Hercules and His Labors Greek Myths

Hercules (Heracles) and His Labors ~ Greek Myth Stories 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 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 days were still hot.  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 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 getting 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.  Said her father: “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 head over his own.  Powhatan held the rock high in the air. “Pocahontas!” he cried out.  “Move away!” “I will not move!” said she, 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.

end









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Demi-God Maui Moana

Tales of the Demi-God Maui Moana ~ Legend Stories for Kids 4.57/5 (7)

Tales of the Demi-God Maui Moana ~ Legend Stories for Kids 

These are short Legend Tales of the Demi-God Maui Moana. It is part of our Classic Bedtime Stories for Kids Collection. It has been adapted from the Tales of Maui as well as Disney's version of Moana. This version is brought to you by Stories to Grow by

 

If you saw Disney’s movie Moana, you know the song “You’re Welcome.”    

In the song, Maui told Moana about his amazing deeds.  Why - he pulled up the islands from the sea, he lifted the sky, he even found fire and gave it to humans!  As a demi-god, Maui was born with special powers. Demi-god means one parent is a god and the other is human. Maui’s father was the god and his mother was human.

People from the Pacific islands tell many stories about Maui the demi-god.  Their stories about Maui are not quite the same as what you saw in Moana. The way they tell it, Maui may have three or four brothers. Or he may have a sister named Hina.  If someone from those islands told you stories about Maui, they may sound like this:




Maui Pulls Up the Islands

One day Maui said to his four brothers, “Come fishing with me today!  Let’s go far out to sea. The fish are much bigger and better there, than they are close to land.”  

“Okay!” said his brothers.  They were good fishermen and wanted those big fish.  The four brothers and Maui jumped into their canoe and started to row.  When they got far out to sea and could no longer see land, Maui jumped onto the end of the canoe.  He drew out his magical fishing hook. When his brothers were looking ahead, he cast the hook over the side of the canoe.  The hook sunk down deep into the blue water.  

 

When his brothers were not looking, he cast his hook into the blue waters.

 

Soon, the magical hook stuck fast to the bottom of the sea. Maui pulled the fishing line tight.  He called out, “See that tug? I must have hooked a giant fish!”

“Wow, I see that!” said one brother. 

"That is some fish you caught!" said another.

“My brothers!” Maui called out.  “Paddle hard so we can bring up this great fish!”

The brothers paddled with all their might.  They paddled so hard they did not see that the hook was pulling up the land from the bottom of the sea.  Behind them, one island after another rose from the sea!

Legend says that is how Maui made the islands, where the people now live.

 

Maui Catches the Sun

One day, Maui wanted to see how life was for the people who lived on the islands.  But what he saw there made his heart skip a beat. Life was very hard for them. And he could see why - the days were just too short!  There was not time in a day for people to do what they needed to do, like making and cooking food. If they laid out a wet blanket on the sand, the blanket would still be wet the next day.  There was not even time for the fruit in the trees to get ripe.

“It is that Sun!” said Maui.  “He is racing too fast across the sky!  He is not thinking about the people who live down below, on the islands.”  

Maui knew it was up to him, a demi-god, to slow down the Sun. But how?  He asked his brothers. He asked his sister Hina. He asked still others that he knew.  

“Who do you think you are, Maui?” said one.  “No one can catch the Sun!”

“Even if you are a demi-god,” said another, “you know very well the Sun is too big and bright for anyone to stop.”

 

Maui knew it was up to him, a demi-god, to slow down the Sun.

 

But Maui’s sister Hina did not say these sorts of things.  She cut off her long hair.  She tied the hair into ropes and gave the ropes to Maui.  From those ropes, Maui made a giant lasso.  

That night, Maui took his lasso up to the very tallest mountain on the islands of Hawaii.  The mountain had once been an active volcano. Years ago it had sent out waves of hot lava.  When the volcano was over, a big crater was left at the top of the mountain.  And that crater is where Maui planned to catch the Sun.

By the crater Maui waited, very still.  He hid the lasso behind him, out of view. When the Sun rose at dawn, it started to race across the sky very fast.  Soon that Sun was flying over the mountaintop. Brave Maui flung the lasso over his head. The ropes caught!  The Sun tried and tried to move, but was trapped!

“Get me out of here!” shouted the Sun.

“Not yet!” said Maui.  “You are moving too fast across the sky.  It makes the days too short for the humans who live down below.”

 

The Sun tried and tried to move, but it was trapped!

 

“So I like to go fast!” said the Sun.  “Who cares? Let me out of here!”

“No!” said Maui in a big voice.  “I care! You have to stay here, in this crater!”  He pulled the lasso tight. But in his heart, Maui did not feel brave.  He did not know how much longer he could hold on. True, his lasso was stronger than any other rope in all the land.  But he did not know how long even a lasso made from his sister’s hair could last before the hot rays of the Sun would burn it up.  

The Sun tried to move again, but could not.  “Oh, very well!” the Sun said, at last. You can be sure Maui was very glad to hear that!  “I suppose I could slow down a little," said the Sun. "But only for part of the year.”

So Maui and the Sun worked out a deal.  For half the year, the Sun would move at a slow pace.  Those days would be long, and that would be the summer. For the other half of the year, the sun could run as fast as it wanted to do.  Those days would be short, and that would be the winter.

This is how Maui made the days longer for the people of the islands.  At last, they could do the tasks they needed to do. They could have a full dinner and rest after.  And the fruits on the trees grew big and sweet. 

end



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The Little Mermaid Story

The Little Mermaid Story ~ Bedtime Stories for Kids in English 5/5 (2)

The Little Mermaid StoryThe Little Mermaid Story ~ English Stories for Kids 

This is the fairy tale The Little Mermaid Story. It is part of our Classic Bedtime Stories for Kids Collection. It has been adapted from Hans Christian Anderson's version and Disney's version. It is brought to you by Stories to Grow by. 

 

Far out in the sea where the water is very deep, the Sea King ruled the undersea world.

In the deepest spot of the sea was his castle. The walls were made of blue coral.  On the roof were shells that opened and closed when the water passed by. And that is where the Sea King lived with his mother and four daughters, each one born a year apart.  

The youngest of the four princesses was the Little Mermaid. She spent much of her time swimming to ships that had fallen to the bottom of the sea.  The ships held treasures from the world above! She would fill her arms and set up her collection here and there. All the while she would sing. As she did, fish circled around to hear her.  For the Little Mermaid’s voice was the most beautiful one under the sea.

The girls knew that when they turned 15, they could swim up to the surface for the first time. It would be a long time that the Little Mermaid had to wait, as she was the youngest! So she made her grandmother tell her all about life up on land. Tales about ships and towns, and every bit of stories about humans that she knew.  




 

For the Little Mermaid’s voice was the most beautiful one under the sea.

 

Soon the eldest sister turned 15.  She was the first to be allowed to rise up to the surface.  When she came back, she had many wonders to tell her sisters about!  She told about resting on soft white sand. High above was a deep blue sky with puffy white clouds.  Later the sun set, she said, and the whole sky turned gold and red. She had watched the birds fly high above her, dipping and making turns in the red and gold sky.

When the next sister turned 15, it was winter. She told of icebergs floating in the sea and shining bright.  All the ships stayed far away from the icebergs, she said, as if in fear. But the icebergs did not seem lonely.  They were like friends, floating close to each other. 

When it was the third sister’s turn, she told about moving as close as she could to the gate of a town. She heard people call out, horses that went clip, clopping down the street. And even music that she had never heard before.  




 

When she came back she had many wonders to tell her sisters about!

 

All this the Little Mermaid heard with wonder.  It wasn’t fair that she had to wait the longest!  At last the day came when she turned 15, too. Now she could rise up over the surface and see for herself.  

When she came up over the water, the Little Mermaid was next to a large ship. On the ship beautiful music was playing.  Sailors were dancing on the deck. They were laughing and having a fine time. It must be a party! Now and then as the waves lifted up the Little Mermaid, she could see better.  A handsome young man stepped out on the deck. When he did, a hundred rockets rose in the air. The party was for him. Was it his birthday? She swam closer. The men all seemed to like that young man.  When he spoke, the sailors would laugh. Sometimes they patted him on his back in joy. Once that made his crown fall off. The men laughed and picked it up. “A crown,” said the Little Mermaid.  “He must be a prince.”

