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Main > Portuguese folktales > Fairy tale "Fresh Figs"

Fresh Figs

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That is exactly what the rich man did. The poor youth tried in vain to catch the rabbits. He got very tired and hot; and, foolish as he was, he knew enough to realize that the task set for him was quite impossible.

Suddenly he saw the woman dressed in blue standing before him with the child in her arms.

"What is the matter?" she asked him.

The boy told her how he would lose his life if he did not catch the rabbits and bring them back to the rich man at nightfall.

The woman cut a reed and made a pipe of it.

"Play on this pipe," she said, "and the rabbits will come back to you of their own accord."

The youth played such sweet music on his pipe that the two rabbits came running up to him immediately. It was all he could do to keep away the other beasts and birds. Everything which heard the music was charmed by it.

On his way back to the rich man's house he met two men who had been sent to kill him. No one had dreamed, of course, that he'd really catch the rabbits. The two men were so surprised when they saw them in the bag that their eyes stuck out. The rich man was even more amazed.

As for the little maid who had been sick, when she heard the sweet music which the youth played upon the pipe, she was quite ready to marry him. The wedding was celebrated with great joy.

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