The Disobedient Kids and other Czecho-Slovak fairy tales/Castle Bousin

Castle Bousin.

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Once upon a time, a Knight, Turynsky by name, was the owner of many castles, but he could live in only one at a time. His castle was called Bousin. There he lived with his wife and only daughter, a beautiful girl, who alas was deaf and dumb. This was the one great sorrow of her father and mother.

One day the little girl decided she would go down to the farm to see what the little lambs were doing, and how much they had grown since she had last seen them. Now the farm was a long distance from the castle and every time before, her father had gone with her, because he knew the way. But the foolish little girl had decided that this time, she would go alone. She had a fine time, running here and there, wherever her fancy led her. But the farm was nowhere in sight and she began to be uneasy.

Then she became more and more atraid. She was now in the thick woods, where there was but little light, so that she could not see whether or not there were any foot prints that she could follow.

She was lost indeed. You would not be so poorly off as she, for you could shout and cry, but she, poor thing, was deaf and dumb, so all she could do, was to run about, more and more confused. Her feet were tired, oh so

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tired, and there was no kind nurse to care for her. There was the fear of wild beasts and the darkness of evening. Then too she began to think that her mother would be alarmed at her absence, and perhaps angry.

All at once she found herself at the well. Tremblingly she knelt down for a long drink of its cool water. On getting up, she noticed two well beaten paths, but she did not know which one to choose. This made her think that not every path leads home. At the same time she remembered, that whenever her mother was in trouble or perplexity, she would go to her room and pray. So the little girl knelt down. "Oh, dear God, be good to me and show me the way out of the awful wood, so that I can get home safe."

At the same time, a humming noise sounded in her ears, clearer and clearer. She was more frightened than ever, and began to cry at what she thought was a new terror. But just as she was about to run, wonderful to relate, she saw a white sheep coming towards her from the forest.

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Behind the first sheep, trotted a second, a third, a fourth. until the whole flock stood around her at the spring. Each sheep had a tiny bell around its neck and as the sheep came there, the bells gave a gentle tinkle. But wonder of wonders, the little girl could hear them. She could now really hear.

They were her father's sheep. There was the faithful, old white dog, trotting along and wagging his tail, as he looked up in the eyes of Barta, the shepherd, as much as to say, "What's all this about?"

"Oh, Barta," she shouted, as she ran up to him, "I am so glad to see you. I was so afraid." Another wonder. She could also speak.

Barta gathered her into his arms and calmed her tears. The castle was not so very far off after all, but the little one did not know that. Her parents had been terribly alarmed at her absence, as she had never been away alone before. The servants had been sent in all directions, the father was waiting at the castle, and the mother had gone to the farm.

You can well imagine how glad the father and mother were to know that their little daughter was safe and sound at home once more, and then too, that she could speak and hear. "Oh, mother, l was so glad to see those sheep and Barta too. I was so frightened and afraid that I should never see you again."

The father and mother were so delighted at having their daughter free from all harm and miraculously cured of her deafness and dumbness, that they decided that they would build a little church at the well, as a thanksgiving to the good God, who had led their dear one safely home.

The little girl is dead now, for all this happened many, many years ago. The good Knight Turynsky, his wife, Barta and his dog are also dead. The old sheep died and after them came the little lambs. And so it goes in this world, dear children, the old die, and the young come after them.

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