Thursday, 27 October 2011

Over 50 million people in Asia are getting the latest updates from #ChurpChurp! Don't miss out on the fun here!

Over 50 million people in Asia are getting the latest updates from #ChurpChurp! Don't miss out on the fun here!

Over 50 million people in Asia are getting the latest updates from #ChurpChurp! Don't miss out on the fun here!

Over 50 million people in Asia are getting the latest updates from #ChurpChurp! Don't miss out on the fun here!

A serum that'll make ur skin feel all supple & smooth. #BeautyEssential #MilkADeal

A serum that'll make ur skin feel all supple & smooth. #BeautyEssential #MilkADeal

Over 50 million people in Asia are getting the latest updates from #ChurpChurp! Don't miss out on the fun here!

Over 50 million people in Asia are getting the latest updates from #ChurpChurp! Don't miss out on the fun here!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Snow MAN

   It is so delightfully cold, said the Snow Man, that it makes my whole body crackle. This is just the kind of wind to blow life into one. How that great red thing up there is staring at me! He meant the sun, who was just setting. It shall not make me wink. I shall manage to keep the pieces.

    He had two triangular pieces of tile in his head, instead of eyes, his mouth was made of an old broken rake, and was, of course, furnished with teeth. He had been brought into existence amidst the joyous shouts of boys, the jingling of sleigh-bells, and the slashing of whips. The sun went down, and the full moon rose, large, round, and clear, shining in the deep blue.

    There it comes again, from the other side, said the Snow Man, who supposed the sun was showing himself once more. Ah, I have cured him of staring, though, now he may hang up there, and shine, that I may see myself. If I only knew how to manage to move away from this place, I should so like to move. If I could, I would slide along yonder on the ice, as I have seen the boys do, but I don't understand how, I don't even know how to run.

    Away, away, barked the old yard-dog. He was quite hoarse, and could not pronounce Bow wow properly. He had once been an indoor dog, and lay by the fire, and he had been hoarse ever since. The sun will make you run some day. I saw him, last winter, make your predecessor run, and his predecessor before him. Away, away, they all have to go.

    I don't understand you, comrade, said the Snow Man. Is that thing up yonder to teach me to run? I saw it running itself a little while ago, and now it has come creeping up from the other side.

    You know nothing at all, replied the yard-dog, but then, you've only lately been patched up. What you see yonder is the moon, and the one before it was the sun. It will come again to-morrow, and most likely teach you to run down into the ditch by the well, for I think the weather is going to change. I can feel such pricks and stabs in my left leg, I am sure there is going to be a change.

    I don't understand him, said the Snow Man to himself, but I have a feeling that he is talking of something very disagreeable. The one who stared so just now, and whom he calls the sun, is not my friend, I can feel that too.

    Away, away, barked the yard-dog, and then he turned round three times, and crept into his kennel to sleep.

    There was really a change in the weather. Towards morning, a thick fog covered the whole country round, and a keen wind arose, so that the cold seemed to freeze one's bones, but when the sun rose, the sight was splendid. Trees and bushes were covered with hoarfrost, and looked like a forest of white coral, while on every twig glittered frozen dew-drops. The many delicate forms concealed in summer by luxuriant foliage, were now clearly defined, and looked like glittering lace-work. From every twig glistened a white radiance. The birch, waving in the wind, looked full of life, like trees in summer, and its appearance was wondrously beautiful. And where the sun shone, how everything glittered and sparkled, as if diamond dust had been strewn about, while the snowy carpet of the earth appeared as if covered with diamonds, from which countless lights gleamed, whiter than even the snow itself.

    This is really beautiful, said a young girl, who had come into the garden with a young man, and they both stood still near the Snow Man, and contemplated the glittering scene. Summer cannot show a more beautiful sight, she exclaimed, while her eyes sparkled.

    And we can't have such a fellow as this in the summer time, replied the young man, pointing to the Snow Man, he is capital.

    The girl laughed, and nodded at the Snow Man, and then tripped away over the snow with her friend. The snow creaked and crackled beneath her feet, as if she had been treading on starch.

    Who are these two? asked the Snow Man of the yard-dog. You have been here longer than I have, do you know them?

    Of course I know them, replied the yard-dog, she has stroked my back many times, and he has given me a bone of meat. I never bite those two.

    But what are they? asked the Snow Man.

    They are lovers, he replied, they will go and live in the same kennel by-and-by, and gnaw at the same bone. Away, away!

    Are they the same kind of beings as you and I? asked the Snow Man.

    Well, they belong to the same master, retorted the yard-dog. Certainly people who were only born yesterday know very little. I can see that in you. I have age and experience. I know every one here in the house, and I know there was once a time when I did not lie out here in the cold, fastened to a chain. Away, away!

    The cold is delightful, said the Snow Man, but do tell me tell me, only you must not clank your chain so, for it jars all through me when you do that.

