June 14, 2016

Folk Tales

Folk Tales 2 cover_240Brockhampton: Leicester, ’66 / Illustrations: © George Him estate

These are traditional stories from a dozen different countries. They always begin “Now this is a story about….” and then “And this is the way I tell it.” When she read aloud to kids she knew, they would always join in, “And this is the way tell it”. 

The stories are enhanced by George Him’s evocative pictures, which capture scenes from the wildest stories like the innocent imagination of the reading child might see them. It was George’s idea to make Dog Turpie into a toy-type figure, so that his different pieces didn’t have to be brutally chopped off, but were just taken apart.

Folk Tales was reprinted several times in hardback and paperback in the late 60s and the 70s.

Click below to read the contents

 

Leila’s original Introduction to Folk Tales is here

 


 Little Dog Turpie

Now this is the tale of a very good dog.
And this is the way I tell it.

Turpie2_300Once upon a time there was a little old man and a little old woman, and they lived together in a little old house with their Little Dog Turpie. Now out in the woods lived the Hobyahs. Every night they came running towards the house, up, up, on their long toes, creeping, creeping, through the soft grass, waving their wild tails, came the Hobyahs. And they shouted, “Break down the house, carry off the little old man, eat up the little old woman!” But Little Dog Turpie always heard them coming, and he would bark and bark and bark, “Wow, wow!” till they all ran away.

The little old man and the little old woman didn’t know about the Hobyahs, because Little Dog Turpie always frightened them away. But one night the old man sat up in bed and said, “Little Dog Turpie barks so loudly that I can’t sleep. In the morning I shall take off his tail.”

So in the morning the little old man took off Little Dog Turpie’s tail because he barked so much.

That night when the old man and the the old woman were in bed, ot of the woods came the Hobyahs. Up, up, on their long toes, creeping, creeping, through the soft grass, wuaving their wild tails, came the Hobyahs. And they shouted, “Break down the house, carry off the little old man, eat up the little old woman!” But Little Dog Turpie heard them coming and he barked and he barked and he barked, “Wow, wow!” till they ran away.

But the little old man sat up in bed and said, “Little Dog Turpie barks too loudly, and I can’t sleep. In the morning I shall take off his legs.”

So in the morning the little old man took off Little Dog Turpie’s legs, because he barked so much.

The next night, when the little old man and the little old woman were in bed, out of the woods came the Hobyahs. Up, up, on their long toes, creeping, creeping, through the soft grass, waving their wild tails, came the Hobyahs. And they shouted, “Break down the house, carry off the little old man, eat up the little old woman!” But Little Dog Turpie heard them coming, and he barked and barked and barked, till they all ran away.

But the little old man sat up in bed and said, “That Little Dog Turpie barks too loudly, and I can’t get any sleep. In the morning I shall take off his head.”

So in the morning the little old man took off Little Dog Turpie’s head.

Turpiemed

That night, when the little old man and the little old woman were in bed, out of the woods came the Hobyahs. Up, up, on their long toes, creeping, creeping, through the soft grass, waving their wild tails, came the Hobyahs. And they shouted, “Break down the house, carry off the little old man, eat up the little old woman!” And Little Dog Turpie felt them coming, but the little old man had taken off his head, and now he couldn’t bark any more and frighten them away.

So the Hobyahs broke down the house. They didn’t carry off the little old man, because he hid under the kitchen table and they couldn’t find him. But they carried off the little old woman to their Hobyah house, and they put her in a bag and hung her on the door-knob.

Turpie4med

When the little old man found the Hobyahs had carried off the little old woman, he was very sorry for what he had done. Now he knew why Little Dog Turpie had been barking every night. “I am a silly old man,” he said. “I shall put back Little Dog Turpie’s tail and his feet and his head this very minute.” So he went out into the yard and put them all back right away.

Then Little Dog Turpie went running off on his four legs to find the little old woman. He ran and he ran till he came to the Hobyah house. The Hobyahs were not at home, but they had left the little old woman hanging in the bag on the door-knob. Little Dog Turpie bit the bag with his sharp teeth till it fell of the door-knob, and then he pulled it open so that the little old woman could get out. She ran all the way back home to the little old man, and they were very pleased to see each other again, I can tell you, and they had a bit of a kiss and a hug.

But Little Dog Turpie crept inside the bag himself, and lay there waiting for the Hobyahs to come home again. Presently they came, and the first thing they did was to poke the bag with their long fingers, for they thought it was the old woman, you see. And out jumped Little Dog Turpie, barking as loudly as he could. The Hobyahs got such a fright they all ran away, and they ran so far they never came back. And that’s why there are no Hobyahs today, not one.

Turpie5med