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English pages for Kids and Children-2

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English pages for Kids and Children - 2

Gather around and listen well, for we have a fabled story to tell. Today is National Tell a Fairy Tale Day and a great opportunity to read to your kids. We are encouraged to explore myths, fantasy and fables, old, new or imagined by you on the spot. A fairy tale is a fictional story that may feature fairies, trolls, giants and talking animals. These stories often include enchantments and far-fetched events.


Nursery rhymes
For early learning counting fun

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Picture Comprehension

Reading Comprehension for Kids

Reading Comprehension is suitable for Kindergarten students or beginning readers.
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A Winter Eden

A winter garden in an alder swamp,
Where conies now come out to sun and romp,
As near a paradise as it can be
And not melt snow or start a dormant tree.

It lifts existence on a plane of snow
One level higher than the earth below,
One level nearer heaven overhead,
And last years berries shining scarlet red.

It lifts a gaunt luxuriating beast
Where he can stretch and hold his highest feat
On some wild apple trees young tender bark,
What well may prove the years high girdle mark.

So near to paradise all pairing ends:
Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,
Content with bud-inspecting. They presume
To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.

A feather-hammer gives a double knock.
This Eden day is done at two oclock.
An hour of winter day might seem too short
To make it worth lifes while to wake and sport.

Robert Frost (1874 1963)


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The troll has been taken down for winter. The town and artist are working to find it a new home for summer 2019!** I went trolling in Breckenridge this week. Really, I saw a troll. In the East Wellington subdivision of Breckenridge, Colorado, theres a giant troll made of trashed lumber with sticks for hair.and

Published August 17, 2018




Aladdin and the Magic Lamp

=Spoiler ():



Where Are My Animals?

Where is the cat?
- Its under the bed.
Where is the mouse?
- Behind the house.
Where is the fox?
- Its in the box.
Where is the snake?
- Its in the lake.
Where is the frog?
- Its in the log.
Where is the bee?
- Its in the tree.


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Let us enjoy reading this one of Modern Stories of A Little Friend .

That was a bad day for our Mr. Lion King. During his chase to catch a rabbit he sprang into a small bush from where he came out not with the rabbit but with a large thorn in his palm.

He cried for help. He tried his best to pull out the thorn. He shook his hand, tried to pull out the thorn with his mouth etc. but all his efforts was in vain. The thorn began to smile at Mr. Lion.

Then he asked other animals for help. But they all feared the lion. So no animals came to help him.

At last the lion approached the clever fox. The king asked, Can you pull out the thorn please. I am suffering very much with pain."

The fox said, I am not very expert in this task. But I have a little friend who is very expert in this work. I will surely ask him to help you. But I have some demands."

What are your demands?" asked the king.

It is not just food or money Your Majesty! You should allow me to give you five kicks on your back!" the fox said.

The lion king asked with surprise and anger Do you want to kick me? Dont you know who I am?"

I know! I know! But it is not my need to remove thorn from your palm. If you dont want I am going. Good Bye" said the fox.

Hey! Wait! Wait!" said the lion and he began to think for a moment I am suffering with the pain of the thorn. It has to be pulled out. Let him kick me five times. I just want to remove the thorn. After taking the thorn I will eat up his little friend."

The fox then began to kick the Lion King with his permission. One, two, three like that. The fox called his little friend.

There comes a little porcupine. He pulled out the thorn with great ease. The pain in the palm of the lion was reduced. But his mind became filled with anger, grief and disappointment. What to say! He was very much disappointed in thinking how he can take revenge for the five kicks he got from the fox. How can he eat the porcupine with thousands of quills? At last he had to bow down before the great intelligence of the clever fox.



Swan facts for kids


A swan (Cygnini) is a kind of water bird, from the genera Cygnus and Coscoroba. They are in the subfamily Anserinae, in the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks.

Many swans live in colder places, such as northern Europe, Asia and North America. They live on water. They swim on top of the water and eat plants off the bottom of ponds, lakes, or oceans. They also eat insects and other small animals. Swans can also fly.

A baby swan is called a cygnet.


The swans are some of the largest flying birds. They are large in size and have large feet and long necks. The males are usually bigger and heavier than females. The Mute Swan, Trumpeter Swan, and Whooper Swan are the largest swans. They can be over 1.5m (60 inches) long. They can weigh over 15kg (33 pounds). Their wingspans (this means the length of both wings) can be almost 3m (10 ft).

Most swans are white. These swan are found in the Northern Hemisphere. This means they are found in Europe, Asia and North America. However, the Black Swan is black with a red beak. It lives in Australia. The Black Necked Swan has white flight feathers, and black outer feathers. It lives in South America. They also have a small area of skin between the eyes and beak that has no feathers. This area can be different colors, such as yellow (for example, on a Bewick's Swan) or orange (for example, on a Mute Swan).

The Coscoroba Swan is different to the other swans. Some scientists think it is more like a duck or a goose. It is the smaller than the other swans. This swan lives in South America.



The whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus)

It is a large white bird which lives in Europe and Asia. It is the Eurasian counterpart of the North American trumpeter swan.
Francis Willughby and John Ray's Ornithology of 1676 referred to the this swan as "the Elk, Hooper, or wild Swan".


Young whooper swan.

An adult whooper swan weighs 9-11 kg. It is 140-160 cm long (including neck and head) and it has a wingspan of 205-235 cm. Young swans are grey-brown. They have a pink and black beak. The young get pale grey in end of their first summer. They get the white adult colour before their second winter. Male and female swans look otherwise similar, but the males are larger.

The whooper swan, Bewick's swan and mute swan look quite similar, but the details are different. Whooper swan is clearly larger than Bewick's swan. When it lands it water or takes off it slides longer distances.


Whooper swans eat mainly plants growing in water: leaves, stems and roots. During the winter they also eat grain and vegetables from the fields. Young birds often eat insects.

