In the short story "The Storyteller" by Saki, three young children are riding in the carriage of a train with their aunt. The only other passenger with them is a bachelor who is a stranger to them. The children are constantly asking their aunt questions, which obviously begins to annoy the bachelor. To quiet them down, their aunt attempts to tell a story, but the story is so bland that the children become bored. The bachelor in turn holds their attention with a story that is much more complex and enjoyable, which in the end leads to the heroine, a young girl, getting eaten by a ferocious wolf. The children like this story much better, proclaiming it the most beautiful story they have ever heard.
The children can be characterized as curious, alert, and intelligent. There is nothing strange about their questions and remarks. They are simply being observant about the world that surrounds them and want to know more about it. The story that the bachelor tells them is different than the usual "proper" stories that they are told because it is exciting, frightening, full of detail, and contains an element of violence. They like it so much because their aunt and other adults that oversee them normally safeguard them from stories like these. As the aunt says, they are considered improper and undermining. The children, however, like most children, know that there are frightful and violent things in the world, and they naturally want to know more about them.
"The Storyteller" is as much about the characters of the adults, the aunt and the bachelor, as about the characters of the children. As mentioned above, the children simply have the curiosity of normal intelligent children, but the aunt and the bachelor have very different reactions and methods of dealing with them.