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Bruno's Bedtime

Gold Fish

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we Golden Fish

forget that they are already someone today."




by Andrew Lang - Olive Fairy Book

             Once upon a time there lived in Egypt a king who lost his sight from a bad illness. Of course he was very unhappy, and became more so as months passed, and all the best doctors in the land were unable to cure him. The poor man grew so thin from misery that everyone thought he was going to die, and the prince, his only son, thought so too.

             Great was therefore the rejoicing through Egypt when a traveller arrived in a boat down the river Nile, and after questioning the people as to the reason of their downcast looks, declared that he was court physician to the king of a far country, and would, if allowed, examine the eyes of the blind man. He was at once admitted into the royal presence, and after a few minutes of careful study announced that the case, though very serious, was not quite hopeless.Golden Fish

                'Somewhere in the Great Sea,' he said, 'there exists a Golden-headed Fish. If you can manage to catch this creature, bring it to me, and I will prepare an ointment from its blood which will restore your sight. For a hundred days I will wait here, but if at the end of that time the fish should still be uncaught, I must return to my own master.'

                The next morning the young prince set forth in quest of the fish, taking with him a hundred men, each man carrying a net. Quite a little fleet of boats was awaiting them, and in these they sailed to the middle of the Great Sea. During three months they laboured diligently from sunrise to sunset, but though they caught large multitudes of fishes, not one of them had a golden head.

            'It is quite useless now,' said the prince on the very last night. 'Even if we find it this evening, the hundred days will be over in an hour, and long before we could reach the Egyptian capital the doctor will be on his way home. Still, I will go out again, and cast the net once more myself.' And so he did, and at the very moment that the hundred days were up, he drew in the net with the Golden-headed Fish entangled in its meshes.

              'Success has come, but, as happens often, it is too late,' murmured the young man, who had studied in the schools of philosophy; 'but, all the same, put the fish in that vessel full of water, and we will take it back to show my father that we have done what we could.' But when he drew near the fish it looked up at him with such piteous eyes that he could not make up his mind to condemn it to death. For he knew well that, though the doctors of his own country were ignorant of the secret of the ointment, they would do all in their power to extract something from the fish's blood. So he picked up the prize of so much labour, and threw it back into the sea, and then began his journey back to the palace. When at last he reached it he found the king in a high fever, caused by his disappointment, and he refused to believe the story told him by his son.

                'Your head shall pay for it ! Your head shall pay for it !' cried he; and bade the courtiers instantly summon the executioner to the palace.

               But of course somebody ran at once to the queen, and told her of the king's order, and she put common clothes on the prince, and filled his pockets with gold, and hurried him on board a ship which was sailing that night for a distant island.

                'Your father will repent some day, and then he will be thankful to know you are alive,' said she. 'But one last counsel will I give you, and that is, take no man into your service who desires to be paid every month.'

              The young prince thought this advice rather odd. If the servant had to be paid anyhow, he did not understand what difference it could make whether it was by the year or by the month. However, he had many times proved that his mother was wiser than he, so he promised obedience.

                After a voyage of several weeks, he arrived at the island of which his mother had spoken. It was full of hills and woods and flowers, and beautiful white houses stood everywhere in gardens.

                Golden Fish 'What a charming spot to live in,' thought the prince. And he lost no time in buying one of the prettiest of the dwellings.

            Then servants came pressing to offer their services; but as they all declared that they must have payment at the end of every month, the young man, who remembered his mother's words, declined to have anything to say to them. At length, one morning, an Arab appeared and begged that the prince would engage him.

                    'And what wages do you ask ?' inquired the prince, when he had questioned the new-corner and found him suitable.

             'I do not want money,' answered the Arab; 'at the end of a year you can see what my services are worth to you, and can pay me in any way you like.' And the young man was pleased, and took the Arab for his servant.

            Now, although no one would have guessed it from the look of the side of the island where the prince had landed, the other part was a complete desert, owing to the ravages of a horrible monster which came up from the sea, and devoured all the corn and cattle. The governor had sent bands of soldiers to lie in wait for the creature in order to kill it; but, somehow, no one ever happened to be awake at the moment that the ravages were committed. It was in vain that the sleepy soldiers were always punished severely -- the same thing invariably occurred next time; and at last heralds were sent throughout the island to offer a great reward to the man who could slay the monster.

 As soon as the Arab heard the news, he went straight to the governor's palace.

'If my master can succeed in killing the monster, what reward will you give him ?' asked he.

 'My daughter and anything besides that he chooses,' answered the governor. But the Arab shook his head.

 'Give him your daughter and keep your wealth,' said he; 'but, henceforward, let her share in your gains, whatever they are.'

 'It is well,' replied the governor; and ordered a deed to be prepared, which was signed by both of them.

