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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "Prince Bayaya: The Story of a Magic Horse"

Prince Bayaya: The Story of a Magic Horse

While the king of a distant country was off at the wars, his wife, the queen, gave birth to twin sons. There was great rejoicing throughout the court and immediately messengers were despatched to the king to carry him news of the happy event.

Both boys were well and vigorous and shot up like little trees. The one who was about a moment the older was the hardier of the two. Even as a toddling child he was forever playing in the courtyard and struggling to climb on the back of a horse that had been given him because it was just his own age.

His brother, on the other hand, liked better to play indoors on the soft carpets. He was always tagging after his mother and never went outdoors except when he followed the queen into the garden. For this reason the younger prince became the mother’s favorite.

The boys were seven years old before the king returned from the wars. He looked at his sons with pride and joy and he said to the queen:

“But which is the older and which is the younger?”

The queen, thinking that the king was asking in order to know which was the heir to the throne, slipped in her favorite as the older. The king, of course, did not question his wife’s word and so, thereafter, he always spoke of the younger one as his heir.

When the boys had grown into handsome youths, the older one wearied of life at home and of hearing his brother always spoken of as the future king. He longed to go out into the world and seek adventures of his own. One day as he was pouring out his heart to the little horse that had been his companion from infancy, much to his amazement the horse spoke to him with a human voice and said:

“Since you are not happy at home, go out into the world. But do not go without your father’s permission. I advise you to take no one with you and to mount no horse but me. This will bring you good luck.”

The prince asked the horse how it happened that he could talk like a human being.

“Don’t ask me about that,” the horse said, “for I can’t tell you.

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