Story of the Day: The Wolf and the Six Little Kids

As you read (or listen) to this story, you may notice something unusual about it: the words are really short! In fact, they are almost all just one-syllable words. This story comes from a collection of Grimm fairy tales that have been retold in words of one syllable. What do you think? After you read or listen to this version, you can compare it to a traditional version in English.

Here is the book: Grimm's Fairy Tales - Retold in One-Syllable Words.



The Wolf and the Six Little Kids
[listen to the LIBRIVOX AUDIO]

There was once an old goat who had six kids, of whom she was as fond as a moth-er could be. One day she had to go out to get some food for them, so she called them all to her and said, "Dear young ones, I must go out and get some food for you. Be on your guard that the wolf does not come in the house, for if he does, he will eat you all up. He will try in all ways to fool you, but you can tell him with ease by his rough voice and his black feet." 

"Dear moth-er," said the kids, "you need have no fear; we will take good care not to let the wolf in." So the old goat said good-bye and went off with her mind at rest. 

It was not long when the kids heard a knock at the door, and some-one cried, "O-pen the door, dear young ones; your moth-er has come home and has brought some-thing nice for each one of you." 

But the kids knew by the rough voice that it was the wolf, and they said, "We will not o-pen the door for you. You are not our moth-er; she has a fine, sweet voice, but yours is coarse and harsh; you must be the wolf."

So the wolf left them and went to a store where he bought a large piece of chalk. This he ate to make his voice soft, and then he came back and knocked at the door of the goat's house a-gain. "Open the door, dear young ones," he said; "your moth-er has brought some-thing nice for each one of you." 

But the wolf had put his black paws on the win-dow sill, and the kids saw them. So they cried, 'We will not o-pen the door for you. You are not our moth-er; she has not big, black feet. You must be the wolf." 


Then the wolf ran to a ba-ker and said, "I have hurt my foot; please put some dough on it." As soon as his foot was cov-ered with dough, he ran to the mil-ler and said, "Put some white flour on my foot." 

The mil-ler thought, "The wolf wants to play a trick on some-one," and he was not go-ing to do it, but the wolf said, "If you don't, I will eat you up." This put the mil-ler in a fright, so he spread flour on the wolf's feet. 

Then the bad wolf went a third time to the goat's house, knocked, and said, "O-pen the door, dear young ones; your moth-er has come home and has brought some-thing nice for each one of you." 

"Show us your feet first," said the kids, "that we may know if you are our moth-er or not." 

The wolf put his paw on the win-dow sill, and when they saw that it was white, they thought he must be their moth-er, and let him in. Great was their fear when they saw it was the wolf. They ran this way and that way to try to hide. One went un-der the ta-ble, an-oth-er in-to the bed, a third in-to the ov-en, a fourth in-to the cup-board, a fifth un-der the wash-tub, the sixth in-to the clock-case. But the wolf found them and ate up all but the young-est one of them — the one that was hid in the clock- case. Then the wolf went out, and lay down on the grass be-neath, and went to sleep. 


In a short time the old goat came home. What a sight met her eyes! The door stood wide o-pen, and the whole house was up-set. Not a kid was to be seen; she called each one, but no one spoke till she came to the name of the young-est, when a weak voice said, "Dear moth-er, I am hid in the clock-case." She helped the young kid out, and heard how the wolf had come and eat-en up all her oth-er dear young ones. She wept and wept as if she would nev-er stop. 


At length she and the kid went out for a walk. When they had gone a few steps, they saw the wolf, where he lay a-sleep on the grass, snor-ing so loud that he shook the leaves on the trees. The old goat looked at him with care and thought she could see some-thing move in-side of him. "Can it be, " she thought, "that my young ones whom he ate are still a-live?"

She at once sent the young kid home for the shears, and with them she cut the wolf o-pen. She had just made a small slit, when one of the kids put his head out. She cut some more, and out it sprang, and then an-oth-er, and an-oth-er, till all were out, as full of life as ever, for the wolf had been so gree-dy that he swal- lowed them whole and had not hurt them a bit. Oh, it was a time of joy! The kids danced and jumped a-bout, they were so full of glee. 

But the old goat said to them, "Go and get some stones, and we will put them in-side of this scamp, and sew him up be-fore he wakes."

So the kids ran in great haste and brought large stones, which they put in-side of the wolf. Then the old goat sewed up the slit and the wolf did not wake nor move. 

When the wolf's sleep was out, he got up, and as the stones gave him a great thirst, he went to a brook for a drink. As he stooped to drink, the weight of the stones made him fall in-to the wa-ter, and he was drowned. 

Then the six young ones gave a shout, "The wolf is dead! The wolf is dead!" and they and their moth-er danced for joy all the way home. 

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