Read on line
Listen on line
Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "The Devil's Little Brother-in-law: The Story of a Youth Who Couldn't Find Work"

The Devil's Little Brother-in-law: The Story of a Youth Who Couldn't Find Work

"There doesn't seem to be any place for me in all the world," he thought to himself. "They all tell me to go to the Devil—my stepmother, the farmer, and now the bailiff. If I knew the way to hell I think I'd take their advice. I'm sure the Devil would treat me better than they do!"

Just then a handsome gentleman, dressed in green, walked by. Peter touched his hat politely and said:

"Let every one praise Lord Jesus."

The man passed him without responding. Then he looked back and asked Peter why he looked so discouraged.

"I have reason to look discouraged," Peter said. "Everywhere I ask for work they tell me to go to the Devil. If I knew the way to hell I think I'd take their advice and go."

The stranger smiled.

"But if you saw the Devil, don't you think you'd be afraid of him?"

Peter shook his head.

"He can't be any worse than my stepmother, or the farmer, or the bailiff."

The man suddenly turned black.

"Look at me!" he cried. "Here I am, the very person we've been talking about!"

With no show of fear Peter looked the Devil up and down.

Then the Devil said that if Peter still wished to enter his service, he would take him. The work would be light, the Devil said, and the hours good, and if Peter did as he was told he would have a pleasant time. The Devil promised to keep him seven years and at the end of that time to make him a handsome present and set him free.

Peter shook hands on the bargain and the Devil, taking him about the waist, whisked him up into the air, and, pst! before Peter knew what was happening, they were in hell.

The Devil gave Peter a leather apron and led him into a room where there were three big cauldrons.

"Now it's your duty," the Devil said, "to keep the fires under these cauldrons always burning. Keep four logs under the first cauldron, eight logs under the second, and twelve under the third. Be careful never to let the fires go out. And another thing, Peter: you're never to peep inside the cauldrons. If you do I'll drive you away without a cent of wages.

Also read
Read
Moodua Creek
Category: United States folktales
Read times: 16
Read
Read