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Fairy Tales of the Magyars

Prince Csihan
Stephen the Murderer
The Lamb with the Golden Fleece
Fisher Joe
Luck and Bliss
The Lazy Cat
Handsome Paul
The Travels of Luck and Falsehood
The Hunting Princes
The Lazy Spinning Girl
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Knight Rose

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My Father's Wedding
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Csabor Ur
The Devil and the Three Slovak Lads
The Count's Daughter
The Speaking Grapes
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The Youngest Prince
The Invisible Shepherd Lad
The Three Princesses
Cinder Jack
Tho Three Brothers
The Three Valuable Things
The Little Magic Pony
The Beggars' Present

The World's Beautiful Woman 

The Girl without Hands

The King and the Devil

The Three Princes and the dragons

The Widower and his Daughter

The Wishes

The Two Orphans

The Wonderful Frog

The Devil and the Red Cap

Jack Dreadnough

The Secret-keeping Little Boy

Shepherd Paul

The Pelican

The Girl with Golden Hair

The Lover's Ghost

The Fairies' Well

The Crow's Nest

Woman's Curiosity


[HERE was once I don't know where, at the other
side of seven times seven countries, or even beyond
them, on the tumble-down side of a tumble-down
stove a poplar-tree, and this poplar-tree had sixty-
five branches, and on every branch sat sixty-six crows; and may
those who don't listen to my story have their eyes picked out by
those crows !

There was a miller who was so proud that had he stept on an
egg he would not have broken it. There was a time when the
mill was in full work, but once as he was tired of his mill-work
he said, " May God take me out of this mill ! " Now, this miller
had an auger, a saw, and an adze, and he set off over seven
times seven countries, and never found a mill. So his wish
was fulfilled. On he went, roaming about, till at last he
found on the bank of the Gagy, below Martonos, a tumble-
down mill, which was covered with nettles. Here he began to
build, and he worked, and by the time the mill was finished
all his stockings were worn into holes and his garments all
tattered and torn. He then stood expecting people to come and
have their flour ground ; but no one ever came.

One day the twelve huntsmen of the king were chasing a
fox; and it came to where the miller was, and said to him:
" Hide me, miller, and you shall be rewarded for your kind-
ness." " Where shall I hide you ? " said the miller, " seeing that
I possess nothing but the clothes I stand in?" "There is an
old torn sack lying beside that trough,' 5 replied the fox; " throw
it over me, and, when the dogs come, drive them away with your
broom." When the huntsmen came they asked the miller if he
had seen a fox pass that way. " How could I have seen it; for,
behold, I have nothing but the clothes I stand in ? " With that
the huntsmen left, and in a little while the fox came out and
said, "Miller, I thank you for your kindness; for you have pre-
served me, and saved my life. I am anxious to do you a good
turn if I can. Tell me, do you want to get married? " "My
dear little fox," said the miller, " if I could get a wife, who
would come here of her own free will, I don't say that I would
not indeed, there is no other way of my getting one; for I
can't go among the spinning-girls in these clothes." The fox
took leave of the miller, and, in less than a quarter of an hour,
he returned with a piece of copper in his mouth. " Here you
are, miller," said he ; " put this away, you will want it ere long."
The miller put it away, and the fox departed ; but, before long,
he came back with a lump of gold in his mouth. " Put this
away, also," said he to the miller, "as you will need it before
long." "And now," said the fox, "wouldn't you like to get
married?" "Well, my dear little fox," said the miller, "I
am quite willing to do so at any moment, as that is my special
desire/' The fox vanished again, but soon returned with a lump
of diamond in his mouth. " Well, miller," said the fox, " I
will not ask you any more to get married ; I will get you a wife
myself. And now give me that piece of copper I gave you."
Then, taking it in his mouth, the fox started off over seven
times seven countries, and travelled till he came to King Yellow
Hammer's. " Good day, most gracious King Yellow Hammer,"
said the fox; " my life and death are in your majesty's hands. I
have heard that you have an unmarried daughter. I am a mes-
senger from Prince Csihan, who has sent me to ask for your
daughter as his wife." " I will give her with pleasure, my dear
little fox," replied King Yellow Hammer ; " I will not refuse
her; on the contrary, I give her with great pleasure; but I
would do so more willingly if I saw to whom she is to be
married even as it is, I will not refuse her."

