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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "Grandfather's Eyes: The Story of Three Wicked Yezinkas"

Grandfather's Eyes: The Story of Three Wicked Yezinkas

She screamed and tried to escape but she could not because it is the fate of a Yezinka not to be able to move if ever a human being strikes her over the hands with a switch of bramble.

So Yanechek took her two hands and bound them together with the long thorny switch while she wept and struggled.

“Help, sisters! Help!” she cried.

At that the two other Yezinkas came running and when they saw what had happened they, too, began to weep and to beg Yanechek to unbind their sister’s hands and let her go.

But Yanechek only laughed and said: “No. You unbind them.”

“But, Yanechek, how can we? Our hands are soft and the thorns will prick us.”

However, when they saw that Yanechek was not to be moved, they went to their sister and tried to help her. Whereupon Yanechek whipped out the other two blackberry switches and struck them also on their soft pretty hands, first one and then the other. After that they, too, could not move and it was easy enough to bind them and make them prisoners.

“Now I’ve got the three of you, you wicked Yezinkas!” Yanechek said. “It was you who gouged out my poor old master’s eyes, you know it was! And you shall not escape until you do as I ask.”

He left them there and ran home to his master to whom he said: “Come, grandfather, for I have found a means of restoring your eyes!”

He took the old man by the hand and led him through the woods, along the bank of the river, and up the grassy hillside where the three Yezinkas were still struggling and weeping.

Then he said to the first of them: “Tell me now where my master’s eyes are. If you don’t tell me, I’ll throw you into the river.”

The first Yezinka pretended she didn’t know. So Yanechek lifted her up and started down the hill toward the river.

That frightened the maiden and she cried out: “Don’t throw me into the river, Yanechek, and I’ll find you your master’s eyes, I promise you I will!”

So Yanechek put her down and she led him to a cave in the hillside where she and her wicked sisters had piled up a great heap of eyes—all kinds of eyes they were: big eyes, little eyes, black eyes, red eyes, blue eyes, green eyes—every kind of eye in the world that you can think of.

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