Wednesday, February 5, 2014

FEW FAIRY TALES by ELSIE SPICEL EELLS Author of the FAIRY TALES FROM BRAZIL











Eells, Elsie Spicer – (1880 – 1963)

American traveller and author

Born Eusebia Spicer (Sept 21, 1880), in West Winfield, New York, she became the wife of Burr Gould Eells. Mrs Eells was the author of several works such as Fairy Tales from Brazil (1917), South America’s Story (1931), and, Tales of Enchantment from Spain (1950).

Elsie Spicer Eells died (May 24, 1963) aged eighty-two.




source:  http://www.abitofhistory.net/html/rhw/body_files/e_body.htm









Amazon jungle - Squirrel monkey


HOW  NIGHT  CAME


Years and years ago at the very beginning of time, when the world had just been made, there was no night. It was day all the time. No one had ever heard of sunrise or sunset, starlight or moonbeams. There were no night birds, nor night beasts, nor night flowers. There were no lengthening shadows, nor soft night air, heavy with perfume.

In those days the daughter of the Great Sea Serpent, who dwelt in the depths of the seas, married one of the sons of the great earth race known as Man. She left her home among the shades of the deep seas and came to dwell with her husband in the land of daylight. Her eyes grew weary of the bright sunlight and her beauty faded. Her husband watched her with sad eyes, but he did not know what to do to help her.

"O, if night would only come," she moaned as she tossed about wearily on her couch. "Here it is always day, but in my father's kingdom there are many shadows. O, for a little of the darkness of night !"

Her husband listened to her moanings. "What is night ?" he asked her. "Tell me about it and perhaps I can get a little of it for you."

"Night," said the daughter of the Great Sea Serpent, "is the name we give to the heavy shadows which darken my father's kingdom in the depths of the seas. I love the sunlight of your earth land, but I grow very weary of it. If we could have only a little of the darkness of my father's kingdom to rest our eyes part of the time."

Her husband at once called his three most faithful slaves. "I am about to send you on a journey," he told them. "You are to go to the kingdom of the Great Sea Serpent who dwells in the depths of the seas and ask him to give you some of the darkness of night that his daughter may not die here amid the sunlight of our earth land."

The three slaves set forth for the kingdom of the Great Sea Serpent. After a long dangerous journey they arrived at his home in the depths of the seas and asked him to give them some of the shadows of night to carry back to the earth land.

The Great Sea Serpent gave them a big bag full at once. It was securely fastened and the Great Sea Serpent warned them not to open it until they were once more in the presence of his daughter, their mistress.

The three slaves started out, bearing the big bag full of night upon their heads. Soon they heard strange sounds within the bag. It was the sound of the voices of all the night beasts, all the night birds, and all the night insects. If you have ever heard the night chorus from the jungles on the banks of the rivers you will know how it sounded. The three slaves had never heard sounds like those in all their lives. They were terribly frightened.

"Let us drop the bag full of night right here where we are and run away as fast as we can," said the first slave.

"We shall perish. We shall perish, anyway, whatever we do," cried the second slave.

"Whether we perish or not I am going to open the bag and see what makes all those terrible sounds," said the third slave.

Accordingly they laid the bag on the ground and opened it. Out rushed all the night beasts and all the night birds and all the night insects and out rushed the great black cloud of night. The slaves were more frightened than ever at the darkness and escaped to the jungle.

The daughter of the Great Sea Serpent was waiting anxiously for the return of the slaves with the bag full of night. Ever since they had started out on their journey she had looked for their return, shading her eyes with her hand and gazing away off at the horizon, hoping with all her heart that they would hasten to bring the night.

In that position she was standing under a royal palm tree, when the three slaves opened the bag and let night escape. "Night comes. Night comes at last," she cried, as she saw the clouds of night upon the horizon.
Then she closed her eyes and went to sleep there under the royal palm tree.

When she awoke she felt greatly refreshed. She was once more the happy princess who had left her father's kingdom in the depths of the great seas to come to the earth land. She was now ready to see the day again. She looked up at the bright star shining above the royal palm tree and said,
"O, bright beautiful star, henceforth you shall be called the morning star and you shall herald the approach of day. You shall reign queen of the sky at this hour."

Then she called all the birds about her and said to them, "O, wonderful, sweet singing birds, henceforth I command you to sing your sweetest songs at this hour to herald the approach of day."

The cock was standing by her side.

"You," she said to him, "shall be appointed the watchman of the night. Your voice shall mark the watches of the night and shall warn the others that the madrugada comes."

To this very day in Brazil we call the early morning the madrugada.
The cock announces its approach to the waiting birds.
The birds sing their sweetest songs at that hour and the morning star reigns in the sky as queen of the madrugada.

