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Czechoslovak Fairy Tales   By: (1878-1944)

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Transcriber's Note

Illustration captions in braces {like this} have been added by the transcriber for the convenience of the reader.

CZECHOSLOVAK FAIRY TALES

RETOLD BY PARKER FILLMORE

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND DECORATIONS BY JAN MATULKA

[Illustration: {Two birds}]

NEW YORK HARCOURT, BRACE AND COMPANY

COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY PARKER FILLMORE

PRINTED IN THE U. S. A. BY THE QUINN & BODEN COMPANY RAHWAY, N. J.

[Illustration: Zloboha in Dobrunka's Clothes Page 192]

To MISS MARJORIE RAHLSON

NOTE

This rendering of some of the old Czechoslovak tales is not offered as a literal translation or a scholarly translation. I have retold the stories in a way that I hope will please American children. I have tried hard to keep the flavor of the originals but have taken the liberty of a short cut here and an elaboration there wherever these have seemed to me to make the English version clearer and more interesting.

I have gone to Czech, Slovakian, and Moravian sources. All these stories appear in many versions in the different folklore collections made by such native writers as Erben, Nemcova, Dobsinsky, Rimavsky, Benes Trebizsky, Kulda. They represent the folk tale in all stages of its development from the bald narrative of The Bird with the Golden Gizzard which Kulda reports with phonographic exactness, to Nemcova's more elaborate tale, Prince Bayaya , which is really a mosaic of two or three simpler stories. I have included Katcha and the Devil for the sake of its keen humor, which is particularly Czech in character; The Betrothal Gifts to show how a story common to other countries is made most charmingly local by giving it a local background; The Three Golden Hairs to contrast it with a famous German variant which it seems to me is much inferior to the Slavic version; and several fine stories of the prince gone off on adventures which in common with the folk tales of all Europe show a strong Oriental influence.

In the transliteration of proper names I have not followed consistently any one method, but for each individual name have made what seemed to be the best selection from the various possible spellings. Until transliteration from the Slavic languages has become standardized this, I am sure, is permissible and even advisable.

In the preparation of this volume I have made heavy draughts upon the scholarship and patience of my Czech friends, Mrs. Jan Matulka and Mr. Vladimir Jelinek. I beg them to accept my thanks. I am also deeply grateful to Mr. A. B. Koukol, who did me the favor of reading the final sheets. Lastly I wish to express my appreciation of the Webster Branch of the New York Public Library, which has gathered together what is probably the most complete collection of Czechoslovak literature in America, and one particularly rich in folklore and children's books.

P. F. August, 1919

[Illustration: {A house and barn}]

CONTENTS

PAGE

LONGSHANKS, GIRTH, AND KEEN: The Story of Three Wonderful Serving Men 1

THE THREE GOLDEN HAIRS: The Story of a Charcoal Burner's Son Who Married a Princess 21

THE FLAMING HORSE: The Story of a Country Where the Sun Never Shines 41

THE THREE CITRONS: The Story of a Prince Who Climbed the Glass Hill 55

PRINCE BAYAYA: The Story of a Magic Horse 77

KATCHA AND THE DEVIL: The Story of a Clinging Vine 99

THE BETROTHAL GIFTS: The Story of Kubik and the Frog 113

GRANDFATHER'S EYES: The Story of Three Wicked Yezinkas 129

RATTLE RATTLE RATTLE AND CHINK CHINK CHINK: The Story of Long Beard, the Dwarf, and the Two Sisters 141

THE BIRD WITH THE GOLDEN GIZZARD: The Story of Two Brothers 155

THE WOOD MAIDEN: The Story of Betushka and the Golden Birch Leaves 163

THE GOLDEN SPINNING WHEEL: The Story of King Dobromil and the Good Dobrunka 177

THE GOLDEN GODMOTHER: The Story of Poor Lukas 205

THE GOLDEN DUCK: The Story of Prince Raduz and the Faithful Ludmila 219

THE STORY THAT NEVER ENDS 241

[Illustration: {A serpent}]

FULL PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS

PAGE

Zloboha in Dobrunka's Clothes Frontispiece

Music Played 72

When the Boys Had Grown into Handsome Youths 80

Kubik Greeting His Old Father 126

Alike in Feature but Utterly Different in Disposition 179

LONGSHANKS, GIRTH, AND KEEN

THE STORY OF THREE WONDERFUL SERVING MEN

[Illustration: {An older bearded man and a bird}]

LONGSHANKS, GIRTH, AND KEEN

There was once an aged king who had an only son... Continue reading book >>




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