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Main > France folktales > Ourson > Fairy tale "The Farm—The Castle—The Forge"

The Farm—The Castle—The Forge

Ourson walked more than three hours before he arrived at a large and beautiful farm where he hoped to obtain employment. He saw from a distance the farmer and his family seated before his front door taking their evening meal.

He was but a short way off when one of the children, a little boy about ten years of age, perceived him. He sprang from his seat, uttered a cry of terror and fled into the house.

A second child, a little girl eight years old, hearing the cry of her brother turned towards Ourson and commenced the most piercing shrieks.

All the family now followed the movement of the children and turned around. At the sight of Ourson the women cried out with terror and the children fled in wild alarm. The men seized sticks and pitchforks expecting to be attacked by poor Ourson whom they took for some extraordinary animal escaped from a menagerie.

Ourson, seeing this movement of terror and preparation for attack, spoke to them hoping to dissipate their fears.

"I am not a bear, as you seem to suppose, but a poor boy seeking work and who would be very glad if you should give him employment."

The farmer was greatly amazed to hear a bear speak. He did not know whether to fly or to interrogate him further. He resolved, however, to speak.

"Who are you and from whence do you come?"

"I come from the Woodland Farm and I am the son of Agnella," Ourson replied.

"Ah, then it was you who in your childhood went with your mother to market and frightened all our children to death. You have lived in the woods and done without our help. Why do you seek us now? Go away and live as you have lived heretofore."

"Our farm-house is burned to the ground. I have to work now with my hands to support my mother and sister. For this reason, I pray you to give me work. I will do all you command me."

"Do you suppose, boy, that I will take into my service a villainous animal like you who will frighten my wife and my servants to death and throw my children into convulsions? I am not quite such a fool, my boy; not quite such a fool.

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