44 Works of Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
(Adapted from Juliana Horatio Ewing)
A long time ago, in the days of the fairies and other little folk, there lived a housewife who was very stingy indeed. She thought only of her own cupboard and meals, and never of the needs of her neighbors. When she did give alms it was a dry loaf or [...]
It was the birthday of the Infanta. She was just twelve years old, and the sun shone brightly in the garden of the palace.
On ordinary days, she was only allowed to play with children of her own rank, but on this, her birthday, the King had given orders that she was to invite any one [...]
It was the only growing thing in the whole, beautiful garden that was prickly. It stood beside the sunny path, so low that the white rabbit could jump over it. It longed to spread its branches across the path to be touched by the gardener and the children, but no one cared to go very [...]
One afternoon, as Mother sat out on the long porch paring apples, the children came running in. There were Cousin Pen, who was visiting at the farm, and Brother Fred, and little Ben, and they all began to talk at the same time.
“To-morrow is Grandmother’s birthday,” they cried. “What can we give her for a [...]
Everything in the woods was covered deep with snow, the berries, the juicy young bushes, and the roots. The animals had stowed themselves away for the winter to sleep; the bear in a deep cave, the chipmunk in a hollow log, and the wild mouse in a cozy hole beneath the roots of a tree. [...]
Once upon a time, when it was the story age, and things were very different from what they are now, two tribes of pygmies lived very near each other.
These tribes of little people looked just alike, they both were very, very tiny, and they both lived out of doors in the fields. But in one [...]
There was once a prince who went to his father, the King, to receive his fortune. And when the King ordered it to be brought in, what do you think it was–a great, gray bag of dust!
The Prince, now that he was old enough to go out in the world, had expected a very different [...]
A Camel and a Pig chanced to meet in a far country, and as neither had seen the other before, they began at once to boast.
“The greatest distinction and the most good in the world comes from being tall,” said the Camel. “Look at me, Pig; behold how tall I am!”
The Pig looked at the [...]
Once upon a time, a long, long while ago, the Sun, the Wind, and the Moon were three sisters, and their mother was a pale, lovely Star that shone, far away, in the dark evening sky.
One day their uncle and aunt, who were no more or less than the Thunder and Lightning, asked the three [...]
(Adapted from a German Folk Tale)
There were once three little butterfly brothers, one white, one red, and one yellow. They played in the sunshine, and danced among the flowers in the garden, and they never grew tired because they were so happy.
One day there came a heavy rain and it wet their wings. They [...]
Every one knew that she was a princess because she wandered all day through the castle without doing any work. It was a very busy kingdom indeed even if it was so tiny. It was only about two inches high above the meadow, not nearly as tall as the grass blades that grew all around [...]
(Adapted from a Manx Folk Tale)
A long while ago when there were not so many people on the earth as there are now, and the birds and animals had things about their own way, a Cuckoo gave a tea party.
She invited all the birds there were, from the great Eagle, through the Larks, Swallows, Finches, [...]
It was late in the fall when Fuzzy Caterpillar gave up.
“I suppose this is the end of me,” he thought in his little round head as he tried to wriggle across the road and couldn’t because his back was so stiff. “Now I am an old man and I shall never see another summer. Good-bye.” [...]
The King was very ill indeed and no one in all the court could find out what was his ailment or how to cure it. He had been the kindest, merriest king for miles about, always ready to help a poor subject or to stop and play with the children as he drove his chariot [...]
When Molly came in from the chicken house, she looked very sad.
“O dear me!” she sighed. “I’m so disappointed!”
“What is it, sunny girl?” asked mother.
“Red Top hasn’t laid an egg, and to-morrow is Easter. I shut Red Top in all by herself, so I should know that it was her very own egg, and she [...]
(Adapted from an Indian Folk Tale)
A long time ago when there were no white men in our country, but only Indians who lived in the forest, there was a timid little Indian boy.
All the other Indian lads loved the dark, so full of stars, and moonlight; but this boy was afraid of the dark and [...]
Once upon a time there was a little Prince, and he wanted to give a valentine to a little Princess who lived in a neighboring kingdom. She was a very beautiful little Princess indeed, for her smile was as bright as her golden hair, and her love for her subjects was as deep as the [...]
Roger had planned to send a great many valentines to the girls and boys he knew. There were beautiful valentines in the toy shop window, red satin hearts in little heart-shaped boxes, painted post card valentines, and little card-board figures holding baskets of flowers.
Roger had been saving his allowance for four weeks and he was [...]
The flag had been in the family for years, and years, and years. Great-grandfather Wolcott had carried it, and Grandfather Wolcott had hung it on a pole in front of his farm house. Father Wolcott had taken it to Boston to be mended when he was a young man, and it hung in front of [...]
How would you like to have begun life in a little log cabin set in the midst of a western wilderness? Suppose, too, that the cabin had no window and so many cracks that it let in the winter winds and even the snow!
That was how little Abe first saw life a long time ago, [...]
Billy and Betty had the beautiful plan about having a Christmas tree in the barn. They were spending the winter with father and mother on Uncle William’s big farm, and they loved every one of the barn creatures very much indeed.
There were the hens who gave them such fine fresh eggs, and Shep, the dog, [...]
None of the children in the village would play with Christopher because he was the child of Beggar Mother of the Goeinge Forest.
