The Tinder-Box
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The Tinder-Box

Chapter 1 / 5

Section 1

A SOLDIER marched along the road saying “Left, right – left, right”. He was wearing a bag on his back and a sharp tool called a sword by his waist. He went to fight in the wars, and now he was coming back to his house.

As he kept walking, he saw a scary old lady who looked like a witch on the path.Her bottom lip was hanging down quite low on her breast, and she stopped and greeted the soldier, “Good evening! You are a true soldier with a big bag and a great sword. You can have as much money as you want.”

“Thank you, old witch,” said the soldier.

“Can you see that big tree?” said the witch, while pointing to a tree next to them. “That tree is empty inside, and you need to climb to its top. Once you are up there, you will find a hole, and you can climb deep into the tree. I will tie a rope around your body, and when you shout for help, I will pull you back up.”

“What should I do when I climb down the tree?” asked the soldier.

“Get money,” she answered. “Once you get to the bottom of the tree, you will be in a big room with 300 lamps shining, and there will be three doors. The keys will be in the locks, and you can open them freely.When you go inside the first room through the doors, you will see a big box in the middle of the floor, and on top of it, there will be a dog sitting with huge eyes like teacups.But don’t worry, the dog won’t hurt you. I will give you my blue checked apron, which you should put on the ground. Then, you will catch the dog and put him on the apron.After that, you can open the box and take as many pennies as you want. They are not worth a lot and are made of copper. But if you want better money made of silver, you should go to the second room.In the second room, you will see another dog with bigger eyes, even bigger than a millwheel, but don’t worry about that.Put him on the apron I gave you and take as much money as you want.But if you want gold, you should go to the third room. There you will find another box full of it.The dog in the third room is very scary, and his eyes are as big as a tower, but don’t be scared of him.If you put the dog on the apron, he won’t be able to harm you. So, you can take as much gold as you want from the box.”

The soldier said, “That’s a good story, but what can I give you in return, old witch? You didn’t tell me all this for nothing, did you?”

The witch said, “I don't want any money from you, but can you promise to bring me an old tinder-box? It belonged to my grandma, and she left it down there the last time she went there.”

“Okay, I promise. Now, please put the rope around my body and tie it.”

The witch said, “Here it is! And also,take my blue checked apron with you.”


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