The Beekeeper and Bewitched Hare Story

The Beekeeper and the Bewitched Hare ~ Fairy Tale Stories for Kids No Reviews Posted.

The Beekeeper and Bewitched Hare StoryThe Beekeeper & the Bewitched Hare ~ Fairy Tale Stories for Kids


ACROSS FROM A MOOR IN SCOTLAND there once lived a lad who earned his living as a beekeeper. Though he lived by himself in a cottage he wasn't at all l0nely, maybe because he felt a connection with his bees. In warm weather when heather blooms covered the moor, the bees buzzed about with a satisfied kind of hum, sipping nectar wherever they liked, and he felt happy for them. In late fall when wildflowers became scarce, their buzzing became more erratic and he understood their anxiety. Sometimes the lad complimented his bees on an especially large batch of honey, and they seemed to buzz about in pleasure and pride. Folks in town said the lad could talk to the bees. Of course that couldn't be true, but in a way he felt they knew each other very well.

One evening as the lad was checking his beehives, two hounds suddenly appeared from across the moor, barking wildly, and dashing directly toward him. The object of their chase soon became apparent when a white hare leapt out of the heather into his arms. Quickly the lad tucked the terrified animal under his jacket. The two hounds circled his legs, barking angrily. He picked up a stick and swung it around; eventually the dogs gave up and bounded away. When the dogs disappeared from view, the lad set the hare back on the ground and returned to work. But instead of hopping into the thicket, the hare followed him, twitching its nose and eyeing him steadily.

He went inside his cottage and the hare ambled in behind. "Well now, you act like you want to be my pet," he said. "It looks like you expect dinner. I suppose I might have a carrot for you." He let the hare nibble on a carrot while he scooped some stew into a bowl for his own dinner. When they had both finished, the hare jumped onto his lap and he stroked its head and ears. "Ooch!" he said with surprise. "I've seen black or pink eyes on a white hare, but how did you get those blue eyes?" The hare responded by stretching its back for more petting.

The next morning he took the hare to the hives to introduce her to his bees. He knew that changes in their environment can alarm bees, and he didn't want the presence of the hare to unsettle them. So he held out the hare for them to inspect her first, then set her down close to his feet. The bees dipped down and spun around her face but she didn't seem to mind. After they satisfied their curiosity and returned to their hive, he took the hare to the next beehive for another round of introductions.

One afternoon a few weeks later, the lad noticed an old woman ambling along the track across the moor. Thinking he might sell her a fine comb of honey, he met her at the gate. Before he could speak, however, she pointed to the hare, who was peering out from behind a heather shrub.

"You don't see that every day," said she with a crooked smile. "A blue-eyed hare."

"Indeed," said the lad, turning to admire his pet.

"What do you want for her?" said the old woman.

"She's not for sale."

"Surely you have your price, lad. Now look at this bonnie piece of gold. It's not every day you are offered a piece of gold for a common hare, now is it?"

"She's not common, and she's not for sale," frowned the beekeeper.

At once the old woman, whom the lad had thought much too old for such friskiness, sprung over to grab her. A bee hovering nearby gave a loud shrill, a sound that surprised the old woman and apparently alerted the other bees. In moments a dark swarm had gathered and rushed to attack the old woman.

"Eek!" she cried, spinning around and running away. "You'll be sorry you didn't hand over the worthless hare when you could have!"

The next day at the marketplace, when he was selling his honey, the beekeeper shared what had happened with the baker who tended the stall next to his.

"Surely the woman was a witch," said the baker, arranging his bread, potato scones and meat pies into neat rows. "Take my word, you'd better be careful."

"Aye," agreed the seller of sweaters and kilts on his other side. "She's a witch, no doubt about it."

But the lad thought, "Then again, these two often think people are witches.  It could have been just a strange happenstance."

Still, just in case, that night he barred his windows and locked his doors. From then on, he kept a close eye on his hare at all times.

The summer passed. By the time frost lay on the ground in the morning, few flowers, and very few bees, remained out in the cold air. Most of the bees had already retreated to the hives where they began their cold weather work of keeping the hive warm enough for their queen to lay her eggs.

One chilly October morning the lad was setting trays of sugar water inside the beehives when a gypsy caravan rolled by on its way southward. He waved to the driver and a young gypsy man waved back. Much later, the lad noticed a sack of grain lying in the road just past the gate.

"Ooch, it must have dropped from the gypsy van! They'll never know it's missing till they set up camp tonight.  By then it'll be too dark to come back looking for it."

So the lad hoisted the sack onto his cart and took off, following the tracks that the gypsy van had dug behind in the earth. In an hour or so he caught up with them. He hailed them.  When they stopped, he handed the young gypsy driver the sack of grain.

"Do you mean to tell me you followed us all this way to return a sack of grain?," said the young gypsy man. "Most folks are more than glad for us to go, and to never see us again."

"Why shouldn't I bring it back to you?" said he. "Else I'd have to think about your poor horses missing their dinner tonight."

Just then the hare poked its head out from under the beekeeper's jacket.

"And what is that?" said the gypsy lad. "A blue-eyed hare?"

"Yes," he said with pride. "She's a special one, she is."

"More than special, I'd say," said the gypsy fellow. "Grandma!" he called inside the van. "I want to show you something."

An old woman with a bright headscarf, long pleated skirt and puffed white blouse stepped out of the van.

"Now what do you think of that?" said the gypsy man, nodding toward the hare.

"Oh my!" said the grandmother.

"It's only a hare," said the beekeeper.

The old woman shook her head.  "Not at all."

"What else could she be?"

"Tis a lassie," said the grandmother. "A lassie who's been bewitched!"

The beekeeper gasped. Then he spilled out his story. He told them both about the two dogs who chased the hare across his moor, the strange old woman who had tried to grab her, the bees who forced the witch away, and what his friends at the marketplace had said about the old woman.

"Your friends are right," said the grandmother firmly, "That woman was a witch and no doubt the very one who bewitched the lassie. One thing you can count on, she will come back. She's biding her time for the lassie, that she is."

"What is she waiting for?"

"All Hallow's Eve, I suspect," said the grandmother. "She knows the bees will be back in their hives by then. But most important to her, that's the one day of the year when the magic of witches is the strongest."

"What can I do?" he said, alarmed.

"Tell me, did you say you can talk to the bees?"

"Not exactly talk..."

"Hmmm, however you talk to them, you may need their help. When you go home, explain to the bees that the witch may return.

Before the sun sets on All Hallow's Eve, tie a good strong cord around the hare's neck and shoulders and keep her on your lap till past midnight."

"That sounds fine," said the lad.

"Do you think this will be easy?"said the grandmother. "When she's under the witch's spell, she may pull and jump with a power that will shock you, but you must hold her tight. If the bees can help, all the better."

The old woman took a deep breath and looked at him with her old watery eyes. "That's all I can say. Other than that, what will be, will be."

