Femi and Simi in the forest

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Once upon a time there lived near a large forest a poor farmer with his wife and two children. The boy was called Femi and the girl Simi , but indeed the woman was their step-mother since their own mother had died years ago. They had always little enough live on, even though not a lot and once, when there was a great famine in the land, the farmer couldn't even provide them with food.
One night, as he was tossing about in bed, full of cares and worry, he sighed and said to his wife: "What's to become of us? How are we to support our poor children, now that we have nothing more for ourselves?"
"I'll tell you what, husband," answered the woman; "early to-morrow morning we'll take the children out into the middle of the forest ; there we shall light a fire for them and give them each a piece of bread; then we'll go on to our work and leave them alone. They won't be able to find their way home, and we shall therefore be rid of them."
"No, wife," said her husband, "that I won't do; how could I find it in my heart to leave my children alone in the forest? The wild animals would soon come and tear them to pieces."
"Oh! you fool," said the woman, "then we must all four die of hunger, and you may just as well go dig our graves"; and she did not leave him in peace till he agreed to get rid of the children.
"But I can't help feeling sorry for the poor children," the husband sadly told her, nevertheless.

The children, too, had not been able to sleep for hunger, and had heard what their step-mother had said to their father. Simi wept bitterly and spoke to Femi: "Now it's all up with us."
"No, no, Simi," said Femi, "don't be afraid; I'll be able to find a way to escape."
And when the old people had fallen asleep he got up, slipped on his clothes, opened the back door and stole out. The moon was shining clearly, and the white pebbles which lay in front of the house glittered like bits of silver. Femi bent down



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