Once upon a time there was a boy named Bradobril. He lived alone in an old hut on the edge of the forest and he had a magic book. The book gave him food and interesting stories so that he would not die of hunger and boredom.
One autumn’s morning, he went into the forest to get some firewood and found an unusual clearing. Exactly in the middle there was an apple tree standing. The tree spoke to him and asked to pick a couple of apples: one for himself, and the second, if it turns out to be delicious, to then share with a friend.
At his home, he ate the apple and shared the second one with the book. The fruit was so juicy and tasty that they wanted to have some more and together they went back to the tree.
When they came to that clearing, there was no magic tree standing. However, there were black tar tracks that led to the place where the tree had grown. It was still daylight so they followed the tracks.
A few hours later they noticed in the distance a black witch’s hut without windows or doors. When they came closer, they saw that same tree standing at the back of the house. The apple tree was in chains and was calling for help. They freed the tree and the three of them ran away into the forest.
The mistress of the windowless house was hungry and decided to have some of the magic apples as a snack. Thick black smoke came out from the chimney and someone flew out, it was the black witch, but the tree was gone. She became furious and screamed so loudly and heartily that all the trees in the forest shook.
Meanwhile, the trinity of fugitives was lost in the forest. Evening came, it became cold and the wind started growing. The trio saw a bonfire with a wolf and a fox nearby. They were whispering quietly.
Our three friends decided to hide not far away. And it was not in vain, as through the sound of the wind, one could make out the words “apple tree”, “anger”, “witch” and “reward”.
“Wow,” the book rustled loudly through his pages.
That is when the fox noticed them:
“Come to us, it’s warm here,” she said gently, “We have fruit jam, and it’s very tasty.”
After hearing these words, the trio turned around and quickly ran away, but the fox and the wolf did not dare to leave the warm place and let them escape.
It got very dark and suddenly it started to snow. The friends again saw the light of another bonfire. A bear was sitting on an old tree stump. He was cracking hazelnuts. Two squirrels nearby served them to him and everyone ate in silence. The fugitives were cold and asked permission to warm themselves up. The bear and the squirrels did not answer, only moving away to make room for the guests.
After they got warm, Bradobril told his story of how they ended up here. The owners of the fire did not say anything this time again. Suddenly the fire smelled strongly of sulfur and thick smoke. The witch was preparing for her arrival. The bear stood up, scooped up as much air as possible in his chest and blew with his full force at the smoke. The smoke dissolved into the dark and the witch was never seen again.
Bradobril returned to the home in the morning, where he lived with the book and the apple tree happily ever after.