That night the Arab stole down to the shore to watch, but, before he set out, he rubbed himself all over with some oil which made his skin smart so badly that there was no chance of his going to sleep as the soldiers had done. Then he hid himself behind a large rock and waited. By -- and - by a swell seemed to rise on the water, and, a few minutes later, a hideous monster -- part bird, part beast, and part serpent -- stepped noiselessly on to the rocks. It walked stealthily up towards the fields, but the Arab was ready for it, and, as it passed, plunged his dagger into the soft part behind the ear. The creature staggered and gave a loud cry, and then rolled over dead, with its feet in the sea.

                    The Arab watched for a little while, in order to make sure that there was no life left in his enemy, but as the huge body remained quite still, he quitted his hiding place, and cut off the ears of his foe. These he carried to his master, bidding him show them to the governor, and declare that he himself, and no other, had killed the monster.

'But it was you, and not I, who slew him,' objected the prince.

 'Never mind; do as I bid you. I have a reason for it,' answered the Arab. And though the young man did not like taking credit for what he had never done, at length he gave in.

The governor was so delighted at the news that he begged the prince to take his daughter to wife that very day; but the prince refused, saying that all he desired was a ship which would carry him to see the world. Of course this was granted him at once, and when he and his faithful Arab embarked they found, heaped up in the vessel, stores of diamonds and precious stones, which the grateful governor had secretly placed there.

 So they sailed, and they sailed, and they sailed; and at length they reached the shores of Golden Fisha great kingdom. Leaving the prince on board, the Arab went into the town to find out what sort of a place it was. After some hours he returned, saying that he heard that the king's daughter was the most beautiful princess in the world, and that the prince would do well to ask for her hand.

           Nothing loth, the prince listened to this advice, and taking some of the finest necklaces in his hand, he mounted a splendid horse which the Arab had bought for him, and rode up to the palace, closely followed by his faithful attendant.

        The strange king happened to be in a good humour, and they were readily admitted to his presence. Laying down his offerings on the steps of the throne, he prayed the king to grant him his daughter in marriage.

          The monarch listened to him in silence; but answered, after a pause:

         'Young man, I will give you my daughter to wife, if that is your wish; but first I must tell you that she has already gone through the marriage ceremony with a hundred and ninety young men, and not one of them lived for twelve hours after. So think, while there is yet time.'

     The prince did think, and was so frightened that he very nearly went back to his ship without any more words. But just as he was about to withdraw his proposal the Arab whispered:

'Fear nothing, but take her.'

     'The luck must change some time,' he said, at last; 'and who would not risk his head for the hand of such a peerless princess ?'

'As you will,' replied the king. 'Then I will give orders that the marriage shall be celebrated to-night.'

       And so it was done; and after the ceremony the bride and bridegroom retired to their own apartments to sup by themselves, for such was the custom of the country. The moon shone bright, and the prince walked to the window to look out upon the river and upon the distant hills, when his gaze suddenly fell on a silken shroud neatly laid out on a couch, with his name embroidered in gold thread across the front; for this also was the pleasure of the king.

        Horrified at the spectacle, he turned his head away, and this time his glance rested on a group of men, digging busily beneath the window. It was a strange hour for anyone to be at work, and what was the hole for ? It was a curious shape, so long and narrow, almost like -- Ah ! yes, that was what it was ! It was his grave that they were digging !

       The shock of the discovery rendered him speechless, yet he stood fascinated and unable to move. At this moment a small black snake darted from the mouth of the princess, who was seated at the table, and wriggled quickly towards him. But the Arab was watching for something of the sort to happen, and seizing the serpent with some pincers that he held in one hand, he cut off its head with a sharp dagger.

              The king could hardly believe his eyes when, early the next morning, his new son-in-law craved an audience of his Majesty.

            'What, you ?' he cried, as the young man entered.

       'Yes, I. Why not ?' asked the bridegroom, who thought it best to pretend not to know anything that had occurred. 'You remember, I told you that the luck must turn at last, and so it has. But I came to ask whether you would be so kind as to bid the gardeners fill up a great hole right underneath my window, which spoils the view.'

'Oh ! certainly, yes; of course it shall be done !' stammered the king. 'Is there anything else ?'

'No, nothing, thank you,' replied the prince, as he bowed and withdrew.

            Now, from the moment that the Arab cut off the snake's head, the spell, or whatever it was, seemed to have been taken off the princess, and she lived very happily with her husband. The days passed swiftly in hunting in the forests, or sailing on the broad river that flowed past the palace, and when night fell she would sing to her harp, or the prince would tell her tales of his own country.

              One evening a man in a strange garb, with a face burnt brown by the sun, arrived at court. He asked to see the bridegroom, and falling on his face announced that he was a messenger sent by the Queen of Egypt, proclaiming him king in succession to his father, who was dead.

            'Her Majesty bGolden Fishegs you will set off without delay, and your bride also, as the affairs of the kingdom are somewhat in disorder,' ended the messenger.

