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  • In the sun-dappled streets of a small town,

  • a proud mother showed off her newborn son.

  • Upon noticing his lucky birthmark,

  • townsfolk predicted he would marry a princess.

  • But soon, these rumors reached the ears of the wicked king.

  • Enraged, the king stole the child away, and sent him hurtling down the river.

  • But the infant's luck proved greater than the king's plan.

  • Years later, the king was traveling his realm,

  • when he spotted a strapping young man with an uncanny birthmark.

  • After confirming the child's origins,

  • the sly king entrusted the boy with a letter for the queen.

  • The youth eagerly set out to deliver the message

  • not knowing he was carrying his own death sentence.

  • That night, roaming bandits stumbled upon his camp.

  • Yet when they read the brutal letter, they were filled with pity.

  • Deciding to make trouble for the king instead, they scribbled a new note.

  • As soon as the youth arrived at the palace,

  • he locked eyes with the princess.

  • The two felt destined for each other.

  • And when the queen read that the king approved this union,

  • she joyfully organized a whirlwind wedding.

  • When the king returned, he was furious.

  • But he couldn't execute his daughter's beloved without reason.

  • So he devised a diabolical trial.

  • He ordered the youth to travel to Hell itself,

  • and return with three golden hairs freshly plucked from the Devil's head.

  • Only upon succeeding could he return to his bride.

  • The youth searched across the land for the entrance to Hell,

  • until he finally reached an eerie village.

  • Here, he saw some villagers gathered around a well.

  • They closed in on the youth, refusing to let him pass

  • until he answered their question: why was the well dry?

  • The youth replied, “I will answer when I return.”

  • They directed him further into town,

  • where he came across another set of villagers contemplating a gnarled tree.

  • They refused to let him pass until he answered their question:

  • why was the tree barren?

  • Again, the youth responded, “I will answer when I return."

  • These villagers guided him to the dock, where an elderly ferryman awaited.

  • As he paddled through the black water, the ferryman rasped a third question:

  • how can I escape my interminable task?

  • Once more, the youth promised, “I will answer when I return.”

  • At last, they reached a hut sinking into the swampy banks of Hell.

  • Reluctantly, the youth knocked on the rotting door.

  • The devil's grandmother answered his call.

  • She was known to help some visiting souls, and harm others.

  • The youth had just finished his story when they heard the devil's footsteps.

  • Without warning, the boy's world appeared to shrink.

  • The devil's grandmother lifted him into the folds of her sleeve,

  • and welcomed her grandson.

  • The old woman set to work, lavishing the devil with food and drink.

  • When he fell asleep, she deftly plucked three gleaming hairs from his head.

  • With each plucked hair, the Devil briefly awoke and complained about his dreams,

  • full of nearby villagers and their problems.

  • The next morning, the youth departed

  • armed with three golden hairs, and three pieces of information.

  • He shared the devil's first dream with the ferryman.

  • If the boatman could hand his oars to a willing passenger,

  • he would be free from his task.

  • Back at the village, the youth declared that there was a mouse

  • gnawing at the root of the tree, and an enormous toad blocking the well.

  • The villagers rewarded him handsomely for his help.

  • Back from his journey, the youth thrust the devil's hairs at the king

  • but his greedy father-in-law only had eyes for the gold.

  • The sly youth told the king that even greater wealth awaited him

  • across the river.

  • Immediately, the king hastened to the riverbank.

  • Eager to claim his riches,

  • he held out his hands impatiently to the grinning ferryman

  • who happily handed over his oars.

In the sun-dappled streets of a small town,

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B2 youth devil king return answered sly

The tale of the boy who tricked the Devil - Iseult Gillespie

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/16
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