The Tale of the Silver Saucer and the Transparent Apple
So the bad ones put their wicked heads together and thought of a plan. And they took their father's axe, and went into the deep forest and hid it under a bush.
The next day they waited till afternoon, when work was done, and the little pretty one was spinning her apple in the saucer. Then they said,—
"Come along, Little Stupid; we are all going to gather berries in the forest."
"Do you really want me to come too?" says the little one. She would rather have played with her apple and saucer.
But they said, "Why, of course. You don't think we can carry all the berries ourselves!"
So the little one jumped up, and found the baskets, and went with them to the forest. But before she started she ran to her father, who was counting his money, and was not too pleased to be interrupted, for figures go quickly out of your head when you have a lot of them to remember. She asked him to take care of the silver saucer and the transparent apple for fear she would lose them in the forest.
"Very well, little bird," says the old man, and he put the things in a box with a lock and key to it. He was a merchant, you know, and that sort are always careful about things, and go clattering about with a lot of keys at their belt. I've nothing to lock up, and never had, and perhaps it is just as well, for I could never be bothered with keys.
So the little one picks up all three baskets and runs off after the others, the bad ones, with black hearts under their necklaces and new dresses.
They went deep into the forest, picking berries, and the little one picked so fast that she soon had a basket full. She was picking and picking, and did not see what the bad ones were doing. They were fetching the axe.
The little one stood up to straighten her back, which ached after so much stooping, and she saw her two sisters standing in front of her, looking at her cruelly. Their baskets lay on the ground quite empty. They had not picked a berry. The eldest had the axe in her hand.
The little one was frightened.
The Fish and the Leopard's Wife; or, Why the Fish lives in the Water
Category: Nigerian folktales
Read times: 31