The nest is a large pile of plant matter built on dry ground or on small islands near lakeshore. The same nest mound may be used over many years although it is often repaired and new material is added.


Whooper swans spends their summer in Northern Europe and Asia. For winter they migrate to coasts where sea does not freeze.

In year 2006 it was estimated, that there are more than 180,000 whooper swans in the world. Out of these, 10,000-100,000 pairs breed in Russia. One to ten thousand birds spend also their winter in Russia.



Kangaroos The Worlds Best Jumpers 

Kangaroos might just be the worlds best jumpers.
These marsupials can hop 10 feet high or 30 feet forward.
A cool thing all about kangaroos.

Hippity hop! Kangaroos might just be the worlds best jumpers. These marsupials can hop 10 feet high or 30 feet forward. Talk about a big leap! Kangaroos have strong muscles in their back legs, as well as a strong tail that helps them balance.

Kangaroos are found only in Australia and the surrounding islands. These lovable animals are herbivores. They eat only grass and plants. In Australia, they are like deer or cattle, roaming fields and munching on plants.

The red kangaroo is the largest kangaroo and is as tall as your dad.

Fun Facts about Kangaroos for Kids

    The red kangaroo is the largest kangaroo and is as tall as your dad. There are also tiny kangaroos small enough to fit in your hand. Over 50 kangaroo species live in Australia.
    Some kangaroos climb and live in trees. Most kangaroos live in forests, woodlands and fields. Kangaroos can even be found in suburban yards, parks and on golf courses.
    Kangaroo mothers are called does. They usually have one baby at a time. The babies, called a joeys, are tiny when they are born. They crawl in moms pouch and stay there for up to 13 months.
    Kangaroos live in groups or mobs. They communicate with each other by hissing, punching or growling. Sometimes they groom each other.
    Kangaroos live up to 6 8 years in the wild but in captivity they can live into their twenties.
    The scientific name for a Kangaroo is Macropus.
    A kangaroo can travel at speeds up to 40 mph.

In a single leap they can jump 27 ft.
Males will fight over females.
Kangaroos have excellent hearing.

Some kangaroos climb and live in trees.

Kangaroo Vocabulary

    Surrounding: nearby
    Herbivore: eats only plants
    Woodland: area with trees and fields
    Suburban: edge of cities
    Communicate: talk, express needs

The Kangaroo baby stays in mothers belly pouch for up to 13 months.

Kangaroo Q&A

Question: Are kangaroos endangered?

Answer: No, but a drought in Australia is making it harder for them to find food.

Question: How big are kangaroos?

Answer: The largest three species weigh between 50 and 200 pounds.





Falcons are birds of prey.
They are distinguished by long, pointed wings built for speed and aerial maneuvers.
Thier beaks are hooked with a toothlike notch on each side of the upper bill.

Things to Know

A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. Falcons are medium sized birds of prey, they hunt and eat animals for food. They are diurnal-they hunt during the day.

Falcons are swift powerful fliers that dive at their prey catching it in mid-air. Falcons are birds of prey and are known for their hunging skills and ruthlessness. They hunt their prey from the skies, once they have spotted their prey they swoop down and catch it.

Falcons have long wings and powerful beaks. When fully grown falcons fly at very high speeds and rapidly change directions because their wings are pointed and thin.

They are related to hawks and eagles. They can be found worldwide and are found on every continent except Antarctica. This makes it the most widespread raptor and one of the most widely found bird species.

Falcons range in size from the falconets at 6 inches (15 cm) long to the Arctic gyrfalcon at 24 inches (60 cm). Some small falcons with long narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which hover while hunting are called kestrels. The falcons are part of the family Falconidae.

There are 37 species of falcon. Six types of falcons that are found in North America: American Kestrel, Merlin, Aplomado Falcon, Prairie Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, and Gyrfalcon.



Peregrine Falcon

The peregrine falcons diving speed is amazing. As it executes a dive, the peregrine falcon soars to a great height, then dives at speeds of over 200 miles (323 km) per hour. No other bird can match the speed of a peregrine falcon in a hunting dive. Also, in a dive peregrine falcon's are the fastest animal on Earth
The fastest bird on earth is the Peregrine falcon when in a dive

The scientific name of the Peregrine Falcon (Falco Peregrinus) falco meaning hook-shaped and may refer to the beak or claws, and peregrinus, meaning to wander.

Peregrine Falcons have also been called Duck Hawk and Wandering Falcon.

Range of the Peregrine Falcon

The Peregrine falcon is a wanderer or migrator. This large falcon has the largest distribution of any bird in the world. The peregrine falcon is found on every continent except Antarctica.

The peregrine is an adaptable falcon, it can be found in almost any habitat. From the hot desersts to the cold tundra. From cities to high mountains. They live in a greater variety of habitats than any other bird of prey.


Some falcons migrate and some do not. Peregrines in the more northern climates, such as Alaska and Greenland, are more likely to migrate during the winter.

They migrate to places that are warmer in the winter, such as the southern United States, Central and South America. There are some falcons that do not migrate because the winters are not too severe where they live and the food sources are adequate.
Peregrine Falcon
is recognizable from other raptors with its black feathers on its head, dark feathers around its beak. The feathers on the back of the peregrine falcon are dark wtih a bluish tinge. The wings are thin and tapered with a sharp point.
At around 3 years of age peregrines generally begin breeding.
The female lays a clutch of three to four eggs dotted with red and brown spots each spring. The female incubates the eggs while the male falcon hunts and brings her food. The eggs will hatch after about 34 days. An eyas is a falcon chick, they are fed by both parents.

Peregrine Falcons nest on ledges of rocky cliffs, on tall buildings or bridges.

Cliff nests are generally located under an overhang and on ledges with vegetation. They do not build nests from twigs, they create a scrape, a small depression out of soil.

