THREE WINDINGS ON THE BACK

Once upon a time there were three brothers, and the youngest one was bald and the smartest. One day, they met with each-other to discuss and said:

- We can’t live like this anymore in this poverty, one of us has to go away and work to make some money.

- I am going, -said the oldest brother. 

So he set off and went to a rich man to ask him if he needed someone to work for him.

- I need a worker right now, - the man replied, - but I’m not sure if we’ll agree together.

- Whatever you’ll say, I’m staying, - big brother replied.

Well, we will stay together till the red owl sings. You will do what I tell you to do, and to the one who gets bored first, the other will give three windings on the back.

Big brother did not last it but accepted, and the man said:

- Come here and will begin today. You have to go to the land down the hill there, and you’ll have sixteen working days.

You’ll take the plow come around the field till evening comes. After you finish the work, you’ll load the cart with wood and come home, but will not get it inside through the gate, but pass over the yard.

Big brother began work and thought all the day long , but could not do anything and worried, so according to the words they had said, the man gave him three windings on his back.

After him, the middle brother went too, and the same thing happened to him.

- I'm going to try it too – the little bald brother said.

So he took the way to where his two big brothers had gone. The sir told him the same him had told to his brothers. Then the bald took the oxen, the plow and opened a big hole in the middle of the mountain and went around the field. He could even stay under the tree shadow, eat and sleep. In the evening he cut the wood, put it into the cart and went back. When he arrived home, he broke the plow and the cart and threw them over the yard, then he killed the oxen into pieces and threw them over the yard too, then he jumped by himself and got inside the yard. The sir asked him what he was doing and the bald answered:

 - As you asked me to do, sir, but if you are sad, you can tell me and I can give three windings on your back.

The man was biting his lips but didn’t speak. Another day, he said to the bald to take the sheep to a slough and fill them with water. Then the bald took the sheep, cut their tails and gave them to his brothers, so they could sell the sheep. He came to the rich man and said that sheep were drowned and could not save them. The sit got mad and went running to the marsh. There he found the tails one by one. He was so sad and said:

- But where are the sheep, why can’t I see them?

They are inside in the water but they had been into the mud for a long time and might have gone bad. But if you’re sad, tell me and I will give you three windings on your back.

- No, I am not sad, yet, the sir said.

One other day, he told the bald to take the goats to the pasture, and when they came back, he wanted the goats to laugh and dance.

So the bald took the sheep to the pasture. In the evening, he cut their upper lips and broke each one’s leg, and when he came back, the sheep came laughing and dancing. When the sir saw them, he was terribly mad, and then all the goats died at that night. The rich man was married and had a little son. One night they had guests at home and the boy was crying making too much noise. The sir asked the bald to take the boy outside, and the bald caught the child and threw him at the window. The man was terribly mad, but the bald reminded him about the windings, so he didn’t speak. The next day he told the bald to guard at the gate because he had to go to a wedding ceremony. The sir went to the wedding with his wife, and then the bald goes after them with the gate in his hands. The master was very mad and when he went back home, they had taken everything away, the house was empty.

Then, to get rid of the bald, the man told his mother to go up to the top of the tree and sing like the red owl. The old lady climbed the tree and began to sing like the owl.

- Do you hear the owl singing? Now we should part from each other.

- No, the owl never sings so soon! - said the bald and shot at the old woman with the riffle. She was dead at once and fell down.

The man couldn’t bear anymore when the bald reminded him the windings. And, one day, the man decided together with his wife to leave the house. When they were getting ready, the bald got inside a sack and joined them. On their way, some dogs attacked the carriage and he bald got out of the sack and rescued his master. When the man asked him what he was doing there, he said he was watching over the things and fell asleep accidentally inside the sack. The master was uncomfortable because he didn’t know what to do. Then they reached a bridge and stopped the carriage to sleep there. They ate dinner and fell asleep. The master laid in the middle, the bald man on a side, and the wife on the other, Later, he said his wife whispering:

- When I give you the signal, get up and we will catch him by his legs and throw him in the river.

The bald heard it but didn’t speak. When the master and his wife fell asleep, he got up and went in the middle of them. At midnight, the man woke up and told his wife:

- Get up, it’s the time.

The bald, who was waiting for this, got up on his legs and together with the master took the wife and threw her in the river. When the dawn came, the man saw the bald safe and sound, then he understood they had thrown his wife.

So, he had nothing to do and told the bald:

Come and give me three windings on my back and farewell!

And the bald gave him three windings at once and went back to his brothers.