Swedish Folk Tales / Slicker
Once upon a time there lived a poor peasant, and he had three sons. The two older ones were diligent and agile, but the younger one was lazy and dirty, this kind are encountered less often. All day long he sat by the stove and dug in the ashes. His nails grew long, like claws, he never combed his hair, and that's why he was nicknamed Slicker.
One day his father gave him some food for journey and said. “You have had enough of parental bread. Go out and try your luck yourself, Slicker!”
He walked and walked, came into a large forest and got himself lost. His food was finished and he didn't know what to do. He got sad, sat on a stump and started to weep bitterly. That's when he started to regret that he had been so lazy at home.
It got dark, and Slicker began to think where he could get a place to sleep for the night. As he saw that a light was burning in the distance, he went towards the light. He walked for a long time and saw a large river, and on the other side of that river there was a castle, and around the castle there were iron walls. And in one window of the castle the light burned. He stripped naked, tied his clothes on his back and swam along the river. But soon the river became so deep that he almost drowned, he barely managed to get out of the water.
He climbed onto the other shore, and began to search for an entrance - but there was no entrance, he scarcely found a gate in an iron wall, the gate opened by itself.
He entered the gate, and it immediately slammed behind him.
He began to wander around the courtyard, looking for the door to the castle, but he all he managed to find was a crack in the wall. He knocked on the wall and the door opened immediately. And he went inside, into a dark, dark room.
He began to fumble the walls and felt the door, it immediately opened, and he appeared in a large room. There was a table in the middle of that room, and an old, very old man was sitting at the table and writing something.
The old man's nose was long, long, and a wonderful cap was put on his head.
"What do you want, boy?" the old man asked.
“I have come here looking for a service,” Slicker replied.
”How did you even get in here?” the old man was surprised.
“It was very hard for me,” - admitted slicker.
“But it will be even more difficult to get back,” said the old man. “Well, you shall stay and serve me. I'm going to be visiting my relatives soon and will be back in a year. And you, during this time, read books and groom my horse. Here are the keys to all the doors, but only one of them you cannot open, and I will show you which one it is. If you open it, I will immediately come back and you will meet my fury. And he took out a large bunch of keys. “And what is your name?” the old man asked.
“Slicker,” the boy replied.
“A beautiful name,” said the old man, and left.
And Slicker remained in the castle. He read books all day long and soon became almost as wise as his master was. He never opened the forbidden door, only once he really wanted to look through the crack, but he remembered that the old man would punish him, and turned away from that door.