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Sunday, December 21, 2014


There were a Gypsy and a shepherd, who tended his sheep. Every night two of the shepherd's sheep went a-missing, or even three. The peasant came to his gossip, the Gypsy, who asks him, 'Hallo! gossip, what's up with you, that you're so sorrowful?'

The peasant says to the Gypsy, 'Ah! how should I not be sorrowful, when some one--I know not who--does me grievous harm?'

'All right. I'll help you there, for I know fine who it is. To-night let your wife make me two big cheeses, the size of that; and let her bake me some nice fine dough for supper. I'll come and sup with you to-night. Then I'll go and look after your sheep.'

All right! The Gypsy went and had a fine blow-out at the peasant's. Night came, and the Gypsy went off to the sheep. And the cheese he put in his pocket, and in his hand he took an iron bar weighing three hundredweight, besides which he made himself quite a light wooden rod. And off he went to the sheepfold. There was nobody there but the shepherd's man.

'Go you home, my lad,' says the Gypsy, 'and I'll stop here.'

Midnight came. The Gypsy made himself a big fire, and straightway the dragon comes to the Gypsy by the fire.

He said to him, 'Wait a bit. I'll give it your mother for this; 1 what are you wanting here?'

'Just wanting to see if you are such a strong chap, though you do eat three sheep every night.'

He was terrified.

'Sit down beside me by the fire, and let's just have a little trial of strength, to see which of us is the stronger. Do you throw this stick so high up in the air that it never falls down again, but stays there.' (It was the bar that weighed three hundredweight.)

The dragon throws, threw it so high, that then and there it remained somewhere or other up in the sky. 'Now,' says the dragon to the Gypsy, 'now do you throw, as I threw.'

The Gypsy threw--it was the little light wooden stick--threw it somewhere or other behind him, so that the dragon couldn't see where he threw it, but he fancied he had thrown it where he had thrown his own.

'Well, all right! Let's sit down, and see whether you really are a clever chap. Just take this stone and squeeze it so that the water runs out of it, and the blood, like this.' The Gypsy took the cheese; he squeezed it till the water ran out of it; then he said to the dragon, 'Do you take it now and squeeze.'

He handed him a stone, and the dragon kept squeezing and squeezing till the blood streamed from his hand. 'I see plainly,' he said to the Gypsy, 'you're a better man than I.'

'Well, take me now on your back, and carry me to your blind mother.'

They came to his blind mother. Fear seized her, for where did one ever hear the like of that--the dragon to carry the Gypsy on his back.

'Now, you'll give me just whatever I want.'

'Fear not. I will give you as much money as you can carry, and as much food as you want, both to eat and to drink; only let me live and my mother. And I'll never go after the sheep any more.'

'Well and good. I could kill you this moment, and your blind mother too. Then swear to me that you will go no more to that peasant's to devour his sheep.'

Straightway he swore to him, that indeed he would go no more.

'Now you must give me money, both gold and silver, and then you must take me on your back and carry me home.'

Well and good. He gave him the money, and took him on his back, and carried home the Gypsy and the money. The Gypsy's wife sees them. 'My God! What's up?' And the children-he had plenty--came running out. The dragon was dreadfully frightened and ran off. But he flung down the Gypsy's money and left it there. The Gypsy was so rich there was not his equal. He was just like a gentle-man. And if he is not dead, he is still living, with his wife and children.

They say that there was an emperor, and he had three sons. And he gave a ball; all Bukowina came to it. And a mist descended, and there came a dragon, and caught up the empress, and carried her into the forests to a mountain, and set her down on the earth. There in the earth was a palace. Now after the ball the men departed home.

And the youngest son was a seer; and his elder brothers said he was mad. Said the youngest, 'Let us go after our mother, and seek for her in Bukowina.' The three set out, and they came to a place where three roads met. And the youngest said, 'Brothers, which road will you go?'

And the eldest said, 'I will keep straight on.'

And the middle one went to the right, and the youngest to the left. The eldest one went into the towns, and the middle one into the villages, and the youngest into the forests. They had gone a bit when the youngest turned back and cried, 'Come here. How are we to know who has found our mother? Let us buy three trumpets, and whoever finds her must straightway blow a blast, and we shall hear him, and return home.'

The youngest went into the forests. And he was hungry, and he found an apple-tree with apples, and he ate an apple, and two horns grew. And he said, 'What God has given me I will bear.' And he went onward, and crossed a stream, and the flesh fell away from him. And he kept saying,' What God has given me I will bear. Thanks be to God.' And he went further, and found another apple-tree. And he said, 'I will eat one more apple, even though two more horns should grow.' When he ate it the horns dropped off. And he went further, and again found a stream. And he said, 'God, the flesh has fallen from me, now will my bones waste away; but even though they do, yet will I go.' And he crossed the stream; his flesh grew fairer than ever. And he went up into a mountain. There was a rock of stone in a spot bare of trees. And he reached out his hand, and moved it aside, and saw a hole in the earth. He put the rock back in its place, and went back and began to wind his horn.

His brothers heard him and came. 'Have you found my mother?'

'I have; come with me.'

And they went to the mountain to the rock of stone.

'Remove this rock from its place.'

'But we cannot.'

'Come, I will remove it.'

He put his little finger on it, and moved it aside. 1 'Hah!' said he, 'here is our mother. Who will let himself down?' And they said, 'Not I.'

The youngest said, 'Come with me into the forest, and we will strip off bark and make a rope.'

They did so, and they made a basket.

I will lower myself down, and when I jerk the rope haul me up.'

So he let himself down, and came to house No. 1. There he found an emperor's daughter, whom the dragon had brought and kept prisoner.

And she said, 'Why are you here? The dragon will kill you when he comes.'

And he asked her, 'Didn't the dragon bring an old lady here?'

And she said, 'I know not, but go to No. 2; there is my middle sister.'

He went to her; she too said, 'Why are you here? The dragon will kill you when he comes.'

And he asked, 'Didn't he bring an old lady?'

And she said, 'I know not, but go to No. 3; there is my youngest sister.'

She said, 'Why are you here? The dragon will kill you when he comes.'

And he asked, 'Didn't he bring an old lady here?' And she said, 'He did, to No. 4.'

He went to his mother, and she said, 'Why are you here? The dragon will kill you when he comes.'