When the lad returned to his cottage, he carried the hare from hive to hive, repeating what the old gypsy woman had told him. On the one hand, he felt a bit silly explaining all of this to a mass of bees. Yet by their collective sounds they seemed to murmur in understanding, as a person would do who was listening. And when the lad stepped away he sensed a building excitement from within the hive.

On All Hallow's Eve, the beekeeper tied a strong cord around the hare's neck and shoulders, and set her on his lap. There she stayed contentedly until the darkness settled so thickly that he could only see the profile of her white fur.

Then suddenly the hare lurched so powerfully that he could barely contain her. She twisted with such might it was all he could do to keep her from sliding out of his hands. Just as she started to wriggle free, he heard a hum that meant his bees were encircling them. Closer and thicker came the bees, forming a tall and deep surround. The hare jerked her ears and twitched her nose. She flitted on his lap and hopped about but no longer tried to escape.

Finally the hare settled down once more. And then - the marvel of it! No longer was a white, blue-eyed hare on his lap, but a bonnie blue-eyed lassie! Quickly he removed the cord from around her neck. They laughed at the wonder of it, they did not know what to think! But as morning dawned, the bees were back in their hives, the geese were winging over the moor, and the lad and his lassie were in the cottage, making plans to marry.

end Discussion Questions:

Question 1: Did you ever feel you could communicate closely with an animal? Tell about it.

Question 2: Do you think someone who is kind to animals will be kind to people, too?



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The Mice and the Elephant Panchatantra Stories

The Mice and the Elephants ~ Panchatantra Stories 4/5 (1)

The Mice and the Elephant Panchatantra StoriesThe Mice and the Elephants ~ Panchatantra Stories 


Long ago in India there was an old deserted village. Empty were the old houses, streets and shops. The windows were open, the stairs broken.  Making it one very fine place for mice to run around, you can be sure of that!

In fact, the mice were happily living in this old deserted village that had been there for hundreds of years, even before the people had come in the first place and then left.  But now was the best time yet for the mice. They made tunnels all through those fine old homes and buildings, forming great mazes. What good times they had, with their many dinner parties and festivals, weddings and feasts.  

And so the time passed.

One day, a herd of elephants, numbering in the thousands, stamped through the village on their way to a big lake in the west.  All the elephants were thinking about as they marched was how good it would be to jump in that lake for a cool swim. They did not know (and how could they?) that as they marched through the village, those big elephant feet were stamping down the mazes and tunnels the mice made.  What a mess those elephants left behind!


What good times they had, with their many dinner parties and festivals, weddings and feasts.


The mice quickly held a meeting.

“If the herd comes back this way again, our community is doomed!” cried one mouse.

“We won’t stand a chance!” cried another.

There was only one thing to do.  A group of brave mice followed those elephant footprints all the way to the lake.  There they found the King of the Elephants. Bowing before him, one mouse spoke for the others and said, “O King, not far from here is our mice community.  It’s in that old deserted village you passes through. You may remember it?”

“Of course I remember it,” said the Elephant King.  “But we did not know a mice community was there.”

“How could you?” said this mouse.  “But your herd stamped out many of the homes where we have lived for hundreds of years.  If you were to return the same way, that would surely be the end of us! We are small and you are big, but we ask you, please.  Won’t you find another way to go home? Who knows, maybe someday we mice can help you, too.”


There was only one thing to do.


The Elephant King smiled.  Imagine – how could tiny mice ever help an elephant?!  But he felt truly sad his herd had crushed the village of the mice, without even knowing it.  He said, “There is no need for you to worry. I will lead the herd home in another way.”

It so happens that nearby lived a certain king who ordered his hunters to trap as many elephants as they could.  Knowing that the elephants came from far and wide to jump in the big lake to swim, they made a water trap there. As soon as the Elephant King and his herd jumped into that lake they were caught in the trap, one and all.

Two days later the hunters dragged the Elephant King and his herd out of the lake with large ropes and tied the elephants to big trees in the forest.

When the hunters had gone, the Elephant King tried to think.  What could they do? They were all tied to the trees but one elephant.  She was free because she did not jump in the lake.


They tied the elephants to big trees in the forest.


The Elephant King called to her.  He told her that she must go back to the old deserted village and bring back the mice who lived there.

When the mice found out the trouble that the Elephant King and his herd were in, they raced over to the lake.  Seeing the King and his herd tied up, they quickly ran over to the ropes and began chewing. They chewed and chewed as quickly as they could.  Soon, the ropes were chewed all the way through and the mice set their large friends free. The elephant herd found a new way home and the mice community lived on for many years to come. 


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Baba Yaga Witch Scary Stories

Baba Yaga, A Russian Fairy Tale ~ Scary Story for Halloween No Reviews Posted.

Baba Yaga Story

Baba Yaga ~ Russian Fairy Tale Stories for Kids. A Scary Story for Halloween. 

This is the Russian Fairy Tale of the witch, Baba Yaga. It is brought to you by Stories to Grow by.  Kid-Tested, Kid-Approved  Short Stories with Positive Moral Messages.

Once upon a time an old man, a widower, lived alone in a hut with his daughter Natasha. Very merry the two of them were together, and they used to smile at each other over a table piled with bread and jam, and play peek-a-boo, first this side of the samovar, and then that. Everything went well, until the old man took it into his head to marry again.

So the little girl gained a stepmother. After that everything changed. No more bread and jam on the table, no more playing peek-a-boo around the samovar as the girl sat with her father at tea. It was even worse than that, because she was never allowed to sit at tea at all anymore. The stepmother said that little girls shouldn't have tea, much less eat bread with jam. She would throw the girl a crust of bread and tell her to get out of the hut and go find someplace to eat it. Then the stepmother would sit with her husband and tell him that everything that went wrong was the girl's fault. And the old man believed his new wife.

So poor Natasha would go by herself into the shed in the yard, wet the dry crust with her tears, and eat it all by herself.

Then she would hear the stepmother yelling at her to come in and wash up the tea things, and tidy the house, and brush the floor, and clean everybody's muddy boots.

One day the stepmother decided she could not bear the sight of Natasha one minute longer. But how could she get rid of her for good? Then she remembered her sister, the terrible witch Baba Yaga, the bony-legged one, who lived in the forest. And a wicked plan began to form in her head.

The very next morning, the old man went off to pay a visit to some friends of his in the next village. As soon as the old man was out of sight the wicked stepmother called for Natasha.

"You are to go today to my sister, your dear little aunt, who lives in the forest," said she, "and ask her for a needle and thread to mend a shirt."

"But here is a needle and thread," said Natasha, trembling, for she knew that her aunt was Baba Yaga, the witch, and that any child who came near her was never seen again.

"Hold your tongue," snapped the stepmother, and she gnashed her teeth, which made a noise like clattering tongs. "Didn't I tell you that you are to go to your dear little aunt in the forest to ask for a needle and thread to mend a shirt?"

"Well, then," said Natasha, trembling, "how shall I find her?" She had heard that Baba Yaga chased her victims through the air in a giant mortar and pestle, and that she had iron teeth with which she ate children.

