Welcome, young wizard, on this great journey! You will find that the malice of the Baltic beasts only equals the wisdom of their most remote Iberian cousins. A king learns that his son, the prince, had been struck by a gentleman after an argument over a game of tennis. Far from returning the blow, the prince had merely cried.
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Once upon a time, there was a wonderful little ant. She was so charming and hard working that everyone loved her!
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So stylish and beautiful that everyone that passed by was mesmerised … One day, while raking leaves in her front yard, she found a shiny new penny. This nineteenth century Spanish fairy tale La hormiquita will guide you through the twists and turns of love, sorrow and mourning… Read here. Seguin never had much luck with goats. Pretty Blanquette is afraid of nothing! High up on her perch, she thinks she is bigger than the world. But poor little thing… There, on the mountain, the ruthless wolf is waiting for her. Read here.
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But his new companion will soon teach him that cats are nothing but predictable. Never open your door to a witch!
Even if she is calling out for help. One dark night, a poor old woman learned this lesson the hard way: the witch soon invites all her sorcerous friends too, and together they make the old woman their slave. This enchanting short story was collected by Joseph Jacobs in the 19th century and included in his set of Celtic Fairy Tales.
Tom Thumb — Written by Reginald Scot. Tom Thumb was born that size, and never grew any larger! Despite his meagre stature, Tom embarks on great adventures which include being swallowed by a cow, falling in a cup of hot tea, and becoming a favorite of King Arthur… The History of Tom Thumb was published in , and was the very first fairy tale to be printed in English. Where have they gone?
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He endures the ruthless rule of his older brothers, who despise him for always sitting in the ashes. They had better watch out, as our fearless hero is about to tame a magical horse and head straight to the Glass Hill. During a time of war and unrest, the story begins, many children lost their parents, were deported to far away places and adopted by other families.
Poor Tin Soldier! But our brave little soldier is not the type to complain about his fate. After much adventuring, including being swallowed by a fish, he falls in love with a ballerina made of paper. The love story will be short-lived, though, as fire will soon consume the two, leaving behind nothing but a lump of tin, melted into the shape of a little heart.
Oh boy! How will the fairies react? Never trust someone more cunning than you! This is the hard lesson a poor little nanny-goat learns when she meets a fox and decides to accompany him in his quest for water.
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The summer had been very hot but a well, found by chance, ends up a most welcome solace for some… and a dreadful trap for others. Poor little she-goat, did your mother never tell you not to trust crafty predators?
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Just look at him! There he stands, with his nasty hair and hands. His nails are never cut, they are grimed as black as soot. And the sloven, I declare! Never once has combed his hair. There was a poor but good little girl who lived alone with her mother, and they no longer had anything to eat. Or a fairy tale by its characters… The king and the queen of Anglia know it well… The queen had no child after seven years. One day, she slept in the garden, and three fairies saw her.
Clever Manka — Collected by Parker Fillmore. What is the sweetest thing? What is the richest? The burgomaster thought he would outsmart everyone by putting this riddle, but this mystery is no match for our dear Clever Manka.
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There is basically no one in town to compete with her intelligence. On top of all of them: getting three golden hairs from Grandfather Knowitall will prove to be far from a pleasure cruise… This Slovakian fairy tale is full of popular wisdom. Each day the evil dragon roams around the countryside, kills people, pillages their homes and devours their livestock. Pastaris and the Giant — Collected by Teikas. If you are trapped in a cave and a Giant is threatening you: better listen and obey. The air was warm and mild; on all sides stretched a green meadow, which was set with cowslips, wild thyme, and a thousand other flowers; through the midst of it rippled a clear brook on which the sun sparkled, and the white geese went walking back- wards and forwards, or paddled in the water.
If only a gust of wind does not come and blow my legs off my body, for they are as rotten as tinder. Of money and land you have no need; here is something else for you. When he was already some way off, he still heard in the distance the noisy cry of the geese. For three days the count had to wander in the wilderness before he could find his way out.
He then reached a large town, and as no one knew him, he was led into the royal palace, where the King and Queen were sitting on their throne.
She bade him rise and hand her the little book. Hardly, however, had she opened it, and looked therein, than she fell as if dead to the ground. I had three daughters, the youngest of whom was so beautiful that the whole world looked on her as a wonder. She was as white as snow, as rosy as apple-blossom, and her hair as radiant as sunbeams.
When she cried, not tears fell from her eyes, put pearls and jewels only. When she was fifteen years old, the King summoned all three sisters to come before his throne. You should have seen how all the people gazed when the youngest entered, it was just as if the sun were rising! You all love me, but the one of you who loves me best, shall fare the best. How she cried when she had to leave us!
The whole road was strewn with the pearls which flowed from her eyes. The King soon afterwards repented of his great severity, and had the whole forest searched for the poor child, but no one could find her. When I think that the wild beasts have devoured her, I know not how to contain myself for sorrow; many a time I console myself with the hope that she is still alive, and may have hidden herself in a cave, or has found shelter with compassionate people. But picture to yourself, when I opened your little emerald book, a pearl lay therein, of exactly the same kind as those which used to fall from my daughter s eyes; and then you can also imagine how the sight of it stirred my heart.
You must tell me how you came by that pearl. The King and Queen resolved to seek out the old woman. They thought that there where the pearl had been, they would ob- tain news of their daughter. The old woman was sitting in that lonely place at her spinning- wheel, spinning. It was already dusk, and a log which was burning on the hearth gave a scanty light. All at once there was a noise out- side, the geese were coming home from the pasture, and uttering their hoarse cries.
Soon afterwards the daughter also entered.
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