Under The Willow Tree
He didn't even pay any attention when he ran the awl deep into one of his fingers. He was determined that he would not play the silent lover, like the two gingerbread cakes. The story had taught him a lesson.
Now he was a journeyman, and his knapsack was packed ready for his trip. At last, for the first time in his life, he was to go to Copenhagen, where a master was already expecting him. How surprised and happy Johanne would be to see him! She was just seventeen now, and he nineteen.
He wanted to buy a gold ring for her before he left Kjöge, but then decided he could get a much nicer one in Copenhagen. And so he took leave of his parents, and on a rainy, windy day in autumn set forth on foot from the town of his birth. The damp leaves were dropping from the trees, and he was wet to the skin when he arrived at his new master's home in the big city of Copenhagen. The following Sunday he would pay a visit to Johanne's father!
So, on Sunday he put on the new journeyman's clothes, and the new hat from Kjöge that became him very well, for till then he had only worn a cap. He easily found the house he was seeking, and mounted flight after flight of stairs until he became almost dizzy. It seemed terrible to him for people to live piled up on top of each other in this intricate city.
Everything in the parlor looked prosperous, and Johanne's father received him in kindly friendship. Knud was a stranger to the new wife, but she too shook hands with him and gave him a cup of coffee.
"Johanne will be glad to see you," said the father. "You've grown into a nice-looking young man. Yes, wait till you see her. There is a girl who rejoices my heart, and please God she will rejoice it still more. She has her own room now and pays us rent regularly for it!"
Then he knocked quite politely at his daughter's door, as if he were a stranger, and they went in.
Oh, how pretty it was! he was certain there wasn't such a lovely room in all Kjöge; the Queen herself could not be more charmingly lodged.
The Three Men of Power—Evening, Midnight, and Sunrise
Category: Russia folktales
Read times: 3