    Away, away! barked the yard-dog, I'll tell you, they said I was a pretty little fellow once, then I used to lie in a velvet-covered chair, up at the master's house, and sit in the mistress's lap. They used to kiss my nose, and wipe my paws with an embroidered handkerchief, and I was called "Ami, dear Ami, sweet Ami." But after a while I grew too big for them, and they sent me away to the housekeeper's room, so I came to live on the lower story. You can look into the room from where you stand, and see where I was master once, for I was indeed master to the housekeeper. It was certainly a smaller room than those up stairs, but I was more comfortable, for I was not being continually taken hold of and pulled about by the children as I had been. I received quite as good food, or even better. I had my own cushion, and there was a stove it is the finest thing in the world at this season of the year. I used to go under the stove, and lie down quite beneath it. Ah, I still dream of that stove. Away, away!

    Does a stove look beautiful? asked the Snow Man, is it at all like me?

    It is just the reverse of you, said the dog, it's as black as a crow, and has a long neck and a brass knob, it eats firewood, so that fire spurts out of its mouth. We should keep on one side, or under it, to be comfortable. You can see it through the window, from where you stand.

    Then the Snow Man looked, and saw a bright polished thing with a brazen knob, and fire gleaming from the lower part of it. The Snow Man felt quite a strange sensation come over him, it was very odd, he knew not what it meant, and he could not account for it. But there are people who are not men of snow, who understand what it is. And why did you leave her? asked the Snow Man, for it seemed to him that the stove must be of the female sex. How could you give up such a comfortable place?

    I was obliged, replied the yard-dog. They turned me out of doors, and chained me up here. I had bitten the youngest of my master's sons in the leg, because he kicked away the bone I was gnawing. "Bone for bone," I thought, but they were so angry, and from that time I have been fastened with a chain, and lost my bone. Don't you hear how hoarse I am. Away, away! I can't talk any more like other dogs. Away, away, that is the end of it all.

    But the Snow Man was no longer listening. He was looking into the housekeeper's room on the lower story, where the stove stood on its four iron legs, looking about the same size as the Snow Man himself. What a strange crackling I feel within me, he said. Shall I ever get in there? It is an innocent wish, and innocent wishes are sure to be fulfilled. I must go in there and lean against her, even if I have to break the window.

    You must never go in there, said the yard-dog, for if you approach the stove, you'll melt away, away.

    I might as well go, said the Snow Man, for I think I am breaking up as it is.

    During the whole day the Snow Man stood looking in through the window, and in the twilight hour the room became still more inviting, for from the stove came a gentle glow, not like the sun or the moon, no, only the bright light which gleams from a stove when it has been well fed. When the door of the stove was opened, the flames darted out of its mouth, this is customary with all stoves. The light of the flames fell directly on the face and breast of the Snow Man with a ruddy gleam. I can endure it no longer, said he, how beautiful it looks when it stretches out its tongue?

    The night was long, but did not appear so to the Snow Man, who stood there enjoying his own reflections, and crackling with the cold. In the morning, the window-panes of the housekeeper's room were covered with ice. They were the most beautiful ice-flowers any Snow Man could desire, but they concealed the stove. These window-panes would not thaw, and he could see nothing of the stove, which he pictured to himself, as if it had been a lovely human being. The snow crackled and the wind whistled around him, it was just the kind of frosty weather a Snow Man might thoroughly enjoy. But he did not enjoy it, how, indeed, could he enjoy anything when he was stove sick?

    That is terrible disease for a Snow Man, said the yard-dog, I have suffered from it myself, but I got over it. Away, away, he barked and then he added, the weather is going to change. And the weather did change, it began to thaw. As the warmth increased, the Snow Man decreased. He said nothing and made no complaint, which is a sure sign. One morning he broke, and sunk down altogether, and, behold, where he had stood, something like a broomstick remained sticking up in the ground. It was the pole round which the boys had built him up. Ah, now I understand why he had such a great longing for the stove, said the yard-dog. Why, there's the shovel that is used for cleaning out the stove, fastened to the pole. The Snow Man had a stove scraper in his body, that was what moved him so. But it's all over now. Away, away. And soon the winter passed. Away, away, barked the hoarse yard-dog. But the girls in the house sang,

Come from your fragrant home, green thyme;
Stretch your soft branches, willow-tree;
The months are bringing the sweet spring-time,
When the lark in the sky sings joyfully.
Come gentle sun, while the cuckoo sings,
And I'll mock his note in my wanderings.

    And nobody thought any more of the Snow Man.

The End

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Beauty and the Beast

  Once upon a time as a merchant set off for market, he asked each of his three daughters what she would like as a present on his return. The first daughter wanted a brocade dress, the second a pearl necklace, but the third, whose name was Beauty, the youngest, prettiest and sweetest of them all, said to her father:

   "All I'd like is a rose you've picked specially for me!"

   When the merchant had finished his business, he set off for home. However, a sudden storm blew up, and his horse could hardly make headway in the howling gale. Cold and weary, the merchant had lost all hope of reaching an inn when he suddenly noticed a bright light shining in the middle of a wood. As he drew near, he saw that it was a castle, bathed in light.

   "I hope I'll find shelter there for the night," he said to himself. When he reached the door, he saw it was open, but though he shouted, nobody came to greet him. Plucking up courage, he went inside, still calling out to attract attention. On a table in the main hall, a splendid dinner lay already served. The merchant lingered, still shouting for the owner of the castle. But no one
came, and so the starving merchant sat down to a hearty meal.

