Skip to content

Children’s Stories

Saving Time

    Shmul was on his way to the market in Chelm one afternoon when he saw his good friend Bein on the street.
    “Sholom aleichem,” called Shmul to his friend.
    “Go to blazes,” Bein said without missing a beat.

    A Gift from St. Nicholas

    A Gift from Saint Nicholas

      Claas Schlaschenschlinger was a wealthy cobbler living on New Street in New Amsterdam. He was a contented bachelor who could afford eight – eight mind you! – pairs of breeches and he had a little side business selling geese. He cut quite a figure in New Amsterdam society, and was happy being single, until he met the fair Anitje! She was as pretty as a picture, and Claas fell head over heels for her. He was not her only suitor, by any means. The local burgomaster was also courting the fair Anitje. But the burgomaster was a stingy, hard man, and in the end, Anitje gave her heart and hand to Claas…

      A Baker's Dozen

      A Baker’s Dozen

        Back in the old days, I had a successful bake-shop in Albany. I had a good business, a plump wife, and a big family. I was a happy man. But trouble came to my shop one year in the guise of an ugly old woman. She entered my shop a few minutes before closing and said: “I wish to have a dozen cookies.” She pointed to my special Saint Nicholas cookies that were sitting out on a tray. So I counted out twelve cookies for her…

        Why the Possum Plays Dead

        Why the Possum Plays Dead

          Rabbit and Possum each wanted a wife, but no one would marry either of them. They talked over the matter and Rabbit said, “We can’t get wives here. Let’s go to the next village. I’ll say I’m messenger for the council and that everybody must marry at once, and then we’ll be sure to get wives.”

          The Little Red Hen

          The Little Red Hen

            Little Red Hen found a Wheat Seed that, if planted, would grow up and when ripe it could be made into flour and then into bread. But what should she do with it?

            Tug of War

              Now, my cousin P. S. Woodin is a successful businessman, and he’s got a pretty solid head on his shoulders. But when he told me that he owned a haunted house, I told him that he was plumb crazy. It was a nice, redbrick house about a half-mile above the bridge, and it sat right in front of an old Indian burial ground. Woodin had rented out the house more than once, but no one ever stayed there for long.

              Gollywhopper's Eggs

              Gollywhopper’s Eggs

                Well now, when old Johnson came to town, I knew there’d be trouble. That Yankee Peddler was a scoundrel if ever I saw one. But I was laid up with my rheumatism when he arrived, so I couldn’t do anything about it.

                Rabbit Plays Tug of War

                Rabbit Plays Tug-of-War

                  Now Rabbit had a favorite place on the river where he always went to drink water. It was on a bend in the river, and two Snakes lived there, one on the upper side of the bend and one on the lower. Rabbit soon learned that neither of the Snakes knew that the other Snake lived there.

                  Rainbow Crow

                  Rainbow Crow

                    It was so cold. Snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play in. But the cold increased tenfold, and they began to worry. The little animals were being buried in the snow drifts and the larger animals could hardly walk because the snow was so deep. Soon, all would perish if something were not done.

                    The Heron and the Hummingbird

                    Heron and the Hummingbird

                      Heron and Hummingbird were very good friends, even though one was tall and gangly and awkward and one was small and sleek and fast. They both loved to eat fish. The Hummingbird preferred small fish like minnows and Heron liked the large ones.

                      How the Rainbow Was Made

                        One day when the earth was new, Nanabozho looked out the window of his house beside the wide waterfall and realized that all of the flowers in his meadow were exactly the same off-white color. How boring! He decided to make a change, so he gathered up his paints and his paintbrushes and went out to the meadow.

                        Why Opossum has a Pouch

                          One evening, Opossum was playing in a field with her babies when Big Bat came swooping down and grabbed all of the little ones and carried them away. Opossum shouted and begged for Bat to bring her babies back to her, but he would not. Bat put the little opossums into a deep hole in the rock and watched over them there.

                          Why Opossum Has A Bare Tail

                            One day, Opossum was walking in the woods around sunset when he spied Raccoon. Now Opossum had always admired Raccoon because he had a beautiful tail with rings all around it. So Opossum went up to Raccoon and said: “How did you get those pretty rings on your tail?”

                            Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby

                              Well now, that rascal Brer Fox hated Brer Rabbit on account of he was always cutting capers and bossing everyone around. So Brer Fox decided to capture and kill Brer Rabbit if it was the last thing he ever did! He thought and he thought until he came up with a plan. He would make a trap! Brer Fox went and got some tar and he mixed it with some turpentine and he sculpted it into the figure of a cute little baby. Then he stuck a scarf and glasses on the Tar Baby and sat it in the middle of the road.

                              Pecos Bill Rides a Tornado

                                Now everyone in the West knows that Pecos Bill could ride anything. No bronco could throw him, no sir! Fact is, I only heard of Bill getting’ throwed once in his whole career as a cowboy. Yep, it was that time he was up Kansas way and decided to ride him a tornado.