The stepmother took hold of the little girl's nose and pinched it.

"That is your nose," she said. "Can you feel it?"

"Yes," whispered the poor girl.

"You must go along the road into the forest till you come to a fallen tree," said the stepmother, "then you must turn to your left, and follow your nose and you will find your auntie. Now off with you, lazy one!" She shoved a kerchief in the girl's hand, into which she had packed a few morsels of stale bread and cheese and some scraps of meat.

Natasha looked back. There stood the stepmother at the door with her arms crossed, glaring at her. So she could do nothing but to go straight on.

She walked along the road through the forest till she came to the fallen tree. Then she turned to the left. Her nose was still hurting where the stepmother had pinched it, so she knew she had to go on straight ahead.

Finally she came to the hut of Baba Yaga, the bony-legged one, the witch. Around the hut was a high fence. When she pushed the gates open they squeaked miserably, as if it hurt them to move. Natasha noticed a rusty oil can on the ground.

"How lucky," she said, noticing that there was some oil left in the can. And she poured the remaining drops of oil into the hinges of the gates.

Inside the gates was Baba Yaga's hut. It wasn't like any other hut she had ever seen, for it stood on giant hen's legs and walked about the yard. As Natasha approached, the house turned around to face her and it seemed that its front windows were eyes and its front door a mouth. A servant of Baba Yaga's was standing in the yard. She was crying bitterly because of the tasks Baba Yaga had set her to do, and was wiping her eyes on her petticoat.

"How lucky," said Natasha, "that I have a handkerchief." She untied her kerchief, shook it clean, and carefully put the morsels of food in her pockets. She gave the handkerchief to Baba Yaga's servant, who wiped her eyes on it and smiled through her tears.

By the hut was a huge dog, very thin, gnawing an old bone.

"How lucky," said the little girl, "that I have some bread and meat." Reaching into her pocket for her scraps of bread and meat, Natasha said to the dog, "I'm afraid it's rather stale, but it's better than nothing, I'm sure." And the dog gobbled it up at once and licked his lips.

Natasha reached the door to the hut. Trembling, she tapped on the door.

"Come in," squeaked the wicked voice of Baba Yaga.

The little girl stepped in. There sat Baba Yaga, the bony-legged one, the witch, sitting weaving at a loom. In a corner of the hut was a thin black cat watching a mouse-hole.

"Good day to you, auntie," said Natasha, trying to sound not at all afraid.
"Good day to you, niece," said Baba Yaga.

"My stepmother has sent me to you to ask for a needle and thread to mend a shirt."

"Has she now?" smiled Baba Yaga, flashing her iron teeth, for she knew how much her sister hated her stepdaughter. "You sit down here at the loom, and go on with my weaving, while I go and fetch you the needle and thread."

The little girl sat down at the loom and began to weave.

Baba Yaga whispered to her servant, "Listen to me! Make the bath very hot and scrub my niece. Scrub her clean. I'll make a dainty meal of her, I will."

The servant came in for the jug to gather the bathwater. Natasha said, "I beg you, please be not too quick in making the fire, and please carry the water for the bath in a sieve with holes, so that the water will run through." The servant said nothing. But indeed, she took a very long time about getting the bath ready.

Baba Yaga came to the window and said in her sweetest voice, "Are you weaving, little niece? Are you weaving, my pretty?"

"I am weaving, auntie," said Natasha.

When Baba Yaga went away from the window, the little girl spoke to the thin black cat who was watching the mousehole.

"What are you doing?"

"Watching for a mouse," said the thin black cat. "I haven't had any dinner in three days."

"How lucky," said Natasha, "that I have some cheese left!" And she gave her cheese to the thin black cat, who gobbled it up. Said the cat, "Little girl, do you want to get out of here?"

"Oh, Catkin dear," said Natasha, "how I want to get out of here! For I fear that Baba Yaga will try to eat me with her iron teeth."

"That is exactly what she intends to do," said the cat. "But I know how to help you."

Just then Baba Yaga came to the window.

"Are you weaving, little niece?" she asked. "Are you weaving, my pretty?"

"I am weaving, auntie," said Natasha, working away, while the loom went clickety clack, clickety clack.

Baba Yaga went out again.

Whispered the thin black cat to Natasha: "There is a comb on the stool and there is a towel brought for your bath. You must take them both, and run for it while Baba Yaga is still in the bath-house. Baba Yaga will chase after you. When she does, you must throw the towel behind you, and it will turn into a big, wide river. It will take her a little time to get over that. When she gets over the river, you must throw the comb behind you. The comb will sprout up into such a forest that she will never get through it at all."

"But she'll hear the loom stop," said Natasha, "and she'll know I have gone."

"Don't worry, I'll take care of that," said the thin black cat.

The cat took Natasha's place at the loom.

Clickety clack, clickety clack; the loom never stopped for a moment.

Natasha looked to see that Baba Yaga was still in the bath-house, and then she jumped out of the hut.

The big dog leapt up to tear her to pieces. Just as he was going to spring on her he saw who she was.

"Why, this is the little girl who gave me the bread and meat," said the dog. "A good journey to you, little girl," and he lay down with his head between his paws. She petted his head and scratched his ears.

When she came to the gates they opened quietly, quietly, without making any noise at all, because of the oil she had poured into their hinges before.

Then -- how she did run!

Meanwhile the thin black cat sat at the loom. Clickety clack, clickety clack, sang the loom; but you never saw such a tangle of yarn as the tangle made by that thin black cat.

Presently Baba Yaga came to the window.

"Are you weaving, little niece?" she asked in a high-pitched voice. "Are you weaving, my pretty?"

"I am weaving, auntie," said the thin black cat, tangling and tangling the yarn, while the loom went clickety clack, clickety clack.

"That's not the voice of my little dinner," said Baba Yaga, and she jumped into the hut, gnashing her iron teeth. There at the loom was no little girl, but only the thin black cat, tangling and tangling the threads!

"Grrr!" said Baba Yaga, and she jumped at the cat. "Why didn't you scratch the little girl's eyes out?"

The cat curled up its tail and arched its back. "In all the years that I have served you, you have given me only water and made me hunt for my dinner. The girl gave me real cheese."

Baba Yaga was enraged. She grabbed the cat and shook her. Turning to the servant girl and gripping her by her collar, she croaked, "Why did you take so long to prepare the bath?"

"Ah!" trembled the servant, "in all the years that I've served you, you have never so much as given me even a rag, but the girl gave me a pretty kerchief."

Baba Yaga cursed her and dashed out into the yard.

Seeing the gates wide open, she shrieked, "Gates! Why didn't you squeak when she opened you?"

"Ah!" said the gates, "in all the years that we've served you, you never so much as sprinkled a drop of oil on us, and we could hardly stand the sound of our own creaking. But the girl oiled us and we can now swing back and forth without a sound."