The fox accepted the king's proposal, and they fixed a day upon
which they would fetch the lady. " Very well," said the fox; and,
taking leave of the king, set off with the ring to the miller.

"Now then, miller," said the fox, "you are no longer a
miller, but Prince Csihan, and on a certain day and hour you
must be ready to start ; but, first of all, give me that lump of
gold I gave you that I may take it to His Majesty King Yellow
Hammer, so that he may not think you are a nobody. 5 '

The fox then started off to the king. " Good day, most
gracious king, my father. Prince Csihan has sent this lump of
gold to my father the king that he may spend it in preparing
for the wedding, and that he might change it, as Prince Csihan
has no smaller change, his gold all being in lumps like this."

" Well,' 5 reasoned King Yellow Hammer, " I am not sending
my daughter to a bad sort of place, for although I am a king I
have no such lumps of gold lying about in my palace."

The fox then returned home to Prince Csihan. " Now then,
Prince Csihan," said he, " I have arrived safely, you see; prepare
yourself to start to-morrow."

Next morning he appeared before Prince Csihan. " Are you
ready ? " asked he. " Oh ! yes, I am ready; I can start at any
moment, as I got ready long ago."

With this they started over seven times seven lands. As they
passed a hedge the fox said, " Prince Csihan, do you see that
splendid castle ? " " How could I help seeing it, my dear little
fox." "Well," replied the fox, "in that castle dwells your
wife." On they went, when suddenly the fox said, " Take off the
clothes you have on, let us put them into this hollow tree, and
then burn them, so that we may get rid of them." " You are
right, we won't have them, nor any like them."

Then said the fox, " Prince Osihaii, go into the river and
take a bath." Having done so the prince said, " Now I've done."
" All right," said the fox ; " go and sit in the forest until 1 go
into the king's presence." The fox set off and arrived at King
Yellow Hammer's castle. "Alas! my gracious king, my life
and my death are in thy hands. I started with Prince Csihan
with three loaded waggons and a carriage and six horses, and
I've just managed to get the prince naked out of the water."
The king raised his hands in despair, exclaiming, " Where hast
thou left my dear son-in-law, little fox? 5 ' tl Most gracious king,
I left him in such-and-such a place in the forest." The king at
once ordered four horses to be put to a carriage, and then looked
up the robes he wore in his younger days and ordered them to
be put in the carriage; the coachman and footman to take their
places, the fox sitting on the box.

When they arrived at the forest the fox got down, and the
footman, carrying the clothes upon his arm, took them to Prince
Csihan. Then said the fox to the servant, " Don't you dress the
prince, he will do it more becomingly himself." He then made
Prince Csihan arise, and said, " Come here, Prince Csihan, don't
stare at yourself too much when you get dressed in these clothes,
else the king might think you were not used to such robes/'
Prince Csihan got dressed, and drove off to the king. When
they arrived, King Yellow Hammer took his son-in-law in his
arms and said, " Thanks be to God, my dear future son-in-law,
for that He has preserved thee from the great waters ; and now
let us send for the clergyman and let the marriage take place."

The grand ceremony over, they remained at the court of the
king. One day, a month or so after they were married, the
princess said to Prince Csihan, "My dear treasure, don't you
think it would be as well to go and see your realm?" Prince
Csihan left the room in great sorrow, and went towards the
stables in great trouble to get ready for the journey he could no
longer postpone. Here he met the fox lolling about. As the
prince came his tears rolled down upon the straw. " Hollo !
Prince Csihan, what's the matter?" cried the fox. "Quite
enough," was the reply; "my dear wife insists upon going to
see my home." " All right," said the fox; " prepare yourself,
Prince Csihan, and we will go."

