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Also in these pages are stories about animals both wise and cruel—a tiger tricked into returning to his cage by a jackal, a crane outwitted by a crab, and the cat, dog and mice who pit their wits against crafty humans. Brave girls, adventurous men, wily tricksters and loyal friends populate this book, bringing alive an imagined world from long, long ago. Beautifully illustrated in colour and introduced by Jerry Pinto, these fairy tales are as unique as they are unforgettable and will ignite the imagination of a new generation of readers. Joseph Jacobs was an Australian folklorist, translator, historian and writer.

He collected many traditional folk and fairy tales and made them popular with his retellings. View profile. Speaking Tiger Academic. The next morning he took it to the court-house to the king. But the king said, "You cannot yet marry my daughter.


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If you wish to do so, you must first fight with my two demons and kill them. He was afraid to let them loose for fear they would eat up all the people in his country; and he did not know how to kill them. So all the kings and kings' sons who wanted to marry the Princess Labam had to fight with these demons; [14] "for," said the king to himself, "perhaps the demons may be killed, and then I shall be rid of them.

When he heard of the demons the Raja's son was very sad. How can I do this? I and my wife will fight with them for you.


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  • Then the Raja's son took out of his bag two splendid coats. They were all gold and silver, and covered with pearls and diamonds. These he put on the tigers to make them beautiful, and he took them to the king, and said to him, "May these tigers fight your demons for me? Up in the sky I have a kettle-drum. You must go and beat it. If you cannot do this, I will kill you. The Raja's son thought of his little bed; so he went to the old woman's house and sat on his bed. I want to go to it. Still, when he came down, the king would not give him his daughter.

    Then the king showed him the trunk of a tree that was lying near his court-house.

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    It was a very, very thick trunk. He gave the prince a wax hatchet, and said, "To-morrow morning you must cut this trunk in two with this wax hatchet. The Raja's son went back to the old woman's house. He was very sad, and thought that now the Raja would certainly kill him. My bed helped me to beat his kettle-drum. But now what can I do? How can I cut that thick tree-trunk in two with a wax hatchet? At night he went on his bed to see the princess. How can I ever do that? Then she pulled out a hair from her head, and gave it to the prince.

    SurLaLune Fairy Tales: The Fairy Tales of Joseph Jacobs

    The prince next day did exactly as the princess had told him; and the minute the hair that was stretched down the edge of the hatchet-blade touched the tree-trunk it split into two pieces. The king said, "Now you can marry my daughter. All the Rajas and kings of the countries round were asked to come to it, and there were great rejoicings. After a few days the prince's son said to his wife, "Let us go to my father's country. The prince always kept his bag, bowl, bed, and stick; only, as no one ever came to make war on him, he never needed to use the stick.

    Now one day he set off to visit his Granny, and was jumping with joy to think of all the good things he should get from her, when who should he meet but a Jackal, who looked at the tender young morsel and said: "Lambikin! I'll eat YOU! By-and-by he met a Vulture, and the Vulture, looking hungrily at the tender morsel before him, said: "Lambikin! And by-and-by he met a Tiger, and then a Wolf, and a Dog, and an Eagle, and all these, when they saw the tender little morsel, said: "Lambikin!

    At last he reached his Granny's house, and said, all in a great hurry, "Granny, dear, I've promised to get very fat; so, as people ought to keep their promises, please put me into the corn-bin at once. So his Granny said he was a good boy, and put him into the corn-bin, and there the greedy little Lambikin stayed for seven days, and ate, and ate, and ate, until he could scarcely waddle, and his Granny said he was fat enough for anything, and must go home. But cunning little Lambikin said that would never do, for some animal would be sure to eat him on the way back, he was so plump and tender.

    So his Granny made a nice little drumikin out of his brother's skin, with the wool inside, and Lambikin curled himself up snug and warm in the middle, and trundled away gaily. Soon he met with the Eagle, who called out:. At last the Jackal came limping along, for all his sorry looks as sharp as a needle, and he too called out—. But he never got any further, for the Jackal recognised his voice at once, and cried: "Hullo!

    Just you come out of that!

    American Indian Fairy Tales by William Trowbridge Larned (Free Audio Book)

    They were all good girls; but the youngest, named Balna, was more clever than the rest. The Raja's wife died when they were quite little children, so these seven poor Princesses were left with no mother to take care of them. The Raja's daughters took it by turns to cook their father's dinner every day, whilst he was absent deliberating with his Ministers on the affairs of the nation.

    About this time the Prudhan died, leaving a widow and one daughter; and every day, every day, when the seven [22] Princesses were preparing their father's dinner, the Prudhan's widow and daughter would come and beg for a little fire from the hearth. Then Balna used to say to her sisters, "Send that woman away; send her away. Let her get the fire at her own house.

    What does she want with ours? If we allow her to come here, we shall suffer for it some day. But the other sisters would answer, "Be quiet, Balna; why must you always be quarrelling with this poor woman? Let her take some fire if she likes.

    Now the Raja was very fond of his daughters. Ever since their mother's death they had cooked his dinner with their own hands, in order to avoid the danger of his being poisoned by his enemies.

    So, when he found the mud mixed up with his dinner, he thought it must arise from their carelessness, as it did not seem likely that any one should have put mud there on purpose; but being very kind he did not like to reprove them for it, although this spoiling of the curry was repeated many successive days. At last, one day, he determined to hide, and watch his daughters cooking, and see how it all happened; so he went into the next room, and watched them through a hole in the wall. There he saw his seven daughters carefully washing the rice and preparing the curry, and as each dish was completed, they put it by the fire ready to be cooked.

    Next he noticed the Prudhan's widow come to the door, and beg [23] for a few sticks from the fire to cook her dinner with. Balna turned to her, angrily, and said, "Why don't you keep fuel in your own house, and not come here every day and take ours? Sisters, don't give this woman any more wood; let her buy it for herself. Then the eldest sister answered, "Balna, let the poor woman take the wood and the fire; she does us no harm. The Raja then saw the Prudhan's widow go to the place where all his dinner was nicely prepared, and, as she took the wood, she threw a little mud into each of the dishes.

    At this he was very angry, and sent to have the woman seized and brought before him. But when the widow came, she told him that she had played this trick because she wanted to gain an audience with him; and she spoke so cleverly, and pleased him so well with her cunning words, that instead of punishing her, the Raja married her, and made her his Ranee, and she and her daughter came to live in the palace. Now the new Ranee hated the seven poor Princesses, and wanted to get them, if possible, out of the way, in order that her daughter might have all their riches, and live in the palace as Princess in their place; and instead of being grateful to them for their kindness to her, she did all she could to make them miserable.

    She gave them nothing but bread to eat, and very little of that, and very little water to drink; so these seven poor little Princesses, who had been accustomed to have everything comfortable about them, and [24] good food and good clothes all their lives long, were very miserable and unhappy; and they used to go out every day and sit by their dead mother's tomb and cry—and say:. One day, whilst they were thus sobbing and crying, lo and behold! Then the Ranee said to her daughter, "I cannot tell how it is, every day those seven girls say they don't want any dinner, and won't eat any; and yet they never grow thin nor look ill; they look better than you do.

    I cannot tell how it is.