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Smolineck.

 
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Once upon a time, there was a little boy, Smolineck by name, who spent many happy hours with a stag which had great, big golden antlers, in fact some people called the stag, Golden Antlers, as if that was his real name. He and Smolineck lived together in a dear, little house. Every morning before going to feed on the rich and juicy grass in the meadows, he cautioned the boy;

"Now. Smolineck, be sure to lock the door the minute I am gone and no matter who knocks or how loudly, never, never, open the door."

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For a long time no one came to the door and the boy was beginning to forget that there might be danger, but one day he thought he heard some one at the door. He called out in a deep voice,

"Who's there?"

The answer came in tones so sweet and soft, "Oh, Smolineck, dear little Smolineck, open the door for us, just a tiny little bit. We will only put in our two little fingers and, as soon as we have warmed ourselves, we will at once go away".

The boy remembered what Golden Antlers had said and did not open the door. The sweet voices begged so hard, but it was no use. The door remained fast shut. It is true that Smolineck would like to have opened it, but he was atrald of what the stag would say.

That night when Golden Antlers came home, Smolineck told him that sweet and gentle voices had begged so hard, oh so hard for him to let them in, but he would not.

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"You did just right in obeying me and in not opening the door", said the stag. "They were bad, wicked fairies and no friends of yours. If you had opened to them, they would have entered and carried you off with them."

The next morning the stag, as usual, went to his pasture and Smolineck locked the door tight. After awhile, he heard the same voices outside, sweeter than before, singing the same song, in which they only wanted to put in two of their little fingers and warm themselves, when they would go away.

"No", replied the boy, I can't open the door. You must go away". But none the less, he did wish that he could open the door just a crack, so that he could have a look at the fairies. Then they began to shiver with the cold
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and begged so piteously, that Smolineck felt sorry for them and opened the door, just wide enough for them to put in their two little fingers, as they had promised.

The fairies thanked him very prettily and put in their two little fingers, then their hands, and before he knew it, their arms and legs, in fact the whole of their bodies were inside the room. In the twinkling of an eye they had seized the little chap and carried him off with them to their cave. Then he began to cry, but it was too late. He was in their power.

"Oh, my dear stag, over the mountains, in the valleys, where you are feeding, help! The bad, wicked fairies are carrying away Smolineck, your little boy."

 

Fortunately the stag was not so far away this time, but that he could hear the cry of the little boy. So away he bounded with the speed of the wind, to the rescue of the little captive. He found the prisoner in the cave where

 
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the bad fairies lived. In he dashed, caught up the boy and away he rushed. No bad fairies could catch him! Oh, how proudly he dashed along, his golden antlers high in the air. To teach the boy that he must remember to be obedient when instructions were given him, he received a whipping by the stag when they reached home. That children was to be a reminder that he should never forget again. Smolineck then determined, that he would never be caught again.

 

Unfortunately we so soon forget our good intentions, and when after a long silence, the bad, wicked fairies came again, begging more sweetly than ever before, "Dear, dear Smolineck, do, do let us in, please do. All we want is to put our two little fingers in and then we will go away."

"No", he replied, "I will not. I know what you want. You want to carry me off again."

"Oh, no", they said, "but even if we did, you need not be afraid with us, for you will be much better off than you are now. You will have plenty of good things to eat and we will play with you all the time."

 
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So the foolish little boy, persuaded himself that the bad fairies meant what they said and opened the door such a tiny bit, when in they rushed. This time as they seized him, they threatened to kill him, while they were hurrying off with him. But the boy did cry out to old faithful, "Oh, my Gold Antlers, far behind the mountains and in the deep valleys where you are feeding, the bad fairies are carrying off your little boy."

But this time his cry brought no response, for the stag was a long ways off, so that he could not hear him. Little Smolineck was very well all in the cave, as far as good things to eat were concerned, for he had all the sweets and dainties that he could possibly desire. But he did not know that he was being stuffed, so that he might be fat enough for the bad fairies to make a meal of, just as the old farmer fattens his turkeys for Thanksgiving. The fairies shut him up in a room all by himself and no one ever came to play with him. After he had been there many days, they looked at his little finger to see if he was fat enough for their dinner. Poor little chap, he

 
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had no idea of what they were going to do with him now, as they undressed him and put him in a trough. But when a big fire was lighted, then he knew that he was going to be cooked for the bad fairies dinner!

He begged for mercy, but it was no use. Then he did cry out, loud to Golden Antlers way off in the deep valleys and over the lofty mountains, that they were carrying Smolineck off on a journey from which there would be no return for him.

All at once he heard the joyful, hurrying feet, as old Antlers dashed into the room, gathered the boy up on his broad horns and flew like the wind to the home far away in the woods, over the rivers and streams till their rapid flight was ended.

 
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Once more they were at home safe. I think that Smolineck deserved the good spanking he got. He promised that he would never again open to fairies or any one else, however pitifully or sweetly they sang. From that time on, little Smolineck was the most obedient of all little boys.
 
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