The Beast Slayer
Once upon a time there was a man and his wife who were very poor. The man earned his living making wooden bowls and platters to sell and worked early and late, but wooden bowls and platters were so very cheap that he could barely support his family no matter how hard he worked. The man and his wife were the parents of three lovely daughters. They were all exceedingly beautiful, and the man and his wife often lamented the fact that they did not have money enough to educate them and clothe them fittingly.
One day there came to the door of the poor man’s house a handsome young man mounted on a beautiful horse. He asked to buy one of the poor man’s daughters. The father was very much shocked at this request. “I may be poor,” said he, “but I am not so poor that I have to sell my children.”
The young man, however, threatened to kill him if he refused to do his bidding; so finally, after a short struggle, the father consented to part with his eldest daughter. He received a great sum of money in return.
The father was now a rich man and did not wish to make bowls and platters any longer. His wife, however, urged him to keep on with his former occupation. Accordingly he went on with his work. The very next day there came to his door another young man, even handsomer than the other, mounted upon even a finer horse. This young man made the same request that the other had done. He wanted to buy one of the daughters.
The father burst into tears and told all the dreadful happenings of the day before. The young man, however, showed no pity and continued to demand one of the daughters. He made fearful threats if the man would not yield to his request, and the father became so frightened that he at length parted with his second daughter. The first young man had paid a great sum of money, but this one paid even more.
Though he was now very rich the father still went on making bowls and platters to please his wife. The next day when he was at work the handsomest young man he had ever seen appeared riding upon a most beautiful steed.
The three Daughters of the King of the East, and the Son of a King in Erin
Category: Irish folktales
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