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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "The Three Golden Hairs: The Story of a Charcoal-Burner's Son Who Married a Princess"

The Three Golden Hairs: The Story of a Charcoal-Burner's Son Who Married a Princess

Nay, if he were already dead, this water, sprinkled upon him, would bring him back to life. But, alas, for twenty years now the well has gone dry. If you promise to ask Grandfather Knowitall if there is help for us, I will reward you handsomely.”

Plavachek gave the king his promise and the king bid him godspeed.

After that Plavachek traveled long and far into a black forest. Deep in the forest he came upon a broad green meadow full of beautiful flowers and in its midst a golden palace glittering as though it were on fire. This was the palace of Grandfather Knowitall.

Plavachek entered and found nobody there but an old woman who sat spinning in a corner.

“Welcome, Plavachek,” she said. “I am delighted to see you again.”

He looked at the old woman and saw that she was his godmother with whom he had spent the night when he was carrying the letter to the palace.

“What has brought you here, Plavachek?” she asked.

“The king, godmother. He says I can’t be his son-in-law for nothing. I have to give a dowry. So he has sent me to old Grandfather Knowitall to get three of his golden hairs.”

The old woman smiled and said: “Do you know who Grandfather Knowitall is? Why, he’s the bright Sun who goes everywhere and sees everything. I am his mother. In the morning he’s a little lad, at noon he’s a grown man, and in the evening an old grandfather. I will get you three of the golden hairs from his golden head, for I must not be a godmother for nothing! But, my lad, you mustn’t remain where you are. My son is kind, but if he comes home hungry he might want to roast you and eat you for his supper. There’s an empty tub over there and I’ll just cover you with it.”

Plavachek begged his godmother to get from Grandfather Knowitall the answers for the three questions he had promised to ask.

“I will,” said the old woman, “and do you listen carefully to what he says.”

Suddenly there was the rushing sound of a mighty wind outside and the Sun, an old grandfather with a golden head, flew in by the western window.

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