Monday, March 21, 2016

The Monkeys & The Hatseller

The Monkeys & The Hatseller 

Once upon a time there was a hat maker who made all kinds of hats, big hats, small hats, tall hats, short hats, top hats and bottom hats. It was market day and the hat maker wanted to sell his hats there. He put his hats into a basket, one hat on his head and lifted the basket of hats onto his shoulder. He then set off to market through the forest. While he walked he sang a song.  I am going to market, to market, to market I am going to market to sell my hats.  It was a hot day and the hat maker needed a rest so he put down his basket and lay down under a tree and fell asleep. When he woke up, all the hats in his basket had gone. “Oh no,” he thought, “It took me months to make them. I must find them.” He searched high and low and couldn't find them until, by chance, he happened to look and saw that in the trees there was a crowd of monkeys and every one of them was wearing one of his hats. He shook his fist at the monkeys. The monkeys copied and shook their fists back. He wagged a finger at the monkeys, the monkeys wagged their fingers back. He out his hands together and begged and again the monkeys mimicked him. This went on for some time until finally in frustration the hat maker threw his hat down onto the ground. Sure enough, up in the trees the monkeys copied and all the hats came tumbling down. The hat maker was happy, filled his basket up with hats and continued on his way to market singing his song. He got to market, sold the hats and returned home where he told his children the story of the monkey and the hats. His children loved the story and asked for it again and again and again over many years.   It came to pass that the hat maker’s son grew up and he too became a hat maker and one day found himself walking through the forest to market with a basket of hats, singing –   I am going to market, to market, to market...  It was a hot day and the young hat maker like his father before him put down his basket and fell asleep beneath a tree. When he woke up, all his hats had gone. But the young hat maker wasn't worried. He looked up into the trees and, sure enough, saw a crowd of monkeys wearing his hats. “Hello monkeys,” he called. “I've heard this story. I know what to do.” He waved to the monkeys, they waved back. He put him his thumbs, they gestured back. Slowly and confidently, the young hat maker took off his own hat and threw it to the ground. Up in the trees, the monkeys did not move a muscle. “Come on! Copy me!” called the Hat Maker. He repeated the action again and again and again but still none of the monkeys moved. After a while, the biggest of all the monkeys, a large, sleek, long-haired monkey hung his hat up on a branch and climbed down the tree. He came right up to the young hat maker and pointed a long, monkey finger at him. “You think you're so clever because your father told you stories,” he said. “Well, our father told us stories too and today we're keeping the hats!”  That's why it's very important to listen to stories because you never know what you might learn and when it might come in handy.

The Sleeping Beauty

    Once upon a time there was a king and queen who for a very long time had no children, and when atlength a little daughter was born to them they were so pleased that they gave a christening feast to which they invited a number of fairies. But, unfortunately, they left out one rather cross old fairy, and she was so angry that she said the princess should die when she reached the age of sixteen, by pricking her hand with a spindle.All the other fairies present, except one, had already given the princess their beautiful gifts,and this last one said she could not prevent part of the wicked wish coming true; but her gift should be that the princess should not really die, but only fall into a deep sleep, which should last for a hundred years, and at the end of that time she should be awakened by a king's son.It all happened as the fairies had predicted. When the princess was sixteen years old she saw an old woman spinning and took the spindle from her to try this strange new work. Instantly she pricked her hand and fell into a deep sleep, as did everyone else in the palace. There she lay in a bower of roses, year after year, and the hedge around the palace garden grew so tall and thick that at last you could not have told that there was a castle at all.At the end of the hundred years a king's son heard of the castle and the enchanted princess who lay asleep there and determined to rescue her.So he cut his way through the thick prickly hedge and at length he came to the princess. When he saw how lovely and how sweet she looked he fell in lovewith her and, stooping,kissed her lips.At once she awoke and with her the king and queen and all the courtiers,who had fallen asleep atthe same time.As the princess was as much taken with the prince's appearance as he was with hers, they decided to be married. And so the wedding was celebrated the same day with great pomp and ceremony.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Two tales from Aesop

The Fighting Cocks & the Eagle

 Once there were two Cocks living in the same farmyard who could not bear the sight of each other. At last one day they flew up to fight it out, beak and claw. They fought until one of them was beaten and crawled off to a corner to hide.The Cock that had won the battle flew to the top of the hen-house, and, proudly flapping his wings, crowed with all his might to tell the world about his victory.

 But an Eagle, circling overhead, heard the boasting chanticleer and, swooping down, carried him off to his nest.His rival saw the deed, and coming out of his corner, took his place as master of the farmyard.

 Pride goes before a fall.

The Ass in the Lion's Skin

 An Ass found a Lion's skin left in the forest by a hunter. He dressed himself in it, and amused himself by hiding in a thicket and rushing out suddenly at the animals who passed that way. All took to their heels the moment they saw him.The Ass was so pleased to see the animals running away from him, just as if he were King Lion himself, that he could not keep from expressing his delight by a loud, harsh bray.

  A Fox, who ran with the rest, stopped short as soon as he heard the voice. Approaching the Ass, he said with a laugh:"If you had kept your mouth shut you might have frightened me, too. But you gave yourself away with that silly bray."  

 A fool may deceive by his dress and appearance, but his words will soon show what he really is.


The Grasshopper, so blithe and gay, 
   Sang the summer time away.  
  Pinched and poor the spendthrift grew, 
   When the sour north-easter blew.   
 In her larder not a scrap,  
 Bread to taste, nor drink to lap. 
   To the Ant, her neighbour, she  
 Went to moan her penury,
Praying for a loan of wheat, 
  Just to make a loaf to eat,  
  Till the sunshine came again.  
  "All I say is fair and plain,  
   I will pay you every grain,   
  Principal and interest too, 
    Before harvest, I tell you,  
  On my honour—every pound,   
  Ere a single sheaf is bound.  
   "The Ant's a very prudent friend, 
    Never much disposed to lend; 
  Virtues great and failings small,   
   This her failing least of all.   
  Quoth she, "How spent you the summer?"   
 "Night and day, to each new comer  
    I sang gaily, by your leave; 
    Singing, singing, morn and eve."   
   "You sang? I see it at a glance.   
   Well, then, now's the time to dance."

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Town Rat & The Country Rat

   A Rat from town, a country Rat  
  Invited in the civilest way;  
 For dinner there was just to be  
  Ortolans and an entremet.
Upon a Turkey carpet soft 
  The noble feast at last was spread;  
  I leave you pretty well to guess  
  The merry, pleasant life they led.
Gay the repast, for plenty reigned,
   Nothing was wanting to the fare;  
  But hardly had it well begun 
  Ere chance disturbed the friendly pair.
A sudden racket at the door  
 Alarmed them, and they made retreat; 
  The City Rat was not the last,  
 His comrade followed fast and fleet.  
 The noise soon over, they returned,
   As rats on such occasions do; 
    "Come," said the liberal citizen, 
  "And let us finish our ragout."

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