When it was daylight again the three slaves crept home through the forests and jungles with their empty bag.

"O, faithless slaves," said their master, "why did you not obey the voice of the Great Sea Serpent and open the bag only in the presence of his daughter, your mistress ? Because of your disobedience I shall change you into monkeys. Henceforth you shall live in the trees. Your lips shall always bear the mark of the sealing wax which sealed the bag full of night."

To this very day one sees the mark upon the monkeys' lips, where they bit off the wax which sealed the bag; and in Brazil night leaps out quickly upon the earth just as it leapt quickly out of the bag in those days at the beginning of time.
And all the night beasts and night birds and night insects give a sunset chorus in the jungles at nightfall.





HOW  THE  RABBIT  LOST  HIS  TAIL


Once upon a time, ages and ages ago, the rabbit had a long tail, but the cat had none. She looked with envious eyes at the one which the rabbit had. It was exactly the sort of a tail she longed to have.

The rabbit was always a thoughtless careless little beast. One day he went to sleep with his beautiful long tail hanging straight out behind him. Along came Mistress Puss carrying a sharp knife, and with one blow she cut off Mr. Rabbit's tail. Mistress Puss was very spry and she had the tail nearly sewed on to her own body before Mr. Rabbit saw what she was doing.

"Don't you think it looks better on me than it did on you ?" asked Mistress Puss.

"It surely is very becoming to you," replied the generous unselfish rabbit. "It was a little too long for me anyway and I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll let you keep it if you will give me that sharp knife in exchange for it."

The cat gave Mr. Rabbit the knife and he started out into the deep forest with it. "I've lost my tail but I've gained a knife," said he; "I'll get a new tail or something else just as good."

Mr. Rabbit hopped along through the forest for a long time and at last he came to a little old man who was busily engaged in making baskets. He was making the baskets out of rushes and he was biting them off with his teeth. He looked up and spied Mr. Rabbit with the knife in his mouth.

"O, please, Mr. Rabbit," said he, "will you not be so kind as to let me borrow that sharp knife you are carrying ? It is very hard work to bite the rushes off with my teeth."

Mr. Rabbit let him take the knife. He started to cut off the rushes with it, when snap went the knife ! It broke into halves.

"O, dear ! O, dear !" cried Mr. Rabbit. "What shall I do ! What shall I do ! You have broken my nice new knife."

The little old man said that he was very sorry and that he did not mean to do it.

Then Mr. Rabbit said, "A broken knife is of no use to me but perhaps you can use it, even if it is broken. I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll let you keep the knife if you will give me one of your baskets in exchange for it."

The little old man gave Mr. Rabbit a basket and he started on through the deep forest with it. "I lost my tail but I gained a knife. I've lost my knife but I've gained a basket," said he. "I'll get a new tail or something else just as good."

Mr. Rabbit hopped along through the deep forest for a long time until at last he came to a clearing.

Here there was an old woman busily engaged in picking lettuce. When she had gathered it she put it into her apron. She looked up and spied Mr. Rabbit hopping along with his basket.

"O, please, Mr. Rabbit," said she, "will you not be so kind as to let me borrow that nice basket you are carrying ?"

Mr. Rabbit let her take the basket. She began to put her lettuce into it when out fell the bottom of the basket.

"O, dear ! O, dear !" cried Mr. Rabbit. "What shall I do ! What shall I do ! You have broken the bottom out of my nice new basket."

The old woman said that she was very sorry and that she did not mean to do it.

Then said Mr. Rabbit, "I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll let you keep that broken basket if you will give me some of your lettuce."

The old woman gave Mr. Rabbit some lettuce and he hopped along with it, saying, "I lost my tail but I gained a knife. I lost my knife but I gained a basket. I lost my basket but I gained some lettuce."

The rabbit was getting very hungry and how nice the lettuce smelled ! He took a bite. It was just the very best thing he had ever tasted in all his life. "I don't care if I did lose my tail," said he, "I've found something I like very much better."

From that day to this no rabbit has ever had a tail.

Neither has there ever been a rabbit who cared because he had no tail. From that time to this there has never been a rabbit who did not like lettuce to eat and who was not perfectly happy and contented if there was plenty of it.





Amazon Jungle - Tiger


HO  THE  TIGER  GOT  HIS  STRIPES



Once upon a time, ages and ages ago, so long ago that the tiger had no stripes upon his back and the rabbit still had his tail, there was a tiger who had a farm. The farm was very much overgrown with underbrush and the owner sought a workman to clear the ground for him to plant.

The tiger called all the beasts together and said to them when they had assembled, "I need a good workman at once to clear my farm of the underbrush. To the one of you who will do this work I offer an ox in payment."

