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A Story for children age 4 to 6.

Teenchy duck.

By FRÉDÉRIC ORTOLI
From The Book of Stories for the Storyteller by Fanny E. Coe.

Start of Story

Once upon a time there lived in a village in some country (I do not know where, but certainly nowhere near here), an old man and an old woman who were very poor indeed. They had never been able to save a single penny. They had no farm, not even a garden. They had nothing but a little Duck that walked around on her two feet every day singing the song of famine. "Quack! quack! Who will give me a piece of bread? Quack! quack! Who will give me a piece of bread?" This little duck was so small that she was named Teenchy Duck. It so happened one day that Teenchy Duck was paddling in the water near the river's edge when she saw a fine purse filled with gold. At once she began to flap her wings and cry: "Quack! quack! Who has lost his beautiful money? Quack! quack! Who has lost his beautiful money?" Just at that moment the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows passed along the road. He was richer than all the kings and emperors, but he was mean and miserly. He walked along with a stick in his hand, and as he walked he counted in his mind the millions that he had stored away in his strong-box. "Quack! quack! Who lost his beautiful money? Quack! quack! Who lost his beautiful money?" cried Teenchy Duck.



"I have lost it," cried the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows, and then he seized the purse full of money that Teenchy Duck held in her bill, and went on his way. The poor Puddle Duck was so astonished at this that she could scarcely stand on her feet. "Well, well!" she exclaimed, "that rich lord has kept all for himself and given me nothing. May he be destroyed by a pestilence!" Teenchy Duck at once ran to her master, and told him what had happened. When her master learned the value of what Teenchy Duck had found, and the trick that had been played on her by the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows, he went into a rage. "Why, you big simpleton!" he exclaimed, "you find money and you do not bring it to us! You give it to a big lord, who did not lose it, when we poor people need it so much! Go out of this house instantly, and don't dare to come back until you have brought me the purse of gold!" Poor Teenchy Duck trembled in all her limbs, and made herself small and humble; but she found her voice to say: "You are right, my master! I go at once to find the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows."



But once out of doors the poor Puddle Duck thought to herself sorrowfully: "How and where can I find the Prince who was so mean as to steal the beautiful money?" Teenchy Duck was so bewildered that she began to strike her head against the rocks in despair. Suddenly an idea came into her mind. She would follow his tracks and the marks that his walking-stick made in the ground until she came to the castle of the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows. No sooner thought than done. Teenchy Duck went waddling down the road in the direction taken by the miserly Prince, crying with all her might: "Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money! Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!" Brother Fox, who was taking his ease a little way from the road, heard Teenchy Duck's cries, and knew her voice. He went to her and said: "What in the world is the matter with you, my poor Teenchy Duck? You look sad and broken-hearted." "I have good reason to be," said Teenchy Duck. "This morning, while paddling in the river, I found a purse full of gold, and gave it to the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows, thinking it was his. But now, here comes my master and asks me for it, and says he will kill me if I do not bring it to him soon."



"Well, where are you going in this style?" asked Brother Fox. "I am going straight to the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows," said Teenchy Duck. "Shall I go with you?" asked Brother Fox. "I'd be only too glad if you would," exclaimed Teenchy Duck. "But how can I go?" said Brother Fox. "Get into my satchel," said Teenchy Duck, "and I'll try to carry you." "It isn't big enough," said Brother Fox. "It will stretch," said Teenchy Duck. So Brother Fox got into the satchel, and Teenchy Duck went waddling along the road, crying: "Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!" She had not gone far when she met Brother Wolf, who was passing that way. "What are you crying so for?" he inquired. "One would think you were going to die on the journey." "It is only too true," said Teenchy Duck, and then she told Brother Wolf about finding the money-purse, just as she had told Brother Fox.

       



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