Myths, Legends and fairytales

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    THE SKY GIRL

    (AN ALGONQUIN LEGEND)

    Long time ago, there used to live a great hunter, his name was Algon, in one of his regular walks to the prairie, he

    found a strange circle in the grass. He decided to hide on some bushes to watch and find out what was the cause of

    it.

    After some time he saw a big willow basket with twelve maidens came down from the sky. The maidens got out and

    started to sing and dance. But Algon was captivated by the beauty of the youngest. He then ran towards them, in

    hope to steal the girl away, but when they saw him, got into the basket, which flew back to the sky.

    Algon tried to do this three more times, and three times he failed. Then he came up with a plan: He put a hollow tree

    trunk in which a family of mice lived near the circle, then using some charms from his medicine charm transformed

    himself into a mouse. When the basket arrived, Algon and the other mice ran among the gir ls.

    The girls stomped in all the mice killing them, but not on Algon, who became human again and carried off the girl. He

    took her to the village, and after a while she felt in love with him, having a son together, but their happiness did not

    last forever.

    The sky girl became home sick, spending all day just looking at the sky thinking about her family, and finally she

    could not stand it. So she built a willow basket and taking her son and some presents for her people, she left to the

    sky, staying there many years.

    Algon was very sad for his family, and for the next years he used to sit on the magic circle, waiting for them. In themean time in the sky country, Algon's son grew to be a handsome man, and every day asked his mother about hisfather. For all these questions, the sky girl started to miss Algon really bad. One day she and her son spoke to thechief of the sky people.

    He agreed to let them go back to Earth, but only if they return with Alegon, and an identifying feature of each anima

    that lived on earth.

    Algon was so happy when he saw his family coming back, and as soon the sky girl told him about what the sky chiefwanted, he did not wasted time and started to gather the gifts, some of them were: (1) A claw from a bear, (2) Afeather from a falcon, a hawk and an eagle, (3) The teeth from a raccoon, (4) From the deer, its horn.

    He put all the items inside of his medicine bag and with his family, went up to the sky-country. There, Algon gave allof the gifts to the chief, who divided them among his people, and Algon and the sky girl, they both took the falconfeather. Looking the love between them, the chief said they should always be free to travel between sky and land.

    Then he turned them both into falcons. Even on these days, their descendants are falcons, who fly high and low onthe forests.

    Cupid And Psyche

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    by Pauline Aira Salazar(Philippines)

    Envious and jealous of the beauty of a mortal girl named Psyche, Aphrodite asks her son Cupid to use his goldenarrows while Psyche sleeps, so that when she awakens, Aphrodite would place a vile creature for her to fall in lovewith. Cupid finally agrees to her commands after a long (and failed) debate.

    As he flies to Psyche's room at night, he turns himself invisible so no one can see him fly in through her window. He

    takes pity on her, for she was born too beautiful for her own safety. As he slowly approaches, careful not to make asound, he readies one of his golden arrows. He leans over Psyche while she is asleep and before he can scratch hershoulder with the arrow, she awakens, startling him, for she looks right into his eyes, despite his invisibility. Thiscauses him to scratch himself with his arrow, falling deeply in love with her.

    He cannot continue his mission, for every passing second he finds her more appealing. He reports back to Aphroditeshortly after and the news enrages her. Aphrodite places a curse on Psyche that keeps her from meeting a suitablehusband, or any husband at that. As she does this, it upsets Cupid greatly, and he decides as long as the curse stayson Psyche, he will no longer shoot arrows, which will cause the temple of APhrodite to fall. After months of no oneman or animal falling in love, marrying, or mating, the Earth starts to grow old, which causes concern toAphrodite, for nobody praises her for Cupid's actions. Finally, she agrees to listen to Cupid's demands, according him

    one thing to have his own way. Cupid desires Psyche. Aphrodite, upset, agrees to his demands only if he begins workimmediately. He accepts the offer and takes off, shooting his golden arrows as fast as he can, restoring everythingto the way it should be. People again fall in love and marry, animals far and wide mate, and the Earth begins to lookyoung once again.

