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Europe

Androclus and the Lion

In Rome there was once a poor slave whose name was Androclus. His master was a cruel man, and so unkind to him that at last Androclus ran away.

He hid himself in a wild wood for many days; but there was no food to be found, and he grew so weak and sick that he thought he should die. So one day he crept into a cave and lay down, and soon he was fast asleep.

King Alfred and the Beggar

t one time the Danes drove King Alfred from his kingdom, and he had to lie hidden for a long time on a little island in a river.

One day, all who were on the island, except the king and queen and one servant, went out to fish. It was a very lonely place, and no one could get to it except by a boat. About noon a ragged beggar came to the king’s door and asked for food.

King Alfred and the Cakes

Many years ago, there lived in England a wise and good king whose name was Alfred. No other man ever did so much for his country as he; and people now, all over the world, speak of him as Alfred the Great.

Snow White and Rose Red

A poor widow once lived in a little cottage. In front of the cottage was a garden, in which were growing two rose trees; one of these bore white roses, and the other red.

She had two children, who resembled the rose trees. One was called Snow-White, and the other Rose-Red; and they were as religious and loving, busy and untiring, as any two children ever were.

The Water of Life

Once upon a time there was a King who was so ill that everybody despaired of his life, and his three sons were very sorry, and went out into the palace gardens to weep. There they met an old man, who asked the cause of their grief, and they told him their Father was so ill that he must die, for nothing could save him. The old Man said, “I know a means of saving him: if he drinks of the water of life it will restore him to health; but it is very difficult to find.”

The Valiant Little Taylor

One fine day a Tailor was sitting on his bench by the window in very high spirits, sewing away most diligently, and presently up the street came a country woman, crying, “Good jams for sale! Good jams for sale!” This cry sounded nice in the Tailor’s ears, and, poking his diminutive head out of the window, he called, “Here, my good woman, just bring your jams in here!” The woman mounted the three steps up to the Tailor’s house with her large basket and began to open all the pots together before him.

The Three Feathers

Once upon a time there lived a King who had three sons; the two elder were learned and bright, but the youngest said very little and was often ignored.

When the King grew old and feeble, feeling that he was nearing his end, he wished to leave the crown to one of his three sons, but could not decide to which. He thereupon settled that they should travel, and that the one who could obtain the most splendid carpet should ascend the throne when he died.

The Burglar’s Ghost

I am not an imaginative man, and no one who knows me can say that I have ever indulged in sentimental ideas upon any subject. I am rather predisposed, in fact, to look at everything from a purely practical standpoint, and this quality has been further developed in me by the fact that for twenty years I have been an active member of the detective police force at Westford, a large town in one of our most important manufacturing districts.

The Phantom Toe

I am not a superstitious man, far from it, but despite all my efforts to the contrary I could not help thinking, directly I had taken a survey of my chamber, that I should never quit it without going through a strange adventure. There was something in its immense size, heaviness and gloom that seemed to annihilate at one blow all my resolute skepticism as regards supernatural visitations. It appeared to me totally impossible to go into that room and disbelieve in ghosts.