Many years ago when I was a little girl, there were lots of shepherds with their flocks of sheep. It was very strange not to find one in each village, for being a shepherd was a very normal job in those times. These days, very few children have seen a flock of sheep, except in stories and photos.
The little sheep in my village lived in an enclosure where they had a basin of water on one side for when they were thirsty, and straw on the other side for when they were hungry. Inside the enclosure was a shed that the sheep used as a shelter on days when it was rainy and cold.
The shepherd looked after them very well. It was he who gave them the straw to eat and water to drink. He also milked them and went out into the fields with them all.
What I remember most about this time was the noise of the little sheep coming back from grazing in the fields, for Nino the shepherd would put a bell on them and you would hear a tinkling “ding ding ding” sound as they trotted by, and all the children would run behind them laughing and jumping around.
The flock of sheep always passed in front of my house, and I have to admit that I was a little scared when I saw the shepherd go with them, for Nino also had a couple of goats and they frightened me a great deal – for these goats had horns. Read the rest of this short story »
Legend has it that many, many years ago there was a wizard who had always wanted to fly like a bird to see what it felt like to soar through the air. Arion, for that was the wizard’s name, hoped that one day he would finally manage to fly, so every day as soon as he got up he would set to work in his laboratory searching for the magic formula.
One day, as the wizard was doing his experiments and inventing new potions, his cat Dabra arrived in the laboratory. He was so happy to see the wizard that in his haste he broke into a run and knocked over some of the potions Arion had made.
The wizard got very annoyed with Dabra and said: “Naughty cat!! I don’t want to see you ever again, get out of this house!!” And so Dabra went sadly out onto the street.
Arion the wizard went round cleaning up all the liquid that had fallen on the floor and on top of an old umbrella that the wizard had had since he was a boy, for it had been a gift from his grandfather. Arion couldn’t believe it – the umbrella had been stained multicoloured by the potions! “Oh no!” he cried, “That cat has destroyed my grandfather’s umbrella, it’s ruined!”
But just as Arion the wizard was about to throw the umbrella in the bin, he accidentally opened it up and saw a blaze of colourful lights surrounding him. And then he noticed that his feet weren’t touching the floor – they were in the air!
In a flash, Arion realised that the umbrella was magic, and that by holding it he could fly. Excited, he shouted: “I’m flying like a bird at last!!” Read the rest of this short story »
Once upon a time, in the middle of a forest, there was a grey house that looked rather frightening. It seemed as if no one lived there, for the windows were full of spider webs and the glass was so filthy it was impossible to see inside the house.
But in fact there was someone living there… a witch known all around the world as “the twitchy witch“. The twitchy witch had a wart right on the tip of her big nose, big black eyes and grey-and-white hair. She was a witch all right, a very ugly witch, and she was scary to look at.
The twitchy witch had always lived in the forest, and on certain days of the year she would go into the village a few kilometres away and frighten the people who lived there.
Today was one of the days that our witch, the twitchy witch, went into the village. Like all witches, she used her broom to get from place to place. So, dressed in dark clothing, she put on her pointy black hat, picked up her broom and set off.
It was getting dark by the time the twitchy witch arrived at the village. When some of the villagers out on the streets saw the silhouette of the twitchy witch flying atop her broom, they went running to their houses as fast as the blink of an eye.
The twitchy witch couldn’t stop cackling to see the people flee in fear. Read the rest of this short story »
Just like every day at the lake, the ducks were waking up to the first rays of sun bouncing off the water and bringing glorious colour to all the beautiful vegetation around there.
Dory, for that was the name of the strongest little duck in the lake, was helping the other little ducks as well as getting her children some food. Life at the lake was an oasis of peace.
But then something unexpected happened… Ever since the lake had been built, a villager called Steven had been in charge of cleaning the lake. Steven respected the ducks as well as all the plants that surrounded them. But Steven wasn’t there today – instead, a man called Horace was now in charge.
Horace did not think the ducks were as important as making the lake as pretty as possible to surprise all the villagers.
One beautiful day when the first rays of sunshine were beginning to peep out, Horace arrived at the lake pushing a wheelbarrow in which he was carrying a strange object. Dory the duck, who was already awake and looking for food for her children, paddled silently over to the place where Horace and his wheelbarrow were, but couldn’t make head or tail of what was inside it.
After a few hours, Horace had finished his work of art. He placed a fountain right in the middle of the lake, with all kinds of pipes sticking out everywhere – poor Dory couldn’t begin to guess what they were for. Read the rest of this short story »