Peregrines will nest on tall buildings and bridges,
these man-made structures closely resemble the cliff ledges that Peregrines perfer as a nesting location.



Reddish Egrets by Robin Berry

Egrets /ˈiːɡrət/ are herons which have white or buff plumage, and develop fine plumes (usually milky white) during the breeding season. Egrets are not a biologically distinct group from the herons and have the same build. Many egrets are members of the genera Egretta or Ardea which also contain other species named as herons rather than egrets. The distinction between a heron and an egret is rather vague, and depends more on appearance than biology.

Many egrets are members of the genera Egretta or
Ardea which also contain other species named as herons rather than egrets.
The distinction between a heron and an egret is rather vague, and depends more on appearance than biology. The word "egret" comes from the French word "aigrette" that means both "silver heron" and "brush", referring to the long filamentous feathers that seem to cascade down an egret's back during the breeding season.

Several of the egrets have been reclassified from one genus to another in recent years: the great egret, for example, has been classified as a member of either Casmerodius, Egretta or Ardea.

In the 19th and early part of the 20th century, some of the world's egret species were endangered by relentless plume hunting, since hat makers in Europe and the United States demanded large numbers of egret plumes, leading to breeding birds being killed in many places around the world.

Egret catching its prey



Preening egret




Hedgehog Handling Tips For New Pet Owners

You will need to supply your pet with treats and a balanced diet once a while. Examine the airlines policies before booking a ticket to see whether its possible to bring the pet alongside you. If a pet can fit under the seat facing you, many airlines will make it possible for you to take it to the flight like a standard carry-on bag. Set reasonable expectations and learn how to correctly train your dog and you need to get an amazing pet no matter what.

Any time it is possible to bring a pet into the cabin on you, we highly suggest it, Smith explained. Please remember that youre still new and your pet is merely learning how to trust you. Although pets offer you significant advantages, potential hazards are related to pet ownership (1). The pet becomes treated unfairly so does the operator. Under-exercised pets are vulnerable to weight gain and a heightened chance of joint disease due to obesity.

If everything appears good, Ill have the proprietor and I step from the home. Pet owners that are searching for an exotic pet are attracted to hedgehogs due to their uniqueness. Some pet owners can brush their hedgehogs teeth employing a cat toothpaste and little head toothbrush weekly. They seem to think that just because a certain hairstyle looks good on humans, it is going to look great on dogs. Its clear to see why, because they are extremely loyal to their owners, they are quite protective and superior guards. A number of other owners have had the exact same difficulties.

If youre contemplating turning into a dog owner for the very first time, there are various facts to think about. For a dog breed to thrive in a particular environment, potential dog owners want to be well informed of the breeds demands and shortcomings. Any prospective dog operator will want to spend the chance to interact and play with an animal before making a decision if it is a match made in dog heaven. Whether youre a dog owner for years, or youre planning to welcome your very first puppy into your house, dont forget that YOU and you only are the one accountable for your dog.




Meet Rick, the hedgehog who is always smiling.

When we picked up this shy African Pygmy hedgehog from the breeder, he didnt show us much joy.
We used to think, This hog hates us.




Having a rabbit as a pet can be fun and rewarding. Oftentimes, bunny are used as a starter pet for children because they cost less than a dog or cat to buy and care for. They are soft and cuddly, and when handled gently and often, seldom bite.

Rabbits can live long, up to ten years or so. That in itself can be either a good or bad thing depending on your viewpoint. People often view runnyas something to entertain the kids when theyre young. But with a life expectancy as long as a dog, it does make them a long-term commitment. Think ahead.







The Golden Bird

by Brothers Grimm

The Golden Bird

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. The king became very angry at this, and ordered the gardener to keep watch all night under the tree. The gardener set his eldest son to watch; but about twelve o'clock he fell asleep, and in the morning another of the apples was missing. Then the second son was ordered to watch; and at midnight he too fell asleep, and in the morning another apple was gone. Then the third son offered to keep watch; but the gardener at first would not let him, for fear some harm should come to him: however, at last he consented, and the young man laid himself under the tree to watch. As the clock struck twelve he heard a rustling noise in the air, and a bird came flying that was of pure gold; and as it was snapping at one of the apples with its beak, the gardener's son jumped up and shot an arrow at it. But the arrow did the bird no harm; only it dropped a golden feather from its tail, and then flew away. The golden feather was brought to the king in the morning, and all the council was called together. Everyone agreed that it was worth more than all the wealth of the kingdom: but the king said, 'One feather is of no use to me, I must have the whole bird.'

Then the gardener's eldest son set out and thought to find the golden bird very easily; and when he had gone but a little way, he came to a wood, and by the side of the wood he saw a fox sitting; so he took his bow and made ready to shoot at it. Then the fox said, 'Do not shoot me, for I will give you good counsel; I know what your business is, and that you want to find the golden bird. You will reach a village in the evening; and when you get there, you will see two inns opposite to each other, one of which is very pleasant and beautiful to look at: go not in there, but rest for the night in the other, though it may appear to you to be very poor and mean.' But the son thought to himself, 'What can such a beast as this know about the matter?' So he shot his arrow at the fox; but he missed it, and it set up its tail above its back and ran into the wood. Then he went his way, and in the evening came to the village where the two inns were; and in one of these were people singing, and dancing, and feasting; but the other looked very dirty, and poor. 'I should be very silly,' said he, 'if I went to that shabby house, and left this charming place'; so he went into the smart house, and ate and drank at his ease, and forgot the bird, and his country too.

Time passed on; and as the eldest son did not come back, and no tidings were heard of him, the second son set out, and the same thing happened to him. He met the fox, who gave him the good advice: but when he came to the two inns, his eldest brother was standing at the window where the merrymaking was, and called to him to come in; and he could not withstand the temptation, but went in, and forgot the golden bird and his country in the same manner.

