Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

The Golden Blackbird
by [?]

Once upon a time there was a great lord who had three sons. He fell very ill, sent for doctors of every kind, even bonesetters, but they, none of them, could find out what was the matter with him, or even give him any relief. At last there came a foreign doctor, who declared that the Golden Blackbird alone could cure the sick man.

So the old lord despatched his eldest son to look for the wonderful bird, and promised him great riches if he managed to find it and bring it back.

The young man began his journey, and soon arrived at a place where four roads met. He did not know which to choose, and tossed his cap in the air, determining that the direction of its fall should decide him. After travelling for two or three days, he grew tired of walking without knowing where or for how long, and he stopped at an inn which was filled with merrymakers and ordered something to eat and drink.

‘My faith,’ said he, ‘it is sheer folly to waste more time hunting for this bird. My father is old, and if he dies I shall inherit his goods.’

The old man, after waiting patiently for some time, sent his second son to seek the Golden Blackbird. The youth took the same direction as his brother, and when he came to the cross roads, he too tossed up which road he should take. The cap fell in the same place as before, and he walked on till he came to the spot where his brother had halted. The latter, who was leaning out of the window of the inn, called to him to stay where he was and amuse himself.

‘You are right,’ replied the youth. ‘Who knows if I should ever find the Golden Blackbird, even if I sought the whole world through for it. At the worst, if the old man dies, we shall have his property.’

He entered the inn and the two brothers made merry and feasted, till very soon their money was all spent. They even owed something to their landlord, who kept them as hostages till they could pay their debts.

The youngest son set forth in his turn, and he arrived at the place where his brothers were still prisoners. They called to him to stop, and did all they could to prevent his going further.

‘No,’ he replied, ‘my father trusted me, and I will go all over the world till I find the Golden Blackbird.’

‘Bah,’ said his brothers, ‘you will never succeed any better than we did. Let him die if he wants to; we will divide the property.’

As he went his way he met a little hare, who stopped to look at him, and asked:

‘Where are you going, my friend?’

‘I really don’t quite know,’ answered he. ‘My father is ill, and he cannot be cured unless I bring him back the Golden Blackbird. It is a long time since I set out, but no one can tell me where to find it.’

‘Ah,’ said the hare, ‘you have a long way to go yet. You will have to walk at least seven hundred miles before you get to it.’

‘And how am I to travel such a distance?’

‘Mount on my back,’ said the little hare, ‘and I will conduct you.’

The young man obeyed: at each bound the little hare went seven miles, and it was not long before they reached a castle that was as large and beautiful as a castle could be.

‘The Golden Blackbird is in a little cabin near by,’ said the little hare, ‘and you will easily find it. It lives in a little cage, with another cage beside it made all of gold. But whatever you do, be sure not to put it in the beautiful cage, or everybody in the castle will know that you have stolen it.’