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LUCK OF A POOR BOY

IN THE EARLY DAYS IN POLAND, THERE WERE LOTS OF FORESTS. ONE
TIME, A RICH RANCHER WAS TRAVELING WITH HIS HORSE AND BUGGY THROUGH
THE FOREST. HE HAD A LONG WAY TO GO AND HE COULD NOT MAKE IT IN A
DAY SO HE WAS TRAVELING AT NIGHT.
AROUND 11 O'CLOCK HE GOT VERY TIRED AND HE SAW A LIGHT AND A
LITTLE HOUSE, SO HE DECIDED TO STOP AND HAVE A LITTLE NAP. HE CAME
TO THE HOUSE AND SAW THAT THE PEOPLE WERE VERY POOR.
HE ASKED THEM IF HE COULD ACCOMMODATE HIS HORSE AND BUGGY IN
THEIR YARD AND TAKE A LITTLE NAP. THEY PERMITTED HIM. WHILE
SLEEPING IN THE BUGGY, HE HAD A DREAM THAT IN THIS VERY HOUSE, A BAB
WAS BORN AND THAT IN HIS FUTURE LIFE HE WOULD ADOPT THIS BABY. HE
WAS VERY SURPRISED}
IN THE MORNING, HE WENT BACK TO THE HOUSE TO INVESTIGATE. SURE
ENOUGH, THAT NIGHT, IN THAT HOUSE, A BABY WAS BORN. THERE WERE QUIT
A FEW CHILDREN BESIDES THAT BABY.
THINKING ABOUT HIS DREAM HE ASKED THE FAMILY IF HE COULD ADOPT
THE CHILD BECAUSE THEY HAD TOO MANY CHILDREN. IN THE BEGINNING, THE
WOULDN'T HEAR OF SUCH A THING. HE TRIED TO CONVINCE THEM WITH
STORIES, AND ASSURED THEM THAT THE BABY WOULD HAVE EVERYTHING IN HIS
POWER. HE WAS RICH} THEY WOULD NOT LISTEN TO HIM AND SAID THAT THE
WERE GOING TO BAPTIZE THE BABY IN THE MORNING OF THE FOLLOWING DAY.
THERE WAS NOBODY CLOSE BY WHO COULD TAKE THEM TO THE CHURCH, SO
THE MAN THEN OFFERED THE SERVICES OF HIS BUGGY AND HIS OWN TIME TO
TAKE THEM. THE POOR FAMILY DECIDED TO NAME THE RICH RANCHER AS THE
GODFATHER OF THEIR BABY BOY.
GOING TO THE CHURCH, THE RANCHER SLIPPED SOME MONEY UNDER THE
BABY'S PILLOW. IN POLAND THERE IS A BELIEF THAT IF YOU PUT SOME
MONEY UNDER THE PILLOW OF A BABY FOR ITS BAPTISM, THAT BABY WILL
LATER GET RICH.
AFTER THE BAPTISM, THE RANCHER AGAIN TRIED TO CONVINCE THE FAMILY
TO LET HIM HAVE THE CHILD. HE PROMISED THAT THE BABY WOULD HAVE
EVERYTHING, SO THEY GAVE HIM THE BABY WITH THE SAME PILLOW HE WAS
BAPTIZED, IN A BASKET. HE PUT THE BASKET IN HIS BUGGY AND TOLD HIS
DRIVER TO GO.
AFTER THEY WENT A LITTLE FARTHER IN THE FOREST, THE RANCHER DID
NOT WANT THE BABY BOY TO BE HIS ADOPTED SON. THE ONLY REASON WHY HE
TOOK HIM WAS BECAUSE HE WAS AFRAID OF HIS DREAM. HE TOLD HIS DRIVER
TO TAKE THE BASKET AND THROW IT AGAINST A TREE SO THAT HE WOULD NOT
SEE THE BABY ANY MORE.
THE DRIVER WENT AWAY FROM THE BUGGY. HE DID NOT HAVE THE HEART
TO SMASH THE BASKET AGAINST A TREE AND KILL THE BABY. HE SIMPLY LEF
IT NEAR A TREE, AND HE DROVE THE RANCHER AWAY.
IN THE MORNING, SOME OTHER POOR FAMILY CAME INTO THE FOREST TO
PICK SOME WOOD. THEY HEARD THE BABY CRYING AND TOOK HIM HOME. THE
BABY WAS SO CUTE, DRESSED NICELY, AND THE WOMAN OF THE HOUSE LIKED
IT. THEY HAD A FEW CHILDREN BUT THEY DECIDED TO KEEP THE BABY. OF
COURSE, IN THEIR AREA, THERE WERE ONLY A FEW FAMILIES AND EVERYONE
KNEW THAT THEY HAD FOUND THE BOY.
THE BOY GREW AND STARTED SCHOOL, WHERE THE CHILDREN NEVER CALLED
HIM BY HIS GIVEN NAME. THEY CALLED HIM "FOUNDED".