And he said, 'Fear not, come with me.' And he led her, and put her in the basket, and said to her, 'Tell my brothers they've got to pull up three maidens.' He jerked the rope, and they hauled their mother up. He put the eldest girl in the basket, and they hauled her up; then the middle one, jerked the rope, and they hauled her up. And while they are hauling, he made the youngest swear that she will not marry 'till I come.' She swore that she will not marry till he comes; he put her also in the basket, jerked the rope, and they hauled her up.

And he found a stone, and put it in the basket, and jerked the rope. 'If they haul up the stone, they will also haul up me.' And they hauled it half-way up, and the rope broke, and they left him to perish, for they thought he was in the basket. And he began to weep. And he went into the palace where the dragon dwelt, and pulled out a box, and found a rusty ring. And he is cleaning it; out of it came a lord, and said, 'What do you want, master?'

'Carry me out into the world.'

And he took him up on his shoulders, and carried him out. And he took two pails of water. When he washed himself with one, his face was changed; and when with the other, it became as it was before. And he brought him to a tailor in his father's city.

And he washed himself with the water, and his face was changed. And he went to that tailor; and that tailor was in his father's employment. And he hired himself as a prentice to the tailor for a twelvemonth, just to watch the baby in another room. The tailor had twelve prentices. And the tailor did not recognise him, nor his brothers.

The eldest brother proposed to the youngest sister, whom the seer had saved from the dragon. And she said, 'No, I have sworn not to marry until my own one comes.' The middle son also proposed; she said, 'I will not, until my own one comes.'

So the eldest son married the eldest girl; the middle son married the middle girl; and they called the tailor to make them wedding garments, and gave him cloth.

And the emperor's son said, 'Give it me to make.'

'No, I won't, you wouldn't fit him properly.'

'Give it me. I'll pay the damage if I don't sew it right.'

The tailor gave it him, and he rubbed the ring. Out came a little lord, and said, 'What do you want, master?'

'Take this cloth, and go to my eldest brother, and take his measure, so that it mayn't be too wide, or too narrow, but just an exact fit. And sew it so that the thread mayn't show.'

And he sewed it so that one couldn't tell where the seam came. And in the morning he brought them to the tailor.

'Carry them to them.'

And when they saw them, they asked the tailor, 'Who made these clothes? For you never made so well before.'

'I've a new prentice made them.'

'Since the youngest would not have us, we'll give her to him, that he may work for us.'

They went and got married. After the wedding they called the prentice, called too the maiden, and bade her go to him.

She said, 'I will not,' for she did not know him.

The emperor's eldest son caught hold of her to thrash her.

She said, 'Go to him I will not.'

'You've got to.'

'Though you cut my throat, I won't.'

Said the youngest son, 'I'll tell you what, Prince, let me go with her into a side-room and talk with her.'

He took her aside, and washed himself with the other water, and his face became as it was. She knew him. 1

'Come, now I'll have you.'

He washed himself again with the first water, and his face was changed once more, and he went back to the emperor. And he asked her, 'Will you have him?'

'I will.'

'The wedding is to be in twelve days.'

And they called the old tailor, and commanded him, 'In twelve days' time be ready for the wedding.' And they departed home.

Six days are gone, and he takes no manner of trouble, but goes meanly as ever. Now ten are gone, and only two remain. The tailor called the bridegroom. 'And what shall we do, for there's nothing ready for the wedding?'

'Ah! don't fret, and fear not: God will provide.'

Now but one day remained; and he, the bridegroom, went forth, and rubbed the ring. And out came a little lord and asked him, 'What do you want, master?'

'In a day's time make me a three-story palace, and let it turn with the sun on a screw, and let the roof be of glass, and let there be water and fish there; the fish swimming and sporting in the roof, so that the lords may look at the roof, and marvel what magnificence is this. And let there he victuals and golden dishes and silver spoons, and one cup being drained and one cup filled.'

That day it was ready.

'And let me have a carriage and six horses, and a hundred soldiers for outriders, and two hundred on either side.'

On the morrow he started for the wedding, he from one place, and she from another; and they went to the church and were married, and came home. His brothers came and his father, and a heap of lords. And they drink and eat, and all kept looking at the roof.

When they had eaten and drunk, he asked the lords, What they would do to him who seeks to slay his brother?'

His brothers heard. 'Such a one merits death.'

Then he washed himself with the other water, and his face became as it was. Thus his brothers knew him. And he said, 'Good day to you, brothers. You fancied I had perished. You have pronounced your own doom. Come out with me, and toss your swords up in the air. If you acted fairly by me, it will fall before you, but if unfairly, it will fall on your head.'

The three of them tossed up their swords, and that of the youngest fell before him, but theirs both fell on their head, and they died.

There was a poor man, and he had four sons. And they went out to service, and went to a gentleman to thrash wheat. And they received so much wheat for a wage, and brought it to their father. 'Here, father, eat; we will go out to service again.' And they went again to a gentleman, who was to. give them each a horse at the year's end. And the youngest was called Tropsyn; and the gentleman made him his groom. And a mare brought forth a colt; and that colt said, 'Tropsyn, take me. The year is up now.'

The gentleman said, 'Choose your horses.'

So the three elder brothers chose good horses; but Tropsyn said, 'Give me this horse, master.'

'What will you do with it? it's so little.'

'So it may be.'

Tropsyn took it and departed; and the colt said, 'Let me go, Tropsyn, to my dam to suck.'

And he let it go, and it went to its dam, and came back a horse to terrify the world.

'Now mount me.'

He mounted, and the horse flew. He caught up his brothers, and his brothers asked him, 'Where did you get that horse from?'

'I killed a gentleman, and took his horse.'

'Let's push on, and escape.'

Night fell upon them as they were passing a meadow, and in that meadow they saw the light of a fire. They made for the light. It was an old woman's, and she was a witch, and had four daughters. And they went there, and went into the house; and Tropsyn said, 'Good-night.'

'Thank you.'

'Can you give us a night's lodging?'

'I'm not sure; my mother is not at home. When she comes you had better ask her.'

The mother came home. 'What are you wanting, young fellows?'

'We've come to demand your daughters in marriage.'


She made them a bed on the ground with its head to the threshold, and her daughters' with its head to the wall. And the old woman sharpened her sword to cut off their heads. And Tropsyn took his brothers' caps, and put them on the girls' heads. And the old woman arose, and kept feeling the caps, and keeps cutting off the heads, and killed her daughters.