The prince went off to his castle and said, "Dear wife, get
ready ; we will start at once." The king ordered out a carriage
and six, and three waggons loaded with treasure and money, so
that they might have all they needed. So they started off. Then
said the fox, " Now, Prince Csihan, wherever I go you must
follow." So they went over seven times seven countries. As
they travelled they met a herd of oxen. " Now, herdsmen," said
the fox, " if you won't say that this herd belongs to the Vasfogu
Baba, but to Prince Csihan, you shall have a handsome present."
With this the fox left them, and ran straight to the Vasfogu
Baba. u Good day, my mother," said he. " Welcome, my son,"
replied she ; " it's a good thing for you that you called me your
mother, else I would have crushed your bones smaller than
poppy-seed/' " Alas ! my mother," said the fox, " don't let us
waste our time talking such nonsense, the French are coming ! "
" Oh ! my dear son, hide me away somewhere ! " cried the old
woman. " I know of a bottomless lake, 5 ' thought the fox; and he
took her and left her on the bank, saying, " Now, my dear old
mother, wash your feet here until I return." The fox then left
the Vasfogu Baba, and went to Prince Csihan, whom he found
standing in the same place where he left him. He began to swear
and rave at him fearfully. "Why didn't you drive on after me?
come along at once." They arrived at the Vasfogu's great castle,
and took possession of a suite of apartments. Here they found
everything the heart could wish for, and at night all went to bed
in peace.

Suddenly the fox remembered that the Vasfogu Baba had no
proper abode yet, and set off to her. " I hear, my dear son,"
said she, "that the horses with their bells have arrived; take me
away to another place." The fox crept up behind her, gave
her a push, and she fell into the bottomless lake, and was
drowned, leaving all her vast property to Prince Csihan. " You
were born under a lucky star, my prince," said the fox, when
he returned; "for see I have placed you in possession of all this
great wealth." In his joy the prince gave a great feast to
celebrate his coming into his property, so that the people from
Banczida to Zsukhajna were feasted royally, but he gave them
no drink. "Now," said the fox to himself, " after all this feasting
I will sham illness, and see what treatment I shall receive at his
hands in return for all my kindness to him." So Mr. Fox
became dreadfully ill, he moaned and groaned so fearfully that
the neighbours made complaint to the prince. " Seize him," said
the prince, " and pitch him out on the dunghill." So the poor fox
was thrown out on the dunghill. One day Prince Csihan was
passing that way. "You a prince !" muttered the fox; "you
are nothing else but a miller ; would you like to be a house-
holder such as you were at the nettle-mill ? " The prince was
terrified by this speech of the fox, so terrified that he nearly
fainted. a Oh ! dear little fox, do not do that," cried the prince,
" and I promise you on my royal word that I will give you the
same food as I have, and that so long as I live you shall be my
dearest friend and you shall be honoured as my greatest bene-

He then ordered the fox to be taken to the castle, and to sit
at the royal table, nor did he ever forget him again,

So they lived happily ever after, and do yet, if they are not
dead. May they be your guests to-morrow !


| HERE was once, I don't know where, over seven times
seven countries, or even beyond that, a very, very rich
farmer, and opposite to him lived another farmer just
as rich. One had a son and the other a daughter.
These two farmers often talked over family matters together at
their gates, and at last arranged that their children should marry
each other, so that in case the old people died the young people
would be able to take possession of the farms. But the young
girl could not bear the young man, although he was very fond
of her. Then her parents threatened to disinherit her if she did
not marry as she was bid, as they were very wishful for the
marriage to take place.

On the wedding morning, when they arrived at church, and
were standing before the altar, the bride took the wedding ring
and dashed it on the floor before the clergyman, saying, " Here,
.Satan, take this ring; and, if ever I bear a child to this man,
take it too ! " In a moment the devil appeared, snatched up the
ring, and vanished. The priest, seeing and hearing all that was
done, declined to proceed with the ceremony, whereupon the
fathers remonstrated with him, and declared that if he did not
proceed he would lose his living. The wedding thereupon was
duly celebrated.

As time went by the farmers both died ; and the young folks,
who couldn't bear each other before, at last grew very fond of
each other, and a handsome boy was born. When he was old
enough he went to school, where he got on so well that before
long his master could teach him no more. He then went to
college, where he did the Fame as at school, so that his parents
began to think of him taking holy orders. About this time his
father died; and he noticed that every night when he came
home from the college that his mother was weeping : so he
asked her why she wept. " Never mind me, my son/' said she;
" I am grieving over your father." " But you never cared
much for him/' said he ; " cheer up, for I shall soon be a
priest." " That's the very thing I'm weeping over," said his
mother ; " for just when you will be doing well the devils
will come for you, because when I was married to your father
I dashed the wedding-ring on the ground, saying, ' Here, Satan,
take this ring ; and if ever I bear a child to this man take
it too/ One fine day, then, you will be carried off by the
devil in the same way as the ring." "Is this indeed true,
mother?" said the student. "It is indeed, my son." With
that he went off to the priest, and said, " Godfather, are these
things which my mother tells me concerning her wedding
true ? " " My dear godson," replied the priest, " they are true; for
I saw and heard all myself." " Dear godfather, give me then at
once holy candles, holy water, and incense." " Why do you
want them, my son ?" asked the priest. " Because," replied the
student, " I mean to go to hell at once, after that lost ring and
the deed of agreement." "Don't rush into their hands," said
the priest; " they will come for you soon enough." But the
more the priest talked the more determined was the student to
set off at once for the infernal regions.

