The Little Spanish Dancer

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When Lira's mother arrived at the cave, Lira ran up to her and exclaimed, "Oh, Mother, I have lost the castanets! And now there will be no lesson today. She then sat down and continued to chew contentedly upon her enormous loaf of bread. But her mother's face turned white. Lira nodded and took an unusually large bite out of the loaf. Her mother stood over her, her face a mask of fear. If, indeed, you have lost the castanets, then truly you have brought misfortune upon your whole family.

Leading her mother to the rock behind which she had hidden the castanets, she said, "Look, Mother. The castanets are not really lost. I was only fooling you. They are hidden in here and — ".

Now, in those days, people believed in spells and charms, and Lira's mother was terribly frightened. She was also terribly angry with Lira. She hurried away toward home, leaving Lira standing alone, with the tears running down her plump little cheeks. She was afraid to go home, and so she wandered down to the wide beach. Here children were playing, while boys and girls with flashing eyes were swinging along, clapping their hands and singing.

Music sounded. Laughter rang. Night had begun to fall. A crescent moon hung in the sky. It was a moon that had been cut in half, and the other half was Cadiz. The air was full of dream dust, with garlic in it.


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Lira did not feel the spell of night that had settled upon the rest of the world. She was too miserable. What had become of the castanets? Had some evil power removed them from behind that rock? And if so, what frightful thing would happen to her and to her family? Gradually the people began to leave the beach and finally Lira found herself alone.

She looked out across the bay — a bay that was to become the scene of historic battles during Spain's wars with England and France. Moonlight twinkled silvery upon the water. It was very quiet. And then, all at once, Lira heard a step behind her, and a mysterious voice whispered: "Lira, Lira, turn around! Her heart skipped like a pebble across a lake.

She turned. There stood her older brother, his figure looming straight and tall in the moonlight. Lira sighed with relief. But her brother did not move. He only stood, scowling down at her. Then he continued to talk in that low, frightening voice. Lira felt the hot tears begin to sting her eyes again. So he, too, was going to scold her for losing the castanets! But suddenly he took a step toward her and, thrusting his face close to hers, said, "The Visigoths are coming to drive us away from our homes!

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Lira began to tremble. Those terrifying savages! She knew that they had been sweeping her country, destroying everything in their path.

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Now they were about to descend upon her home. And it was all her fault — hers! She sobbed and clung to her brother. And to her amazement, Lira's brother held out the magic castanets. He had been watching when she hid them. And when she had gone into the cave, he had played a trick upon her by taking them away. It was a trick that Lira never forgot — never, though she lived to be very old.

All her life she treasured the magic castanets and never again did she lose sight of them. But something else she did lose, and that was her round little figure. Indeed, she became lovely and slender. She also became a famous dancer, and one day she taught her own children the dances of Spain. Pilar was on her way to Juan's shop on the Street of the Serpents. In her hand were those magic castanets. She was taking them to Juan. She was going to sell them. She passed the lovely Alcazar?


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  • She heard the soft voice of bells from the Giralda, a prayer tower which had belonged to an ancient Moorish mosque m? In a little square, some of Pilar's friends were dancing to the music of a hurdy-gurdy. Pilar stopped. How she longed to join them in their dance! The thought came to her that she had never tried her mother's castanets. She wondered how they would sound. She fixed them on her fingers and began to play.

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    Their beauty astonished her. They spoke. They sang.

    They cried out to her feet and she danced. She danced until she was breathless and the hurdy-gurdy had gone away. So had the children — gone to their homes. Pilar was alone. She stood in the center of the little court, its white, balconied houses all around, and its ancient fountain squatting in the center.

    But to Pilar, time had not passed. She had been in a dream of music. The castanets had drawn her into a dream of music and dance. Now she slowly unloosed them from her fingers. Never had she known that such beautiful sound could come from two wooden clappers. Why, her own little cheap ones were hideous and shrill beside these speaking marvels. Madeline Brandeis. Some day she would grow up to be a great dancer like her mother and — What was that? Dear Grandfather, what is the matter? Here was an old pair of castanets, scarred and battered, not so pretty as the beautiful comb, the handsome clock, the embroidered bonnet, or — Perhaps she would sell those ugly castanets.

    Then his voice trailed off. He closed his eyes and fell asleep again. He was very feeble. Pilar kissed him gently and stole out of the house. Pilar met Juan Sanchez at the door of his tiny shop. Except as noted, text is clean and unmarked. Seller Inventory JF Pictorial Boards, Cloth Spine. Phographic Illus. Rubbed extrmities, shelf wear, owner's name written neatly on ffep. Slight discoloration to top of front cover, else clean and tight.

    Seller Inventory LSD. Condition: Very Good. DJ has a creased tear to the front upper edge, chips to the spine ends and outer corners, and light edge wear. DJ front has a trace of spotting around the edges ; Children of all Lands Stories. Dust Jacket Condition: Without Dustjacket. A good clean hard cover first edition over all, fore-corner tips through to boards, with hinges and binding solid, paper lightly yellowed with light foxing to the endpapers and fore-edges.

    Wonderful stories for children learning to read. Large type. Hardcover--quarter cloth, pictorial paper over boards. This book is in pretty good condition, some corner bumping and edge wear with board starting to show. Text is clean and solid in binding. Story is illustrated with black and white photographs.

    Photographic Illustrations illustrator. Small scuffs at corners. Pictorial Cover. This is a classic children's story of a visit to Spain and meeting a Spanish dancer. A little girl travels through Spain meeting many people, seeing the country, and learning their history. In the process she encounters spanish dancing. There are photographs throughout.

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    This copy is clean and solid with light shelfwear. The endpapers are pictorial. Seller Inventory E Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. Bookseller Inventory Originally punblished by Flanagan, copyright Dust Jacket Condition: Poor. Photo illustrations. Published by Grosset About this Item: Grosset, Condition: Near Fine. Book is stong and sound ,no chipping or marks. From: WellRead Books A.

    Brandeis, The Little Spanish Dancer, 1e

    Northport, NY, U. The Little Spanish Dancer was written by Madeline Brandeis and is illustrated with older black-and-white photographs taken by Brandeis. If so, this is probably a First Edition. It is not an ex-library copy and while the book is in good condition the dust jacket is only in good - condition, at best. Good with no dust jacket; Edges bumped, worn and frayed.

    The Little Spanish Dancer by Madeline Brandeis

    Spine covering is missing. To get started, register as an instructor to set up your course and adopt this or another title, try out a live demo , or contact us for more information about adopting Perusall in your course. Skip to content. Perusall turns often-skipped solitary reading assignments into engaging collective activities students don't want to miss. Students collectively annotate each reading — asking questions, responding to each other's questions, or sharing other perspectives or knowledge.

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