   Overcome by curiosity, he ventured upstairs, where the corridor led into magnificent rooms and halls. A fire crackled in the first room and a soft bed looked very inviting. It was now late, and the merchant could not resist. He lay down on the bed and fell fast asleep. When he woke next morning, an unknown hand had placed a mug of steaming coffee and some fruit by his bedside.

   The merchant had breakfast and after tidying himself up, went downstairs to thank his generous host. But, as on the evening before, there was nobody in sight. Shaking his head in wonder at the strangeness of it all, he went towards the garden where he had left his horse, tethered to a tree. Suddenly, a large rose bush caught his eye.

   Remembering his promise to Beauty, he bent down to pick a rose. Instantly, out of the rose garden, sprang a horrible beast, wearing splendid clothes. Two bloodshot eyes, gleaming angrily, glared at him and a deep, terrifying voice growled: "Ungrateful man! I gave you shelter, you ate at my table and slept in my own bed, but now all the thanks I get is the theft of my favorite flowers! I shall put you to death for this slight!" Trembling with fear, the merchant fell on his knees before the Beast.

   "Forgive me! Forgive me! Don't kill me! I'll do anything you say! The rose wasn't for me, it was for my daughter Beauty. I promised to bring her back a rose from my journey!" The Beast dropped the paw it had clamped on the unhappy merchant.

   "I shall spare your life, but on one condition, that you bring me your daughter!" The terror-stricken merchant, faced with certain death if he did not obey, promised that he would do so. When he reached home in tears, his three daughters ran to greet him. After he had told them of his dreadful adventure, Beauty put his mind at rest immediately.

   "Dear father, I'd do anything for you! Don't worry, you'll be able to keep your promise and save your life! Take me to the castle. I'll stay there in your place!" The merchant hugged his daughter.

   "I never did doubt your love for me. For the moment I can only thank you for saving my life." So Beauty was led to the castle. The Beast, however, had quite an unexpected greeting for the girl. Instead of menacing doom as it had done with her father, it was surprisingly pleasant.

   In the beginning, Beauty was frightened of the Beast, and shuddered at the sight of it. Then she found that, in spite of the monster's awful head, her horror of it was gradually fading as time went by. She had one of the finest rooms in the Castle, and sat for hours, embroidering in front of the fire. And the Beast would sit, for hours on end, only a short distance away, silently gazing at her. Then it started to say a few kind words, till in the end, Beauty was amazed to discover that she was actually enjoying its conversation. The days passed, and Beauty and the Beast became good friends. Then one day, the Beast asked the girl to be his wife.

   Taken by surprise, Beauty did not know what to say. Marry such an ugly monster? She would rather die! But she did not want to  hurt the feelings of one who, after all, had been kind to her. And she remembered too that she owed it her own life as well as her father's.

   "I really can't say yes," she began shakily. "I'd so much like to..." The Beast interrupted her with an abrupt gesture.

   "I quite understand! And I'm not offended by your refusal!" Life went on as usual, and nothing further was said. One day, the Beast presented Beauty with a magnificent magic mirror. When Beauty peeped into it, she could see her family, far away.

   "You won't feel so lonely now," were the words that accompanied the gift. Beauty stared for hours at her distant family. Then she began to feel worried. One day, the Beast found her weeping beside the magic mirror.

   "What's wrong?" he asked, kindly as always.
   "My father is gravely ill and close to dying! Oh, how I wish I could see him again, before it's too late!" But the Beast only shook its head.

   "No! You will never leave this castle!" And off it stalked in a rage. However, a little later, it returned and spoke solemnly to the girl.

   "If you swear that you will return here in seven days time, I'll let you go and visit your father!" Beauty threw herself at the Beast's feet in delight.

   "I swear! I swear I will! How kind you are! You've made a loving daughter so happy!" In reality, the merchant had fallen ill from a broken heart at knowing his daughter was being kept prisoner. When he embraced her again, he was soon on the road to recovery. Beauty stayed beside him for hours on end, describing her life at the Castle, and explaining that the Beast was really
good and kind. The days flashed past, and at last the merchant was able to leave his bed. He was completely well again. Beauty was happy at last. However, she had failed to notice that seven days had gone by.

   Then one night she woke from a terrible nightmare. She had dreamt that the Beast was dying and calling for her, twisting in agony.

   "Come back! Come back to me!" it was pleading. The solemn  promise she had made drove her to leave home immediately.

   "Hurry! Hurry, good horse!" she said, whipping her steed onwards towards the castle, afraid that she might arrive too late. She rushed up the stairs, calling, but there was no reply. Her heart in her mouth, Beauty ran into the garden and there crouched the Beast, its eyes shut, as though dead. Beauty threw herself at it and hugged it tightly.

   "Don't die! Don't die! I'll marry you . . ." At these words, a miracle took place. The Beast's ugly snout turned magically into the face of a handsome young man.

    "How I've been longing for this moment!" he said. "I was suffering in silence, and couldn't tell my frightful secret. An evil witch turned me into a monster and only the love of a maiden willing to accept me as I was, could transform me back into my real self. My dearest! I'll be so happy if you'll marry me."