So off he went, and travelled over seven times seven countries.
One evening he arrived at a large forest, and, as darkness set in,
he lost his way and roamed about hither and thither looking for
some place to rest; at last he found a small cottage where an old
woman lived. " Good evening, mother," said he. "Good luck
has brought you here, my son," said she. " What are you
doing out here so late? " " I have lost my way," replied the
student, "and have come here to ask for a night's lodging."
"I can give you lodging, my son, but I have a murderous
heathen son, who has destroyed three hundred and sixty-six
lives, and even now is out robbing. He might return at any
moment, and he would kill you; so you had better go some-
where else and continue your way in peace, and mind you take
care not to meet him."

"Whether he kill me or not," said the student, " I shall not
stir an inch." As the old woman could not persuade him to go
he stayed. After midnight the son returned, and shouted out
loudly under the window, " Have you got my supper ready? "
He then crept in on his knees, for he was so tall that he could
not enter otherwise. As they sat at table he suddenly saw the
student. " Mother, what sort of a guest is that?" said he,
u He's a poor tramp, my son, and very tired." " Has he had
anything to eat ?" "No; I offered him food, but he was too
tired to eat." " Go and wake him, and say, l Come and
eat ' ; because whether he eat or whether he let the food alone
he will repent it. 5 '

" Hollo ! " said the student, " what is the matter? "

"Don't ask any questions," replied the old woman; " but
come and eat." The student obeyed, and they sat down to supper.
" Don't eat much," said the old woman's son, " because you
will repent it if you do eat and you will repent it if you don't."
While they were eating the old woman's son said, " Where are
you going, mate what is your destination? " " Straight to hell,
among the devils," quoth the student.

" It was my intention to kill you with a blow; but now that
I know where you are going I will not touch you. Find out
for me what sort of a bed they have prepared for me in that

" What is your name ? "

"My name," said he, "is Stephen the Murderer."

In the morning, when they awoke, Stephen gave the student a
good breakfast, and showed him which way to go. On he
travelled till at length he approached the gates of hell. He then
lighted his incense, sprinkled the holy water, and lighted the
holy candles. In a very short time the devils began to smell the
incense, and ran out, crying, "-What sort of an animal are you?
Don't come here ! Don't approach this place ; or we will leave
it at once ! "

" Wherever you go," said the student, " I tell you I will
follow you; for, on such and such a date, you carried off from
the church floor my mother's wedding-ring ; and if you don't
return it and cancel the agreement, and promise me that I will
have no more trouble from you, I will follow you wherever
you go." " Don't come here," cried they ; " stop where you
are, and we will get them for you at once."

They then blew a whistle and the devils came hastily out from
all directions, so many you could not count them, but they could
not find the ring anywhere. They sounded the whistle again,
and twice as many came as before, but still the ring was not to
be found. They then whistled a third time, and twice as many
more came. One fellow came limping up, very late. " Why
don't you hurry," cried the others ; " don't you see that a great
calamity has happened ? The ring can't be found. Turn out
everybody's pockets, and on who ever it is found throw him into
the bed of Stephen the Murderer.' 1 " Wait a moment," cried
the lame one, "before you throw me into Stephen the Murderer's
bed. I would rather produce three hundred wedding-rings than
be thrown into that place:" whereupon he at once produced the
ring, which they threw over the wall to the student, together
with the agreement, crying out that it was cancelled.

One evening the student arrived back at Stephen the Mur-
derer's. The latter was out robbing. After midnight, as
usual, he returned, and when he saw the student he woke him,
saying. " Get up, let's have something to eat ! And have you
been to hell?"

" I have." " What have you heard of my bed ? " " We should
never have got the ring," said the student, " if the devils had
not been threatened with your bed." " Well," said Stephen,
" that must be a bad bed if the devils are afraid of it."