    When all continue to admire and praise Psyche's beauty, but none desire her as a wife, Psyche's parents consult anoracle, which tells them to leave Psyche on the nearest mountain, for her beauty is so great that she is not meant for(mortal) man. Terrified, they have no choice but to follow the oracle's instructions. But then Zephyrus, the westwind, carries Psyche away, to a fair valley and a magnificent palace where she is attended by invisible servants untilnightfall, and in the darkness of night the promised bridegroom arrives and the marriage is consummated. Cupidvisits her every night to sleep with her, but demands that she never light any lamps, since he does not want her toknow who he is until the time is right.

    Cupid allows Zephyrus to take Psyche back to her sisters and bring all three down to the palace during the day, butwarns that Psyche should not listen to any argument that she should try to discover his true form. The two jealoussisters tell Psyche, then pregnant with Cupid's child, that rumor is that she had married a great and terrible serpentwho would devour her and her unborn child when the time came for it to be fed. They urge Psyche to conceal a knifeand oil lamp in the bedchamber, to wait till her husband is asleep, and then to light the lamp and slay him at once if itis as they said. Psyche sadly follows their advice. In the light of the lamp Psyche recognizes the fair form on the bedas the god Cupid himself. However, she accidentally pricks herself with one of his arrows, and is consumed withdesire for her husband. She begins to kiss him, but as she does, a drop of oil falls from her lamp onto Cupid'sshoulder and wakes him. He flies away, and she falls from the window to the ground, sick at heart.

    Psyche then finds herself in the city where one of her jealous elder sisters live. She tells her what had happened,then tricks her sister into believing that Cupid has chosen her as a wife on the mountaintop. Psyche later meets herother sister and deceives her likewise. Each sister goes to the top of the peak and jumps down eagerly, but Zephyrusdoes not bear them and they fall to their deaths at the base of the mountain.

    Psyche searches far and wide for her lover, finally stumbling into a temple where everything is in slovenly disarray.As Psyche is sorting and clearing the mess, Ceres appears, but refuses any help beyond advising Psyche that shemust call directly on Aphrodite, who caused all the problems in the first place. Psyche next calls on Hera in hertemple, but Hera gives her the same advice. So Psyche finds a temple to Aphrodite and enters it. Aphrodite thenorders Psyche to separate all the grains in a large basket of mixed kinds before nightfall. An ant takes pity on Psyche,and with its ant companions, separates the grains for her.

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    Aphrodite is outraged at her success and tells her to go to a field where golden sheep graze and to retrieve somegolden wool. A river-god tells Psyche that the sheep are vicious and strong and will kill her, but if she waits untilnoontime, the sheep will go to the shade on the other side of the field and sleep; she can then pick the wool thatsticks to the branches and bark of the trees. Aphrodite next asks for water flowing from a cleft that is impossible fora mortal to attain and is also guarded by great serpents. This time an eagle performs the task for Psyche.

    Aphrodite, furious at Psyche's survival, claims that the stress of caring for her son, made depressed and ill as a result

    of Psyche's lack of faith, has caused her to lose some of her beauty. Psyche is to go to the Underworld and ask thequeen of the Underworld Persephone, to place a bit of her beauty in a box that Aphrodite had given to Psyche.Psyche decides that the quickest way to the Underworld is to throw herself off some high place and die, and so sheclimbs to the top of a tower. But the tower itself speaks to Psyche and tells her the route that will allow her to enterthe Underworld alive and return again, as well as telling her how to get past Cerberus (by giving the three-headeddog a small cake); how to avoid other dangers on the way there and back; and most importantly, to eat nothing butcoarse bread in the underworld, as eating anything else would trap her there forever. Psyche follows the ordersprecisely, rejecting all but bread while beneath the Earth.

    However, once Psyche has left the Underworld, she decides to open the box and take a little bit of the beauty forherself. Inside, she can see no beauty; instead an infernal sleep arises from the box and overcomes her. Cupid, whohad forgiven Psyche, flies to her, wipes the sleep from her face, puts it back in the box, and sends her back on herway. Then Cupid flies to Mount Olympus and begs Zeus)to aid them. Zeus calls a full and formal council of the godsand declares that it is his will that Cupid marry Psyche. Zeus then has Psyche fetched to Mount Olympus, and givesher a drink made from ambrosia, granting her immortality. Begrudgingly, Aphrodite and Psyche forgive each other.

    Psyche and Cupid have a daughter, called Hedone, the goddess of "sensual pleasures", whose Latin name means"pleasure" or "bliss".

