The Louse and the Flea is a very old tale which was passed down the generations from one storyteller to the next. It was first written down by one of the Brothers Grimm in 1808.
Even the very little ones will love this story due to itís repetitiveness. They will be waiting for the creaking of the door and the beeping of the car.
But, although easily overlooked, the tale also contains a message for the storyteller.
The Louse and the Flea
Retold by Brigitte Franssen; illustrated by Jef Franssen
A flea and a louse lived together in one house.
They brewed beer in an eggshell and things were going well.
Until one day, not really far away when the flea was up on the shelf the louse hurt herself as she fell, in the eggshell.
The flea started to scream and then the little door woke up from a nice dream. "Flea, why are you screaming?" asked the little door. "Because louse has hurt herself and is very sore!" screamed the flea, in agony.
Then the little door started to creak and the broom in the corner, started to speak. "Little door, why are you creaking?"
With a squeak, the little door said:
"Have I not reason to creak!?
Louse has hurt herself and flea is screaming up on the shelf."
Then, surprisingly, the broom began to sweep frantically. A car passed by and asked: "Broom, why are you sweeping so busily?"
Without leaving the room, the broom said:
"Have I not reason to sweep!?
Louse has hurt herself. Flea is screaming, up on the shelf. and the little door is creaking."
Then, without (any further) speaking the car began to beep. Close by, was a little dung left in a heap. "Car, why are you beeping?" asked the dung, in a caustic tongue.
From afar, the car said:
"Have I not reason to beep!?
Louse has hurt herself Flea is screaming, up on the shelf. The little door is creaking and the broom is sweeping."
Then, inspired by the beeping the little heap of dung, although still very young, got the burning desire, to be on fire. His flames were getting higher and higher and a tree nearby started to transpire.
"Little heap of dung, why are you burning?" asked the tree, anxiously.
With a flaming tongue, the little heap of dung said:
"Have I not reason to burn!?
Louse has hurt herself Flea is screaming, up on the shelf. The little door is creaking. The broom is sweeping and the car is beeping."
Then, the tree began to shake and quake, so violently that all his leaves fell onto the ground. A girl passed by and frowned.
"Tree, why are you shaking and quaking?" asked the girl while giving the water in her jug a twirl.
"Have I not reason to shake and quake!?" said the tree, repeatedly.
"Have I not reason to shake and quake!? Have I not reason to shake and quake!?
Louse has hurt herself Flea is screaming, up on the shelf. The little door is creaking. The broom is sweeping. The car is beeping and the little heap of dung is burning and yearning."
Then, as if bitten by a bug, the girl broke her jug.
The water spilt on the ground and went round and round and round till there was a little spring. Isn 't that a strange thing?
"Girl, why did you break the jug?" asked the spring wanting to know everything.
The girl who had no water left to twirl said:
"Had I not reason to break the jug!?
Louse has hurt herself Flea is screaming, up on the shelf. The little door is creaking. The broom is sweeping. The car is beeping. The little heap of dung is burning and yearning and the tree is shaking and quaking."
Then the spring began to flow and flow and grow and grow, flooding more and more ground..... 'til they all drowned:
the girl, who had no water left to twirl; the tree and his shaking and quaking; the little heap of dung and his burning and yearning; the car and his beeping; the broom and his sweeping; the little door and her creaking; the flea and his screaming and the louse, who had hurt herself.
Now, before we put this tale back on the shelf let me tell you, that it was told to me by a little elf who almost got drowned himself.