Written by Bertie and Read by Jana for Storynory.com
With production and Sound FX by Bertie.
Illustration by DALL-E-2 AI.
Hello, this is Jana, and welcome to Storynory! We have TWO stories for you this time. They both come from England, and they have a touch of Cinderella about them. We think you’re going to find them fun. The first is called:
Once upon a time, a rich man had three daughters. They lived in a large manor house surrounded by pretty fields with ponies and sheep. He also owned several other houses, at home and abroad, as well as factories and farms, and even published a newspaper with all the fashionable and up-to-date opinions.
One evening, he gathered together his family including his daughters. Eventually, he tapped a glass with a silver spoon and called everyone to attention. [tap glass fx]
“As you know,” he said, “I am no longer young, and looking after my fortune is becoming a burden. The time has come to divvy up my riches among my three lovely girls. But first, I wish each of you girls to tell me how much you love me. Whichever of you who loves me most shall receive the largest share. That is only as it should be.”
The eldest daughter stood up, came over to her father, and kissed him on the cheek.
“Father,” she said, “I love you more than words can say. More than eyesight, movement or freedom. More than life, beauty, health or honour. I love you as much as any child ever loved a father.”
The old man blushed to hear such fine words. “Well done,” he said, “Can anyone put it better than that? Who's next?”
The second eldest daughter stood up and kissed her father on the forehead. She took his hand in hers and told him:
“Dearest, darling daddy, I love you just as much as my sister, only more so. She is stingy with her affection when she says that she loves you AS much as any child ever loved a parent. Because I love you a whole lot MORE than any child ever loved a father in the whole of history.”
“Well that’s so nice to hear,” said the father, beaming with pride. And then he looked at his youngest and favourite daughter, the joy of his life, whose name was Cordelia. Cordelia did not come over to kiss her father as her sisters had. In fact, she thought the whole scene was rather silly and undignified, and she suspected that her two elder sisters were much more moved by money than by love. But she had made ready with what she thought was a good line. She said:
“Father, I want you to know that I love you as meat loves salt.”
“What did you say, my dear?”
“I love you as meat loves salt?”
“Is that all you have to say?”
“Oh,that is a pity, you shall be the poorer for it.”
And not only did she not receive any money from her father, but for the next few weeks he sulked whenever he saw her and refused to speak to her. And her sisters took every opportunity to taunt her saying,
“Daddy’s right, you don’t deserve any money because you don’t love him.We love him, as is only right and proper, and that’s why our husbands will always love us and we shall live happily ever after in luxury and comfort, while you baby sister will never marry, and live miserably ever after.”
It all became too much for Cordelia, and she decided to leave home and make her own way in the world. She prepared for her escape by weaving herself a dress and a cap out of the long rushes that grew by the river.
She pulled these clothes over her fine dress, and to look at her you would think she had been born into poverty.
[curious waltz music]
[walking fx, owl]
Then one moonlit night, when everyone else was asleep, she set off on her own. She walked straight to the next village where a man lived who was even richer than her father, and whose house was even bigger, and who owned even more factories, and published not one, but two fashionable newspapers. There she begged for a job scrubbing the dishes, and because she refused to tell them her name, they called her "Cap-o'-Rushes."
It so happened that the wealthy owner of the house had a son who was both handsome and charming. Many of the servants were secretly in love with him. When the early summer came round, the family held a ball in the great hall.
[bring up walz more passionate music]
The servants were allowed to stand on the balcony to watch all the wealthy folk dancing and having fun. They were particularly fascinated to see which lucky girl would be dancing with the young man of the house. But Cap-o-Rushes said she felt too tired to watch the ball and preferred to stay in her room. What fun she missed!
The young man of the house was captivated by a mysterious beauty. He danced with her all night, but when the clock struck midnight, she left without giving him her name. The boy was so lovestruck, that he begged his father to entice her back with another ball the following night.