They got up the next morning, and the student started for
home. Suddenly it struck Stephen the Murderer that as the
student had made himself happy he ought to do as much for
him. So he started after the student, who, when he saw him
coming, was very much afraid lest he should be killed. In a
stride or two Stephen overtook the student. " Stop, my friend;
as you have bettered your lot, better mine, so that I may not go
to that awful bed in hell."

6t Well then," said the student, u did you kill your first man
with a club or a knife?" tC I never killed anybody with a
knife," said Stephen, "they have all been killed with a club."
" Have you got the club you killed the first man with ? Go
back and fetch it."

Stephen took one or two strides and was at home. He then
took the club from the shelf and brought it to the student ; it
was so worm-eaten that you could not put a needle-point on it
between the holes. " What sort of wood is this made of? " asked
the student. u Wild apple-tree," replied Stephen. " Take it
and come with me," said the student, " to the top of the rock."
On the top of the rock there was a small hill; into this he bade
him plant the club. " Now, uncle Stephen, go down under the
rock, and there you will find a small spring trickling down the
face of the stone. Go on your knees to this spring and pray,
and, creeping on your knees, carry water in your mouth to this
club, and continue to do so till it buds; it will then bear apples,
and when it does you will be free from that bed."

Stephen the Murderer began to carry the water to the club,
and the student left him, and went home. He was at once
made a priest on account of his courage in going to hell; and 
after he had been a priest for twenty-five years they made him
pope, and this he was for many years.

In those days it was the rule- according to an old custom
for the pope to make a tour of his country, and it so happened
that this pope came to his journey's end, on the very rock upon
which the club had been planted. He stopped there with his
suite, in order to rest. Suddenly one of the servants saw a low
tree on the top of the rock, covered with beautiful red apples.
" Your holiness," said he to the pope, " I have seen most
beautiful red apples, and if you will permit me I will go and
gather some." " Go/' said the pope, " and if they are so very
beautiful bring some to me." The servant approached the tree;
as he drew near he heard a voice that frightened him terribly
saying, 6t No one is allowed to pluck this fruit except him who
planted the tree." Off rushed the servant to the pope, who asked
him if he had brought any apples.

" Your holiness, I did not even get any for myself," gasped
the servant, " because some one shouted to me so loudly that
I nearly dropped ; I saw no one, but only heard a voice that
said, 4 No one is allowed to pluck this fruit but the man who
planted the tree.' "

The pope began to think, and all at once he remembered that
he had planted the tree when he was a lad. He ordered the
horses to be taken out of his carriage, and, with his servant and
his coachman, he set off to the red apple-tree. When they arrived,
the pope cried out, u Stephen the Murderer, where are you?"
A dried-up skull rolled out, and said, " Here I am, your holi-
ness; all the limbs of my body dropped off whilst I was carrying
water, and are scattered all around ; every nerve and muscle lies
strewn here ; but, if the pope commands, they will all come
together." The pope did so, and the scattered members came
together into a heap.

The servant and the coachman were then ordered to open a

large, deep hole, and to put the bones into it, and then cover all
tip, which they did. The pope then said mass, and gave the abso-
lution, and at that moment Stephen the Murderer was delivered
from the dreadful bed in hell. The pope then went back to his
own country, where he still lives, if he has not died since.


|HERE was once a poor man who had a son, and as
the son grew up his father sent him out to look for
work. The son travelled about looking for a place,
and at last met with a man who arranged to take him
as a shepherd. Next day his master gave him a flute, and sent
him out with the sheep to see whether he was fit for his work.
The lad never lay down all day, very unlike many lazy fellows.
He drove his sheep from place to place and played his flute all
day long. There was among the sheep a lamb with golden
fleece, which, whenever he played his flute, began to dance.
The lad became very fond of this lamb, and made up his mind
not to ask any wages of his master, but only this little lamb. In
the evening he returned home; his master waited at the gate;
and, when he saw the sheep all there and all well-fed, he was
very pleased, and began to bargain with the lad, who said
he wished for nothing but the lamb with the golden fleece.
The farmer was very fond of the lamb himself, and it was with
great unwillingness he promised it: but he gave in afterwards
when he saw what a good servant the lad made. The year
passed away ; the lad received the lamb for his wages, and set off
home with it. As they journeyed night set in just as he reached
a village, so he went to a farmhouse to ask for a night's lodging.

