The Golden Key
Once upon a time, a little boy felt very cold. It was winter time, and snow lay deep all around. There was about thirty centimetres of snow on the ground. The little boy lived with his mother and father in a small log house near a dark forest. The house that the family lived in was cold because they had run out of firewood. The father forced his son to go outside on a sledge to fetch more firewood. The boy didn’t want to go because it was so cold but he did what his father told him. He went into the dark forest and gathered a lot of sticks and tied them together to make bundles. When he had made five bundles and put them on the sledge, he started thinking about going home but he felt so cold that he couldn’t move. He decided to make a fire to warm himself up. So he scraped away the snow from a spot on the ground where he wanted to make a fire. To his surprise, he found a tiny golden key lying under the snow. If there is a key, there must be a lock somewhere nearby, he thought. So he decided to dig into the ground. After digging for a few minutes, he found an iron chest. It was heavy. There must be precious things inside, he thought. He picked up the iron chest and looked for a keyhole. He looked on the top, on the sides and underneath, but he couldn’t find a keyhole. At last he found it, but it was so small that he could hardly see it. He put the golden key inside, and it fitted exactly. Then he turned the key around once, and it clicked. The lid opened a little bit. The little boy opened the lid fully and looked inside.
What do you think he found there? Well, the first thing he saw was some old newspaper. He was disappointed. But when he lifted up the old newspaper, he had a wonderful surprise. Underneath, he found jewels and many gold coins. He was so excited that he found enough energy to put the iron chest on the sledge next to the bundles of firewood, and he raced home as fast as he could. He showed the iron chest to his parents and they were delighted. They used the gold to buy a new, bigger house, as well as lots of firewood, and they never felt cold again.