Materials for language lessons

Folk Tales 9.

Mary Nickelpot

Folklore story from Slovenia Translated in English by Osnova šola Pod goro, Slovenske Konjice ,Slovenia

Mary Nickelpot was sweeping the house when she found a nickel in the rubbish. She took it and bought a little pot. It was freezing outside and there was hoarfrost. She was very tired and fell asleep. But then a strong knocking on her little house’s door woke her up. “Who is it?” she asked. “It’s me, the fox. Oh, Mary Nickelpot. I beg you – let me come in. Bora is blowing and it’s freezing. I’ll freeze to death if you don’t let me in,” she whined. Mary Nickelpot hesitated and asked the fox, “If you are good at something, I’ll let you in, otherwise no!” “I’m a dressmaker,” answered the fox. Mary Nickelpot let her came inside the little pot. They lay down and fell asleep. But soon after they had fallen asleep the knocking on the door woke them up again. When Mary asked who it was, somebody moaned, “Oh, Mary Nickelpot, please, bora is blowing and it’s freezing. I’ll freeze to death. I’m a wolf and I’m a butcher.” “Because you are good at something, you may come in,” she answered. Mary Nickelpot opened the door and let the wolf in her little pot.While sleeping they heard the moaning again, “Mary Nickelpot, please, open the door! The bora is blowing, there is hoarfrost and I, the bear, will freeze to death if you don’t let me in.” “What are you good at?” asked Mary Nickelpot. “I’m a shoemaker!” answered the bear. Mary opened the door wide. “Oh, we won’t have any peace this night!” Mary said angrily when she heard the knocking and the moaning again. “Mary Nickelpot, I beg you, let me in, I’m freezing!” “Who are you and what are you good at?” asked the housekeeper. “I’m the rabbit, and I can sew like a tailor!” came the answer. She let him in, too. Mary Nickelpot was very angry, when she heard the knocking and moaning again. “Mary Nickelpot, I beg you, let me in. I can’t stand the bora and the hoarfrost anymore.” It was a deer. Mary Nickelpot let him in too, as she found out that he is a qualified lumberjack. After that they all fell asleep. The next morning, Mary Nickelpot sent all the guests to work. The wolf provided a delicious dinner. He brought several bee hives and put the honey in a pot. They ate the dinner and went to bed. During the night the fox moaned: “Oh my, I’ve got a stomach ache!” Mary Nickelpot said to her, “Go to the kitchen and make yourself some chamomile tea.” The fox went to the kitchen. As soon as they had fallen asleep again, the fox began to moan for the second time and was moaning for so long that Mary Nickelpot repeated the advice and sent her to the kitchen in order to take some more chamomile tea. And the fox went to the kitchen for three times to make herself some tea. But there was no pinching in her belly and she made no chamomile tea. Actually, she knew where the honey was and she licked it all.Then she fell soundly asleep. In the morning, Mary Nickelpot sent everybody to work and said to the fox, “Poor little dressmaker, as you were sick last night and you couldn’t sleep, you can rest now”. But soon everybody in the kitchen started arguing, “You ate the honey!” “No, I didn’t! You did!” And so on and so on. Mary said: “The thief was somebody from the house. Nobody else could know about the honey because the door was closed. In order for the guests to avoid the shame the wolf suggested, “Let’s all lie down on the back, open the mouth and sunbathe! The animal that ate the honey will be discovered as the honey will be leaking from that person’s mouth!” Everybody lay down on the grass in front of the little pot and immediately fell asleep. Only the fox couldn’t sleep because she felt guilty. Indeed, the honey came out of her mouth. She quickly wiped the honey and spread it around bunny’s mouth. Then she, like the others, fell asleep. The uproar woke her up. Meanwhile the others woke up and saw the honey round the rabbit’s mouth. They started chasing him. He ran as fast as he could, but while running he broke both of his front legs and only after that he managed to escape. Everyone ran after him and Mary Nickelpot was left alone with her little pot. The legs of poor little rabbit stayed like that for ever and that’s why even nowadays his front legs are shorter than his back ones.

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