Baba Yaga slammed the gates closed. Spinning around, she pointed her long finger at the dog. "You!" she hollered, "why didn't you tear her to pieces when she ran out of the house?"

"Ah!" said the dog, "in all the years that I've served you, you never threw me anything but an old bone crusts, but the girl gave me real meat and bread."

Baba Yaga rushed about the yard, cursing and hitting them all, while screaming at the top of her voice.

Then she jumped into her giant mortar. Beating the mortar with a giant pestle to make it go faster, she flew into the air and quickly closed in on the fleeing Natasha.

For there, on the ground far ahead, she soon spied the girl running through the trees, stumbling, and fearfully looking over her shoulder.

"You'll never escape me!" Baba Yaga laughed a terrible laugh and steered her flying mortar straight downward toward the girl.

Natasha was running faster than she had ever run before. Soon she could hear Baba Yaga's mortar bumping on the ground behind her. Desperately, she remembered the thin black cat's words and threw the towel behind her on the ground. The towel grew bigger and bigger, and wetter and wetter, and soon a deep, broad river stood between the little girl and Baba Yaga.

Natasha turned and ran on. Oh, how she ran! When Baba Yaga reached the edge of the river, she screamed louder than ever and threw her pestle on the ground, as she knew she couldn't fly over an enchanted river. In a rage, she flew back to her hut on hen's legs. There she gathered all her cows and drove them to the river.

"Drink, drink!" she screamed at them, and the cows drank up all the river to the last drop. Then Baba Yaga hopped into her giant mortar and flew over the dry bed of the river to pursue her prey.

Natasha had run on quite a distance ahead, and in fact, she thought she might, at last, be free of the terrible Baba Yaga. But her heart froze in terror when she saw the dark figure in the sky speeding toward her again.

"This is the end for me!" she despaired. Then she suddenly remembered what the cat had said about the comb.

Natasha threw the comb behind her, and the comb grew bigger and bigger, and its teeth sprouted up into a thick forest, so thick that not even Baba Yaga could force her way through. And Baba Yaga the witch, the bony-legged one, gnashing her teeth and screaming with rage and disappointment, finally turned round and drove away back to her little hut on hen's legs.

The tired, tired, girl finally arrived back home. She was afraid to go inside and see her mean stepmother, so instead she waited outside in the shed.

When she saw her father pass by she ran out to him.

"Where have you been?" cried her father. "And why is your face so red?"

The stepmother turned yellow when she saw the girl, and her eyes glowed, and her teeth ground together until they broke.]

But Natasha was not afraid, and she went to her father and climbed on his knee and told him everything just as it had happened. When the old man learned that the stepmother had sent his daughter to be eaten by Baba Yaga, the witch, he was so angry that he drove her out of the hut and never let her return.

From then on, he took good care of his daughter himself and never again let a stranger come between them. Over a table piled high with bread and jam, father and daughter would again play peek-a-boo back and forth from behind the samovar, and the two of them lived happily ever after.


Discussion Questions: 

Question 1:  Why did the gates, the servant girl, the big dog and the thin black cat help Natasha escape?

Question 2: Natasha gave small gifts (a soiled kerchief, a few drops of oil, a few morsels of meat and cheese). Why did such small gifts mean so much?


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Geese and the Fig Tree The Wise Old Bird

The Geese and the Fig Tree ~ The Wise Old Bird Panchatantra Stories No Reviews Posted.

Geese and the Fig Tree The Wise Old BirdThe Geese and the Fig Tree ~ The Wise Old Bird Panchatantra Stories 


In a part of the woods was a big fig tree with huge branches.  A flock of geese lived there, and happy they were, you can be sure of that!  But at the roots of the tree, a little vine was starting to grow.

A wise old goose said, “Do you see that little vine?  The one starting to climb up our tree? It could be trouble some day!  I saw this happen once when I was a little bird. If we do not pull the vine away now when it is still small and easy to cut, over time it will grow bigger and thicker.  Then some day, the vine will be big and thick enough for someone to climb. A hunter will be able to climb up the vine and kill us. And that is why,” said the wise old goose, “we must get rid of the vine while we can.”


“That is why we must get rid of the vine while we can.”


“Silly old goose!” said the others.  “What trouble can come from such a little vine? Things are not the same as they were when you were little.”  

So they let the vine grow.  

And it grew.  And grew. And grew.

When the geese were out one morning catching bugs and little fish, a hunter saw the fig tree and the big, thick vine.  Why it was so big and thick, he could climb right up on the vine! So he climbed and high up in the branches, he laid a net around the nests.  Then he quietly climbed back down.

“When I come back in the morning,” he said on his way home, “I bet there will be a lot of geese caught in my net!”    

That night after a day of food and fun, the geese came back to their nests.  Each and every one of them became stuck in the hunter’s net.

“Why, oh why did this happen to us?” cried a goose.

“Don’t you remember?” said the wise old goose.  “I told all of you this could happen when the vine was still small. But you did not believe me. ”

“What do we do now?” cried another goose.


“Why, oh why did this happen to us?”


“A ha!” said the wise old goose.  “Our only hope is to play dead when that hunter comes back tomorrow.  If he thinks we are all dead, he may throw us to the ground so he can take back his net.  We must all stay very still until each one of us gets thrown out of the tree onto the ground.”

At sunrise the next morning, the hunter came back.  At first, he was very glad to see so many birds in his net in the fig tree!  But when he got closer, he saw that every goose seemed as good as dead. He did not want dead geese so one by one, he took them off his net and threw them onto the ground.  The geese stayed very still on the ground until the very last goose was thrown onto the ground. Then the hunter climbed down the tree and left. When the geese could not see him anymore, they flew back up into the branches of their fig tree.

The geese knew what they must do. It took a very long time, but bit by bit, they pecked away at that big vine.  First, they cut the big vine into lots of smaller pieces. Then they pecked away at each small piece until it broke from the tree.  At last, every piece of vine fell to the ground. And the geese could fly up to live safely in their fig tree, once again.


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White Wing: The Tale of the Doves and the Hunter ~ Panchatantra Stories 5/5 (1)

White Wing: The Tale of the Doves and the Hunter ~ Panchatantra Tales


One day long ago in India, a hunter came to a big tree.  This tree was so big that its branches turned back down and went right into the ground again.  Then new baby trees would grow up from those very spots. Have you ever seen such a thing? Trees that do that are called “banyan” trees.

“Ah!” said the hunter when he saw that big banyan tree. “That looks just right for my net.  I will catch a lot of birds today.”

The hunter threw his net over the tree.  The strings in the net sank down into the branches.  You could not see the net any more. Then the clever hunter put grains of rice all over the leaves.  The grains of rice were easy to see, even from far away.


“Ah!” said the hunter when he saw that big banyan tree.  “That tree is just right for my net.”


Just then, White Wing, king of the doves, was flying overhead with all of his doves flying behind him.  He saw that banyan tree below. “Wow!” said White Wing, spinning around. “This must be our lucky day! Look at all the rice on that tree.”

