Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck (retold)

Jemima Puddle-Duck lived on a crowded, noisy farm. Every time she laid her eggs, the farmer’s wife took them and ate them.

Jemima was very annoyed by this, so she decided “I will make a nest away from the farm. I will start looking for a place,” she paused for a moment, “right now!” So she gathered everything together and went off to find a place to make a nest.
When she reached the top of a large hill, she could see a forest in the distance. She decided to fly there and find a good spot to make a nest, but she wasn’t very good at flying. While she was walking she tripped a few times, but after she ran a long way she was able to fly nicely.

She saw a tree stump and thought it looked like a nice spot. She landed and was surprised to find a very gentlemanly fox reading the news. “Hello there, madam, what may you be doing here, deep in the forest?”

“I am trying to find a nesting place away from the farm. The farmer’s wife always takes my eggs once I lay them. I also have a feeling that she eats them.”

“Don’t worry about that, I have a shed behind my house full of feathers, you can make your nest there. It is very warm.”

They went to his shed and it was overflowing with feathers. Jemima was wondering, “Where did he get all those feathers?” But she was very glad to have them. They kept her very warm.

Every day she tripped, ran, and flew to the shed to make her nest. Eventually she laid nine eggs in her nest. Then she said, “Tomorrow I plan to start sitting on my eggs. They might get cold even with all those feathers. I will bring a bag of food so that I will never have to get up.”

But the gentleman said, “Before you sit for a long time, let us have a large feast! Bring onions and herbs for an omelette and roast duck.” But Jemima wasn't paying much attention to the “omelette and roast duck” part, so he just told her the herbs he needed.

Jemima went back to the farm garden and found everything that the gentleman needed. But on her way back the collie dog stopped her and asked her where she went every day. She told him everything. The collie went with the farmer to find some lost puppies and Jemima went to the fox’s house.

When she got there, he looked very worried and was apparently in a bad mood. “Give me the onions and the herbs. Come inside after looking at your eggs!”
She was just about to leave her eggs when the collie came and locked her in the shed. Jemima was very scared as she heard noises of a big fight outside. When it was done, the collie unlocked the door. No sign of the fox was to be seen. All the dogs had visible signs of injury. But when the door opened, the puppies went in and gobbled up all the eggs.

Jemima was extremely sad because of those eggs and she trudged back to the farm. Next time she laid eggs, she was allowed to keep them. Instead of taking her eggs, the farmer’s wife took Rebecca Puddle-Duck’s eggs.            

    The end

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