Seligor's Castle, fun for all the children of the world. Diddilys Choice
From DEE DOT'S
A translation of Hans Christian Andersen's
"Der er Forskjel"
by Jean Hersholt.
"There is a Difference."
It was in the month of May. The wind was still cold, but
spring had come, said the trees and the bushes, the fields and
the meadows. Everywhere flowers were budding into blossom; even
the hedges were alive with them. Here spring spoke about herself;
it spoke from a little apple tree, from which hung a single
branch so fresh and blooming, and fairly weighed down by a
glorious mass of rosy buds just ready to open.
Now this branch knew how lovely it was, for that knowledge
lies in the leaf as well as in the flesh, so it wasn't a
bit surprised when one day a grand carriage stopped in the road
beside it, and the young Countess in the carriage said that this
apple branch was the most beautiful she had ever seen-it was
spring itself in its loveliest form. So she broke off the apple
branch and carried it in her own dainty hand, shading it from the
sun with her silk parasol, as they drove on to her castle, in
which there were lofty halls and beautifully decorated rooms.
Fleecy-white curtains fluttered at its open windows, and there
were many shining, transparent vases full of beautiful flowers.
In one of these vases, which looked as if it were carved of
new-fallen snow, she placed the apple branch, among fresh green
beech leaves-a lovely sight indeed.
And so it happened that the apple branch grew proud, and
that's quite human.
All sorts of people passed through the rooms, and according
to their rank expressed their admiration in different ways; some
said too much, some said too little, and some said nothing at
all. And the apple branch began to realize that there were
differences in people as well as in plants.
"Some are used for nourishment, some are for ornament, and
some you could very well do without," thought the apple
From its position at the open window the apple branch could
look down over the gardens and meadows below, and consider the
differences among the flowers and plants beneath. Some were rich,
some were poor, and some were very poor.
"Miserable, rejected plants," said the apple branch. "There
is a difference indeed! It's quite proper and just that
distinctions should be made. Yet how unhappy they must feel, if
indeed a creature like that is capable of feeling anything, as I
and my equals do; but it must be that way, otherwise everybody
would be treated as though they were just alike."
And the apple branch looked down with especial pity on one
kind of flower that grew everywhere in meadows and ditches. They
were much too common ever to be gathered into bouquets; they
could be found between the paving stones; they shot up like the
rankest and most worthless of weeds. They were dandelions, but
people have given them the ugly name, "the devil's milk
"Poor wretched outcasts," said the apple branch. "I suppose
you can't help being as common as you are, and having such
a vulgar name! It's the same with plants as with men-there
must be a difference."
"A difference?" repeated the sunbeam, as it kissed the apple
branch; but it kissed the golden "devil's milk pails," too.
And all the other sunbeams did the same, kissing all the flowers
equally, poor as well as rich.
The apple branch had never thought about our Lord's
infinite love for everything that lives and moves in Him, had
never thought how much that it is good and beautiful can lie
hidden but still not be forgotten; and that, too, was human.
But the sunbeam, the ray of light, knew better. "You
don't see very clearly; you are not very farsighted. Who
are these outcast flowers that you pity so much?"
"Those devil's milk pails down there," replied the
apple branch. "Nobody ever ties them up in bouquets;
they're trodden under foot, because there are too many of
them. And when they go to seed they fly about along the road like
little bits of wool and hang on people's clothes.
They're just weeds! I suppose there must be weeds too, but
I'm certainly happy and grateful that I'm not like
one of them!"
Now a whole flock of children ran out into the meadow to
play. The youngest of them was so tiny that he had to be carried
by the others. When they set him down in the grass among the
golden blossoms, he laughed and gurgled with joy, kicked his
little legs, rolled over and over, and plucked only the yellow
dandelions. These he kissed in innocent delight.
The bigger children broke off the flowers of the dandelions
and joined the hollow stalks link by link into chains. First they
would make one for a necklace, then a longer one to hang across
the shoulders and around the waist, and finally one to go around
their heads; it was a beautiful wreath of splendid green links
But the biggest of the children carefully gathered the
stalks that had gone to seed, those loose, aerial, woolly
blossoms, those wonderfully perfect balls of dainty white plumes,
and held them to their lips, trying to blow away all the white
feathers with one breath. Granny had told them that whoever could
do that would receive new clothes before the year was out. The
poor, despised dandelion was considered quite a prophet on such
"Now do you see?" asked the sunbeam. "Do you see its beauty
"Oh, it's all right-for children," replied the apple
Now an old woman came into the meadow. She stooped and dug
up the roots of the dandelion with a blunt knife that had lost
its handle. Some of the roots she would roast instead of coffee
berries, others she would sell to the apothecary to be used as
"Beauty is something higher than this," said the apple
branch. "Only the chosen few can really be allowed into the
kingdom of the beautiful; there's as much difference
between plants as between men."
