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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

“My dear Lukas, of course I should like to do this for you, but times are hard. Nowadays a person needs every penny and it would take a good deal to help such poor beggars as you. Why don’t you ask some one else? Why have you picked me out?”

“Because my wife was godmother to your child.”

“Oh, that’s it, is it? What you did for me at that time was a loan, was it? And now you want me to give you back as much as you gave me, eh? I’ll do no such thing! If I were as generous as you used to be, I’d soon go the way you have gone. No! I shall not walk one step toward that christening!”

Without answering her, Lukas turned and went home in tears.

“You see, dear wife,” he said when he got there, “it turned out as I knew it would. But don’t be discouraged, for God never entirely forsakes any one. Give me the child and I myself will carry it to the christening and the first person I meet I shall take for godmother.”

Weeping all the while, the wife wrapped the baby in a piece of old skirt and placed it in her husband’s arms.

On the way to the chapel, Lukas came to a crossroads where he met an old woman.

“Grandmother,” he said, “will you be godmother to my child?” And he explained to her how every one else had refused on account of his poverty and how in desperation he had decided to ask the first person he met. “And so, dear grandmother,” he concluded, “I am asking you.”

“Of course I’ll be godmother,” the old woman said. “Here, give me the dear wee thing!”

So Lukas gave her the child and together they went on to the chapel.

As they arrived the priest was just ready to leave. The sexton hurried up to him and whispered that a christening party was coming.

“Who is it?” he asked, impatiently.

“Oh, it’s only that good-for-nothing of a Lukas who is poorer than a church mouse.”

The godmother saw that the sexton was whispering something unfriendly, so she pulled out a shining ducat from her pocket, stepped up to the priest, and pressed it into his hand.

The priest blinked his eyes in amazement, looking first at the ducat and then at the shabby old woman who had given it.

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