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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

"

The king seemed impressed with Janko's words for after a moment he said:

"Janko, I can't give you the Golden Apple-Tree for nothing, but I tell you what I'll do: I'll let you have it provided you get for me the Golden Horse that can race around the world in twenty-four hours."

With that Janko was dismissed and turned out of the garden.

As usual the Little Fox was waiting for him and again Janko had the shame of confessing that he had forgotten the warning about the golden pole and had been caught.

"But the king says he will give me the Golden Apple-Tree provided I get him the Golden Horse that can race around the world in twenty-four hours. I wonder, dear Little Fox, will you help me again?"

"Yes, brother, I will help you again for you were good to me. Take hold of my tail and away we'll go."

So Janko took hold of the Little Fox's tail and away they went. How far they went and how long they were gone I don't know, but it was a great distance and a long time. However they arrived without feeling in the least tired or breathless.

"Now, brother," the Little Fox said, "this time listen carefully to what I tell you. Here we are in another kingdom close to the king's own stable where the Golden Horse is guarded by thirty-six watches of twelve guards each. When night comes you must slip into the stable and pass all those guards when they are asleep with their eyes wide open and staring straight at you. When you reach the Golden Horse you will see hanging beside him a golden bridle and a common bridle made of hempen rope. Slip the hempen bridle over the Horse's head and lead him quietly out of the stable. But mind you don't touch the golden bridle! This time don't forget!"

Janko promised faithfully to remember what the Little Fox said and when night came he crept into the stable and cautiously made his way through the sleeping guards. He reached at last the stall of the Golden Horse. It was the most beautiful horse in the world and the gleam of its shining flanks was like sunshine in the dark stable.

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