There was once a little boy named Budulinek.
He lived with his old Granny in a cottage near a forest.
Granny went out to work every day.
In the morning when she went away she always said:
"There, Budulinek, there's your dinner on the table and mind,
you mustn't open the door no matter who knocks!"
One morning Granny said:
"Now, Budulinek, today I'm leaving you some
soup for your dinner. Eat it when dinner time comes.
And remember what I always say: don't open the door no matter who knocks."
She went away and pretty soon Lishka, the sly
old mother fox, came and knocked on the door.
"Budulinek!" she called. "You know me!
Open the door! Please!"
Budulinek called back:
"No, I mustn't open the door."
But Lishka, the sly old mother fox, kept on
"Listen, Budulinek," she said: "if you open
the door, do you know what I'll do? I'll give you
a ride on my tail!"
Now Budulinek thought to himself:
"Oh, that would be fun to ride on the tail of
Lishka, the fox!"
So Budulinek forgot all about what Granny
said to him every day and opened the door.
Lishka, the sly old thing, came into the room
and what do you think she did?
Do you think she gave Budulinek a ride on her tail? Well, she didn't.
She just went over to the table and gobbled
up the bowl of soup that Granny had put
there for Budulinek's dinner and then she ran away.
When dinner time came Budulinek hadn't
anything to eat.
In the evening when Granny came home, she
"Budulinek, did you open the door and let
Budulinek was crying because he was so hungry, and he said:
"Yes, I let in Lishka, the old mother fox, and
she ate up all my dinner, too!"
"Now, Budulinek, you see what happens when
you open the door and let some one in. Another time remember
what Granny says and don't open the door."
The next morning Granny cooked some porridge for Budulinek's dinner and said:
"Now, Budulinek, here's some porridge for
your dinner. Remember, while I'm gone you must not open
the door no matter who knocks."
Granny was no sooner out of sight than Lishka
came again and knocked on the door.
"Oh, Budulinek!" she called. "Open the door
and let me in!"
But Budulinek said:
"No, I won't open the door!"
"Oh, now, Budulinek, please open the door!"
Lishka begged. "You know me! Do you know
what I'll do if you open the door?
I'll give you a ride on my tail! Truly I will!"
Budulinek thought to himself:
"This time maybe she will give me a ride on her tail."
So he opened the door.
Lishka came into the room, gobbled up Budulinek's porridge,
and ran away without giving him any ride at all.
When dinner time came Budulinek hadn't anything to eat.
In the evening when Granny came home she said:
"Budulinek, did you open the door and let anyone in?"
Budulinek was crying again because he was so hungry, and he said:
"Yes, I let in Lishka, the old mother fox, and she ate up all my porridge, too!"
"Budulinek, you're a bad boy!" Granny said. "If you open the door again,
I'll have to spank you! Do you hear?"
The next morning before she went to work,
Granny cooked some peas for Budulinek's dinner.
As soon as Granny was gone he began eating the peas, they were so good.
Presently Lishka, the fox, came and knocked on the door.
"Budulinek!" she called. "Open the door! I want to come in!"
But Budulinek wouldn't open the door. He took his bowl of peas
and went to the window and ate them there where Lishka could see him.
"Oh, Budulinek!" Lishka begged. "You know me! Please open the door!
This time I promise you I'll give you a ride on my tail! Truly I will!"
She just begged and begged until at last Budulinek opened the door.
Then Lishka jumped into the room and do you know what she did?
She put her nose right into the bowl of peas and gobbled them all up!
Then she said to Budulinek:
"Now get on my tail and I'll give you a ride!"
So Budulinek climbed on Lishka's tail
and Lishka went running around the room faster and faster
until Budulinek was dizzy and just had to hold on with all his might.
Then, before Budulinek knew what was happening, Lishka slipped out
of the house and ran off swiftly into the forest, home to her hole,
with Budulinek still on her tail! She hid Budulinek down in her hole
with her own three children and she wouldn't let him out.
He had to stay there with the three little foxes and they all
teased him and bit him. And then wasn't he sorry he had disobeyed his Granny!
And, oh, how he cried!
When Granny came home she found the door open and no little Budulinek anywhere.
She looked high and low, but no, there was no little Budulinek.
She asked everyone she met had they seen her little Budulinek, but nobody had.
So poor Granny just cried and cried, she was so lonely and sad.
One day an organ-grinder with a wooden leg began playing in front
of Granny's cottage. The music made her think of Budulinek.
"Organ-grinder," Granny said, "here's a penny for you.
But, please, don't play any more. Your music makes me cry."
"Why does it make you cry?" the organ-grinder asked.
"Because it reminds me of Budulinek," Granny said,
and she told the organ-grinder all about Budulinek
and how somebody had stolen him away.
The organ-grinder said:
"Poor Granny! I tell you what I'll do: as I
go around and play my organ I'll keep my eyes open for Budulinek.
If I find him I'll bring him back to you."
"Will you?" Granny cried. "If you bring me back my little Budulinek
I'll give you a measure of rye and a measure of millet and a measure
of poppy seed and a measure of everything in the house!"
So the organ-grinder went off and everywhere he played
his organ he looked for Budulinek. But he couldn't find him.
At last one day while he was walking through the forest he thought
he heard a little boy crying. He looked around everywhere until he found a fox's hole.
"Oho!" he said to himself. "I believe that wicked old Lishka
must have stolen Budulinek! She's probably keeping him here
with her own three children! I'll soon find out."
So he put down his organ and began to play. And as he played he sang softly:
"One old fox
And two, three, four,
He makes one more!"
Old Lishka heard the music playing and she said to her oldest child:
"Here, son, give the old man a penny and tell him to go away because my head aches."
So the oldest little fox climbed out of the hole
and gave the organ-grinder a penny and said:
"My mother says, please will you go away because her head aches."
As the organ-grinder reached over to take the penny,
he caught the oldest little fox and stuffed him into a sack.
Then he went on playing and singing:
"One old fox
And two and three
Makes four for me!"
Presently Lishka sent out her second child with a penny
and the organ-grinder caught the second little fox
in the same way and stuffed it also into the sack.
Then he went on grinding his organ and softly singing:
"One old fox
And another for me,
He makes the three."
"I wonder why that old man still plays his organ,"
Lishka said and sent out her third child with a penny.
So the organ-grinder caught the third little fox and stuffed it also into the sack.
Then he kept on playing and singing softly:
"One old fox
I'll soon get you!
He makes just two."
At last Lishka herself came out. So he caught her, too,
and stuffed her in with her children. Then he sang:
"Four naughty foxes
He makes the five!"
The organ-grinder went to the hole and called down:
"Budulinek! Budulinek! Come out!"
As there were no foxes left to hold him back, Budulinek was able to crawl out.
When he saw the organ-grinder he cried and said:
"Oh, please, Mr. Organ-Grinder, I want to go home to my Granny!"
"I'll take you home to your Granny," the organ-grinder said,
"but first I must punish these naughty foxes."
The organ-grinder cut a strong switch and gave the four foxes
in the sack a terrible beating until they begged him to stop
and promised that they would never again do anything to Budulinek.
Then the organ-grinder let them go and he took Budulinek home to Granny.
Granny was delighted to see her little Budulinek and she gave
the organ-grinder a measure of rye and a measure of millet
and a measure of poppy seed and a measure of everything else in the house.
And Budulinek never again opened the door!
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from The Shoemaker's Apron
by Parker Fillmore, 1920