This is the fourth of thirty-one readers used in the Veritas Press Phonics Museum program. Designed for kindergarten, this tells the story of Pepin the Short using mostly one-syllable words that have the short A, E, I, and O sounds.
Pepin the Not-Big is Pepin the Short, who ruled the Franks from 741 to 768. His father was Charles Martel, "the Hammer", who turned back the Muslims at the Battle of Tours (in central France) in A. D. 732, a victory which established the western reach of Christendom. Charles Martel held the office of Major Domus (Mayor of the Palace), an office which his son Pepin inherited, and which had become more powerful than the King himself.
Pepin worked closely with the Bishop of Rome to bring about much-needed reform in the Frankish church. When the Lombards threatened Italy, the bishop of Rome turned to Pepin for assistance. In exchange for running the Lombards out of Italy, the Roman pontiff had Pepin anointed King of the Franks at Soissons in 751, an act which displaced the long-standing but powerless Merovingian dynasty. After he defeated the Lombards, Pepin donated the conquered territory to the Roman church. This territory would be ruled by the Bishop of Rome; it became known as the Papal States, and after Italian unification in 1870, Vatican City.
Pepin married a woman named Bertha au gran pie, or "Big-Foot Bertha". Their famous son was Charles the Great, or "Charlemagne". While Charlemagne inherited the Frankish kingdom from his father, his stature no doubt came from the maternal line.