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A Story for children age 4 to 6.
By FRÉDÉRIC ORTOLI
Start of Story
From The Book of Stories for the Storyteller by Fanny E. Coe.
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
"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
No sooner thought than done. Teenchy Duck went waddling down the road
in the direction taken by the miserly Prince, crying with all her
"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
"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
"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.