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Main > Czechoslovak folktale > Fairy tale "The Devil's Match: The Story of a Farmer Who Remembered What His Grandmother Told Him"

The Devil's Match: The Story of a Farmer Who Remembered What His Grandmother Told Him

"It will never do for people to get the idea that devils are such fools."

"But I tell you I won't dare him to another wrestling match," the young devil said, "nor to a foot race, either."

"Try whistling this time," his comrades told him. "You ought to be able to beat him whistling. Now have your wits about you and don't let him fool you again."

So the devil went back to earth and said to the farmer:

"We've got to have another contest for that bag of money. This time let's try whistling."

"Very well," the farmer said. "We'll have a whistling match."

They went off into the forest and the farmer told the devil to whistle first.

The devil whistled and all the leaves on the trees shook and trembled. He whistled again and the twigs began to crackle and break. He whistled a third time and big branches snapped off and fell to the ground.

"There!" the devil exclaimed, "Can you beat that?"

"My poor boy," the farmer said. (Oh, but that farmer was a tricky one!) "Is that the best you can do? Why, when I whistle, if you don't cover up your ears you'll be deafened! And as likely as not a tree will fall on you and kill you! Now shall I begin? "

"Wait a minute!" the devil begged. "Won't you please tie up my ears before you begin because I don't want to be deafened."

This was just what the farmer was hoping the devil would say. So he took out a big kerchief and put it over the devil's ears and also over his eyes and tied it behind in a hard knot.

"Now then!" he shouted. "Take care!"

With that he began to whistle and as he whistled he picked up a big branch off the ground and gave the devil an awful crack over the head.

"My head! My head!" the devil cried.

"My poor fellow!" the farmer said, pretending to be very sympathetic. "I hope that tree as it fell down didn't hurt you! Now I'm going to whistle again and you must be more careful."

This time when he whistled the farmer struck the devil over the head harder than before.

"That's enough!" the devil shouted. "Another tree has fallen on me!

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