Why didn't the story end with a happy ending
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I don't think that the ending is especially unhappy. The children love this story, even though in the beginning they thought it would be horrible, as it started like their aunt's story. They appreciate the realness of the story that lacked in the tale of their aunt. The aunt, however, finds the story "most improper" to tell to young children. The man points out, that unlike her, he was at least capable of keeping the kids silent for ten minutes.The aunt might have learned something!