A brother took his sister by the hand and said, “Since our mother is dead we have no more happy hours: our stepmother beats us every day, and whenever we come near her she kicks us away. She gives us hard crusts and nasty scraps to eat, and the dog under the table fares better than we do, for he does sometimes get a nice bit thrown to him.
An ant went to the bank of a river to quench its thirst, and being carried away by the rush of the stream, was on the point of drowning.
Once upon a time there was an old goat. She had seven little kids, and loved them all, just as a mother loves her children. One day she wanted to go into the woods to get some food. So she called all seven to her and said, “Children dear, I am going into the woods. Be on your guard for the wolf.
Once upon a time . . . a big crow stole a lump of cheese and went to perch
on a branch of a tree to eat it in peace. A passing fox sniffed the air and
stopped below the tree, his mouth watering.
Once upon a time . . . a town mouse, on a trip to the country, met a
country mouse. They spent the day together and became friends. The country
mouse took his new friend into the meadows and vegetable gardens, making him
sample all the good things of the land.
It happened once upon a time that a certain Greek ship bound for Athens was wrecked off the coast close to Piraeus, the port of Athens. Had it not been for the Dolphins, who at that time were very friendly toward mankind and especially toward Athenians, all would have perished.
Once upon a time there lived a man and his wife who were very unhappy because they had no children. These good people had a little window at the back of their house, which looked into the most lovely garden, full of all manner of beautiful flowers and vegetables; but the garden was surrounded by a high wall, and no one dared to enter it, for it belonged to a witch of great power
Once upon a time . . . a little girl tried to make a living by selling
matches in the street.
It was New Year’s Eve and the snowclad streets were deserted. From brightly
lit windows came the tinkle of laughter and the sound of singing.
Far, far away where the swallows fly when we have winter, there lived a King who had eleven sons and one daughter, Elisa. The eleven brothers, Princes all, each went to school with a star at his breast and a sword at his side.
A certain king had a beautiful garden, and in the garden stood a tree which bore golden apples. These apples were always counted, and about the time when they began to grow ripe it was found that every night one of them was gone.
Hard by a great forest dwelt a poor wood-cutter with his wife and his two children. The boy was called Hansel and the girl Gretel. He had little to bite and to break, and once when great dearth fell on the land, he could no longer procure even daily bread.
Once, as a lion lay sleeping in his den, a naughty little mouse ran up his tail, and onto his back and up his mane and danced and jumped on his head …
…so that the lion woke up.
The lion grabbed the mouse and, holding him in his large claws, roared in anger. ‘How dare you wake me up! Don’t you know that I am King of the Beasts? Anyone who disturbs my rest deserves to die! I shall kill you and eat you!’
Once upon a time… a carpenter, picked up a strange lump of wood one day while mending a table. When he began to chip it, the wood started to moan. This frightened the carpenter and he decided to get rid of it at once, so he gave it to a friend called Geppetto, who wanted to make a puppet. Geppetto, a cobbler, took his lump of wood home, thinking about the name he would give his puppet.
There once lived a poor tailor, who had a son called Aladdin, a careless, idle boy who would do nothing but play all day long in the streets with little idle boys like himself. This so grieved the father that he died; yet, in spite of his mother’s tears and prayers, Aladdin did not mend his ways.
Many years ago there lived a king named Midas.
King Midas had one little daughter, whose name was Marigold.
King Midas was very, very rich. It was said that he had more gold than any other king in the world.
One summer day a grasshopper was singing and chirping and hopping about. He was having a wonderful time. He saw an ant who was busy gathering and storing grain for the winter.
Once upon a time there was a hare who, boasting how he could run faster than anyone else, was forever teasing tortoise for its slowness.
There once was a woman who wanted so very much to have a tiny little child, but she did not know where to find one.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little village located at the base of a tall mountain near evergreen forests and a lovely lake. This was the village of Hamelin. Oh, what a very special little place it was.
The Sea King had been a widower for many years, and his aged mother kept house for him. She was a very wise woman, and exceedingly proud of her high birth; on that account she wore twelve oysters on her tail; while others, also of high rank, were only allowed to wear six. She was, however, deserving of very great praise, especially for her care of the little sea-princesses, her grand-daughters.
Many years ago, there was an Emperor, who was so excessively fond of new clothes, that he spent all his money in dress. He did not trouble himself in the least about his soldiers; nor did he care to go either to the theatre or the chase, except for the opportunities then afforded him for displaying his new clothes. He had a different suit for each hour of the day; and as of any other king or emperor, one is accustomed to say, “he is sitting in council,” it was always said of him, “The Emperor is sitting in his wardrobe.”
Once there was a Prince who wanted to marry a Princess. Only a real one would do. So he traveled through all the world to find her, and everywhere things went wrong. There were Princesses aplenty, but how was he to know whether they were real Princesses? There was something not quite right about them all. So he came home again and was unhappy, because he did so want to have a real Princess.
There was once a very rich merchant, who had six children, three boys and three girls. As he was himself a man of great sense, he spared no expense for their education. The three daughters were all handsome, but particularly the youngest; indeed, she was so very beautiful, that in her childhood every one called her the Little Beauty; and being equally lovely when she was grown up, nobody called her by any other name, which made her sisters very jealous of her.
In times of yore, when wishes were both heard and granted, lived a king whose daughters were all beautiful, but the youngest was so lovely that the sun himself, who has seen so much, wondered at her beauty every time he looked in her face.
Now, near the king’s castle was a large dark forest; and in the forest, under an old linden-tree, was a deep well. When the day was very hot, the king’s daughter used to go to the wood and seat herself at the edge of the cool well; and when she became wearied, she would take a golden ball, throw it up in the air, and catch it again. This was her favourite amusement.
