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Main > Brazilian folktales > Fairy tale "The Giant’s Pupil"

The Giant’s Pupil

The lad’s mother prepared a lunch for him to carry with him. His father sat before the door and boasted to all the neighbours that his son was going to wed the king’s daughter. Manoel took his dog with him when he went on his journey, because he wanted some one for company.

Manoel journeyed on and on through the forests and jungles and after a time he had eaten all the lunch his mother had given him when he went from home. When he became hungry he spent his last vintem for some bread from a little venda in the town he passed through. He went on to the forest to eat the bread, and before he tasted of it himself he gave a piece to his dog. The dog died immediately. The bread was poisoned.

Even as Manoel stood by weeping for his faithful dog, three big black buzzards flew down and devoured the dead beast. They fell dead immediately. Just then the lad heard voices, and soon he saw seven horsemen approaching. The men were robbers, and though they had much gold in their pockets they had no food. “I am hungry enough to eat a dead buzzard,” said the captain of the robbers. The robbers greedily seized the three buzzards and devoured them at once. The seven men immediately died from the poison.

“The buzzards stole the body of my dog, so they became mine,” said Manoel. “The seven robbers stole my three buzzards, so they became mine, too.” He took all the gold from the pockets of the seven robbers and dressed himself in the garments of the captain of the robbers because they were finest. He mounted the horse of the captain of the robbers because that was the best horse.

The lad rode on toward the palace of the king. After a time he became thirsty and pushed the horse into a gallop. The horse became covered with sweat, and with the horse’s sweat he quenched his thirst. Soon he arrived at the royal palace.

Dressed in the robber’s fine garments and mounted upon the robber’s fine horse, Manoel had no difficulty in being admitted to the palace. He was taken at once before the princess to tell his riddle.

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