The Cock, the Mouse and the Little Red Hen

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The Three Little Pigs
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Goldilocks and the Three Bears
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The Cock, the Mouse and the Little Red Hen
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Jack and the Beanstalk
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The Red Ettin
The History of Tom Thumb
The Adventures of Jack the Giant-Killer

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The Cock, the Mouse and the Little Red Hen

ONCE upon a time there was a hill, and on the hill there was a lovely little house. It had one little green door, and four little windows with green shutters, and in it there lived a Cock, and a Mouse and a little Red Hen.

On another hill not very far away on the other side of a small river, there was another little house. It was a very bad little house. It had a door that didn't shut, and two broken windows. And in this house there lived a bad big Fox and four bad little foxes.

One morning these four bad little foxes came to the big bad Fox, and said, "Oh, Father, we're so hungry!"

"We had nothing to eat yesterday," said one.

"And almost nothing the day before," 1 said another. "And only half a chicken the day before that," 2 said the third.

"And only two little ducks the day before that," 3 - said the fourth.

The big bad Fox shook his head for a long time, for he was thinking. At last he said in a big gruff voice, "Over the hill there I see a house. And in that house there lives a Cock."

"And a Mouse," screamed two of the little foxes. "And a little Red Hen," screamed the other two. "And they are nice and fat," went on the big bad Fox. "I'll take my sack, and I'll go up that hill, and in that house, and I'll put the Cock, and the Mouse and the little Red Hen into my sack. I'll do it today."

So the four little foxes jumped for joy, 4 and the big bad Fox went to get his sack.

But what was happening to the Cock and the Mouse and the little Red Hen all this time?

That morning the Cock and the Mouse had both got out of bed on the wrong side. 5 The Cock said the day was too hot, and the Mouse said it was too cold.

They came grumbling down to the kitchen, where the good little Red Hen was working happily about the house. "Who'll get some sticks for the fire?" she asked. "I shan't," said the Cock. "I shan't," said the Mouse.

"Then I'll do it myself," said the little Red Hen. So off she ran to get the sticks.

"And now, who'll fill the kettle from the spring?" she asked.

"I shan't," said the Cock.

"I shan't," said the Mouse.

"Then I'll do it myself," said the little Red Hen. And off she ran to the spring to fill the kettle.

"And who'll get the breakfast ready?" she asked, as she put the kettle on to boil.

"I shan't," said the Cock. "I shan't," said the Mouse.

"Then I'll do it myself," said the little Red Hen.

All breakfast time the Cock and the Mouse quarrelled and grumbled.

"Who'll clear the table?" asked the poor little Red Hen.

"I shan't," said the Cock.

"I shan't," said the Mouse.

"Then I'll do it myself," said the little Red Hen. So she cleared everything away, swept up the floor and brushed up the fire-place.

"And now, who'll help me to make the beds?"

"I shan't," said the Cock.

"I shan't," said the Mouse.

"Then I'll make the beds by myself," said the little Red Hen. And she went away upstairs.

But the lazy Cock and the lazy Mouse each sat down in a comfortable arm-chair by the fire, and soon fell fast asleep.

Just at this time the big bad Fox was going up the hill. Then he walked into the garden of the lovely little house and peeped in at the window. "Rat-tat-tat. Rat-tat-tat," the Fox knocked at the door.

"Who can that be?" said the Mouse and half opened his eyes.

"Go and look for yourself, if you want to know," said the rude Cock.

"It's the postman perhaps," 6 thought the Mouse, "and he may have a letter to me." So he did not wait to see who it was, but lifted the latch and opened the door.

 

 

 

As soon as he opened it, the big bad Fox jumped in, with a cruel smile upon his face!

"Oh! oh! oh!" squeaked the Mouse, and he tried to run up the chimney.

"Doodle doodle do!" 7 screamed the Cock, as he jumped on the back of the biggest arm-chair.

But the Fox only laughed. He caught the little Mouse by the tail, and popped him into the sack, then he caught the Cock by the neck and popped him in too.

Then the poor little Red Hen ran quickly downstairs to see what all the noise was about, and the Fox caught her and put her into the sack with the others. Then he took a long piece of string out of his pocket and tied the sack with it. After that he threw the sack over his back, and off he went down the hill.

"Oh, I wish I hadn't been so rude," 8 said the Cock. "Oh, I wish I hadn't been so lazy," 9 said the Mouse. "It's never too late to mend," 10 said the little Red Hen. "And don't be too sad. See, I have my little work-bag here, and in it there is a pair of scissors, a little thimble, and a needle and a thread. 11 Very soon you will see what I am going to do."

Now the sun was very hot, and soon Mr Fox began to feel that his sack was very heavy. At last he decided to lie down under a tree and sleep for a little while. So he threw the sack down and very soon fell fast asleep.

 

 

 

As soon as the little Red Hen heard that the Fox was snoring, she took out her scissors, and cut a little hole in the sack.

"Quick," she whispered to the Mouse, "creep through this hole, then run as fast as you can and bring back a stone just as large as yourself."

Out went the Mouse, and soon he came back with the stone. It was heavy, and he had to drag it after him.

"Push it in here," said the little Red Hen, and the Mouse quickly pushed it into the sack.

Then the little Red Hen cut the hole larger, and soon the Cock was able to creep through it. 12

"Quick," she said, "run and get a stone as big as yourself." Out flew the Cock, and soon he came back with a big stone, which he pushed into the sack.

Then the little Red Hen crept out, got a stone as big as herself, and pushed it into the sack. Next she put on her thimble, took out her needle and thread, and sewed up the hole as quickly as ever she could.

When that was done, the Cock, and the Mouse and the little Red Hen ran home very fast. They shut the door after them, locked it and shut the shutters. 13

The big bad Fox lay fast asleep under the tree for some time, but at last he woke up.

"Dear, dear!" 14 he said, "I have slept a long time. I must hurry home."

The big bad Fox grumbled to himself as he went down the hill, till he came to the river. Splash! One foot went in. Splash! The other foot went in, but the stones in the sack were so heavy that at the very next step Mr Fox fell down into a deep pool. He couldn't get out of it, so he was never seen again. And the four bad little foxes had to go to bed without any supper.

But the Cock and the Mouse never grumbled again. They lit the fire, filled the kettle, made the breakfast, and did all the work, while the good little Red Hen had a holiday. She sat resting in the big arm-chair.

No foxes ever troubled them 15 again, and they are still living happily in the little house with the green door and the green shutters, which stands on the hill.

 

 

1 the day before — позавчера

2 the day before that (day) — два дня тому назад

3 the day before that (day) — три дня тому назад

4 jumped for joy — запрыгали от радости

5 had both got out of bed on the wrong side — оба встали с левой ноги (были в плохом настроении)

6 It's the postman perhaps - Может быть, это почтальон

7 Doodle doodle do! — зд. Кукареку!

8 Oh, I wish I hadn't been so rude — Ox, как жаль, что я был таким грубым

9  Oh, I wish I hadn't been so lazy — Ox, как жаль, что я был таким ленивым

10 It's never too late to mend — Исправиться никогда не поздно (англ. пословица)

11 a pair of scissors, a little thimble, and a needle and a thread — ножницы, маленький наперсток, иголка с ниткой

12 the Cock was able to creep through it — Петух смог пролезть через нее (дырку)

13 shut the shutters — закрыли ставни

14 Dear, dear! —зд. Ох! (междометие, выражающее огорчение и удивление)

15 No foxes ever troubled them - Никакие лисы их больше не беспокоили

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