Then the sunbeam spoke of the infinite love of the Creator
for all His creatures, for everything that has life, and of the
equal distribution of all things in time and eternity.
"That's just your opinion," replied the apple
Now some people came into the room, and among them was the
young Countess who had placed the apple branch in the transparent
vase. She was carrying a flower-or whatever it was-that was
protected by three or four large leaves around it like a cap, so
that no breath of air or gust of wind could injure it. She
carried it more carefully and tenderly than she had the apple
branch when she had brought it to the castle. Very gently she
removed the leaves, and then the apple branch could see what she
carried. It was a delicate, feathery crown of starry seeds borne
by the despised dandelion!
This was what she had plucked so carefully and carried so
tenderly, so that no single one of the loose, dainty, feathered
arrows that rounded out its downy form should be blown away.
There it was, whole and perfect. With delight she admired the
beautiful form, the airy lightness, the marvelous mechanism of a
thing that was destined so soon to be scattered by the wind.
"Look how wonderfully beautiful our Lord made this!" she
cried. "I'll paint it, together with the apple branch.
Everybody thinks it is so extremely beautiful, but this poor
flower is lovely, too; it has received as much from our Lord in
another way. They are very different, yet both are children in
the kingdom of the beautiful!"
The sunbeam kissed the poor dandelion, and then kissed the
blooming apple branch, whose petals seemed to blush a deeper
firstname.lastname@example.org will reach me from wherever you are.
With poems from DEE DOT'S
THE ROBOT RESTAURANT
As I was going down the street, I wanted something good to eat. I wondered where to stop for lunch And then I saw a lively bunch Of robots standing in a line Outside a café with a sign That said- “All robots welcome here, Stop in for food and great root beer!” I joined the line and stepped inside- It was the funniest place I’d ever tried. I sat down in a corner spot- The waiter was a small robot. The menu left me quite confused And the appetizers I refused. Here was what the menu said: Transistor sandwich on onion bread
Computer chips and curly fries, And homemade wire and apple pies! A tender, tasty steel filet, With piston rings and soup of the day. A battery bacon burger meal With orange iced tea and lemon peel. A fiberglass and plastic stew, And a copper pizza made for 2. A tasty cake of nuts and bolts And special tasting root beer floats. I didn’t see much I could eat And so I made a quick retreat. I’ve never been back to this day, But I will remember the Robot Café!
From DEE DOT'S
(1850-1895) was an unusual poet in that he was one
of the few poets who
wrote only children's poetry. Rather
unimaginatively, he was nicknamed,
The Children's Poet.
afternoons, when baby boy has had a splendid
and sits, like any monarch on his throne, in
in some such wise my handkerchief I hold before my
and cautiously and quietly I move about the
then, with a cry, I suddenly expose my face to
and you should hear him laugh and crow when I say
Sometimes the rascal tries to make believe that he
and really, when I first began, he stared, and
and then his under lip came out and farther out it
till mamma and the nurse agreed it was a "cruel
but now what does that same wee, toddling, lisping
but laugh and kick his little heels when I say
He laughs and kicks his
little heels in rapturous glee, and
in shrill, despotic treble bids me "do it all
And I - of course I do it; for, as his
it is such pretty, pleasant play as this that I am
And it is, oh, such fun I and sure that we shall
the time when we are both too old to play the game
Dee Dot's Choice for Today
An extract from Chapter IX of
Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
At that moment the door was flung open, and a shrill voice was heard singing :-
To the Looking-Glass world it was Alice that said
"I've a sceptre in hand, I've a crown on my head;,
Let the Looking-Glass creatures, whatever they be
Come and dine with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and Me ! "
And hundreds of voices joined in the chorus :-
Then fill up the glasses as quick as you can,
And sprinkle the table with buttons and bran:
Put cats in the coffee, and mice in the tea--
And welcome Queen Alice with thirty-times-three!
Then followed a confused noise of cheering, and Alice thought to herself,
"Thirty times three makes ninety. I wonder if any one's counting ?"
In a minute there was silence again, and the same shrill voice sang another verse :-
"O Looking-Glass creatures," quoth Alice, "draw near !
'Tis an honour to see me, a favour to hear:
'Tis a privilege high to have dinner and tea
Along with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and Me!"
Then came the chorus again :-
Then fill up the glasses with treacle and ink,
Or anything else that is pleasant to drink:
Mix sand with the cider, and wool with the wine--
And welcome Queen Alice with ninety-times-nine!
