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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hindu Myths that are Also Roma and European

THE BAD MOTHER
There was an emperor. He had been married ten years, but had no children. And God granted that his empress conceived and bore a son. Now that son was heroic; there was none other found like him. And the father lived half a year longer, and died. Then what is the lad to do? He took and departed in quest of heroic achievements. And he journeyed a long while, and took no heed, and came into a great forest. In that forest there was a certain house, and in that house were twelve dragons. Then the lad went straight thither, and saw that there was no one. He opened the door and went in, and he saw a sabre on a nail and took it, and posted himself behind the door, and waited for the coming of the dragons. They, when they came, did not go in all at once, but went in one by one. The lad waited, sabre in hand; and as each one went in, he cut off his head, flung it on the floor. So the lad killed eleven dragons, and the youngest dragon remained. And the lad went out to him, and took and fought with him, and fought half a day. And the lad vanquished the dragon, and took him and put him in a jar, and fastened it securely.

And the lad went to walk, and came on another house, where there was only a maiden. And when he saw the maiden, how did she please his heart. As for the maiden, the lad pleased her just as well. And the maiden was yet more heroic than the lad. And they formed a strong love. And the lad told the maiden how he had killed eleven dragons, and one he had left alive and put in a jar.

The maiden said, 'You did ill not to kill it; but now let it be.'

And the lad said to the maiden, 'I will go and fetch my mother, for she is alone at home.'

Then the maiden said, 'Fetch her, but you will rue it. But go and fetch her, and dwell with her.'

So the lad departed to fetch his mother. He took his mother, and brought her into the house of the dragons whom he had slain. And he said to his mother, 'Go into every room; only into this chamber do not go.'

His mother said, 'I will not, darling.'

And the lad departed into the forest to hunt.

And his mother went into the room where he had told her not to go. And when she opened the door, the dragon saw her and said to her, 'Empress, give me a little water, and I will do you much good.'

She went and gave him water and he said to her, 'Dost love me, then will I take thee, and thou shalt be mine empress.'

'I love thee,' she said.

Then the dragon said to her, 'What will you do, to get rid of your son, that we may be left to ourselves? Make yourself ill, 1 and say you have seen a dream, that he must bring you a porker of the sow in the other world; that, if he does not bring it you, you will die; but that, if he brings it you, you will recover.'

Then she went into the house, and tied up her head, and made herself ill. And when the lad came home and saw her head tied up, he asked her, 'What's the matter, mother?'

She said, 'I am ill, darling. I shall die. But I have seen a dream, to eat a porker of the sow in the other world.'

Then the lad began to weep, for his mother will die. And he took 1 and departed. Then he went to his sweetheart, and told her. 'Maiden, my mother will die. And she has seen a dream, that I must bring her a porker from the other world.'

The maiden said, 'Go, and be prudent; and come to me as you return. Take my horse with the twelve wings, and mind the sow does not seize you, else she 'Il eat both you and the horse.'

So the lad took the horse and departed. He came there, and when the sun was midway in his course he went to the little pigs, and took one, and fled. Then the sow heard him, and hurried after him to devour him. And at the very brink (of the other world), just as he was leaping out, the sow bit off half of the horse's tail. So the lad went to the maiden. And the maiden came out, and took the little pig, and hid it, and put another in its stead. Then he went home to his mother, and gave her that little pig, and she dressed it and ate, and said that she was well.

Three or four days later she made herself ill again, as the dragon had shown her.

When the lad came, he asked her, 'What's the matter now, mother?

'I am ill again, darling, and I have seen a dream that you must bring me an apple from the golden apple-tree in the other world.'

So the lad took and departed to the maiden; and when the maiden saw him so troubled, she asked him, 'What's the matter, lad?'

'What's the matter! my mother is ill again. And she has seen a dream that I am to bring her an apple from the apple-tree in the other world.'

Then the maiden knew that his mother was compassing his destruction (lit. 'was walking to eat his head'), and she said to the lad, 'Take my horse and go, but be careful the apple-tree does not seize you there. Come to me, as you return.'

And the lad took and departed, and came to the brink of the world. And he let himself in, and went to the apple-tree at mid-day when the apples were resting. And he took an apple and ran away. Then the leaves perceived it and began to scream; and the apple-tree took itself after him to lay its hand on him and kill him. And the lad came out from the brink, and arrived in our world, and went to the maiden. Then the maiden took the apple, stole it from him, and hid it, and put another in its stead. And the lad stayed a little longer with her, and departed to his mother. Then his mother, when she saw him, asked him, 'Have you brought it, darling?'

'I've brought it, mother.'

So she took the apple and ate, and said there was nothing more the matter with her.

In a week's time the dragon told her to make herself ill again, and to ask for water from the great mountains. So she made herself ill.

