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This story is suitable for children age 6 to 8 approx.
From junior classics vol. 1 by William patten.
Story By Paul Sébillot
Start of Story
As often happens in this world, there was once a young man who spent
all his time in traveling. One day, as he was walking along, he picked
up a snuffbox. He opened it, and the snuffbox said to him in the
Spanish language: "What do you want?" He was very much frightened,
but, luckily, instead of throwing the box away he only shut it tight
and put it in his pocket. Then he went on, away, away, away, and as he
went he said to himself, "if it says to me again, 'What do you want?' I
shall know better what to say this time." So he took out the snuffbox
and opened it, and again it asked: "What do you want?" "My hat full of
gold," answered the youth, and immediately it was full.
Our young man was enchanted. Henceforth he should never be in need of
So on he traveled, away, away, away, through thick forests,
till at last he came to a beautiful castle. In the castle there lived
a king. The young man walked round and round the castle, not caring
who saw him, till the king noticed him and asked what he was doing
there. "I was just looking at your castle." "You would like to have
one like it, wouldn't you?" The young man did not reply, but when it
grew dark he took out his snuffbox and opened the lid." What do you
want?" "Build me a castle with laths of gold and tiles of diamond and
the furniture all of silver and gold." He had scarcely finished
speaking when there stood in front of him, exactly opposite the king's
palace, a castle built precisely as he had ordered. When the king
awoke he was struck dumb at the sight of the magnificent house shining
in the rays of the sun.
The servants could not do their work for
stopping to stare at it. Then the king dressed himself and went to see
the young man. And he told him plainly that he was a very powerful
prince, and that he hoped that they might all live together in one
house or the other, and that the king would give him his daughter to
wife. So it all turned out just as the king wished. The young man
married the princess and they lived happily in the palace of gold.
But the king's wife was jealous both of the young man and of her own
daughter. The princess had told her mother about the snuffbox, which
gave them everything they wanted, and the queen bribed a servant to
steal the snuffbox. They noticed carefully where it was put away every
night, and one evening, when the whole world was asleep, the woman
stole it and brought it to her old mistress.