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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "The Golden Godmother: The Story of Poor Lukas"

The Golden Godmother: The Story of Poor Lukas

There was once a wealthy farmer named Lukas who was so careless in the management of his affairs that there came a time when all his property was gone and he had nothing left but one old tumble-down cottage. Then when it was too late he realized how foolish he had been.

He had always prayed for a child but during the years of his prosperity God had never heard him. Now when he was so poor that he had nothing to eat, his wife gave birth to a little daughter. He looked at the poor unwelcome little stranger and sighed, for he didn’t know how he was going to take care of it.

The first thing to be thought about was the christening. Lukas went to the wife of a laborer who lived nearby and asked her to be godmother. She refused because she didn’t see that it would do her any good to be godmother to a child of a man as poor as Lukas.

“You see, Lukas, what happens to a man who has wasted his property,” his wife said. “While we were rich the burgomaster himself was our friend, but now even that poverty-stricken woman won’t raise a finger to help us.... See how the poor infant shivers, for I haven’t even any old rags in which to wrap it! And it has to lie on the bare straw! God have mercy on us, how poor we are!” So she wept over the baby, covering it with tears and kisses.

Suddenly a happy thought came to her. She wiped away her tears and said to her husband:

“I beg you, Lukas, go to our old neighbor, the burgomaster’s wife. She is wealthy. I’m sure she hasn’t forgotten that I was godmother to her child. Go and ask her if she will be godmother to mine.”

“I don’t think she will,” Lukas answered, “but I’ll ask her.”

With a heavy heart he went by the fields and the barns that had once been his own and entered the house of his old friend, the burgomaster.

“God bless you, neighbor,” he said to the burgomaster’s wife. “My wife sends her greeting and bids me tell you that God has given us a little daughter whom she wants you to hold at the christening.”

The burgomaster’s wife looked at him and laughed in his face.

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