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Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "Mogarzea and his son"

Mogarzea and his son

There was once a young lad who had neither father nor mother. Every thing his parents had left him was in the care of guardians, and at last he could bear their unjust reproaches no longer, but went out into the wide world, entered a path leading to a glade in the forest, and followed it a long way.

When, in the evening, he grew tired and found no place to rest, he climbed a hill and gazed around him in every direction to try to discover a light; after a long search he saw the flicker of a tiny spark and went toward it. He walked and walked half the night, then he came to a huge fire, by which a man as big as a giant was sleeping. What was the youth to do? After thinking a while, he crept into one leg of the man's trowsers and spent the rest of the night there.

When the man rose the next morning, to his great astonishment, he saw the youngster drop out of his breeches.

"Where did you come from?" he asked.

"I was sent to you for a son last night," replied the lad.

"If that is true," said the big man, "you may tend my sheep, and I'll give you something to eat, but beware that you don't cross the boundaries, or woe betide you!"

He pointed out to the boy the end of his land, and then added:

"God be with you!"

The lad tended the flock all day, and when he returned in the evening found the fire lighted, and helped the giant milk the sheep.

After their work was done, they sat down to supper, and while they were eating the boy asked:

"What is your name, father?"

"Mogarzea," replied the big fellow.

"I wonder you don't get tired of staying here alone in this wilderness."

"Then you wonder without cause. Don't you know that the bear never dances willingly?"

"Yes, you're right there," replied the boy. "But I see that you are always dull and sad. Tell me your story, father."

"What can be the use of telling you things that would make you sorrowful too?"

"Never mind, I should like to know them. Are you not my father? Do you suppose you have me as a son for nothing?"

"Well then, if that's true and you wish it, listen to my story.

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