   The wedding took place shortly after and, from that day on, the young Prince would have nothing but roses in his gardens. And that's why, to this day, the castle is known as the Castle of the Rose.
The End



How it happened that Master Cherry, carpenter, found a piece of wood that wept and laughed like a child Centuries ago there lived

     "A king!" my little readers will say immediately.

    No, children, you are mistaken. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood. It was not an expensive piece of wood. Far from it. Just a common block of firewood, one of those thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in winter to make cold rooms cozy and warm.

    I do not know how this really happened, yet the fact remains that one fine day this piece of wood found itself in the shop of an old carpenter. His real name was Mastro Antonio, but everyone called him Mastro Cherry, for the tip of his nose was so round and red and shiny that it looked like a ripe cherry.

    As soon as he saw that piece of wood, Mastro Cherry was filled with joy. Rubbing his hands together happily, he mumbled half to himself:

    "This has come in the nick of time. I shall use it to make the leg of a table."

    He grasped the hatchet quickly to peel off the bark and shape the wood. But as he was about to give it the first blow, he stood still with arm uplifted, for he had heard a wee, little voice say in a beseeching tone: "Please be careful! Do not hit me so hard!"

    What a look of surprise shone on Mastro Cherry's face! His funny face became still funnier.

    He turned frightened eyes about the room to find out where that wee, little voice had come from and he saw no one! He looked under the bench--no one! He peeped inside the closet--no one! He searched among the shavings-- no one! He opened the door to look up and down the street--and still no one!

    "Oh, I see!" he then said, laughing and scratching his Wig. "It can easily be seen that I only thought I heard the tiny voice say the words! Well, well--to work once more."

    He struck a most solemn blow upon the piece of wood. "Oh, oh! You hurt!" cried the same far-away little voice.

    Mastro Cherry grew dumb, his eyes popped out of his head, his mouth opened wide, and his tongue hung down on his chin.

    As soon as he regained the use of his senses, he said, trembling and stuttering from fright:

    "Where did that voice come from, when there is no one around? Might it be that this piece of wood has learned to weep and cry like a child? I can hardly believe it. Here it is--a piece of common firewood, good only to burn in the stove, the same as any other. Yet-- might someone be hidden in it? If so, the worse for him. I'll fix him!"

    With these words, he grabbed the log with both hands and started to knock it about unmercifully. He threw it to the floor, against the walls of the room, and even up to the ceiling.

    He listened for the tiny voice to moan and cry. He waited two minutes--nothing; five minutes-- nothing; ten minutes--nothing.

    "Oh, I see," he said, trying bravely to laugh and ruffling up his wig with his hand. "It can easily be seen I only imagined I heard the tiny voice! Well, well--to work once more!"

    The poor fellow was scared half to death, so he tried to sing a gay song in order to gain courage.

    He set aside the hatchet and picked up the plane to make the wood smooth and even, but as he drew it to and fro, he heard the same tiny voice. This time it giggled as it spoke:

    "Stop it! Oh, stop it! Ha, ha, ha! You tickle my stomach."

    This time poor Mastro Cherry fell as if shot. When he opened his eyes, he found himself sitting on the floor.

    His face had changed; fright had turned even the tip of his nose from red to deepest purple.

Master Cherry gives the piece of wood to his friend Geppetto, who takes it to make himself a Marionette that will dance, fence, and turn somersaults

     In that very instant, a loud knock sounded on the door. "Come in," said the carpenter, not having an atom of strength left with which to stand up.

    At the words, the door opened and a dapper little old man came in. His name was Geppetto, but to the boys of the neighborhood he was Polendina, on account of the wig he always wore which was just the color of yellow corn.

     Cornmeal mush

     Geppetto had a very bad temper. Woe to the one who called him Polendina! He became as wild as a beast and no one could soothe him.

    "Good day, Master Antonio," said Geppetto. "What are you doing on the floor?"

    "I am teaching the ants their A B C's."

    "Good luck to you!"

    "What brought you here, friend Geppetto?"

    "My legs. And it may flatter you to know, Master Antonio, that I have come to you to beg for a favor."

    "Here I am, at your service," answered the carpenter, raising himself on to his knees.

    "This morning a fine idea came to me."

    "Let's hear it."

    "I thought of making myself a beautiful wooden Marionette. It must be wonderful, one that will be able to dance, fence, and turn somersaults. With it I intend to go around the world, to earn my crust of bread and cup of wine. What do you think of it?"

    "Bravo, Polendina!" cried the same tiny voice which came from no one knew where.

    On hearing himself called Polendina, Master Geppetto turned the color of a red pepper and, facing the carpenter, said to him angrily:

    "Why do you insult me?"

    "Who is insulting you?"

    "You called me Polendina."

    "I did not."

    "I suppose you think I did! Yet I KNOW it was you."





    And growing angrier each moment, they went from words to blows, and finally began to scratch and bite and slap each other.

    When the fight was over, Master Antonio had Geppetto's yellow wig in his hands and Geppetto found the carpenter's curly wig in his mouth.

    "Give me back my wig!" shouted Master Antonio in a surly voice.

    "You return mine and we'll be friends."

    The two little old men, each with his own wig back on his own head, shook hands and swore to be good friends for the rest of their lives.