Tropsyn arose, and led his brothers outside. 'Come, be off.' And he arose, Tropsyn; and the old woman had a golden bird in a cage; and Tropsyn said to the horse, 'I will take a feather of the bird.'

And the horse said, 'Don't.'

'Bah! I will.' And he took a feather, and put it in his pocket.

And they mounted their horses and rode away, and went to a city. There was a great lord, a count; and he asked them, 'Where are you going?'

'We are going to service.'

'Take service with me, then.'

And that lord was still unmarried. And they went to him, and he gave them each a place. One he set over the horses, and one he set over the oxen, and one he set over the swine; and Tropsyn he made coachman. Of a night Tropsyn stuck the feather in the wall, and it shone like a candle. And his brothers were angry, and went to their master. 'Master, Tropsyn has a feather, such that one needs no candle--of gold.'

The master called: 'Tropsyn, come here, bring me the feather.'

Tropsyn brought it, and gave it to his master. The master liked him better than ever, and the brothers went to the master, and said to him, 'Master, Tropsyn has said that he'll bring the bird alive.'

The master called Tropsyn. 'Tropsyn, bring me the bird. If you don't, I shall cut off your head.'

He went to his horse. 'What am I to do, horse, for the master has told me to bring the bird?'

'Fear not, Tropsyn; jump on my back.'

So he mounted the horse, and rode to the old woman's. And the horse said to him, 'Turn a somersault, 1 and you'll become a flea, and creep into her breast and bite her. And she'll fling off her smock, and do you go and take the bird.'

And he took the bird, and departed to his master; the master made him a lackey.

And there was in the Danube a lady, a virgin; and of a Sunday she would go out on the water in a boat. And his brothers came to their master and said, 'Master, Tropsyn boasts that he'll bring the lady from the bottom of the Danube.'

'Tropsyn, come here. What is this you've been boasting, that you'll bring me the lady?'

'I didn't.'

'You've got to, else I shall cut off your head.'

He went to his horse. 'What am I to do, horse, for how shall I bring her?'

And the horse said, 'Fear not, let him give you twelve hides and a jar of pitch, 2 and put them on me, and let him make you a small ship, not big, and let him put various drinks in the ship. And do you hide yourself behind the door. And she will come, and drink brandy, and get drunk, and sleep. And do you seize her, and jump on my back with her, and I will run off home.'

The horse ran home to the master, and Tropsyn gave her to his master in the castle. The count shut the doors, and set a watch at the window to prevent her escape, for she was wild. The count wanted to marry her; she will not.

Let them bring my herd of horses, then I will marry you. He who brought me, let him bring also my horses.'

The count said, 'Tropsyn, bring the horses.'

Tropsyn went to his horse. 'What am I to do, horse? How shall I bring the horses from the Danube?'

'Come with me, fear not.'

When he came to the Danube, the horse leapt into the Danube, and caught the mother of the horses by the mane, and led her out. And Tropsyn caught her, and mounted her, and galloped off. And the whole herd came forth, and ran after their dam home to the count's palace. The lady cried ' Halt!' to the horses.

The count wants to marry her. She says, 'Let him milk my mares, and when you have bathed in their milk, then I will marry you.'

The count cried, 'Tropsyn, milk the mares.'

And Tropsyn went to his horse. 'What shall I do, horse? How shall I milk the mares?'

'Fear not, for I will catch her by the mane, and do you milk, and fear not.'

And he milked a whole caldron full.

And the lady said, 'Make a fire, and boil the milk.'

And they made a fire, and the milk boils.

'Now,' said the lady, 'let him who milked the mares bathe in the milk.'

And the count said, 'Tropsyn, go and bathe in the milk.'

He went to the horse. 'What shall I do, horse? for if I bathe, then I shall die.'

The horse said, 'Fear not, lead me to the caldron; I will snort through my nostrils, and breathe out frost.'

He led the horse; the horse snorted through his nostrils; then the milk became lukewarm. Then he leapt into the caldron, and fair as he was before, he came out fairer still. When he came out, the horse snorted through his nostrils, and breathed fire into the caldron, and the milk boiled again.

And the lady said to the count, 'Go thou too and bathe in the milk, then will I live with thee.'

The count went to the caldron and said, 'Tropsyn, bring me my horse.'

Tropsyn brought him his horse; the horse trembled from afar. The count leapt into the caldron; only bones were to be seen at the bottom of the caldron.

Then cried the lady, 'Come hither, Tropsyn; thou art my lord, and I am thy lady.' 

Somewhere far off were a quarryman and his wife. They had a son in their old age. They died. An old man comes to beg, and asks boy will he come with him to seek fortune. They go. 'Wish me into a horse.' Boy does so. 'Jump on my back.' He does so. They take the road. Horse warns boy to help anything in distress. Boy finds a little fish cast up by the tide, and puts it back in the water. Fish promises gratitude. They cross the Beautiful Mountain. Horse warns boy to touch nothing. A feather blows in his mouth. He spits it out again and again, but it returns. He looks at it, thinks it pretty, puts it in his pocket. They descend other side of the mountain. Boy hears noise of bellowing in a castle. Finds sick giant in bed, without servant-maid. Boy gets him food. Giant promises gratitude. Horse asks boy if he touched anything on mountain. 'Nothing but this feather.' 'That feather will bring you sorrow, but keep it now you have it.' They come to a castle. Boy asks for work. Master tests his hand-writing. Engages him. Wants him to sleep indoors; he prefers stable beside his old horse (cf. Grimm, No. 126, ii. 155, also for pen). They marvel at his penmanship, done with this feather. One day the master's man steals the pen by a ruse, and brings it to master: 'Master, the man that got the feather can get the bird.' Boy tells horse what they want him to do. Horse tells him to ask for three days' leave and three sacks of gold. Horse and boy go off. They go and get the bird, choosing the dirtiest and ugliest bird (cf. Polish-Gypsy story, No. 49, for choosing bird in common cage). The master's man says, 'Master, the bird is fair, but fairer still the lady' (that owned it). Boy told to fetch lady; he tells horse. Horse reminds him that he said the feather would bring him trouble. Three more days and three purses of gold. Horse says, 'Wish me into a boat on the sea.' The boat is full of the finest silk. They sail under the castle. Lure lady on board to see silk. She goes into cabin. Boy weighs anchor and off. Lady comes up, and drops her keys into sea. They return. Man says to master, 'Master, the man that got the lady can get the castle.' Boy tells horse. Horse reminds him of unlucky feather. Three more days and bags of gold. They go. Horse reminds boy of giant's promise. Giant puts chain round castle and drags it along. The castle is walled round and locked. Lady demands her keys. Boy and horse go off, call the little fish. He fails to find keys. Tries again and brings them up. Keys given to lady. Lady says, 'Which would you prefer, Jack, to have your head cut off or your master's head cut off?' Boy says, 'Cut off mine, not his.' Lady says, 'You have spoken well. Had you not spoken thus, your own head would have been cut off. Now the master's head will fall, not yours.' Boy and lady wed, and live in the castle still. 'Now you've got it.'