 

At last the day came when she turned 15, too.

 

Suddenly, it became very dark and the wind picked up.  The sailors started to run about on deck.  They pulled down the sail. The ship dipped and swooped.  It rolled side to side, and up and down on the high waves.

Then lightning.  Thunder.  A strong rainstorm hit.  The poor ship started to tip on the rough waves!  It was so dark that the Little Mermaid could see nothing.  Then lightning lit up the sky, and she could see the young prince on deck.  He seemed to be the only one still there! He was working hard to keep the ship afloat.  He was throwing ropes out to his men who had jumped. But then, all at once, the waves got very high and the ship started to tip over.  The Prince was flung to the side of the ship and thrown overboard! Down into the sea he fell.

He dropped very fast.  What was the Little Mermaid to do?  She knew that human beings cannot live under the water. She dove deep and fast.  She reached out and was able to grab his shirt. Then she swam up to the surface as fast as she could.  At last she could pull his head above the water. There the two of them floated as the waves rose and fell.  By morning, the storm had passed. Yet the prince was as still as he had been all night. From far off the Little Mermaid saw tops of hills.  “Land!” she said.

She swam to the shore, pulling him behind her.  It was not easy to pull the young man up onto dry sand, but she did it.  Was he dead? She sang a sad song. All of a sudden, the prince started to move.  “Oh! Are you all right?” she asked, and touched his forehead.

 

All of a sudden, he started to stir.

 

Just then, she heard a group of girls come over.  At once, she dove into the sea and hid behind a rock.  They must not see her - a mermaid! The girls found the prince, who was now awake. They called for help and soon he was led off. The prince would never know that she had saved him.  The Little Mermaid sank into a deep gloom. When she went back home, her sisters wanted to know all about her trip.  But she was too sad to say anything.

Days went by.  Then weeks. The sisters went to their grandmother for help.  The old woman went to her granddaughter. “Child, what is the matter?” she said.

The Little Mermaid cried out, “Grandmother, I will never be happy again!” She told about meeting the prince and saving him.  Then having to leave him behind. “Unless I can somehow walk on land and be with that young man, I will be sad for the rest of my days!”  

“My dear,” said the grandmother, “you know as well as I do that it is not possible for a mermaid to walk on two legs!  Why, the only one who can do anything like that is the Sea Witch. But of course it is much too dangerous to go to her.”

The Sea Witch!  Before she knew it, the Little Mermaid was headed to the far corner of the sea, where the Sea Witch lived.

 

“The only one who can do that is the Sea Witch.”

 

“This is no problem,” said the Sea Witch when the Little Mermaid told her what she needed. “I fix problems much harder than this.  Why, to have legs all you need to do is to drink my potion.” Then she turned to face the girl. “But I don’t just give it away, you understand.”

“Oh!” said the Little Mermaid.  “What then is your price?” In her heart, she felt a lift.  So there was a way she could have two legs and be with the prince after all!  

“Oh, not too much,” said the Sea Witch.  “For one, you must give up your voice.”

“My voice?” said the Little Mermaid.  She knew her voice is what everyone loved about her the best.

“You don’t need it,” said the Sea Witch.  “Chitter, chatter, what a waste of time! But know this, little pretty.  If the prince marries someone else, the next day you must die. And your voice will stay with me forever.  But then again, who knows? He might choose YOU....”

The Little Mermaid’s heart leaped.  

The Sea Witch held out a glass with the green potion.  “So!” she said. “What are you going to do? Make up your mind!  I don’t have all day.”

The Little Mermaid took the potion and drank it.  At once she felt dizzy and in pain, as if a sword was being passed through her body. She spun and jerked about, then fell.  When she awoke, she was on the same dry land as when she had rescued the prince. Lifting up her head, she could see that her dream had come true.  Where her tail had been, she had two human legs!




 

The Little Mermaid took the potion and drank it.

 

“Say, Miss, are you in trouble?”  It was none other than the prince! She tried to say something but no words came out of her mouth.  “Can you not speak?” said he. She shook her head “no.” “Oh! Well then, let me take you to the castle.  You can clean up there and get some dry clothes to wear.”

You can be sure the Little Mermaid was very happy to join the prince at the castle!  At first, walking on her two legs was shaky. But soon she got the hang of it. That night, the prince showed her around the castle rooms.  He would point to a portrait and tell her all about the person. When he said something funny, they laughed together. When the story was sad, her kind eyes told him that she knew why and she felt sad, too.

The next day was a royal party.  The prince had not been not looking forward to going to it. Hours of standing with finely-dressed people who talk and talk and have nothing to say!  He asked the Little Mermaid if she might come with him. She nodded a big “yes”! That day, with the Little Mermaid by his side, the prince felt glad.  Sometimes he would make a comment in a low voice to her. And by her eyes and face, he knew that she understood.

After that, the prince wanted the Little Mermaid by his side every day.  He thought he could even fall in love with her. But he still held out hope to marry the one with the lovely voice he remembered from when he had been rescued.  Of course, it could not be his wonderful new friend who was not able to talk, let alone sing.

 

By her face and eyes, he knew that she understood.

 

The King called for his son one day.  “Son,” he said, “your mother and I have made a decision.  It is time that you took a bride. Lucky for you that we already picked one out for you.”

“What!?” said the prince.  He only wanted to marry the woman with the beautiful voice that he remembered.  “Who is she?”

“A princess from a nearby land.  Tonight she is coming with her parents.  We will make the wedding plans.”

The prince was crushed.  And the Little Mermaid felt fear.  She knew what would happen to her the day after the prince married someone else!

That night her troubles got even worse.  What the Little Mermaid did not know was that the Sea Witch had put her voice into this princess.  She was a stuck-up princess who thought only of herself. Yet when she spoke, it was the Little Mermaid’s voice that came out! The prince was stunned. He asked the princess to sing. It was the Little Mermaid’s voice that filled the room. The prince could not believe his luck!  At last, he could marry the woman he had longed for all this time! When he shared his joy with the Little Mermaid, she tried to show that she was happy for him.  But gloom filled her heart.

 

The Little Mermaid felt fear.  She knew what would happen to her when the prince married someone else!

 

The next morning at dawn, the Little Mermaid went to the sea. Her sisters, worried since they had not heard from her, rose above the water to see how she was.  Their youngest sister let them know the trouble she was in. The prince’s wedding was going to take place the very next day! And the day after that she must die. The sisters said not to worry, that they had an idea!  They told her to come back to the shore later that night. Then they dove back into the sea.

That night, the Little Mermaid came back to the shore as she was told to do.  The three sisters rose up again. Gone was their beautiful long hair. For they had cut it all off to give to the Sea Witch in exchange for a knife.  With the knife, the Little Mermaid must kill the princess that very night. Then the wedding could not take place and she could return to the sea and be with her family.  She took the knife for she knew how much they had done for her in love. But in her heart she knew she was not going to kill the princess.

The wedding day had arrived.  The Little Mermaid stepped up to the wedding ship with the other guests.  The wedding would take place at sunset.

In the meantime, the three sisters had returned home.  They were met with an angry father. “Where is your sister?” the Sea King shouted. “Where have you all been?”

They told the father the trouble their youngest sister was in. The father swam up to the wedding ship.  He saw the prince and princess getting ready to marry. He knew that his daughter did not use the knife the night before.  

At once, the Sea King rushed to see the Sea Witch.  She laughed. She said there was only one way to save his youngest daughter from her fate.  If he would just hand over his scepter to her, the Little Mermaid could be saved. With the scepter in her hand, the Sea Witch would rule the underworld kingdom!  The Sea King took a deep breath. What else could he do? So, he agreed.




 

The wedding was to take place at sunset.

