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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "The Golden Spinning-Wheel: The Story of King Dobromil and the Good Dobrunka"

The Golden Spinning-Wheel: The Story of King Dobromil and the Good Dobrunka

There was once a poor woman who had twin daughters. The girls were exactly alike in face and feature but utterly different in disposition. Dobrunka was kind, industrious, obedient, and everything a good girl ought to be. Zloboha, her sister, was spiteful, disobedient, lazy, and proud. In fact, she had just about as many faults as a person could have. Yet strange to say the mother loved Zloboha much better and made everything easy for her.

They lived in a cottage a few miles from town. The cottage stood by itself in a little clearing in the woods. Hardly any one ever passed it except occasionally some man who had lost his way in the woods.

The mother put her favorite, Zloboha, out to service so that she might learn city ways, but she kept Dobrunka at home to do the housework and take care of the garden. Dobrunka always began the day by feeding the goats, then she prepared the breakfast, swept the kitchen, and when everything else was done she sat down at her spinning wheel and spun.

She seldom benefited from the yarn she spun so carefully, for her mother always sold it in town and spent the money on clothes for Zloboha. Yet Dobrunka loved her mother although she never had a kind word or a kind look from her the whole day long. She always obeyed her mother instantly and without a frown and no one ever heard her complain about all the work she had to do.

One day when her mother was going to town Dobrunka went part of the way with her, carrying her yarn wrapped up in a kerchief.

“Now see that you’re not lazy while I’m away,” her mother said, crossly.

“You know, mother, you never have to nag at me. Today when I finish the housework, I’ll spin so industriously that you’ll be more than satisfied when you get home.”

She handed her yarn to her mother and went back to the cottage. Then when she had put the kitchen in order, she sat down to her wheel and began to spin. Dobrunka had a pretty voice, as pretty as any of the song-birds in the forest, and always when she was alone she sang.

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