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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

She went back to the little hut to get her supper, but when she opened the sack her stepmother had given her, instead of meal and smoked meat and bread, she found only ashes and straw and stones. Then indeed did Lenka feel deserted and sitting down she cried with loneliness and hunger.

While she was crying an old beggar with a long beard came into the hut.

“God grant you happiness, my child,” he said.

“May He grant you the same, old father,” Lenka said, standing up and bowing politely.

“Thank you, my child, thank you. And now will you be so kind as to wash my face and give me a bite of supper?”

“Indeed, old father, I’d gladly wash your face and give you food, but there’s no water here and nothing to carry it in. And as for food, my stepmother filled the sack with ashes, straw, and stones.”

“That’s nothing, my child. Just go behind the hut and you will find a spring.”

Lenka went and there, sure enough, was a clear bubbling spring and on the ground beside it a bucket. She filled the bucket and carried it back to the hut.

As she entered the door she could hardly believe her eyes, for on the wall she saw a row of shining plates, big plates and little plates, and cups, and everything else that ought to be in a kitchen. The old beggar had started a fire, so Lenka at once put on water to boil.

“Look in the sack,” the beggar said.

Lenka untied the sack again and here it was full of fine meal and bread and smoked meat!

So now Lenka lost no time in preparing a good supper. Then she washed the old beggar’s face and hands and together they ate. After supper Lenka spread out her ragged clothes on the floor of the inner room and put the beggar in there for the night. She herself stretched out on the kitchen bench. It was a hard bed but Lenka made no complaint and presently she fell asleep.

At midnight there was a knocking at the door and a voice called out:

“A man am I

Six inches high,

But a long, long beard

Hangs from my chin.

Open the door

And let me in!”

Lenka jumped down and opened the door and there before her stood a tiny dwarf with a long beard.

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