There was a widow lady, and she had an only son. An he stuck his ring in the wall, and said, 'Mother, when blood flows from the ring, then I am dead.'

And he was called Peter Pretty-face.

He took the road, and the dragon with six heads came, and he drew his sword and killed him, and made three heaps of him, and planted a red flag, and went further. And a dragon with twelve heads came, and he drew his sword, and killed him also, and made twelve heaps, and planted a black flag, and went further. And there came one with twenty-four heads, and he killed him also, and made twenty-four heaps, and planted a white flag.

Behold! the dragons carried off an emperor's daughter--there were twelve dragons--and shut her up in their castle. And they went and fought from morning even till noon; he who shall prove himself strongest, he shall marry the maiden.

And his mother had said to him, 'If you will go, your death will not be by a hero, but your death will be by cripple.'

So he went to that castle, and saw the maiden at the window, and he asked her, 'What are you doing there?'

'The dragons carried me off, and shut me up here.'

'And where are they gone to?'

'They are gone to fight for me.'

'And when will they come home?'

'They will come at noon to dine. And they will hurl their club, and it will strike the door, that I may have the food ready.'

He opened the door and went in to her. The dragon hurled the club, and struck the door; and he took the club and hurled it back, and killed them all.

'Now have no fear; they are dead.'

He married the emperor's daughter.

And the emperor heard that the dragons had carried off his daughter; and the emperor said, 'He who shall free her from the dragons, he shall marry her.' The emperor knew not that Peter Pretty-face had married her. He thought that the dragons had carried her off.

And there was one Chutilla the Handless, and he went to the emperor. 'I, O emperor, will rescue your daughter from the dragons.'

'Well, if you do, she shall be yours.'

So he, Chutilla, went to Peter Pretty-face. And night came upon him, and he had nowhere to sleep, and he crept into the hen-house. In the morning Peter Pretty-face arose, and washed his face, and looked out of the window, and Chutilla came forth from the hen-house.

And Peter Pretty-face saw him. ' By him is my death.' Chutilla came indoors and said, 'Good-morning, Peter Pretty-face.'

'Thanks, Chutilla.'

'Come, Peter Pretty-face, give me the emperor's daughter.'

He said, 'I will not.'

Chutilla caught him by the throat, and placed his head on the threshold. 1 'Give me, Peter Pretty-face, the maiden, else I will cut off your head.'

'Cut it off; I will not give her.'

Chutilla cut off his head, and took the girl and departed.

Blood began to flow from the ring. His mother saw it. 'Now my son is dead.' She went after him, to seek for him, and came to the red flag. His mother said, 'My son went this way.' She went further, and came to the black flag. 'My son went this way.' She went further, and came to the white flag. 'My son went this way.' She came to the castle, found her son dead; and two serpents were licking the blood. And she struck one serpent, and it died. And the other serpent brought a leaf in its mouth, and went to the first serpent, and it also arose. And the lady saw, and killed it also, and took the leaf, and placed her son's head again on the trunk, and touched it with the leaf, and he arose.

'Mother, I was sleeping soundly.'

'You would have slept for ever if I had not come.'

'Mother, I will go to my lady.'

'Go not, mother's darling.'

'Bah! I will go, mother.'

'If go you will, God aid you.'

He went, and went straight to Chutilla, and seized Chutilla, and cut him all in little pieces, till he had cut him up, and cast him to the dogs, and they devoured him. And he took the emperor's daughter, and went with her to the emperor.

And the maiden said, 'Father, this is he that saved me from the dragons.'

The emperor joined them in marriage, and made him king. And they live, perhaps they are living even now.

There was, there was not, a lord; and he had three sons. And one was the eldest son, and he said to his father, 'We will go somewhere to seek a livelihood.'

'Well, go, my sons,' said their father.

When they went, he baked loaves for each one to put in his wallet. Then they went a long way, and the youngest had most bread. And that youngest brother said, 'Brothers mine, I cannot carry this wallet, so first we will eat from my wallet, brothers mine.'

When they had eaten, they then went a long way further, and then those two brothers ate, and gave not to the third. He now had nothing, and says, 'Brothers mine, why don't you give me to eat? You ate up mine, and now you don't give me to eat.'

'If you'll let one of your eyes be taken out, then we will give you to eat,' said the two elder brothers. And then they took out his eye, and then gave him to eat. When they had eaten, they went a long way further. And there again those two brothers eat, and the third one says, 'Why don't you give me to eat? Now you've taken my eye out, and yet give me nothing to eat.'

'If you'll let your other eye be taken out, then we will give you to eat.'

And he, the youngest, says, 'Just do with me what you will.'

Then they took out his eye; then they gave him to eat; then that eyeless one said, 'Lead me under the cross; maybe some one will give me something.'

They led him not under the cross, but under a gallows, and there hung a dead man. And then thither came three crows, and thus talked one with another:

'What's the news in your country?' thus they asked one of them. 'What's the news?'

'In my country there is no water.'

'And in your country what's the news?'

'There's a dew there, if a blind man rubs his eyes with it, he forthwith sees.'

'And in your third country what's the news?'

'In my country there is a princess sick.'

And then those three crows went to the lad, and then they asked him what he was doing under the gallows. And he said, 'My brothers brought me here.'

