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Main > Poland folktales > Fairy tale "The whirlwind"

The whirlwind

And it spoke to him, in these words:

"Prince Dobrotek, I thank you for what you have done for me. When I was alive I committed suicide, and was therefore condemned to lie unburied at this cross-way, till I should be the means of saving life. I have lain here for seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and Heaven knows how much longer I should have had to remain, if you had not chanced to throw me at the screech-owl, and so saved the life of the poor hare. Now bury me, so that I may lie peacefully in the ground at this same place, and I will tell you how to summon the Grey Seer-horse, with the golden mane, who will always help you in case of need. Go out into a plain, and without looking behind you, call out:

"Grey Seer-horse, with golden mane! Like a bird—and not like steed, On the blast—and not the mead, Fly thou hither unto me!"

Thus having spoken, the head was silent; but a blue light shot up from it towards the sky; it was the soul of the deceased, which having now expiated its sin by its long imprisonment in the skull, had attained heaven.

The prince then dug a grave, and buried the skull. He then called out:

"Grey Seer-horse, with golden mane! Like a bird—and not like steed, On the blast—and not the mead, Do thou hither fly to me!"

The wind rose, the lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and the wonderful horse with the golden mane appeared. He flew as fast as the storm-wind, flames shot from his nostrils, sparks from his eyes, and clouds of smoke from his mouth. He stood still, and said in human tones:

"What are your commands, Prince Dobrotek?"

"I am in trouble; I wish you to help me."

And he told him all that had occurred.

"Creep in at my left ear," said the horse, "and creep out again at the right."

So the prince crept in at the horse's left ear, and came out again at the right one, all clad in golden armour. He also found himself miraculously increased in strength, so that when he stamped on the ground it trembled; and when he shouted a storm arose, which shook the leaves from the trees.

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