The Man with the Evil Eye

Before you read the story

Some stories are harmful. They are not true, but they can hurt people. Discuss these questions with your friends.

  • Do you know any stories than can hurt people?
  • Do you know any stories that make people hate each other?
  • Do you know any stories that make people fight each other?

This is a long story, in seven different parts. There are short questions at the end of each part. Try to answer the questions first, before you go on to read the next part.

Now read the story

Part One

It was a dark, cold night. Hannah, a little girl, sat in her house beside her mother. The evening meal was finished. The family sat together, and looked into the fire. 

Someone knocked at the door. 

"Oh! Don't open it!" cried Hannah. "I'm frightened." 

But her father was already opening the door. 

The family's neighbour stood there. 

"Please," she said, "Can you lend me some coffee? Mine is finished. I'm going to the market on Saturday. I'll buy some coffee then, and give you some." 

"Yes, of course," Hannah's mother said, and she took some of her coffee and gave it to the neighbour. 

The neighbour went away. Hannah's father shut the door and looked at his daughter. 

"What's wrong with you?" he said. "Why are you frightened?" 

"I'm frightened of our neighbour," the little girl said. "She's old, and ugly, and she lives alone." 

Her father was surprised. 

"But our neighbour is a good woman," he said. "Her life is very sad. Her husband died many years ago. Her little daughter died and her other children went away. Don't be frightened of her. She will not hurt you." 

The little girl didn't answer her father. She sat still and looked into the fire.

At last, she said, "I heard a story today. Our aunt told it to me." 

"What story?" said her father. 

"It's about a man with the evil eye," Hannah said. 

"Tell it to us now," said her mother. 

So Hannah sat close beside her mother, and began to tell her story. 

 Exercises for The Man with the Evil Eye Part One