              Then the young man hastened to seek an audience of his father-in-law, who was delighted to find that his daughter's husband was not merely the governor of a province, as he had supposed, but the king of a powerful country. He at once ordered a splendid ship to be made ready, and in a week's time rode down to the harbour, to bid farewell to the young couple.

            In spite of her grief for the dead king, the queen was overjoyed to welcome her son home, and commanded the palace to be hung with splendid stuffs to do honour to the bride. The people expected great things from their new sovereign, for they had suffered much from the harsh rule of the old one, and crowds presented themselves every morning with petitions in their hands, which they hoped to persuade the king to grant. Truly, he had enough to keep him busy; but he was very happy for all that, till, one night, the Arab came to him, and begged permission to return to his own land.

     Filled with dismay the young man said: 'Leave me ! Do you really wish to leave me ? Sadly the Arab bowed his head.

     'No, my master; never could I wish to leave you ! But I have received a summons, and I dare not disobey it.'

     The king was silent, trying to choke down the grief he felt at the thought of losing his faithful servant.

     'Well, I must not try to keep you,' he faltered out at last. 'That would be a poor return for all that you have done for me ! Everything I have is yours: take what you will, for without you I should long ago have been dead !'

     'And without you, I should long ago have been dead,' answered the Arab. 'I am the Golden-headed Fish.'


The Story of Shorty Shynosaur the Dino.

Shorty the Shynosaur:  Rescue at Mammoth RockShorty the Dinosaur
By Glenn A. Hascall:

If you look deep enough in the jungles of Punjabia you will discover the world's smallest dinosaur. His real name was Kyle, but all the dinosaurs in his class called him, Shorty. No one ever called him Kyle except, of course, his dad.

Shorty was a very good student, the only class he didn't like was P. E. He couldn't run as fast as the other dinosaurs and they always made fun of the way he threw the ball, which was almost as big as he was.  When it came to outdoor games, Shorty was always the last to be chosen for a team.  Shorty was also very quiet. Because he was so small he had trouble making friends. The other dinosaurs didn't seem to notice the little dinosaur who tried very hard to stay out of the way of their feet.

Then came the day when all that changed.

Tommy T-Rex had never been the nicest dinosaur in the playground, and he loved to pick on anyone smaller than himself.  Perhaps that was why he noticed Shorty.

"Are you old enough to be school ? You're smaller than my little sister!" Tommy laugh, "You'd better be careful or someone mightstep on you! Shorty pushed his glasses up on his nose and was about to say something when Tommy left to play with some of the biggerdinosaurs.Tommy T-Rex

"Tommy is right," Shorty thought, "I am small, in fact I've never seen a dinosaur my age who was as small as me.

That night at supper Shorty's Dad couldn't help noticing how sad his son looked. "Are you alright, Kyle?" He asked.

I'm smaller than anyone else in my class, even baby dinosaurs are bigger than me. Shorty was thinking as he  pushed the peas around on his plate, waiting for his dad to say something.

Once more his father asked. "Is it there is there something wrong with the food?"

"I don't think I can eat my peas," Shorty replied miserably.

       His dad smiled and guessed what was wrong with his son. "Look son, I know you want to be a big dinosaur, but each dinosaur is different. Some of us are large and have big horns. Some are green, others brown, all different shapes and colours and it's the same with their food. Some eat vegetables and then others eat meat. Not all of them have the same shape or size and all of them have something important they can do." Shorty with his Dad

"Hm, the only thing I'm good at, is being picked at." Shorty replied.

"Hey , that's no way to look at things, his dad said making sure he kept contact with Shorty's eyes. "It isn't that son, it's just that you haven't discovered what your supposed to do yet Kyle, Don't be sad - one day you will discover a very important thing that only you can do. You mark my words if I'm not right."

The next morning Shorty walked to school wearing what he thought was the worlds smallest shoes, the worlds smallest hat and even the worlds smallest glasses, which were really the best thing for the worlds smallest dinosaur. It had been raining earlier, so Shorty decided to wear his jacket so he would stay dry, because he was so small it took him longer than anyone else to walk to school and it could easily have started raining again by the time he arrived there.

"Hey everyone, look whose coming !" Tommy T-Rex said, with everybody looking down on at Shorty coming through the school gate. "Hey I think your name should be Shorty the Shynosaur, after all I have never met anyone shorter than you and I don't know anyone quite as quiet as you !"

It wasn't long before all the other dinosaurs were chanting, "Shorty the Shynosaur ! Shorty the Shynosaur!"

Poor Shorty he was so embarresed but he didn't want the others to see how sad it made him so he started to walk away. It was then they heard someone calling out for help.

"Help me ! Please help me" There standing at the bottom of the nearby trees, was Tommy T-Rex's mother. She was obviously very worried and seemed really upset.