When the lad saw her ill, he began to weep and said, 'My mother will die, God. She's always ill.' Then he went to her and asked her, 'What's the matter, mother?'

'I am like to die, darling. But I shall recover if you will bring me water from the great mountains.'

Then the lad tarried no longer. He went to the maiden and said to her, 'My mother is ill again; and she has seen a dream that I must fetch her water from the great mountains.'

The maiden said, 'Go, lad; but I fear the clouds will catch you, and the mountains there, and will kill you. But do you take my horse with twenty-and-four wings; and when you get there, wait afar off till mid-day, for at mid-day the mountains and the clouds set themselves at table and eat. Then do you go with the pitcher, and draw water quickly, and fly.'

Then the lad took the pitcher, and departed thither to the mountains, and waited till the sun had reached the middle of his course. And he went and drew water and fled. And the clouds and the mountains perceived him, and took themselves after him, but they could not catch him. And the lad came to the maiden. Then the maiden went and took the pitcher with the water, and put another in its stead without his knowing it. And the lad arose and went home, and gave water to his mother, and she recovered.

Then the lad departed into the forest to hunt. His mother went to the dragon and told him, 'He has brought me the water. What am I to do now with him?'

'What are you to do! why, take and play cards with him. You must say, "For a wager, as I used to play with your father."'

So the lad came home and found his mother merry: it pleased him well. And she said to him at table, as they were eating, 'Darling, when your father was alive, what did we do? When we had eaten and risen up, we took and played cards for a wager.'

Then the lad: 'If you like, play with me, mother.'

So they took and played cards; and his mother beat him. And she took silken cords, and bound his two hands so tight that the cord cut into his hands.

And the lad began to weep, and said to his mother, 'Mother, release me or I die.'

She said, 'That is just what I was wanting to do to you.' And she called the dragon, 'Come forth, dragon, come and kill him.'

Then the dragon came forth, and took him, and cut him in pieces, and put him in the saddle-bags, and placed him on his horse, and let him go, and said to the horse, 'Carry him, horse, dead, whence thou didst carry him alive.'

Then the horse hurried to the lad's sweetheart, and went straight to her there. Then, when the maiden saw him, she began to weep, and she took him and put piece to piece; where one was missing, she cut the porker, and supplied flesh from the porker. So she put all the pieces of him in their place. And she took the water and poured it on him, and he became whole. And she squeezed the apple in his mouth, and brought him to life.

So when the lad arose, he went home to his mother, and drove a stake into the earth, and placed both her and the dragon on one great pile of straw. And he set it alight, and they were consumed. And he departed thence, and took the maiden, and made a marriage, and kept up the marriage three months day and night. And I came away and told the story.

IT ALL COMES TO LIGHT
There was a man with as many children as ants in an anthill. And three of the girls went to reap corn, and the emperor's son came by. And the eldest girl said, 'If the emperor's son will marry me, I will clothe his whole army with one spindleful of thread.' And the middle girl said, 'I will feed his army with a single loaf.' And the youngest girl said, 'If he will marry me, I will bear him twins clever and good, with hair of gold and teeth like pearls.'

His servant heard them. 'Emperor, the eldest girl said, if you will marry her, she will clothe your army with one spindleful of thread; the middle girl said, if you will marry her, she will feed your army with a single loaf; the youngest girl said, if you will marry her, she will bear you twins clever and good, with golden hair.'

'Turn back,' he cried, 'take the youngest girl, put her in the carriage.'

He brought her home; he lived with her half a year; and they summoned him to the army to fight. He remained a year at the war. His empress brought forth two sons. The servant took them, and flung them into the pigstye; and she put two whelps by the mother.

At evening the pigs came home, and the eldest sow cried, 'Hah! here are our master's sons; quick, give them the teat to suck, and keep them warm.'

The pigs went forth to the field. The servant came, saw that the boys are well, not dead; she flung them into the stable. At evening the horses came home, and the eldest mare cried, 'Hah! here are our master's sons; quick, give them the teat to suck.'

In the morning the horses went forth to the field. The servant took them, and buried them in the dunghill. And two golden fir-trees grew.

The emperor came from the war. The servant went to meet him. 'Emperor, the empress has borne you a couple of whelps.'

The emperor buried the empress behind the door up to the waist, and set the two whelps to suck her. He married the servant. This servant said to the emperor, 'Fell these fir-trees, and make me a bed.'

'Fell them I will not; they are of exquisite beauty.'

'If you don't, I shall die.'

The emperor set men to work, and felled the firs, and gathered all the chips, and burned them with fire. He made a bed of the two planks, and slept with his new empress in the bed.

And the elder boy said, 'Brother, do you feel it heavy, brother?'

'No, I don't feel it heavy, for my father is sleeping on me; but you, do you feel it heavy, brother?'

