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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "Gentle Dora: The Story of a Devil Who Married a Scold."

Gentle Dora: The Story of a Devil Who Married a Scold.

There was once a young devil who, as he wandered over the earth, found a book. He slipped it carelessly into his pocket and carried it down to hell. Now this book contained a list of the good deeds of a rich man, and the account of a good deed is of course never allowed to enter hell.

The devils in hell when they opened the book were greatly incensed over their comrade's stupidity and at once they dragged him off to Prince Lucifer for punishment.

Lucifer when he heard the case shook his head gravely.

"This is a serious offense," he said to the culprit. "To atone you must do one of two things: every day for seven years you must bring a soul to hell, or you must remain on earth for seven years and take service among men. Which will you do?"

The young devil was a stupid fellow and he knew he would never be able to seduce a soul every day for seven years. So he said:

"If I must choose, Your Majesty, let it be exile on earth for seven years."

So Lucifer pronounced sentence and the young devil was driven out of hell and warned not to return until the seven years were up.

Sad and forlorn he wandered up and down the world looking for work. People everywhere were suspicious of his black face and turned him away.

One day he met a man to whom he told his story.

"And just because I'm a devil," he said in conclusion, "no one will hire me."

"I know where you can get work," the man told him. "Just beyond the next village there is a big farm which is owned by a woman. She's always in need of laborers for she has such a sharp tongue and such a mean disposition that no one can stay with her longer than a month. Her name is Dora and in mockery the people hereabouts call her Gentle Dora. Why don't you take service with her? As you're a devil, you may be able to get the best of her."

The devil thanked the man for this suggestion and at once presented himself to Gentle Dora. Gentle Dora, as usual, was in need of laborers and so she employed the devil instantly in spite of his black face.

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