"What is the matter, Mom ?"My egg is stuck in the Mammoth Rock

Tanya T-Rex was almost in tears. "Oh, it's just dreadful Tommy. One of my eggs was washed out of my nest during the rain this morning, it rolled down the hill and into a crack in Mammoth Rock ! Oh what are we to do ?"

    All the dinosaurs raced down to the most famous rock in Punjabia Jungle to see what they could do to help Mrs T-Rex.  Tommy tried to reach the washed away egg but his front arms were much too small. Iggy the biggest Iguanodon tried scratching at the rock to try to move the egg, but it didn't move one inch.

"Em, excuse me!" said Shorty as he arrived at the rock, "Maybe I can help!

"Oh yea," said Tommy, "and what could you do, your much to small to do anything.

"Don't be so quick Tommy." Tanya T-Rex said looking down at the tiny dinosaur standing by her side. "Why I think you might be the only one who CAN help me. Thank goodness you are a small dinosaur."

Shorty smiled to himself, wow this might be the important thing I am supposed to do. And with that he pushed his glasses back on his nose once more and began to climb through the crack and down towards the ledge that the egg was resting on.The Mammoth Rock

Down below the rock everyone was gathering wondering if the Little dinosaur would manage such a hard and difficult task. They began shouting many things to encourage Shorty inside the Mammoth rock.

The ledge that the egg was resting on wasn't very big and Shorty knew that if he didn't get the egg back to Mrs T-Rex soon, the baby dinosaur mighten't make it. he quickly took off his jacket and wrapped it around the egg, then pulled it over to a wider part of the ledge. His heart missed a beat as he glanced down into the darkness below. He then tied the arms of his jacket together and with the baby dinosaur safely wrapped and protected inside the egg he pulled the egg towards the opening. It was very hard work for one so small but eventually helping hands reached down and gave it to Tommy's Mother who cradled it in her arms. Shorty climbed out into the sunlight, he was very tired but he was very, very happy.

Tommy without more ado, picked up Shorty and raised him high into the sky. Tommy T-Rex

"Three cheers for Shorty the Shynosaur, he is our hero."  Shorty couldn't stop smiling as all his class mates and all the adults, even the Jungle Officials began to cheer and call out Shorty's name. 

Then Shorty spied his Dad walking through the crowd towards him. "I am so proud of you son," he smiled. "Do you realise what you have done today ?"

"Yes Dad, an important thing that only I could do!" Shorty replied.

"That's exactly what you did, Kyle." His dad said hugging his son close. The little dinosaur looked up smiling. "Dad you can call me Shorty if you like. His dad smiled as they walked up the path together.

"I wonder what else I can do dad?"

Dad smiled before saying, "I think you are just beginning to learn the important things that you can do my son,and your adventures are just beginning.

This is who was in the egg shorty saved

   Glenn Hascall has a wife and two children. He counts those two relationships as the most valuable on earth. He is the author of three books and has contributed to over 25 others. His most recent work can be found in the new Bethany House Book "Embrace of a Father". 

With Thanks Diddilydeedot



Buckets of Rain

- Part One

  "Buckets of rain!" cried the lumpish crimson-jacketed dwarf trundling down the High street of our town with his ware. "Who will buy my buckets of rain - freshly collected this morning before the dawn !"

  "Get away with you," called out Thomas the Butcher. "I'll have none of your buckets of rain. I have a hole in my shop's roof and this morning I found my storeroom flooded and all my meat perfectly ruined. Move on before I box your ears!"

"Buckets of rain!" cried the dwarf, scowling a little now. "Rain from the edge of the Ancient Forest, freshly dripped from leaf and sky, sweetened with elf song and the dreams of flowers. Who will buy my lovely rain?"


  "Bah!" called out Ms. Ethyl Two-Bunions the Post Mistress. as she stood outside the Post Office, searching for the big iron key to its door in his purse. "How are decent folk to know you haven't just dipped your buckets in the village pond? You dwarfs are a sly and shiftless people always looking for an easy way to gull honest God-fearing citizens out of their well-earned money.

 "Selling rain is no respectable way for man or dwarf to make a living. Unless you have a soft chamois-leather with you and care to wash the Post Office windows with your rain-water for a decent shilling, then be off with you!"

  The dwarf glared fiercely back at Ms. Two-Bunions.

 "This is no pond-water, Mistress," he said "and far too good to wash your dirty windows. Why'd you let them get so filthy in the first place?"

  Of course, Ms. Ethyl Two-Bunions bridled at this immediately.

 "Clear off this instant, you horrible little vagabond or I'll call the police. If my husband were still alive you wouldn't talk to me like that!"

  "Your husband is perfectly alive and living with Good-widow Jenkins over the hat shop in Twistle Town two miles away - everybody in the village knows that... even so, I expect he can still hear your voice from there!