Cap-o-Rushes was again too tired to watch the dance. In the morning the servants gave her all the gossip. The young man had begged the mystery girl to give him her name, but she had teasingly refused. The boy was going crazy with love, so he begged his father to hold yet another ball for a third night running.
The next evening was not too different, only this time the boy managed to give the girl a diamond ring for her pretty finger. The servants were overcome with excitement. “He’s desperate to marry her but he doesn’t even know her name. Whoever heard of such a turn?”
After that, there were no more balls, and everyone in the house was tired from all the fun. The young man remained alone in his room, dreaming of love, and asked for only soup and bread for his supper. Cap-o-Rushes brought the soup to him, but before she knocked on his door, she took the ring off her finger and dropped it into the soup. Because as you probably guessed, the mystery girl was none other than our heroine.
It was only when the young man found the ring at the bottom of his bowl, that he finally realised who she was. He called her back to the room and said, “So, now will you finally tell me your real name?”
“I am Cordelia,” she said.
“Well now, Cordelia, will you marry me?”
“Yes, I will,” she said.
And he placed the ring once more on her finger. And of course they loved one another and lived happily ever after, but this is not quite the end of the story. They invited the girl’s father and her sisters to the wedding feast, but did not say who the bride was. Cordelia ordered that the food be prepared without any salt. This left all the dishes without flavour, and when her father tasted the meat, he burst into tears because he finally realised what his daughter had meant when she told him that she loved him as meat loves salt. At this point, he thought his daughter had run away forever, or might even be dead! But she soon revealed herself to him, and father and daughter were reunited, and all was forgiven.
Fortunately the cooks had prepared another feast with salt and seasoning, and so everyone enjoyed their food and the celebration!
And that was called ‘Cap-o-Rushes’. I hope you take the story with more than just a pinch of salt! So is salt good or bad for you? There are all sorts of views on that. Salt is actually necessary in our diet. And in the past, before we had refrigerators, it was used to make food last longer. And it does make things more tasty. But, these days it’s added to all sorts of processed foods, like crisps, of course, and often on nuts. It’s in cheese, in bread, and in ready-meals. Salt is everywhere. Too much salt is bad for your heart, especially as you get older. So that’s why you hear that salt is bad for you - because we have far too much of it!
In just over a minute, we have another amusing story for you - that has quite a bit in common with the first one, and some differences too. But first we’re really excited to introduce Storynory’s new sponsor, Kiwico. It makes a product we are really impressed with.
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And now, here’s our second story. Listen out to see how it’s similar to the previous story, and how it is different too! This story is called
‘The Bear who was not invited to the dance’.
There was once a king who loved his daughter so much that he would not let her out of the palace. He worried that some harm might come to his precious princess if she wandered out into the world. And so she stayed at home and became very bored. And the older she grew, the more bored she became. One day she complained to the servant who had looked after her since she had been a wee baby, “Nanny,” she said, “I’m so, so terribly bored. Will I ever see the big wide world?”
“You shall see the big wide world lassy. But first you must go down to the great hall and fetch the bearskin that is lying in front of the fireplace.”
The instruction seemed odd, but the princess knew that the nurse could do magic, and so she reckoned it was worth following her suggestion. When nobody was looking she dragged the old bearskin up to her room.
When the nanny visited her that evening, she said:
“Put on the bear skin as if it were a dressing gown.”
The princess did as she was told.
Then the nanny said: “Well, look at yourself in the mirror and tell me what you see.”
The princess looked in the mirror and low and behold, she saw a bear. You could in no way tell that she was a princess wearing a bearskin - she looked just like a real live bear.
“Good,” said the nanny, “Now let’s go outside and arrange some transport for you.”
In the moonlit garden the nanny and the bear found an old wheelbarrow.
“This will do nicely,” said the nanny.
“How?” said the bear. “You don’t expect me to travel around in an old wheelbarrow, do you?”
“Why not?” asked the nanny. “Climb on board?”
