1.The Tortoise and the Hare
The Hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. “I have never yet been beaten,” said he, “when I put forth my full speed. I challenge any one here to race with me.”
The Tortoise said quietly, “I accept your challenge.”
“That is a good joke,” said the Hare; “I could dance round you all the way.”
“Keep your boasting till you’ve won,” answered the Tortoise. “Shall we race?”
So a course was fixed and a start was made. The Hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the Tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The Tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the Hare awoke from his nap, he saw the Tortoise just near the winning-post and could not run up in time to save the race.
Then the Tortoise said: “Slow but steady progress wins the race.”
2.The Princess and the Pea ( putridan kacang polong)
Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but she would have to be a real princess. He travelled all over the world to find one, but nowhere could he get what he wanted. There were princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real ones. There was always something about them that was not as it should be. So he came home again and was sad, for he would have liked very much to have a real princess.
One evening a terrible storm came on; there was thunder and lightning, and the rain poured down in torrents. Suddenly a knocking was heard at the city gate, and the old king went to open it.
It was a princess standing out there in front of the gate. But, good gracious! what a sight the rain and the wind had made her look. The water ran down from her hair and clothes; it ran down into the toes of her shoes and out again at the heels. And yet she said that she was a real princess.
Well, we’ll soon find that out, thought the old queen. But she said nothing, went into the bed-room, took all the bedding off the bedstead, and laid a pea on the bottom; then she took twenty mattresses and laid them on the pea, and then twenty eider-down beds on top of the mattresses.
On this the princess had to lie all night. In the morning she was asked how she had slept.
“Oh, very badly!” said she. “I have scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It’s horrible!”
Now they knew that she was a real princess because she had felt the pea right through the twenty mattresses and the twenty eider-down beds.
Nobody but a real princess could be as sensitive as that.
So the prince took her for his wife, for now he knew that he had a real princess; and the pea was put in the museum, where it may still be seen, if no one has stolen it.
The Peasant in Heaven
Once upon a time a poor pious peasant died, and arrived before the gate of heaven. At the same time a very rich, rich lord came there who also wanted to get into heaven.
Then saint peter came with the key, and opened the door, and let the great man in, but apparently did not see the peasant, and shut the door again.
And now the peasant outside heard how the great man was received in heaven with all kinds of rejoicing, and how they were making music, and singing within.
At length all became quiet again, and saint peter came and opened the gate of heaven, and let the peasant in.
The peasant, however, expected that they would make music and sing when he went in also, but all remained quite quiet. He was received with great affection, it is true, and the angels came to meet him, but no one sang.
Then the peasant asked saint peter how it was that they did not sing for him as they had done when the rich man went in, and said that it seemed to him that there in heaven things were done with just as much partiality as on earth.
Then said saint peter, by no means, you are just as dear to us as anyone else, and will enjoy every heavenly delight that the rich man enjoys, but poor fellows like you come to heaven every day, but a rich man like this does not come more than once in a hundred
Looking For a Bride
There was once a young shepherd who wanted very much to marry, and was acquainted with three sisters who were all equally pretty, so that it was difficult for him to make a choice, and he could not decide to give the preference to any one of them.
Then he asked his mother for advice, and she said: “invite all three, and set some cheese before them, and watch how they eat it.”
The youth did so, the first swallowed the cheese with the rind on, the second hastily cut the rind off the cheese, but she cut it so quickly that she left much good cheese with it, and threw that away also, the third peeled the rind off carefully, and cut neither too much nor too little.
The shepherd told all this to his mother, who said, take the third for your wife. This he did, and lived contentedly and happily with her.
The Pied Piper
Many years ago, in the German town of Hamelin, the people had a terrible problem with rats. There were rats everywhere, in the streets, houses, beds, and even in babies cots. The mayor did not know what to do.
One day, a peculiar man called the Pied Piper arrived and said he could deal with the problem if the mayor would pay a huge sum of money. The mayor agreed.
The Pied Piper played the pipes and the rats followed him out of Hamelin and fell out a cliff.
“I refuse to pay!” said the mayor.
So, the Pied Piper played his pipes again. This time every child followed the Pier Piper. They never returned. The mayor had learned his lesson, but much too late.
The Ant and the Grasshopper
In a field one summer’s day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.
“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”
“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”
“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; “We have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.
When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger – while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for days of need.