The monkey was the first one to step forward and apply for the position. The tiger tried him for a little while but he was not a good workman at all. He did not work steadily enough to accomplish anything. The tiger discharged him very soon and he did not pay him.

Then the tiger hired the goat to do the work. The goat worked faithfully enough but he did not have the brains to do the work well. He would clear a little of the farm in one place and then he would go away and work on another part of it. He never finished anything neatly. The tiger discharged him very soon without paying him.

Next the tiger tried the armadillo. The armadillo was very strong and he did the work well. The trouble with him was that he had such an appetite. There were a great many ants about the place and the armadillo could never pass by a sweet tender juicy ant without stopping to eat it. It was lunch time all day long with him. The tiger discharged him and sent him away without paying him anything.

At last the rabbit applied for the position. The tiger laughed at him and said, "Why, little rabbit, you are too small to do the work. The monkey, the goat, and the armadillo have all failed to give satisfaction. Of course a little beast like you will fail too."

However, there were no other beasts who applied for the position so the tiger sent for the rabbit and told him that he would try him for a little while.

The rabbit worked faithfully and well, and soon he had cleared a large portion of the ground. The next day he worked just as well. The tiger thought that he had been very lucky to hire the rabbit. He got tired staying around to watch the rabbit work. The rabbit seemed to know just how to do the work anyway, without orders, so the tiger decided to go away on a hunting trip. He left his son to watch the rabbit.

After the tiger had gone away the rabbit said to the tiger's son, "The ox which your father is going to give me is marked with a white spot on his left ear and another on his right side, isn't he ?"

"O, no," replied the tiger's son. "He is red all over with just a tiny white spot on his right ear."

The rabbit worked for a while longer and then he said, "The ox which your father is going to give me is kept by the river, isn't he ?"

"Yes," replied the tiger's son.

The rabbit had made a plan to go and get the ox without waiting to finish his work. Just as he started off he saw the tiger returning. The tiger noticed that the rabbit had not worked so well when he was away. After that he stayed and watched the rabbit until the whole farm was cleared. Then the tiger gave the rabbit the ox as he had promised.

"You must kill this ox," he said to the rabbit, "in a place where there are neither flies nor mosquitoes."

The rabbit went away with the ox. After he had gone for some distance he thought he would kill him. He heard a cock, however, crowing in the distance and he knew that there must be a farm yard near. There would be flies of course. He went on farther and again he thought that he would kill the ox. The ground looked moist and damp and so did the leaves on the bushes. Since the rabbit thought there would be mosquitoes there he decided not to kill the ox. He went on and on and finally he came to a high place where there was a strong breeze blowing. "There are no mosquitoes here," he said to himself. "The place is so far removed from any habitation that there are no flies, either." He decided to kill the ox.

Just as he was ready to eat the ox, along came the tiger. "O, rabbit, you have been such a good friend of mine," said the tiger, "and now I am so very, very hungry that all my ribs show, as you yourself can see. Will you not be a good kind rabbit and give me a piece of your ox ?"

The rabbit gave the tiger a piece of the ox. The tiger devoured it in the twinkling of an eye. Then he leaned back and said, "Is that all you are going to give me to eat ?"

The tiger looked so big and savage that the rabbit did not dare refuse to give him any more of the ox. The tiger ate and ate and ate until he had devoured that entire ox. The rabbit had been able to get only a tiny morsel of it. He was very, very angry at the tiger.

One day not long after the rabbit went to a place not far from the tiger's house and began cutting down big staves of wood. The tiger soon happened along and asked him what he was doing.

"I'm getting ready to build a stockade around myself," replied the rabbit. "Haven't you heard the orders ?" The tiger said that he hadn't heard any orders.

"That is very strange," said the rabbit. "The order has gone forth that every beast shall fortify himself by building a stockade around himself. All the beasts are doing it."

The tiger became very much alarmed. "O, dear ! O, dear ! What shall I do," he cried. "I don't know how to build a stockade. I never could do it in the world. O, good rabbit ! O, kind rabbit ! You are such, a very good friend of mine. Couldn't you, as a great favour, because of our long friendship, build a stockade about me before you build one around yourself ?"

The rabbit replied that he could not think of risking his own life by building the tiger's fortifications first. Finally, however, he consented to do it.

The rabbit cut down great quantities of long sharp sticks. He set them firmly in the ground about the tiger. He fastened others securely over the top until the tiger was completely shut in by strong bars. Then he went away and left the tiger.

The tiger waited and waited for something to happen to show him the need of the fortifications. Nothing at all happened.
He got very hungry and thirsty. After a while the monkey passed that way.

The tiger called out, "O, monkey, has the danger passed ?"

