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  1. The Six Companions
  2. The Wolf and the Kids

The Six Companions

Six peasants were gathered one evening.

"I have always wanted to go and see the sea," said one, "but have not found time to do it until recently. Would you all like to leave with me tomorrow to see this great mass of water that people have told so many marvels told about?"

All the peasants agreed, and the next day they set out. They soon came to a great plain filled with corn. The wind made the corn sway in waves in front of them.

"The sea! the sea!" exclaimed the six companions at once, and threw themselves on their stomachs into the corn field to swim.

They reached a deep well. Fearing that one of them might have fallen into it, they counted. "One, two, three, four, five," said one, forgetting to count himself. "There's one in the well. What to do? Look, I'll call him. Hey! Thomas, are you there?"

They thought they heard a "Yes". In order to get to the bottom to lift up their comrade, they laid a stake across the well. Then Jacques, the strongest of the band, hung himself by the stake. Another clung to his feet, then another, to the last.

"Do you see him?" "Jacques cried to him," Hurry up! My hands hurt!"

"I don't see him."

"My grip slowly slips. I will soon be unable to hold on to the stake any longer. Stay where you are while I spit in my hands to get a better grip."

The peasant dropped the stake and fell with his companions to the bottom of the muddy water.

[Recounted in 1876 by M. Bonneville, in Warloy, Somme]


The Wolf and the Kids

A mother goat once needed to go to the town to sell butter and her cheese. "As soon as I am out," she said to her kids, "close and lock the lock, and open it only if you are shown a white hoof."

The kids promised to do as she told, and the mother embraced them and left them.

As she passed by the wood, the wolf saw her.

"Look here, the mother goat is going to town!" Her kids must be alone in the house. If I could get them it would be fine, for I have not had anything to eat in two days."

The wolf went to the goat's house and knocked at the door.

"Pan, pan, open!" he said, trying to sound like the mother goat.

"Who is it?"

"It's your mother, who's coming back from the market."

"Show a white hoof and we will open you."

"Uh, I forgot my basket; I'll soon be back, " said the wolf, scratching his head. Then he went to find the fox, and explained the matter to him.

"Is that all?" I have a bag of flour there, soak your paw in it and go on."

"Now the kids will be mine!"

His paw bleached, the wolf went to knock on the door of the goat's house.

"Pan, pan, open!"

"Who is it?"

"Your mother."

"Show us a white hoof and we will open you."

The wolf passed his paw under the door; But on his way to the goat's house the flour had gone and now the paw was black. He had not noticed it.

The kids would not open.

The wolf returned to the fox to ask for advice.

"Pretend to be a pilgrim, surely they will open to a pilgrim."

"But what about clothes?"

"I have old ones here; I'll give them to you. The fox dressed the wolf, who soon was at the door of the goat's house for the third time and knocked.

By this time the mother goat had returned, and the kids had told him what had happened while she was away.

"You did well not to open, it was probably the wolf who came to eat you. If he comes back, he will have to pay for his crooked schemes."

The goat took a bale of straw and a bundle of sticks and put them in the fireplace. At that moment the wolf was returning.

"Pan, pan, open!"

"The door is closed and we have been told not to open," answered one of the kids. "But who are you?"

"A poor pilgrim who has come back from Jerusalem."

"You could climb down our chimney if you must inside."

"What a good idea!" said the wolf. He climbed to the roof and down into the chimney. At once the mother goat lit the straw and the fagot, and the wretched wolf fell down well roasted in the hearth - dead.

The mother goat and her kids then shoved the dead wolf into the neighbouring river.

[Told in 1828 by M. Mareux Georges, who had heard him from an old woman in the neighborhood of Rouen in Normandy]



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