                                Paul Bunyan and the Log Jam

                                  One spring day, the loggers on the Wisconsin River discovered a huge log jam, the biggest they’d ever seen. The logs were piled about two hundred feet high and the jam went upriver for a mile or more. Those loggers chopped and hauled at the jam, but it wouldn’t budge an inch. So they called for Paul Bunyan to give them a hand.

                                  Round River Drive

                                    Well now Paul Bunyan scouted around the north woods of Wisconsin for quite a while afore he found the perfect spot for his winter lumber camp. It was right next to a fast river, and Paul figured they could pile the logs up right next to it and come spring time it would be mighty easy to tumble the logs into the river and float ‘em down to the mill.

                                    Crow Brings the Daylight

                                      Long, long ago, when the world was still new, the Inuit lived in darkness in their home in the fastness of the north. They had never heard of daylight, and when it was first explained to them by Crow, who traveled back and forth between the northlands and the south, they did not believe him.

                                      Bigfoot Wallace and the Hickory Nuts

                                        Bigfoot Wallace was as crazy an individual as they come. He could spin a yarn better than anyone, and while he was a dangerous foe to his enemies, he was also a jovial giant, who was always on the lookout for a good laugh. What with hunting and fishing and fighting Comanches and avoiding rattlesnakes, Wallace had the time of his life in Texas. Said he wouldn’t swap Texas for the whole shooting match that was the rest of the United States.

                                        Davy Crockett and the Frozen Dawn

                                          One winter, it was so cold that the dawn froze solid. The sun got caught between two ice blocks, and the earth iced up so much that it couldn’t turn. The first rays of sunlight froze halfway over the mountain tops. They looked like yellow icicles dripping towards the ground.

                                          Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett Bests Mike Fink

                                            Davy Crockett done married the prettiest, the sassiest, the toughest gal in the West, don’t ya know! Her name was Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind and she was all that and then some! She was tougher than a grumpy she-bear and faster than a wildcat with his tail on fire and sweeter than honey, so that even hornets would let her use their nest for a Sunday-go-to-Meeting hat.

                                            The Talking Mule

                                              A farmer owned a mule which he used for work all week. But being a Church-going man, he let the mule rest on Sunday.
                                              One Sunday, the farmer had to go to a funeral. So he sent his son to saddle the mule.
                                              “Since when do I have to work on Sunday?” asked the mule…

                                              Old Stormalong and the Octopus

                                                One day Old Stormalong, the ultimate sailor, was sailing the Courser through the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean when a particularly large wave knocked the anchor loose. The anchor plunged right down to the bottom before the sailors could reel her in, and it got caught on something.

                                                Paul Bunyan’s Kitchen

                                                  One winter, Paul Bunyan came to log along the Little Gimlet in Oregon. Ask any old timer who was logging that winter, and they’ll tell you I ain’t lying when I say his kitchen covered about ten miles of territory.

                                                  Three Billy Goats Gruff

                                                  Three Billy Goats Gruff

                                                    Snippity-snip, snap and swill,
                                                    The tale begins upon a hill…
                                                    The air was crisp and cool. The sky was an endless blue. The green meadow grass swayed in a gentle breeze. And Big Billy Goat Gruff was bored.

                                                    Paul Bunyan Tames the Whistling River

                                                      The Whistling River – so named because twice a day, it reared up to a height of two hundred feet and let loose a whistle that could be heard for over six hundred miles – was the most ornery river in the U.S. of A. It took a fiendish delight in plaguing the life out of the loggers who worked it.

                                                      Paul Bunyan and the Frozen Flames

                                                        One winter, shortly after Paul Bunyan dug Lake Michigan as a drinking hole for his blue ox, Babe, he decided to camp out in the Upper Peninsula. It was so cold in that there logging camp, that…

                                                        Old Stormalong

                                                          Now everyone knows that Alfred Bulltop Stormalong was the ultimate sailor. He was the captain of a mighty ship known as the Courser, which was so wide that she couldn’t sail into Boston Harbor and so tall that the mast was hinged into the middle so it could be taken down to avoid the sun and the moon whenever they passed by.

                                                          The Twist-Mouth Family

                                                            A while back there was a family I know of – a mother, a father, and several children. Four of them had mouths that were twisted into strange shapes. The mother’s mouth twisted up while the father’s mouth twisted down. The sister’s mouth twisted left while the younger brother’s mouth twisted right. The eldest son John’s mouth was perfectly normal…

                                                            Birth of Paul Bunyan

                                                              Now I hear tell that Paul Bunyan was born in Bangor, Maine. It took five giant storks to deliver Paul to his parents. His first bed was a lumber wagon pulled by a team of horses. His father had to drive the wagon up to the top of Maine and back whenever he wanted to rock the baby to sleep…