The monkey did not know what danger the tiger meant, but he replied, "Yes."

Then the tiger said, "O, monkey, O, good, kind monkey, will you not please be so kind as to help me out of my stockade ?"

"Let the one who got you in there help you out," replied the monkey and he went on his way.

Along came the goat and the tiger called out, "O, goat, has the danger passed ?"

The goat did not know anything about any danger, but he replied, "Yes."

Then the tiger said, "O, goat, O, good kind goat, please be so kind as to help me out of my stockade."

"Let the one who got you in there help you out," replied the goat as he went on his way.

Along came the armadillo and the tiger called out, "O, armadillo, has the danger passed ?"

The armadillo had not heard of any danger, but he replied that it had passed.

Then the tiger said, "O, armadillo, O, good, kind armadillo, you have always been such a good friend and neighbour. Please help me now to get out of my stockade."

"Let the one who got you in there help you out," replied the armadillo as he went on his way.

The tiger jumped and jumped with all his force at the top of the stockade, but he could not break through. He jumped and jumped with all his might at the front side of the stockade, but he could not break through. He thought that never in the world would he be able to break out. He rested for a little while and as he rested he thought. He thought how bright the sun was shining outside. He thought what good hunting there was in the jungle. He thought how cool the water was at the spring. Once more he jumped and jumped with all his might at the back side of the stockade.

At last he broke through. He did not get through, however, without getting bad cuts on both his sides from the sharp edges of the staves.

 Until this day the tiger has stripes on both his sides.






HOW  THE  MONKEY  BECAME  A  TRICKSTER



Once upon a time there was a beautiful garden in which grew all sorts of fruits. Many beasts lived in the garden and they were permitted to eat of the fruits whenever they wished. But they were asked to observe one rule. They must make a low, polite bow to the fruit tree, call it by its name, and say, "Please give me a taste of your fruit."

 They had to be very careful to remember the tree's correct name and not to forget to say "please." It was also very important that they should remember not to be greedy.

They must always leave plenty of fruit for the other beasts who might pass that way, and plenty to adorn the tree itself and to furnish seed so that other trees might grow. If they wished to eat figs they had to say:

"O, fig tree, O, fig tree, please give me a taste of your fruit;"

or, if they wished to eat oranges they had to say:

 "O, orange tree, O, orange tree, please give me a taste of your fruit."

In one corner of the garden grew the most splendid tree of all. It was tall and beautiful and the rosy-cheeked fruit upon its wide spreading branches looked wonderfully tempting. No beast had ever tasted of that fruit, for no beast could ever remember its name.

In a tiny house near the edge of the garden dwelt a little old woman who knew the names of all the fruit trees which grew in the garden. The beasts often went to her and asked the name of the wonderful fruit tree, but the tree was so far distant from the tiny house of the little old woman that no beast could ever remember the long, hard name by the time he reached the fruit tree.

At last the monkey thought of a trick. Perhaps you do not know it, but the monkey can play the guitar. He always played when the beasts gathered together in the garden to dance. The monkey went to the tiny house of the little old woman, carrying his guitar under his arm. When she told him the long hard name of the wonderful fruit tree he made up a little tune to it, all his own, and sang it over and over again all the way from the tiny house of the little old woman to the corner of the garden where the wonderful fruit tree grew.

When any of the other beasts met him and asked him what new song he was singing to his guitar, he said never a word. He marched straight on, playing his little tune over and over again on his guitar and singing softly the long hard name.

At last he reached the corner of the garden where the wonderful fruit tree grew. He had never seen it look so beautiful. The rosy-cheeked fruit glowed in the bright sunlight. The monkey could hardly wait to make his bow, say the long hard name over twice and ask for the fruit with a "please." What a beautiful colour and what a delicious odour that fruit had !

The monkey had never in all his life been so near to anything which smelled so good. He took a big bite. What a face he made! That beautiful sweet smelling fruit was bitter and sour, and it had a nasty taste. He threw it away from him as far as he could.

The monkey never forgot the tree's long hard name and the little tune he had sung. Nor did he forget how the fruit tasted. He never took a bite of it again; but, after that, his favourite trick was to treat the other beasts to the wonderful fruit just to see them make faces when they tasted it.





WHY  THE  MONKEY  STILL  HAS  A  TAIL


Once upon a time the monkey and the rabbit made a contract. The monkey was to kill all the butterflies and the rabbit was to kill all the snakes.

One day the rabbit was taking a nap when the monkey passed that way. The monkey thought that he would play a trick on the rabbit so he pulled the rabbit's ears, pretending that he thought they were butterflies. The rabbit awoke very angry at the monkey and he plotted how he might revenge himself on the monkey.

