Bedtime Stories for Kids - Luck Of A Girl

 Luck Of A Girl

"Here is more!" These words were followed by a sharp sound of a slap and a cry. There was no mystery in it. A fat idle girl loved to go on eating and when she wanted more, her mother slapped her and she cried. What was unusual in it? Nothing. But it so happened that a young man was riding by. He just got curious to know what was happening. He poked his nose, sorry, his whole face which was a nobleman's, into the hut and asked, "What's going on?" Now, the embarrassed mother said, "My daughter loves to work so much that every now and then she wants more work. I have to beat her occasionally." "Really? I should love a girl who loves work. Give her to me," said the rider. The mother was so tired of her daughter, a sack of good for nothingness that she at once obliged the young man.

The young man led the girl to his fine mansion on a hill, overlooking the sea. He showed her a fat lot of fiber and said, "Can you spin this all in a fortnight? If you can, you're likely to qualify yourself to become my wife. Off into the sea, I go now!." The young man, who was the captain of the ship, sailed away, leaving the girl to her tears. Tears not because they were separated, but because she did not know anything about spinning. But the mansion was beautiful with gardens. The kitchen teemed with a  variety of foodstuff. She kept herself engaged in cooking and eating, but whenever she remembered her work, she cried. Her crying increased in volume as the days passed. On the 14th day, she wailed. Suddenly, with a gust of wind, what came shooting through the window looked like a folded blanket. But it sat up and was found to be an old lady. "I'll spin for you," she said and began to work. In an hour she had finished spinning the whole hemp, but her eyelashes had grown as big as hand fans. "How can I repay you, kind old lady?" asked the joyous girl. "Just invite me to your wedding party. Call me by my name which is Columbina, and I'll come. You'll regret if you forget to do this." The women went out with another whiff of a breeze. The young man returned home the next day and was surprised and delighted to see the work done. "Now, here is another work for you. I've brought a few bags of gold and silver grains, all mixed up. You have to separate them in a fortnight's time. If you can, you'll almost qualify yourself to become my wife," said the young man and he rode away. 

But he had brought a number of gifts for the girl and she spent her time happily amidst them for thirteen days. But on the fourteenth day, she gave out a big wail and plop fell from the chimney what looked like a sack but what was found to be an old woman. "Eat and play merrily, child, I'll do the needful," said she and she began sifting the gold from the silver. She finished the work in an hour, but her eyes protruded like balls. "How can I repay you, good old lady?" "I am Culumbara. Call me for your wedding feast. Beware of your fate if you don't." She went away and the young man returned home the next day and was surprised and delighted. "I'm going out once again, to be back in a week. Here are some raw stuff and you've to make cakes out of them. If you have done them by the time I am back, you become my wife." The young man went away, leaving some more gifts for the girl. For five days the girl forgot everything except the gifts. It was on the sixth day that she began to cry. And out of a skylight fell down what looked like a bale but what was really an old lady. 

"Don't cry. Eat, sleep, and make merry. Let me make the cakes for you." The old lady baked cakes of different flavors with great concentration. As she did it, her fingers grew long. "How to repay you, good old lady?" "I'm Culumbun. Call me for your wedding feast. Woe to you if you don't." She went away and soon the young man was back. Surprised and delighted, he now proceeded to fix the date for their wedding. But try as she may the girl could not remember the names of those three ladies. Day and night she churned her memory but to no avail. Afraid of their curse and sorry for herself she took to bed. The young man did everything within his capacity to make her smile. Nothing worked. He felt very sad and, one day, for a change, went out into the forest for hunting. A whirlwind drove him into a cave. He heard a conversation taking place in the adjoining cave. "O Columbina!" "O Culumbara!" "O Culumbun!" "The girl will never wed and we will never enjoy her wedding feast. Let's go away." "Yes, but let's wait for a week." "For two weeks."  The young man peeped and saw the strange figures, one with eyelashes as big as fans, another with eyes protruding like balls and the third one with fingers that were like a cannon. He thought the experience was funny enough for reporting to the sick girl. He did so as soon as he was back home. The girl sat up at hearing the three names that she had forgotten. 

She laughed with so much happiness that she got cured in no time. There were no more problems with fixing a date for their wedding. Said the bride, "Since those three ladies made me laugh and that cured me of my sickness, let's invite them to our wedding feast." The bridegroom agreed. In a corner of the large hall, a special table was set for the three. While the feast was on, the bridegroom, holding the bride's hand, went near the table where the three ladies sat eating. To the first, the bridegroom asked, "How did your eyelashes grow to this size?" "Working hard, spinning," she replied. "How did your eyeballs protrude?" the young man asked the second old lady. "Working hard, sifting two things." "How did your fingers grow so long?" he asked the third old lady. "Working hard, kneading." The bridegroom nodded. Then he whispered to his bride, "Darling, you must not spin, or sift or knead. What I mean is, you must not work hard." The girl had never given her consent to anything so readily!.

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