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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "Rattle-Rattle-Rattle and Chink-Chink-Chink: The Story of Long Beard, the Dwarf, and the Two Sisters"

Rattle-Rattle-Rattle and Chink-Chink-Chink: The Story of Long Beard, the Dwarf, and the Two Sisters

There was once a poor man whose wife died leaving him a daughter. The little girl’s name was Lenka. She was a good little girl, cheerful and obedient and very industrious, and she did all she could to make her father comfortable.

After some time the man married again. His second wife also had a little girl just Lenka’s age. Her name was Dorla. Dorla was a lazy, ill-natured child, always quarreling and bickering. Yet her mother thought Dorla was perfect and she was always praising her to her husband.

“See what a good child my Dorla is,” she would say to him. “She works and spins and never says a cross word. Very different from your good-for-nothing Lenka who always breaks everything she touches and does nothing in return for all the good food she eats!”

She never stopped nagging and scolding her poor stepchild and complaining about her to her husband. Lenka was patient and went on quietly doing what was right, and she was always polite to her stepmother, and kind to her ill-natured stepsister.

She and Dorla used to go to spinning bees together. Dorla would play and waste her time and hardly fill one spindle. Lenka always worked industriously and usually filled two or three spools. Yet, when the two girls got home, the mother always took Dorla’s half-filled spindle and said to the father: “See what beautiful yarn my Dorla spins!” She would hide Lenka’s spools and say: “Your Lenka did nothing but play and waste her time!”

And before other people she talked the same way, pretending Dorla did everything that she didn’t do and saying that good industrious Lenka was lazy and good-for-nothing.

One night when the two girls were walking home together from a spinning bee, they came to a ditch in the road. Dorla jumped quickly across and then reached back her hand and said:

“My dear sister, let me hold your spindle. You may fall and hurt yourself.”

Poor Lenka, suspecting nothing unkind, handed Dorla her full spindle. Dorla took it and ran home and then boasted to her mother and her stepfather how much she had spun.

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