There was a daughter in the house who when she saw the lamb
with the golden fleece determined to steal it. About mid-
night she arose, and lo ! the moment she touched the lamb she
stuck hard-and-fast to its fleece, so that when the lad got up he
found her stuck to the lamb. He could not separate them, and
as he could not leave his lamb he took them both. As he passed
the third door from the house where he had spent the night he
took out his flute and began to play. Then the lamb began to
dance, and on the wool the girL Round the corner a woman
was putting bread into the oven ; looking up she saw the lamb
dancing, and on its wool the girl. Seizing the peel in order to
frighten the girl, she rushed out and shouted, " Get away home
with you, don't make such a fool of yourself." As the girl con-
tinued dancing the woman called out, "What, won't you obey?"
and gave her a blow on her back with the peel, which at once
stuck to the girl, and the woman to the peel, and the lamb
carried them all off. As they went they came to the church.
Here the lad began to play again, the lamb began to dance, and
on the lamb's fleece the girl, and on the girl's back the peel, and
at the end of the peel the woman. Just then the priest was
coming out from matins, and seeing what was going on began to
scold them, and bid them go home and not to be so foolish. As
words were of no avail, he hit the woman a sound whack on her
back with his cane, when to his surprise the cane stuck to the
woman, and he to the end of his cane. With this nice company
the lad went on; and towards dark reached the royal borough
and took lodgings at the end of the town for the night with an
old woman. " What news is there ? " said he. The old woman
told him they were in very great sorrow, for the king's daughter
was very ill, and that no physician could heal her, but that if
she could but be made to laugh she would be better at once ; that
no one had as yet been able to make her smile ; and moreover the
king had issued that very day a proclamation stating that who-
ever made her laugh should have her for his wife, and share the

royal power. The lad with the lamb could scarcely wait till
daylight, so anxious was he to try his fortune. In the morning
he presented himself to the king and stated his business and was
very graciously received. The daughter stood in the hall at the
front of the house ; the lad then began to play the flute, the lamb
to dance, on the lamb's fleece the girl, on the girl's back the peel,
at the end of the peel the woman, on the woman's back the
cane, and at the end of the cane the priest. When the princess
saw this sight she burst out laughing, which made the lamb so
glad that it shook everything off its back, and the lamb, the
girl, the woman, and the priest each danced by themselves for

The king married his daughter to the shepherd ; the priest
was made court-chaplain ; the woman court bakeress ; and the
girl lady-in-waiting to the princess.

The wedding lasted from one Monday to the other Tuesday,
and the whole land was in great joy, and if the strings of the
fiddle hadn't broken they would have been dancing yet !


HERE was once a poor man, who had nothing in the
world but his wife and an unhappy son Joe. His
continual and his only care was how to keep them : so
he determined to go fishing, and thus to keep them
from day to day upon whatever the Lord brought to his net.
Suddenly both the old folks died and left the unhappy son by
himself; he went behind the oven and did not come out till both
father and mother were buried ; he sat three days behind the
oven, and then remembered that his father had kept them by
fishing ; so he got up, took his net, and went fishing below the
weir: there he fished till the skin began to peel off the palms of
his hands, and never caught so much as one fish. At last he said,
" I will cast my net once more, and then I will never do so again."
So he cast his net for the last time and drew to shore a golden
fish. While he was going home he thought he would give it
to the lord of the manor, so that perhaps he might grant a day's
wages for it. When he got home he took down a plate from
the rack, took the fish from his bag, and laid it upon the plate ;
but the fish slipped off the plate and changed into a lovely girl,
who said, " I am thine, and you are mine, love." The moment
after she asked, '*"Joe, did your father leave you anything?"
" We had something," replied her husband; "but my father
was poor and he sold everything ; but," continued he, " do you
see that high mountain yonder? it is not sold yet, for it is too
steep and no one would have it." Then said his wife, " Let's go
for a walk and look over the mountain." So they went all over
it, length and breadth, from furrow to furrow. When they came
to a furrow in the middle his wife said, u Let us sit down on a
ridge, my love, and rest a little." They sat down, and Joe laid
his head on his wife's lap and fell asleep. She then slipped off
her cloak, made it into a pillow, drew herself away, and laid Joe
upon the pillow without waking him. She rose, went away, un-
coiled a large whip and cracked it. The crack was heard over
seven times seven countries. In a moment as many dragons as
existed came forth. " What are your Majesty's commands ?" said
they. " My commands are these," replied she : " you see this place
build a palace here, finer than any that exists in the world ; and
whatever is needed in it must be there: stables for eight bullocks
and the bullocks in them, with two men to tend them; stalls for
eight horses and the horses in them, and two grooms to tend
them ; six stacks in the yard, and twelve threshers in the barn."
She was greatly delighted when she saw her order completed,
and thanked God that He had given her what He had promised.
" I shall now go," said she, " and wake my husband." When
she came to him he was still asleep. " Get up, my love," said
she, " look after the threshers, the grooms, the oxen, and see
that all do their work, and that all the work be done, and give
your orders to the labourers ; and now, my love, let us go into
the house and see that all is right. You give your orders to the
men-servants, and I will give mine to the maids. We have now
enough to live on; " and Joe thanked God for His blessings. He
then told his wile that he would invite the lord of the manor to
dine with him on Whit Sunday. " Don't leave me," replied
his wife; " for if he catch sight of me you will lose me. I will
see that the table is laid and all is ready; but a maid shall wait
on you. I will retire into an inner room lest he should see