" Ninety times nine !" Alice repeated in despair. "Oh, that'll never be done !"
people have read "Alice in Wonderland" but if you have never read
"Through the Looking Glass" you are missing another fantastic story by
the wonderful Lewis Carroll. He wrote it way back in 1865, my book as
you may guess is a very old hardback, and was published by William
Clowes and Sons. It is in a wonderful condition mind, and has six
beautiful sketches in the Alice in Wonderland half, but only three in
Through the Looking Glass.
Here is the story of how Valentine, had the word Saint added to his simple life "after his death."
St. Valentine's Story
Let me introduce myself. My name is
Valentine. I lived in Rome
during the third century. That was long, long ago!
At that time, Rome
was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. I didn't
like Emperor Claudius,
and I wasn't the only one! A lot of people shared
to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to
join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars.
They did not want to
leave their wives and families. As you might have
guessed, not many men
signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what
happened? He had a crazy
idea. He thought that if men were not married, they
would not mind
joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow
any more marriages.
Young people thought his new law was cruel. I
thought it was
preposterous! I certainly wasn't going to support
Did I mention
that I was a priest? One of my favourite activities
was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius
passed his law, I
kept on performing marriage ceremonies -- secretly,
of course. It was
really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit
room with only the
bride and groom and myself. We would whisper the
words of the ceremony,
listening all the while for the steps of
One night, we did hear footsteps. It
was scary! Thank goodness the
couple I was marrying escaped in time. I was
caught. (Not quite as
light on my feet as I used to be, I guess.) I was
thrown in jail and
told that my punishment was death.
I tried to stay
cheerful. And do you know what? Wonderful things
happened. Many young people came to the jail to
visit me. They threw
flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me
to know that they,
too, believed in love.
One of these
young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her
father allowed her to visit me in the cell.
Sometimes we would sit and
talk for hours. She helped me to keep my spirits
up. She agreed that I
did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and
going ahead with the
secret marriages. On the day I was to die, I left
my friend a little
note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I
signed it, "Love
from your Valentine."
I believe that
note started the custom of exchanging love messages
on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day I
died, February 14, 269
A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember.
importantly, they think about love and friendship.
And when they think
of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to
stand in the way of
love, and they laugh -- because they know that love
SELIGOR'S CASTLE PRESENTS
"Hello and Welcome to Dee and Dot's Special Choice
I have decided to give you a fabulous treat today. something
a bit different. Buttons and what else to start off with than the
The Wonderful Chick-a-boom-boom. Wow, this is great.
And after that wonderful playlist how's about some real buttons
Button, button, who's got the button? A great many people, it seems. Whether you seek buttons for an antique, art, painting, glass or just a button collection, the variety of these little treasures is remarkable. You may collect them for their beauty,
their novelty, their monetary value or just for fun. Buttons collectors
can be found all over the world and sharing and discussing this hobby can lead to broadened perspectives and new friends. Best of all, a
button collection need not be complicated or expensive to start.
Start with any buttons you may have at home.
While it is unlikely that you will find anything of major value, you
may get an idea for the type of buttons you would like to collect (a
specific color, a material such as glass, wood or Bakelite, a particular
shape or a certain image, such as animals). For help on this visit the
Button Collecting website (see Resources below).
Check Internet button display sites such as the National
Button Society website to see what types of buttons are plentiful or
rare and what they cost (see Resources below). Use the facts you find to
help you decide on "your" buttons.
Continue your research with books found at the library, local
bookstore or at the A Button Collector's Book List website (see
Collect Buttons Everywhere: if you go to the charity shops and boot fares, you can get a tin full for a few pence.
Make sure that the type of button you have chosen is easily
available. If not, expand your category to include other materials,
historical periods or themes.
Start attending live button shows held every year in most places, look them up on google and contacting other collectors near
you. If you are interested in modern buttons, you may find something
that suits you at your local fabric and craft store.
Consider joining a button collector's club.
Find one at the Button Society Links page (see Resources below).
Look for Buttons, all these buttons shown are from ebay,
huge variety of buttons to collect can be confusing. It is best to
limit yourself to one category of buttons rather than spreading your
collection out to include everything under the sun.
you decide to collect buttons for their historical value, for example
military or Victorian era buttons, be aware that these items are
expensive. If your resources are limited, choose a less demanding
I am a Virgo, and therefore I have a head start on collecting, many of the great collections of strange and weird things are collected by those under the sign of Virgo. I have a fantastic collection of marbles and a huge library of books adding at least three to it every week. They are usually very old ones, and that is why I can come up with a lot of old rhymes and stories.
But I would like to give you another warning.
PLEASE KEEP ALL SMALL OBJECTS AWAY FROM BABIES AND SMALL CHILDREN.
This is DEE and DOT'S Choice.
Watch the fish follow your mouse
Is there a difference between oatmeal and porridge?
