Informational Site NetworkInformational Site Network
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

The Envious Neighbour

from The Violet Fairy Book





Long, long ago an old couple lived in a village, and, as they had
no children to love and care for, they gave all their affection
to a little dog. He was a pretty little creature, and instead of
growing spoilt and disagreeable at not getting everything he
wanted, as even children will do sometimes, the dog was grateful
to them for their kindness, and never left their side, whether
they were in the house or out of it.

One day the old man was working in his garden, with his dog, as
usual, close by. The morning was hot, and at last he put down
his spade and wiped his wet forehead, noticing, as he did so,
that the animal was snuffling and scratching at a spot a little
way off. There was nothing very strange in this, as all dogs are
fond of scratching, and he went on quietly with his digging, when
the dog ran up to his master, barking loudly, and back again to
the place where he had been scratching. This he did several
times, till the old man wondered what could be the matter, and,
picking up the spade, followed where the dog led him. The dog
was so delighted at his success that he jumped round, barking
loudly, till the noise brought the old woman out of the house.

Curious to know if the dog had really found anything, the husband
began to dig, and very soon the spade struck against something.
He stooped down and pulled out a large box, filled quite full
with shining gold pieces. The box was so heavy that the old
woman had to help to carry it home, and you may guess what a
supper the dog had that night! Now that he had made them rich,
they gave him every day all that a dog likes best to eat, and the
cushions on which he lay were fit for a prince.

The story of the dog and his treasure soon became known, and a
neighbour whose garden was next the old people's grew so envious
of their good luck that he could neither eat nor sleep. As the
dog had discovered a treasure once, this foolish man thought he
must be able to discover one always, and begged the old couple to
lend him their pet for a little while, so that he might be made
rich also.

'How can you ask such a thing?' answered the old man indignantly.

'You know how much we love him, and that he is never out of our
sight for five minutes.'

But the envious neighbour would not heed his words, and came
daily with the same request, till at last the old people, who
could not bear to say no to anyone, promised to lend the dog,
just for a night or two. No sooner did the man get hold of the
dog than he turned him into the garden, but the dog did nothing
but race about, and the man was forced to wait with what patience
he could.

The next morning the man opened the house door, and the dog
bounded joyfully into the garden, and, running up to the foot of
a tree, began to scratch wildly. The man called loudly to his
wife to bring a spade, and followed the dog, as he longed to
catch the first glimpse of the expected treasure. But when he
had dug up the ground, what did he find? Why, nothing but a
parcel of old bones, which smelt so badly that he could not stay
there a moment longer. And his heart was filled with rage
against the dog who had played him this trick, and he seized a
pickaxe and killed it on the spot, before he knew what he was
doing. When he remembered that he would have to go with his
story to the old man and his wife he was rather frightened, but
there was nothing to be gained by putting it off, so he pulled a
very long face and went to his neighbour's garden.

'Your dog,' said he, pretending to weep, 'has suddenly fallen
down dead, though I took every care of him, and gave him
everything he could wish for. And I thought I had better come
straight and tell you.'

Weeping bitterly, the old man went to fetch the body of his
favourite, and brought it home and buried it under the fig-tree
where he had found the treasure. From morning till night he and
his wife mourned over their loss, and nothing could comfort them.

At length, one night when he was asleep, he dreamt that the dog
appeared to him and told him to cut down the fig-tree over his
grave, and out of its wood to make a mortar. But when the old
man woke and thought of his dream he did not feel at all inclined
to cut down the tree, which bore well every year, and consulted
his wife about it. The woman did not hesitate a moment, and said
that after what had happened before, the dog's advice must
certainly be obeyed, so the tree was felled, and a beautiful
mortar made from it. And when the season came for the rice crop
to be gathered the mortar was taken down from its shelf, and the
grains placed in it for pounding, when, lo and behold! in a
twinkling of an eye, they all turned into gold pieces. At the
sight of all this gold the hearts of the old people were glad,
and once more they blessed their faithful dog.

But it was not long before this story also came to the ears of
their envious neighbour, and he lost no time in going to the old
people and asking if they happened to have a mortar which they
could lend him. The old man did not at all like parting with his
precious treasure, but he never could say no, so the neighbour
went off with the mortar under his arm.

The moment he got into his own house he took a great handful of
rice, and began to shell off the husks, with the help of his
wife. But, instead of the gold pieces for which they looked, the
rice turned into berries with such a horrible smell that they
were obliged to run away, after smashing the mortar in a rage and
setting fire to the bits.

The old people next door were naturally very much put out when
they learned the fate of their mortar, and were not at all
comforted by the explanations and excuses made by their
neighbour. But that night the dog again appeared in a dream to
his master, and told him that he must go and collect the ashes of
the burnt mortar and bring them home. Then, when he heard that
the Daimio, or great lord to whom this part of the country
belonged, was expected at the capital, he was to carry the ashes
to the high road, through which the procession would have to
pass. And as soon as it was in sight he was to climb up all the
cherry-trees and sprinkle the ashes on them, and they would soon
blossom as they had never blossomed before.

This time the old man did not wait to consult his wife as to
whether he was to do what his dog had told him, but directly he
got up he went to his neighbour's house and collected the ashes
of the burnt mortar. He put them carefully in a china vase, and
carried it to the high road, Sitting down on a seat till the
Daimio should pass. The cherry-trees were bare, for it was the
season when small pots of them were sold to rich people, who kept
them in hot places, so that they might blossom early and decorate
their rooms. As to the trees in the open air, no one would ever
think of looking for the tiniest bud for more than a month yet.
The old man had not been waiting very long before he saw a cloud
of dust in the far distance, and knew that it must be the
procession of the Daimio. On they came, every man dressed in his
finest clothes, and the crowd that was lining the road bowed
their faces to the ground as they went by. Only the old man did
not bow himself, and the great lord saw this, and bade one of his
courtiers, in anger, go and inquire why he had disobeyed the
ancient customs. But before the messenger could reach him the
old man had climbed the nearest tree and scattered his ashes far
and wide, and in an instant the white flowers had flashed into
life, and the heart of the Daimio rejoiced, and he gave rich
presents to the old man, whom he sent for to his castle.

We may be sure that in a very little while the envious neighbour
had heard this also, and his bosom was filled with hate. He
hastened to the place where he had burned the mortar, collected a
few of the ashes which the old man had left behind, and took them
to the road, hoping that his luck might be as good as the old
man's, or perhaps even better. His heart beat with pleasure when
he caught the first glimpses of the Daimio's train, and he held
himself ready for the right moment. As the Daimio drew near he
flung a great handful of ashes over the trees, but no buds or
flowers followed the action: instead, the ashes were all blown
back into the eyes of the Daimio and his warriors, till they
cried out from pain. Then the prince ordered the evil-doer to be
seized and bound and thrown into prison, where he was kept for
many months. By the time he was set free everybody in his native
village had found out his wickedness, and they would not let him
live there any longer; and as he would not leave off his evil
ways he soon went from bad to worse, and came to a miserable end.

[Japanische Marchen.]





Next: The Fairy Of The Dawn

Previous: Two In A Sack



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: 948