The rabbit and the armadillo are very good friends. The armadillo is very, very strong, you know, so it was he whom the rabbit asked to help him.

One day the rabbit caught the monkey napping. He had watched and waited a long, long time to catch the monkey napping, but at last he succeeded.

Even the monkey sometimes takes a nap. The rabbit called the armadillo at once and together they rolled a big stone upon the monkey's tail. The monkey pulled so hard to get his tail out from under the stone that it broke off. The cat, who at that time had no tail of her own, spied the tail and ran away with it. The monkey was very angry at the rabbit. "O, we thought it was just a snake lying there," said the rabbit. "When you pulled my ears, you know, you thought they were butterflies."

That did not help the monkey to feel any better. How was he to live without his tail ! How could he climb without it ! He simply had to have it back so he at once set out to find the cat.

At last he found the cat and said to her, "O, kind cat, please give me back my tail."

"I will give it to you," replied the cat, "if you will get me some milk."

"Where shall I get the milk?" asked the monkey.

"Go ask the cow for some," replied the cat.

The monkey went to the cow and said, "O, kind cow, please give me some milk that I may give the milk to the cat so that the cat will give back my tail to me."

"I will give you the milk," replied the cow, "if you will get me some grass."

"Where shall I get the grass ?" asked the monkey.

"Go ask the farmer," responded the cow.

The monkey went to the farmer and said, "O, kind farmer, please give me some grass that I may give the grass to the cow so that the cow will give me some milk so that I may give the milk to the cat so that the cat will give back my tail to me."

The farmer said, "I will give you some grass if you will give me some rain."

"Where shall I get the rain?" asked the monkey.

"Go ask the clouds," responded the farmer.

The monkey went to the clouds and said, "O, kind clouds, please send me down some rain that I may give the rain to the farmer so that the farmer will give me some grass so that I may give the grass to the cow so that the cow will give me some milk so that I may give the milk to the cat so that the cat will give me back my tail."

"I will give you some rain," replied the clouds, "if you will get me some fog."

"Where shall I get the fog?" asked the monkey.

"Go ask the rivers," replied the clouds.

The monkey went to the river and said, "O, kind river, please give me a fog that I may give the fog to the clouds so that the clouds will give some rain so that I may give the rain to the farmer so that the farmer will give me some grass so that I may give the grass to the cow so that the cow  will give me some milk so that I may give the milk to the cat so that the cat will give me back my tail."

"I will give you a fog," replied the river, "if you will find a new spring to feed me."

"Where shall I find a spring ?" asked the monkey.

"Go search for one among the rocks upon the hillside," replied the river.

Then the monkey climbed up the steep hill and searched and searched among the rocks until at last he found a little spring to feed the river. He brought the spring to the river and the river gave him a fog. He took the fog to the clouds and the clouds gave him rain. He took the rain to the farmer and the farmer gave him grass. He took the grass to the cow and the cow gave him milk. He took the milk to the cat and the cat gave him back his tail.

The monkey was so glad to have his tail again that he danced and danced with glee.

Ever since that time the monkey has been very careful to guard his tail. He still has one and he is still happy because of it.







Armadillo






HOW  BLACK  BECAME  WHITE


One often hears the saying that one cannot make black white or white black. I said something about it once upon a time to my Brazilian ama and she stared at me in surprise. "O, yes, one can," she said. "It happened once and no one can ever tell but that it may happen again. Perhaps the Senhora has not heard the story?" I begged her to tell me the story and this is the tale:

Once upon a time there was a little old woman who lived all alone with her little black son who was just as black as black can be. The little old woman had not always lived alone with the little black boy. She had once been the mother of three beautiful daughters, the very loveliest maidens in all the country round. They were so handsome that they attracted the attention of the wicked fairy who lived in an enchanted castle nearby, and this fairy had been very jealous of them. By the aid of magic she tied them up in sacks which could be opened only by burning the sacks over a fire built from magic wood. The little old woman and her little black son searched long and diligently for magic wood, but they were never able to find any.

It was a terrible thing to have one's daughters shut up in magic sacks. The little old woman had grown bent and weak and cross in her search to find the magic wood. If it had not been for the little  black boy she would have given up entirely. The little black boy was always gay and cheerful and always sure that some day they would succeed in finding the magic wood.

One day the little old woman took her big water jar upon her head and carried it down to the stream to fill. It was so very heavy when she had filled it with water that she could not lift it to her head even with the help of the little black boy. Three fine looking cavalheiros happened to be passing on horseback. She sent the little black boy to ask them if they would help her. They said they couldn't possibly stop. The little old woman was very angry. She did not know that they were on their way to the magic castle and couldn't stop. The same wicked fairy who had shut[158] the little old woman's beautiful daughters up in the sacks, was leading them on.

