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Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "Tellerchen"

Tellerchen

He had no comfort at home, no companions abroad, and so he grew sad and thoughtful. One day, when he was crying with hunger, and even the herdsmen who had left their oxen were eating, Tellerchen suddenly began to speak and said:

"Master, don't grieve any longer, throw the ash-cake away, seize my right horn, and eat and drink what you will find there."

"Why, Tellerchen," replied the youth, "there must be witchcraft about you too. Where was such a thing ever heard of, and how long have you been able to talk?"

"Mind what I tell you. I see you are an excellent lad, and I am sorry you should weep your youth away. Just try my advice, and you'll see that it will be profitable to you."

And it was. The youth seized Tellerchen's right horn. Behold what happened! He drew out a roll as white as snow, and a glass of wine which would have made any one's mouth water. The lad ate and drank.

The step-mother noticed that the youth's face had grown fuller, that he was in good spirits, and did all his work cheerily. Instead of seeing him grow thinner day by day, as she had expected, he constantly gained flesh. She soon discovered that Tellerchen must be at the bottom of the mystery, for she perceived that the boy took much better care of him than of the other cattle. How should she manage to find out what he did and ate in the woods? She secretly sent her daughter after him, and ordered her to watch what the youth did while pasturing the cattle. The girl followed her step-brother without his knowledge, watched him, returned to her mother and said, "Mother, what I have seen to-day is beyond telling!"

"You met the Wood Witch?"

"A wrong guess," the daughter replied.

"You have seen a wizard, a dragon, or a griffin?"

"No indeed! Heaven forbid!"

"Or did a handsomer, richer, and more sensible youth follow you?"

"What an idea! But it's useless for you to rack your brains, you can't guess."

"Then tell me what you saw, and don't chatter about it any longer."

"Mother, my step-brother's ox is enchanted.

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