Site Map
Czechoslovak Tales
Section › 28 Set Search Previous Next

Reservations Contents  

Terribe Kuratko: The Story of an Ungrateful Chick

There was once an old couple who had no children.

"If only we had a chick or a child of our own!" Grandmother used to say. "Think how we could pet it and take care of it!"

But Grandfather always answered: "Not at all! We are very well off as we are."

At last the old black hen in the barnyard hatched out a chick. Grandmother was delighted.

"See, Grandpa," she said, "now we have a chick of our own!"

But Grandfather shook his head doubtfully.

"I don't like the looks of that chick. There's something strange about it."

But Grandmother wouldn't listen. To her the chick seemed everything it should be. She called it Kuratko and petted it and pampered it as though it were an only child.

Kuratko grew apace and soon he developed an awful appetite.

"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" he shouted at all hours of the day. "I'm hungry! Give me something to eat!"

"You mustn't feed that chick so much!" Grandfather grumbled. "He's eating us out of house and home."

But Grandmother wouldn't listen. She fed Kuratko and fed him till sure enough there came a day when there was nothing left for herself and the old man.

That was a nice how-do-you-do! Grandmother sat working at her spinning-wheel trying to forget that she was hungry, and Grandfather sat on his stool nearby too cross to speak to her.

And then, quite as though nothing were the matter, Kuratko strutted into the room, flapped his wings, and crowed:

"Cock-a-doodle-doo! I'm hungry! Give me something to eat!"

"Not another blessed thing will I ever feed you, you greedy chick!" Grandfather shouted.

"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" Kuratko answered. "Then I'll just eat you!"

With that he made one peck at Grandfather and swallowed him down, stool and all!

"Oh, Kuratko!" Grandmother cried. "Where's Grandpa?"

"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" Kuratko remarked. "I'm still hungry. I think I'll eat you!"

And with that he made one peck at Grandmother and swallowed her down, spinning-wheel and all!

Then that terrible chick went strutting down the road, crowing merrily!

He met a washerwoman at work over her wash-tub.

"Good gracious, Kuratko!" the woman cried. "What a great big crop you've got!"

"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" Kuratko said. "I should think my crop was big, for haven't I just eaten Grandmother, spinning-wheel and all, and Grandfather, stool and all? But I'm still hungry, so now I'm going to eat you!"

Before the poor woman knew what was happening, Kuratko made one peck at her and swallowed her down, wash-tub and all!

Then he strutted on down the road, crowing merrily.

Presently he came to a company of soldiers.

"Good gracious, Kuratko!" the soldiers cried. "What a great big crop you've got!"

"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" Kuratko replied. "I should think my crop was big, for haven't I just eaten a washerwoman, tub and all, Grandmother, spinning-wheel and all, and Grandfather, stool and all? But I'm still hungry, so now I'm going to eat you!"

Before the soldiers knew what was happening, Kuratko pecked at them and swallowed them down, bayonets and all, one after another, like so many grains of wheat!

Then that terrible chick went on strutting down the road, crowing merrily.

Soon he met Kotsor, the cat. Kotsor, the cat, blinked his eyes and worked his whiskers in surprise.

"Good gracious, Kuratko, what a great big crop you've got!"

"Cock-a-doodle-doo!" Kuratko said. "I should think my crop was big, for haven't I just eaten a company of soldiers, bayonets and all; a washerwoman, tub and all; Grandmother, spinning-wheel and all; and Grandfather, stool and all? But I'm still hungry, so now I'm going to eat you!"

Before Kotsor, the cat, knew what was happening, Kuratko made one peck at him and swallowed him down.

But Kotsor, the cat, was not a person to submit tamely to such an indignity. The moment he found himself inside Kuratko he unsheathed his claws and began to scratch and to tear. He worked till he had torn a great hole in Kuratko's crop. At that the terrible chick Kuratko, when he tried again to crow, toppled over dead!

Then Kotsor, the cat, jumped out of Kuratko's crop; after him the company of soldiers marched out; and after them the washerwoman with her tub, Grandmother with her spinning-wheel, and Grandfather with his stool. And they all went about their business.

Kotsor, the cat, followed Grandmother and Grandfather home and begged them to give him Kuratko for his dinner.

"You may have him for all of me," Grandfather said. "But ask Grandmother. He was her little pet, not mine."

"Indeed you may have him," Grandmother said. "I see now Grandfather was right. Kuratko was certainly an ungrateful chick and I never want to hear his name again."

So Kotsor, the cat, had a wonderful dinner and to this day when he remembers it he licks his chops and combs his whiskers.

Contents


Czech and Slovak folktales, Literature  

Czech and Slovak folktales, To top Section Set Next

Czech and Slovak folktales USER'S GUIDE: [Link]
© 2008–2017, Tormod Kinnes. [Email]  ᴥ  Disclaimer: [Link]