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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

" And he ordered the courtier to be executed at once.

The Fox soon caught up with the real Golden Horse and with Janko and the Golden Maiden who were holding in their arms the Golden Cradle and the Golden Apple-Tree.

"It will never do to give up the Golden Apple-Tree," the Fox said, "for it, too, rightly belongs to the Golden Maiden. I'll have to see again if I can help you."

So when they neared the garden of the Magic Grape-Vine, the Little Fox leaped in the air, turned this way; and that, and lo! you might have thought her the Golden Apple-Tree except that her fruit instead of being round was long and pointed like a fox's head.

Janko gave the king the fox tree and received in return the Magic Grape-Vine that really belonged to his father and not to the king at all. He hurried back to the Golden Maiden who was waiting for him with the Golden Horse and the Golden Apple-Tree and the Golden Cradle and off they all went.

The king was delighted with his fox tree and called his courtiers to come and admire it.

"Beautiful! Beautiful!" they all said, and one of them examining the fruit carefully remarked:

"But see these apples! They are not round like apples but long and pointed like a fox's head!"

He had no sooner said the word fox than the tree turned into a fox and went scampering off.

"See what you've done with your nonsense!" cried the king. "You have lost me my Golden Apple-Tree and now I shall lose you your head!" And he ordered the courtier to be executed at once.

When the Fox caught up with the Golden Horse, she said to Janko:

"Now, my brother, it is time for us to part. You have the Magic Grape-Vine and soon your father's left eye will no longer weep. Besides, you are carrying home the Golden Maiden on her own Golden Horse and with her Golden Apple-Tree and her Golden Cradle. God has blessed you in your undertaking and will continue to bless you so long as you are good and kind. Farewell now and think sometimes of your sister, the Little Lame Fox."

Janko wept at thought of parting with the Little Fox and the Little Fox promised him that she would help him again if ever he needed her.

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