White Wing flew down to the banyan tree.  The doves spun around behind him and followed him to the tree, too.  But oh no! As soon as they all landed on the tree, each one was trapped in the net!

Someone was glad to see this.  “Well, well!” said the hunter. Look at all these doves! I will have myself a fine dinner.”

Seeing him, the doves cried out, “It is over for us!”


As soon as they landed, each one was trapped in the net.


“Wait, wait!” said White Wing.  “There is a way for us to get free.  But we must act together.”

“What can we do?” cried a dove.  “The hunter is almost here!”

“Alone, none of us can lift this net,” said White Wing.  “It’s too big and heavy.”

“We know, we know!” cried the doves.

“But if we all fly up together at the same time,” said White Wing, “we can lift this net.

We will fly it to the city, past these woods.  I know a mouse who lives there. He is a dear friend, and I am sure he will help free us by chewing through the net.”


“If we all fly up together at the same time,  said White Wing, we can lift this net.”


“Look, the hunter!” cried a dove.

“Everyone,” yelled White Wing.  “Now!” At once, all of the doves flew up.  Together, they lifted the net right up out of the banyan tree.  

The hunter could not believe his eyes.  All the birds he was going to have at dinner were flying up high into the sky – and they were taking his net with them!

White Wing and the doves flew with the net over the woods and to the city.  There, Wing Wing found his friend the mouse, and the mouse freed them, one and all.



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The Tiger's Whisker

The Tiger’s Whisker or “How to Cure a Changed Man” ~ A Korean Folktale 5/5 (1)

The Tiger's Whisker Story

The Tiger's Whisker or "How to Cure a Changed Man" ~ Korean Folktales for Kids 

The story of The Tiger's Whisker is a Korean folktale. It is part of our Learning to Read English series. 

ONCE UPON A TIME a young wife named Yun Ok was very sad. Her husband had always been a gentle and loving man.  But that was before the war. Ever since he had come back from the war, he was angry, even mean. Sometimes Yun Ok felt fear when she lived with her own husband. Only from time to time did she see a sign of the loving husband she used to know.

Now in her village there was a medicine man, a doctor, who lived deep in the mountains. When anyone in the village was sick or hurting, a visit to him would do the trick. Most of the time, Yun Ok felt proud that she could fix her own problems.  But not this time. She needed help!

As Yun Ok came up to the doctor’s hut, she saw the door was open. The old man said without turning around, "I hear you. What is the problem?"

She explained. “Ah, yes,” he said.  “It is often that way when soldiers return from the war. They have seen terrible things.  It can make them cold and unloving. But what do you expect me to do about it?"

"Make me a potion!" cried Yun Ok. "Anything! Whatever it takes to get my husband back to the way he used to be."

The old man looked her in the eye. "Young woman,” he said.  “This is not the same as fixing a broken bone or curing an ear infection. This kind of thing will take three days for me to think of a solution. Come back then."

Three days later, Yun Ok returned to the hut. "Yun Ok," said the old man with a smile, "I have good news for you. There is a potion that will turn your husband back to how he used to be. But you should know that it needs a special ingredient. You must bring me a whisker from a live tiger."

"A whisker from a live tiger?!?” said Yun Ok with shock.  "Such a thing is not possible!"

"I cannot make the potion without it!" he shouted. Then he turned his back. "There is nothing more to say. As you can see, I’m a very busy man."

That night Yun Ok tossed and turned. How could she get a whisker from a live tiger?

The next day, she left the house.  In her hand was a bowl of rice covered with meat sauce. She stepped quietly as she did not want to wake her husband.

Yun Ok went to a cave on the mountainside where a tiger was known to live. She walked up very quietly and set the bowl down on the grass. Then as quietly and safely as she could, she backed away.

The next day, she took another bowl of rice covered with meat sauce to the cave. When she saw that the old bowl was empty, she took it and put down the new, full one.  Again she left quietly, trying not to wake the wild beast.

Every day, she did this.  Months went by. Yun Ok never saw the tiger.  But she knew from footprints on the ground that the tiger had been eating her food.

Then one day, she noticed the tiger's head poking out of its cave. Being sure not to look the tiger in the eye, she stepped very slowly to the same spot as always.  She put down the new, full bowl of food, picked up the empty bowl, and stepped away.

Each day after that, she noticed the tiger would come out of its cave a little bit more, when it heard her footsteps, coming closer and closer towards her.

"Actually,” she thought, “it is a rather friendly creature, when you get to know it."

The next time she visited, the tiger came so close that she could gently pat its head, just like a house cat. She looked into its gentle tiger eyes and saw that it now trusted her. Each day she continued to feed the tiger, gaining its trust and friendship.

After many weeks had gone by, she knew the time had come to see if she could get the whisker.

The next day, she brought with her a small knife. After she set down the bowl of food, and the tiger allowed her to pet its head, she said in a low voice, "Oh, my tiger!  May I please have one of your whiskers?"

While petting the tiger with one hand, she quickly cut off the whisker with the other, careful not to hurt the tiger in any way. “Thank you, my gentle friend,” she said.

-------Quickly, she ran to the doctor's hut.  Holding the whisker tight in her hand, she cried,"I have it! I have the tiger's whisker!"

"You don't say?" said the old man, turning around. "From a live tiger?"

"Yes!" she said.

"Tell me," said the doctor, interested. "How did you do it?"

Yun Ok told the doctor all about how she had earned the trust of the tiger over many months.  And how it had finally allowed her to cut off one of its whiskers.

With pride she handed him the whisker. The doctor looked at it with care.  Then he threw it into the fire, where it burned right up.

"What have you done?!" Yun Ok cried.

"Yun Ok," said the doctor softly, "you no longer need the whisker. Tell me, is your husband more dangerous than a tiger? If an animal such as a tiger will respond to your patient care, don’t you think a man who's come back from the war will, too?"

Yun Ok didn’t know what to say. She thought about how she had led the tiger to trust her. Then she thought about her husband. She knew what she could do. Surely, if she could earn the trust of a tiger, she could find the right way to lead her husband to be gentle again, too. end

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司马光为孩子们打破了英语中国故事 No Reviews Posted.




“不要去水顶!”李娜说。 “太高了。”






“我想上去!”王伟说。当他在顶端时,他喊道:“看着我 - 一只脚!”


然后 - 哦,不!王伟摔倒在水里!

“我不会游泳!”他喊道。 “水太深了!”


“不!”司马光说。 “这将花费太长时间!”




“然后我们无法做任何事情来帮助”李娜惊恐地喊道。 “啊!”张勇也害怕地喊道。 “啊哈!”他们一起喊道。


Sīmǎ guāng wèi háizimen dǎpòle yīngyǔ zhòng guó gùshì

sīmǎ guāng cái jiǔ suì. Tā xǐhuān hé tā de péngyǒu wáng wěi, lǐnà hé zhāng yǒng yīqǐ zài hòuyuàn wánshuǎ.

