Many years ago, in the times of kings and slaves, there lived a young man named Rudolph. He was good-hearted and handsome and was loved by everyone. In his childhood, he had lost his mother, so he was brought up by his stepmother who was wicked and heartless. She made him do all the household work and treated him no better than a servant. Though his father loved him very much, he was not at home most of the time.