Stories That Never Grow Old
edited by Watty Piper with illustrations by George and Doris Hauman/ published 1938 by The Platt & Munk Co.
This book is probably how I first came to know the story "The Little Engine That Could", and features other classics like "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", "The Pied Piper of Hamlin", "Billy Goat Gruff", "The Ugly Duckling" and more.... as well as the tale that scared me more than any in my youth, "Teeny-Tiny".
Soooo, there's this Teeny-Tiny woman, see. She lived in a teeny-tiny cottage in a teeny-tiny village with a teeny-tiny cat and so on.... The wee lady goes on a walk and ends up stealing the clothes off the back of a neighbor's scarecrow so she can wear them as her own. Later that night when she is asleep in bed...
It wasn't very long before she was wakened by a teeny-tiny voice, which came from the teeny-tiny closet.
"Give me my clothes!" said the teeny-tiny voice.
At this the teeny-tiny woman, was a teeny-tiny bit frightened. She called in her teeny-tiny voice: "Who's there?"
There was no reply, so she pulled the teeny-tiny bedclothes up over her teeny-tiny head and went to sleep again.
Needless to say, this isn't the last she hears of the voice; it becomes progressively louder and more angry, until at last... I was so spooked by the illustration of the dresser closet with its handles for eyes and wagging shirt-tail tongue. I would purposely read right up to that story just to freak myself out, but then skip it for fear that the dresser in the picture would come to life and eat me!
The beautiful illustration pictured here is from the story "The Boy and the North Wind" one of those Nordic tales where magic keeps a family fed. I love those stories where a child's fantasies and wishes come true, and they have nothing to do with gold or riches... just simply taking care of one's mother.