And then those three crows flew away. And that lad feels in the grass with his hands, then he put it on his eyes, then he moistened his eyes; forthwith he saw. And then that lad departed to the king. That lad was then the king's servant, and went then to a city, and went up above the city, and saw there such a great rock, and struck that rock as with a rod; forthwith the water came from the rock. And then that water flowed into the city, where there was no water, there flowed that water, and the people were greatly rejoiced. And then he, that lad, cried that the water will always flow; then were the people greatly rejoiced that that water was flowing.

And then that boy went to another city, and there was a sick princess. He went to that king, and asked him, 'What's this princess got?'

'What's she got! she's sick.'

'If you will give me her to wife, then I will help her,' said that lad to the king.

'Do but help her, then we will give you her to wife.'

When he had healed her, then he took her to wife; and then they held the bridal seven whole years. And then he became young king.

That young king said to his soldiers, 'Hark ye, soldiers, go after my two brothers.'

Then those soldiers went after those two brothers, and then they brought the brothers. Then that young king asks them, 'How many brothers had you?'

And they said, 'We are only two.'

The king says, 'Hah! were there ever more of you?'

Then those two brothers say, 'We were three.'

Then, 'What have you done with the third one?'

'Done with him! He demanded of us to eat, then we took out his eyes.'

Then, 'I am he,' thus did that young king say. 'Now, what am I to do with you?'

Those two brothers say, 'Lead us under that cross.'

He led them under that very cross. When he had led them, there came again those same three crows. When they had come, again they asked one another, 'What is the news in your country?'

'In my country now is the princess well.'

'And in your second country what is the news?'

'In my country now is much water.'

'And in your third country what is the news?'

'There now is no such dew as they rubbed the eyes with.'

Then those three crows came to those two lads, and then there those crows say, 'We will tear these two lads.' And they tore and devoured them. And then those three crows flew away, and flew into the sky.

There were three princesses, and they vaunted themselves before the three princes. One vaunted that she will make him a golden boy and girl. And one vaunted that she will feed his army with one crust of bread. And one vaunted that she will clothe the whole army with a single spindleful of thread. The time came that the princes took the three maidens. So she who had vaunted that she will bear the golden boy and girl, the time came that she grew big with child, and she fell on the hearth in the birth-pangs. The midwife came and his mother, and she brought forth a golden boy and girl. And her man was not there. And the midwife and his mother took a dog and a bitch, and put them beneath her. And they took the boy and the girl, and the midwife threw them into the river. And they went floating on the river, and a monk found them.

So their father went a-hunting, and their father found the lad. 'Let me kiss you.' For, he thought, My wife said she would bear a golden lad and girl like this. And he came home and fell sick; and the midwife noticed it and his mother.

The midwife asked him, 'What ails you?'

He said, 'I am sick, because I have seen a lad like my wife said she would bear me.'

Then she sent for the children, did his mother; and the monk brought them; and she asked him, 'Where did you get those children?'

He said, 'I found them both floating on the river.'

And the king saw it must be his children; his heart yearned towards them. So the king called the monk, and asked him, 'Where did you get those children?'

He said, 'I found them floating on the river.'

He brought the monk to his mother and the midwife, and said, 'Behold, mother, my children.'

She repented and said, 'So it is.' She said, 'Yes, darling, the midwife put them in a box, and threw them into the water.'

Then he kindled the furnace, and cast both his mother and also the midwife into the furnace. And he burnt them; and so they made atonement. He gathered all the kings together, for joy that he had found his children. Away I came, the tale have told.

Somewhere there was a hunter's son, a soldier; and there was also a shoemaker's daughter. She had a dream that if he took her to wife, and if she fell pregnant by him, she would bring forth twins--the boy with a golden star upon his breast, and the girl with a golden star upon the brow. And he presently took her to wife. And she was poor, that shoemaker's daughter; and he was rich. So his parents did not like her for a daughter-in-law. She became with child to him; and he went off to serve as a soldier. Within a year she brought forth. When that befell, she had twins exactly as she had said. She bore a boy and a girl; the boy had a golden star upon his breast, and the girl had a golden star upon her brow. But his parents threw the twins into diamond chests, wrote a label for each of them, and put it in the chest. Then they let them swim away down the Vah river.

Then my God so ordered it, that there were two fishers, catching fish. They saw those chests come swimming down the river; they laid hold of both of them. When they had done so, they opened the chests, and there were the children alive, and on each was the label with writing. The fishers took them up, and went straight to the church to baptize them.

So those children lived to their eighth year, and went already to school. And the fishers had also children of their own, and used to beat them, those foundlings. He, the boy, was called Jankos; and she, Marishka:

And Marishka said to Jankos, 'Let us go, Jankos mine, somewhere into the world.'

Then they went into a forest, there spent the night. There they made a fire, and Marishka fell into a slumber, whilst he, Jankos, kept up the fire. There came a very old stranger to him, and he says to him, says that stranger, 'Come with me, Jankos, I will give you plenty of money.'

He brought him into a vault; there a stone door opened before him; the vault was full, brim full of money. Jankos took two armfuls of money. It was my God who was there with him, and showed him the money. He took as much as he could carry, then returned to Marishka. Marishka was up already and awake; she was weeping--'Where, then, is Jankos?'

Jankos calls to her, 'Fear not, I am here; I am bringing you plenty of money.'

My God had told him to take as much money as he wants; the door will always be open to him. Then they, Jankos and Marishka, went to a city; he bought clothes for himself and for her, and bought himself a fine house. Then he bought also horses and a small carriage. Then he went to the vault for that money, and helped himself again. With the shovel he flung it on the carriage; then he returned home with so much money that he didn't know what to do with it.

Then he ordered a band to play music, and arranged for a ball. Then he invited all the gentry in that country, invited all of them; and his parents too came. This he did that he might find out who were his parents. Right enough they came; and he, Jankos, at once knew his mother--my God had ordained it, that he at once should know her. Then he asks his mother, 1 does Jankos, what a man deserved who ruins two souls, and is himself alive.

And she says, the old lady, 'Such a one deserves nothing better than to have light set to the fagot-pile, and himself pitched into the fire.'

That was just what they did to them, pitched them into the fire; and he remained there with Marishka. And the gentleman cried then, 'Hurrah! bravo! that's capital.'

There was an emperor with an only son; and he put him to school, to learn to read. And he said to his father, 'Father, find me a comrade, for I'm tired of going to school.' The emperor summoned his servants, and sent them out into the world to find a boy, and gave them a carriageful of ducats, and described what he was to be like, and how old. So they traversed all the world, and found a boy, and gave a carriageful of ducats for him, and brought him to the emperor. The emperor clothed him, and put him to the school; and he was the better scholar of the two.

