Johnny the Bear and the mysterious cave

Johnny the Bear was alone in the abandoned castle. His friends, the woodcutter and the miller had gone hunting. He was alone but he had his iron club in his hand which weighed a hundredweight. The old codger arrived, the same one who had beaten the woodcutter and the miller.

“Was it you?”, Johnny asked.

And the old codger, who didn't answer, made to beat him up. So Johnny took his iron club which weighed a hundredweight and gave him a good hiding, instead. He cut him up into four pieces and threw them out of the window. When his friends arrived the dinner was on the table.

“Look out of the window”, Johnny said to them.

And they saw that the awful old man who had beaten them up had been quartered.

“We have to carry on”, Johnny said to them, “we still haven't found fear.”

They walked and walked, until they came to a cave down below in the rock face.

“Let's see what's inside.”

Johnny made a basket by twisting some tree branches and, with some climbing plants known as lianas, he made a rope to lower the basket with. Johnny the Bear sat in the basket with his iron club which weighed a hundredweight. The woodcutter and the miller held on to the rope while Johnny and his club were lowered down. When Johnny came to the end of the cave, he saw a woman.

“I am the keeper of the thirteen doors”, said the woman.

Johnny didn't care about that so he broke down the thirteen doors with his club. And behind the thirteenth door he came across two beautiful girls.

“What are you doing here?”, he asked them.

“We are the daughters of the King of Hungary”, they replied.

They had been kidnapped and locked up in the cave for eight long years. One of the girls had a ball of gold and there were also seven dresses. One sister gave him the ball of gold as a present and the other cut a piece of cloth from each of the seven dresses and gave them to Johnny as a present. Johnny put one of the sisters in the basket and pulled on the rope to signal to his friends to haul the girl up. When they saw such a beautiful girl, they started fighting over her. But Johnny pulled on the rope again and the second girl was hauled up. And only then did the woodcutter and the miller make peace.

“Have you got any more sisters below?”, they asked the girls.

“No, only Johnny the Bear remains below.”

So Johnny's two treacherous friends threw the rope away and went off to the King of Hungary's home with the two girls, leaving Johnny stranded in the cave.

Text: Koldo Izagirre

Translation: Joe Linehan

Voice: Tim Nicholson

This is the story that tells the tale of Johnny the Bear and the cave of the 13 doors

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