 

The Sea Witch grabbed the scepter and laughed in glee.  She rushed to the wedding ship to see her victory. The Little Mermaid saw the Sea Witch rise out of the sea.  She saw that with the scepter, the Sea Witch had become a huge sea monster. Tentacles were twisting out from all over her body like an octopus.  The Little Mermaid knew she must protect the prince and even his new bride. So she took out the knife. Just then, one of the Sea Witches tentacles reached out and lifted the Little Mermaid right off the ship!  “This is the end for you!” crowed the Sea Witch.

Before the Little Mermaid knew it, she was wrapped up by the tentacle.  She was spun to the very chest of the Sea Witch. And the knife she was holding – the Sea Witch’s very own knife – she used it and dove it deep into the chest of the monster.

The Sea Witch reeled back in pain and the Little Mermaid was freed. On the ship, the guests ran around in fear.  The prince shot arrow after arrow at the monster.  Finally, the Sea Witch dropped down under the water.  As she fell, the Little Mermaid’s voice was let go, and it returned to her.    

The princess then shouted in a gruff harsh voice, “What a lousy kingdom this is!  You can’t even have a proper wedding!” The prince heard the princess and knew that she was not who he thought she was.  Then the Little Mermaid started to sing. The prince knew that the voice he remembered belonged to the very one he had grown to love.

The angry princess stormed off the wedding ship.  And her family followed close behind.

When the Sea King arrived, the scepter was floating in the sea, as if it were waiting for him.  With a sweep of his arm, it was his again.

“Well!” said the Sea King.  “I see my daughter is in good hands.” and, with a wave of his scepter, he lifted the Little Mermaid back onto the ship.

The prince put his arms around her. “Now I know it was you all along!” said the prince.  “Will you marry me?” The Little Mermaid had her voice back now.  But with all the happiness in her heart, she could not manage to speak. So she nodded “yes” with a warm smile.  And a wedding on board ship took place after all.

end

Question 1: Do you think it was a smart choice for the Little Mermaid to give up her voice for legs? Why or why not? 

Question 2: How do the Little Mermaid's sisters and father show how much they love her? 

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Sword in the Stone King Arthur and the Legend of the Sword in the Stone

The Sword in the Stone, a King Arthur Legend of the Sword Story for Kids 4.75/5 (4)

King Arthur and the Legend of the Sword in the Stone

The Sword in the Stone, a King Arthur Legend of the Sword Story ~ Legends Stories for Kids 

This is the Tale of The Sword in the Stone, a King Arthur Legend of the Sword Story. It is one of the many tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It is adapted and brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

Long ago in England, a wise and just king ruled the land.  His name was King Uther. Times were good and the people lived well.  King Uther wanted a magician at court. And so he chose the famous Merlin the Magician.  Merlin could see into the future. And he knew those good days were not going to last.

King Uther and the Queen Guinevere had a child, a baby son.  At a castle party for the royal birth, Merlin the Magician took the King aside.  He said, “Sire, there is something you must know. Soon a great darkness will fall over this land.  Your child is in great danger. Let me take the baby far away. I will be sure he stays safe.”

“Merlin!” said the King in surprise. “You are a great magician.  And you are my friend. But there is no way we would let anyone take our child away!”




 

Sire, there is something you must know.”

 

Sadly, soon after the child’s birth the Queen died.  Not long after, King Uther was killed in battle. That very night, Merlin swept into the castle and took the child.  The next morning, the royal nurse went into the nursery. Alas, an empty crib! In fear, the nurse, the nobles and servants looked everywhere.  But the baby was gone!

For years, there was no king to sit on the throne.  No king to set the laws. Men of high rank fought each other to be king.  Darkness fell over the land. Robbers and bands of wild men ruled the streets of London.  Evil men broke into houses and took what they wanted. Travelers on the roads were jumped and robbed.  The people of England lived in fear.

Yet far away, there was a quiet place.  A good knight, Sir Ector, lived in peace with his two sons.  His first son was named Kay. His younger son Arthur had been adopted as a baby.  Years before, a stranger had come to Sir Ector with a baby. He asked if Sir Ector would raise the child.  The old knight took the baby in his arms, glad for a second child. He named the baby Arthur, and raised the child as his own.




 

Yet far away, there was a quiet place.

 

When Arthur was ten years old, the same stranger returned to Sir Ector’s home.  He could read and write, and so Sir Ector hired him to teach his two sons. Kay could not sit still for lessons and he stopped coming.  But Arthur listened with wide eyes. He learned everything. I bet you have guessed by now who that stranger was – none other than Merlin the Magician!  

At the end of each day when Arthur finished his chores, that was time for the lessons.  Merlin would sit with Arthur for hours and teach him about the world. Arthur was a thin lad, not strong like his big brother Kay.  Merlin said not to worry about that. He said what mattered most was to have a heart that was big and strong. Merlin saw how the foxes and deer followed Arthur.  He could see that the boy had a very big and strong heart.

By the time Arthur was 16, his brother Kay had become a knight.  He was now called Sir Kay. Arthur loved nothing more than to serve his brother as a squire.  He kept great care of his brother’s tunic and helmet, his spears and lances.




 

Merlin saw how the foxes and deer followed Arthur.

 

One day at lesson time, Merlin looked away.  He stood up.

“What is it?” said Arthur.

“The people need hope,” said Merlin.  “Arthur, there is something I must do.  I must go now.”

That night, when the nighttime was at its most dark, Merlin the Magician came to London’s market square.  He stood in the middle of the square. He held both his arms high. And pointed his wand to the stars.

The next morning at dawn, people started to arrive at the market.  There in front of them was something most odd. A block of white marble stood in the middle of the town square.  Resting on the block was a giant stone the size of a very large rock. At the very top of the stone there was a golden sword handle and a few inches of the blade, shining in the sun.  Yet – this was most odd – the rest of the blade was buried deep into the stone. None of this was there the day before!

 

There, in front of them, was something most odd.

 

What’s more, these words could be seen on the top of the blade:

“Whoever pulls out this sword from this stone is the true king of England!”

As soon as the crowd knew about the message, men jumped up to that white marble block.  One after another, they gave the sword a yank. Each tried and tried, but the sword stuck fast.  It would not move.

One said in gloom, “There is no man alive who could pull out that sword!”

“We’ll see about that!” said a voice in the crowd.  The Duke of Cornwall, dressed in silks and ribbons, stepped up to the white marble block.  “Hear ye, hear ye!” he said. “I call for a tournament to be held, one month from today. Knights from anywhere and everywhere in England are invited to come.  There will be contests and prizes. And a grand feast for all!” The Duke said to his wife, the Duchess, “If I know men, this tournament will draw the strongest, finest knights in all of England!”  

Said the Duchess, “Good idea, my dear.  All we need is one knight who is so strong he can pull that sword from the stone.  Then we will have a king again, at last!”




 

I call for a tournament to be held, one month from today.”

 

The people danced and cheered.  At last there was something to feel happy about! News of the tournament traveled fast.  From castle to village, to every far corner of the land. At last, word got to the far-away home of Sir Ector.  Sir Kay heard the news when he was polishing his helmet.

“Arthur!” he called out.  Arthur was by the woods, feeding birds from his hand.  He set down a pile of seeds for the birds, and a pile for the squirrels.  Then he ran fast to see his brother.

“There you are!” said Kay.  “There will be a tournament in London.  We must set out at once!”

What great news! Arthur had never been more than a few miles from home.  He would be the best squire ever for his brother! Arthur ran back to the house.  In the courtyard his father was getting the horses ready.

Sir Ector and his two sons rode through London on their way to the tournament.  Riding through the market square, something shiny glinted in the sun. “That sword looks like it goes right into that stone,” said Arthur.  “But how can that be? That’s impossible.” But why were guards standing all around it?

The father and his two sons reached the tournament. Sir Kay ran off to get in line to register.  Sir Ector greeted many old friends – dukes, earls, barons, counts and countesses. Arthur sat in their tent, polishing his brother’s helmet till it shone bright.

 

My goodness,” said Arthur.  “It looks like that sword goes right into the stone.  But of course that’s impossible.”