Once upon a time there was a good little girl who lived alone with her mother at the far end of a village on the edge of a great forest.
They were happy together in their small wooden house with its thick warm thatch, although there was very little to eat. And one day her mother looked in at the larder; and there was not even as much as a dry crust of bread or a cheese rind on the shelf.
And she said to her daughter, "Esmeralda, my dear there is nothing to eat what so ever. Not a crumb. See if you can find just a handful or two of the late blackberries in the forest; or maybe a few nuts."
So Esmeralda went into the forest, and she had not picked more than six or seven late berries, and they over ripe, when there came an old woman along the glade of the forest, and she approached and said to the child:
"Sometimes when I have been sitting looking down at the village I have heard you singing at your work, my dear. And as it will soon be your birthday, I have brought you a little gift. It is this little pot. When you are hungry and you say 'Cook, little pot, cook!' it will give you as much porridge as ever you want. And when, having had enough, you say, 'Stay, littlle pot, stay!' it will stay. All you need do is to keep in cleaned and burnished and keep it safe."
Almost to happy to contain herself, Esmeralda ran home with the pot to her mother. And there and then, her mother put the pot on the table; and Esmeralda whispered, "Cook, little pot, cook!"
Instantly smoke began to rise out of the pot, and a gentle bubbling was heard, and and what was within rose to view, sweet as milk, rich as cream, and steaming hot! And presently Esmeralda and her mother were enjoying as fine a feast of as toothsome a porridge as they had ever tasted in their lives. And so it went on, day after day. But they were careful of the little pot, kept it sweet and burnished on a shelf all by itself, and never set it cooking unless they were hungry.
Once on a time however, Esmeralda went off to see her Aunt Joram who lived on the other side of the forest. And in the evening, her mother, finding the house empty and comfortless in her absence fancied a mouthfull of porridge for supper. And she put the pot on the table, and she said, "Cook, little pot, cook," and at once it began to steam and rise as usual, and the pot began to cook, and the4 porridge to come.
But then, poor creature, when she wanted the pot to stop cooking, she could not remember the magic words. The more she tried to think, the more confused she became.
"Stop, little pot! Cease little pot ! No more little pot ! Hold little pot ! . . . " Nothing had the slightest effect. The pot went on cooking, until the porridge came tumbling over the edge, and still it kept on, and ran over the table and down onto the floor, and over the bed - everywhere, everywhere, until at last the whole house was full, and then the next house, and the street - it was just as if that small pot's one desire was to satisfy the hunger of the whole world. And still the porridge came, and no one knew how to stop it. At last only a single house remained - one outside the village, standing up on its little hill like an island in one immense Sea of Porridge. And that evening Esmiralda came home.
"Oh, oh, oh !" she cried seeing the strange scene; "Oh, oh, oh !" and she ran to her mother's a mile round through the trees. "Stay, little pot, stay !" she cried and the pot stayed.
And you'll never guess what happened then.... Anyone whosoever wished to visist the village after that had to eat his way in, and then - unless he went back by the way he had come -- to eat his way out again.
Now Seligor doesn't know who wrote this story for it is just called An Old Tale, though I seem to remember a Indian story that Dadadzi sent me over from India, being very similar. I like it though, all that porridge, golly they must have been eating it for moths, maybe years.
I just popped over to wiki to ask about Sweet Porridge and it seems this could be one of their small tales.
The Dancing Monkeys
A PRINCE had some Monkeys trained to dance.
Being naturally great mimics of men's actions, they showed themselves
most apt pupils, and when arrayed in their rich clothes and masks, they
danced as well as any of the courtiers. The spectacle was often
repeated with great applause, till on one occasion a courtier, bent on
mischief, took from his pocket a handful of nuts and threw them upon
the stage. The Monkeys at the sight of the nuts forgot their dancing
and became (as indeed they were) Monkeys instead of actors. Pulling off
their masks and tearing their robes, they fought with one another for
the nuts. The dancing spectacle thus came to an end amidst the laughter
and ridicule of the audience.
Not everything you see is what it appears to be.
JATAKA TALES AND SONGS
Enjoy Eugene Fields's Poem before you meet Betushka and the Woodmaiden. Wynken,
Blynken, and Nod
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)
this he first called
A Dutch Lullaby
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe---
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
Said Wynken, Blynken,
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea---
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish---
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam---
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
'T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 't was a dream they 'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea---
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
This is just a single of Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies, this being Wynken, Blynken and Nod, by Eugene Field.
Disney made these small films in and around 1938, and I am sure if you look around this web site you will find all of the Disney Silly Symphonies. In fact I think the first of them is on the First Homepage of Seligor's Castle. Go back to the Homepage at the top and have a look.