apple with a star inside.jpg

The Little Red House


A European Fable


There are many versions of this tale. It is a story that has been passed down through the generations. 

This is my version of the fable.



Once upon a time there was a little boy who was bored with his toys.

‘What should I do?’ he asked his mother.

‘I know,’ she said. ‘You can go on a quest to find the little red house with no doors, no windows and a star inside.’

‘But where is that?’ The little boy frowned.

‘Follow the path across the fields, past the barn and over the hill to the pond where Granny lives and you will find it.’

So the little boy packed his rucksack with some milk and a biscuit and headed off down the lane towards Granny’s house.

A squawk from above in a tree made him look up. Watching him from a branch, high up was a crow and he hopped down to say

Picture via Cartoon crow by Vo

Where are you off to little boy?’ squawked the crow.

‘To find the red house with no doors and no windows and star inside. Do you know where it is?’

‘No,’ said the crow. ‘I'm sorry I don't. You could ask the cat in the barn, she knows where everyone lives.’

‘Thank you,’ said the boy and gave the crow the biscuit from his rucksack for his troubles.

After walking further up the path the boy saw the barn  and he could hear the soft purring of the cat as she slept. His feet crunched on the hay and the cat stretched her paws, stood up and said, ‘Who has woken me from my sleep?’

Black Cat by Volha Kavalenkava.jpg

It’s me,’ said the little boy. ‘I sorry to wake you would like some milk?’ The boy poured the milk from his rucksack into an old tin bowl in the barn and the cat thanked him.

‘Where are you going?’ she asked, brushing the milk from her lip.

‘To find the red house with no doors and no windows and star inside. Do you know where it is?’

‘I’m sorry I don’t, but Granny will surely know.’

‘Thank you,’ said the little boy and determined to find the little red house he strode on.

Eventually he saw Granny sat on the proch of her house in her old rocking chair knitting.

‘Yoo hoo,’ waved granny, ‘where are you off to?’

‘To find the red house with no doors and no windows and star inside, Granny. Do you know where it is?’

‘It sounds like a lovely house. A lovely colour, with no doors or windows it will be lovely and warm and the starlight would be lovely to read by. Alas I do not know where it is. Ask the old apple tree by the pond. It is as old as the stars and much wiser than I. He will know.’

Now everybody knows that trees don’t talk but the little boy knew that granny always told the truth. So he walked up to the tree and looked up, hoping it would speak. Just then a big gust of wind blew against the branches of the tree and an apple fell at the boys feet. He bent to pick up the apple and standing up he held it out in his hand and said,

‘This is red, it has no windows and no doors. Is this the house I am looking for? But where is the star? I must take it back to mother, she will know.’

The little boy ran back past Granny with a wave, crept quietly past the sleeping cat, shouted hello to the crow and arrived back home.

‘I have found it,’ he said to his mother.

‘You have,’ she replied.

‘But where is the star?’ asked the boy.

‘Ah, I will show you.’

The boy’s mother took a knife and cut the apple horizontally across the middle. ‘There,’ she said. Holding out the two halves of the apple so the little boy could see the star. It was the most beautiful star he had ever seen. Who’d have thought it lived in a little red house with, no windows and no doors.

Retold by DD Storyteller

In the true tradition of oral storytelling, please feel free to re-tell this story but please do not publish it in any written or printed form without my permission. Many Thanks.