Time passed on again, and the youngest son too wished to set out into the wide world to seek for the golden bird; but his father would not listen to it for a long while, for he was very fond of his son, and was afraid that some ill luck might happen to him also, and prevent his coming back. However, at last it was agreed he should go, for he would not rest at home; and as he came to the wood, he met the fox, and heard the same good counsel. But he was thankful to the fox, and did not attempt his life as his brothers had done; so the fox said, 'Sit upon my tail, and you will travel faster.' So he sat down, and the fox began to run, and away they went over stock and stone so quick that their hair whistled in the wind.

When they came to the village, the son followed the fox's counsel, and without looking about him went to the shabby inn and rested there all night at his ease. In the morning came the fox again and met him as he was beginning his journey, and said, 'Go straight forward, till you come to a castle, before which lie a whole troop of soldiers fast asleep and snoring: take no notice of them, but go into the castle and pass on and on till you come to a room, where the golden bird sits in a wooden cage; close by it stands a beautiful golden cage; but do not try to take the bird out of the shabby cage and put it into the handsome one, otherwise you will repent it.' Then the fox stretched out his tail again, and the young man sat himself down, and away they went over stock and stone till their hair whistled in the wind.

Before the castle gate all was as the fox had said: so the son went in and found the chamber where the golden bird hung in a wooden cage, and below stood the golden cage, and the three golden apples that had been lost were lying close by it. Then thought he to himself, 'It will be a very droll thing to bring away such a fine bird in this shabby cage'; so he opened the door and took hold of it and put it into the golden cage. But the bird set up such a loud scream that all the soldiers awoke, and they took him prisoner and carried him before the king. The next morning the court sat to judge him; and when all was heard, it sentenced him to die, unless he should bring the king the golden horse which could run as swiftly as the wind; and if he did this, he was to have the golden bird given him for his own.

So he set out once more on his journey, sighing, and in great despair, when on a sudden his friend the fox met him, and said, 'You see now what has happened on account of your not listening to my counsel. I will still, however, tell you how to find the golden horse, if you will do as I bid you. You must go straight on till you come to the castle where the horse stands in his stall: by his side will lie the groom fast asleep and snoring: take away the horse quietly, but be sure to put the old leathern saddle upon him, and not the golden one that is close by it.' Then the son sat down on the fox's tail, and away they went over stock and stone till their hair whistled in the wind.

All went right, and the groom lay snoring with his hand upon the golden saddle. But when the son looked at the horse, he thought it a great pity to put the leathern saddle upon it. 'I will give him the good one,' said he; 'I am sure he deserves it.' As he took up the golden saddle the groom awoke and cried out so loud, that all the guards ran in and took him prisoner, and in the morning he was again brought before the court to be judged, and was sentenced to die. But it was agreed, that, if he could bring thither the beautiful princess, he should live, and have the bird and the horse given him for his own.

Then he went his way very sorrowful; but the old fox came and said, 'Why did not you listen to me? If you had, you would have carried away both the bird and the horse; yet will I once more give you counsel. Go straight on, and in the evening you will arrive at a castle. At twelve o'clock at night the princess goes to the bathing-house: go up to her and give her a kiss, and she will let you lead her away; but take care you do not suffer her to go and take leave of her father and mother.' Then the fox stretched out his tail, and so away they went over stock and stone till their hair whistled again.

As they came to the castle, all was as the fox had said, and at twelve o'clock the young man met the princes going to the bath and gave her the kiss, and she agreed to run away with him, but begged with many tears that he would let her take leave of her father. At first he refused, but she wept still more and more, and fell at his feet, till at last he consented; but the moment she came to her father's house the guards awoke and he was taken prisoner again.

Then he was brought before the king, and the king said, 'You shall never have my daughter unless in eight days you dig away the hill that stops the view from my window.' Now this hill was so big that the whole world could not take it away: and when he had worked for seven days, and had done very little, the fox came and said. 'Lie down and go to sleep; I will work for you.' And in the morning he awoke and the hill was gone; so he went merrily to the king, and told him that now that it was removed he must give him the princess.

Then the king was obliged to keep his word, and away went the young man and the princess; and the fox came and said to him, 'We will have all three, the princess, the horse, and the bird.' 'Ah!' said the young man, 'that would be a great thing, but how can you contrive it?'

'If you will only listen,' said the fox, 'it can be done. When you come to the king, and he asks for the beautiful princess, you must say, "Here she is!" Then he will be very joyful; and you will mount the golden horse that they are to give you, and put out your hand to take leave of them; but shake hands with the princess last. Then lift her quickly on to the horse behind you; clap your spurs to his side, and gallop away as fast as you can.'

All went right: then the fox said, 'When you come to the castle where the bird is, I will stay with the princess at the door, and you will ride in and speak to the king; and when he sees that it is the right horse, he will bring out the bird; but you must sit still, and say that you want to look at it, to see whether it is the true golden bird; and when you get it into your hand, ride away.'

This, too, happened as the fox said; they carried off the bird, the princess mounted again, and they rode on to a great wood. Then the fox came, and said, 'Pray kill me, and cut off my head and my feet.' But the young man refused to do it: so the fox said, 'I will at any rate give you good counsel: beware of two things; ransom no one from the gallows, and sit down by the side of no river.' Then away he went. 'Well,' thought the young man, 'it is no hard matter to keep that advice.'

He rode on with the princess, till at last he came to the village where he had left his two brothers. And there he heard a great noise and uproar; and when he asked what was the matter, the people said, 'Two men are going to be hanged.' As he came nearer, he saw that the two men were his brothers, who had turned robbers; so he said, 'Cannot they in any way be saved?' But the people said 'No,' unless he would bestow all his money upon the rascals and buy their liberty. Then he did not stay to think about the matter, but paid what was asked, and his brothers were given up, and went on with him towards their home.

