In ancient times, a poor man named Hans lived in one country. He had neither home nor money for buying food. He did not own any property. But the man felt quite happy. He was sure that one day he would definitely find his place under the sun. After a while Hans met an old woman who asked what he wanted. Hans decided that he wanted to have some money. The old woman gave him a present. It was amagical blue coat. She told Hans that he should go to one strange place where huge dogs were sitting. These animals protected chests full of gold, but if you put them on this coat – they would not attack. Hans would be able to take as much money as he needed. And the old woman herself needed a box of glass that her grandmother lost in that very place.
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The Glass Box by Jane Rollason
Once there was a poor man. His name was Hans. He had no money, no house and no food, but he was happy. ‘I’ll find something,’ he said. ‘I’ll walk down this road to the next town.’ After a short time, a very old woman called to him from across the road.
‘What do you want?’ asked Hans.
‘What do you want?’ said the old woman.
‘What do I want? I want money.’
‘You can have money,’ said the old woman. ‘Take this magic blue coat and climb to the top of that tall tree. Then climb down inside it. You will come into a large room with three hundred lights. There are three doors. Go through the first door and you will see a big box. On the box sits a dog with eyes as large as eggs. Don’t be afraid – it won’t hurt you. Put my blue coat on the floor. Take the dog and put it down on the coat in front of the box. Open the box and you will see money. Take some.
‘Go through the second door and you will see a bigger box. On the box sits a dog with eyes as large as oranges. Don’t be afraid – it won’t hurt you. Put the dog down on the coat in front of the box. Open the box and you will see gold. Take some.
‘Go through the third door. There you will see the biggest box. On the box sits a dog with eyes as large as plates. Don’t be afraid – it is friendly. There are jewels in its box. Take some.’
‘This is wonderful,’ said Hans. ‘But what can I do for you?’
‘I don’t want any money or gold or jewels,’ said the old woman. ‘I only want one little thing. In the third room, there is a small glass box. My grandmother lost it there. Bring me that box.’ Hans climbed up the tree and then down inside the tree. He went down and down and down. Then he saw the three hundred lights and the three doors. He opened the first door and went into a little room. There, on a box, was a dog with eyes as large as eggs.
‘Good dog!’ said Hans. He remembered the old woman’s words. He put her blue coat on the floor. He took the dog and put it down on the coat in front of the box. He opened the box and he got very excited. He took some money and put it in his hat. He put the dog back on the box and went into the second room.
There, on a box, was a dog with eyes as large as oranges.
‘You’re a fine dog!’ said Hans. He put the dog down in front of the box, and opened the box. His eyes were suddenly as yellow as the gold in the box. Hans took some gold and put it in his hat…