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Main > Slavic Folktale > Fairy tale "The Little Lame Fox - The Story of the Youngest Brother Who Found the Magic Grape-Vine and Married the Golden Maiden"

The Little Lame Fox - The Story of the Youngest Brother Who Found the Magic Grape-Vine and Married the Golden Maiden

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The courtiers looked at her and admired her, but one of them a little keener than the others said:

"Yes, she's very beautiful and all that but look at her eyes. They don't look like maiden's eyes but like fox's eyes!"

Instantly at the word fox the false maiden turned to a fox and went scampering off.

"See what you've done!" cried the king in a fury. "You have changed my Golden Maiden into a fox with your nonsense! You shall pay for this with your life!" And he had him executed at once.

The Little Fox meantime had caught up with Janko and the Golden Maiden and the Golden Horse. As they neared the garden of the king of the Golden Apple-Tree the Fox said:

"It would be a pity to give away the Golden Horse. Rightly it belongs to the Golden Maiden and was taken from her by her wicked mother."

"Don't give my Golden Horse away!" the Golden Maiden begged.

"But how else can I get the Golden Apple-Tree?" Janko asked.

"Perhaps I can help you," the Little Fox said. "Perhaps I can enchant myself into looking like the Golden Horse."

With that the Little Fox leaped up in the air, turned this way and that, and lo! you might have thought her the Golden Horse except that her tail was still a fox's tail.

When they reached the garden of the Golden Apple-Tree, Janko left the Golden Horse and the Golden Maiden outside and took the fox horse in to the king.

The king was delighted and at once had his servants deliver to Janko the Golden Apple-Tree.

When Janko was safely gone, the king called all his courtiers together and showed them the fox horse.

"See my Golden Horse!" he said. "Isn't it the most beautiful horse in the world!"

"It is! It is!" they all told him.

But one courtier, a little keener than the rest, remarked:

"What a curious tail for a horse to have! It is like a fox's tail!"

At the word fox the false horse changed back into a fox and went scampering off.

"See what you've done with your nonsense!" cried the king. "You have lost me my Golden Horse and now you shall lose your own life!

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