'I do, for my stepmother is sleeping on me.'

She heard, she arose in the morning. 'Emperor, chop up this bed, and put it in the fire, that it be burnt.'

'Burn it I will not.'

'But you must put it in the fire, else I shall die.'

The emperor bade them put it in the fire. She bade them block up the chimney, that not a spark should escape. But two sparks escaped, and fell on a couple of lambs: the lambs became golden. She saw, and commanded the servants to kill the lambs. She gave the servants the chitterlings to wash them, and gave the chitterlings numbered. They were washing them in the stream; two of the chitterlings fell into the water. They cut two chitterlings in half, and added them to the number, and came home. From those two chitterlings which fell into the water came two doves; and they turned a somersault, 1 and became boys. And they went to a certain lady. This lady was a widow, and she took the boys in, and brought them up seven years, and clothed them.

And the emperor made proclamation in the land that they should gather to him to a ball. All Bukowina assembled. They ate and drank. The emperor said, 'Guess what I have suffered.' Nobody guessed. These two boys also went, and sat at the gate. The emperor saw them. 'Call also these two boys.'

They called them to the emperor. 'What are you come for, boys?'

'We came, emperor, to guess.'

'Well, guess away.'

There was a man with children as many as ants in an anthill. And three of the girls went to reap corn, and the emperor's son came by. And the eldest girl said, "If this lad will marry me, I will clothe his army with one spindleful of thread." The middle girl said, "If he will marry me, I will feed his army with a single loaf." The youngest girl said, "If this emperor's son will marry me, I will bear him twins clever and good, with hair of gold and teeth like pearls." His servant said to the emperor, "Emperor, the eldest girl said that, if you will marry her, she will clothe your army with one spindleful of thread; and the middle girl said, if you will marry her, she will feed your army with a single loaf; and the youngest girl said, if you will marry her, she will bear you twins clever and good, with hair of gold and teeth like pearls." Come forth, pearl. 1 The emperor lived with her half a year, and departed to war, and remained a year. The empress brought forth two sons. The servant took them, flung them into the pigstye, and put two whelps by her. At evening the pigs came home, and the eldest sow cried, "Hah! here are our master's sons; you must give them the teat." In the morning the pigs went forth to the field. The servant came, saw that they are well, flung them into the stable. At evening the horses came; the eldest horse cried, "Hah! here are our master's sons; you must give them the teat." In the morning the horses went forth to the field. She came and saw that they are well. She buried them in the horses' dunghill, and two golden fir-trees grew. The emperor came from the army. The servant went to meet him. "Emperor, the empress has borne a couple of whelps." The emperor buried her behind the door, and set the two whelps to suck. The emperor married the servant. The new empress said, "Fell the fir-trees, and make a bed." "Fell them I will not, for they are beautiful." "If you don't fell them, I shall die." The emperor commanded, and they felled them, and he gathered all the chips and flung them in the fire, and he made a bed. And the emperor was sleeping in the bed with the servant. And the elder brother said, "Do you feel it heavy, brother?" "No, I don't feel it heavy, for my true father is sleeping on me; but do you feel it heavy, brother?" "I do, for my stepmother is sleeping on me." She heard, she arose in the morning. "Emperor, chop up this bed, and put it in the fire." "Chop it up I will not, for it is fair." "If you don't, I shall die." The emperor commanded, and chopped up the bed, and they put it in the fire; and she told them to block up the chimney. But two sparks jumped out on two lambs, and the lambs became golden. She saw, and commanded the servants to kill them, and gave the chitterlings to two girls to wash. And two chitterlings escaped, and they cut two chitterlings, and made up the proper number. From those chitterlings .came two doves; and they turned a somersault, and became two boys. And they went to a certain widow lady, and she took them in, and brought them up seven years. The emperor gathered Bukowina to a ball, and they ate and drank. The emperor told them to guess what he had suffered. Nobody guessed, but I have. And if you believe not, we are your sons, and our mother is buried behind the door.'

Then came his mother into the hall. 'Good-day to you, my sons.'

'Thank you, mother.'

And they took that servant, and bound her to a wild horse, and gave him his head, and he smashed her to pieces.

MARE'S SON
A priest went riding on his mare to town. And . . . . he led her into the forest, and left her there. The mare brought forth a son. And God came and baptized him, and gave him the name 'Mare's Son.' He sucked one year, and went to a tree, and tries to pluck it up, and could not.

'Ah! mother, I'll suck one year more.'

He sucked one year more; he went to the tree; he plucked it up.

'Now, mother, I shall go away from you.'

And he went into the forests, and found a man. 'Good day to you.'

'Thanks.'

'What's your name?'

'Tree-splitter.'

'Hah! let's become brothers. Come with me.'