 "Buckets of rain!" called out the dwarf, proceeding down the street, his customary native grumpiness lightened considerably by this latest interchange. "Who will buy my buckets of fresh forest rain?"

 Buckets of Rain
- Part Two

 Over the creaking sign of "The Gay Gallows" a sagging attic window was pushed open and a tousled head poked out, bleary-eyed and worse for wear. It was Thomas Mooncuthbert, the local poet.
that you say, buckets of rain? Have you any buckets of fresh tears in which I might drown my own flailing sorrow - I have been up all night trying to complete an Ode to a Fickle Woman but a suitable rhyming scheme simply will not come. I am at my wits end. Or if you don't have any buckets of tears, perhaps a bucket of sweet gold wine or even champagne?"

 "Alas, sir, I carry neither today: all the young men and maids hereabouts are fairly happy at the moment and tears are in short supply. As are wine and champagne, due to the Guild Masters convention in Arlenstown last weekend.
 "All I have is sweet fresh rain, collected first thing this morning and still perfectly wet!"

 "In that case, be off with you, good fellow - you are quite spoiling my concentration with your touting of your lacklustre wares."
 The poet's haughty head withdrew and the shutter banged too, dislodging a clump of moss from the gutter above it which fell onto the pavement, startling a passing dog.
 "Poets!" he barked gruffly to the dwarf - a worthless and disreputable species. I don't quite see the point of 'em.
 The dwarf grinned at him amiably and continued down the High street.

 "Buckets of rain - get them now before stocks run out!"

"Eh, eh, what's that?" demanded Alderman Purselips, on his way to the Town Hall. "Do you have a License to be peddling rain, sir? If so, I demand to see it this instant!"

 "I think I might have left it at home," said the dwarf lazily. "I don't like to carry it in my pockets incase it gets wet."

 "Fie, man, pure balderdash! You know perfectly well as I do that you have no license. I know this for a certainty as up until this moment it hadn't occured to the Town Council
or the Mayor that there might be need for such a thing. However, now that you have alerted me to the necessity I will bring it up this afternoon at the Weekly Sessions. Come to my office first thing Monday morning with five pieces of identification and the necessary fee and I will see about issueing you with one - it should only take a month or two. In the meantime you are absolutely forbidden to sell, trade, give away or advertise the availibility of rain water, fresh, stale or recycled, in buckets, bags, bottles, cartons, crates, sacks or any other vessel, servicable, cracked, water-tight or leaking. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"

 "As clear as mud-pies, your Honour," replied the dwarf cheerfully. "Incidently, if your Honour cares to glance down past his splendid pot-belly (you may have to lean a little forward, sir) you may see that you have mired your left boot in a particularly large and freshly steaming doggie pooh.
I suggest you wash the substance off immediately as such an accessory to your footwear lends neither yourself nor the reputation of the Town Council much dignity. If I had a license I might offer to sell or even give you some water for that very purpose but as you are quite aware there is no legal ordinance to justify such a mad and unlikely eventuality.
 "Good Morning to you, sir!"

 Buckets of Rain
- Part Three

 By now the dwarf was nearing the end of the High street and rapidly approaching the edge of town

where the streets gave way to open fields.
 Making his way down from the hills in the distance the dwarf observed a lone traveller who, as he got nearer, could be clearly seen to be dressed quite poorly with a sad and hungry look about him.
 The dwarf put down his buckets, carefully lowering the stout oaken pole from across his stooped but sturdy shoulders, careful not to lose a single drop of his precious water.

 "I will sit and wait for him," he said to himself. "He looks in need of a cheerful greeting and, for sure, he will not be getting one in town..."

 "Good day to you, traveller," said the dwarf, "you look tired - will you sit a while and pass the time of day with me?"
 "Gladly," said the traveller. "I have come a long way and still have far to go but a short rest will be welcome. But tell me, what is that you have in those buckets?"

 "Why, sir," said the dwarf, "its nothing but beautiful fresh rain water. I collected it myself early this morning just before the crack of dawn. I'm a peddler in such stuff, y'see - although folk hereabouts don't seem very interested in it and heap abuse upon an honest tradesman's head."

 "It sounds delicious. Alas, I have no funds at my disposal at the moment otherwise I would undoubtedly purchase a quantity of your undeniably excellent fare."

 "Don't you worry about that, sir. A gentleman such as yourself is always welcome to a free sample."
 Saying this the dwarf pulled out a beautiful but quite simple goblet of gold from somewhere about his person and plunging it into one of his buckets, passed a brimming cup full of it to the dusty traveller.
 "Don't you worry about it being dirty, sir" he said, indicating the cup. "Its a magic cup and keeps itself perfectly clean."

 "It appears to be made of gold," exclaimed the traveller, admiring it.

