The Forty Brothers and Their Blind Sister

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Forty brothers lived with their blind sister and their old father in modesty and love. But when their father found himself on his deathbed, the brothers quarreled over the only field they were to inherit from him.

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The Forty Brothers and Their Blind Sister
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Once upon a time, there lived a man. He had forty sons and one daughter, who was blind. The man worked hard from dawn to dusk to feed his children. He ploughed his large field, which later gave him bushels of rye. In the middle of the field, a young apple tree with white branches grew. Under it, cool water bubbled up into a well in the spring. Their house was nearby.

There were forty-two beds in one of the rooms in the house. The blind girl would make them every morning, and then light a fire under the cauldron. She would make lunch for the whole family in it. Then she would put forty-two bowls on the table along with forty-two spoons.

Then autumn would come. The leaves on the apple trees turned yellow and the first apples were ripe. The father would still work every day. He’d whip his horse to go faster, he’d collect the rye and bring it to the storehouse in a big bag, and he’d hitch wooden ploughs onto his oxen. He would then sow seeds, and his sons would help him. In three days, they could till the whole field.

One day the father, exhausted from all that hard work, came home and fell ill. The blind daughter made him a brew from wild roots, but it didn’t help him to get better. When he felt that his end was coming, he called his sons and said:

My dear children! I’m about to take a long journey I won’t be back from. Please come closer, I want to stroke your hair one last time.”

When all his sons said goodbye to him, he sat up one last time and said:

“Remember that the crops from our field…

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