They went further; they found another man. 'Good day'

'Thanks.'

'What's your name?'

'Rock-splitter.'

'Hah! let's become brothers.'

They became brothers.

'Come with me.'

They went further; they found yet another man. 'Good day to you.'

'Thanks.'

What's your name?'

'Tree-bender.'

'Come with me.'

The four went further, and they found a robbers' den. The robbers had killed a heifer. When the robbers saw them, they fled. They went away, and left the meat untouched. They cooked the meat and ate. They passed the night. In the morning Mare's Son said, 'Let three of us go to hunt, and one stay at home to cook.' They left Tree-splitter at home to cook, and he cooked the food nicely. And there came an old man to him, a hand's-breadth tall, with a beard a cubit in length.

'Give me to eat.'

'Not I. For they'll come from hunting, and there'll be nothing to give them.'

The old man went into the wood, and cut four wedges, and threw him, Tree-splitter, on the ground, and fastened him to the earth by the hands and feet, and ate up all the food. Then he let him go, and departed. He put more meat in the pot to cook. They came from hunting and asked, 'Have you cooked the food?'

'Ever since you've been away I've had the meat at the fire, but it isn't cooked properly.'

'Dish it up as it is, for we're hungry.'

He dished it up as it was, and they ate it. They passed the night. The next day they left another cook, and the three of them went off to hunt. The old man came again.

'Give me something to eat.'

'Not I, for they'll come from hunting, and there'll be nothing to give them to eat.'

He went into the wood, and cut four wedges, and fastened him to the earth by the hands and feet, and ate up all the food, and let him go, and departed. He put more meat in the pot to cook. They came from hunting. 'Have you cooked the food?'

'Ever since you've been away I've had it at the fire, but it isn't cooked, for it's old meat.'

They passed the night. The third day they left another cook. The three of them went to hunt; and those two never told what they had undergone. Again the old man came, demanded food.

'Not a morsel, for they'll come from hunting, and I should have nothing to give them.'

He went into the wood, and cut four wedges, and fastened him to the earth by the hands and feet, and ate up all the food, and let him go. They came from hunting. 'Have you cooked the food?'

'The minute you went away I put the meat in the pot but it isn't cooked, for it's old.'

The fourth day Mare's Son remained as cook, and he cooked the food nicely.

The old man came. 'Give me something to eat, for I'm hungry.'

'Come here, and I'll give you some.'

He called him into the house, and caught him by the beard, and led him to a beech-tree, and drove his axe into the beech, and cleft it, and put his beard in the cleft, and drew out the axe, and drove in wedges by the beard, and left him there. They came from hunting; he gave them to eat. ' Why didn't you cook as good food as I?'

They ate.

The old man pulled the tree out of the earth on to his shoulders, and dragged it after him, and departed into a cave in the other world.

Said Mare's Son to them, 'Come with me, and you shall see what I've caught.'

They went, and found only the place.

Said Mare's Son, 'Come with me, for I've got to find him.'

They went, following the track of the tree to his cave.

'This is where he went in. Who'll go in to fetch him out?'

They said, 'Not we, we're afraid. Do you go in, for it was you who caught him.'

He said, 'I'll go in, and do you swear that you will act fairly by me.'

They swore that they will act fairly by him. They made a basket, and he lowered himself into the cave, and went to the other world. There was a palace under the earth, and he found the old man with his beard in the tree, put him in the basket, and they drew him up. He found a big stone, and put it in the basket. 'If they pull up the stone, they will pull up me.' They pulled it up half-way, and cut the rope He fell a-weeping. 'Now I am undone.'

He journeyed under the earth, and came to a house. There was an old man and an old woman, both blind, for the fairies 1 had put out their eyes. Mare's Son went to them and said, 'Good day.'

'Thanks. And who are you?'

'I am a man.'

'And old or young?'

'Young.'

'Be a son to us.'

'Good.'

The old man had ten sheep. 'Here take the sheep, and graze them, daddy's darling. And don't go to the right hand, else the fairies will catch you and put out your eyes; that's their field. But go to the left hand, for they've no business there; that's our field.'

He went three days to the left hand, until he bethought himself, and made a flute, and went to the right hand with his sheep.

And there met him a fairy, and said to him, 'Son of a roarer, 2 what are you wanting here?'

He began to play on the flute. 'Dance a bit for me.'

He began to play, and she danced. Just as she was dancing her very best, he broke the flute with his teeth.

The fairy said, 'What are you doing, why did you break it, when I was dancing my very best?'

'Come with me to that tree, that maple, that I may take out its heart and make a flute. And I will play all day, and you shall dance. Come with me.'

He went to the maple, and drove his axe into the maple, and cleft it. 'Put your hand in, and take out the heart.'

She put in her hand; he drew out the axe, and left her hand in the tree.

