The Prince and the Toymaker

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Story File
9.3

Values

Sharing and Generosity

Main Lesson

A funny story to learn how and why to share toys

Setting

Fairytale land

Characters

A young prince, a toymaker and his toys

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The Prince and the Toymaker

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Cuento para aprender a compartir los juguetes

Once upon a time there was a little prince who was used to having everything he wanted. He was so spoilt that he wouldn’t let anybody have a new toy if he didn’t have it first. So, if any child in the land wanted a new toy, they had to buy two and give one to the prince.

One day a mysterious toymaker, who invented the most wonderful toys, came to the land. The prince liked his toys so much that he invited him to spend an entire year in the castle, promising him great wealth if he made him a new toy every day. The toymaker set just one condition:

“My toys are very special and need an owner who will play with them” he said. “Will you be able to devote a little time to each one every day?”

“Of course, I will” the little prince replied impatiently. “I’d love to.”

From then on, every morning the prince received a new toy. Every day it seemed that there could never be a better toy and every day the toymaker delivered a toy better than the previous ones. The prince appeared very happy.

But the toy collection kept growing and, after a few weeks had passed, there were simply too many toys to play with all of them every day. So, one day the prince put a few toys to one side, hoping that the toymaker wouldn’t notice. However, when it was night time and the prince was ready to go to bed the toys that had been put away lined up in front of him and, one by one, demanded their daily playtime. The little prince couldn’t get to sleep until well past midnight because he had to play with every single toy.

Next day, tired after all his efforts, the prince slept very late. In the little time left of the day, he had to get to know a new toy and then play with all the others too. Once again, he finished very late and was so tired he could hardly stop yawning.
From then on, every day was a little bit worse than the one before. The same amount of time but with one extra toy to play with. The prince was so exhausted and sleepy, he barely had the time to enjoy playing. To make matters worse, the toys were getting more and more angry because the time he spent playing with them was becoming shorter and shorter.

Within a few weeks later, he only had time to go from one toy to another, eating as he played, talking as he played, bathing as he played and even sleeping as he played. He was constantly changing toys, just like a terrible nightmare. Until one day, as he was looking out of his window, he saw some children playing with a stone next to the castle.

“Hmmmm, I have an idea!” he said, and he sent for the children. They turned up gloomly, wondering whether he would force them to hand over their stone, just as he had done many times before with other toys.

But the prince didn’t want the stone. Surprisingly, he only wanted them to play with him and share his toys. When they’d finished playing the prince let them take home the toys they liked the most.

The idea had worked. The prince could enjoy himself without having too many toys to play with. Even better, he had new friends. From then on, he did the same thing every day and invited more children to the castle to share his toys.

When it was time for the toymaker to leave, the 365 fantastic toys he had made had all been shared out and the palace had turned into the best playroom in the kingdom.

(Story translated by Abigail Hartnell / Julie Spink at Manchester Metropolitan University)


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