Yǒu yītiān, péngyǒumen zài yuànzi lǐ wánshuǎ. Wáng wěi shuō:“Wǒ gǎn dǎdǔ, wǒ kěyǐ shàng dào shuǐtǒng de dǐngduān!” Yīgè shuǐtǒng shì yīgè yòng lái bǎochí yǔshuǐ de dà ní guàn.

“Bùyào qù shuǐ dǐng!” Lǐnà shuō. “Tài gāole.”


“Wáng wěi shuō,” wǒ gǎn dǎdǔ, wǒ kěyǐ shàng dào shuǐ gāng de dǐngduān!“


“Zhè duì wǒ lái shuō bu suàn tài gāo!” Wáng wěi shuō.

“Lái zhèlǐ wán,” sīmǎ guāng shuō.

“Wǒ xiǎng shàngqù!” Wáng wěi shuō. Dāng tā zài dǐngduān shí, tā hǎn dào:“Kànzhe wǒ - yī zhǐ jiǎo!”

“Zhè hěn hǎo!” Zhāng yǒng shuō.

Ránhòu - ó, bù! Wáng wěi shuāi dǎo zài shuǐ lǐ!

“Wǒ bù huì yóuyǒng!” Tā hǎn dào. “Shuǐ tài shēnle!”

“Wǒmen bìxū xúnqiú bāngzhù!” Lǐnà shuō.

“Bù!” Sīmǎ guāng shuō. “Zhè jiāng huāfèi tài cháng shíjiān!”


“Wǒmen bìxū xúnqiú bāngzhù! Lǐnà shuō.“


“Ránhòu wǒmen wúfǎ zuò rènhé shìqíng lái bāngzhù” lǐnà jīngkǒng de hǎn dào. “A!” Zhāng yǒngyě hàipà de hǎn dào. “A hā!” Tāmen yīqǐ hǎn dào.

Sīmǎ guāng kàn dàole yīkuài shítou. Tā ná qǐ yánshí rēng zài shuǐ gāng de dǐbù. Dàtǒng méi pòliè. Tā ná qǐ yánshí zài rēngle. Zhè cì yǒu yīgè fēicháng xiǎo de lièfèng. Ránhòu yīgè gèng dà de lièfèng! Yīxià zi, yī gǔ jùdà de shuǐliú cóng pòsuì de shuǐtǒng zhōng fēi chū.

Suízhe shuǐ de làngcháo, wáng wěi gǔnle chūlái!
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The Gift of the Magi A Christmas Story

The Gift of the Magi Story ~ A Christmas Story for Kids 5/5 (3)

The Gift of the Magi A Christmas StoryThe Gift of the Magi Story ~ A Christmas Story for Kids

This is the story of The Gift of the Magi, A Christmas Story. It was written by O'Henry and has been adapted here by Stories to Grow by. It presents the Theme of Selflessness which makes it a perfect holiday story. 

Della and Jim were married just a year.  They had very little money and their place was poor.  But what they lacked in fancy things, they made up for with love.

The very next day was Christmas.  All the money Della had to buy a gift for her dear husband was $1.87.  “What on earth can I buy with that?” she asked. 

Turning around, she saw her reflection in the mirror.  Stepping up to the mirror, she stared at her reflection.  “At least Jim loves my long beautiful hair,” she said, taking a spin.  “He calls me his queen!”  Then she stopped cold.  “Some queen I am!” she said, “with just $1.87 to spend on a gift for my husband.”

All the money Della had to buy a gift for her dear husband was $1.87.

Then all at once, Della knew what she must do.  Very fast, she put on her cloak and rushed out of  the apartment.  She ran down the street to a shop where wigs were made.  A sign read: “We buy hair.”

“Tell me,” Della asked the shop woman.  “How much will you pay me for my hair?”

“Come step inside,” said the shop woman, “and let me see it.”

Della stepped in the shop and took off her cloak.  Down fell her long, thick hair. 

“My, my!” said the shop woman, “I will pay you twenty dollars for your lovely, long hair.”

At last, with twenty dollars in her pocket and the $1.87 from before, Della could go shopping.  But what should she get her husband?  The one thing Jim loved best in all the world was his golden pocket watch.  It had come from his father, and from his father’s father before that.  Sometimes, when Jim did not think anyone could see, he took out that golden watch, turned it over, and rubbed it with care.  Della knew this because she saw him do it.

Then Della saw the perfect gift- a gold chain for his pocket watch!  For $21 she bought the gold watch chain.  With that chain hooked up to Jim’s pocket watch, the watch could not fall out of his pocket.   And wouldn’t Jim look grand when he took out that golden pocket watch and everyone could see the shiny gold chain, too!

Then Della saw the perfect gift- a gold chain for his pocket watch!  For $21 she bought the gold watch chain.

That night when Jim came home, Della rushed up to give him the gift she had bought.  Yet when he saw his wife’s short hair on her face, a frown appeared where he had smiled.  “Oh, do not worry, husband!” she cried.  “My hair grows back quickly.”

Then, before she could give Jim her gift, he handed his wife a small box.  Della untied the ribbon and opened it.  Inside were two beautiful hair combs!  They were the very same ones she had mooned over many times in the store windows, but they cost far too much money.  Now they were the gift her dear husband had given her. Then, Della handed Jim her box.  “Now your turn,” she said.

When Jim opened it and saw the gold watch chain, he had to sit down.  “Don’t you like it?” said his wife.  “Of course, I do!” said Jim.  “But you see, I sold my watch so I could buy you the two hair combs.”

“And I sold my hair to buy you the watch chain!” said Della. 

Jim and Della had both given up the one thing they held most dear for the sake of the other.  And now they had nothing to show for it. 

Or did they?

“My queen,” said Jim, taking his wife’s hands into his own and looking into her eyes.

“My dear husband,” said Della, with love.


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Hercules and His Labors Greek Myths

Hercules (Heracles) and His Labors Story ~ Greek Mythology for Kids No Reviews Posted.

Hercules and His Labors Greek Myths

Hercules (Heracles) and His Labors ~ Greek Myth Stories for Kids

image.png This story presents the true Myth of Hercules (Heracles) and the Labors he has to go through to pay for his actions towards his family while under Hera's spell. This content is mature and we recommend this story be read by those 12+.


Never was there a boy like Hercules – twice as large and ten times as strong as any other boy. When he swung his arms, everyone took a few quick steps back. When he stomped, all the land shook.  That boy was so strong, he was always breaking furniture or smashing things by mistake. At last, his mother had to send him out to tend the goats and sheep to keep him out of trouble.

What the young Hercules did not know was that his father was Zeus, the god of thunder, and the most powerful of all gods. Since his one parent was a god and his mother was a mortal human, Hercules was a “demi-god.”  Yet being a demi-god did not protect Hercules from one powerful danger – the goddess Hera. For Hera was the wife of Zeus. And as wife of Zeus, you can be sure that Hera was not happy that her husband was father to a child by another woman.