 

A bugle sounded.  The tournament was about to begin! “Get my sword, demanded Kay”  

“Right away,” said Arthur.  But where was it? Arthur looked around in panic.  Kay’s spear, battle-axe, and dagger were right where they should be.  But no sword. “Kay…” he said, “how about a battle-axe?”

“Arthur, I said my sword!”  

“Yes, of course,” said Arthur.  “But just a moment.”

“Be quick about it!” said Kay.




 

Kay’s spear, battle-axe, and dagger were where they should be.  But no sword.

 

Arthur ran back into the tent.  Maybe he had left Kay’s sword there?  He searched through the bag of armor and weapons.  How could he let such a thing happen? Then he had an idea.

Very fast, Arthur rode back to the market square.  The guards were not there anymore – they must have all gone to the tournament.  

Arthur stepped up on the marble block.  “Let’s see if that sword can get unstuck.”  He took hold of the handle of the sword. He moved the sword a bit.  “Hey!” he said. “It’s looser than I thought.”

With one big tug, the sword slid out.  Arthur was thrown back, but the sword was safe in his hands.  “I will be sure to bring it right back.” He raced to the where his brother was waiting.

“Here it is,” he said, handing the sword to his brother.

Kay took one look.  “Oh!” he said in surprise.

“What is it?” said Arthur.  But his brother was gone. Soon after, he heard his brother’s voice outside the tent.  “Father, I have something to show you.” Kay and his father stepped inside the tent.

 

Kay took one look.  “Oh!” he said in surprise.

 

“Look!” said Kay.  He pointed to the sword.

Sir Ector stared.  His face turned white.  “Kay,” said the father, facing his older son, “where did you get this sword?”

“It is mine!” said Kay, holding it close to him.  “I have it now.”

“Kay!” said the Father again in a stern voice.  “I will ask you one more time. Where did you get this sword?”

The young knight’s head dropped down.

“From Arthur,” he said.  “He lost my sword! Somehow he got this one.”

“Arthur?” The father turned to his younger son.  “How is it that you came by this sword?”

“It is mine!” said Kay, holding it close to him.  “I have it now.”

 

“I’m sorry!” said Arthur.  “Father, I will put it back right away.  I only meant to borrow it when I pulled it from the stone.”

“You must take us to where you found this sword.  At once!” The three of them rushed over to the market square.

Arthur climbed up onto the marble block.  “It came from here,” he said. He lifted the sword over his head.  Then he dropped the blade back into the stone. “Now it’s back.”

“Hey,” said Sir Kay.  “I still need a sword!”  He jumped up onto the marble block.  Grabbing the hilt of the sword, he pulled and pulled.  But it did not move.

Kay shouted to Arthur, “What did you do to it?”

“Nothing!” said the lad.

“You must have done something!” yelled Sir Kay.

“Hush! Both of you!” said the father.  “It is better if no one sees or hears us.”

But it was too late.  A crowd had already started to form.

“Hey! Did you pull that sword out of the stone?” called one.

“Yes,” said Arthur. “I did.”  

“Do it again!” called another from the crowd.  

“Yes, let’s see it!”

“Say!  Did you pull the sword out of that stone?” called one.

 

Arthur put his hands around the golden handle.  With one tug, the blade slid out.

“Who are you?” called another voice. “What’s your name?”

“Arthur,” said the lad.

“Wait a minute, put that sword back!” A tall knight pushed forward from the crowd.  “Anyone can pull it out, once it’s been pulled!”

“Go ahead.  Put it back, son,” said a voice.  It was the Duke of Cornwall, the one who had called for the tournament.

“All right,” said Arthur. He slipped the blade back into the stone, with ease.




 

Anyone can pull it out, once it’s been pulled!”

 

“Let me at that now!” said the tall knight.  He jumped up and grabbed the handle of the sword.  But pull and tug as he might, the sword would not move.  Not even a bit.

Another knight tried.  Then another. But no one could move the sword. Some waited, thinking the longer they pulled the sword, the looser it would get.  But when each man took their turn, the sword did not move for them.

“Let the lad try now,” said the Duke of Cornwall.  “Arthur, go ahead.”

Arthur stepped up to the stone again.  In one motion he freed the sword. This time, he held it high above his head.  The blade flashed in the sun. Amazed, the crowd did not know what to think.

One called out at last.  “He must be our new king!”

 

In one motion he freed the sword.

 

“We have a king!” called another. “At last!”

“Stop!” shouted the tall knight.  “Do you really think this skinny boy should rule over all of us?”

“Yes!” said a voice.  All eyes turned around.  It was Merlin the Magician.

“I know this boy. I know his heart.  There is no one in England who has a heart that is bigger and stronger than his.  The sword has told us this young man is to be the next king of England. And there is something else!”

A hush fell on the crowd.

“The lad,” said Merlin, pointing to Arthur, “is the true child of King Uther.  He is the missing baby!”

Cheers began to ring out.  “Hail, King Arthur!” called someone from the crowd.  

 

“Hail, King Arthur!” called a voice.

 

Sir Ector fell to his knees.  Then Sir Kay. One person after another fell to their knees, too.  All cheered. At last, a king had been chosen. A fresh young king, and a new day for England!

end




Discussion Questions: 

Question 1. Why did Merlin the Magician say Arthur had a heart that was big and strong?  Why did it matter?

Question 2. Arthur was surprised he was made king.  Tell about a time when something very good happened to you that you were not expecting.

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Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow Legend Story

Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow Story ~ Legend Stories for Kids 5/5 (5)

Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow Legend Story

Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow Story ~ Legend Stories for Kids 

This is the Tale of Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow, a Legend Story for Kids. It is one of the many adventures of Robin HoodIt is adapted and brought to you by Stories to Grow by.

In all the land, no one was better with a bow and arrow than Robin Hood.  He lived with his band of Merry Men in Sherwood Forest.  That was the woods where the King kept his royal deer.

A few years before, King Richard had ruled the land.  King Richard let people who were poor come into Sherwood Forest.  They could hunt the deer to get food for their families. But the time had come for King Richard and his army to leave England.  As soon as he was gone, his younger brother John took over the throne. Bad King John did not want anyone to come into Sherwood Forest anymore to hunt the royal deer.  From then on, anyone who was seen hunting the King’s deer in Sherwood Forest would be hanged!




Robin Hood did not like that one bit.  He moved into Sherwood Forest.  Dressed in green from his cap to his boots, the trees of Sherwood Forest could hide him as he hunted the King’s deer. Sometimes other brave men came into Sherwood Forest.  One by one they joined Robin Hood, and became his Merry Men.

Robin Hood and his Merry Men would hide when rich nobles and dukes passed through the woods.  Then all at once, they would jump out and rob those rich men. And Robin Hood would give the money to the poor.

The rich men who were robbed were not happy about it.  They went to the King.  They told Bad King John what was going on in Sherwood Forest. They said, "Something must be done about this!"  The King put the Sheriff of Nottingham in charge of Sherwood Forest. It would be his job to catch Robin Hood - once and for all!




 

And Robin Hood would give the money to the poor.

 

But the man in green was too quick.  His Merry Men would warn Robin Hood each time they saw the Sheriff of Nottingham or one of his guards in the woods.

So the Sheriff came up with a new plan.  “I will call for a great contest,” he said, “to find out who is the best in the land with a bow and arrow. The winner will go home with a Golden Arrow.” The Sheriff said in a low voice, “If I know Robin Hood, he will not be able to stay away from such a contest. And when he comes, we will catch him!”

“Robin Hood, don’t go to the contest!” said Little John.  Of all the Merry Men, Robin Hood trusted Little John the most. “It is a trap!” he said.  “When they see you, they will get you.”

Robin Hood said nothing.  He wanted to go.




 

“It is a trap!” said Little John.

 

On the day of the contest, ten fine bowmen lined up.  The round target was so far away it was hard to see its black and red circles.  One by one, each young man shot his best arrow. Some of the arrows landed on the target.  None came close to the center.

The Sheriff turned to one of his guards.  “Do you see him? Is he here?”

“No, Sire.  Robin Hood has red hair.  None of the ones who are shooting has red hair.”

“That wimp!” said the Sheriff.  “He fears me!  That is why he stayed away.”