If the little old woman had known all about the three cavalheiros she would not have been angry. She would have wanted to help them instead. The three cavalheiros were very good and very wise, so they managed to get along very well. As soon as they reached the enchanted castle the fairy showed them to their beds. She had marked each bed with a candle. No one before had ever been wise enough to blow out these candles. These cavalheiros blew out the candles and that took away the fairy's power over them. They were able to escape from the palace. When the wicked fairy came to put them in her magic sacks she found the beds empty.

The three cavalheiros took their horses and rode back by the same road by which they had come. They stopped at a little shop on a corner which was kept by a good fairy and bought one vintem's worth of ashes, one vintem's worth of salt and one vintem's worth of pins.

After a while the three cavalheiros approached the house of the little old woman and the little black boy. The little old woman was still angry because they had refused to stop and help her lift her water jar to her head. When she saw them coming she threw stones at them. Of course that was a very stupid thing to do.

When the three cavalheiros saw what was happening they were greatly surprised. They had forgotten all about the little black boy and the little old woman whom he had asked them to help. When they saw her coming with the stones they thought that she must be a wicked fairy in the form of a little old woman.

The cavalheiro who had one vintem's worth of ashes in his pocket threw the ashes at her. It became night. The little old woman came on with her stones just the same.

The cavalheiro who had one vintem's worth of salt in his pocket threw the salt at her. Immediately a sea of salt water appeared between the three cavalheiros and the little old woman. The little old woman came on with her stones just the same.

The cavalheiro who had one vintem's worth of pins in his pocket threw the pins at her. Immediately a high, thorny hedge sprang out of the ground between the little old woman and the three cavalheiros.

The little old woman was too angry to think clearly. If she had not been so angry she would have known at once that this must be magic wood. The little black boy, however, had his wits about him. He hastened to gather the branches even though the thorns tore his hands. Soon he had brought together a great pile of wood like the piles which they make in the streets to burn on a festa night.

The little old woman saw what he was doing and ran to get the magic sacks in which her daughters were imprisoned. They laid the sacks on top of the pile of magic wood and lighted the fire. There was a great noise like thunder. Out of the three magic sacks there sprang three beautiful maidens who had been preserved alive in the sacks by a miracle of Nossa Senhora.

The little old woman and her three beautiful daughters turned to thank the little black boy for what he had done. The little black boy was no longer black. He had been turned white.

The three cavalheiros married the three beautiful maidens and the little boy who was now white, grew up to be the greatest cavalheiro of them all.







Old woman from Brazil





WHY  THE  SEA  MOANS


Once upon a time there was a little princess who lived in a magnificent royal palace. All around the palace there was a beautiful garden full of lovely flowers and rare shrubs and trees. The part of the garden which the princess liked most of all was a corner of it which ran down to the sea. She was a very lonely little princess and she loved to sit and watch the changing beauty of the sea. The name of the little princess was Dionysia and it often seemed to her that the sea said, as it rushed against the shore, "Di-o-ny-si-a, Di-o-ny-si-a."

One day when the little princess was sitting all alone by the sea she said to herself, "O! I am so lonely. I do so wish that I had somebody to play with. When I ride out in the royal chariot I see little girls who have other little boys and girls to play with them. Because I am the royal princess I never have anybody to play with me. If I have to be the royal princess and not play with other children I do think I might have some sort of live thing to play with me."

Then a most remarkable thing happened. The sea said very slowly and distinctly and over and over again so there couldn't be any mistake about it, "Di-o-ny-si-a, Di-o-ny-si-a."

The little princess walked up close to the sea, just as close as she dared to go without danger of getting her royal shoes and stockings wet. Straight out of the biggest wave of all there came a sea serpent to meet her. She knew that it was a sea serpent from the pictures in her royal story books even though she had never seen a sea serpent before, but somehow this sea serpent looked different than the pictures. Instead of being a fierce monster it looked kind and gentle and good. She held out her arms to it right away.

"Come play with me," said Dionysia.

"I am Labismena and I have come to play with you," replied the sea serpent.

After that the little princess was very much happier. The sea serpent came out of the sea to play with her every day when she was alone. If any one else came near Labismena would disappear into the sea so no one but Dionysia ever saw her.

The years passed rapidly and each year the little princess grew to be a larger and larger princess. At last she was sixteen years old and a very grown-up princess indeed. She still enjoyed her old playmate, Labismena, and they were often together on the seashore.

