Once upon a time there dwelt near a large wood a poor wood-cutter, with his wife and two children by his former marriage, a little boy called Hansel and a girl named Gretel. He had little enough to eat; and once, when there was a great fam... Read more of Hansel And Gretel at Children Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational
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WHO KILLED THE OTTER'S BABIES?

from Stories To Tell Children





Once the Otter came to the Mouse-deer and said, "Friend Mouse-deer, will
you please take care of my babies while I go to the river, to catch
fish?"

"Certainly," said the Mouse-deer, "go along."

But when the Otter came back from the river, with a string of fish, he
found his babies crushed flat.

"What does this mean, Friend Mouse-deer?" he said. "Who killed my
children while you were taking care of them?"

"I am very sorry," said the Mouse-deer, "but you know I am Chief Dancer
of the War-dance, and the Woodpecker came and sounded the war-gong, so I
danced. I forgot your children, and trod on them."

"I shall go to King Solomon," said the Otter, "and you shall be
punished."

Soon the Mouse-deer was called before King Solomon.

"Did you kill the Otter's babies?" said the king.

"Yes, your Majesty," said the Mouse-deer, "but I did not mean to."

"How did it happen?" said the king.

"Your Majesty knows," said the Mouse-deer, "that I am Chief Dancer of
the War-dance. The Woodpecker came and sounded the war-gong, and I had
to dance; and as I danced I trod on the Otter's children."

"Send for the Woodpecker," said King Solomon. When the Woodpecker came,
he said to him, "Was it you who sounded the war-gong?"

"Yes, your Majesty," said the Woodpecker, "but I had to."

"Why?" said the king.

"Your Majesty knows," said the Woodpecker, "that I am Chief Beater of
the War-gong, and I sounded the gong because I saw the Great Lizard
wearing his sword."

"Send for the Great Lizard," said King Solomon. When the Great Lizard
came, he asked him, "Was it you who were wearing your sword?"

"Yes, your Majesty," said the Great Lizard; "but I had to."

"Why?" said the king.

"Your Majesty knows," said the Great Lizard, "that I am Chief Protector
of the Sword. I wore my sword because the Tortoise came wearing his coat
of mail."

So the Tortoise was sent for.

"Why did you wear your coat of mail?" said the king.

"I put it on, your Majesty," said the Tortoise, "because I saw the
King-crab trailing his three-edged pike."

Then the King-crab was sent for.

"Why were you trailing your three-edged pike?" said King Solomon.

"Because, your Majesty," said the King-crab, "I saw that the Crayfish
had shouldered his lance."

Immediately the Crayfish was sent for.

"Why did you shoulder your lance?" said the king.

"Because, your Majesty," said the Crayfish, "I saw the Otter coming down
to the river to kill my children."

"Oh," said King Solomon, "if that is the case, the Otter killed the
Otter's children. And the Mouse-deer cannot be blamed, by the law of the
land!"




EARLY


I like to lie and wait to see
My mother braid her hair.
It is as long as it can be,
And yet she doesn't care.
I love my mother's hair.

And then the way her fingers go;
They look so quick and white,--
In and out, and to and fro,
And braiding in the light,
And it is always right.

So then she winds it, shiny brown,
Around her head into a crown,
Just like the day before.
And then she looks and pats it down,
And looks a minute more;
While I stay here all still and cool.
Oh, isn't morning beautiful?





Next: THE BRAHMIN, THE TIGER, AND THE JACKAL

Previous: THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER



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