 

The Sheriff turned to one of his guards.  “Do you see him? Is he here?”

 

Two bowmen were left.  The first was William, the Sheriff's man.  With care, William, took aim.  His arrow landed at the very center of the target - a bull’s eye!  The crowd cheered for William.

It was time for the last bowman.  His arrow sailed through the air, too.  It landed right through the bull’s eye arrow, cutting it in half!  In a flash, the bowman let go of two more arrows. Each one flew to where the Sheriff sat, pinning him to his seat, one arrow on each side.  

The Sheriff did not know what was going on!  Then the man in green pulled off a black wig and threw it on the ground.  

“Get him, you fools!” shouted the Sheriff.  “It's Robin Hood!”

But our hero jumped over the wall to a horse waiting for him.  He was gone! Robin Hood had escaped!

This tale, "Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow," is but one of the many adventures of Robin Hood, the most loved hero in all of England.  And one of the most loved heroes in the world.

end




Discussion Questions: 

Question 1. Did Robin Hood do the right thing when he went into Sherwood Forest to hunt deer after the King said no one could do it anymore?    Why or why not?

Question 2. If you were Robin Hood, would you have gone to the contest?  Why or why not?

Question 3. Say what you think this story was trying to show you.

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Swapping Places Folktale

Swapping Places ~ Folktale Stories for Kids 5/5 (2)

Swapping Places ~ English Story for Kids 

This is the Folktale Story of "The Husband Who Minded the House". It has been re-imaged into the folktale of "Swapping Places". It is brought to you by Stories to Grow by. 

In a small farm in Norway there lived a young man and his wife who loved each other very much.  But if you could see them at home, well, it may not be so easy for you to tell.

One day, the husband came home and looked about.  He did not like what he saw.

“This place is a mess!” he said.

“What do you expect?” said his wife. “There is yarn to spin and dinner to be made.  Our house is small. And we have a baby to watch.”

“It looks like the cow walked right through here!” he said.

“What if she did?” said the wife.  “It would not be the first time.”

 

“It looks like the cow walked right through here!” he said.

 

“When I come home,” he said, “our place should look better than this!  I leave at dawn and work all day in the fields.”

“Is that so?” said the wife.  “And who is up before dawn? Who do you think goes out to the henhouse so there is a hot egg breakfast ready for you?”

“When is the last time we had butter with our eggs?” he said.

“It takes a long time to make butter!” said the wife.  “You should try it!”

“Maybe I will!” said the husband. “I bet I could do everything around here just perfect!”

“Really?” said the wife.  “If you are so sure, let us swap places for a day.  I will farm the fields and you can take care of the house.  To spend the day walking up and down rows of dirt sounds like a vacation to me!”

 

“Really?” said the wife.  “If you are so sure, how about if we swap places for a day?”

 

“Bah!” he said.  “You’re on, wife!” And the two of them shook hands.

The next morning, the wife picked up a sickle – that is a tool used for cutting hay.  And with the sickle over her shoulder, she headed out the door.

When she was gone, the husband said to himself, “I will show her!  First, I will start that butter.” He pulled out the butter churn and poured in some cream.  He turned the crank over and over. Crank, crank, crank.  “Now I must have something to drink,” he said.  “We have a barrel of apple cider in the basement.  I will get some.”

In the basement, he had just pulled out the tap from the barrel when he heard the pig walk inside.

 

The husband said to himself, “I will show her!”

 

“Oh no, that pig will knock over the butter churn!” The husband ran upstairs.  But alas! it was too late. All the cream had run out. The pig was having a fine time with its nose to the floor, licking the rich cream.  

“Shoo!  Get out of here!” yelled the husband.  At last the pig was shouted and shoo’ed out the door.  But all the noise woke up the baby, who started to cry.

The husband remembered the tap in his hands.  With the hole open, did the apple cider all run out of the barrel?  He rushed down to the basement. As he feared, the cider lay in a big puddle on the floor.  The baby was still crying.

“I must deal with the baby, then go back to making butter,” he said.  He settled the baby, then he put more cream in the butter churn. Crank, crank, crank, all over again.  

 

“As he feared, the cider lay in a big puddle on the floor.

 

All at once, he remembered the cow.  She had been shut up in the barn since morning .  She had not been milked or fed, and it was nearly noon!

Then the husband got an idea.  It would take too much time to lead the cow out to the pasture, so what if the cow could eat grass from the roof of their house?  For you see, long ago people put grass on top of their houses for a roof. “All I have to do is lean a plank from the roof to the ground, and the cow will be able to walk right up to the roof.” And he felt very good about himself.

But the husband knew that before he went out to get the cow, he must take the butter churn.  For the baby was crawling on the floor and could tip it over. So he put the churn on his back and then headed to the barn.  

But first, the cow must have some water.  So he went to the well to pull up a bucket of water.  As he bent over the well with the bucket of water, all the cream from the churn spilled over his head and right down into the well!  

 

“All I have to do is lean a plank from the roof to the ground, and the cow will be able to walk right up to the roof.”

 

By then it was time to start dinner.  As he was making the porridge, he started to worry – what if the cow fell off the roof?  So he climbed up and tied a rope around the cow. He dropped the other end of the rope down the chimney.  And when he went inside, he tied the other end to his leg.

The husband was setting the pot of porridge on the fire for dinner when the cow, indeed, did slip off the roof!  As she fell, she dragged the husband right up the chimney. The cow hung in the air outside, swinging back and forth.  And the husband hung, upside down, stuck in the chimney.

In the fields, the wife had waited a long time for the call to come home for dinner.  But no call did she hear, so at last she decided to go home. When she did, much to her surprise, there was their cow swinging back and forth in the air.  Very fast, she cut the rope with her sickle. When she did, in a flash down dropped the cow. At the same time, down fell her husband head first down the chimney.  When the wife walked inside, there was her husband with his head in the porridge pot!

"What happened to you?" cried the wife.

His face was in the porridge so she could not hear what he was saying.

"Let me help you out of there," she said.  Soon he was standing up.

The wife ran a finger up his cheek and tasted the porridge.

"Hmm," she said.  "Not done." 

"I am done!" said he.  "No more work in the house for me!  How do you do it every day?"

The wife picked up the baby.  "I do what needs to get done," said she.  "I just hope there is enough porridge left in that pot for supper."

"Sit down and rest," said the husband.  "I will get what is left of it this time.  I must say, I am glad you are the one to take care of all the hard work in this house!"

end

 

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Folktales: How to Turn Dirt into Gold

How to Turn Dirt Into Gold ~ Folktale Stories for Kids No Reviews Posted.

How to Turn Dirt into Gold How to Turn Dirt Into Gold ~ English Story for Kids 

This is the Folktale Story of "The Old Alchemist". It has been re-imagined into the folktale of "How to Turn Dirt into Gold". It is brought to you by Stories to Grow by. 

If you ever wanted to turn dirt into gold, you are not alone.  Years ago, many people spent a lot of time trying to do this. They were called by a long name - “alchemists.”  Yet none of them could really pull it off. After all, who can really turn dirt into gold? You may be surprised to learn there is a way.  Hear this story and find out.

Long ago in a country called Burma, in Asia, there lived a young wife.  She loved her husband very much, but one fear was heavy on her mind.

“Husband,” said, “All day long you try to turn dirt into gold.  You do nothing else! Soon, I fear all of our money will be gone.”

“I do this for us!” said her husband.  “Someday we will both be rich, and you will thank me!”

“If we live that long,” said his wife in a quiet voice.  She knew she needed help, and so she went to her father’s house.

 

“I do this for us!” said her husband.  “Someday we will both be rich, and you will thank me!”

 

“Father,” she said.  “From morning to night, my husband tries to turn dirt into gold.  Soon we will be out of money. I try to talk to him, but he will not listen.  Please, will you talk to him?”

“My dear,” said her father, “of course.”  

“Thank you!”  She felt better already.

The next day, the father went to see his daughter’s husband.

“I hear you are trying to turning dirt into gold,” he said to the young man.

“I will do it!” said the young man. “It just takes some time.”