 "It is," said the dwarf. "But not ordinary gold, mind - its special dwarf gold, especially reserved for chalices and grails and the such like. But never mind that, what do you think of the water?"

 "Its the best water I've ever tasted," said the traveller. And it was.

 "Ah, but I perceive your shoes are worn and dirty and the heel of one has worked itse
another little dwarflf loose. Please remove them, sir, and I will fix it for you. I have a bit of leprechaun blood in me and always carry the tools of the trade. Never mind the matter of payment, you'll be doing me a service - its a hobby of mine and I don't often get the opportunity to practice it."

 So while the two sat chatting, the dwarf who had a drop of leprechaun blood happily re-heeled the traveller's shoes and when he had finished and put away his hammer and nails and little set of knives the traveller barely recognised them - they were quite as good as new and the dwarf had given him new green laces and bright buckles too!
 "They should see you well on the next stage of your journey," he said, beaming in pride and self-satisfaction at his own work. "There's not much call for old-fashioned shoe-repair in these parts. People have no appreciation of the ancient craft. Thats why I've branched out into selling water. But before you put them on, let me just wash your feet."

 And before the bemused traveller could say a word the dwarf had whipped his socks clean off and proceeded to wash both them and the travellers feet with his remaining bucket of rain water.
"I'll just leave these on this warm rock," he said, indicating the cleanly washed socks. The sunlight will dry them out in no time".

 "But dear sir," cried the traveller in much embarassment, quite overwhelmed by this courteous act, "I'm afraid you've quite used up most of your precious rain water and I don't have a single coin to pay you with!"

 "Eh?" said the dwarf breezily. "Never mind about that - there's plenty more where that came from. And as for the expense, why only a fool would pay good money for rain water in the first place!
 "But look, your socks are dry already. Put them on, good sir, and I'll bid you a good morning and happy travelling. I've a little business the way that you've just come but if you carry on past that pine tree yonder and pass the crossroads a bit further on you'll see a large old boulder with a clump of tiny white flowers growing out of a crack at the top. That's my house. Knock three times on it loudly and call out:
 "Open up, open up,  Knocklemead has sent a friend, and his belly is in awful need  fill him up with meat and seeds!"

 "That's to tell my wife I've sent you! She'll give you a plate of porridge and a cheese and ham sandwich to cheer you on your way.
 But now I really must be off. A pleasure to meet you."
 And the dwarf shook hands, picked up his empty buckets, swung them lightly over his shoulder and skipped off down the road towards the distant hills.

Poor little dwarf.           The End.

While I was looking for images on google I came across this in the dwarf section. Oh dear, what a breakfast. It could only happen in Thailand. xxx

Dozy Dora's Kitten.


Playing with a little kitten

Dozy Dora lost her knitting.

Before too long the cat went missing,

leaving Dora clucking, fussing.

If her hearing had been better

she might have heard it gently snoring

- curled up in a half-finished mitten.

Oh where is that knitting?

she swore and she cussed,

pulling her hair until it was mussed.

It was not until late the next morning she looked in a drawer

for a shilling to pay a man at the door

and there was the knitting and in it the kitten,

the end of the wool all caught up in its claws!

Carefully she unravelled it,anxious not to make it skit

but intent as she was on her lip-biting task

she quite forgot the waiting milkman

and rap, rap, rap, he struck her knocker

and up jumped Puss, his two eyes round.

In a flash he was out of the drawer running as he hit the ground,

half a mile outside the pound,

Dozy Dora's unravelled mitten

trailing out behind him.

But at least, thought dora, he was safe and sound.

Putting out a bowl of milk

(after paying off the churlish merchant)

she found his little bell and rang it.

Presently the cat came back with half a moiien wrapped around it.

Oh dear, said Dozy Dora

and put down the old tin mug of coconut milk

and Baileys she was drinking with a loud clatter.

Try as she might she just couldn't remember

who she had been making the mitten for

but eventualy decided it didn't really matter...

As it was they were for herself,

to try to stop her fingers aching

and to help her take hot cake from out of the oven

(she was very good at baking).

She remembered eventually of course,

just after the main course,

her guests all now quite anxious for pudding.

Quickly she sent our the cat,

in his best frock and cap

to buy what he could for a shilling.

Imagine her stare when he flew down the stairs with a tray of cup-cakes and eclairs.

"I was saving them for a rainy day," he purred.

"Is it raining then?" Dora asked the kitten,

"you might have told me earlier,

I might have remembered to bring in the washing."

But the clever kitten had already done it

and do you know what?

He had even finished knitting the mitten.

Dear old Dozy Dora and her helpful kitten!



The Magic Bowls

An S. India Tamil Tale

     A man was poor, and his wife nagged him every day for being such a lazy good-for-nothing. The poor fellow would listen to all her abuse patiently, slip out of the house whenever he could, and stay out till it felt safe to come home.

