Note: You will only see this box once.

We would like to invite you to sign up for the completely free Newsletter! Join our other 480,975 readers.

Subscribers are automatically registered to receive free teaching resources including lesson plan ideas, printables and more. Stay informed of all our new resources as they're developed...we have some exciting features coming in 2018!

P.S.. To officially become a newsletter subscriber, be sure to confirm your subscription by responding to the email we send you.

We respect your privacy!
Home Kids Safe Search for Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter! Add this site to your favorites folder Sitemap - Contents of Website Contact Us
Home of - Elementary lessons, stories, poetry, vocabulary worksheets, children's book reviews, craft ideas for teachers.
Thematic Book Reviews Fun Printable Coloring Sheets Holidays Events and Occasions Teacher Worksheets
Thematic Books Color Holiday Fun Teacher Printables
An Educational Resource Site for
Teachers and Homeschoolers
  December 02, 2023
Featured Themes

Online Short Stories for KidsOther Short Stories


Printable Labor Day Short Stories for kids - Community Helper Stories for ChildrenLabor Day Short Stories

The Smithy

The Nail

The Elves and the Shoemaker

The Hillman and the Housewife

Hofus the Stone Cutter, A Japense Legend


The Metal King

The Choice of Hercules

The Speaking Stone

The Champion Stone Cutter

Bill Brown's Test


Labor Day Short Stories for Kids
Printable Children's Literature
Theme of Community Helpers


Home > Holidays and Occasions > Labor Day > Stories for Kids > The Metal King

Short Stories to share on Labor Day
Community Helpers Theme

The Metal King

by A German Folk -Tale

Once long ago there was a high mountain whose rocks were veined with gold and silver and seamed with iron. At times, from a huge rent in the mountain-side, there shot out roaring, red flames, and clouds of black smoke. And when the village folk in the valley below saw this, they would say: "Look! the Metal King is at his forge." For they knew that in the gloomy heart of the mountain, the Metal King and his Spirits of the Mines wrought in gold and iron.

When the storm raged over the valley, the Metal King left his cavern and riding on the wings of the wind, with thundering shouts, hurled his red-hot bolts into the valley, now killing the peasants and their cattle, now burning houses and barns.

But when the weather was soft and mild, and the breezes blew gently about the mouth of his cavern, the Metal King returned to his forge in the depths of the mountain, and there shaped ploughshares and many other implements of iron. These he placed outside his cavern door, as gifts to the poor peasants.

It happened, on a time, there lived in that valley a lazy lad, who would neither till his fields nor ply a trade. He was avaricious, but he longed to win gold without mining, and wealth and fame without labor. So it came to pass that he set out one day to find the mountain treasure of the Metal King.

Taking a lighted lantern in one hand, a hatchet in the other, and a bundle of twigs under his arm, he entered the dark cavern. The dampness smote his cheek, bats flapped their wings in his face. Shivering with fear and cold, he pressed on through a long passage under an arched and blackened roof. As he passed along he dropped his twigs, one after another, so that they might guide him aright when he returned.

He came at last to a place where the passage branched off in two directions,--to the right and to the left. Choosing the right-hand path, he walked on and at length came to an iron door. He struck it twice with his hammer. It flew open, and a strong current of air rushing forth put out his light.

"Come in! Come in!" shouted a voice like the rolling of thunder, and the cavern echoes gave back the sounds.

Almost overcome by terror and shivering in every limb, the lad entered. As he stepped forward a dazzling light shone from the vaulted roof upheld by massive columns, and across the crystal side-walls flittered curious, shadowy figures.

The Metal King, huge and fierce-eyed, surrounded by the misshapen Spirits of the Mines, sat upon a block of pure silver, with a pile of shining gold lying before him.

"Come in, my friend!" he shouted again, and again the echoes rolled through the cavern.

"Come near, and sit beside me."

The lad advanced, pale and trembling, and took his seat upon the silver block.

"Bring out more treasure," cried the Metal King, and at his command the Mountain Spirits fluttered away like dreams, only to return in a moment and pile high before the wondering lad bars of red gold, mounds of silver coin, and stacks of precious jewels.

