Which country does this legend belong to ?
What did St. Peter ask the old lady for ? What was the lady’s reaction ?
Saint Peter was feeling very hungry. He saw the lady making cakes. He asked her for one. The lady made a small cake. She watched it as it lay baking on the fire. She thought it was too large to give away. Then she made a still smaller one. But she thought it was as big as the first one. Now she made another. It was as thin as a wafer. She thought it was also too big to give away. She put away all her cakes on the shelf. She didn’t give the saint any.
How did Saint Peter punish the selfish woman ?
Saint Peter cursed the woman. He said that she was too selfish to live in a human form. He changed her into a woodpecker. Now she has to keep boring the trees for her little food.
How does the woodpecker get its food ?
By boring the hard wood of trees.
Do you think that the old lady would have been so ungenerous if she had known who St. Peter really was ? What would she have done then ?
The lady would have behaved differently. She was very selfish. She would have tried to please
She would have hoped to get from him a big reward as a blessing. With this hope, she would have given the saint all her cakes.
Is this a true story ? Which part of this poem do you feel is the most important ?
It is not a true story. It is only a legend. The most important part of the poem is its moral. The saint punishes the old woman for her selfishness. She is changed into a woodpecker. Now she has to keep boring the trees for her little food.
How did the woman behave when Saint Peter asked her for a cake ?
Saint Peter had eaten nothing all day. He came to the door of a cottage. He saw a woman making cakes. He asked her for a single cake. The woman baked a small cake for him. But then she thought it was too big to give away. She made a smaller cake. But she thought it was as big as the first one. Now she made a very tiny cake. It was as thin as a wafer. Even this one seemed to her too large to give away. She placed all the cakes on her shelf. She did not give the saint any cake.
Why did the saint punish the woman ? What was the punishment ?
The woman was very selfish. She didn’t give the saint even a small cake to eat. The saint was very angry. He cursed the woman. He said that she was too selfish to live in a human form. He said that she would now live as a bird. She would have to bore the hard wood for her food. At once, the woman went up through the chimney. When she came out at the top, she was turned into a woodpecker. Now she had to keep boring the trees for her little food.