Pedro de Añasco was a coward. He didn’t know how he had gotten here, in the hills of South America, almost 5000 miles from his home in Spain, but here he was, standing outside the perfectly-white house of Sebastián de Belalcázar.
So today’s story is actually a collection of six short folk tales and they’re all about a funny character called Nasreddin.
So, Nasreddin is a character who appears in folk tales in many parts of the world. He mainly appears in stories in the Middle East and Europe, mainly Eastern Europe, and he’s known by many different names.
Once there were two brothers. One brother was a poor farmer. He worked in the fields, and when the weather was bad, he had no food. But he was kind and worked a lot. The other brother was a rich man who worked on a ship. He was not kind, and he often cheated people. In this time, there was no salt in the sea, so he travelled to other countries to get salt. He brought the salt back, and the King paid him lots of money.
Once, there was a woman called Inmaculada. Her friends called her Inma. She lived in a village in Mexico. Inmaculada was indigenous, and her mother and father died when she was very young. She was poor, and she washed clothes for other people in the village. She wanted to leave the village and travel the world, but she thought it would never happen.
Little Red Riding Hood wasn’t so little anymore. In fact, she was a full-grown woman, and not only that, but a powerful sorceress, too. The only remains of her past were the red riding hood she always wore, whatever the weather, and her nickname: Red.
Billy, for his part, had changed very little. He was the Big Bad Wolf, or at least, that was what the wanted posters and frightened villagers called him, but in reality it couldn’t be further from the truth. Behind his thick muscles, woolly beard and rough shirt lay a soft heart. He was a great teacher to Red and he knew exactly who he was.
Today in Prague there is the astronomical clock, a great and mysterious clock. It brings in tourists from around the world. But many do not know that the clock has a dark history. It happened over 500 years ago…
Prague was a city of mystery. It was a city of narrow streets and broad desires. It was a city of money, magic, and murder.
It was also a city of hate. The Jews of Prague lived in the ghetto, and they were attacked from all sides. People spread lies. They said that the Jews did magic, that they attacked Christian girls, that they went into churches at night and destroyed the holy body of Christ. The Jews of Prague were poor, and still, people came and threw rocks at their houses, shouted names at them in the street, and refused to sell them food.
I was sick, sick with the feeling of death. I heard the mutter of those who had questioned me, the Inquisitors. I saw the lips of the black-robed judges, and they were whiter than the paper that I am writing this on. They were thin, and tight, and they whispered things I could not hear. I saw seven candles on a table beside me, and they shone like angels, but I knew there was nobody to help me. I thought how sweet death would be, and then the men around me disappeared, and the candles faded into darkness.
She knew what she was doing was wrong. She had known the moment she saw him. But love didn’t care about what side of a wall you were on, even if she was on the side of the palace gardens and he was stood in the ruined fields.
The war had gone on for years, but it only took a moment for her to lose to his eyes. They stared at her through a hole in the wall. She knew he was from the other side. He had the eyes of the Others, the Enemies. They were so bright that she could see her reflection in them.