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The Wolf and the Seven Kids

2006-07-14 00:24

  Once upon a time there was an old mother goat, who had seven lively kids. She loved her children dearly and guarded them against the wicked wolf. But one day she said to the kids, “Children, I must go out and get some food. Beware of the wolf! He pretends to be someone else. But you can easily recognize him by his deep voice and black feet. Don't let him into the house or he'll eat you!” The children said, “Don't worry. We'll let nobody in.” So the mother goat went on her way.

  But as soon as she had gone the wolf came to the house.

  He knocked at the door and cried, “Open up, dear kids, your mother is back and I've brought you some lovely things!” But the little kids said, “No, you're not our mother! She has a soft, gentle voice, yours is deep and rough. You are the wolf!”

  So the wolf went to the grocer and bought a large piece of chalk. He ate it, and now his voice was soft and fine. He went back to the house and knocked at the door. “Open the door, my darlings,” he said with a light voice. “It's your mother with something for each one of you!” The wolf rested his paws on the windowsill. When the kids saw these they said, “No, you are not our mother. You have black feet! You are the big bad wolf! We won't open the door.”

  At once the wolf ran to the baker and had his paws spread with dough.

  Then the bad wolf ran to the miller and said, “Miller, dust my paws with flour! If you don't do as I say, I'll eat you.” So the miller did as the wolf told him.

  Now the wicked wolf went to the house for the third time and cried, “Open the door, my children. I'm your mother and I've brought something nice for each of you.” The voice sounded soft and gentle as their mother's. Carefully the kids said, “Show us your foot first.” And when they saw that the paw was soft and white they opened the door. And the big bad wolf jumped into the house. Oh, how terrified the seven little kids were! They fled and tried to hide as best they could. One jumped under the table, the second into the bed, the third into the oven, the fourth into the kitchen, the fifth into the cupboard, the sixth into a washbowl and the seventh into the big Grandfather clock. But the wicked wolf found them all and swallowed them. Except the youngest little kid in the clock, he didn't find him. Full up and heavy, the wolf lay down outside under a tree and fell asleep.

  When the mother goat came back, she was shocked! The door stood wide open and the house was in a mess. One after the other she called each of her children by name. There was no answer. But then she heard the voice of the youngest, “Here I am, mother, in the clock!”

  The mother goat rescued the kid and he told her what had happened. The poor mother goat wept and ran outside.

  They saw the wolf lying asleep in the meadow. The old goat looked at the wolf from all sides and saw that something was moving inside his big fat belly. “Quickly, run home,” she said to the youngest kid. “Fetch scissors, needle and thread. Perhaps we can save your brothers and sisters.” When the little kid returned, the old goat took the scissors and quickly cut open the wicked wolf's belly. And all six little kids popped out unhurt. That was a joy! “Quickly, collect as many large stones as you can find. We'll fill up his belly while he's still asleep.”

  Swiftly the seven kids brought rocks and stones and stuffed them into the bad wolf's stomach. Then the mother goat quickly sewed him up again, and hid with her children behind a hedge nearby.

  When the wolf woke up he felt very thirsty. He dragged himself up and went to the well. The rocks and stones in his belly rattled and he asked himself,

  “What rumbles and tumbles Against my poor bones?

  I thought they were kids But I fear they are stones.“

  As he bent down over the well to drink, the heavy stones dragged him over the edge and he drowned.

  When the seven little kids saw this they sang aloud, “The wolf is dead! The wolf is dead!” and with their mother they danced joyfully round the well.

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