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Main > Romanian folktales > Fairy tale "Tellerchen"



"Didn't I always say that there was something the matter with the accursed beast?"

"If you could have seen how he hugged and kissed him, sometimes on the right and sometimes on the left cheek, mother. I really felt as though my heart would stop beating. Then directly after he seized his right horn and pulled out some white rolls and wine, which he devoured as if the wolves were after him. I tell you my mouth watered when I saw him eat so greedily. Yet what amazed me still more was to hear the ox talk. I stood with my mouth wide open, staring at him."

"Never mind, I'll get even with him."

The step-mother did not like the ox, and urged her husband to have him slaughtered, neither more nor less. All night long she teased him about it. The poor old man told her that the animal was not his, but his son's, that he was a fine beast and might yet be very useful to them. But she would not listen, and never stopped talking until he had promised to kill the ox. Luckily the youth was awake and heard it all. As soon as morning dawned he went to Tellerchen to curry and clean the animal as he always did, but began to weep, and told the ox the fate in store for him. Tellerchen told him he must stand outside the house on the bench by the door, and when the people were chasing him, to catch him and take him to the shambles, he must jump on his back as he passed by. This was done, and after the ox had escaped he took his master to a forest far more beautiful than any the boy had ever seen. There they built huts, and lived as if they were in clover, for the grass in the surrounding meadows was so tall that a man might have lost himself in it, and was always so green and blooming that it made excellent pasturage.

One day, when the youth was sitting comfortably before his hut, playing on the flute, while the ox grazed at some distance, up came an enormous bull, so fat that his hide seemed ready to burst.

"Why did you come here, youngster, with your Tellerchen, to drink my water and feed on my grass?

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