“I know,” said the father, and the young man looked up in surprise.  “Ah! There is something you do not know about me. When I was your age I, too, was an alchemist.”

“You were?” said the young man.

 

“When I was your age I, too, was an alchemist.”

 

“And not only that,” said the father, “but after many years I found out the secret.”

“You know how?”

“I do,” said the old man.  “But by then I was too old and it was too hard for me to carry it out.  I did not know anyone younger I could trust.” He looked at his son-in-law right in the eye.  

“You can trust me!” cried the young man.  He jumped up with joy.

Smiling wide, the two of them shook hands.

Then the older man told his son-in-law about a silver powder that grows on the back of banana leaves.  Seeds for the bananas must be planted in the ground while the words to a special magic spell are said. When the plants grow tall and ripe, silver powder from the back of the leaves must be brushed off and saved.

 

Smiling wide, the two of them shook hands.

 

“How much of this silver powder is needed?” said the young man.

“Two pounds,” said the father.  

“But that will take hundreds of banana plants!” cried the young man.

“Alas!” said the father. “That is why it was too much work for me to carry it out!  But now, I am able to lend you money to rent the land and buy seed.”

With the loan, the young man rented a large plot and cleared the land.  He planted the seeds while saying the magic spell over them that he had learned.  Each day, the young man walked the rows of young plants. With great care, he pulled out the weeds and kept the pests away.

When the banana plants grew tall and ripe, the young man brushed the magic silver powder from the back of their leaves.  But only a handful of the powder could be saved. He had to buy more land and grow more bananas. It took a few years, but at last he had the two pounds.  With great joy, he ran to his father-in-law’s house.

"I have enough of the silver powder!" he cried.

 

With great joy, he ran to his father-in-law’s house.

 

"Great!" said his father-in-law. "Now I will show you how to turn dirt into gold! But first you must bring me a bucket of dirt from the banana farm.  And you must bring my daughter - she is also needed."

The young man did not understand why, but he ran to the farm and dug up a bucket of the dirt.  Then got his wife at home, and the two of them went to the old man’s house.

The father asked his daughter, "When your husband was saving the banana powder, what did you do with the bananas?"

"Why, I sold them," she said. "That is how we have been able to live."

"Did you save any money?" asked the father.

"Of course," she said.

"May I see it?" said the old man. The young woman and her husband gave each other a quick look – this was odd!  But she went home and came back with a large bag. The father saw that inside the bag were gold coins.

“Set that down,” he said.  Then he took the bucket of dirt and dumped it onto the floor.  He took the bag and poured the gold coins in a pile, next to the dirt.

"You see," he said, turning to his son-in-law, "you have turned dirt into gold!"

The young man said, "What?"
 
"Oh, I get it!' said the daughter.  "My dear," she said, turning to her husband. "You farmed the dirt, and then we sold the bananas.  Now we have gold coins!"
 
"But that is not the magic I had in mind," he said.
 
The daughter gave her husband a kiss on the cheek, and she smiled.
 
"Well," he said,  "maybe there is some magic here."  
 
"Indeed," said the father.  "Now let's eat!"  
 
And the three of them sat down to a good, tasty dinner.
 
end
 
 
 

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The Ugly Duckling Story

The Ugly Duckling Story ~ Fairy Tale Story for Kids in English 4.67/5 (9)

The Ugly Duckling Story

The Ugly Duckling Story ~ A Fairy Tale Story for Kids in English 

This is the Fairy Tale The Ugly Duckling Story. It has been adapted from Hans Christian Andersen and is brought to you by Stories to Grow by. 

On a farm long ago, a Mama Duck sat on her nest.  “How long must I wait for my babies to hatch?” she said.  “I have to sit here all alone! And no one comes to visit me.”  But what could she do? A Mama duck must keep her eggs warm till they hatch.  

At last, the eggs began to crack.  One by one, yellow ducklings stepped out of their shells.  They shook their wings and said, “Quack, quack!”

“Look at all of you!” said Mama Duck with joy.  “You are all so cute!”

“Quack, quack!” they said.

Mama Duck said, “Come and line up.  We will go down to the lake for your very first swim.”  She counted – one, two, three, four, five. “Oh dear!” she said.  “I should have six ducklings!”

But one large egg was still in the nest. “Well," said Mama Duck, "it looks like that big egg will take more time.” So she had to go sit on her nest again and wait some more.




 

“Well," said Mama Duck, "it looks like that big egg will take more time.”

 

The next day, the big egg started to hatch.  Out came a baby boy bird. But if one may say so, it was an odd-looking thing.  This bird was much bigger than others. He was not yellow at all - he was dark-gray from his head to his feet.  And he walked with a funny wobble.

One of the yellow ducklings pointed.  “What is THAT? He cannot be one of us!”

“I have never seen such an ugly duckling!” said another.  

“How can you say such a thing?” said Mama Duck in a stern voice. “You are only one day old!  Your brother hatched from the very same nest as you did. Now line up. We will go to the lake for your very first swim.”

Yet the other ducklings quacked, “Ugly!  Ugly! Ugly!” The Ugly Duckling did not know why the other ducklings were yelling at him.  He took the last spot in the line.




 

“What is THAT?  He cannot be one of us!”

 

Each yellow duck jumped in the river and swam behind Mama Duck.  When it was his turn, the Ugly Duckling jumped in and started to paddle, too.  “At least he can swim,” Mama Duck said to herself.

When they left the water and started to play, the Ugly Duckling tried to play with his brothers and sisters, too.  They yelled, “Go away! We will not play with you! You are ugly. And you walk weird, too!”

When Mama Duck was close by, she would not let them talk in this way.  “Be nice!” she would scold. But she was not always close by.

One day, one of the yellow ducklings said to the Ugly Duckling, “You know what?  You would do us a big favor if you just went away from here!” All of them started to quack, “Get out!  Get out! Get out!”

“Why won’t they let me stay here?” said the Ugly Duckling to himself.  He hung his head down low. “Ah, they are right. I should go.”




 

“Get out!  Get out! Get out!”

 

That night, the Ugly Duckling flew over the farmyard fence.  He flew till he landed on the other side of the lake.  There he met two grown-up ducks.

“Can I please stay here for awhile?” said the Ugly Duckling.  “I have nowhere else to be.”

“What do we care?” said one of the ducks.  “Just don’t get in our way.”

“Woof! Woof!”  Suddenly a big hungry dog came tearing by, chasing the two ducks.  They quickly flew up in the air, and their feathers fell down on the ground.  The poor Ugly Duckling froze in fear. The dog sniffed and sniffed at the Ugly Duckling, then turned away.  “I am too ugly even for the big hungry dog to want,” said the Ugly Duckling with his head hung low.

The sky turned dark.  Crack!  A bolt of lightning.  Then came a big storm, with heavy rains pouring down from the sky.  In just moments, the Ugly Duckling was soaked through and through. Then a cold wind started to blow.

 

Suddenly a big hungry dog came tearing by, chasing the two ducks.

 

“Brrr!” he said with both wings held close to his chest.  “If only there was a place I could get dry.”

All at once, a tiny light blinked far off in the woods.  “Could it be someone’s hut?”

He flew to the door.  “Quack?” said the Ugly Duckling.  The door of the hut creaked open.

“What is all this noise?” said an old woman, looking right and left.  Her eyes were not that good. Then she looked down. “Ah, look at that, it’s a duck!”  She picked up the Ugly Duckling and dropped him inside her hut. “You can stay here, but only if you lay eggs,” she said.

A tomcat and hen crept up to the Ugly Duckling.  “Who do you think you are, coming in here and taking up room by the fire!” said the tomcat.  

“Squawk!” said the hen.  “I do not need anyone else in this hut laying eggs.”

“Do not worry about that,” said the Ugly Duckling.  “I am a boy duck.”

“Then why are you still here?” said the tomcat.  “Did you not hear what the old woman said?”

“Get out of here, pretender!” clucked the hen.  

“Get out!  Get out!“ hissed the tomcat.




 

“Why are you still here?” said the tomcat.