One day when they were walking up and down together beside the sea the sea serpent looked at Dionysia with sad eyes and said, "I too have been growing older all these years, dear Dionysia. Now the time has come that we can no longer play together. I shall never come out of the sea to play with you any more, but I shall never forget you and I shall always be your friend. I hope that you will never have any trouble, but if you ever should, call my name and I will come to help you." Then the sea serpent disappeared into the sea.

About this time the wife of a neighbouring king died and as she lay upon her death bed she gave the king a jewelled ring. "When the time comes when you wish to wed again," she said, "I ask you to marry a princess upon whose finger this ring shall be neither too tight nor too loose."

After a while the king began to look about for a princess to be his bride. He visited many royal palaces and tried the ring upon the finger of many royal princesses. Upon some the ring was too tight and upon others it was too loose. There was no princess whose finger it fitted perfectly.

At last in his search the king came to the royal palace where the princess Dionysia lived. The princess had dreams of her own of a young and charming prince who would some day come to wed her, so she was not pleased at all. The king was old and no longer handsome, and when he tried the ring upon Dionysia's finger she hoped with all her heart that it would not fit. It fitted perfectly.

The princess Dionysia was frightened nearly to death. "Will I really have to marry him?" she asked her royal father. Her father told her what a very wealthy king he was with a great kingdom and a wonderful royal palace ever so much more wonderful and grand than the palace the princess Dionysia had always had for her home. Her father had no patience at all with her for not being happy about it. "You ought to consider yourself the most fortunate princess in all the world," he said.

Dionysia spent her days and nights weeping. Her father was afraid that she would grow so thin that the ring would no longer fit her finger, so he hastened the plans for the wedding.

One day Dionysia walked up and down beside the sea, crying as if her heart would break. All at once she stopped crying. "How stupid I have been," she said. "My old playmate Labismena told me that if ever I was in trouble she would come back and help me. With all my silly crying I had forgotten about it."

Dionysia walked up close to the sea and called softly, "Labismena, Labismena." Out of the sea came the sea serpent just as she used to come. The princess told the sea serpent all about the dreadful trouble which was threatening to spoil her life.

"Have no fear," said Labismena, "tell your father that you will marry the king when the king presents you with a dress the colour of the fields and all their flowers and that you will not marry him until he gives it to you." Then the sea serpent disappeared again into the sea.

Dionysia sent word through her father to her royal suitor that she would wed him only when he procured her a dress the colour of the fields and all their flowers. The king was very much in love with Dionysia, so he was secretly filled with joy at this request. He searched everywhere for a dress the colour of the fields and all their flowers. It was a very difficult thing to find but at last he procured one. He sent it to Dionysia at once.

When Dionysia saw that the king had really found the dress for her she was filled with grief. She thought that there was no escape and that she would have to marry the king after all. As soon as she could get away from the palace without being noticed she ran down to the sea and again called, "Labismena, Labismena."

The sea serpent at once came out of the sea. "Do not fear," she said to Dionysia. "Go back and say that you will not wed the king until he gives you a dress the colour of the sea and all its fishes."

When the king heard this new request of Dionysia's he was rather discouraged. However he searched for the dress and, at last, after expending a great sum of money, he procured such a gown.

When Dionysia saw that a dress the colour of the sea and all its fishes had been found for her she again went to seek counsel from her old playmate.

"Do not be afraid," Labismena again said to her. "This time you must ask the king to get you a dress the colour of the sky and all its stars. You may also tell him that this is the last present you will ask him to make you."

When the king heard about the demand for a dress the colour of the sky and all its stars he was completely disheartened, but when he heard that Dionysia had promised that this would be the last present she would ask he decided that it might be a good investment after all. He set out to procure the dress with all possible speed. At last he found one.

When Dionysia saw the dress the colour of the sky and all its stars she thought that this time there was no escape from marrying the king. She called the sea serpent with an anxious heart for she was afraid that now even Labismena could do nothing to help her.

Labismena came out of the sea in answer to her call.

"Go home to the palace and get your dress the colour of the field and all its flowers," said the sea serpent, "and your dress the colour of the sea and all its fishes, and your dress the colour of the sky and all its stars. Then hurry back here to the sea for I have been preparing a surprise for you."

All the time the king had been procuring the wonderful gowns for Dionysia the sea serpent had been building a ship for her. When Dionysia returned from the royal palace with her lovely dresses all carefully packed in a box there was a queer little boat awaiting her. It was not at all like any other boat she had ever seen and she was almost afraid to get into it when Labismena asked her to try it. "This little ship which I have built for you," said Labismena, "will carry you far away over the sea to the kingdom of a prince who is the most charming prince in all the world. When you see him you will want to marry him above all others."

"O, Labismena! How can I ever thank you for all you have done for me ?" cried Dionysia.

