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Main > Russia folktales > Fairy tale "Little Master Misery"

Little Master Misery

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"Look," says Misery, and he made himself little, little, little, and sat on the hub of the wheel.

"Look," says he, making himself smaller again; and then, pouf! in he pops into the hole of the hub.

Instantly the merchant took the other wedge and the hammer, and drove the wedge into the hole. The first wedge had closed up the other end, and so there was Misery shut up inside the hub of the cart wheel.

The merchant set the wheel on his shoulders, and took it to the river and threw it out as far as he could, and it went floating away down to the sea.

Then he went home and set to work to make money again, and earn his daily bread; for Misery had made him so poor that he had nothing left, and had to hire himself out to make a living, just as his peasant brother used to do.

But what happened to Misery when he went floating away?

He floated away down the river, shut up in the hub of the wheel. He ought to have starved there. But I am afraid some silly, greedy fellow thought to get a new wheel for nothing, and pulled the wedges out and let him go; for, by all I hear, Misery is still wandering about the world and making people wretched—bad luck to him!

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