The Tinderbox

This is one of the best fairy tales for kids that of, “The Tinderbox“. Once, a soldier came marching along the road. He had a canvas bag and a sword. On his way, he met a witch. She offered him some money in return for a favor. The witch said, “You have to climb down into that large tree through the big hollow trunk. You will find three doors inside. In the big door, you will find a dog with big eyes. He will be sitting on a large chest. You have to put that dog on my apron. All the doors consist of dogs with big eyes. Under the dogs, there are copper, silver and gold coins! You can grab as many as you want.” The soldier agreed.

He asked, “What do I need to bring for you?” She gave him her apron and replied, “You have to bring me the tinderbox.” So, the soldier climbed down and opened all the doors one by one. He placed the dogs on the apron and pocketed copper, silver and gold coins. Indeed, he filled his pockets, boots and even his cap with the coins. Then he took  the tinder box and climbed out onto the road.

the tinderbox

the tinderbox Image Source

The soldier asked, “What are you going to do with the tinder box?” The witch didn’t respond. The soldier said, “If you don’t answer my question, I will cut off your head!” The frightened witch ran away and the soldier wrapped all the coins in the apron. He put the tinderbox in his pocket and walked off to the nearest town. He stayed at the best inn of that town. He made many friends there who told him about the wonderful princess of the country.

The soldier asked, “Why can’t I see the princess?” They replied, “Oh! You can never see the princess as she lives in the palace which is surrounded by the towers from all sides. Only the King can go there as he fears that his daughter will marry a common soldier.” The soldier said, “I want to see her!” By now, he had spent all his money.

One evening, he took out the tinderbox and struck a few sparks. Suddenly, the box opened and the dog with big eyes stood before him. The dog asked, “What is your order, Sir?” Now the soldier understood that if he struck the tinderbox once, the dog from the copper chest would come, if he struck the box twice, the dog from the silver chest would appear, and if he struck the box thrice, the dog from the golden chest would come to him. They would bring anything he ordered for. He ordered, “Bring me some money!” Without any hold, his pockets were full of money once again.

One night, the soldier decided to see the princess. He stuck the box again and the dog with big eyes stood before him. The soldier ordered, “Get me the princess! I want to see her!” The dog disappeared and immediately returned with the princess. She was so lovely that the prince kissed her. Then, the dog took her back to the palace.

In the morning, the princess told her parents about the strange dream she had had the previous night. She told them about the dog and the soldier. They were very upset. So the very next day, an old lady was appointed to take care of the princess. In the meanwhile, the soldier again wished to see the princess. He sent the dog to bring her to him. The old lady ran behind the dog and she marked a cross on the door where the princess was taken to. Then she came back and went to sleep. When the dog was coming back after leaving the princess to the palace, he saw a cross mark on the door. He made a cross mark on every door so that each door will look the same.

Next morning, her parents with the guards went to find that place where their daughter had been taken. But they were confused to see as all the doors had the crosses on them. Now the queen was a clever woman. She tied a necklace filled with wheat grains to the princess’s neck. She cut it a bit so that the grains would fall on the way. At night, the dog came again and carried the princess on it’s back. He took her to the soldier who now wished to marry her. The dog didn’t see the grains on his way.

Next morning, the soldier was caught and put into the prison. He was to be hanged. The soldier was upset as he had left the tinderbox behind. Suddenly, he saw a shoemaker walking by his prison window. The soldier said, “Shoemaker, would you like to make some money? Bring me my tinder-box and I will make you rich!” The shoemaker quickly ran to the soldier’s house to bring the tinder box. There were many soldiers outside the prison.

The king and the queen sat on their thrones. The soldier was asked his last wish just before he was about to be hanged. The soldier decided to show a magic with the tinderbox. The king agreed. The soldier took out his tinder-box and struck it thrice. The three dogs appeared before him. The soldier ordered them to save him. The dogs frightened everyone who was present there. The King and the Queen were scared. They soon agreed their daughter to get married with the soldier. The dogs were presented as a gift for their wedding. The both lived happily ever after as they both were in love with each other.

Here is a short visual depiction of this fairy tale, “The Tinderbox“. See the video story below,

  The Tinderbox Story Video