There was an empress, the lovely Nastasa. A virgin she, who commanded her army. And she had a horse, which twelve men led forth from the stable; and she had a sword, which twelve more men hung on its peg. And princes came to seek her, and she said, 'He who shall mount my horse, him will I marry, and he who shall brandish my sword.' And when they led forth the steed, and the suitors beheld it, they feared, and departed home.

The emperor's son said, 'Father, I will go to Nastasa the Fair, to woo her'; and he said, 'Come with me, brother.' Their father gave them two horses, and gave them plenty of ducats; and they set out to Nastasa the Fair. And night came upon them, and they rested and made a fire.

And the emperor's son said, 'If I had Nastasa the Fair here, I would stretch myself by her side; and if her horse were here, what a rattling I'd give him; and if her sword were here, I would brandish it.'

And his brother said, 'All the same, you've got to feed swine.'

And in the morning they journey till night, and at night they rested again. Again he said, 'If I had Nastasa the Fair here, I would stretch myself by her side; and if her horse were here, I would rattle him; and if her sword were here, I would brandish it.'

'Brother, you've got to feed swine.'

He cut off his head with his sword, and went onward. And two Huculs 1 came, and put his head on again, and sprinkled the water of life. And he arose, and mounted his horse, and gave each of the Huculs a handful of ducats. And he went after his brother, and caught him up on the road. And they journeyed till night, and he said to his brother, Brother, if you will hearken to me, it will go well with you.'

'I will, brother.' He came to Nastasa the Fair.

What have you come for?'

'We have come to demand your hand.'

And she said, 'Good, but will you mount my steed?'

'I will.'

She cried to her servants, 'Bring forth the steed.'

Twelve men brought him forth; the comrade mounted him. The horse flew up aloft with him, to cast him down. And he took his club, and kept knocking him over the head.

The horse said, 'Don't kill me.'

'Let yourself gently down with me, and fall beneath me, and I will take you by the tail and drag you along the ground, that she may see how I treat you.'

He cried aloud, 'What a poor, wretched horse you have given me. 1 Bring the sword, that I brandish it.'

Twelve men brought the sword; he brandished it, and flung it to the Ninth Region. There was Paul the Wild; he was nailed to the roof by the palms of his hands. And thither he flung the sword; it cut off his hands, and he fled away.

They summoned the prince to table to eat, and set him at table, and twelve servants ate with him. They kept squeezing him, and he said, 'I'll step outside into the fresh air.' He went out, and said to his brother, 'Come, do you sit here, for I'm off.'

So he sat there in their midst, and they kept squeezing him. And he took his club, and began to lay about with it. And he said, 'This is your way of showing one honour.' They fled and departed.

At nightfall now it grew dark, and Nastasa the Fair called the prince to her. He went to her. She set her foot on him, and picked him up, and he was like to die.

And he said, 'Let me go into the fresh air.'

She said, 'Go.'

He went out, and said to his brother, 'Stay you here, for I'm off.'

And he went and lay down beside her. She set her foot on him. He took his club and thrashed her with it, so that he left in her only the strength of a mere woman.

He went out, went to his brother. 'Well, brother, now you can go, and don't be frightened; but, when you come to her, give her a slap.'

He went to her, gave her a slap, and slept beside her. In the morning they went out for a walk, and she said to him, 'My lord, what a thrashing you gave me! yet when you came back you kissed me.'

And he said to her, 'I didn't kiss you, I gave you a slap.'

'Who then was it thrashed me?'

'My brother.'

She said not a word.

The brother slept by himself in another room. And she took the sword and cut off his feet. He made himself a winged cart; it ran a mile when he gave it a shove. And he found Paul the Wild, and said, 'Where are you going to, brother?'

'I am going into the world to get my living, for I have no hands.'

'Ha! let's become Brothers of the Cross, 1 and do you yoke yourself to the cart, and draw it gently, for you have feet.'

They went a-begging, and went into the woods and found a house, and took up their abode in it. And they went into a city and begged. A girl came to give him an alms; and he caught her, and threw her into the cart, and fled with her into the forest, there where their house was. And they swore they would not commit sin with her. The devil came, and lay with her. And they heard, and arose in the morning.

And Dorohýj Kúpec 2 asked, 'You swore. Why then did you go in to her and commit sin?'

'It wasn't me, brother, for I too heard, and I thought it was you.'

'He'll come this night, and do you take me in the stumps of your hands, and fling me on to them; I'll seize him, whoever he is.'

At night he came to her, and lay with her. They heard, and Paul took him and flung him on to them. He seized the devil, and they lit the candle, and began to beat him. And he prayed them not to, 'for I will restore you your feet, and likewise him his hands.' In the morning they bound him by the neck, and led him to a spring.

'Put your feet in the spring.'

He put his feet in the spring, and his feet became as they were before. And Paul put his hands in, and his hands were likewise restored. And Dorohýj Kúpec put some of the water of life in one pail, and some of the water of death in another. And he came back to their house; and they made a fire, put a fagot of wood on the fire, and burnt the devil, and flung his ashes to the wind. And Dorohýj Kúpec said, 'Now, brother, do you take that girl to yourself, and live with her, for I will go to my brother.'

He set out, and went to his brother, and found his brother by the roadside feeding swine.

'Well, do you mind my telling you, brother, you'd come to feed swine? Do you put on my clothes, and give me yours, for I'll turn swineherd, and do you stay behind.'

He took and drove the swine home, and she cried, 'Why have you driven the swine home so soon?'

The swine went into the sty, and one wouldn't go; and he took a cudgel and beat it so that it died. And when Nastasa the Fair saw that, she fled into the palace, for this is Dorohýj Kúpec.'

He followed her into the palace, and said to her, 'Good day to you, sister-in-law.'

'Thanks,' said she.

He caught her by the hand and dragged her out, and cut her all in pieces, and made three heaps of them; and two heaps he gave to the dogs, and they devoured them. And the rest of her he gathered into a single heap, and made a woman, and sprinkled her with the water of death, and she joined together; and sprinkled her with the water of life, and she arose.

'Take her, brother; now you may live with her, for now she has no great strength. I will go home,' said Dorohýj Kúpec.

