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Literature / The Jezinkas

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The Jezinkas is a Czech Fairy Tale.

Johnny, an orphan, goes looking for work, and finds none until he finds a man with his eyes gouged out, lamenting to his goats that he can't pasture them. Johnny takes on the job, and the old man warns him against a certain hill; if he takes them there, the jezinkas will gouge out his eyes. Johnny goes there anyway, taking along three brambles.

The jezinkas come, offering him an apple, then a rose, and finally to comb his hair. This last one, he traps with a bramble. When the other two try to free her, he traps them as well. He demands they give back his master's eyes, or he will throw them into the river to drown. They agree, but the first two try to give him the wrong eyes, which saw nothing but owls, or nothing but wolves, and he drowns them. The third gives him one wrong set, which see nothing but pike, but begs and pleads, and then gives him the right one and troubles them no more when he pastures the goats on the hill.


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