    "Well then, Master Geppetto," said the carpenter, to show he bore him no ill will, "what is it you want?"

    "I want a piece of wood to make a Marionette. Will you give it to me?"

    Master Antonio, very glad indeed, went immediately to his bench to get the piece of wood which had frightened him so much. But as he was about to give it to his friend, with a violent jerk it slipped out of his hands and hit against poor Geppetto's thin legs.

    "Ah! Is this the gentle way, Master Antonio, in which you make your gifts? You have made me almost lame!"

    "I swear to you I did not do it!"

    "It was I, of course!"

    "It's the fault of this piece of wood."

    "You're right; but remember you were the one to throw it at my legs."

    "I did not throw it!"


    "Geppetto, do not insult me or I shall call you Polendina."





    "Ugly monkey!"


    On hearing himself called Polendina for the third time, Geppetto lost his head with rage and threw himself upon the carpenter. Then and there they gave each other a sound thrashing.

    After this fight, Master Antonio had two more scratches on his nose, and Geppetto had two buttons missing from his coat. Thus having settled their accounts, they shook hands and swore to be good friends for the rest of their lives.

    Then Geppetto took the fine piece of wood, thanked Master Antonio, and limped away toward home.

As soon as he gets home, Geppetto fashions the Marionette and calls it Pinocchio. The first pranks of the Marionette

     Little as Geppetto's house was, it was neat and comfortable. It was a small room on the ground floor, with a tiny window under the stairway. The furniture could not have been much simpler: a very old chair, a rickety old bed, and a tumble-down table. A fireplace full of burning logs was painted on the wall opposite the door. Over the fire, there was painted a pot full of something which kept boiling happily away and sending up clouds of what looked like real steam.

    As soon as he reached home, Geppetto took his tools and began to cut and shape the wood into a Marionette.

    "What shall I call him?" he said to himself. "I think I'll call him PINOCCHIO. This name will make his fortune. I knew a whole family of Pinocchi once--Pinocchio the father, Pinocchia the mother, and Pinocchi the children-- and they were all lucky. The richest of them begged for his living."

    After choosing the name for his Marionette, Geppetto set seriously to work to make the hair, the forehead, the eyes. Fancy his surprise when he noticed that these eyes moved and then stared fixedly at him. Geppetto, seeing this, felt insulted and said in a grieved tone:

    "Ugly wooden eyes, why do you stare so?"

    There was no answer.

    After the eyes, Geppetto made the nose, which began to stretch as soon as finished. It stretched and stretched and stretched till it became so long, it seemed endless.

    Poor Geppetto kept cutting it and cutting it, but the more he cut, the longer grew that impertinent nose. In despair he let it alone.

    Next he made the mouth.

    No sooner was it finished than it began to laugh and poke fun at him.

    "Stop laughing!" said Geppetto angrily; but he might as well have spoken to the wall.

    "Stop laughing, I say!" he roared in a voice of thunder.

    The mouth stopped laughing, but it stuck out a long tongue.

    Not wishing to start an argument, Geppetto made believe he saw nothing and went on with his work. After the mouth, he made the chin, then the neck, the shoulders, the stomach, the arms, and the hands.

    As he was about to put the last touches on the finger tips, Geppetto felt his wig being pulled off. He glanced up and what did he see? His yellow wig was in the Marionette's hand. "Pinocchio, give me my wig!"

    But instead of giving it back, Pinocchio put it on his own head, which was half swallowed up in it.

    At that unexpected trick, Geppetto became very sad and downcast, more so than he had ever been before.

    "Pinocchio, you wicked boy!" he cried out. "You are not yet finished, and you start out by being impudent to your poor old father. Very bad, my son, very bad!"

    And he wiped away a tear.

    The legs and feet still had to be made. As soon as they were done, Geppetto felt a sharp kick on the tip of his nose.

    "I deserve it!" he said to himself. "I should have thought of this before I made him. Now it's too late!"

    He took hold of the Marionette under the arms and put him on the floor to teach him to walk.

    Pinocchio's legs were so stiff that he could not move them, and Geppetto held his hand and showed him how to put out one foot after the other.

    When his legs were limbered up, Pinocchio started walking by himself and ran all around the room. He came to the open door, and with one leap he was out into the street. Away he flew!

    Poor Geppetto ran after him but was unable to catch him, for Pinocchio ran in leaps and bounds, his two wooden feet, as they beat on the stones of the street, making as much noise as twenty peasants in wooden shoes.

    "Catch him! Catch him!" Geppetto kept shouting. But the people in the street, seeing a wooden Marionette running like the wind, stood still to stare and to laugh until they cried. At last, by sheer luck, a Carabineer happened along, who, hearing all that noise, thought that it might be a runaway colt, and stood bravely in the middle of the street, with legs wide apart, firmly resolved to stop it and prevent any trouble.

     A military policeman

     Pinocchio saw the Carabineer from afar and tried his best to escape between the legs of the big fellow, but without success.

    The Carabineer grabbed him by the nose (it was an extremely long one and seemed made on purpose for that very thing) and returned him to Master Geppetto.