And when the lad saw all that wealth he felt his heart burst with longing to grasp it, but when he tried to put out his hand, he found that he could not move his arm, nor could he lift his feet, nor turn his head.

"Thou seest these riches," said the Metal King - "they are but a handful compared with those thou mayest gain if thou wilt work with us in the mines. Hard is the service but rich the reward! Only say the word, and for a year and a day thou shalt be a Mountain Spirit."

"Nay," stammered the lad, in great terror, "nay, I came not to work. All I beg of thee is one bar of gold and a handful of the jewels that lie here. If they are mine I can dress better than the village lads, and ride in my own coach!"

"Lazy, ungrateful wretch!" cried the Metal King, rising from his seat, while his figure seemed to tower until his head touched the cavern roof, "wouldst thou seize without pay the treasures gained through the hard labor of my Mountain Spirits! Hence! Get thee gone to thy place! Seek not here for unearned riches! Cast away thy discontented disposition and thou shalt turn stones into gold. Dig well thy garden and thy fields, sow them and tend them diligently, search the mountain-sides - and thou shalt gain through thine industry mines of gold and silver!"

Scarcely had the Metal King spoken when there was heard a screeching as of ravens, a crying as of night owls, and a mighty storm wind came rushing against the lad - and catching him up it drove him forth along the dark passage, and down the mountain-side, so that in a minute he found himself on the steps of his own house.

And from that time on a strange change came over the lad. He no longer idled and dreamed of sudden wealth, but morning, noon, and evening he labored diligently, sowing his fields, cultivating his garden, and mining on the mountain-side. Years came and went - all he touched prospered, and he grew to be the richest man in that country - but never again did he see the Metal King or the Spirits of the Mines.


Email this page to a friend Email this page to a friend


Follow Us...

Follow Us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow Us on Pinterest

Labor Day Activities for Kids-Community HelpersLabor Day Activities

Labor Day Activities

About Labor Day

When is Labor Day 2019?

Labor Day Coloring Pages

Community Helpers - Printables

Thematic Reading List

Back to School - Suggested Class Supply List

Labor Day Short Stories

Community Helpers Word Search

Fun Holiday Activities and Games for Kids


Holidays and

Teaching Themes

December Teaching Activities & Worksheets

Winter Theme Unit of Study - Winter
Christmas Thematic Unit - Christmas Fun
Christian Christmas Theme Unit of Study - Christmas - Religious Christian Christmas
Hanukkah Thematic Unit - Hanukkah
Kwanzaa Theme Unit of Study - Kwanzaa
New Year Thematic Unit - New Year
December Calendar of Events - December Teaching Ideas - Other December Teaching Ideas

Sample Thematic Activities & Teaching Ideas

Letter Activities, Coloring Pages, Worksheets and Games - Letters of the Alphabet Games
Community Helpers Games, Activities, Worksheets, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Community Helpers
100th Day of School Games, Activities, Worksheets, Books, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - The 100th day of School Activities
Seasons Thematic Unit - Summer - Summer
Seasons Thematic Unit - Fall - Autumn - Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Articles, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Fall
Seasons Thematic Unit - Winter - Winter
Seasons Thematic Unit - Spring - Spring
U.S. Presidents Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Timelines, Books, Poetry, Stories, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Presidents
Dr. Seuss Thematic Teaching Unit - NEA Read Across America - Read Across America - Dr. Seuss' Birthday
Native Americans Thematic Unit - Games, Coloring Pages, Activities, Worksheets, Articles, Books, Poetry, Lessons and Teaching Ideas - Native American Study
USA States - U.S. Geography Thematic Unit - U.S. Geography
ADD, ADHD, Literacy, ESL, Special Ed, Bilingual Ed, Gifted, Health Ed, Early Childhood Education   
Home Search About Us Contact Compensation and Affiliation Affidavit Getting Started Privacy Policy Terms of Service Sitemap is a teacher created website with elementary and homeschooling activities:
first grade, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade and sixth grade teaching materials and lesson plans.

Copyright ©1999-2020
Owned and operated by Webstantaneous Web Marketing, LLC