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Main > Brazilian folktales > Fairy tale "How Black Became White"

How Black Became White

The same wicked fairy who had shut the little old woman's beautiful daughters up in the sacks, was leading them on.

If the little old woman had known all about the three cavalheiros she would not have been angry. She would have wanted to help them instead. The three cavalheiros were very good and very wise, so they managed to get along very well. As soon as they reached the enchanted castle the fairy showed them to their beds. She had marked each bed with a candle. No one before had ever been wise enough to blow out these candles. These cavalheiros blew out the candles and that took away the fairy's power over them. They were able to escape from the palace. When the wicked fairy came to put them in her magic sacks she found the beds empty.

The three cavalheiros took their horses and rode back by the same road by which they had come. They stopped at a little shop on a corner which was kept by a good fairy and bought one vintem's worth of ashes, one vintem's worth of salt and one vintem's worth of pins.

After a while the three cavalheiros approached the house of the little old woman and the little black boy. The little old woman was still angry because they had refused to stop and help her lift her water jar to her head. When she saw them coming she threw stones at them. Of course that was a very stupid thing to do.

When the three cavalheiros saw what was happening they were greatly surprised. They had forgotten all about the little black boy and the little old woman whom he had asked them to help. When they saw her coming with the stones they thought that she must be a wicked fairy in the form of a little old woman.

The cavalheiro who had one vintem's worth of ashes in his pocket threw the ashes at her. It became night. The little old woman came on with her stones just the same.

The cavalheiro who had one vintem's worth of salt in his pocket threw the salt at her. Immediately a sea of salt water appeared between the three cavalheiros and the little old woman. The little old woman came on with her stones just the same.

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