    The little old man wanted to pull Pinocchio's ears. Think how he felt when, upon searching for them, he discovered that he had forgotten to make them!

    All he could do was to seize Pinocchio by the back of the neck and take him home. As he was doing so, he shook him two or three times and said to him angrily:

    "We're going home now. When we get home, then we'll settle this matter!"

    Pinocchio, on hearing this, threw himself on the ground and refused to take another step. One person after another gathered around the two.

    Some said one thing, some another.

    "Poor Marionette," called out a man. "I am not surprised he doesn't want to go home. Geppetto, no doubt, will beat him unmercifully, he is so mean and cruel!"

    "Geppetto looks like a good man," added another, "but with boys he's a real tyrant. If we leave that poor Marionette in his hands he may tear him to pieces!"

    They said so much that, finally, the Carabineer ended matters by setting Pinocchio at liberty and dragging Geppetto to prison. The poor old fellow did not know how to defend himself, but wept and wailed like a child and said between his sobs:

    "Ungrateful boy! To think I tried so hard to make you a well-behaved Marionette! I deserve it, however! I should have given the matter more thought."

    What happened after this is an almost unbelievable story, but you may read it, dear children, in the chapters that follow.

The story of Pinocchio and the Talking Cricket, in which one sees that bad children do not like to be corrected by those who know more than they do

    Very little time did it take to get poor old Geppetto to prison. In the meantime that rascal, Pinocchio, free now from the clutches of the Carabineer, was running wildly across fields and meadows, taking one short cut after another toward home. In his wild flight, he leaped over brambles and bushes, and across brooks and ponds, as if he were a goat or a hare chased by hounds.

    On reaching home, he found the house door half open. He slipped into the room, locked the door, and threw himself on the floor, happy at his escape.

    But his happiness lasted only a short time, for just then he heard someone saying:


    "Who is calling me?" asked Pinocchio, greatly frightened.

    "I am!"

    Pinocchio turned and saw a large cricket crawling slowly up the wall.

    "Tell me, Cricket, who are you?"

    "I am the Talking Cricket and I have been living in this room for more than one hundred years."

    "Today, however, this room is mine," said the Marionette, "and if you wish to do me a favor, get out now, and don't turn around even once."

    "I refuse to leave this spot," answered the Cricket, "until I have told you a great truth."

    "Tell it, then, and hurry."

    "Woe to boys who refuse to obey their parents and run away from home! They will never be happy in this world, and when they are older they will be very sorry for it."

    "Sing on, Cricket mine, as you please. What I know is, that tomorrow, at dawn, I leave this place forever. If I stay here the same thing will happen to me which happens to all other boys and girls. They are sent to school, and whether they want to or not, they must study. As for me, let me tell you, I hate to study! It's much more fun, I think, to chase after butterflies, climb trees, and steal birds' nests."

    "Poor little silly! Don't you know that if you go on like that, you will grow into a perfect donkey and that you'll be the laughingstock of everyone?"

    "Keep still, you ugly Cricket!" cried Pinocchio.

    But the Cricket, who was a wise old philosopher, instead of being offended at Pinocchio's impudence, continued in the same tone:

    "If you do not like going to school, why don't you at least learn a trade, so that you can earn an honest living?"

    "Shall I tell you something?" asked Pinocchio, who was beginning to lose patience. "Of all the trades in the world, there is only one that really suits me."

    "And what can that be?"

    "That of eating, drinking, sleeping, playing, and wandering around from morning till night."

    "Let me tell you, for your own good, Pinocchio," said the Talking Cricket in his calm voice, "that those who follow that trade always end up in the hospital or in prison."

    "Careful, ugly Cricket! If you make me angry, you'll be sorry!"

    "Poor Pinocchio, I am sorry for you."


    "Because you are a Marionette and, what is much worse, you have a wooden head."

    At these last words, Pinocchio jumped up in a fury, took a hammer from the bench, and threw it with all his strength at the Talking Cricket.

    Perhaps he did not think he would strike it. But, sad to relate, my dear children, he did hit the Cricket, straight on its head.

    With a last weak "cri-cri-cri" the poor Cricket fell from the wall, dead!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs


    Once upon a time in a great castle, a Prince's daughter grew up happy and contented, in spite of a jealous stepmother. She was very pretty, with blue eyes and long black hair. Her skin was delicate and fair, and so she was called Snow White. Everyone was quite sure she would become very beautiful. Though her stepmother was a wicked woman, she too was very beautiful, and the magic mirror told her this every day, whenever she asked it. 
    "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the loveliest lady in the land?" The reply was always; "You are, your Majesty," until the dreadful day when she heard it say, "Snow White is the loveliest in the land." The stepmother was furious and, wild with jealousy, began plotting to get rid of her rival. Calling one of her trusty servants, she bribed him with a rich reward to take Snow White into the forest, far away from the Castle. Then, unseen, he was to put her to death. The greedy servant, attracted to the reward, agreed to do this deed, and he led the innocent little girl away. However, when they came to the fatal spot, the man's courage failed him and, leaving Snow White sitting beside a tree, he mumbled an excuse and ran off. Snow White was all alone in the forest. 
    Night came, but the servant did not return. Snow White, alone in the dark forest, began to cry bitterly. She thought she could feel terrible eyes spying on her, and she heard strange sounds and rustlings that made her heart thump. At last, overcome by tiredness, she fell asleep curled under a tree. 
    Snow White slept fitfully, wakening from time to time with a start and staring into the darkness round her. Several times, she thought she felt something, or somebody touch her as she slept. 
    At last, dawn woke the forest to the song of the birds, and Snow White too, awoke. A whole world was stirring to life and the little girl was glad to see how silly her fears had been. However, the thick trees were like a wall round her, and as she tried to find out where she was, she came upon a path. She walked along it, hopefully. On she walked till she came to a clearing. There stood a strange cottage, with a tiny door, tiny windows and a tiny chimney pot. Everything about the cottage was much tinier than it ought to be. Snow White pushed the door open. 
    "l wonder who lives here?" she said to herself, peeping round the kitchen. "What tiny plates! And spoons! There must be seven of them, the table's laid for seven people." Upstairs was a bedroom with seven neat little beds. Going back to the kitchen, Snow White had an idea. 
    "I'll make them something to eat. When they come home, they'll be glad to find a meal ready." Towards dusk, seven tiny men marched homewards singing. But when they opened the door, to their surprise they found a bowl of hot steaming soup on the table, and the whole house spick and span. Upstairs was Snow White, fast asleep on one of the beds. The chief dwarf prodded her gently. 
    "Who are you?" he asked. Snow White told them her sad story, and tears sprang to the dwarfs' eyes. Then one of them said, as he noisily blew his nose: 
    "Stay here with us!" 
    "Hooray! Hooray!" they cheered, dancing joyfully round the little girl. The dwarfs said to Snow White: 
    "You can live here and tend to the house while we're down the mine. Don't worry about your stepmother leaving you in the forest. We love you and we'll take care of you!" Snow White gratefully accepted their hospitality, and next morning the dwarfs set off for work. But they warned Snow White not to open the door to strangers. 
    Meanwhile, the servant had returned to the castle, with the heart of a roe deer. He gave it to the cruel stepmother, telling her it belonged to Snow White, so that he could claim the reward. Highly pleased, the stepmother turned again to the magic mirror. But her hopes were dashed, for the mirror replied: "The loveliest in the land is still Snow White, who lives in the seven dwarfs' cottage, down in the forest." The stepmother was beside herself with rage. 
    "She must die! She must die!" she screamed. Disguising herself as an old peasant woman, she put a poisoned apple with the others in her basket. Then, taking the quickest way into the forest, she crossed the swamp at the edge of the trees. She reached the bank unseen, just as Snow White stood waving goodbye to the seven dwarfs on their way to the mine. 
    Snow White was in the kitchen when she heard the sound at the door: KNOCK! KNOCK! 
    "Who's there?" she called suspiciously, remembering the dwarfs advice. 
    "I'm an old peasant woman selling apples," came the reply. 
    "I don't need any apples, thank you," she replied. 
    "But they are beautiful apples and ever so juicy!" said the velvety voice from outside the door. 
    "I'm not supposed to open the door to anyone," said the little girl, who was reluctant to disobey her friends. 
    "And quite right too! Good girl! If you promised not to open up to strangers, then of course you can't buy. You are a good girl indeed!" Then the old woman went on. 
    "And as a reward for being good, I'm going to make you a gift of one of my apples!" Without a further thought, Snow White opened the door just a tiny crack, to take the apple. 
    "There! Now isn't that a nice apple?" Snow White bit into the fruit, and as she did, fell to the ground in a faint: the effect of the terrible poison left her lifeless instantaneously. 
    Now chuckling evilly, the wicked stepmother hurried off. But as she ran back across the swamp, she tripped and fell into the quicksand. No one heard her cries for help, and she disappeared without a trace. 
    Meanwhile, the dwarfs came out of the mine to find the sky had grown dark and stormy. Loud thunder echoed through the valleys and streaks of lightning ripped the sky. Worried about Snow White they ran as quickly as they could down the mountain to the cottage. 
    There they found Snow White, lying still and lifeless, the poisoned apple by her side. They did their best to bring her around, but it was no use. 
    They wept and wept for a long time. Then they laid her on a bed of rose petals, carried her into the forest and put her in a crystal coffin. 
    Each day they laid a flower there. 
    Then one evening, they discovered a strange young man admiring Snow White's lovely face through the glass. After listening to the story, the Prince (for he was a prince!) made a suggestion. 
    "If you allow me to take her to the Castle, I'll call in famous doctors to waken her from this peculiar sleep. She's so lovely I'd love to kiss her!" He did, and as though by magic, the Prince's kiss broke the spell. To everyone's astonishment, Snow White opened her eyes. She had amazingly come back to life! Now in love, the Prince asked Snow White to marry him, and the dwarfs reluctantly had to say good bye to Snow White. 
    From that day on, Snow White lived happily in a great castle. But from time to time, she was drawn back to visit the little cottage down in the forest.

