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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "The Flaming Horse: The Story of a Country Where the Sun Never Shines"

The Flaming Horse: The Story of a Country Where the Sun Never Shines

Instantly the seer leaped out from under the bridge and demanded of the king how he dared to call him a scoundrel. Clamoring for satisfaction he drew his sword and attacked the king. The king, too, drew sword and defended himself, but after a short struggle he fell from his horse dead. The seer bound the dead king to his horse and then with a cut of the whip started the horse homewards.

The seer hid himself again and he and his man lay in wait until the next evening.

On that evening near sunset the second king came riding up to the bridge. When he saw the ground sprinkled with blood, he cried out: “Surely there has been a murder here! Who has dared to commit such a crime in my kingdom!”

At these words the seer leaped out from under the bridge, drew his sword, and shouted: “How dare you insult me? Defend yourself as best you can!”

The king drew, but after a short struggle he, too, yielded up his life to the sword of the seer.

The seer bound the dead king to his horse and with a cut of the whip started the horse homewards.

Then the seer hid himself again under the bridge and he and his man lay there in wait until the third evening.

On the third evening just at sunset the youngest king came galloping home on the flaming steed. He was hurrying fast because he had been delayed. But when he saw red blood at the bridge he stopped short and looked around.

“What audacious villain,” he cried, “has dared to kill a man in my kingdom!”

Hardly had he spoken when the seer stood before him with drawn sword demanding satisfaction for the insult of his words.

“I don’t know how I’ve insulted you,” the king said, “unless you’re the murderer.”

When the seer refused to parley, the king, too, drew his sword and defended himself.

To overcome the first two kings had been mere play for the seer, but it was no play this time. They both fought until their swords were broken and still victory was doubtful.

“We shall accomplish nothing with swords,” the seer said. “That is plain. I tell you what: let us turn ourselves into wheels and start rolling down the hill and the wheel that gets broken let him yield.

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