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Main > Slavic Folktale > Fairy tale "The Silver Tracks - The Story of the Poor Man Who Befriended a Beggar"

The Silver Tracks - The Story of the Poor Man Who Befriended a Beggar


That afternoon he met his two rich brothers and told them about the Beggar.

"Silver bolts!" cried one.

"Golden horse-shoes!" cried the other. "Take us home with you and let us see them!"

So they went home with the Poor Man and saw for themselves the silver bolts and the golden horse-shoes.

"Brothers," the Poor Man said, "if either of you have time I wish you'd take these things and return them to the Beggar."

They both said, no, no, they hadn't time, but they would like to know where the Beggar lived.

"He said I could always find him," the Poor Man said, "by following the tracks of his cart."

"The tracks of his cart!" echoed the other two. "Show us the tracks of his cart!"

They went to the shed where the cart had been and followed the tracks out to the road. Even on the road they were easy to see for besides being wider than any other cart tracks they shone white like glistening silver.

"H'm! H'm!" murmured the two rich brothers.

"You don't think either of you have time to follow them to the Beggar's house?" the Poor Man said.

"No! Of course not! Of course not!" they both answered.

But in his heart each had already decided to go at once and see for himself what kind of a Beggar this was who had silver bolts in his cart and golden shoes on his horse.

The oldest brother went the very next day driving a new wagon and a fine horse. The silver tracks led through woods and fields and over hills. They came at last to a river which was spanned by a wooden bridge. It was cunningly constructed of timbers beautifully hewn. The rich man had never seen such wood used on a bridge.

By the roadside beyond the bridge there was a pigsty with one trough full of corn and another full of water. There were two sows in the sty and they were fighting each other and tearing at each other and paying no attention whatever to all the good food in the trough.

A little farther on there was another river and over it another wonderful bridge, this one made entirely of stone.

Beyond it the rich man came to a meadow where there was a hayrick around which two angry bulls were chasing each other and goring each other until the blood spurted.

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