ONE DAY, THE RICH RANCHER WAS GOING THROUGH THEIR VILLAGE AND
HEARD THE KIDS CALLING THE BOY. WHEN HE HEARD THE KIDS CALLING HIM
"FOUNDED", IT BOTHERED HIM VERY MUCH. HE ASKED THE CHILDREN WHY THE
CALLED HIM THAT AND THEY TOLD THE RANCHER THAT HIS FATHER FOUND HIM
IN THE FOREST, IN A BASKET.
THE RANCHER WAS SURE NOW THAT IT WAS THE SAME BOY WHO WAS
SUPPOSED TO BE HIS ADOPTED SON. HE WENT TO THE PEOPLE AND ASKED THE
FOR SOME MORE DETAILS. HE GOT VERY WORRIED AND MADE UP HIS MIND THA
HE WOULD DO EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER TO PREVENT THE BOY FROM GROWING
UP TO BECOME HIS SON. HE OFFERED THE PEOPLE A LOT OF MONEY TO SELL
THE BOY. IT WAS A POOR FAMILY AND THEY WERE TEMPTED BY THE MONEY AN
GAVE HIM THE BOY.
WHEN HE WAS WALKING FROM THEIR HOUSE HE SAW AN EMPTY BARREL. HE
BOUGHT THE BARREL TOO. HE THEN TOLD THE BOY TO SIT IN THE BARREL AN
STARTED OFF ON HIS JOURNEY AFTER HE HAD COVERED THE BARREL WITH THE
LID. WHEN THE RANCHER WAS TRAVELING BY THE LAKE, HE PUSHED THE
BARREL INTO IT.
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LAKE THERE WAS A SEMINARY. THE
STUDENTS, SEEING THE BARREL ON THE LAKE GOT VERY INTERESTED, AND
PULLED IT TO SHORE. IN THE BARREL, THEY FOUND THE 6 YEAR OLD BOY.
THE PRIESTS DECIDED TO KEEP THE BOY AROUND THE SCHOOL TO DO SMALL
TASKS. BESIDES THIS, THE BOY GOT AN EDUCATION.
ONE DAY THE SEMINARY GAVE A BANQUET FOR ALL ITS BENEFACTORS.
NATURALLY, THE RICH RANCHER ATTENDED IT. DURING THE DINNER, THE
YOUNG BOY WAS SERVING AS A WAITER AND THE RANCHER WAS AMAZED AT THE
BOY'S MANNERS. HE ASKED THE PRIESTS WHERE THEY GOT THE BOY FROM.
THEY TOLD HIM THE STORY.
AGAIN THE RANCHER WAS VERY UPSET BECAUSE THE BOY WAS GROWING TO
BE HIS SON. THE RANCHER HAD RELATIVES SEVERAL MILES AWAY AND ASKED
THE PRIEST IN CHARGE IF HE WOULD BE SO KIND AS TO LET THE BOY TAKE A
MESSAGE THERE. THE PRIEST DIDN'T OBJECT, SO THE RANCHER MADE A NOTE
WHICH READ- "AS SOON AS THIS BOY REACHES YOUR PLACE, MAKE ALL THE
ARRANGEMENTS TO HAVE HIM KILLED, I DON'T WANT TO SEE ANY SIGNS OF
HIM." THE RANCHER PUT THE NOTE IN AN ENVELOPE WITH HIS SEAL ON IT.
BEING AROUND THE SEMINARY, THE BOY WAS VERY RELIGIOUS. HE WALKED
A DAY OR TWO AND STOPPED AT A LITTLE CHURCH BY THE WAY FOR MASS. HE
DECIDED TO GO TO CONFESSION AFTER MASS. THE PRIEST GOT VERY CURIOUS
ABOUT THE YOUNG BOY TRAVELING ALONE, AND ASKED HIM WHAT HE WAS DOING
THE BOY SAID HE WAS CARRYING A MESSAGE. THE PRIEST SAID, "WHAT
MESSAGE?", AND THE BOY TOLD HIM HE COULDN'T BREAK THE SEAL.
THE PRIEST THEN INVITED THE BOY TO HIS HOME FOR BREAKFAST. HE
TOLD THE BOY TO LEAVE THE NOTE ON THE SIDE TABLE AND TOOK HIM TO THE
DINING ROOM. MEANWHILE, THE PRIEST'S CURIOSITY WAS TEMPTED, HE MADE
AN EXCUSE TO LEAVE THE ROOM, AND OPENED THE LETTER. IT HAPPENED THA
HE KNEW THE FAMILY WHERE THE BOY WAS GOING. HE TOOK THE NOTE AND
DESTROYED IT AND WROTE ANOTHER WHICH SAID, "AS SOON AS THIS BOY
ARRIVES AT YOUR PLACE, MAKE QUICK ARRANGEMENTS FOR HIM TO MARRY YOUR
DAUGHTER."
UPON ARRIVAL AT THE RANCHER'S RELATIVES HOME, HE MARRIED THEIR
DAUGHTER.
