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Main > Portuguese folktales > Fairy tale "Manoel Littlebean"

Manoel Littlebean

The wolf was just as uncomfortable as the goat had been.

"What is the matter with me?" thought the wolf. "Never in my life have I had such a stomachache. I believe I'm going to die."

He ran away into the forest and crept into a cave to await his end. Inside the cave was a robbers' den. Three of the robbers were there counting over the gold they had just brought back.

When they saw the wolf they were so frightened that they dropped their bags of gold and ran away as fast as they could, leaving everything behind them.

Manoel Littlebean guessed that he was making the wolf sick.

"If I can only make him so ill that he will spit me up!" said Manoel to himself as he jumped about his liveliest.

That is exactly what happened. The wolf spit Manoel Littlebean out.

He was decidedly dirty and unattractive, but he didn't mind in the least. He saw the quantities of gold in the robbers' cave and his eyes shone.

"If I can only find my way home to tell my father about it, he will be a rich man!" he cried.

It was a long distance home and several times he thought that he had lost his way. Finally, however, he saw his own mother's light in the window. He ran toward it as fast as he could run.

"Manoel Littlebean, what have you been doing?" cried his mother when she saw him. "Where did you get so dirty? Come, let me give you a bath the first thing!"

"Never mind about the bath, mother," said Manoel. "I have more important things to attend to. Where is father?"

His mother called her husband and they both forgot how dirty the child was when they heard his story.

"Let us hurry to the robbers' cave, father," he said. "We must get there before they return."

"What about the wolf?" asked his mother anxiously.

Manoel Littlebean laughed.

"The wolf doesn't have any stomachache now," he said. "He went home long ago."

They went to the robbers' cave and brought home the huge sacks full of gold. It was enough to make them live like princes for a lifetime.

"I have the best and cleverest son in the world," said the father.

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