"You can do the greatest thing in the world for me," said Labismena; "though I have never told you and I do not believe that you have ever suspected it, I am really an enchanted princess. I shall have to remain in the form of a sea serpent until the happiest maiden in all the world, at the hour of her greatest happiness, calls my name three times. You will be the very happiest girl in all the world on the day of your marriage, and if you will remember to call my name three times then you will break my enchantment and I shall once more be a lovely princess instead of a sea serpent."

Dionysia promised her friend that she would remember to do this. The sea serpent asked her to promise three times to make sure. When Dionysia had promised three times and again embraced her old playmate and thanked her for all that she had done she sailed away in the little ship. The sea serpent disappeared into the sea.

Dionysia sailed and sailed in the little ship and at last it bore her to a lovely island. She thought that she had reached her destination, so she stepped out of the boat not forgetting to take her box of dresses with her. As soon as she was out of the boat it sailed away. "Now what shall I ever do ?" said Dionysia. "The ship has gone away and left me and how shall I ever earn my living ? I have never done anything useful in all my life."

Dionysia surely had to do something to earn her living immediately, so she at once set out to see what she could find to do. She went from house to house asking for food and work. At last she came to the royal palace. Here at the royal palace they told her that they had great need of a maid to take care of the hens. Dionysia thought that this was something which she could do, so she accepted the position at once. It was, of course, very different work from being a princess in a royal palace but it provided her with food and shelter, and when Dionysia thought of having to marry the old king she was never sorry that she had left home.

Time passed and at last there was a great feast day celebrated in the city. Everybody in the palace went except the little maid who minded the hens.

After everybody had gone away Dionysia decided that she would go to the festa too. She combed her hair and put on her gown which was the colour of the fields and all their flowers. In this wonderful gown she was sure nobody would ever guess that she was the little maid who had been left at home to mind the hens. She did want to go to the festa! She hurried there as fast as she could and arrived just in time for the dances.

Everybody at the festa noticed the beautiful maiden in her gown the colour of the fields and all their flowers. The prince fell madly in love with her.

Nobody had ever seen her before and nobody could find out who the beautiful stranger was or where she came from. Before the festa was over Dionysia slipped away, and, when the rest of the royal household returned home there was the little maid minding the hens just as they had left her.

The second day of the festa everybody went early except the little maid who looked after the hens. When the others had gone she put on her dress the colour of the sea and all its fishes and went to the festa. She attracted even more attention than she had the day before.

When the festa was over and the royal household had returned to the royal palace, the prince remarked to his mother, "Don't you think that the beautiful stranger at the festa looks like the little maid who minds our hens ?"

"What nonsense," replied his mother. "How could the little maid who minds our hens ever get such wonderful gowns to wear ?" Just to make sure, however, the prince told the royal councillor to find out if the little maid who minds the royal hens had been to the festa. All the servants told about leaving her at home with the hens and coming back and finding her just as they had left her.

"Whoever the beautiful stranger at the festa may be," said the prince, "she is the one above all others whom I want for my wife. I shall find her some way."

The third day of the festa Dionysia went attired in her gown the colour of the sky and all its stars. The prince fell more madly in love with her than ever. He could not get her to tell him who she was or where she lived but he gave her a beautiful jewel.

When the prince returned home he would not eat any food. He grew thin and pale. Every one around the palace tried his best to invent some dish which would tempt the prince's appetite.

Finally the little maid who took care of the hens said that she thought she could prepare a dish which the prince would eat.

Accordingly she made a dish of broth for the prince and in the bottom of the dish she dropped the jewel which the prince had given her.

When the broth was set before the prince he was about to send it away untouched, just as he did everything else, but the sparkling jewel attracted his attention.

"Who made this dish of broth?" he asked as soon as he could speak.

"It was made by the little maid who minds the hens," replied his mother.

"Send for the little maid to come to me at once," cried the prince. "I knew that the beautiful stranger at the festa looked like our little maid who minds the hens."

The prince married Dionysia the very next day and Dionysia was the very happiest girl in all the world, for from the first moment that she had seen the prince, she had known that he was the one above all others whom she wished to marry.

Alas! In Dionysia's excitement she forgot all about calling the name of her old playmate, Labismena, at the hour of her marriage as she had promised to do. She thought of nothing but the prince.

There was no escape for Labismena. She had to remain in the form of a sea serpent because of Dionysia's neglect. She had lost her chance to come out of the sea and become a lovely princess herself and find a charming prince of her own. For this reason her sad moan is heard in the sea until this very day. Perhaps you have noticed it.

You will often hear the call come from the sea as it breaks against the shore, "Dionysia, Di-o-ny-si-a." No wonder that the sea moans. It is enough to make a sea serpent sad to be forgotten by the very person one has done most to help.
















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