I.Kuratko the Terrible: The Story of an Ungrateful Chick
There was once an old couple who had no children.
"If only we had a chick or a child of our own!" Grandmother used to say. "Think how we could pet it and take care of it!"
But Grandfather always answered:
"Not at all! We are very well off as we are."
At last the old black hen in the barnyard hatched out a chick. Grandmother was delighted.
"See, Grandpa," she said, "now we have a chick of our own!"
But Grandfather shook his head doubtfully.
"I don't like the looks of that chick. There's something strange about it."
But Grandmother wouldn't listen. To her the chick seemed everything it should be. She called it Kuratko and petted it and pampered it as though it were an only child.
Kuratko grew apace and soon he developed an awful appetite.
"Cockadoodledoo!" he shouted at all hours of the day. "I'm hungry! Give me something to eat!"
"You mustn't feed that chick so much!" Grandfather grumbled. "He's eating us out of house and home."
But Grandmother wouldn't listen. She fed Kuratko and fed him until sure enough there came a day when there was nothing left for herself and the old man.
That was a nice how-do-you-do! Grandmother sat working at her spinning-wheel trying to forget that she was hungry, and Grandfather sat on his stool nearby too cross to speak to her.
And then, quite as though nothing were the matter, Kuratko strutted into the room, flapped his wings, and crowed:
"Cockadoodledo! I'm hungry! Give me something to eat!"
"Not another blessed thing will I ever feed you, you greedy chick!" Grandfather shouted.
"Cockadoodledo!" Kuratko answered. "Then I'll just eat you!"
With that he made one peck at Grandfather and swallowed him down, stool and all!
"Oh, Kuratko!" Grandmother cried. "Where's Grandpa?"
"Cockadoodledo!" Kuratko remarked. "I'm still hungry. I think I'll eat you!"
And with that he made one peck at Grandmother and swallowed her down, spinning-wheel and all!
Then that terrible chick went strutting down the road, crowing merrily!
He met a washerwoman at work over her wash-tub.