A COUPLE DAYS LATER, THE RICH RANCHER CAME TO SEE IF EVERYTHING
WAS DONE. TO HIS SURPRISE, HE HEARD THE STORY THAT HIS RELATIVES
MARRIED THE BOY FOLLOWING THE RANCHER'S WISH.
NOW THE RANCHER WAS IN REAL TROUBLE. HE SENT THE BOY TO A
FORTUNE TELLER WHO WAS KNOWN TO KILL HIS VISITORS, TO FIND OUT WHY
ONE OF HIS PEAR TREES AT HIS ESTATE NEVER GAVE ANY FRUIT. TO GET TO
THE FORTUNE TELLER, THE BOY HAD TO TAKE A FERRY. WHEN HE WAS ON THE
FERRY, THE CAPTAIN ASKED HIM WHERE HE WAS GOING. THE BOY TOLD HIM,
"TO SEE THE FORTUNE TELLER". THE CAPTAIN ASKED THE BOY TO FIND OUT
HOW LONG HE WOULD BE SERVING ON THE FERRY. THE BOY SAID OK.
AFTER HE GOT OFF THE FERRY, HE WENT TO THE FORTUNE TELLER'S HOUSE
BUT HE WAS NOT HOME. HIS WIFE WAS. THE WIFE HAD PITY ON THE NICE
LOOKING BOY AND TOLD HIM TO HIDE IN THE CLOSET AND SHE WOULD GET HIM
THE INFORMATION HE NEEDED.
THE FORTUNE TELLER CAME HOME FROM HIS HUNTING TRIP. HIS WIFE DID
NOT TELL HIM THAT THE BOY WAS THERE. SHE SERVED HER HUSBAND DINNER
AND TOLD HIM THAT SHE HAD A DREAM. SHE SAID THE DREAM WAS OF A VERY
RICH MAN WHO OWNED A BIG RANCH. THE RICH MAN HAD A PEAR TREE BY HIS
RANCH HOUSE THAT WOULD NEVER BEAR FRUIT. WHY DOESN'T THE TREE HAVE
FRUIT?
THE FORTUNE TELLER KNEW ABOUT IT. HE SAID, "OH, YES, I KNOW.
THE TREE WILL NEVER BEAR FRUIT, AS LONG AS THERE IS A POT OF GOLD
UNDER ITS ROOTS. SOMEONE HAS TO DIG IT UP."
THE WIFE THEN ASKED HOW LONG THE CAPTAIN OF THE FERRY WOULD STAY
AT HIS JOB.
"HO} HO} HO} HE'LL STAY THERE UNTIL HE CATCHES SOMEONE ELSE."
SAID THE FORTUNE TELLER.
THE BOY HEARD EVERYTHING. WHEN THE FORTUNE TELLER WENT TO BED,
THE WIFE LET THE BOY OUT OF THE CLOSET AND TOLD HIM TO GO. HE HAD
ALL THE ANSWERS.
THE BOY WENT TO THE RIVER TO CATCH THE FERRY. THE CAPTAIN ASKED
HIM IF HE HAD ASKED THE FORTUNE TELLER HOW LONG HE WOULD PILOT THE
BOAT. "OH YES}" SAID THE BOY, BUT HE WOULD NOT TELL HIM THE ANSWER
UNTIL HE GOT TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER.
THE CAPTAIN TOOK HIM TO THE OTHER SIDE AND THE BOY STEPPED OFF
THE FERRY. "HOW LONG AM I GOING TO STAY HERE?" ASKED THE CAPTAIN.
THE BOY ANSWERED HIM, "UNTIL YOU CATCH SOMEONE ELSE."
"OH, YOU'RE WISE, I CAN'T CATCH YOU NOW}" SAID THE CAPTAIN.
THE BOY WENT BACK TO THE RANCHER'S RELATIVE'S HOUSE AND THE
RANCHER WAS STILL THERE. THE RANCHER WAS SHOCKED TO SEE THE BOY. H
ASKED HIM, "DID YOU FIND THE ANSWER?"
THE BOY SAID, "YES. THE TREE IS NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY FRUIT
UNTIL WE DIG THE GOLD UP FROM BENEATH ITS ROOTS."
SO...THE BOY AND THE RANCHER RETURNED TO THE RANCHER'S HOME.
THEY STARTED TO DIG UP THE TREE'S ROOTS AND FOUND A WHOLE POT OF
GOLD. THE RANCHER WAS SO EXCITED WHEN HE SAW IT, THAT HE HAD A HEAR
ATTACK AND DIED.
THE BOY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER WITH THE RANCHER'S COUSIN AND
THEIR DAUGHTER.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED THIS STORY AS A BOY AT AN EVENING OF FAMILY STORY
TELLING. HE USED QUITE A BIT OF EXPRESSION AND WAS VERY DELIGHTED
THAT THE PEOPLE LISTENING DIDN'T GET BORED AND ACTUALLY ENJOYED IT.
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORY HE ALMOST STOPPED BECAUSE HE THOUGHT WE
MIGHT NOT LIKE THE IDEA OF A BABY BEING GIVEN AWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Magic

Date learned: 02-07-1980 ; 00-00-1934

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