And as they came to the wood where the fox first met them, it was so cool and pleasant that the two brothers said, 'Let us sit down by the side of the river, and rest a while, to eat and drink.' So he said, 'Yes,' and forgot the fox's counsel, and sat down on the side of the river; and while he suspected nothing, they came behind, and threw him down the bank, and took the princess, the horse, and the bird, and went home to the king their master, and said. 'All this have we won by our labour.' Then there was great rejoicing made; but the horse would not eat, the bird would not sing, and the princess wept.

The youngest son fell to the bottom of the river's bed: luckily it was nearly dry, but his bones were almost broken, and the bank was so steep that he could find no way to get out. Then the old fox came once more, and scolded him for not following his advice; otherwise no evil would have befallen him: 'Yet,' said he, 'I cannot leave you here, so lay hold of my tail and hold fast.' Then he pulled him out of the river, and said to him, as he got upon the bank, 'Your brothers have set watch to kill you, if they find you in the kingdom.' So he dressed himself as a poor man, and came secretly to the king's court, and was scarcely within the doors when the horse began to eat, and the bird to sing, and princess left off weeping. Then he went to the king, and told him all his brothers' roguery; and they were seized and punished, and he had the princess given to him again; and after the king's death he was heir to his kingdom.

A long while after, he went to walk one day in the wood, and the old fox met him, and besought him with tears in his eyes to kill him, and cut off his head and feet. And at last he did so, and in a moment the fox was changed into a man, and turned out to be the brother of the princess, who had been lost a great many many years.

Read more at http://www.kidsgen.com/fables_and_fairy … mBylGfQ.99



/ Hans Christian Andersen "Sunshine Stories".

Now I am going to tell a story, said the Wind.

Excuse me, said the Rain, but now it is my turn, you have been howling round the corner as hard as ever you could, this long time past.

Is that your gratitude toward me? said the Wind. I who, in honor of you, turn inside outyes, even breakall the umbrellas, when people wont have anything to do with you.

I am going to speak! said the Sunshine. Silence!

And the Sunshine said it with such glory and majesty, that the long, weary Wind fell prostrate, and the Rain beat against him, and shook him, and said,We wont stand it! She always breaks through, that Madam Sunshine; we wont listen to her. What she says is not worth hearing.

But the Sunshine said,A beautiful swan flew over the rolling, tumbling waves of the ocean. Every one of its feathers shone like gold: one feather drifted down on the great merchant vessel that, with all sail set, was sailing away. The feather dropped on the curly light hair of a young man, whose business it was to have a care for the goods,supercargo they called him. The bird of Fortunes feather touched his forehead, became a pen in his hand, and brought him such luck, that very soon he became a wealthy merchant,rich enough to have bought for himself spurs of gold; rich enough to change a golden dish into a noblemans shield; and I shone on it, said the Sunshine.

The swan flew further, away over the bright green meadow, where the little shepherd-boy, only seven years old, had lain down in the shadow of the old and only tree there was. The swan, in its flight, kissed one of the leaves of the tree. The leaf fell into the boys hand, and it was changed to three leaves, to ten,yes, to a whole book,and in it he read about all the wonders of nature, about his native language, about faith and knowledge. At night he laid the book under his head, that he might not forget what he had been reading. The wonderful book led him to the school-bench, and thence in search of knowledge. I have read his name among the names of learned men, said the Sunshine.

The swan flew into the quiet, lonely forest, rested awhile on the dark, deep lake, where the water-lilies grow; where the wild apples are to be found on the shore ; where the cuckoo and wild pigeon have their homes.

A poor woman was in the wood, gathering firewood branches that had fallen down, and dry sticks; she carried them in a bundle on her back, and in her arms she held her little child. She saw the golden swan, the bird of Fortune, rise from among the reeds on the shore. What was that that glittered? A golden egg, quite warm yet. She laid it in her bosom, and the warmth remained in it. Surely there was life in the egg! She heard a gentle picking inside of the shell, but mistook the sound, and thought it was her own heart that she heard beating.

At home, in the poor cottage, she took out the egg; tick, tick, it said, as if it had been a valuable gold watch; but that it was not, only an egga real, living egg. The egg cracked and opened, and a dear little baby-swan, all feathered as with purest gold, put out its little head; round its neck it had four rings, and as the poor woman had four boys,three at home, and the little one that she had had with her in the lonely wood,she understood at once that here was a ring for each boy and just as she thought of that, the little gold-bt here was a ring for each boy and just as she thought of that, the little gold-biird took flight She kissed each ring, made each of the children kiss one of the rings, laid it next to the childs heart, then put it on his finger. I saw it all, said the Sunshine, and I saw what followed.

One of the boys was playing in a ditch, and took a lump of clay in his hand, turned and twisted and pressed it between his fingers, till it took shape, and was like Jason, who went in search of and found the golden fleece.

The second boy ran out on the meadow, where the flowers stood,flowers of all imaginable colors; he gathered a handful, and squeezed them so tight that all the juice spurted into his eyes, and some of it wetted the ring. It cribbled and crawled in his thoughts, and in his hands, and after many a day, and many a year, people in the great city talked of the great painter.

The third child held the ring so tight in his teeth, that it gave forth sound, an echo of the song in the depth of his heart. Thoughts and feelings rose in beautiful sounds; rose like singing swans; plunged, like swans, into the deep, deep sea. He became a great master, a great composer, of whom every country has the right to say, He was mine!

And the fourth little one wasyes, he wasthe ugly duck of the family; they said he had the pip, and must have pepper and butter, like the little sick chickens, and that he got; but of me he got a warm, sunny kiss, said the Sunshine. He got ten kisses for one; he was a poet, and was buffeted and kissed, alternately, all his life. But he held what no one could take from him,the Ring of Fortune, from Dame Fortunes golden swan. His thoughts took wings, and flew up and away, like singing butterflies,the emblem of immortality!

