Read on line
Listen on line
Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "Tellerchen"



"No indeed, master. But I long to go home,—I feel as if I wanted to see my father again. If you think you still owe me any thing, please settle my account."

"Well, my boy, one can't keep a servant by force, and you fixed no rate of wages when you came to me. As a reward for the services you have rendered, you may choose from my herds two head of horned cattle and ten smaller ones."

When the boy heard this, he hardly knew what to do with himself in his delight at the thought of having earned so much by his labor. He went among the herds and flocks, looking up and down, and wondering which animals he should choose. He did not want to take the best ones, because he thought his services were not worth so much. But neither did he want to select the worst, he could not make up his mind to that. So he chose from those of medium value. He did the same with the horned cattle. But in searching his eyes fell upon an ox, which also gazed longingly at the youth. So he took this ox and a cow.

Now he had no other thought in his mind except to go to his parents, believing that his step-mother would no longer look askance at him. So he bade his master good-by and went away. Just think, the ox was bewitched, but the boy did not know it. He named the animal Tellerchen.

He reached home. His father died of joy and came to life again when he saw his son, who had grown tall and handsome, and so sensible too. But the wicked old step-mother behaved like seven evil demons,—nay, like the witch she was. The youth staid in his father's house, helped him work in the fields, drove the cattle to pasture, and made himself very useful. Whenever he went to the pasture with the cattle his mother gave him a cake; but it was made of ashes, and he could not eat it. What was he to do? At noon, instead of having something to eat like every body else, he sat under the shade of a tree and wept over his lot, but he could not bring himself to tell his father, lest he should make trouble between him and his wife.

Also read