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Tales of the Magic Mirror

Tales of the Magic Mirror

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Tales of the Magic Mirror

5/5 (1 valutazione)
209 pagine
2 ore
Jul 1, 2017


The discovery of a magic mirror inside an ancient box enables a kindly woodcutter and his wife to help others overcome their troubles.
Jul 1, 2017

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Correlato a Tales of the Magic Mirror

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Tales of the Magic Mirror - Karl H. Bratton

These stories of enchantments and magic spells, of witches and brave knights, are based upon the discovery of a magic mirror in an ancient box. Directed by good fairies, a humble woodcutter is told where the box is hidden. The kind old man and his wife use magic mirror to help others, and whether the unfortunate person is a poor cobbler that has been intimidated by a giant into making an endless series of huge boots, or a gigantic goblin in trouble, or a complaining worm, all magic mirror’s power is such that the woodcutter is able to assist all those who come to him. Vanquished are the wicked and ugly; triumphant are the beautiful and good.

Told by author to his Pat, a little girl with pigtails and a freckled nose, the stories retain the glow and freshness that arises spontaneously when a teller of tales is inspired by a responsive audience.

With the ingredients of the familiar and enduring fairy tales are combined elements of humor and the homely remedies of simple folk for the faults of human behavior: untruthfulness, laziness, tyranny, dissatisfaction. Here is a skillful blending of the fanciful and the real which will have a lasting appeal for boys and girls of all ages. Especially suited for grades 4 to 6.

A note to the reader of this eBook

This book was originally written and published by our grandfather, one of the most amazing men my sister and I have ever known.

He dedicated the stories in this book to our mom, Patricia Bratton Gilman, and for many years we have enjoyed these tales in hardcover form, sharing it with our family and friends.

It has been out of print for a very long time, so we have been purchasing as many copies as we could find online so that our granddad’s legacy could be passed on to future generations.

While this would have been great for our family, we felt that the best choice was to share the stories with people throughout the world via the new eBook publishing medium.

My sister Kathy (Katrinka – his name for her) and I hope that you will be as blessed reading and sharing these tales as much as we have.


Stu Gilman and Kathy Torre, June 2017

Tales of the Magic Mirror

1 Dramatis Personae


ISBN: 9781543907179



Printed and bound in the United States of America by


Caldwell, Idaho


Written for my Pat — a

little girl with pigtails

and a freckled nose.


The Magic Mirror

The Grandmother and the Witch

The Prince and the Fairy Jewel Box

The Beard

The Red Rock that was Green

The Dragon that Liked Dried Apples

The Magic Mirror is Stolen

The Gigglin Goblin

The Archer

The Robber

The Haunted Castle

The Goatskin Boots

The Thousand Nights

The Enchanted Tapestry

The Stone Princess

The Dainty Seamstress

The Princess and the Witch

The Tournament


Dramatis Personae

The kind old man was frightened

The vase, rope, and mop danced around the table

When the prince was walking through the forest an elf appeared

The ugly man said, Am I not the most handsome man you have ever met?

The two dwarfs led the donkey away

The knights attached the roaring dragon

The horseman struck at the thief

Faster and faster they came after the wee fellow

Before she could fling the magic sand the archer let fly the sun arrow

The wolf was almost upon him

Hideous birds flow through the air

Look at my boots, the giant angrily yelled

An army of tiny workmen followed their leader

When the guards saw the dead panther they became angry

The old prince said softly, You are as lovely as the day I last saw you.

The huge mouse was a tailor by trade

The witch snatched the princess’ hand and hurried into Dismal Forest

Blows were struck at him from all sides

The Magic Mirror

Long ago in a faraway land there lived an old woodcutter and his wife. They dwelt in a wretched little cottage and were very, very poor. Many an evening the woodcutter’s faithful wife would say, I am sorry, my dear, but there is nothing in the house to eat. The shelves are bare, and the flour barrel is empty. And because his work that day had brought them no money for food the poor old couple would go to bed hungry.

Often when the woodcutter was alone he would weep bitterly because he could not buy needful and beautiful things for his wife whom he loved so dearly. But when the old fellow talked to her about their poverty, she would only smile and say, I am content so long as we are together. We are good people, so no real ill can befall us. Thus they lived and toiled day after day.