She cried, 'Quick, release my hand; it will be crushed.'

And he said, 'Where are the old man's and the old woman's eyes? For if you don't tell me, I shall cut your throat.'

'Go to the third room. They're in a glass. The larger are the old man's, the smaller the old woman's.'

'How shall I put them in again?'

'There is water in a glass there, and moisten them with the water, and put them in, and they will adhere. And smear with the water, and they will see.'

He cut her throat, and went and got the eyes of the old man and the old woman, and took the water, and moistened them with the water, and put them in, and they adhered. He smeared with the water, and they saw.

The old man and the old woman said, 'Thank you, my son. Be my son for ever. I will give all things into your hand, and I will go to my kinsfolk, for it is ten years since I have seen them.'

And the old man mounted a goat, and the old woman mounted a sheep; and he said to his son, 'Daddy's darling, walk, eat, and drink.' Away went the old man and the old woman to their kinsfolk.

He too set out, and went walking in the forest. In a tree were young eagles, and a dragon was climbing up to devour them. And Mare's Son saw him, and climbed up, and killed him.

And the young eagles said to him, 'God will give you good luck for killing him. For my mother said every year she was hatching chicks, and this dragon was always devouring them. But where shall we hide you? for our mother will come and devour you. But put yourself under us, and we will cover you with our wings.'

Their mother came. 'I smell fresh man.'

'No, mother, you just fancy it. You fly aloft, and the reek mounts up to you.'

'I'm certain there's a man here. And who killed the dragon?'

'I don't know, mother.'

'Show him, that I may see him.'

'He's among us, mother.'

They produced him, and she saw him; and the minute she saw him, she swallowed him. The eaglets began to weep and to lament: 'He saved us from death, and you have devoured him.'

'Wait a bit; I'll bring him up again.'

She brought him up, and asked him, 'What do you want for saving my young ones from death?'

'I only want you to carry me to the other world.'

'Had I known that, I'd have let him devour my young ones, for to carry you up is mighty difficult. Do you know how I shall manage it? Bake twelve ovenfuls of bread, and take twelve heifers and twelve jars of wine.'

In three days he had them ready.

She said, 'Put them on me; and when I turn my head to the left, throw a heifer into my mouth and an ovenful of bread; and when I turn to the right, pour a jar of wine into my mouth.'

She brought him out; he went to his brothers. 'Good day to you, brothers. You fancied I should perish. If you acted fairly by me, toss your arrows up in the air, and they will fall before you; but if unfairly, then they will fall on your heads.'

All four tossed up their arrows, and they stood in a row. His fell right before him, and theirs fell on their heads, and they died. 

THE DELUDED DRAGON
There was an old man with a multitude of children. He had an underground cave in the forest. He said, 'Make me a honey-cake, for I will go and earn something.' He went into the forest, and found a well. By the well was a table. He laid the cake on the table. The crows came and ate it. He slept by the well. He arose and saw the flies eating the crumbs. He struck a blow and killed a hundred flies. He wrote that he had killed a hundred souls with one blow. And he lay down and slept.

A dragon came with a buffalo's skin to draw water. He saw what was written on the table, that he had killed a hundred souls. When he saw the old man, he feared. The old man awoke, and he too feared.

The dragon said, 'Let's become brothers.'

And they swore that they would be Brothers of the Cross. 1 The dragon drew water. 'Come with me, brother, to my palace.'

They went along a footpath, the old man first. When the dragon panted, he drove the old man forward; when he drew in his breath, he pulled him back. The dragon said, 'Brother, why do you sometimes run forward and sometimes come back?'

'I am thinking whether to kill you.'

'Stay, brother, I will go first and you behind; maybe you will change your mind.'

They came to a cherry-tree. 'Here, brother, have some cherries.'

The dragon climbed up, and the old man was eating below. The dragon said, 'Come up, they're better here.'

The old man said, 'No, they aren't, for the birds have defiled them.'

'Catch hold of this bough.'

The old man did so. The dragon let go of it, and jerked the old man up, and he fell on a hare and caught it.

The dragon said, 'What's the matter, brother? Was the bough too strong for you?'

'I sprang of my own accord, and caught this hare. I hadn't time to run round, so up I sprang.'

The dragon came down and went home. The old man said, 'Would you like a present, sister-in-law?' [seemingly offering the hare to the dragon's wife].

'Thanks, brother-in-law.'

The dragon said to her aside, 'Don't say a word to him, else he'll kill us, for he has killed a hundred souls with one blow.' He sent him to fetch water: 'Go for water, brother.'

He took the spade and the buffalo's hide, dragged it after him, and went to the well, and was digging all round the well.

The dragon went to him. 'What are you doing, brother?'

'I am digging the whole well to carry it home.'

