Аадаптация текста, упражнения, комментарий, словарь С. А. Матвеева; иллюстрации М. М. Салтыкова
Tom Tit Tot
Once upon a time there was a woman, and she baked five pies. And when they came out of the oven, they were very hard to eat. So she says to her daughter:
“Daughter, put the pies on the shelf, and leave them there a little, and they will come again. ” That is, the crust will become softer.
But the girl says to herself, “Well, if they come again, I will eat them now.” And she ate them all.
Well, when supper-time came, the woman said, “Go and get one of the pies. I think they came again now.”
The girl went and looked, and there were only dishes. So she comes back and says, “No, they did not come again.”
“No?” says the mother.
“No,” says the daughter.
“Well,” said the woman, “I’ll eat one for supper.”
“But you can’t, if they didn’t come,” said the girl.
“But I can,” says she. “Go you, and bring the best pie.”
“Best or worst,” says the girl, “I ate them all, and you can’t eat the pie till it comes again.”
Well, the woman was very angry, and she took her spinning to the door, and she began to sing:
“My daughter ate five, five pies today.
My daughter ate five, five pies today.”
The king was coming down the street, and he heard her song. So he stopped and said:
“What were you singing, my good woman?”
The woman told him these other words, instead of that:
“My daughter span five, five skeins today.
My daughter span five, five skeins today.”
“Oh!” said the king, “I never heard of anyone who could do that.” Then he said, “Listen, I want a wife, and I’ll marry your daughter. During eleven months of the year she will have everything that she wants; but the last month of the year she will spin five skeins every day, and if she can’t I shall kill her.”
“All right,” says the woman; she thought only about a grand marriage. Her daughter was very happy. “I’ll marry a king!” she thought. “And in eleven months the king will forget about skeins.”
Well, so they were married. And for eleven months the girl had all she liked to eat, and all the dresses she liked to wear, and all the friends she liked.
When the time came, she began to think about the skeins. But the king did not say any word about them, and she decided that he forgot them.
However, the last day of the last month he takes her to a new room. There was nothing in it but a spinning-wheel and a stool. And he says, “Now, my dear, I’ll shut you here tomorrow with some food and some flax, and if you do not spin five skeins by the night, your head will be cut. ” And he went away.
The girl was very frightened, she didn’t know how to spin, and what will she show the king tomorrow? Nobody will come to help her. She sat down on a stool in the kitchen, and began to cry.
Suddenly she heard a knock on the door. She stood up and opened it, and she saw a small black impet with a long tail. He looked at her, and asked:
“Why are you crying?”
“Why do you ask?” says she.
“Tell me,” said he, “why are you crying.”
And he turned his tail around.
So the poor girl told him about the pies, and the skeins, and everything.
“I’ll help you,” says the little black impet, “I’ll come to your window every morning and take the flax and bring it ready at night.”
“What do you want for that?” says she.
He said, “I’ll give you three guesses every night to guess my name, and if you don’t guess …