        One day, her anger boiled over. She scraped together whatever stale food remained in her pots, tied it up in a dirty cloth, thrust it into his hand, and sent him packing. "Go somewhere, anywhere, and earn something. And don't you come back till you do!" she said, as she slammed the door.

   banyan Tree    The man took his bundle of cold rice and trudged out of the village. He walked and walked for miles till he came to place where three roads crossed. A huge banyan tree had grown up there and had lent its shade to weary travelers for many years. The man was tired and his legs ached. He sat down under the tree. He tied his bundle of rice to one of its branches and soon he was fast asleep, his head pillowed on the roots of the banyan.

              Now, there were forest spirits living in the banyan tree. They sighted the sleeping man below and the bundle of rice on the branch above him. They wanted to taste his dinner. No sooner did they think of it than it was done. What's more, they liked that cold rice very much. They had tasted nectar and all the dishes of heaven, but this was something new. They had never tasted stale rice before. It had a wonderful flavor of its own. What a change from their dull routine of ambrosia and fruit from heaven's trees!

            The few handfuls of rice in the poor man's bundle were just enough for a round among the forest spirits. They were pleased and thought they should give their poor sleeping host something in return for the food they had taken away.

            When the poor man woke up, he was hungry and looked for his bundle. When he found it, the food was gone. In its place, there were four odd looking empty bowls. Raging with hunger, he banged the bowls on the ground. At once, several lovely women appeared before him with all sorts of divine dishes in their hands, ready to serve him. He was dumbstruck by the magic of it all, but he was too hungry to be frightened or ask questions. As he fell to, the lovely women served him gently, silently, attended to his slightest gesture, and treated him like a god. Soon he came to believe that he was indeed master of these nymphs. His marvelous dinner over, his heavenly servants disappeared without a trace, leaving the four empty bowls behind them. Magic Bowls

                Praying gratefully to all the gods, he picked up the empty bowls with great respect. He held them to his bosom and hastened home, big with his story. When she heard it, his wife nearly burst with joy. They placed the magic bowls at the feet of their household gods and looked at them again and again to make sure they were still there. They could not believe their own good fortune. They felt they should use their god-given gift worshipfully, only after offering public prayers to the gods and charity to their neighbors.

             Even as the next day dawned, the man was out of the house. He went to every door and invited every family in the village, rich and poor alike. Everyone was sceptical. Some laughed outright. Some thought it was a practical joke, some that the man must be crazy. They quoted a proverb: "The guests of the poor come back home early."

              The guests gathered by noon in the small hovel. Many of them had taken the precaution of eating well before they arrived. They came just to see what was happening, and were they surprised!

                The poor man and his wife brought forth four odd-looking vessels and very respectfully requested them to bestow upon the guests their gracious gifts. And lo and behold! dozens of lovely women, each lovelier than the next, adorned to the fingertips, rose out of the bowls. In their hands were plates full of the daintiest dishes. Silver platters appeared from nowhere before the bewildered guests, and service began.

            As the guests ate, new dishes arrived by the dozen and the heavenly women served them so readily that everyone felt that they forestalled one's slightest wishes. The guests were fed till they were ready to burst. They had trouble getting up and carrying themselves home.

             The village buzzed with the news. Everyone talked about it. The poor man, no longer poor, was the rage for months.

            Now, there was a rich man in the village who thought no end of himself. He grew envious of the sudden wealth and the growing popularity of his neighbor who till yesterday had been a penniless beggar. He paid a visit to his fellow villager one day and was treated to the miracle of the bowls and the lovely women who rose from them for the mere asking. He quickly made friends with their owner, gave him and his wife gifts, and soon wormed the secret out of them.

                  Palanquin "It's so easy," he thought. "There's nothing to it." He hurried home and ordered his best cook to make the most sumptuous dishes at once. Next morning, he traveled in a palanquin, as fast as his bearers could take him, and arrived at the spot where three roads crossed. He carefully arranged a big basket full of the finest dishes that money could command, right under the banyan tree. Then he dismissed his servants till evening, and composed himself as if for sleep. Of course, he wasn't going to sleep. He was too curious to see the forest spirits and what they would do. He lay there for a long time till somehow sleep stole over him. When he woke up, all in a hurry, he saw beside him four odd-looking bowls. And his basket was empty.

              He had succeeded. Of course, he had never once doubted he would. After all, he had brought for the spirits in the banyan tree the tastiest, the richest, the most royal of all human dishes. How could they help giving him what he wanted? Here they were, in full view, the magic bowls! Forest spirits

            He hurried home, asking his palanquin bearers to go faster. He called his entire household and sent them running with the news and invitations to every family in the village.

                People from all corners flocked to his dining hall. Their mouths watered at the memory of the recent banquet. Here was another, and a rich man's, too! Many starved themselves all day to do justice to his hospitality.