'Don't destroy the spring; I'll draw the water myself.'

The dragon drew the water, and took the old man by the hand, and led him home. He sent him to the forest to fetch a tree. He stripped off bark, and made himself a rope, and bound the trees.

The dragon came. 'What are you doing, brother?'

'I am going to take the whole forest and carry it home.'

'Don't destroy my forest, brother. I'll carry it myself.' The dragon took a tree on his shoulders, and went home.

He said to his wife, 'What shall we do, wife, for he will kill us if we anger him?'

She said, 'Take uncle's big club, and hit him on the head.'

The old man heard. He slept of a night on a bench. And he took the beetle, put it on the bench, dressed it up in his coat, and put his cap on the top of it. And he lay down under the bench. The dragon took the club, and felt the cap, and struck with the club. The old man arose, removed the beetle, put it under the bench, and lay down on the bench. He scratched his head. 'God will punish you, brother, and your household, for a flea has bitten me on the head.'

'There! do you hear, wife? I hit him on the head with the club, and he says a mere flea has bitten him. What shall we do with him, wife?'

Give him a sackful of money to go away.'

'What will you take to go, brother? I'll give you a sackful of money.'

'Give it me.'

He gave it. 'Take it, brother, and be gone.'

'I brought my present myself; do you carry yours yourself.'

The dragon took it on his shoulders and carried it. They drew near to the underground cavern. The old man said, 'Stay here, brother, whilst I go home and tie up the dogs, else they'll wholly devour you.' The old man went home to his children, and made them wooden knives, and told them to say when they saw the dragon, 'Mother, father's bringing a dragon; we'll eat his flesh.'

The dragon heard them, and flung down the sack, and fled. And he met a fox.

'Where are you flying to, dragon?'

'The old man will kill me.'

'Fear not; come along with me. I'll kill him, he's so weak.'

The children came outside and cried, 'Mother, the fox is bringing us the dragon skin he owes us, to cover the cave with.'

The dragon took to flight, and caught the fox, and dashed him to the earth; and the fox died. The old man went to the town, and got a cart, and put the money in it. Then he went to the town, and built himself houses, and bought himself oxen and cows.

THE HEN THAT LAID DIAMONDS
There was a poor man, and he had three sons. And the youngest found six kreutzers, and said, 'Take, father, these six kreutzers, and go into the town and buy something.' And the old man went into the town and bought a hen, and brought it home; and the hen laid a diamond egg. And he put it in the window, and it shone like a candle. And in the morning the old man arose and said, 'Wife, I will go into the town with this egg.' And he went into the town, and went to a merchant. 'Buy this egg.'

'What do you want for it?'

'Give me a hundred florins.'

He gave him a hundred florins. The old man went home and bought himself food, and put the boys to school. And the hen laid another egg, and he' brought it again to that merchant, and he gave him a hundred more florins. He went home. Again the hen laid an egg; he brought it again to that merchant. And on the egg there was written: 'Whoso eats the hen's head shall be emperor; and whoso eats the heart, every night he shall find a thousand gold pieces under his head; and whoso eats the claws shall become a seer.'

The merchant came to that village and hired the old man: 'What shall I give you to convey my merchandise?'

'Give me a hundred florins.'

And he hired the man with the hen for half a year. The merchant came to the man's wife and said, 'Your man is dead, and my money is gone with him, but I'm willing to wed you: I'm rich.'

'Wedded let us be.'

'Good, we will, and kill me the hen for the wedding-feast. We shall do without fiddlers.' 1

And they hired a cook. 'Have the hen ready against our return from church.'

The boys came home from school. 'Give us something to eat.'

'I've nothing to give you, for he told me not to give any of the hen.'

And the boys begged her, 'Do let us have a bit too, for it was we looked after the hen; do let us have a bit too, if it's ever so little.'

She gave the eldest the head, and the middle one the heart, and to the youngest she gave the claws. And they went off to school.

And they came from the wedding, and sat down to table; and he said to the cook, 'Give us to eat.'

And she served up the hen to them. And he asked for the head and the heart, and he asked for the claws. There were none!

And he asked the cook, 'Where is the head?'

She said, 'The boys ate it.'

And he, that merchant, said, 'I don't want any of this hen. Give me the head and the heart and the claws; I will eat only them.'

The cook said, 'The boys ate them.'

And he said, 'Wife, make them bitter coffee to make them vomit.'

And they came home from school, and the youngest boy said, 'Don't drink this coffee, it will kill you.' 2

They went home, and their mother gave them the coffee; and they poured it on the ground and went back to school.

The merchant came and asked, 'Were they sick?'

She answered, 'No.'

'I will go to the town and buy apples; and do you entice them into the cellar, and I will cut their throats, and take out head, heart, and claws, and eat them.'