In the days of King Alfred, there lived a poor woman, whose cottage was in a remote country village, many miles from London. She had been a widow some years, and had an only child named Jack, whom she indulged so much that he never paid the least attention to anything she said, but was indolent, careless, and extravagant. His follies were not owing to a bad disposition, but to his mother’s foolish partiality. By degrees, he spent all that she had – scarcely anything remained but a cow.
The story of the Little Prince and his rose on a small planet, written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. “So I lived my life alone, without anyone that I could really talk to, until I had an accident with my plane in the Desert of Sahara, six years ago.”
Once there was a mother pig who had three little pigs. She did not have enough to keep them, so she sent them out to seek their fortunes.
The first little pig had not gone far when he met a man with a bundle of straw. The little pig said to him, “Please, man, give me that straw to build me a house.”
In the time of Richard the Lionheart a minor noble of Nottinghamshire, one Robin of Loxley, was outlawed for poaching deer.
Charged with treason and punishable by death, Robin took to the greenwood of Sherwood Forest, making a living by stealing from rich travellers and giving to the poor of the area.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks. She went for a walk in the forest. Pretty soon, she came upon a house. She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in. At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry.
Once upon a time there lived in a certain village a little country girl, the prettiest creature was ever seen. Her mother was excessively fond of her, and her grandmother doted on her still more. This good woman had made for her a little red riding-hood, which became the girl so extremely well that everybody called her Little Red Riding-Hood.
There was a miller who left no more estate to the three sons he had than his mill, his ass, and his cat. The partition was soon made. Neither scrivener nor attorney was sent for. They would soon have eaten up all the poor patrimony. The eldest had the mill, the second the ass, and the youngest nothing but the cat. The poor young fellow was quite comfortless at having so poor a lot.
Once upon a time there were formerly a king and a queen, who were so sorry that they had no children; so sorry that it cannot be expressed. They went to all the waters in the world; vows, pilgrimages, all ways were tried, and all to no purpose.
At last, however, the Queen had a daughter. There was a very fine christening; and the Princess had for her god- mothers all the fairies they could find in the whole kingdom (they found seven), that every one of them might give her a gift, as was the custom of fairies in those days. By this means the Princess had all the perfections imaginable.
Once upon a time in the middle of winter, when the flakes of snow were falling like feathers from the sky, a queen sat at a window sewing, and the frame of the window was made of black ebony. And whilst she was sewing and looking out of the window at the snow, she pricked her finger with the needle, and three drops of blood fell upon the snow. And the red looked pretty upon the white snow, and she thought to herself, “Would that I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window-frame.”
It was so beautiful out on the country, it was summer- the wheat fields were golden, the oats were green, and down among the green meadows the hay was stacked. There the stork minced about on his red legs, clacking away in Egyptian, which was the language his mother had taught him. Round about the field and meadow lands rose vast forests, in which deep lakes lay hidden. Yes, it was indeed lovely out there in the country.
Once upon a time at the foot of the mountains where the Po escapes from its bed of reeds to the neighboring plain, lived a youthful and gallant prince, the favorite of the whole countryside. Combining in himself all the gifts of body and spirit, he was strong, clever, skillful in war, and displayed great enthusiasm for the arts. He loved fighting and victory, too, along with all mighty endeavors and deeds of glory — everything which makes one’s name live in history. But more than all these, his greatest pleasure lay in the happiness of his people.
Once upon a time… there was a man and his wife fagot-makers by trade, who had several children, all boys. The eldest was but ten years old, and the youngest only seven.
They were very poor, and their seven children incommoded them greatly, because not one of them was able to earn his bread. That which gave them yet more uneasiness was that the youngest was of a very puny constitution, and scarce ever spoke a word, which made them take that for stupidity which was a sign of good sense. He was very little, and when born no bigger than one’s thumb, which made him be called Little Thumb.
There was, once upon a time, a queen who bore a son so ugly and misshapen that for some time it was doubtful if he would have human form at all. But a fairy who was present at his birth promised that he should have plenty of brains, and added that by virtue of the gift which she had just bestowed upon him he would be able to impart to the person whom he should love best the same degree of intelligence which he possessed himself.
This somewhat consoled the poor queen, who was greatly disappointed at having brought into the world such a hideous brat. And indeed, no sooner did the child begin to speak than his sayings proved to be full of shrewdness, while all that he did was somehow so clever that he charmed everyone.
Once upon a time there was a gentleman who married, for his second wife, the proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. She had, by a former husband, two daughters of her own humor, who were, indeed, exactly like her in all things. He had likewise, by another wife, a young daughter, but of unparalleled goodness and sweetness of temper, which she took from her mother, who was the best creature in the world.
Once upon a time there was a widow who had two daughters. The eldest was so much like her in the face and humor that whoever looked upon the daughter saw the mother. They were both so disagreeable and so proud that there was no living with them. The youngest, who was the very picture […]
Once upon a time there was a man who had fine houses, both in town and country, a deal of silver and gold plate, embroidered furniture, and coaches gilded all over with gold. But this man was so unlucky as to have a blue beard, which made him so frightfully ugly that all the women […]
Once uppon a time there was a poor woodcutter who, tired of his hard life, longed for rest in the world to come. In his unhappiness, he declared that in all his days heaven had not granted even one of his wishes. One day in the woods, as the woodcutter was complaining of his unhappy […]
There was once upon a time a king who was so much beloved by his subjects that he thought himself the happiest monarch in the whole world, and he had everything his heart could desire. His palace was filled with the rarest of curiosities, and his gardens with the sweetest flowers, while in the marble […]