And home he went. 

There was once a poor lad. He took the road, went to find himself a master. He met a priest on the road. Where are you going, my lad?'

'I am going to find myself a master.'

'Mine's the very place for you, my lad, for I've another lad like you, and I have six oxen and a plough. Do you enter my service and plough all this field.'

The lad arose, and took the plough and the oxen, and went into the fields and ploughed two days. Luck 1 and the Ogre came to him. And the Ogre said to Luck, 'Go for him.' Luck didn't want to go for him; only the Ogre went. When the Ogre went for him, he laid himself down on his back, and unlaced his boots, and took to flight across the plain.

The other lad shouted after him, 'Don't go, brother; don't go, brother.'

'Bah! God blast your plough and you as well.'

Then he came to a city of the size of Bucharest. Presently he arrived at a watchmaker's shop. And he leaned his elbows on the shop-board and watched the prentices at their work. Then one of them asked him, 'Why do you sit there hungry?'

'He said, 'Because I like to watch you working.'

Then the master came out and said, 'Here, my lad, I will hire you for three years, and will show you all that I am master of. For a year and a day,' he continued, 'you will have nothing to do but chop wood, and feed the oven fire, and sit with your elbows on the table, and watch the prentices at their work.'

Now the watchmaker had had a clock of the emperor's fifteen years, and no one could be found to repair it; he had fetched watchmakers from Paris and Vienna, and not one of them had managed it. The time came when the emperor offered the half of his kingdom to whoso should repair it; one and all they failed. The clock had twenty-four tunes in it. And as it played, the emperor grew young again. Easter Sunday came; and the watchmaker went to church with his prentices. Only the old wife and the lad stayed behind. The lad chopped the wood up quickly, and went back to the table that they did their work at. He never touched one of the little watches, but he took the big clock, and set it on the table. He took out two of its pipes, and cleaned them, and put them back in their place; then the four-and-twenty tunes began to play, and the clock to go. Then the lad hid himself for fear; and all the people came out of the church when they heard the tunes playing.

The watchmaker, too, came home, and said, 'Mother, who did me this kindness, and repaired the clock?'

His mother said, 'Only the lad, dear, went near the table.'

And he sought him and found him sitting in the stable. He took him in his arms: 'My lad, you were my master, and I never knew it, but set you to chop wood on Easter Day.' Then he sent for three tailors, and they made him three fine suits of clothes. Next day he ordered a carriage with four fine horses; and he took the clock in his arms, and went off to the emperor. The emperor, when he heard it, came down from his throne, and took his clock in his arms and grew young. Then he said to the watchmaker, 'Bring me him who mended the clock.'

He said, 'I mended it.'

'Don't tell me it was you. Go and bring me him who mended it.'

He went then and brought the lad.

The emperor said, 'Go, give the watchmaker three purses of ducats; but the lad you shall have no more, for I mean to give him ten thousand ducats a year, just to stay here and mind the clock and repair it when it goes wrong.'

So the lad dwelt there thirteen years.

The emperor had a grown-up daughter, and he proposed to find a husband for her. She wrote a letter, and gave it to her father. And what did she put in the letter? She put this: 'Father, I am minded to feign to be dumb; and whoso is able to make me speak, I will be his.'

Then the emperor made a proclamation throughout the world: 'He who is able to make my daughter speak shall get her to wife; and whoso fails him will I kill.'

Then many suitors came, but not one of them made her speak. And the emperor killed them all, and by and by no one more came.

Now the lad, the watchmaker, went to the emperor, and said, 'Emperor, let me also go to the maiden, to see if I cannot make her speak.'

'Well, this is how it stands, my lad. Haven't you seen the proclamation on the table, how I have sworn to kill whoever fails to make her speak?'

'Well, kill me also, Emperor, if I too fail.'

'In that case, go to her.'

The lad dressed himself bravely, and went into her chamber. She was sewing at her frame. When the lad entered, he said, 'Good-day, you rogue.'

Thank you, watchmaker. Well, sit you down since you have come, and take a bite.'

'Well, all right, you rogue.'

He only was speaking. 1 Then he tarried no longer, but came out and said, 'Good-night, rogue.'

'Farewell, watchmaker.'

Next evening the emperor summoned him, to kill him. But the lad said, 'Let me go one more night.' Then the lad went again, and said, 'Good-evening, rogue.'

'Welcome, watchmaker. And since you have come, brother, pray sit down to table.'

Only he spoke, so at last he said, 'Good-night, rogue.'

'Farewell, watchmaker.'

Next night the emperor summoned him. 'I must kill you now, for you have reached your allotted term.'

Then said the lad, 'Do you know, emperor, that there is thrice forgiveness for a man?'

'Then go to-night, too.'

Then the lad went that night, and said, 'How do you do, rogue?'

'Thank you, watchmaker. Since you have come, sit at table.'

'So I will, rogue. And see you this knife in my hand? I mean to cut you in pieces if you will not answer my question.' And why should I not answer it, watchmaker?'

'Well, rogue, know you the princess?'

'And how should I not know her?'

'And the three princes, know you them?'

'I know them, watchmaker.'

'Well and good, if you know them. The three brothers had an intrigue with the princess. They knew not that the three had to do with her. But what did the maiden? She knew they were brothers. The eldest came at nightfall, and she set him down to table and he ate. Then she lay with him and shut him up in a chamber. The middle one came at midnight, and she lay with him also and shut him up in another chamber. And that same night came the youngest, and she lay with him too. Then at daybreak she let them all out, and they sprang to slay one another, the three brothers. The maiden said, "Hold, brothers, do not slay one another, but go home and take each of you to himself ten thousand ducats, and go into three cities; and his I will become who brings me the finest piece of workmanship." So the eldest journeyed to Bucharest, and there found a beautiful mirror. Now look you what kind of mirror it was. "Here, merchant, 1 what is the price of your mirror?" "Ten thousand ducats, my lad." "Indeed, is that not very dear, brother?" "But mark you what kind of mirror it is. You look in it and you can see both the dead and the living therein." Now let's have a look at the middle brother. He went to another city and found a robe. "You, merchant, what is the price of this robe?" "Ten thousand ducats, my son."'

