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

Mother's darling Jack

let me alone." And so from one "Oh! let me alone," to another "Oh! let me alone," Jack grew into a big boy without having even learned so much as that a plow has handles, a mill is not a mortar, and a cow is not an ox. And he couldn't do much in this way.

One day his father was preparing to go to the fair. Every thing was ready except one pin, which had not yet been put through the yoke.

"Father," said Jack, "I'm coming with you."

"It will be better for you to stay at home, that you may not be lost in the market," replied his father.

"I want to go—"

"I won't take you."

"I will go."

"I won't take you."

Every body knows what forward children are. The instant they are told that a thing can't be had, they want to seize it by force. His father could not help himself, so he set Jack in the wagon and drove off with him to the fair.

"Mind," he said, "you must keep close to me." "Yes, father," said Jack, obediently, for the first time in the memory of the family. And until they reached the end of the village, Jack sat as if he were nailed to the back of the cart. At the end of the village he put out one foot, then he raised his head and began to look around him. Finally he stood up, leaned on the side of the cart, and began to watch the wheels. He could not understand how one wheel moved of its own accord, how one spoke hurried after another, constantly going forward without stirring from the spot, nay, without moving from under his own nose.

They reached the woods. Jack perked up his nose and stared with his mouth wide open. The trees on the right and left set out and ran with all their might, one after another. There must be witchcraft in it. Jack jumped out of the cart and again felt the solid ground under his feet. But he once more stood with his mouth wide open. The trees now stood still, but the cart moved on further and further. "Stop, father, stop, so I can see how the wheels turn," the boy called after a while.

But now his hair fairly bristled with fear.

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