Friday, January 15, 2010

a bedtime story (tarantino style)

Sleepy? Got your blankie? All nice and toasty warm? Good. Now settle in and I'll read you a story called The Death of the Hen. It's a fairy tale that was collected by two brothers named Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

The Death of the Hen

I see 1 hen.

Once a hen went with a rooster to the nut hill, and they agreed that whoever found a kernel would share it with the other. Soon the hen found a very big nut, but she kept quiet about it because she wanted to eat the kernel all by herself. However, the kernel was so large that she could not swallow it, and it got stuck in her throat. Fearing that she might choke to death, she screamed, "Rooster, please run as fast as you can and fetch me some water or else I'll choke to death!"

The rooster ran as fast as he could to the well and said, "Well, you must give me some water. The hen's lying on the nut hill, and she's about to choke to death."

"First run to the bride," the well answered, "and get some red silk for me."

The rooster ran to the bride and said, "Bride, I need some red silk from you. The silk is for the well, who'll give me some water to take to the hen, who's lying on the nut hill, where she's swallowed a large kernel and is about to choke to death."

The bride answered, "First run and fetch me my wreath that got caught on the branch of a willow."

So the rooster ran to the willow, pulled the wreath from the branch, and brought it back to the bride. In return the bride gave him some red silk, and the rooster brought it to the well, who gave him water in exchange. Then the rooster brought the water to the hen, but by the time he reached her, she had choked to death and lay there motionless and dead.

I see 12 numbers on the little clock.

The rooster became so sad that he uttered a loud cry, and all the animals came and mourned for her. Six mice built a little wagon that was to carry the hen to her grave. When the wagon was finished, the mice harnessed themselves to it, and the rooster was to drive the wagon. Along the way they encountered the fox, who asked, "Where are you going, rooster?"

"I'm off to bury the hen."

"May I ride with you?"

"Yes, but since you're heavy, take a seat in the back. If you sat up front, my horses would fall, and the wagon would crack!"

The fox sat down in the back. Then the wolf, the bear, the stag, the lion, and all the animals in the forest took a seat in the back. Thus they continued their journey until they came to a brook.

I see 7 yellow lions.

"How shall we get across?" asked the rooster.

A straw was lying near the brook and said, "I'll lay myself across. Then you can drive over me."

However, as soon as the six mice touched the bridge, the straw slipped and fell into the water, and the six mice went tumbling after and drowned.

I see 4 mice.

So the situation was just as bad as it had been before, but a hot piece of coal came along and said, "I'm large enough. I'll lay myself across, and you can drive over me."

Then the coal also laid itself across the water, but unfortunately it grazed the surface a little. Soon it started hissing, and before long it was extinguished and died. When a stone saw that, it took pity on the rooster and offered its help. It lay down across the water, and now the rooster himself pulled the wagon across. When he reached the other side and was already on land with the dead hen, he wanted to help the others in the back out of the wagon, but there were too many of them, and the wagon slipped backward causing everyone to fall into the water and drown. So the rooster was all alone with the dead hen, and he dug a grave for her. He laid her in it and made a mound on top. Afterward he sat down on the mound and grieved until he too died. And then everyone was dead." The End.

I see 7 little baby stars.

Night night. Sleep tight. Don't let the dead forest animals bite.

Don't Fear the Reaper

(fairy tale from The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, translated by Jack Zipes, Bantam Books, New York, © 1987. ) (illustrations by Eileen Fox from Number Fun: Coloring, Cutting & Pasting for Beginners, written by Edna M. Aldredge and Jessie F. McKee, The Harter Publishing Company, Cleveland, Ohio, © 1932.)

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