One day the woodcutter was chopping down a tree deep in the heart of the forest. Suddenly his axe struck something hard. Something that sounded as if it might be made of iron. This is strange indeed, he said. Never before have I found such a tree!

He began to chop carefully so that he would not dull his axe. From behind fallen branches and moss-covered rocks the tiny folk peeped, eyes wide with attention. They seemed to be waiting for something wonderful to happen. After a while the tree fell, and what do you suppose the woodcutter found on the tree stump? A little, rusty iron box! No sooner had the woodcutter found the box than a warm glow spread through the forest. As everything grew hushed, the trees seemed to whisper, Be careful, be careful—the box is very precious.

The kind old man was frightened. He expected something strange to happen. When nothing did, his curiosity got the better of him. He dropped his axe and gently picked up the box. Still nothing happened. Then he became bolder, and carefully but very gently examined the box. On the lid he found the words:

2 The kind old man was frightened

First push one

Then push two

And you’ll see

What to do.

He pushed here and there on the box but it remained as tightly shut as it was when his axe first struck it. He tried long and hard, but at last he gave up and went back to his work. The woodland folk crept away. The glow that had spread over the forest faded. Twilight came, so the old woodcutter finished his chopping. He gathered up his tools and started homeward with the little iron box carefully tucked under his arm.

As soon as he entered his poor little home the woodcutter said to his good wife, Just see what I found in the middle of a tree, my dear! The strangest thing happened! The moment the tree fell and this box appeared on the stump, the whole forest became enchanted. The fairies were everywhere. One of them said, ‘Be careful! It is very wonderful!’ I was frightened at first, but when nothing happened I picked up the box and examined it.

Why, it’s a little iron box, said his wife in amazement.

Yes, agreed her husband, and a strange one, too.

Then he showed her the words on the lid of the box:

First push one

Then push two

And you’ll see

What to do.

I do not know what they mean, he told his wife. I have pushed on the top and on every side of the box, but nothing happens.

Let me try. Perhaps I shall have better luck.

So, taking the strange little box carefully in her hands she, too, tried to open it. Alas, she had no better luck than her husband. Then the two of them worked together, but with no better luck. After long, patient effort the wife had a sudden thought. We have pushed on the top and sides of this box, she said, but not once have we pushed on the bottom!

So we haven’t, the woodcutter nodded.

Then hold the box carefully in your hands and push twice on the bottom of it.

The old couple drew nearer the light of the fireplace. Suddenly they felt eager eyes upon them. Very carefully the woodsman pushed once on the bottom of the box. Nothing happened. Then, even more carefully, he pushed again. All at once the lid flew open! There was heard the fanning of hundreds of tiny wings, and a tinkling of many little bells. Through the room spread the same glow that the woodsman had seen in the forest. The splendor that filled the room was like the glow of a thousand beautiful rainbows melted into one happy light.

In wonder, the woodsman and his wife peeped into the box. There they saw written:

When in trouble

Or in doubt

Gaze in the mirror

And you’ll find out!

In the bottom of the box lay a mirror. They took it from its resting place and looked into it. There, to their astonishment they saw fiery dragons, huge giants, winged horses, wrinkled dwarfs, forbidding dungeons, castles high on cliffs, great sea monsters, tiny elves, radiant birds, gold and silver hoards, jeweled treasures, peaceful pasture lands, distant kingdoms, and beautiful fairyland itself. At last they put the magic glass down.

They looked at each other in happy amazement. This mirror would bring them great delight.

They gently picked the glass up again. As they gazed into it this time they saw a picture sadly different from the first. Their faces became thoughtful and unhappy. They saw people, near and far, in distress and want; bad-tempered monarchs; wretched beggars; rich, cruel merchants; poor peasants; and those who were ill. They saw fairies hovering about, trying to help these mortals in distress. But the unhappy people could not see the fairies, and so could receive no help.

The old woodcutter and his wife belonged to the fortunate few who can see fairies. They saw that the tiny folk now filled the room where they sat. They heard the gentle fanning of tiny wings as the beautiful little creatures came close and told them, You must help these people you see in the mirror! Help them! The old couple laid the mirror away in the box, and the fairies disappeared.

For a long while the old couple sat soberly thinking about the less fortunate people.

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