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Norah And Snowy
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Norah lived with her Mammy and Daddy in a little cottage in the country, she was eight years old.
The three of them were poor but happy.
One fine summer day Norah's Mammy said, "We have been working very hard, let us go for a long walk in the woods."
They packed food and milk in a basket and set off.
The birds sang as they walked through the woods and the sun shone through the trees.
After a while they came to a stream.
They sat down under a tree and ate the food and drank the milk.
Then Norah's father said, "Your Mammy and I will rest for a while, you can play among the trees, but do not go too far away."
Norah went picking wild flowers.
She chased butterflies and strayed a long way from her Daddy and Mammy.
Suddenly Norah saw a tall man with a big black horse.
He held out a basket to her and said, "Little girl, come here and have some strawberries."
When Norah saw the lovely red strawberries, she ran towards the man.
As she reached for a strawberry, the man grabbed her and quickly tied her up!
He threw Norah up on the horse and rode away at great speed.
Norah cried out but she knew her parents could not hear her.
She was very frightened.
They travelled through the woods, then through the countryside.
The rope hurt Norah's hands and feet.
She tried to remember everything she saw so that she would know her way back.
Some hours later they came to a very high wall with a gate.
The man got off the horse and took a big golden key from his pocket.
He opened the gate and they went in.
There was a big house and a garden with sheds.
A fat woman stood at the door of the house and said to the man, "You have brought a servant girl for me."
When the man took the ropes off Norah, the fat woman said to her, "You will have to work hard here. If you try to escape we will catch you and smack you!"
Norah was put to work immediately.
She had to get up early every morning and milk the cows.
Because she was given no breakfast, she would drink some of the cows' milk from the bucket.
Then Norah had to clean out the sheds.
She dug potatoes in the garden and washed them in cold water.
She also took care of the geese.
There were lots of them.
Every evening she went to the door of the house and the fat woman handed her a bowl of stew.
That was Norah's dinner!
She was never allowed into the house.
At night Norah slept on some straw in a shed with the geese.
She often wept and cried out, "I want to go home to my Mammy and Daddy!" but no one heard her.
As she lay crying in the shed one night, one of the geese came over and lay down beside her.
This goose kept her warm.
Because this goose was a brighter shade of white than the other geese Norah called her Snowy.
She was Norah's favourite.
One day Norah collected a basket of gooses' eggs.
She slipped and broke many of them.
The fat woman shouted angrily, "You silly girl, you'll get no dinner tonight."
Then she began to smack Norah with a stick!
Immediately Snowy ran at the woman and pecked at her viciously.
The fat woman ran back into the house screaming.
As she lay in the straw every night, Norah said to Snowy,
"I must escape,I must escape; I need the key of the gate."
But the key of was kept somewhere in the house.
One morning, when Norah was feeding the geese, she noticed that Snowy was not there.
The fat woman and the man were in the house having their breakfast.
Suddenly Snowy came out of the house with the golden key in her beak!
She dropped it in front of Norah, who picked it up.
Norah quickly ran to the gate and opened it, Snowy followed her.
When they were outside, Norah locked the gate and the two of them ran as fast as they could.
They ran through the countryside.
Norah remembered the way.
After a while they got hungry.
Norah picked berries from the bushes and ate them.
She gave some to Snowy.
It was dark when they reached the woods.
Norah was very tired and she lay down under a tree.
It was cold but Snowy spread her wings over Norah and kept her warm during the night.
In the morning they started walking again.
When they got near Norah's house, her Mammy and Daddy saw them through the window.
"Norah, Norah, you are home at last", they cried as they threw their arms around her.
They were filled with joy.
They sat down and had a lovely meal together and gave a bowl of vegetables to Snowy.
Norah told them about her terrible time working as a slave and how Snowy had helped her.
Norah's father sold the golden key for a large sum of money.
They were able to buy two extra cows and nice things for the house.
They also put some money away for Norah's dowry in case she ever wanted to get married.
Many years afterwards, Norah met Owen, the neighbour who kept pigs.
When Owen's trouble with the talking pig, Smut Fada, was over he bought a nice farm and a lovely house.
He then asked Norah to marry him.
She said "Yes."
After the wedding when Norah moved into Owen's house she brought lots of nice things with her.
These were silver knives and forks,
A table cloth,
And a woollen rug.
She also brought twelve lovely geese!
Owen and Norah lived happily together for many years.
If you enjoyed this story, Martin has created many more (see further down), to register for more Free Stories please click below or click the Free Story Access button top left on this page.
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Martin is now a retired College Lecturer who enjoys writing and foreign travel with his wife, he occasionally writes for magazines.
While Martin's five children were growing up, he and his wife Carmel loved to tell the children stories.
Two of these special stories were Smut Fada (means long snout) and The Three Pats.
When Martin's grandchild Katie wanted to hear some stories, Martin sat down to write the spin-off stories.
Credit is due to Martin's eldest son Rory who provides story illustrations (Smut Fada).
Martin's youngest son Barry, was the original inspiration for boy called Barry in The Three Pats story, Barry now gives Martin technical help with his computer.
Here's a list of just some of Martin's stories which are rotated on this page one at a time and available to registered readers. The entire collection is available immediately to those registered for Unlimited Children's Stories (see Free Story Access above).
Major Feathers And Silver
Smut Fada Book 1 Tales From Ireland
Smut Fada finds a home
Madam Elly learns a lesson
Major Feathers and Silver
Norah and Snowy
Owen Catches a Thief
The Three Pats
Barry and the Pirates
Barry and the Wicked Dogs
Barry helps a Farmer
Barry helps a sick girl
Barry saves the village girls
Thanks for your interest and happy reading.