Portuguese fairytales for surviving Stuck-At-Home days with your kids

Even with your best intentions, you may find your temper running thin. With that in mind, today we’ve decided to share with you 2 fairytales that every Portuguese kid knows by heart. We hope it can help you make the most out of your stuck-at-home days with kids.

The Prince with Donkey’s Ears

Once upon a time, there was a peaceful kingdom ruled by a kind King. In this kingdom, everybody worked hard and enjoyed each other’s company. The kind King and his Queen also lived happily but there was a small problem: they did not have an heir to the throne.

One day the King asked the kingdom fairies to give him a son, a successor to the throne. The fairies said they would fulfill the King’s wish but, in return, they demanded to be invited to the prince’s birth. The King, moved by the idea of having a son, swore he would call the fairies.

Nine months passed by and the Queen gave birth to a little boy. The King, true to his word, invited the fairies.

The fairies leaned over the royal baby’s crib and one said: “I shall give him beauty”. The second fairy said: “I shall give him health and intelligence”. The eldest of the three fairies paused for a moment and then said: “Well so that he won’t despise anyone because he is handsome, healthy and smart, I shall give him donkey’s ears”.

On the following second, the fairies were gone, leaving the King and the Queen very sad.

Year after year, the King and the Queen saw how their baby was turning into a beautiful, healthy smart boy, but the prophecy was coming true as well: the prince’s ears grew and grew until they become like donkey’s ears.

The King didn’t know what to do, so he decided to ask one of his valets to cut the prince’s hair in such a way that no one would notice his ears. The King also made his valet promise he would keep his mouth shut about this issue. The not-so-kind King said: “If you reveal this secret, I will sentence you to death!”

For many years the poor valet kept the secret but, slowly, this secret became such a burden to him that he decided to go to the church and tell the priest.

“Help me, my father”, he said, “I know a secret that I’m not supposed to tell anyone. But, if I don’t tell, I die; and if I tell, the King will kill me. What should I do?”

The noble priest advised him to “dig a hole in the ground”. “And then”, he said, “you whisper that secret into the hole, where it would forever remain buried”.

The valet followed the priest’s advice, went to the valley, dug a hole close to a place where some reeds were growing, and whispered his secret into the hole. After doing this, he came back home – his heart as light as a feather.

In the place where the valet had buried his secret, the young reeds followed its natural path and kept growing. One day, some shepherds, seeing how good the reeds were, decided to cut some to make new flutes.

The following day, the three shepherds began to play their new flutes and, for everyone’s surprise, there were three voices flowing out of the flutes and singing out loud: “The prince has donkey’s ears!”

It did not take long until the King became aware of this strange case and ordered the three shepherds to go see him and to bring their flutes.

“Play the song you played this morning!”, ordered the King. The shepherds obeyed and again the voices flowed out of the flutes singing in unison: “The Prince has donkey’s ears!” The valet swore he had not betrayed the King, but the not-so-kind King shout: “Take this liar and let him receive the punishment he deserves!” The Prince, who had been there since the shepherds arrived, said: “No, my father! Don’t do this!” And bowing before the King, he continued: “I beg you to forgive my impertinence, but you are being unfair! It doesn’t matter if I have donkey’s ears! It reminds me that I should never speak or act stupidly like the poor donkey!”

As soon as the Prince finishes saying these words, the Kingdom fairies joined him in the room and said: “You are wise, dear Prince! And brave because you were defending this poor valet against your own father! We are going to relieve you of these donkey’s ears.” In the next second the donkey’s ears were gone. And from that day on the flutes sang no more: “Our prince has donkey’s ears!”

The Little Ladybird

There was once a very good-looking, but very sad, Ladybird. “Why was she sad?” you might be wondering. Well, because she felt lonely. She didn’t have many friends and had not met the charming husband of her dreams yet.

One day, when sweeping the kitchen, our little Ladybird found five cents. She was very excited and went immediately to her neighbor’s house and asked him:
– Tell me, dear neighbor, what should I buy with these five cents?
Her neighbor said: – Buy some cake.
– No, I don’t want to look fat! – replied the little Ladybird.
She then went to the other neighbor’s house and asked the same question:
– Tell me, dear neighbor, what should I buy with these five cents?
– Buy a new dress and some beautiful earrings, and sit by the window shouting: “Who wishes to marry the little Ladybird who is wealthy and beautiful?”
“Brilliant!”, she thought. The little Ladybird followed this advice. After all, this could help her find the charming husband of her dreams.

The following day our beautiful Ladybird, nicely dressed, sat by the window and started shouting:
– Who wishes to marry the little Ladybird who is wealthy and beautiful?
A Donkey passed nearby and said: – I do!
– Donkey, let me hear your voice! – asked the little Ladybird.
The Donkey brayed and the little Ladybird told him:
– Trot away, Donkey, you won’t make a good husband, a better one I will choose.
And the little Ladybird continued shouting: – Who wishes to marry the little Ladybird who is wealthy and beautiful?
A Dog passed under the window and said: – I do!
– Dog, what do you eat? – asked the little Ladybird.
The Dog barked: – I eat everything. I even love bones.
– Trot away, Dog. You won’t make a good husband, a better one I will choose! – said the little Ladybird. And she continued shouting:
– Who wishes to marry the little Ladybird who is wealthy and beautiful?
A Pig passed next and said: – I do!
– Pig, where do you live? – the little Ladybird asked him.
– In a pigpen! – the Pig oinked. – Trot way, Pig. You won’t make a good husband, a better one I will choose.
And our tireless Ladybird continued shouting at the window:
– Who wishes to marry the little Ladybird who is wealthy and beautiful?
A Bull passed and said: – I do!
And the little Ladybird asked him: – What can you do?
– I’m good at bullfighting – the Bull mowed.
And the little Ladybird scared shouted: – Trot away, Bull. You won’t make a good husband, a better one I will choose.

Disappointed for not finding a husband who could please her, our little Ladybird nevertheless continued to shout:
– Who wishes to marry the little Ladybird who is wealthy and beautiful?
A handsome Rat was passing by and said:
– I do, little Ladybird, because you are wealthy and beautiful.
– Tell me, handsome Rat – asked the Ladybird – what do you eat?
– Well, I have a sweet tooth, therefore I eat only sweets. Don’t you know that I’m John the Rat? – said the handsome Rat.
The little Ladybird, all smiles, told him:
– No other husband I will have. Let’s get married!

The marriage festivities soon started. On the wedding day, already on the church, our little Ladybird suddenly remembered that she had forgotten her bridal flowers at home, and asked her fiancé, John The Rat, to go back and get them for her.
John The Rat, hurried to meet his bride’s wish, ran back home. When he arrived there, there was a sweet smell of food filling the air and John the Rat could not resist it. He went to the kitchen to taste what was inside the cooking pan. He removed the lid and put a finger inside the pan… then he put his hand, then his arm… then he leaned so deeply over that he fell inside the cooking pan.

As for our little Ladybird, tired of waiting for her future husband, she decided to go back home. She looked for John the Rat everywhere in the house but could not find him. Then a strange smell reached her nose. She followed that smell and ended up in the kitchen where she found the cooking pan lid lying aside. She came closer, looked inside the cooking pan and, in tears, our unhappy little Ladybird cried aloud: “Oh my poor John the Rat! Oh my poor John the Rat, cooked alive in the cooking pot!”

And this is how it ends the sad story of our little Ladybird who wanted to marry and put so much thought into it that ended up picking up the wrong husband.

As to John the Rat… Poor John, poor greedy Rat. Gluttony is as bad as vanity, and you know what they say: it’s better an empty belly than a dead rat!

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