The Forest was deep, full of brown, leafless oaks and green fir trees, with the wind singing shrill tunes in their branches. In the darkest part was a thick mountain wall, and in [...]
There was, once upon a time, a child who wanted very much to see Santa Claus; just as every other child has always wanted to see him.
So the Child listened at the chimney for Santa Claus, and watched for him when sleighs flew by over the snowy streets, and wanted to touch his rosy cheeks [...]
There was great trouble in the white castle that stood at the top of the hill. The huge fire that had burned in the castle kitchen for years had suddenly gone out, and no one seemed to be able to light it again.
It was deep winter outside. The hill was white with snow, and the [...]
One afternoon of a cold winter’s day, two children asked leave of their mother to run out and play in the new-fallen snow. The older child was a little girl, so tender and modest that every one called her Violet. The boy was called Peony because of his fat, round face which made everybody think [...]
Every child in the village was very much excited on account of the news that had come down from the castle on the hill.
Because it had been such a rich harvest, the fields yellow with grain and the orchards crimson with fruit, the King was going to keep a thanksgiving day. He was going to [...]
There was once an old Wild Goose who had led the flock of other wild geese every fall for years and years on their way south. He had a thick coat of white feathers, he wore orange-colored boots, and his bill was like a gold trumpet when he opened it to call,
Honk, honk, honk!
That was [...]
Deianira was one of the most beautiful of princesses who lived in the long ago times of the Greek gods and goddesses. It seemed as if all the loveliness of the world in this, its story time, was hers. Her hair was bright with the yellow of the first spring sunshine, and her eyes were [...]
Peregrine fastened his long black cloak, and Patience smoothed her white apron and tied the strings of her close-fitting bonnet beneath her dimpled chin. The brother and sister crossed the threshold of the log house which was their home in old Plymouth, almost three hundred years ago, and started to walk across the corn fields [...]
There was once a man who owned a little farm, as fine and fruitful as you would care to see. He had always tended it himself, too, driving his own plow in the spring, and taking his two-wheeled cart to market in the fall with a load of apples, potatoes, and carrots.
All of a sudden, [...]
The old clock that hung in the tower of the town hall struck one.
It was dark, except for a few twinkling stars like bright eyes in the night sky. All the town was asleep. It was cold, and white snow lay over every thing. But as the clock struck one, the baker awoke and went [...]
Long ago, giants lived among the lonely mountains. Now there was a great castle, called Burg Niedeck, that stood on top of the highest mountain of Alsace, and here the most powerful of the giants lived with his wife and family. He had one child, named Freda.
Freda was as tall as a church steeple. She [...]
Once upon a time there was a little painted tin top that lay in a toy shop window. It was a most beautiful tin top with a painted stripe of red, and a painted stripe of yellow, and a painted stripe of green. The tin of which it was made was as bright and shining [...]
The field was small, and full of stones, and barren. Although it lay beside a much travelled road and not far from the town, no one had noticed it except to say how useless it was.
“It would take a great deal of time to cultivate that field,” the farmer said as he drove by in [...]
Once upon a time there was a little Prince who had very little to do, and so he thought a great deal about eating. All the grown-up people in the castle were most anxious to have the little Prince grow up to be a fine, strong King. So they, too, thought a great deal about [...]
The Prince who lived in the great white castle at the top of the green hill was to give a party, and he had invited the children from the village to come.
For days there had been talk of little else at the cottage doorsteps, and in the market place. Oh, the children all knew how [...]
They looked like any other pair of boy’s shoes, the same stout soles, strong lacings, shiny tips and uppers. But when the old shoemaker put them on Gustave, and laced them up, and saw that they exactly fitted, he said to Gustave:
“Wonder shoes, little man. They will be wonder shoes!”
The old shoemaker had lived a [...]
(Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen)
I have no doubt that you have been out in the country, and have seen a real old farm-house, with a thatched roof, and moss, and plants growing wild upon it. There is a stork’s nest on the ridge, for one cannot very well do without the stork; the walls are [...]
(Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen)
In the whole world there is nobody who knows so many stories as Ole Luk-Oie. He really can tell stories.
It is in the evening, when the children are sitting nicely at table, or upon their stools, that Ole Luk-Oie comes. Softly he creeps up the stairs, for he walks in socks; [...]
There was once a Prince and he was very lonely, because he had no sisters or brothers in the palace with whom to play. And one day his father and mother, the King and Queen, decided that they would send to some neighboring Kingdoms to borrow a little Princess, who should come and live at [...]
There was once a boy who thought a great deal about castles. He had a very beautiful picture book with coloured pictures of castles that showed how large and different and fine they were, and, presently, after thinking a long time about it, the boy decided that a castle was where he would like, most [...]
Once upon a time there was a little Princess, and when she was ten years old they gave her a wonderful birthday party. There were musicians, and roses in all the rooms, and strawberry ice cream, and cakes with pink icing. Every one brought gifts.
The King, her father, gave the Princess a white pony with [...]
A Russian legend
It was the night the dear Christ Child came to Bethlehem. In a country far away from Him, an old, old woman named Babouscka sat in her snug little house by her warm fire. The wind was drifting the snow outside and howling down the chimney, but it only made Babouscka’s fire burn [...]
The old apple tree stood in the orchard with the other trees, and all summer long it had stretched out its branches wide to catch the rain and the sun to make its apples grow round and ripe. Now it was fall, and on the old apple tree were three great apples as yellow as [...]