That was a dreadfully long story, said the Wind.

And O, how stupid and tiresome ! said the Rain. Blow on me, please, that I may revive a little.

And the Wind blew, and the Sunshine said,The swan of Fortune flew over the beautiful bay, where the fishermen had set their nets; the poorest of them wanted to get married, and marry he did. To him the swan brought a piece of amber; amber draws things toward it, and it drew hearts to the house. Amber is the most wonderful incense, and there came a soft perfume, as from a church; there came a sweet breath from out of beautiful nature, that God has made. They were so happy and grateful for their peaceful home, and content even in their poverty. Their life became a real Sunshine story!

I think we had better stop now, said the Wind, the Sunshine has talked long enough, and I am dreadfully bored.

And I also, said the Rain.

And what do we others, who have heard the story, say?

We say, Now my storys done.



The Fox and the Crow -

Fairy tales and stories for children

Read the story:

Once upon a time a crow was perched on a branch, holding a piece of cheese in his beak.
A fox looked up and saw him. His tummy rumbled.

"Mmm," he thought to himself, "I do love a nice bit of cheese."

Now the crafty fox, who could smell that delicious cheese, walked up to the tree.
He said in a sneaky voice, "Good day to you, Mr Crow! How well you look today. I have never seen such a silky set of feathers! And what a beautiful colour, so luscious and dark. If all the other animals in the wood hadn't said that you have a terrible voice I would have called you the most beautiful and graceful of all the birds in the wood. But it can't be true what they say, I'm sure that your voice must be just as good as your looks! Oh, if only I could hear it

The crow, flattered to hear such kind words, couldn't resist the desire to show off his voice.
He opened his beak and at that very moment the cheese fell out.

"Thank you," the fox said and quickly grabbed the cheese. "That's just what I wanted. In the future, if somebody flatters you, think hard before you trust them.



/ Hans Christian Andersen "The Ugly Duckling".

Den grimme Ælling

(. Den grimme Ælling) , 11 1843 . .

"The Ugly Duckling"

It was lovely summer weather in the country, and the golden corn, the green oats, and the haystacks piled up in the meadows looked beautiful. The stork walking about on his long red legs chattered in the Egyptian language, which he had learnt from his mother. The corn-fields and meadows were surrounded by large forests, in the midst of which were deep pools. It was, indeed, delightful to walk about in the country. In a sunny spot stood a pleasant old farm-house close by a deep river, and from the house down to the water side grew great burdock leaves, so high, that under the tallest of them a little child could stand upright. The spot was as wild as the centre of a thick wood. In this snug retreat sat a duck on her nest, watching for her young brood to hatch; she was beginning to get tired of her task, for the little ones were a long time coming out of their shells, and she seldom had any visitors. The other ducks liked much better to swim about in the river than to climb the slippery banks, and sit under a burdock leaf, to have a gossip with her. At length one shell cracked, and then another, and from each egg came a living creature that lifted its head and cried, Peep, peep. Quack, quack, said the mother, and then they all quacked as well as they could, and looked about them on every side at the large green leaves. Their mother allowed them to look as much as they liked, because green is good for the eyes. How large the world is, said the young ducks, when they found how much more room they now had than while they were inside the egg-shell. Do you imagine this is the whole world? asked the mother; Wait till you have seen the garden; it stretches far beyond that to the parsons field, but I have never ventured to such a distance. Are you all out? she continued, rising; No, I declare, the largest egg lies there still. I wonder how long this is to last, I am quite tired of it; and she seated herself again on the nest.

Well, how are you getting on? asked an old duck, who paid her a visit.

One egg is not hatched yet, said the duck, it will not break. But just look at all the others, are they not the prettiest little ducklings you ever saw? They are the image of their father, who is so unkind, he never comes to see.

Let me see the egg that will not break, said the duck; I have no doubt it is a turkeys egg. I was persuaded to hatch some once, and after all my care and trouble with the young ones, they were afraid of the water. I quacked and clucked, but all to no purpose. I could not get them to venture in. Let me look at the egg. Yes, that is a turkeys egg; take my advice, leave it where it is and teach the other children to swim.

I think I will sit on it a little while longer, said the duck; as I have sat so long already, a few days will be nothing.

Please yourself, said the old duck, and she went away.

At last the large egg broke, and a young one crept forth crying, Peep, peep. It was very large and ugly. The duck stared at it and exclaimed, It is very large and not at all like the others. I wonder if it really is a turkey. We shall soon find it out, however when we go to the water. It must go in, if I have to push it myself.

On the next day the weather was delightful, and the sun shone brightly on the green burdock leaves, so the mother duck took her young brood down to the water, and jumped in with a splash. Quack, quack, cried she, and one after another the little ducklings jumped in. The water closed over their heads, but they came up again in an instant, and swam about quite prettily with their legs paddling under them as easily as possible, and the ugly duckling was also in the water swimming with them.

Oh, said the mother, that is not a turkey; how well he uses his legs, and how upright he holds himself! He is my own child, and he is not so very ugly after all if you look at him properly. Quack, quack! come with me now, I will take you into grand society, and introduce you to the farmyard, but you must keep close to me or you may be trodden upon; and, above all, beware of the cat.

When they reached the farmyard, there was a great disturbance, two families were fighting for an eels head, which, after all, was carried off by the cat. See, children, that is the way of the world, said the mother duck, whetting her beak, for she would have liked the eels head herself. Come, now, use your legs, and let me see how well you can behave. You must bow your heads prettily to that old duck yonder; she is the highest born of them all, and has Spanish blood, therefore, she is well off. Dont you see she has a red flag tied to her leg, which is something very grand, and a great honor for a duck; it shows that every one is anxious not to lose her, as she can be recognized both by man and beast. Come, now, dont turn your toes, a well-bred duckling spreads his feet wide apart, just like his father and mother, in this way; now bend your neck, and say quack.