Reluctantly, the bear climbed into the wheelbarrow, and before she could say, “thank you and goodnight,” it shot off, speeding her through the palace gates and away to the forest, where it tipped her out onto the ground.
Now it so happened that a prince was out hunting in the forest, and the dogs caught the scent of the bear and started to chase her. She had to run up a tree, from where she called out to the prince,
“Hey, call your ill-mannered dogs away from me!”
The prince was so astonished to hear the bear talk like this, that he did as he was asked. He invited her to come back to his castle so that he could show her to his mother. The bear slid down the tree, and climbed into her wheelbarrow, which rolled along behind the Prince’s horse, carrying her all the way to his castle.
The prince’s mother was surprised to meet a talking bear, and was even more pleased when she offered to help with the housework around the castle. She was very handy at cooking and cleaning! In return, the royal family let the bear sleep in the drawing room under the big table.
One day, the prince had to go to a ball given by a neighbouring prince. He thought the whole idea was very boring, and did not want to go. The bear, who was lying under the table, said:
“Why don’t you take me? I’d like to dance at a ball.”
But the prince thought it was a terrible idea to take a dancing bear to a ball, and so he kicked her. That wasn’t very nice of him!
But later that night, when he was gone, the bear climbed into her wheelbarrow and shot off.
When she had almost arrived at the ball, the wheelbarrow stopped by the side of the road. She took off her bearskin and hid it in a hollow tree. Now the dress she was wearing under the bearskin was made of moonbeams! Her wheelbarrow turned into a horse and carriage and she rode to the steps of the palace. Everyone was stunned to see such a shining beauty! The prince fell in love with her, but she refused to dance with him, and before the ball was over, she took off.
The prince ran out of the palace and jumped onto his horse. He chased after her carriage as it sped away, but before he could catch up, a great fog arose and he lost sight of the fleeing girl.
The next morning, the bear asked the prince, “Did you have a nice time at the ball?”
“No,” he replied. “I fell in love with a girl but she ran away from me.”
“I’m not surprised,” said the bear. “Better take me next time.”
“Dream on, bear,” said the Prince.
The following night, the prince was invited to another ball. This time the mystery girl arrived wearing a gown of sunlight. She was even more radiant! And the prince was even more in love with her. She granted him a dance, but she refused to give him her name, and once again, she took off in her carriage before the ball was over. He chased after her on his horse, but before he could catch her, thunder and lightning struck a tree which caught fire and fell down in a blaze, blocking the road.
In the morning, the bear asked the prince, “How was your evening?”
“Terrible,” said the prince, “The girl got away again because thunder and lightning prevented me from pursuing her carriage.”
“A lucky escape, if you ask me,” said the bear. “Better take me next time.”
“No way!” declared the Prince.
The following night, there was yet another ball. This time the princess wore a gown stitched from the milky way. She was even more beautiful than the times before, and the prince was even more in love with her. She danced with him three times, and he managed to give her a ring, which she accepted, before departing still without giving him her name.
This time, he did not even bother to chase her carriage.
When the prince returned home, he was really fed up. It did not help that the bear laughed at him, and told him that nobody would want to marry him if he was so sullen and sulky. That evening, he had no appetite, and he asked for just a bowl of soup. The bear still had his ring, and she slipped it into his soup before giving it to him. He almost swallowed it! When he spat out the ring, he was astonished to see what it was.
“Where did you get this, bear?” he asked angrily.
“Don’t you remember? You gave it to me,” she replied.
And then she took off her bearskin and revealed herself dressed in moonbeams. The prince was totally enchanted, and they married and lived happily ever after.
And that traditional English folk story called ‘The Bear who was Not Invited to the Dance.’
Do you think it was similar to the first tale?
Both our stories were adapted for Storynory by Bertie and read by me, Jana.
And don’t forget to check out our great sponsor, Kiwico.
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And that’s it from me, Jana at Storynory.com. Take care until next time, bye for now!