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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

I didn’t intend to wake you, but a heavy sleep fell upon me and I had another wonderful dream. I dreamt of a boatman on the black sea. For twenty years he has been ferrying that boat and no one has offered to relieve him. When will he be relieved?”

“Ah, but that boatman is the son of a stupid mother! Why doesn’t he thrust the oar into the hand of some one else and jump ashore himself? Then the other man would have to be ferryman in his place. But now let me be quiet. I must get up early tomorrow morning and go and dry the tears which the king’s daughter sheds every night for her husband, the charcoal-burner’s son, whom the king has sent to get three of my golden hairs.”

In the morning there was again the rushing sound of a mighty wind outside and a beautiful golden child—no longer an old man—awoke on his mother’s lap. It was the glorious Sun. He bade his mother farewell and flew out by an eastern window.

The old woman turned over the tub and said to Plavachek: “Here are the three golden hairs for you. You also have Grandfather Knowitall’s answers to your three questions. Now good-by. As you will need me no more, you will never see me again.”

Plavachek thanked his godmother most gratefully and departed.

When he reached the first city the king asked him what news he brought.

“Good news!” Plavachek said. “Have the well cleaned out and kill the frog that sits on its spring. If you do this the water will flow again as it used to.”

The king ordered this to be done at once and when he saw the water beginning to bubble up and flow again, he made Plavachek a present of twelve horses, white as swans, laden with as much gold and silver as they could carry.

When Plavachek came to the second city and the king of that city asked him what news he brought, he said:

“Good news! Have the apple tree dug up. At its roots you will find a snake. Kill the snake and replant the tree. Then it will bear fruit as it used to.”

The king had this done at once and during the night the tree burst into bloom and bore great quantities of fruit.

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