The youngest brother said, 'Let us go out into the world.'

'Go! what for?'

'Our father is meaning to kill us.'

They departed, and went into another kingdom. The emperor there was dead; and they took his crown and put it in the church; whosever head the crown falls on he shall be emperor. And men of all ranks came into the church; and the three boys came. And the eldest went before, and slipped into the church; and the crown floated on to his head.

'We have a new emperor.'

They raised him shoulder-high, 1 and clad him in royal robes. A mandate is issued: There is a new emperor. The army came and bowed before the new emperor.

And the middle brother said, 'I'm off. I shan't stay here. I want to be emperor too.'

And the youngest said, 'I shall stay.'

So the middle one departed, and went to another emperor; that emperor had a daughter. And thus said the emperor, 'Whoever surpasses her in money, he shall marry her.'

He went to her. 'Come, let us play for money.'

They started playing; he beat her. One day they played, and two not. And he surpassed her in money, and wedded her. And the emperor joined them in marriage, and made him king.

And she had a lover. And that lover sent her a letter: 'Ask him where he gets all his money from.'

And she asked him: 'My lord, where do you get all your money from, that you managed to beat me?'

'Every night I find a thousand gold pieces under my head.'

'How so?'

'I ate a hen's heart.'

She wrote a letter and sent it to her lover: 'He ate a hen's heart, and every night he finds a thousand gold pieces under his head.'

And he sent her another letter: 'Make him coffee, that he vomit--vomit that heart up. And do you take it and eat it; then I'll marry you.'

She made him coffee, and he drank it, and vomited up the heart; and she took it and ate it. And she went to her father. 'Come, father, see how he vomits. He's not the man for me.'

The emperor saw how he vomited. 'Here, off you go. I don't want your sort.' And he took all his clothes off him, and gave him common clothes. And he departed.

He went into the forest, and he hungered, and he came to an apple-tree. He took an apple and ate it, and became an ass. He goes weeping, goes onward, and found a crab-apple, and ate one of its apples, and became a man again. He turned back and took two apples, and took two also of the crab-apples, and went to the city where his wife was. And he stood by the roadside, and his wife went out to walk.

'Are your apples for sale, my man?'

'They are.'

He sold her an apple. She took a bite of it, and became a she-ass. He took her by the mane, and put a bridle on her head, and got on her, and galloped with her into the town, and went with her to an inn, and ordered bitter coffee, and poured it into her mouth; and she vomited, and vomited, and vomited up the heart. And he took it and ate it, and said, 'Now, I'm master.' And he went to his father-in-law: 'I demand justice; this is your daughter.'

The emperor summoned his ministers, but he said, 'I don't want you to pass judgment; come with me to the new emperor.'

So they went to the new emperor. And the emperor drives in his carriage, and he goes riding on his wife.

And the youngest brother said, 'My brother will appeal to you for judgment; deliver a good one.'

The emperors met, and bowed themselves; and the father-in-law said, 'Deliver judgment for this man.'

'I will. You have made her a she-ass; make her a woman again.'

'But she'll have to behave herself in the future.'

'She shall,' said her father, 'only do restore her.'

He gave her a crab-apple, and she ate it, and became a woman again. The emperor took off his crown and set it on his head. 'Do you take my crown, do you be emperor.'

THE WINGED HERO
There was a certain great craftsman, and he was rich. He took to drinking and gambling, and drank away all his wealth, and grew poor, so that he had nothing to eat. He saw a dream, that he should make himself wings; and he made himself wings, and screwed them on, and flew to the Ninth Region, to the emperor's castle, and lighted down And the emperor's son went forth to meet him, and asked him, 'Where do you come from, my man?'

'I come from afar.'

'Sell me your wings.'

'I will.'

'What do you want for them?'

'A thousand gold pieces.'

And he gave him them, and said to him, 'Go home with the wings, and come back in a month's time.'

He flew home, and came back in a month; and the prince said to him, 'Screw the wings on to me.'

And he screwed them on, and wrote down for the prince which peg he was to turn to fly, and which peg he was to turn to alight. The prince flew a little, and let himself down on the ground, and gave him another thousand florins more, and gave him also a horse, that he might ride home. The prince screwed on the wings, and flew to the south. A wind arose from the south, and tossed the trees, and drove him to the north. In the north dwelt the wind, drove him to the Ninth Region. And a fire was shining in the city. And he lighted down on the earth, and unscrewed his wings, and folded them by his side, and came into the house. There was an old woman, and he asked for food. She gave him a dry crust, and he ate it not. He lay down and slept. And in the morning he wrote a letter for her, and gave her money, and sent her to a cookshop with a letter to the cookshop to give him good food. And the old woman came home, and gave him to eat, and he also gave to the old woman. He went outside, and saw the emperor's palace with three stories of stone and the fourth of glass. And he asked the old woman, 'Who lives in the palace? and who lives in the fourth story?'

