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Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "Mother's darling Jack"

Mother's darling Jack

But they could do nothing but lick their chops. Jack was shut up in the cask. As soon as he discovered that the wolves were near, he looked through the bung-hole and kept perfectly still.

The wolves then fell upon the remains of the ox and fought greedily over the bones. One, the largest and fiercest, seized a bone and crouched down with it close by Jack's cask—Jack hardly dared to breathe.

Suddenly he saw the wolf's hairy tail come through the bung-hole. Jack was terribly frightened. The tail came further and further in, and Jack grew more and more alarmed. At last the wolf shook itself and leaned further back, so that the whole tail entered and touched Jack's nose. This was a bad business! Jack trembled with fear, and in his terror clutched the wolf's tail with both hands and held on with all his might. The wolf was frightened, too, and took to flight, dragging the cask after it. You ought to have seen the wonder; helter-skelter went the brute, banging the cask against the trees, up hill and down dale. The wolf running, the cask following, Jack holding tight to the tail—that was worth seeing! Suddenly, helter-skelter the cask struck against a wall and burst open. The wolf ran on, but Jack found himself at home again, holding fast in both hands the wolf's tail, which had been torn off.

So fared mother's darling Jack. Whoever knows any thing more may continue his story.

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