 

The door was still a bit open, so our poor Ugly Duckling slipped out the door, and back into the storm.

“No one ever wants me,” said the Ugly Duckling with a tear in his eye.  

The storm ended.  Soon he found a new lake.  Looking into the water, the Ugly Duckling saw the reflection of a flock of large white birds flying.  He looked overhead and could not believe what he saw. There, above him, were the most beautiful birds he had ever seen!  Their long white bodies and slender necks seemed to just glide through the sky. He watched until the very last bird had winged its way out of view.  

He stayed at that lake all by himself, and time passed.  The leaves of the trees turned deep red and gold, and then the leaves fell to the ground.  Winter came, setting a blanket of white snow all over. The cold wind and the dark clouds made the Ugly Duckling feel even more sad.  He had to go into the cold, cold lake to fish, but it was getting harder to swim.  The lake was turning to ice. One day, it was all he could do was to paddle the water to keep it from freezing around him, and trapping him in the lake.

“I am so tired!” he said, paddling with all his might.  The ice got thicker and drew closer to him.

In a moment, two giant hands swept him up.  “You poor thing!” said a farmer. He held the Ugly Duckling close to his thick wool jacket and took the bird to his home.  




 

“You poor thing!” said a farmer.

 

Never was a warm fireplace more welcome!  For the rest of the winter, the farmer cared for the Ugly Duckling.  Then spring came. Tips of green covered the trees. Short, bright flowers popped up from the ground.  

“It is time for you to go to the lake to swim again, as you were born to do,” said the farmer.  He took the duckling back to the lake where he had found him, and set him with care on the water.

“Gosh, I feel strong,” said the young bird, flapping his wings.  “Why, I never felt as strong as I do right now!”

He heard quiet splashing sounds behind him, and turned around.  A flock of those same beautiful birds he had seen in the sky before landed behind him on the water.

“Do not worry!” he said to them, holding out one wing.  “I will go now. I will not make trouble for you.” A big fat tear rolled down his cheek.  He turned to go away. When he opened his eyes, he saw a reflection in the water of one of those beautiful white birds.  Why was it so close to him? He jumped back. And the reflection jumped back, too.

 

A big fat tear rolled down his cheek.

 

“What is this?” he said.  He stretched his neck, and the reflection of the beautiful bird stretched its neck, too.

“Why are you going so soon?” said one of the beautiful birds.  

“Stay here, with us!” said another.  “We’ll be great friends.”

Then, the bird who used to be the Ugly Duckling knew what had happened!  He was no longer an ugly gray bird that wobbled when it walked. 

 

He was now a beautiful white swan! 

 

At one moment, all the swans flapped their wings and took off into the sky.  “Come with us,” one called back. “Take the lead!” So he flapped his wings fast and took his place in front of the whole flock.  All his new friends flapped their wings behind him.

“Say!” he said, gliding and dipping through the sky as he sped on.  “Who’s an ugly duckling now? Surely, Not I!”

end




Discussion Questions:

Question 1: Did you ever feel like you didn’t belong with others your age?  Tell about it.

Question 2: What made you feel better?

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Pinocchio

Pinocchio Story ~ Fairy Tale Bedtime Stories in English for Kids 4.63/5 (8)

Pinocchio Story

Pinocchio Story ~ A Fairy Tale Story in English for Kids 

This is the Fairy Tale Pinocchio Story, a Bedtime Story in English for Kids. It is brought to you by Stories to Grow by. 

A Boy Made of Wood

Long ago in Italy there lived on old clock-maker named Geppetto. Tick-tick-TOCK! Tick-tick-TOCK! went all the clocks in his shop. When he worked, Geppetto felt happy. But when he rested, a sad feeling came over him. “Ah!” he would think. “All my life and no child to call my own!”

One day Geppetto carved a puppet from wood in the shape of a boy. The arms and legs could move. He cut and sewed a nice outfit for the puppet, as if it were a real boy. "I will call you Pinocchio," said Geppetto.  That night, Geppetto lay the wooden puppet down onto the bed.

From out of the window, a big star twinkled bright.  Geppetto looked out the window to the twinkling star.  

“Bright star,” said Geppetto. “If I could make one wish, it would be that I could have a real boy of my own.” But of course, he knew that was not possible.




From out the window, a big star twinkled bright.


 

 

That night, the same big star swooshed right into Geppetto’s room. It changed into a Blue Fairy!  The Blue Fairy flew over to the bed.

“Little wood puppet,” said the Blue Fairy. “In the morning, you will be able to walk and talk like a real boy.” She tapped the puppet one time with her wand. “And if you can prove that you are brave and true, someday you will be a real boy.”

Pinocchio’s eyes opened.

“One more thing,” said the Blue Fairy. Suddenly. a cricket appeared. He was dressed mighty fine -and could talk! “Meet the Cricket", said the Blue Fairy. He will stay with you to help you make wise choices.” And with that, the Blue Fairy went swoosh and was gone! Out of the window and up into the night sky.

When Geppetto woke up the next morning, he said, “I will go take my puppet out of bed.” But the bed was empty!

“Here I am, Father!” said Pinocchio from the other side of the room.

Geppetto swung around. “What? You can talk?”




“Here I am, Father!”


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“Yep! I am Pinocchio, your boy!”

“How can this be?” said Geppetto in shock. Then he said, “But who cares?” He rushed over and swept the wooden puppet into his arms. “Pinocchio, my son!” he said in great happiness.

 

 

Off to School

One day Pinocchio said, “I want to go to school, like other boys.”

“Of course,” said Geppetto. But he did not have the money to buy schoolbooks.

Later that day, Geppetto came back home with schoolbooks. “Now you can go to school,” he said.

“But Father,” said Pinocchio, “where is your warm coat?”

With a wave of his hand Geppetto said, “No need to worry about that. What matters is that you will go to school tomorrow!” He did not want Pinocchio to know he had traded his warm coat to buy the schoolbooks.

The next morning, Pinocchio said good-bye to Geppetto. He skipped along the path to school, humming as he went. The Cricket rode on his shoulder, happy, too.

Coming up to them on the path was a Fox and a Cat.

“And where are you going on this fine day?” said the Fox.

“I am going to school!” said Pinocchio.

“On such a fine day as this?” said the Fox. “It is too nice to be stuck inside school! You should come with us, to the fair.”




I am going to school!” said Pinocchio.


 

“Listen to me,” said the Fox. He put his arm around Pinocchio’s shoulder. “Anything you need to know, you can learn at the fair.”

“Really?” said Pinocchio.

“Take it from me,” said the Fox.

“Pinocchio!" said the Cricket.  "He does not know what he is talking about!” 

The Fox covered the Cricket with his hat. No one could hear the little fellow as the Cricket tried to call out, “Pinocchio, do not listen to him!”

“Okay!” said Pinocchio. "Let's go to the fair!" And off they went. 

The Fair

What a fair it was! By the gate was a man dressed in white. He called out, “Come in, come in! Right this way! Get your tickets here!”

With a sad look Pinocchio said to the Fox and Cat, “I do not have any tickets.”

A man was selling old things at a table near the gate. He called, “Hey, you! Sell me those new schoolbooks of yours! That is how you can get money for tickets.”

The fair was so bright and colorful and exciting, that the next thing Pinocchio knew he had sold his schoolbooks for tickets.

“No, Pinocchio, stop!” called the Cricket, who finally got out from under the Fox’s hat. But Pinocchio, the Fox and the Cat did not hear him. They were already inside the fair.




The Man Who Ran the Fair

On stage was a puppet show! “I am a puppet, too!" said Pinocchio.  "I can dance like that!” He jumped right onto the stage and started to dance with the other puppets.

“Look at that new puppet!” someone called. “It has no strings!”

“No strings?” said another. “Amazing!”

Everyone laughed and laughed. They threw coins on the stage.

The man who ran the fair saw coins fly onto the stage. “Well, now!” he said, rubbing his chin. “This puppet with no strings will make me rich!”

The next thing Pinocchio knew, he was picked up and thrown in a birdcage. In the next moment, the door was locked shut.