'What are you talking about, watchmaker? A robe cost ten thousand ducats!' 1

'But look you, you rogue, what sort of robe it is. For when you step on it, it will carry you whither you will. So you may fancy he cries "Done!" Meanwhile the youngest also arrived in a city and found a Jew, and bought an apple from him. And the apple was such that when a dead man ate it he revived. He took it and came to his brothers. And when they were all come home they saw their sweet-heart dead. And they gave her the apple to eat and she arose. And whom then did she choose? She chose the youngest. What do you say?'

And the emperor's daughter spoke. And the watchmaker took her to wife. And they made a marriage.

There was a king, and he had an only son. Now, that lad was heroic, nought-heeding. And he set out in quest of heroic achievements. And he went a long time nought-heeding. And he came to a forest, and lay down to sleep in the shadow of a tree, and slept. Then he saw a dream, that he arises and goes to the hill where the dragon's horses are, and that if you 1 keep straight on you will come to the man with no kidneys, screaming and roaring. So he arose and departed, and came to the man with no kidneys. And when he came there, he asked him, 'Mercy! what are you screaming for?'

He said, 'Why, a wizard has taken my kidneys, and has left me here in the road as you see me.'

Then the lad said to him, 'Wait a bit longer till I return from somewhere.'

And he left him, and journeyed three more days and three nights. And he came to that hill, and sat down, and ate, and rested. And he arose and went to the hill. And the horses, when they saw him, ran to eat him. And the lad said, 'Do not eat me, for I will give you pearly hay 1 and fresh water.'

Then the horses said, 'Be our master. But see you do as you've promised.'

The lad said, 'Horses, if I don't, why, eat me and slay me.'

So he took them and departed with them home. And he put them in the stable, and gave them fresh water and pearly hay. And he mounted the smallest horse, and set out for the man with no kidneys, and found him there. And he asked him what was the name of the wizard who had taken his kidneys.

'What his name is I know not, but I do know where he is gone to. He is gone to the other world.'

Then the lad took and went a long time nought-heeding, and came to the edge of the earth, and let himself down, and came to the other world. And he went to the wizard's there, and said, 'Come forth, O wizard, that I may see the sort of man you are.'

So when the wizard heard, he came forth to eat him and slay him. Then the lad took his heroic club and his sabre; and the instant he hurled his club, the wizard's hands were bound behind his back. And the lad said to him, 'Here, you wizard, tell quick, my brother's kidneys, or I slay thee this very hour.'

And the wizard said, 'They are there in a jar. Go and get them.'

And the lad said, 'And when I've got them, what am I to do with them?'

The wizard said, 'Why, when you've got them, put them in water and give him them to drink.'

Then the lad went and took them, and departed to him.

And he put the kidneys in water, and gave him to drink, and he drank. And when he had drunk he was whole. And he took the lad, and kissed him, and said, 'Be my brother till my death or thine, and so too in the world to come.'

So they became brothers. And having done so, they took and journeyed in quest of heroic achievements. So they set out and slew every man that they found in their road. Then the man who had had no kidneys said he was going after the wizard, and would pass to the other world. Then they took and went there to the edge of the earth, and let themselves in. And they came there, and went to the wizard. And when they got there, how they set themselves to fight, and fought with him two whole days. Then when the lad, his brother, took and hurled his club, the wizard's hands were bound behind his back. And he cut his throat, and took his houses, made them two apples. 1

And they went further, and came on a certain house, and there were three maidens. And the lad hurled his club, and carried away half their house. And when the maidens saw that, they came out, and saw them coming. And they flung a comb on their path, and it became a forest--no needle could thread it. So when the lad saw that, he flung his club and his sabre. And the sabre cut and the club battered. And it cut all the forest till nothing was left.

And when the maidens saw that they had felled the forest, they flung a whetstone, and it became a fortress of stone, so that there was no getting further. And he flung the club, and demolished the stone, and made dust of it. And when the maidens saw that they had demolished the stone, they flung a mirror before them, and it became a lake, and there was no getting over. And the lad flung his sabre, and it cleft the water, and they passed through, and went there to the maidens. When they came there they said, 'And what were you playing your cantrips on us for, maidens?'

Then the maidens said, 'Why, lad, we thought that you were coming to kill us.'

Then the lad shook hands with them, the three sisters, and said to them, 'There, maidens, and will you have us?'

And they took them to wife--one for himself, and one for him who had lost his kidneys, and one they gave to another lad. And he went with them home. And they made a marriage.

And I came away, and I have told the story.

There were where there were a king and a queen. Now for sixteen years that king and that queen had had no sons or daughters. So he thought they would never have any. And he was always weeping and lamenting, for what would become of them without any children? Then the king said to the queen, 'O queen, I will go away and leave you, and if I do not find a son born of you by my return, know that either I will kill you with my own hands, or I will send you away, and live no longer with you.'

Then another king sent a challenge to him to go and fight, for, if he goes not, he will come and slay him on his throne. Then the king said to his queen, 'Here, O queen, is a challenge come for me to go and fight. If I had had a son, would he not have gone, and I have remained at home?'

She said, 'How can I help it, O king, if God has not chosen to give us any sons? What can I do?'

He said, 'Prate not to me of God. If I come and don't find a son born of you, I shall kill you.'

And the king departed.

Then the holy God and St. Peter fell to discussing what they should do for the queen. So God said to Peter, 'Here, you Peter, go down with this apple, and pass before her window, and cry, "I have an apple, and whoso eats of it will conceive." She will hear you. For it were a pity, Peter, for the king to come and kill her.'

So St. Peter took the apple, and came down, and did as God had told him. He cried in front of the queen's window. She heard him, and came out, and called him to her, and asked, 'How much do you want for that apple, my man?'

He said, 'I want much; give me a purse of money.'

And the queen took the purse of money, and gave it him, and took the apple and ate it. And when she had eaten it, she conceived. And St. Peter left her the purse of money there. So the time drew near for her to bear a child. And the very day that she brought forth her son, his father came from the war, and he had won the fight. So when he came home and heard that the queen had borne him a son, he went to the wine-shop and drank till he was drunk. And as he was coming home from the wine-shop, he reached the door, and fell down, and died. Then the boy heard it, and rose up out of his mother's arms, and went to the vintner, and killed him with a blow. And he came home. And the people, the nobles, beheld him, what a hero he was, and wondered at him. But an evil eye fell on him, and for three days he took to his bed. And he died of the evil eye.

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