The Lazy Girl – Hungarian folk tale translated by Ibolya Lőrincz
Long times ago folk tales were told not only for children but also for adults. They all have lessons in them, which the community wanted to teach to its members in an interesting an entertaining way.
This tale is about a rich girl, who never worked because her mother had spoilt her. Do you think she could find a husband for herself?
The Lazy Girl
Once upon a time there lived a rich girl, who never worked because her mother had spoilt her. A lot of young men wanted to marry her because she was beautiful, but her mother discouraged them all saying,
“Leave her alone, do not propose to her, because she is lazy and you won’t be able to live together with her.
After a time another young man comes. Her mother wants to send him away, too. But he says,
“What kind of a mother are you, madam, that you do not want happiness for your daughter? Will you marry me, missy?”
“I will with all my heart” – replies the girl.
“Let’s go to the church and get married” – says the young man.
So, they go to the church and the young man marries her against her mother’s will.
The young man took his new wife home. But the girl did what she had used to do at home, she was just sitting comfortably all day long and did not work anything but swinging her legs. She did not even mind if her husband scolded her for it.
One day her husband thought,
“Well, young wife, I will teach you how to work even if your mother has not.” He came to this conclusion because when he came home from the field his old mother was always complaining that her daughter-in-law hardly ever works. And she said,
“You will never survive with her, my son, because she never touches anything that looks like work. She is just sitting like a princess. You had better divorce her.”
“I cannot divorce from her, mother – said the young man – because I married her knowing that she never works. But trust me, I will teach her to work.”
Next morning the young man went to the fields to work as usual. When he came home, he asked,
“Tell me, mother, how many of us worked today?”
“Only two of us, my son, only two of us” – she replied.
“Then only two of us will eat” – said the young man.
The young man and his mother had dinned and the young wife stayed hungry all night long and even next morning.
In the morning when her husband left home, she cried for a short time then she sighed and started to think. Suddenly she asked her mother-in-law,
“Mother, is it work, if I make a fire?”
“Yes, my daughter, yes, it is.”
So she made a fire. Then she asked again.
“And if I bring some wood for the fire, is it work?”
“Yes, my daughter, it is also work.”
She brought wood for the fire. The she asked again.
“And if I bring some water from the well, is it work?”
“Yes, it is work, too.”
“And if I sweep the house?”
“It is work too.”
So, she brought water, swept the house, and the old woman was glad that her daughter-in-law will work hard. She told her what sort of work there was around the house and taught her to do them and helped her.
In the evening the young man came home, and when it was time to have dinner he asked his mother,
“How many of us worked today, mother?”
“Three of us, my son, three of us – she replied happily.
“Well, the three of us will eat – the young man said happily.
They sat down around the table and the happiest was the young wife, because she got quite hungry during the past day.
Since then three of them worked and three of them ate. And they still live happily unless they died.
If you liked thid tale, you will probably enjoy my other tales as well:
The Hard-Working and the Lazy Girl
The Clever Girl