-loads there was
not one piece of linen the tenth part of which would go through
the ring, and the two elder brothers, who had at first sneered at
their youngest brother for returning with no baggage, began to
feel rather small. But what were their feelings when he drew a
bale of linen out of his pocket which in fineness, softness, and
purity of colour was unsurpassable! The threads were hardly
visible, and it went through the ring without the smallest
difficulty, at the same time measuring a hundred yards quite
correctly.

The father embraced his fortunate son, and commanded the rest of
the linen to be thrown into the water; then, turning to his
children he said, 'Now, dear Princes, prepare yourselves for the
second task. You must bring me back a little dog that will go
comfortably into a walnut-shell.'

The sons were all in despair over this demand, but as they each
wished to win the crown, they determined to do their best, and
after a very few days set out on their travels again.

At the cross roads they separated once more. The youngest went by
himself along his lonely way, but this time he felt much more
cheerful. Hardly had he sat down under the bridge and heaved a
sigh, than Puddocky came out; and, sitting down opposite him,
asked, 'What's wrong with you now, dear Prince?'

The Prince, who this time never doubted the little toad's power to
help him, told her his difficulty at once. 'Prince, I will help
you,' said the toad again, and crawled back into her swamp as fast
as her short little legs would carry her. She returned, dragging a
hazel nut behind her, which she laid at the Prince's feet and
said, 'Take this nut home with you and tell your father to crack
it very carefully, and you'll see then what will happen.' The
Prince thanked her heartily and went on his way in the best of
spirits, while the little puddock crept slowly back into the
water.

When the Prince got home he found his brothers had just arrived
with great waggon-loads of little dogs of all sorts. The King had
a walnut shell ready, and the trial began; but not one of the dogs
the two eldest sons had brought with them would in the least fit
into the shell. When they had tried all their little dogs, the
youngest son handed his father the hazel-nut, with a modest bow,
and begged him to crack it carefully. Hardly had the old King done
so than a lovely tiny dog sprang out of the nutshell, and ran
about on the King's hand, wagging its tail and barking lustily at
all the other little dogs. The joy of the Court was great. The
father again embraced his fortunate son, commanded the rest of the
small dogs to be thrown into the water and drowned, and once more
addressed his sons. 'The two most difficult tasks have been
performed. Now listen to the third and last: whoever brings the
fairest wife home with him shall be my heir.'

This demand seemed so easy and agreeable and the reward was so
great, that the Princes lost no time in setting forth on their
travels. At the cross roads the two elder brothers debated if they
should go the same way as the youngest, but when they saw how
dreary and deserted it looked they made up their minds that it
would be impossible to find what they sought in these wilds, and
so they stuck to their former paths.

The youngest was very depressed this time and said to himself,
'Anything else Puddocky could have helped me in, but this task is
quite beyond her power. How could she ever find a beautiful wife
for me? Her swamps are wide and empty, and no human beings dwell
there; only frogs and toads and other creatures of that sort.'
However, he sat down as usual under the bridge, and this time he
sighed from the bottom of his heart.

In a few minutes the toad stood in front of him and asked, 'What's
the matter with you now, my dear Prince?'

'Oh, Puddocky, this time you can't help me, for the task is beyond
even your power,' replied the Prince.

'Still,' answered the toad, 'you may as well tell me your
difficulty, for who knows but I mayn't be able to help you this
time also.'

The Prince then told her the task they had been set to do. 'I'll
help you right enough, my dear Prince,' said the little toad;
'just you go home, and I'll soon follow you.' With these words,
Puddocky, with a spring quite unlike her usual slow movements,
jumped into the water and disappeared.

The Prince rose up and went sadly on his way, for he didn't
believe it possible that the little toad could really help him in
his present difficulty. He had hardly gone a few steps when he
heard a sound behind him, and, looking round, he saw a carriage
made of cardboard, drawn by six big rats, coming towards him. Two
hedgehogs rode in front as outriders, and on the box sat a fat
mouse as coachman, and behind stood two little frogs as footmen.
In the carriage itself sat Puddocky, who kissed her hand to the
Prince out of the window as she passed by.

Sunk deep in thought over the fickleness of fortune that had
granted him two of his wishes and now seemed about to deny him the
last and best, the Prince hardly noticed the absurd equipage, and
still less did he feel inclined to laugh at its comic appearance.

The carriage drove on in front of him for some time and then
turned a corner. But what was his joy and surprise when suddenly,
round the same corner, but coming towards him, there appeared a
beautiful coach drawn by six splendid horses, with outriders,
coachmen, footmen and other servants all in the most gorgeous
liveries, and seated in the carriage was the most beautiful woman
the Prince had ever seen, and in whom he at once recognised the
beautiful Parsley, for whom his heart had formerly burned. The
carriage stopped when it reached him, and the footmen sprang down
and opened the door for him. He got in and sat down beside the
beautiful Parsley, and thanked her heartily for her help, and told
her how much he loved her.

And so he arrived at his father's capital, at the same moment as
his brothers who had returned with many carriage-loads of
beautiful women. But when they were all led before the King, the
whole Court with one consent awarded the prize of beauty to the
fair Parsley.

The old King was delighted, and embraced his thrice fortunate son
and his new daughter-in-law tenderly, and appointed them as his
successors to the throne. But he commanded the other women to be
thrown into the water and drowned, like the bales of linen and the
little dogs. The Prince married Puddocky and reigned long and
happily with her, and if they aren't dead I suppose they are
living still.





Next: The Story Of Hok Lee And The Dwarfs

Previous: Prince Fickle And Fair Helena



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK



Viewed: 1143