The Wolf and the Kids (ukrainian folk tale)

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The Wolf and the Kids (ukrainian folk tale) There was once a Goat who built herself a hut in the forest and lived there with her Kids. And whenever she went out to eat some grass she told the Kids not to open the door to anyone. She would walk in the forest and eat her fill of the grass and then she would go back home, stop by the door and sing out:

"My kiddies own, my children dear,

 Open the door, for your mother is here.

 Open the door, and you'll each have a treat,

 For I bring you milk which is rich and sweet.”

 Hearing their mother's voice, the Kids would rush to open the door and let her in, and the mother would give them some milk arid then go off to feed on the grass again.

 Now, the Wolf heard Mother Goat call to her Kids, but he could not quite make out the words she used or see how sweet her voice was. So after a time he came up to the Goat's hut and called out in his gruff voice:

"Open the door, my kiddies, do,

 For your «mother is here with some milk for you.

 Open the door, and you'll each have a treat,

 For the milk I bring you is rich and sweet.”

 The Kids knew it wasn't their mother calling and called back:

 "We won't let you in, whoever you are, for that isn't our mother's voice! Her voice is thin and sweet."

 The Wolf walked off a little way and sat down behind some bushes. He sat there for a while and thought it all over and then he went back to the Goat's hut again. He walked up to the door and called in as sweet a voice as he could:

"Open the door, my kiddies, do,

 For your mother is here with some milk for you.

 Open the door, and you'll each have a treat,

 For the milk I bring you is rich and sweet."

 The Kids rushed to open the door, but they thought better of it, for they saw that the words the Wolf had used were a little different and his voice was far from being as sweet as their mother's. They stood there and called back:

 "We won't let you in, whoever you are, for that isn't our mother's voice! Her voice is thin and sweet and the words she says are different."

 The Wolf walked away, ill pleased, but he did not go far and sat down behind some bushes. He sat there and waited for Mother Goat to come back in order to take in the sound of her voice and to hear more clearly what it was she said.

 By and by Mother Goat came back and called:

"My kiddies own, my children dear,

 Open the door, for your mother is here.

 Open the door, and you'll each get a treat,

 For I bring you milk which is rich and sweet.”

 The Kids knew at once it was their mother calling, they let her in and they told her that someone had been coming to the hut and trying to trick them. And Mother Goat fed them, bade them not to let anyone in on any account and, in order that they might not make any mistake, told them just what she would say the next time she was at the door. She spent the night at home, and early the next morning as soon as day dawned, went out to feed on the grass again.

 And as for the Wolf, he began to think what to do in order to make his voice sound like Mother Goat's. He called out once, and his voice sounded very gruff, he called out a second time, and it was still much too. much so, and he called out a third time, trying to make his voice very, very thin, but it was as unlike Mother Goat's as ever.

 Now, a Fox came running up just then and heard the Wolf howling.

 So she stopped and came up to him.

 "Why are you howling so, Wolf?” she asked. "Is it that you are very hungry?"

 "I'm only practicing, Sister Fox," the Wolf replied, "I have found a Goat's hut, but I cannot get at her Kids. They won't open the door, a plague on them, for they can tell it isn't their mother calling. So I'm trying out my voice in order to make it sound as much like hers as I can."

 "Nothing will come of it, Wolf, I assure you. If you want to feast on a goat's flesh, ask me and I will tell you what to do.”

 "Do please, there's a dear, I'll be ever so grateful!"

 "What will I get from you in return?"

 "If only I catch those Kids I'll let you have one of them."

 "Oh no, that won't do, who knows when you'll catch them! I'm hungry right now. You bring me a goose, and then I'll tell you what to do about your voice."

 To this the Wolf agreed, and away he ran to get the Fox a goose.

 He spent a long time crouching amid the rushes above the river and

 trying to catch a goose, and it was coming on towards evening when he finally caught one. He ran back with it to the Fox, gave it to her and said:

 "And now, Sister Fox, you must teach me how to change my voice."

 "Here's what you must do, Wolf. You must go to the Blacksmith and ask him to forge you a new throat. Then you will be able to bleat like a goat."

 "Where'll I find the Blacksmith?"

 "There's a smithy on the edge of the village. You'll find him there."

 The Wolf did as the Fox told him and made straight for the smithy. He came up to the Blacksmith and said:

 "Please, Blacksmith, forge me a new throat, for I want to bleat like a goat."

 "What will I get in return?"

 "I don't know what you want. We animals have no money, but I can make you a gift of some kind.”

 "Well, then, Wolf, bring me a pair of geese, live ones, mind, and then I'll forge you a new throat."

 The Wolf went to the river bank and began crawling through the rushes there, and he was soon muddy and wet up to his ears. But he finally managed to catch two geese, and, holding them by their wings, carried them to the Blacksmith. He felt very cross, for he would have liked to eat the geese himself, but this he could not do as he had to keep his promise. He brought the geese to the Blacksmith and said:

 "I have brought you what you asked for, Blacksmith, so now be quick and forge me a new throat.”

 "Very well, Wolf, it's time to get to work,” the Blacksmith replied. "Move up closer to the anvil, stick out your tongue as far as it will go and close your eyes, and I will be quick and do the rest.”

 The Wolf moved up close to the anvil, he stuck out his tongue and closed his eyes, and he stood there as if frozen to the spot. And the Blacksmith at once seized his biggest hammer and he struck the Wolf with it over the head! The Wolf dropped dead on the spot, and the Blacksmith skinned him and sold the skip at the market for ten silver pieces. And he kept the geese for himself to be eaten when he had a mind to.

 And as for the Kids, they remained alive and well.

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