                    The rich man beamed at his guests and motioned them to their seats. Servants brought in the bowls with great ceremony and placed them on a pedestal. His head wrapped in a lace turban, wearing earrings and turquoises, their master stood before the bowls and loudly ordered them to bring forth a divine banquet for everyone assembled. Hardly had his voice stopped ringing when out came dozens of big burly men. They looked like wrestlers. They had rolls of muscle on their arms, and their looks would have scared the bravest of men. They came out of the bowls and went after the host and his hungry guests. They seized them one by one, whipped out gleaming razors, and with great gusto shaved every head in the hall, shaved them so close that every head was clean and shiny like a bronze bowl. Not a single guest escaped the barbers' banquet, not even the wives.

             And as the terrified guests crawled out, a muscular fellow at the door held up a large mirror to their faces and forced them to take a good long look at themselves before they left the hall, never to return.


Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, before there was any printing or any books as we know them now, if anybody had anything especially interesting or amusing or exciting which he felt he must share with the friends he knew or strangers he met - things pleasant, or strange, or marvellous, that had happened to him or to other men, or that he had made up in his mind - the best way to do it was to say it or sing it, to make a tale of it, and to tell it with his own mouth.

A Wee Mouse

The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage.

related by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

          Once upon a time a mouse, a bird, and a sausage formed a partnership. They kept house together, and for a long time they lived in peace and prosperity, acquiring many possessions. The bird's task was to fly into the forest every day to fetch wood. The mouse carried water, made the fire, and set the table. The sausage did the cooking.

Whoever is too well off always wants to try something different! Thus one day the bird chanced to meet another bird, who boasted to him of his own situation. This bird criticized him for working so hard while the other two enjoyed themselves at home. For after the mouse had made the fire and carried the water, she could sit in the parlor and rest until it was time for her to set the table. The sausage had only to stay by the pot watching the food cook. When mealtime approached, she would slither through the porridge or the vegetables, and thus everything was greased and salted and ready to eat. The bird would bring his load of wood home. They would eat their meal, and then sleep soundly until the next morning. It was a great life.

          The next day, because of his friend's advice, the bird refused to go to the forest, saying that he had been their servant long enough. He was no longer going to be a fool for them. Everyone should try a different task for a change. The mouse and the sausage argued against this, but the bird was the master, and he insisted that they give it a try. The sausage was to fetch wood, the mouse became the cook, and the bird was to carry water.

And what was the result? The sausage trudged off toward the forest; the bird made the fire; Little blue birdand the mouse put on the pot and waited for the sausage to return with wood for the next day. However, the sausage stayed out so long that the other two feared that something bad had happened. The bird flew off to see if he could find her. A short distance away he came upon a dog that had seized the sausage as free booty and was making off with her. The bird complained bitterly to the dog about this brazen abduction, but he claimed that he had discovered forged letters on the sausage, and that she would thus have to forfeit her life to him.

Filled with sorrow, the bird carried the wood home himself and told the mouse what he had seen and heard. They were very sad, but were determined to stay together and make the best of it. The bird set the table while the mouse prepared the food. She jumped into the pot, as the sausage had always done, in order to slither and weave in and about the vegetables and grease them, but before she reached the middle, her hair and skin were scalded off, and she perished.A Banger

When the bird wanted to eat, no cook was there. Beside himself, he threw the wood this way and that, called out, looked everywhere, but no cook was to be found. Because of his carelessness, the scattered wood caught fire, and the entire house was soon aflame. The bird rushed to fetch water, but the bucket fell into the well, carrying him with it, and he drowned.

      Oh dear, that wasn't such an exciting bedroom story was it.

We started off with, A Mouse, A Bird, and A Sausage, we ended up having nothing left. Never mind, better luck next time.


 "Never fear spoiling children by making them too happy. The Guiding Star
HThe Guiding Starappiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow."

Thomas Bray

Hi Children, how are you all?



Enjoy yourselves Diddily and Seligor xxxx 
for all the Children of the World.

   The Guiding Star

Welcome to the land of tales,
of songs, poems and rhymes.

   Where Mums and Dads can join in and have such jolly times.
Sing out loud!  Sing out strong! Fill your hearts with joy.
Let's celebrate a wonderous time with every girl and boy.

DISCLAIMER Disclaimer: This website contains materials authored by me and also partly a collection of items from the internet. The collections are, I believe, in the Public Domain. In case any material, inadvertently put up, which has a copyright please do write to me and it will be removed. The compilations are for entertainment purposes only and have not been compiled for educational or historical purposes.
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Asian Parent.com

Oh gosh I wish I had a dozen homepages, this is such good fun. xxxTODAY WILL BE A REAL FUN DAY.

The Guiding StarY.

Hm, I think I am getting worried about my verses, I find I am singing them as I'm making them up. He, he, he. Diddily. Diddily De Dot. xxx Pity I can't sing the tune to you


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