Bedtime Audio Stories in English - The Magic Bottle

 The Magic Bottle

There once was a farmer named Peter, who rented an estate of ten acres on the outskirts of a town. He worked from morning till night but the land was barren. There was never enough food for his wife and children. And almost all his income went towards paying the rent. That year, floods ruined his crops and Peter had no money to pay the rent. So he and his wife Joan decided to sell their only cow at the market in the town. One morning Peter set off with his cow to the market. On the moorland, he met a dwarf with a yellow face. "Good morning," said the dwarf. "Could I please take a lift on your cow? You see, I have twisted my foot." Peter looking at his swollen ankle, then lifted the dwarf up and put him on the cow's back. On the way, Peter told him that he was going to sell his cow at the market. The dwarf offered to buy the cow and in return gave Peter a white bottle.

At first, Peter was reluctant to exchange his cow for an empty bottle, but he consented at last because he had a strong feeling that the dwarf was full of goodwill for him. Besides, the bottle looked quite extraordinary. The dwarf, before disappearing into the nearby forest, had instructed him to put the bottle on a clean floor and say, "Bottle, do your duty!" Joan was angry when Peter returned home with an empty bottle. Still, they cleaned the house and set the bottle on a shining floor and said, "Bottle, do your duty." In the twinkling of an eye, two little fellows jumped out of the bottle and covered the table with gold and silver plates and dishes of delicious food and choicest fruits. Peter, Joan, and the children had the best meal of their life. Later, Peter sold away the gold and silver plates for bagfuls of money. He purchased a horse and a coach, cows and sheep, and everything he had ever wanted. He became very rich. News spread of the wonders of the white bottle and it reached the greedy landlord. One day, when Peter was away on some work, the landlord reached his house all of a sudden. Before Joan had any time to protect the bottle, he forcibly took it away. Many months passed and Peter slowly became poor again. His bags once full of coins were empty. "If only I had another bottle!" thought he. So he set off towards the forest once again. Indeed, he chanced to see the yellow-faced dwarf again and mournfully told him his tale. The dwarf disappeared into his cottage and this time came out with a black bottle which he handed over to Peter.

Now the watchful spies of the landlord reported to their master that Peter had happily emerged from the forest with yet another bottle tucked under his arm. Rumour was that the black bottle was better than the white one. In all haste, the landlord arranged a huge party and asked Peter to be his chief guest and to demonstrate the magic of his new bottle. When all the guests had come in, Peter took out the black bottle from under his coat, put it on the polished floor, and said, "Bottle, do your duty!" Out jumped two big monsters with maces and started beating the landlord. "Call them off, please!" shrieked the landlord. "Not until you give me back my white bottle," calmly said Peter. The landlord handed the bottle back to Peter in a hurry. The monsters immediately disappeared into the black bottle. Peter soon became one of the richest men in the country. He buried the two bottles at a secret place because he had no longer any use for them.

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