Ariel Goodbody

Steal from the Rich and Give to the Poor

Juraj Jánošík was a young man. He grew up in a small villege in Slovakia. His mother died giving birth to him, so his father looked after him.
When Juraj turned eighteen, he went to war.
‘Do not worry, Father,’ he said, ‘I will not be gone long.’
But he was at war for three years, and during that time there were three cold winters and three hot summers. Juraj’s father was old and alone, and he had nobody to look after him. When Juraj finally came home from war, his father was dead.

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A Letter from God

My name is Hubert Lenartowicz, and this is my story. All the details in it are true. I hope you will believe me.
I’m 57 and I grew up in a family of athiests. My father in particular did not believe in God. In addition, he was a police officer in a school for traffic police, as well as a history teacher. In the communist era in Poland it was forbidden for police officers to believe in God or have any connections to the Church. It might not mean losing your job but it would be the end of your professional career. Even as a retired man, my father was critical of the Church.

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The Three Languages

Once there was an old man who lived in Switzerland. He was very rich, but his wife had died young. They only had one son, and he was very stupid. His name was Eric. One day, the father said to Eric, ‘Listen, my son. You are not the cleverest in the world. I try to teach you many things, but I can get nothing into your head. It is time for you to leave home. I will send you to a famous teacher, and he will teach you until you are clever. Then we will see what we can do with you.’

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Mia the Witch

Once there was a witch called Marabella, who lived in a deep, dark forest. As with most witches, she was not actually evil, but she did magic, and so the people were afraid of her, and whenever there was a storm, or a bad harvest, or a child got sick, they said, ‘It is the witch’s anger!’

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The Little Frog with the Big Mouth

Once there was a little frog. He lived in the forest next to a river. He was very small, about the size of a tennis ball. But his mouth was very big. When he smiled, his smile went from one ear to the other. Everyone called him the Little Frog with the Big Mouth.

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The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage

Once there was a mouse, a bird and a sausage. They were friends. They lived together in a house. Each one had a job. The mouse’s job was to collect water from the river, make the fire and lay the table. The bird’s job was to go to the forest and collect wood for the fire. The sausage’s job was to cook. Every day, each did their job, and they ate dinner together. They were all good at their jobs, and they were very happy.

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The Brave Little Tailor

Once there was a tailor, who was very brave but quite stupid. He lived alone in a small town, and made and sold clothes all by himself. His business never did quite well, but he was happy, although sometimes he thought about leaving the town.

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The Legend of Lake Toba

A long time ago, in North Sumatra, there lived a poor young man in a valley. He had no parents, but the valley was beautiful, and anything he planted there grew wonderfully. He lived by farming and fishing in the river near his home. The food he made was not special, but he never went hungry.

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Old Sultan

Once there was a farmer, who had a dog called Sultan. Sultan was a great dog, but now he was old. Before, he had guarded the house, but now he had lost all his teeth, so he could not eat easily. He could not bite food, or bite people. None of the other animals were afraid of him anymore.

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Heart of Iron

Henry’s heart was too big. That was always his problem. He knew that he could never be with the prince, but still, he watched him lovingly every day. He watched him eat, he watched him dance, and he watched him sword fight. Every action Prince Brandle took was beautiful, and Henry loved watching him.

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