'The emperor's daughter lives there. He won't let her go out. He gives her her food there by a rope.'

And the maid-servant lowered the rope, and they fastened the victuals to it, and she drew them up by the rope. And the maid-servant had a bedchamber apart, where she slept only of a night, and the day she passed with the princess.

And that emperor's son screwed on his wings and flew up, flew to the glass house, and he looked to see how the bars opened, and opened them, and let himself in. And she was lying lifeless on the bed. And he shakes her, and she never speaks. And he took the candle from her head; and she arose, and embraced him, and said to him, 'Since you are come to me, you are mine, and I am yours.' They loved one another till daybreak; then he went out, placed the candle at her head, and she was dead. And he closed the bars again, and flew back to the old woman.

Half a year he visited the princess. She fell with child. The maid-servant noticed that she was growing big, and her clothes did not fit her. She wrote a letter to the emperor: 'What will this be, that your daughter is big?' The emperor wrote back a letter to her: 'Smear the floor at night with dough, and whoever comes will leave his mark on the floor.' She placed the candle at her head, and the girl lay dead. And she smeared the floor with dough, and went to her chamber. The emperor's son came again to her, and let himself in to her, and never noticed they had smeared the floor, and made footprints with his shoes, and the dough stuck to his shoes, but he never noticed it, and went home to the old woman, and lay down and slept. The servant-maid went to the emperor's daughter, and saw the footprints, and wrote a letter to the emperor, and took the measure of the footprints, and sent it to the emperor. The emperor summoned two servants, and gave them a letter, and gave them the measure of the footprints. 'Whose shoes the measure shall fit, bring him to me.' They traversed the whole city, and found nothing.

And one said, 'Let's try the old woman's.'

And another said, 'No, there's nobody there.'

'Stay here. I'll go.'

And he saw him sleeping, and applied the measure to his shoes. They summoned him. 'Come to the emperor.'

'All right.'

He bought himself a great cloak, and put it on, so that his wings might not be noticed, and went to the emperor. The emperor asked him, 'Have you been going to my daughter?'

'I have.'

'With what purpose have you done so?'

'I want to marry her.'

The emperor said, 'Bah! you'll not marry her, for I'll burn you both with thorns.'

The emperor commanded his servants, and they gathered three loads of thorns, and set them on fire, and lowered her down, to put them both on the fire. The emperor's son asked, 'Allow us to say a pater noster.' He said to the girl, 'When I fall on my knees, do you creep under the cloak and clasp me round the neck, for I'll fly upwards with you.'

She clasped him round the neck, and quickly he screwed the wings, and flew upwards. The cloak flew off, the soldiers fired their guns at it; on he flew. She cried, 'Let yourself down, for I shall bear a child.'

He said, 'Hold out.'

He flew further, and alighted on a rock on a mountain, and she brought forth a child there. She said, 'Make a fire.' He saw a fire in a field afar off. He screwed his wings, and flew to the fire, and took a brand of it, and returned. And a spark fell on one wing, and the wing caught fire. Just as he was under the mountain the wing fell off, and he flung away the other one as well. And he walked round the mountain, and could not ascend it.

And God came to him and said, 'Why weepest thou?' Ah! how should I not weep? for I cannot ascend the mountain, and my wife has brought forth a child.'

'What will you give me if I carry you up to the top?'

'I will give you whatever you want.'

'Will you give me what is dearest to you?'

'I will.'

'Let us make an agreement.'

They made one. God cast him into a deep sleep, and her as well, and God bore them home to his father's, to his own bed, and left them there, and departed. And the child cried. The warders heard a child crying in the bedchamber.

They went and opened the door, and recognised him, the emperor's son. And they went to the emperor and told him, Your son has come, O emperor.'

'Call him to me.'

They came to the emperor; they bowed themselves before him; they tarried there a year. The boy grew big, and was playing one day. The emperor and the empress went to church, and his nurse too went to the church. God came, disguised like a beggar. The emperor's son said to the little lad, 'Take a handful of money, and give it to the beggar.'

The beggar said, 'I don't want this money; it's bad. Tell your father to give me what he vowed he would.'

The emperor's son was angry, and he took his sword in his hand, and went to the old man to kill him. The old man took the sword into his own hand and said, 'Give me what you swore to me--the child, you know--when you were weeping under the mountain.'

'I will give you money, I will not give you the child.'

God took the child by the head, and the father took him by the feet, and they tugged, and God cut the child in half.

'One half for you, and one half for me.'

'Now you've killed him, I don't want him. Take him and be hanged to you.'

God took him, and went outside, and put him together; and he was healed, and lived again.

'Do you take him now.'

For God cut off his sins.

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