Tuesday, January 22, 2008


There was an enchanted mill, so that no one could stay there, because a she-wolf always haunted it. A soldier went once into the mill to sleep. He made a fire in the parlor, went up into the garret above, bored a hole with an auger in the floor, and peeped down into the parlor.

A she-wolf came in and looked about the mill to see whether she could find anything to eat. She found nothing, and then went to the fire, and said, "Skin down! Skin down! Skin down!" She raised herself upon her hind-legs, and her skin fell down. She took the skin, and hung it on a peg, and out of the wolf came a damsel. The damsel went to the fire, and fell asleep there.

He came down from the garret, took the skin, nailed it fast to the mill-wheel, then came into the mill, shouted over her, and said, "Good morning, damsel! How do you do?

She began to scream, "Skin on me! Skin on me! Skin on me!" But the skin could not come down, for it was fast nailed.

The pair married and had two children.

As soon as the elder son got to know that his mother was a wolf, he said to her, "Mamma! Mamma! I have heard that you are a wolf."

His mother replied, "What nonsense are you talking! How can you say that I am a wolf?"

The father of the two children went one day into the field to plow, and his son said, "Papa, let me, too, go with you."

His father said, "Come."

When they had come to the field, the son asked his father, "Papa, is it true that our mother is a wolf?"

The father said, "It is."

The son inquired, "And where is her skin?"

His father said, "There it is, on the mill-wheel."

No sooner had the son got home, than he said at once to his mother, "Mamma! Mamma! You are a wolf! I know where your skin is."

His mother asked him, "Where is my skin?"

He said, "There, on the mill-wheel."

His mother said to him, "Thank you, sonny, for rescuing me." Then she went away, and was never heard of more.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why the Vulture is Bald

The vulture was originally a humble old bird, and rather stupid. His plumage was not exceptionally beautiful, but quite passable. One day, however, the noticed that his feathers were falling off. He consulted other birds, who told him that he was merely moulting, and new would grow later. But the vulture was pessimistic, and soon became thin and sickly with worry about his plumage. At last the other birds took pity on him, and each gave him a feather to stick on his body. When all the birds had given his their feathers, the vulture looked a wonderful bird with a plumage of all colors.

The vulture now became conceited. He strutted about in his borrowed feathers, and declared that he was the most beautiful of all the birds. He became more and more proud until he asked the birds to recognize him as their king. At this insolence, the birds pecked off, no only the feathers that they had given the vulture, but also the vulture's own feathers. So when the birds had finished with him, the vulture looked old and ugly and bald. That is why even at the present day the vulture is a sour and ugly old bird.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Story of the White Pet

There was a farmer before now who had a White Pet (sheep), and when Christmas was drawing near, he thought that he would kill the White Pet. The White Pet heard that, and he thought he would run away; and that is what he did.

He had not gone far when a bull met him. Said the bull to him, "All hail! White Pet, where are you going?"

"I," said the White Pet, "am going to seek my fortune; they were going to kill me for Christmas, and I thought I had better run away."

"It is better for me," said the bull, "to go with you, for they were going to do the very same with me."

"I am willing," said the White Pet; "the larger the party the better the fun."

They went forward until they fell in with a dog. "All hail! White Pet," said the dog.

"All hail! dog."

"Where are you going?" said the dog.

"I am running away, for I heard that they were threatening to kill me for Christmas."

"They were going to do the very same to me," said the dog, "and I will go with you."

"Come, then," said the White Pet.

They went then, until a cat joined them. "All hail! White Pet," said the cat.

"All hail! oh cat."

"Where are you going?" said the cat.

"I am going to seek my fortune," said the White Pet, " because they were going to kill me at Christmas."

"They were talking about killing me too," said the cat," and I had better go with you."

"Come on then," said the White Pet.

Then they went forward until a cock met them. "All hail! White Pet," said the cock.

"All hail to yourself! oh cock," said the White Pet.

"Where," said the cock," are you going?"

"I," said the White Pet, "am going away, for they were threatening my death at Christmas."

"They were going to kill me at the very same time," said the cock, " and I will go with you."

"Come, then," said the White Pet.

They went forward until they fell in with a goose. "All hail! White Pet," said the goose. "All hail to yourself! oh goose," said the White Pet.

"Where are you going?" said the goose.

"I," said the White Pet, "am running away, because they were going to kill me at Christmas."

"They were going to do that to me too," said the goose, "and I will go with you."

The party went forward until the night was drawing on them, and they saw a little light far away; and though far off, they were not long getting there. When they reached the house they said to each other that they would look in at the window to see who was in the house, and they saw thieves counting money; and the White Pet said, "Let every one of us call his own call. I will call my own call; and let the bull call his own call; let the dog call his own call; and the cat her own call; and the cock his own call; and the goose his own call." With that they gave out one shout -- Gaire!

When the thieves heard the shouting outside, they thought the mischief was there; and they fled out, and they went to a wood that was near them. When the White Pet and his company saw that the house was empty, they went in and they got the money that the thieves had been counting, and they divided it among themselves; and then they thought that they would settle to rest. Said the White Pet, "Where will you sleep tonight, oh bull?"

"I will sleep," said the bull, "behind the door where I used to be."

"Where will you sleep, White Pet?"

"I will sleep," said the White Pet, "in the middle of the floor where I used to be."

"Where will you sleep, oh dog?" said the White Pet.

"I will sleep beside the fire where I used to be," said the dog.

"Where will you sleep, oh cat?"

"I will sleep," said the cat, "in the candle press, where I like to be."

"Where will you sleep, oh cock?" said the White Pet.

"I," said the cock, " will sleep on the rafters where I used to be."

"Where will you sleep, oh goose?"

"I will sleep," said the goose, "on the manure pile, where I was accustomed to be."

They were not long settled to rest, when one of the thieves returned to look in to see if he could perceive if any one at all was in the house. All things were still, and he went on forward to the candle press for a candle, that he might kindle to make him a light; but when he put his hand in the box the cat thrust her claws into his hand, but he took a candle with him, and he tried to light it. Then the dog got up, and he stuck his tail into a pot of water that was beside the fire; he shook his tail and put out the candle. Then the thief thought that the mischief was in the house, and he fled; but when he was passing the White Pet, he gave him a blow; before he got past the bull, he gave him a kick; and the cock began to crow; and when he went out, the goose began to belabor him with his wings about the shanks.

He went to the wood where his comrades were, as fast as was in his legs. They asked him how it had gone with him. "It went," said he, "but middling; when I went to the candle press, there was a man in it who thrust ten knives into my hand; and when I went to the fireside to light the candle, there was a big black man lying there, who was sprinkling water on it to put it out; and when I tried to go out, there was a big man in the middle of the floor, who gave me a shove; and another man behind the door who pushed me out; and there was a little brat on the loft calling out Cuir-anees-an-shaw-ay-s-foni-mi-hayn-da -- Send him up here and I'll do for him; and there was a shoemaker, out on the manure pile, belaboring me about the shanks with his apron."

When the thieves heard that, they did not return to seek their lot of money; and the White Pet and his comrades got it to themselves; and it kept them peaceably as long as they lived.