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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

The next day the young husband kissed his lovely bride farewell and rode off to war.

Left alone the young queen strayed through the magnificent palace like a lost lamb. She would have felt more at home rambling through the woods and awaiting the return of her husband in a little cottage than here where she was a lonely stranger. Yet she was not a stranger long, for within half a day she had won every heart by her sweetness and goodness.

The next day she sent for her mother and the old woman soon arrived bringing with her Dobrunka’s spinning wheel. So now there was no more excuse for loneliness.

Dobrunka supposed that her mother would be made very happy to find what good fortune had befallen her daughter. The old woman pretended she was, but in her heart she was furious that a king had married Dobrunka and not Zloboha.

After a few days she said, very artfully, to Dobrunka: “I know, my dear daughter, that you think your sister, Zloboha, was not always kind to you in times past. She’s sorry now and I want you to forgive her and invite her here to the palace.”

“I should have asked her before this,” said Dobrunka, “but I didn’t suppose she wanted to come. If you wish it, we’ll go for her at once.”

“Yes, dear daughter, I do wish it.”

So the queen ordered the carriage and off they went to fetch Zloboha. When they came to the edge of the woods they alighted and ordered the coachman to await them there. They went on afoot to the cottage where Zloboha was expecting them.

Zloboha came running out to meet them. She threw her arms about her sister’s neck and kissed her and wished her happiness. Then the wicked sister and the wicked mother led poor unsuspecting Dobrunka into the house. Once inside Zloboha took a knife that she had ready and struck Dobrunka. Then they cut off Dobrunka’s hands and feet, gouged out her eyes, and hid her poor mutilated body in the woods. Zloboha and her mother wrapped up the hands and the feet and the eyes to carry them back with them to the palace because they believed that it would be easier for them to deceive the king if they had with them something that had belonged to Dobrunka.

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