Anthropology > Book > THE THREE BROTHERS Serbian folktale (Translation: Cedomilj Mijatovic). (All)
THE THREE BROTHERS Serbian folktale (Translation: Cedomilj Mijatovic) There was once upon a time an old man whose family consisted of his wife, three sons, and a daughter. They were exceedingly po... or, and finding that they could not possibly all live at home, the three sons and the daughter went out into the world in different directions to find some means of living. Thus the old man and his wife remained alone... In the mean-time the sons and the daughter had been working each in a different part of the world. When, however, they had been away from their home nine years, they all, as if by common consent, conceived an ardent desire to go hack once more to their father's house. So they took the whole of the savings which they had laid up in their nine years' service, and commenced their journeys home-wards. On his travels the eldest brother met with three gypsies, who were teaching a young bear to dance by putting him on a red-hot plate of iron. He felt compassion for the creature in its sufferings, and asked the gypsies why they were thus tormenting the animal. 'Better,' he said, 'let me have it, and I will give you three pieces of silver for it!' The gypsies accepted the offer eagerly, took, the three pieces of silver, and gave him the bear. Traveling farther on he met with some huntsmen who had caught a young wolf, which they were about to kill. He offered them, also, three pieces of silver for the animal, and they, pleased to get so much, readily sold it. A little further still he met some shepherds, who were about to hang a little dog. He was sorry for the poor brute, and offered to give them two pieces of silver if they would give the dog to him, and this they very gladly agreed to. So he traveled on homeward, attended by the young bear, the wolf-cub, and the little dog. As all his nine years' savings had amounted only to nine pieces of silver, he had not but a single piece left. Before he reached his father's house he met some boys who were about to drown a cat. He offered them his last piece of money if they would give him the cat, and they were content with the bargain and gave it up to him. So, at last, he arrived at his home without any money, but with a bear, a wolf, a dog, and a cat. Just so, it had happened with the other two brothers. By their nine years' work they had only saved nine pieces of silver, and on their way home they had spent them in ransoming animals, exactly as the eldest brother had done. The sister, in her nine years' service, had saved only five pieces of money. As she traveled homeward she met with a hedgehog who was buying from a mouse its iron teeth, offering in exchange for them its bone teeth and two pieces of money besides. When she had listened a while to their bargaining, she said to the mouse, 'My dear little mouse, I offer you the hedgehog's teeth and three pieces of silver besides!' [Show More]
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