Whenever Hera thought about it, it made her furious.  And she thought about it a lot. When Hercules was a baby, she sent two snakes into his crib.  But the super-strong baby crushed the snakes with his bare hands.

When Hercules grew up and became a young man, he drove away enemy invaders who had taken over a city-state next to his own, a kingdom called Thebes.  Hercules chased the very last invader away. The King of Thebes was able to rule again, and the grateful King heaped many honors on the young hero. Soon Hercules won the heart of the King’s daughter.  They married and had three sons. But Hera, set on crushing the happiness of Hercules, cast a spell over the young man. Under her spell, Hercules went mad and killed his wife and sons.


But Hera, set on crushing the happiness of Hercules, cast a spell on him.


When the spell was over and Hercules saw what he had done, he was stunned.  He sunk into a grief so deep that he felt he could not go on. His friend Theseus, another young hero, pleaded with Hercules to visit the Oracle at Delphi.  She was the most famous prophet in the land. Only the Oracle could give an answer of what Hercules could do to make up for what he did.

When the Oracle was asked a question, she often spoke in riddles and it was hard to know what she was saying.  But this time, the Oracle was clear. To pay for his sins, Hercules must, for ten years, serve his cousin Eurystheus (we will call him “Eury”), King of a nearby land.  During this time, said the Oracle, King Eury would give him ten impossible tasks to do.  

For you see, the Oracle at Delphi could see into the hearts of men.  She knew that King Eury wanted nothing more than to be rid of his stronger, more popular younger cousin.  She knew that he would come up with ten very difficult, even impossible, tasks.

When Hercules heard this answer, he knew it was his choice to do what the Oracle said. After all, was he not the strongest man on earth – the son of a god?  Yet Hercules felt he needed to somehow pay for his sins. If serving his cousin King Eury for ten years was a path to that end, then that is what he would do.

Hercules arrived at the palace of King Eury and gave him the message from the Oracle.  His older cousin smiled. What a lucky break! Surely he would come up with ten impossible tasks.  It would keep his popular younger cousin far away from him and his land for a long time. If Hercules happened to perform every one of the tasks, then he, King Eury, would take the credit.  And if his younger cousin happened to die while trying, well, so be it.


Yet Hercules felt he needed to somehow pay for his sins. If serving his cousin King Eury for ten years for ten years was a path to that end, then that is what he would do.


Hercules’ first task was to kill the Nemean Lion, a beast that had been striking terror in the countryside nearby.  The Lion could not be harmed by any weapon, so there was nothing anyone could do to stop it. Hercules chased the Nemean Lion and trapped it in a cave.  He strangled the beast with his bare hands, then skinned it. The hero hung the skin of the Nemean Lion around his head, with the open head of the lion over his own face.  That is how Hercules returned to the palace of King Eury.

The King was indeed surprised, but he was ready with a second task. Hercules was to slay the giant Hydra dragon snake.  The Hydra had many hungry heads, each one blowing hot steam from its fangs. Even worse, when one snake head was cut off, two more would grow back in its place!  But Hercules had a plan – as he cut off each snake head, his nephew quickly seared the cut with fire so the head would not grow back. But because Hercules had help with this task, King Eury did not count it.  Instead, he gave Hercules an extra task.

Next, Hercules had to bring back to the King a huge deer that was the pet of the Athena, the goddess of the hunt, who took care of all animals.  Athena’s deer had golden horns and hoofs of bronze and was faster than any other creature alive. Hercules chased her pet deer for many months. Finally, he shot an arrow that wounded the animal.  Carrying the animal on his shoulders, he came upon none other than the goddess Athena herself. She was shocked to see her pet, hurt like that. Hercules explained why he was forced to capture the animal, and he said that he was sorry.  Athena understood. She forgave him, as long as he agreed to set the animal free. Hercules agreed. So Athena healed the deer’s wound and let Hercules carry her pet back to King Eury.

King Eury was stunned to see Hercules walk into his throne room, carrying Athena’s deer! But he had another task ready, just in case.   Hercules would have to capture a fearsome boar – a wild pig with a bad temper and long pointed tusks. Every day, the boar would come crashing down the mountainside, attacking and killing everything in its path. Hercules chased the Boar into a deep pile of snow. He trapped it into a net and carried the net, with the beast in it, back to King Eury.  Now King Eury did not know what to do! Could nothing or no one beat Hercules?


The King was stunned to see Hercules walk into his throne room, carrying Athena’s deer!


King Eury knew the next labor had to be truly impossible.  A king in Greece was famous for his large herds of fine cattle.  Every night, his more than 3,000 cattle stayed at his royal stables.  Yet the stables had never once been cleaned. You can imagine the mess!  King Eury knew it would be impossible to clean out the King’s Stables, even if you had a lifetime.  Yet how much more impossible it would be to have to clean out the Stables in just one day! That was the next task.

Hercules went to the King who owned the fine cattle.  He said he would clean out the royal stables in one day, on one condition. The condition was if the King would give him 10 percent of his fine cattle.  The King could not believe anyone could clean out the Stables, period. But if this stranger could do such a thing in one day, it was worth the price.

The next morning after the cattle went out to graze, Hercules tore a large hole at one end of the stable wall, and another large hole at the other end.  Then he dug two wide trenches next to two rivers that flowed nearby. He turned the course of both rivers into one stream and directed the flow of the stream into the hole in the stable wall.  The two rivers rushed right through, and everything flowed out the other side! By the end of the day, the stables were as clean as could be. The King gave Hercules the cattle he had promised.  But King Eury said the task didn’t count because Hercules had been paid. And so he would have to do yet another extra task.


The two rivers rushed right through, and everything flowed out the other side!


There were other labors.  Hercules had to drive away a flock of man-eating birds.  He had to wrestle a Minotaur to the ground. He had to ride a chariot of wild horses and tame them.  He went to the faraway land of the Amazon women and brought back the queen’s belt. He even traveled to the very end of the world.  

The next labor was the hardest of all.  Hercules had to get the golden apples that belonged to Zeus, the king of the gods and his own father.  What made this task truly impossible is that the golden apples were a wedding present from Hera, the wife of Zeus and the very goddess who hated him.  Yet Hercules also accomplished this task. He tricked Atlas, who held up the world, into doing it for him.

At last, the final labor of Hercules was the most impossible one of all.  He had to go deep under the earth to the Underworld, the land of the dead.  No one had ever gone to the Underworld and come back alive. To make it even more impossible, the task was to kidnap the three-headed dog Cerberus that guarded the gate to the Underworld, and bring the beast back alive.  What’s more, Cerberus was the pet of Hades, god of the Underworld. King Eury knew that Hades would not let anyone try to harm his pet. But he had no problem letting harm come to Hercules!


The last labor of Hercules was the most impossible of all.


When Hercules got to the Underworld, he went to see Hades. He asked Hades if he might borrow his pet for awhile and take him to the land of the living.  Hercules promised not to harm him. Hades was impressed that Hercules had come to ask permission first, instead of fighting his pet, and so he agreed.

