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Teenchy duck.

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

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Brother Fox came out of the satchel promptly, and worked so well at his trade that of all the fowls he found there, not one remained alive. At break of day the servant-girl, whose business it was to attend to the poultry-yard, opened the door of the henhouse, and was astounded to see Teenchy Duck come out, singing the same old song: "Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!" The astonished girl immediately told her master, the Prince, what had happened, and the wife of the Prince, who had at that moment learned all, said to her husband: "This Duck is a witch. Give her the money, or it will bring us bad luck." The Prince of the Seven Golden Cows refused to listen. He believed that the fox had only happened to enter his henhouse by accident. Teenchy Duck made herself heard all day, and at night the Prince said to his servants: "Take this squaller and throw her into the stable under the feet of the mules and horses. We will see in the morning what she will say."



The servants obeyed, and Teenchy Duck immediately cried: "Brother Wolf, if you do not come quickly to my aid I shall be killed." Brother Wolf made no delay, and it was not long before he had destroyed the horses and the mules. Next morning, before day, the servants went to get the animals to put them to the ploughs and waggons; but when they saw them lying dead their astonishment was great. In the stable Teenchy Duck stood alone, singing in her most beautiful voice: "Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!" When the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows heard the sad news, he became white with rage, and in his fury he wanted to give his servants a thousand lashes for not having taken better care of the animals. But his wife calmed him little by little, then: "My husband, give back to Teenchy Duck this purse you have taken, or else we shall be ruined," she said. "No," cried the Prince, "she shall never have it!" All this time Teenchy Duck was walking up and down, to the right and to the left, singing at the top of her voice: "Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!"



"Heavens!" said the Prince, stopping his ears, "I am tired of hearing this ugly fowl squall and squawk. Quick! throw her into the well or the furnace, so that we may be rid of her." "What shall we do first?" the servants asked. "It matters not," said the Prince, "so long as we are rid of her." The servants took Teenchy Duck and threw her into the well, thinking this the easier, and the quickest way to be rid of her. As Teenchy Duck was falling, she cried: "Come to my assistance, good Ladder, or I am undone." The Ladder immediately came out of the satchel, and leaned against the walls of the well. Teenchy Duck came up the rounds, singing: "Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!" Everybody was astonished, and the Prince's wife kept saying: "Give the witch her money." "They would say that I am afraid of a Teenchy Duck," said the Prince of the Seven Golden Cows. "I will never give it up." Then, speaking to his servants, he said: "Heat the oven, heat it to a white heat, and throw this witch in." The servants had to obey, but they were so frightened that none dared touch her. At last, one bolder than the rest seized her by the end of the wing and threw her into the red-hot oven. Everyone thought that this was the end of Teenchy Duck, but she had had time to cry out:



"Oh! my dear friend River, come to my assistance, or I shall be roasted." The River rushed out and quenched the fire and cooled the oven. When the Prince went to see what was left of Teenchy Duck, she met him and began to repeat her familiar song: "Quack! quack! Give me back my beautiful money!" The Prince of the Seven Golden Cows was furious. "You are all blockheads!" he cried to his servants. "You never knew how to do anything. Get out of here! I will drive you off the place. Hereafter I will take charge of this witch myself." That night, before retiring, the Prince and his wife went and got Teenchy Duck, and prepared to give her such a beating as they had no doubt would cause her death. Fortunately, Teenchy Duck saw the danger and cried out: "Friend Bees! come out and help me." A buzzing sound was heard, and then the Bees swarmed on the Prince and his wife, and stung them so badly that they became frightful to behold. "Return the money to this ugly witch," groaned the unfortunate wife. "Run, or we are done for." The Prince did not wait to be told twice. He ran and got the purse full of gold, and returned it to Teenchy Duck. "Here," said he, "I am conquered. But get out of my grounds quickly."



Full of joy, Teenchy Duck went out into the road singing: "Quack! quack! I have got my beautiful money! Quack! quack! Here is my beautiful money!" On her way home she returned the friends that had aided her to the places where she had found them, thanking them kindly for their help in time of need. At break of day Teenchy Duck found herself at her master's door. She aroused him by her loud cries. After that, the family was rich and Teenchy Duck was well taken care of. If she went to the village pond it was only to tell her comrades of her remarkable way of gaining the beautiful money.

       



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