“Hey, get me out!” called Pinocchio. But the person who had thrown him in just left the room. Only the Cricket heard Pinocchio's calls. The Cricket ran back and forth, in and out of the birdcage, trying to find a way to free the lock.  But he could not unlock it.

“I am stuck!” cried Pinocchio. "How did this happen to me?"



The Nose Grows

All of a sudden, poof! There was the Blue Fairy.

“Please!” said Pinocchio. “Can you help me?”

“Tell me something first,” said the Blue Fairy. “How did you get inside that cage?”

“Tell her what happened,” said the Cricket.

“Well…” Pinocchio stopped. Could he really tell the Blue Fairy what had happened? What would she think of him?

 


Tell me something first,” said the Blue Fairy. “How did you get inside that cage?”


 

“Um, I was robbed,” said Pinocchio.

“Is that right?” said the Blue Fairy with a frown. Pinocchio’s nose began to grow.

“Yes, robbed!” said Pinocchio. “By two mean men – no, four!”

The nose grew more.

“They took my books. They made me come here.  And they threw me into this cage!”

His nose grew longer and longer. Until Pinocchio could see nothing in front of his face but one big giant nose.

“Why is my nose so big?” Pinocchio cried out.

“Pinocchio!” said the Blue Fairy in a stern voice. “You must know what the truth really is.”

“I guess so,” said Pinocchio. “I wanted to come to the fair.  I came here with a Fox and the Cat.”

The nose grew shorter.

“I had to sell my books to get some tickets.”

“Had to?” said the Blue Fairy.

“I mean, I decided to sell my books to get tickets,” he said.

 


The nose got shorter.


 

The nose got shorter still.

“Then someone put me in this cage,” he said.

The nose was back to normal. “Good job, Pinocchio!” said the Cricket.

“Well done,” said the Blue Fairy. “Now I will get you out of here.”

With a wave of her wand, Pinocchio was out of the cage.

“Here are your books.” And Pinocchio was holding the same new schoolbooks in his hands again.

“Know this,” said the Blue Fairy, “you are on your own from now on. Make sure you do the right thing next time.” And she was gone.


The Coachman

Pinocchio was back on the road to school.  A Coachman drove up. “Hey kid, how about a ride?”

“No, thank you,” said Pinocchio. “I am going to school.”

“You will ride faster with me,” said the Coachman to Pinocchio. He said to himself, “He will ride faster all right, but not to where he thinks he is going!”

"Alright," said Pinocchio. "I want to get to school right away!" 

When Pinocchio was inside the coach, the Coachman said, “Say kid, why do you think boys like you go to school?”

“To learn things,” said Pinocchio. “And to grow up, I guess.  So we can do what we want.”

“Well,” said the Coachman, “what if I told you that could do what you wanted, right now?”

“Right now?”

“Yep! Think of it. Skip the books. Skip the school. Right now, how would you like to have all the candy you can eat!"

"All the candy?"

"Yep.  Ice cream, too.  Of every flavor. Ever want to smoke a cigar or play pool? All this and more, at Pleasure Island.”

“Pleasure Island?”

“Best place in the world for boys like you!”

“Don’t listen to him, Pinocchio!” shouted the Cricket.




Best place in the world for boys like you!”


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“Why wait?” said the Coachman. “I know just where Pleasure Island is. This is your lucky day, kid. So what do you say?”

“Let’s go there!” said Pinocchio. “I’m going to Pleasure Island!”

“Augh!” said the Cricket, waving his arms in the air.

Pleasure Island

After a while, the coach stopped.  “You got a boy with you in that coach?” said a dark stranger to the Coachman.

“Yep.” The Coachman grabbed Pinocchio and threw him down onto the ground. “He’s all yours. Now pay up.”

The Coachman reached out for something (was it money?) from the dark stranger. Then the Coachman drove off.

What could it all mean? But as Pinocchio looked around, he no longer cared. For everything the Coachman had told him was true! Heaps of candy all about. Tubs of ice cream in every flavor. Boys like him could eat and eat, and play all day.  None of them had to work or clean up. There were even cigars if you wanted one, and pool tables to play.

But after a few days, something was odd. “Where did all the boys go?” he asked the Cricket.

 


For everything the Coachmen had told him was true!


 

“All I see now are donkeys,” said Pinocchio.

“I must say, there used to be more boys around here,” said the Cricket.

Just then, one of his ears popped into a donkey ear.  Then his other ear popped into a donkey ear, too.

“Oh!” cried the Cricket. “What is happening to you?”

“I don’t know - HONK!” said Pinocchio.

Pinocchio and the Cricket saw a line of donkeys led by a dark stranger onto a truck. “Oh, no!” said the Cricket. “Now I get it! Boys get turned into donkeys here. Then the donkeys are sold! Pinocchio, we have to get you out of here, fast - while we still can!”

“Let’s go – HONK!” said Pinocchio. His two feet had popped into four.

“Run, quick!” said the Cricket. One good thing about Pinocchio’s new four legs is he could run very fast! Quick, quick, they ran out of Pleasure Island. Soon they were at a dock by the ocean.

“Please sir!” Pinocchio called out to a man by the dock. “I am looking for an old man named Geppetto. Do you know him? – HONK!”

“Sounds like you are getting a bad cold,” said the man. “Hmm, Geppetto. That’s the old man whose son left one morning and did not come back. He went out on a boat to look for him. No one has seen the poor fellow since.”

“Oh no! This is all my fault – HONK!” said Pinocchio. “I must look for my father!” Pinocchio jumped off of the dock into the ocean. The Cricket jumped in too, close behind.


The Whale

Most of Pinocchio was still made of wood, so he could float on the ocean. “Father!” he called out, paddling the water with his arms. “Father!” but there was no answer.

All Pinocchio could see around him was blue water, everywhere. Until – what was that, far away? Something was rushing up. Something big, and very fast!

In a moment, a giant whale was upon them. It opened its giant jaws and with one gulp, swallowed Pinocchio! Rushing inside with all the sea water tumbled Pinocchio and the Cricket. When they came to a stop, they saw that they were in the dark belly of the whale.

“Are you okay?” said Pinocchio to the Cricket.

“I am fine,” said a voice of an old man.

“Wait a minute,” said Pinocchio. “Father, is that you?”

There was Geppetto!

“Father, Father, it’s me!” said Pinocchio.

“My son!” said Geppetto. “I thought I was dreaming!”

They hugged in joy.




“Father, Father, it’s me!” said Pinocchio.


 

“Look!” said Geppetto as three fish swam by. “There goes our dinner!”

“Father, I have an idea! Let’s make a fire.”

“Grilled fish tonight!” said Geppetto.

“No, I mean for us to get out!” said Pinocchio. He gathered driftwood and got a flame going. “This is how we can make the whale sneeze!” he said. Pinocchio waved his arms over the flame to make a lot of smoke. Soon, clouds of black smoke were rising up.

The whale gave a cough. “Hang on!” said Pinocchio. And then… WHAM!! In one big sneeze, Pinocchio, Geppetto and the Cricket flew out of the whale’s mouth. Rolling over and over in the sea water, at last they rolled up onto the shore.

“Pinocchio?” Geppetto rose to his feet. The Cricket was there beside him.  But where was Pinocchio?




Hang on!” said Pinocchio.


 

And then they found him! Pinocchio was face down, his head in a puddle.

“Pinocchio!”

They were too late. Geppetto and the Cricket wept over Pinocchio, the boy puppet, who lay still in the water.

Then in a flash, who was there but the Blue Fairy!

“Pinocchio,” she said. “You saved your father. You proved that you are both brave and true.” She tapped his head with her wand. “And now you will be a real boy.”

Pinocchio woke up.  He looked at his soft arms and soft legs.

“Father!” he cried out. “Look! I am a real boy!”

“That you are!” cried Geppetto.

The Blue Fairy turned to the Cricket. “Come,” she said. In a flash, the two of them were gone.

And Pinocchio and Geppetto lived many long and happy years together.

end




Discussion Questions: 

Question 1:  Why did Pinocchio become a real boy in the end?

Question 2:  Tell about a time when you helped to save someone who was in trouble.

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