The End


Once upon a time... there lived an unhappy young girl. Unhappy she was, for her mother was dead, her father had married another woman, a widow with two daughters, and her stepmother didn't like her one little bit. All the nice things, kind thoughts and loving touches were for her own daughters. And not just the kind thoughts and love, but also dresses, shoes, shawls, delicious food, comfy beds, as well as every home comfort. All this was laid on for her daughters. But, for the poor unhappy girl, there was nothing at all. No dresses, only her stepsisters' hand-me-downs. No lovely dishes, nothing but scraps. No nice rests and comfort. For she had to work hard all day, and only when evening came was she allowed to sit for a while by the fire, near the cinders. That is how she got her nickname, for everybody called her Cinderella. Cinderella used to spend long hours all alone talking to the cat. The cat said,

"Miaow", which really meant, "Cheer up! You have something neither of your stepsisters have and that is beauty."

It was quite true. Cinderella, even dressed in rags with a dusty gray face from the cinders, was a lovely girl. While her stepsisters, no matter how splendid and elegant their clothes, were still clumsy, lumpy and ugly and always would be.

One day, beautiful new dresses arrived at the house. A ball was to be held at Court and the stepsisters were getting ready to go to it. Cinderella, didn't even dare ask, "What about me?" for she knew very well what the answer to that would be:

"You? My dear girl, you're staying at home to wash the dishes, scrub the floors and turn down the beds for your stepsisters. They will come home tired and very sleepy." Cinderella sighed at the cat.

"Oh dear, I'm so unhappy!" and the cat murmured "Miaow".

Suddenly something amazing happened. In the kitchen, where Cinderella was sitting all by herself, there was a burst of light and a fairy appeared.

"Don't be alarmed, Cinderella," said the fairy. "The wind blew me your sighs. I know you would love to go to the ball. And so you shall!"

"How can I, dressed in rags?" Cinderella replied. "The servants will turn me away!" The fairy smiled. With a flick of her magic wand... Cinderella found herself wearing the most beautiful dress, the loveliest ever seen in the realm.

"Now that we have settled the matter of the dress," said the fairy, "we'll need to get you a coach. A real lady would never go to a ball on foot!"

"Quick! Get me a pumpkin!" she ordered.

"Oh of course," said Cinderella, rushing away. Then the fairy turned to the cat.

"You, bring me seven mice!"

"Seven mice!" said the cat. "I didn't know fairies ate mice too!"

"They're not for eating, silly! Do as you are told!... and, remember they must be alive!"

Cinderella soon returned with a fine pumpkin and the cat with seven mice he had caught in the cellar.

"Good!" exclaimed the fairy. With a flick of her magic wand... wonder of wonders! The pumpkin turned into a sparkling coach and the mice became six white horses, while the seventh mouse turned into a coachman, in a smart uniform and carrying a whip. Cinderella could hardly believe her eyes.

"I shall present you at Court. You will soon see that the Prince, in whose honor the ball is being held, will be enchanted by your loveliness. But remember! You must leave the ball at midnight and come home. For that is when the spell ends. Your coach will turn back into a pumpkin, the horses will become mice again and the coachman will turn back into a mouse... and you will be dressed again in rags and wearing clogs instead of these dainty little slippers! Do you understand?" Cinderella smiled and said,

"Yes, I understand!"

When Cinderella entered the ballroom at the palace, a hush fell. Everyone stopped in mid-sentence to admire her elegance, her beauty and grace.

"Who can that be?" people asked each other. The two stepsisters also wondered who the newcomer was, for never in a month of Sundays, would they ever have guessed that the beautiful girl was really poor Cinderella who talked to the cat!

When the prince set eyes on Cinderella, he was struck by her beauty. Walking over to her, he bowed deeply and asked her to dance. And to the great disappointment of all the young ladies, he danced with Cinderella all evening.

"Who are you, fair maiden?" the Prince kept asking her. But Cinderella only replied:

"What does it matter who I am! You will never see me again anyway."

"Oh, but I shall, I'm quite certain!" he replied.

Cinderella had a wonderful time at the ball... But, all of a sudden, she heard the sound of a clock: the first stroke of midnight! She remembered what the fairy had said, and without a word of goodbye she slipped from the Prince's arms and ran down the steps. As she ran she lost one of her slippers, but not for a moment did she dream of stopping to pick it up! If the last stroke of midnight were to sound... oh... what a disaster that would be! Out she fled and vanished into the night.

The Prince, who was now madly in love with her, picked up her slipper and said to his ministers,

"Go and search everywhere for the girl whose foot this slipper fits. I will never be content until I find her!" So the ministers tried the slipper on the foot of all the girls... and on Cinderella's foot as well... Surprise! The slipper fitted perfectly.

"That awful untidy girl simply cannot have been at the ball," snapped the stepmother. "Tell the Prince he ought to marry one of my two daughters! Can't you see how ugly Cinderella is! Can't you see?"

Suddenly she broke off, for the fairy had appeared.

"That's enough!" she exclaimed, raising her magic wand. In a flash, Cinderella appeared in a splendid dress, shining with youth and beauty. Her stepmother and stepsisters gaped at her in amazement, and the ministers said,

"Come with us, fair maiden! The Prince awaits to present you with his engagement ring!" So Cinderella joyfully went with them, and lived happily ever after with her Prince. And as for the cat, he just said "Miaow"!
The End