The ducklings did as they were bid, but the other duck stared, and said, Look, here comes another brood, as if there were not enough of us already! and what a queer looking object one of them is; we dont want him here, and then one flew out and bit him in the neck.

Let him alone, said the mother; he is not doing any harm.

Yes, but he is so big and ugly, said the spiteful duck and therefore he must be turned out.

The others are very pretty children, said the old duck, with the rag on her leg, all but that one; I wish his mother could improve him a little.

That is impossible, your grace, replied the mother; he is not pretty; but he has a very good disposition, and swims as well or even better than the others. I think he will grow up pretty, and perhaps be smaller; he has remained too long in the egg, and therefore his figure is not properly formed; and then she stroked his neck and smoothed the feathers, saying, It is a drake, and therefore not of so much consequence. I think he will grow up strong, and able to take care of himself.

The other ducklings are graceful enough, said the old duck. Now make yourself at home, and if you can find an eels head, you can bring it to me.

And so they made themselves comfortable; but the poor duckling, who had crept out of his shell last of all, and looked so ugly, was bitten and pushed and made fun of, not only by the ducks, but by all the poultry. He is too big, they all said, and the turkey cock, who had been born into the world with spurs, and fancied himself really an emperor, puffed himself out like a vessel in full sail, and flew at the duckling, and became quite red in the head with passion, so that the poor little thing did not know where to go, and was quite miserable because he was so ugly and laughed at by the whole farmyard. So it went on from day to day till it got worse and worse. The poor duckling was driven about by every one; even his brothers and sisters were unkind to him, and would say, Ah, you ugly creature, I wish the cat would get you, and his mother said she wished he had never been born. The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him with her feet. So at last he ran away, frightening the little birds in the hedge as he flew over the palings.

They are afraid of me because I am ugly, he said. So he closed his eyes, and flew still farther, until he came out on a large moor, inhabited by wild ducks. Here he remained the whole night, feeling very tired and sorrowful.

In the morning, when the wild ducks rose in the air, they stared at their new comrade. What sort of a duck are you? they all said, coming round him.

He bowed to them, and was as polite as he could be, but he did not reply to their question. You are exceedingly ugly, said the wild ducks, but that will not matter if you do not want to marry one of our family.

Poor thing! he had no thoughts of marriage; all he wanted was permission to lie among the rushes, and drink some of the water on the moor. After he had been on the moor two days, there came two wild geese, or rather goslings, for they had not been out of the egg long, and were very saucy. Listen, friend, said one of them to the duckling, you are so ugly, that we like you very well. Will you go with us, and become a bird of passage? Not far from here is another moor, in which there are some pretty wild geese, all unmarried. It is a chance for you to get a wife; you may be lucky, ugly as you are.

Pop, pop, sounded in the air, and the two wild geese fell dead among the rushes, and the water was tinged with blood. Pop, pop, echoed far and wide in the distance, and whole flocks of wild geese rose up from the rushes. The sound continued from every direction, for the sportsmen surrounded the moor, and some were even seated on branches of trees, overlooking the rushes. The blue smoke from the guns rose like clouds over the dark trees, and as it floated away across the water, a number of sporting dogs bounded in among the rushes, which bent beneath them wherever they went. How they terrified the poor duckling! He turned away his head to hide it under his wing, and at the same moment a large terrible dog passed quite near him. His jaws were open, his tongue hung from his mouth, and his eyes glared fearfully. He thrust his nose close to the duckling, showing his sharp teeth, and then, splash, splash, he went into the water without touching him, Oh, sighed the duckling, how thankful I am for being so ugly; even a dog will not bite me. And so he lay quite still, while the shot rattled through the rushes, and gun after gun was fired over him. It was late in the day before all became quiet, but even then the poor young thing did not dare to move. He waited quietly for several hours, and then, after looking carefully around him, hastened away from the moor as fast as he could. He ran over field and meadow till a storm arose, and he could hardly struggle against it. Towards evening, he reached a poor little cottage that seemed ready to fall, and only remained standing because it could not decide on which side to fall first. The storm continued so violent, that the duckling could go no farther; he sat down by the cottage, and then he noticed that the door was not quite closed in consequence of one of the hinges having given way. There was therefore a narrow opening near the bottom large enough for him to slip through, which he did very quietly, and got a shelter for the night. A woman, a tom cat, and a hen lived in this cottage. The tom cat, whom the mistress called, My little son, was a great favorite; he could raise his back, and purr, and could even throw out sparks from his fur if it were stroked the wrong way. The hen had very short legs, so she was called Chickie short legs. She laid good eggs, and her mistress loved her as if she had been her own child. In the morning, the strange visitor was discovered, and the tom cat began to purr, and the hen to cluck.

What is that noise about? said the old woman, looking round the room, but her sight was not very good; therefore, when she saw the duckling she thought it must be a fat duck, that had strayed from home. Oh what a prize! she exclaimed, I hope it is not a drake, for then I shall have some ducks eggs. I must wait and see. So the duckling was allowed to remain on trial for three weeks, but there were no eggs. Now the tom cat was the master of the house, and the hen was mistress, and they always said, We and the world, for they believed themselves to be half the world, and the better half too. The duckling thought that others might hold a different opinion on the subject, but the hen would not listen to such doubts. Can you lay eggs? she asked. No. Then have the goodness to hold your tongue. Can you raise your back, or purr, or throw out sparks? said the tom cat. No. Then you have no right to express an opinion when sensible people are speaking. So the duckling sat in a corner, feeling very low spirited, till the sunshine and the fresh air came into the room through the open door, and then he began to feel such a great longing for a swim on the water, that he could not help telling the hen.