    Thirteenth

    By Thomas Frederick Crane

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Frederick_Cranehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Frederick_Crane
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    There was once a father who had thirteen sons, the youngest of whom was named Thirteenth. The father had hard

    work to support his children, but made what he could gathering herbs. The mother, to make the children quick, said

    to them: "The one who comes home first shall have herb soup." Thirteenth always returned the first, and the soup

    always fell to his share, on which account his brothers hated him and sought to get rid of him.

    The king issued a proclamation in the city that he who was bold enough to go and steal the ogre's coverlet should

    receive a measure of gold. Thirteenth's brothers went to the king and said: "Majesty we have a brother named

    Thirteenth, who is confident that he can do that and other things too." The king said: "Bring him to me at once."

    They brought Thirteenth, who said: "Majesty, how is it possible to steal the ogre's coverlet? If he sees me he will eatme!" "No matter, you must go," said the king. "I know that you are bold, and this act of bravery you must perform."

    Thirteenth departed and went to the house of the ogre, who was away. The ogress was in the kitchen. Thirteenth

    entered quietly and hid himself under the bed. At night the ogre returned. He ate his supper and went to bed, saying

    as he did so:

    "I smell the smell of human flesh; Where I see it I will swallow it!"

    The ogress replied: "Be still; no one has entered here." The ogre began to snore, and Thirteenth pulled the coverlet a

    little. The ogre awoke and cried: "What is that?" Thirteenth began to mew like a cat. The ogress said: "Scat! Scat!"

    And clapped her hands, and then fell asleep again with the ogre. Then Thirteenth gave a hard pull, seized the

    coverlet, and ran away. The ogre heard him running, recognized him in the dark, and said: "I know you! You are

    Thirteenth, without doubt!"

    After a time the king issued another proclamation, that whoever would steal the ogre's horse and bring it to the king

    should receive a measure of gold. Thirteenth again presented himself, and asked for a silk ladder and a bag of cakes.

    With these things he departed, and went at night to the ogre's, climbed up without being heard, and descended to

    the stable. The horse neighed on seeing him, but he offered it a cake, saying: "Do you see how sweet it is? If you will

    come with me, my master will give you these always." Then he gave it another, saying: "Let me mount you and see

    how we go." So he mounted it, kept feeding it with cakes, and brought it to the king's stable.

    The king issued another proclamation, that he would give a measure of gold to whoever would bring him the ogre's

    bolster. Thirteenth said: "Majesty, how is that possible? The bolster is full of little bells, and you must know that the

    ogre awakens at a breath." "I know nothing about it," said the king. "I wish it at any cost." Thirteenth departed, andwent and crept under the ogre's bed. At midnight he stretched out his hand very softly, but the little bells all

    sounded. "What is that?" said the ogre. "Nothing," replied the ogress; "perhaps it is the wind that makes them ring."

    But the ogre, who was suspicious, pretended to sleep, but kept his ears open. Thirteenth stretched out his hand

    again. Alack! The ogre put out his arm and seized him. "Now you are caught! Just wait; I will make you cry for your

    first trick, for your second, and for your third." After this he put Thirteenth in a barrel, and began to feed him on

    raisins and figs. After a time he said: "Stick out your finger little Thirteenth, so that I can see whether you are fat."

    Thirteenth saw there a mouse's tail, and stuck that out. "Ah, how thin you are!" said the ogre; "and besides, you

    don't smell good! Eat, my son; take the raisins and figs, and get fat soon!" After some days the ogre told him again

    to put out his finger, and Thirteenth stuck out a spindle. "Eh, wretch! Are you still lean? Eat, eat, and get fat soon."

    At the end of a month Thirteenth had nothing more to stick out, and was obliged to show his finger. The ogre criedout in joy: "He is fat, he is fat!" The ogress hastened to the spot: "Quick, my ogress, heat the oven three nights and

    three days, for I am going to invite our relatives, and we will make a fine banquet of Thirteenth."

    The ogress heated the oven three days and three nights, and then released Thirteenth from the barrel, and said to

    him: "Come here, Thirteenth; we have got to put the lamb in the oven." But Thirteenth caught her meaning; and

    when he approached the oven, he said: "Ah, mother ogress, what is that black thing in the corner of the oven?" The

    ogress stooped down a little, but saw nothing. "Stoop down again," said Thirteenth, "so that you can see it." When

    she stooped down again, Thirteenth seized her by the feet and threw her into the oven, and then closed the oven

    door. When she was cooked, he too...