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Main > Spain folktales > Fairy tale "Silver Bells"

Silver Bells

Then she said, “Oh, dear Mr. Fox, I am so hungry! I wish you would bring me something to eat.”

Off went the fox, and in a short time he returned with a roast fowl, bread, a plate, knife, and fork, all nicely placed in a basket. On the top of these things was a clean white cloth, which she spread on the ground, and on which she placed her dinner. She was indeed thankful to the fox for his kindness, and patted his head, which made him wag his thick brush. She enjoyed her dinner very much; but she was very thirsty. She thought she would try tinkling her bell, and no sooner had she done so than she heard the tinkling of another bell in the distance, coming nearer and nearer to her. She stood on tiptoe, and she saw a stream of water flowing towards her, on which floated a pretty canoe. When it got up to her it stopped, and inside the canoe was a silver mug; but on the bows of the canoe was hanging a silver bell just like her own.

“Silver bell, silver bell, do not fear;

When thy mother comes, step in here.”

So sang the canoe; but she could not understand why she should get into the canoe if her mother came, because she loved her mother, and thought her mother loved her. Anyhow she took hold of the mug, and, filling it with water, drank it up. Water, which is always the most refreshing of all drinks, was what the tired little girl most needed, and as her father had brought her up very carefully and properly, she had never tasted anything stronger; but her thirst made her enjoy the water more than she ever had.

Suddenly she heard some one screaming for help, and the screams came nearer and nearer to her. She turned round and saw the wolf bearing her mother on his back, and however much she tried to get off she could not, because the wolf threatened to bite her. Springing up to Mirabella’s side, the wolf said—

“Silver bell, silver bell, do not fear;

To obey you, Mirabella, I am here.”

The wicked mother now jumped off his back, and commenced scolding Mirabella for having sent for her.

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