What an absurd idea, said the hen. You have nothing else to do, therefore you have foolish fancies. If you could purr or lay eggs, they would pass away.

But it is so delightful to swim about on the water, said the duckling, and so refreshing to feel it close over your head, while you dive down to the bottom.

Delightful, indeed! said the hen, why you must be crazy! Ask the cat, he is the cleverest animal I know, ask him how he would like to swim about on the water, or to dive under it, for I will not speak of my own opinion; ask our mistress, the old womanthere is no one in the world more clever than she is. Do you think she would like to swim, or to let the water close over her head?

You dont understand me, said the duckling.

We dont understand you? Who can understand you, I wonder? Do you consider yourself more clever than the cat, or the old woman? I will say nothing of myself. Dont imagine such nonsense, child, and thank your good fortune that you have been received here. Are you not in a warm room, and in society from which you may learn something. But you are a chatterer, and your company is not very agreeable. Believe me, I speak only for your own good. I may tell you unpleasant truths, but that is a proof of my friendship. I advise you, therefore, to lay eggs, and learn to purr as quickly as possible.

I believe I must go out into the world again, said the duckling.

Yes, do, said the hen. So the duckling left the cottage, and soon found water on which it could swim and dive, but was avoided by all other animals, because of its ugly appearance. Autumn came, and the leaves in the forest turned to orange and gold. then, as winter approached, the wind caught them as they fell and whirled them in the cold air. The clouds, heavy with hail and snow-flakes, hung low in the sky, and the raven stood on the ferns crying, Croak, croak. It made one shiver with cold to look at him. All this was very sad for the poor little duckling. One evening, just as the sun set amid radiant clouds, there came a large flock of beautiful birds out of the bushes. The duckling had never seen any like them before. They were swans, and they curved their graceful necks, while their soft plumage shown with dazzling whiteness. They uttered a singular cry, as they spread their glorious wings and flew away from those cold regions to warmer countries across the sea. As they mounted higher and higher in the air, the ugly little duckling felt quite a strange sensation as he watched them. He whirled himself in the water like a wheel, stretched out his neck towards them, and uttered a cry so strange that it frightened himself. Could he ever forget those beautiful, happy birds; and when at last they were out of his sight, he dived under the water, and rose again almost beside himself with excitement. He knew not the names of these birds, nor where they had flown, but he felt towards them as he had never felt for any other bird in the world. He was not envious of these beautiful creatures, but wished to be as lovely as they. Poor ugly creature, how gladly he would have lived even with the ducks had they only given him encouragement. The winter grew colder and colder; he was obliged to swim about on the water to keep it from freezing, but every night the space on which he swam became smaller and smaller. At length it froze so hard that the ice in the water crackled as he moved, and the duckling had to paddle with his legs as well as he could, to keep the space from closing up. He became exhausted at last, and lay still and helpless, frozen fast in the ice.

Early in the morning, a peasant, who was passing by, saw what had happened. He broke the ice in pieces with his wooden shoe, and carried the duckling home to his wife. The warmth revived the poor little creature; but when the children wanted to play with him, the duckling thought they would do him some harm; so he started up in terror, fluttered into the milk-pan, and splashed the milk about the room. Then the woman clapped her hands, which frightened him still more. He flew first into the butter-cask, then into the meal-tub, and out again. What a condition he was in! The woman screamed, and struck at him with the tongs; the children laughed and screamed, and tumbled over each other, in their efforts to catch him; but luckily he escaped. The door stood open; the poor creature could just manage to slip out among the bushes, and lie down quite exhausted in the newly fallen snow.

It would be very sad, were I to relate all the misery and privations which the poor little duckling endured during the hard winter; but when it had passed, he found himself lying one morning in a moor, amongst the rushes. He felt the warm sun shining, and heard the lark singing, and saw that all around was beautiful spring. Then the young bird felt that his wings were strong, as he flapped them against his sides, and rose high into the air. They bore him onwards, until he found himself in a large garden, before he well knew how it had happened. The apple-trees were in full blossom, and the fragrant elders bent their long green branches down to the stream which wound round a smooth lawn. Everything looked beautiful, in the freshness of early spring. From a thicket close by came three beautiful white swans, rustling their feathers, and swimming lightly over the smooth water. The duckling remembered the lovely birds, and felt more strangely unhappy than ever.

I will fly to those royal birds, he exclaimed, and they will kill me, because I am so ugly, and dare to approach them; but it does not matter: better be killed by them than pecked by the ducks, beaten by the hens, pushed about by the maiden who feeds the poultry, or starved with hunger in the winter.

Then he flew to the water, and swam towards the beautiful swans. The moment they espied the stranger, they rushed to meet him with outstretched wings.

Kill me, said the poor bird; and he bent his head down to the surface of the water, and awaited death.

But what did he see in the clear stream below? His own image; no longer a dark, gray bird, ugly and disagreeable to look at, but a graceful and beautiful swan. To be born in a ducks nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swans egg. He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him; for the great swans swam round the new-comer, and stroked his neck with their beaks, as a welcome.

Into the garden presently came some little children, and threw bread and cake into the water.

See, cried the youngest, there is a new one; and the rest were delighted, and ran to their father and mother, dancing and clapping their hands, and shouting joyously, There is another swan come; a new one has arrived.

Then they threw more bread and cake into the water, and said, The new one is the most beautiful of all; he is so young and pretty. And the old swans bowed their heads before him.

Then he felt quite ashamed, and hid his head under his wing; for he did not know what to do, he was so happy, and yet not at all proud. He had been persecuted and despised for his ugliness, and now he heard them say he was the most beautiful of all the birds. Even the elder-tree bent down its bows into the water before him, and the sun shone warm and bright. Then he rustled his feathers, curved his slender neck, and cried joyfully, from the depths of his heart, I never dreamed of such happiness as this, while I was an ugly duckling.


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