When Hercules came to King Eury’s palace with the three-headed dog, the King froze in fear, then rushed behind his throne.  Calling from behind his hiding place, King Eury told Hercules that he had credit for the final task, and in all tasks, and should go right away and take the beast with him.  So the labors of Hercules ended.

Hercules had finished his labors, 12 in all.  (Each one is a story in itself that you can read about.) Hercules now felt that he could go on with his life.  He married again and won many victories. But he also faced hard times, too. For the goddess Hera remained as jealous as ever.  She tried to ruin him time after time, for the rest of his days.

When Hercules died, he won a final prize.  He became the only demi-god ever allowed to rise up to Mount Olympus, the place in the clouds where the gods lived.  For all the good deeds he had done in his life and for all the hardships he had faced, Hercules would live forever at Mount Olympus, as an immortal god.

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Pocahontas and John Smith Story ~ Folktales Stories for Kids No Reviews Posted.

Pocahontas Story

The Story of Pocahontas and John Smith  ~ Folktales Stories for Kids

This is the story of Pocahontas, John Smith and the leader Powhatan. The story told of Pocahontas that is most famous tells about the time she saved the life of settler John Smith, as seen in the Disney version and in our version below. It is brought to you by Stories to Grow by. 

In the spring of 1607, three ships landed on the shore of what is now America.  About 100 men – no women were asked to come – stepped onto the sand to start a new life. 

The men built 20 cabins and a fort to go around them all.  They called their new town Jamestown.   But they were not the only ones living on that land.

Up and down the coast and for miles into the woods lived tribes of Native Americans.  Today, the area is called Virginia.  Back then, it was called the Powhatan Confederacy.  Over 30 tribes in the Powhatan Confederacy were ruled by one chief.  His name was Powhatan. 

Chief Powhatan’s scouts told him that new men had landed on the shore.  They told him the men had built a fort.  They also told him the new men spoke in words no one had heard before.  They wore clothes no one had seen before.  Powhatan knew all that.  What he did not know – and what he wanted to know most of all - was, where did they come from?  Why were they here? And what would it be like to be their Chief?

But they were not the only ones living on that land.


His scouts told him some other news, too, that was most odd.  No crops had been planted around the fort.  No canoes were anywhere near the fort, and the men did not even stand by the river to fish.  The men did not go into the woods to hunt, either. Said Powhatan, “These men do not know how to plant, ride a canoe, fish or hunt.  It will be easier than I thought to be their Chief.

We will bring food to them – corn, beans and squash. Without us, they will starve.  And I, Powhatan, who rules 30 tribes, will rule over them, too!” “Father let me come with you!” said Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas.  No one had seen her slip into the longhouse. “I want to see the fort, too.” “Surely not!” said her father.  “You have work to do here.  When you are done, you may play with your sisters.”

“I, Pohawtan, who rules 30 tribes, will rule over them, too!”


 “I play with them every day!” said Pocahontas.  “Father, please! I’ll be good!”   Powhatan smiled.  “Ah, my princess,” he said.  “How can I say no to that face?” At last, an adventure for Pocahontas!  She felt sure that if she had to sew beads onto one more moccasin, or fill one more basket with berries, she would burst! So Chief Powhatan, with scouts carrying baskets of corn, beans and squash, and with Pocahontas beside them, all went over to the fort.

When they got there, they set down the baskets.  And stepped back. In a minute, men burst out of the fort with big smiles on their faces.  You can be sure there was much joy! Pocahontas saw something else that made her smile, too.  Four boys a bit older than she came out with the other men.  She waved to the boys.  They waved back!  When the grown-ups were trying to talk to each other with their arms and hands, she said to them, “Want to play?”  


Men burst out of the fort with big smiles on their faces.


They did not understand her words.  But soon they were showing her how to play tag and stickball.  And she was showing them how to do cartwheels. After a while, Powhatan called, “Pocahontas! It’s time to go.” Every four or five days after that, Pocahontas came back with the others to the fort. Each time, Powhatan’s scouts carried corn, squash, and beans.  Sometimes for a special treat, maple sugar, too.  Pocahontas learned the names of her new friends – James, Nathaniel, Richard and Samuel. And they learned hers.  She also learned the name of their leader, John Smith.

As the days got shorter, the rain stopped coming. The corn in the fields dried up.  The squash and the beans on the vine dried up.  Berries on the bushes dried up. “We cannot take food to the fort anymore,” said Powhatan.  “We need to save all we have so our people will make it through the winter.  We must go to the fort and tell them.”


“We cannot take food to the fort anymore,” said Powhatan.


When the men in the fort heard the news, they got angry.  They marched into their cabins.  They came out with guns, and shot the guns into the sky. Powhatan got angry, too.  He said, “I warn you, white men!  Do not go anywhere near our village!  If you do, you will be sorry!”  The men of Jamestown could not understand what Powhatan was saying.  But they could tell from his face that they were not friends anymore.

Soon after that, John Smith was going through the woods looking for food.  He was close to the village of Powhatan.  Too close.  Powhatan’s brother and some of the tribe saw him pass.  In a flash, they jumped out at him.  They held John Smith down and took him back to Powhatan’s village. “Now it will be done, once and for all,” said Powhatan.  “I will be Chief to all the people in the fort.”


“Do not go anywhere near our village!  If you do, you will be sorry!”


That winter, John Smith could not leave the village.  Still, Powhatan made him feel at home.  Pocahontas, who knew him from before, spent time with him.  Day after day, they would teach each other the words that each other’s people spoke. 

As the snow melted, the people of Powhatan’s village started to get ready for a festival.  Powhatan called John Smith into his longhouse.  “The festival will soon be here,” he said. “What festival?” said John Smith.  Now he could better understand what Powhatan was saying. “The festival to mark the time when your people join my people.  When I become your Chief.” “That will never happen!” shouted John Smith. Powhatan did not know the words the young man was saying.  But the Chief could tell that John Smith was angry.  “Your people have no choice!” said Powhatan. “If you will not join my tribe, you must die!”


“That will never happen!” shouted John Smith.


No one saw Pocahontas slip into the longhouse.  Powhatan said: “Put his head on the rock!” Two strong braves grabbed John Smith and pushed his head down on a rock.  Powhatan lifted a large rock above him, ready to strike. “No!” the girl cried out.  All of a sudden, Pocahontas rushed up and bent over John Smith, placing her own head over his.  Powhatan held the rock high in the air. “Pocahontas!” he cried out.  “Move away!” “I will not move!” she said, turning her head to the side.  “Let him be.  Let all of them be!” Powhatan held up the rock.  Then, he lowered his arms.  “My daughter,” he said in a soft voice. “You are right.  No good can come from hurting these people.”

After that, Powhatan set John Smith free.  Powhatan’s tribes brought food again to the men in the fort, this time smoked meat and fish.  In return, the men in the fort gave them glass beads and copper.  They traded what they could, and each was the better for it.


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