51 Tales translated to English by Lucy Crane & Illustrated by Walter Crane

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

" All the better for me," said she, " for when we turn back I shall have so much the less distance to go."
And they came to a mountain, where, on both sides of the road, there were deep cart-ruts. And Kate said to herself,
" How sad to see the poor earth torn, and vexed, and oppressed in this way! it will never be healed again in all its fife."
And with a compassionate heart, she took out her butter and smeared the cart-ruts right and left, so that they might not be so cut by the wheels; and as she was stooping to perform this merciful act a cheese fell out of her pocket and rolled down the mountain. And Kate said,
" I have walked over the ground once, and I am not going to do it again, but another shall run after that cheese, and bring it back." So saying, she took another cheese, and rolled it after the first one : and as it did not seem to be coming back again, she sent a third racing after them, think­ing, " Perhaps they are waiting for company, and are not used to travelling alone." But when they all three delayed coming, she said,
" I can't think what this means! perhaps it is that the third one has lost his way, so I will send a fourth that he may call out to him as he goes by." But it went no better with the fourth than with the third. And Kate lost all patience and threw down the fifth and sixth, and that was all A long while she stood and waited for them to come up, but as still they did not come, she said,
M Oh, it's like sending good money after bad; there is no getting you back again. If you suppose I am going to wait for you any longer, you are very much mistaken : I shall go on my way and you may overtake me; your legs are younger than mine." Kate then went on until she overtook Fred, who was standing still and waiting, as he wanted something to eat.
" Now, be quick," he said, " and hand over what you have brought." And she handed him the dry bread.
" Now for the butter and the cheese," said the man.
" O Fred," said Kate, " I anointed the cart-ruts with the butter, and the cheeses will soon be here, they are upon the road; one of them ran away, and I sent the others to fetch it back."