Joe ordered the carriage and six, seated himself in it, the
coachman sat on the box, and away they went to the lord's house;
they arrived at the gate, Joe got out, went through the gate,
and saw three stonemasons at work in the yard ; he greeted them
and they returned the greeting. " Just look," remarked one of
them, *' what Joe has become and how miserable he used to be !"
He entered the castle, and went into the lord's room. u Good
day,, my "lord." " God bless you, Joe, what news ?" "I have
come to ask your lordship to dine with me on Whit Sunday, and
we shall be very pleased to see you." " I will come, Joe; " they
then said good-bye and parted. After Joe had gone the lord
came into the courtyard, and the three masons asked him u What
did Joe want?" " He has invited me to dine with him," was
the reply, " and I am going." " Of course; you must go," said
one of them, "that you may see what sort of a house he keeps."

The lord set out in his carriage and four, with the coachman
in front, and arrived at the palace. Joe ran out to meet him,
they saluted each other, and entered arm in arm. They dined,
and all went well till the lord asked, " Well, Joe, and where is
your wife ?" " She is busy," said Joe. " But I should like to
see her," explained the baron. " She is rather shy when in
men's society/' said Joe. They enjoyed themselves, lighted their
pipes and went for a walk over the palace. Then said the baron
to his servant, " Order the carriage at once ; " it arrived, and Joe
and he said " Farewell." As the baron went through the gate
he looked back and saw Joe's wife standing at one of the
windows, and at once fell so deeply in love with her that he
became dangerously ill; when he arrived at home the footmen
were obliged to carry him from his carriage and lay him in his

At daybreak the three masons arrived and began to work.
They waited for their master. As he did not appear, " I will
go and see what's the matter with him," said one of them, " for
he always came out at 8 a.m." So the mason went in and
saluted the baron, but got no reply. u You are ill, my lord,"
said he. "I am," said the baron, " for Joe has such a pretty
wife, and if I can't get her I shall die.' 5 The mason went out
and the three consulted together as to what was best to be done.
One of them proposed a task for Joe, i.e. that a large stone
column which stood before one of the windows should be
pulled down, the plot planted with vines, the grapes to ripen
over night, and the next morning a goblet of wine should be
made from their juice and be placed on the master's table ; if this
was not done Joe was to lose his wife. So one of them went in
to the baron and told him of their plan, remarking that Joe
could not do that, and so he would lose his wife. A groom was
sent on horseback for Joe, who came at once, and asked what
his lordship desired. The baron then told him the task he had
to propose and the penalty. Poor Joe was so downcast that
he left without even saying a good-bye," threw himself into
his carriage, and went home. " Well, my love," asked his wife,
"what does he want?" "Want," replied her husband, "he
ordered me to pull down the stone column in front of his window.
Since my father was not a working-man, how could I do any
work? Nor is that all. I am to plant the place with vines, the
grapes have to ripen, and I am to make a goblet of wine, to be
placed on his table at daybreak; and if I fail I am to lose you."

" Your smallest trouble ought to be greater than that," said
his wife. " Eat and drink, go to bed and have a good rest, and
all will be well." When night came she went out into the
farmyard, uncoiled her whip, gave a crack, which was heard
over seven times seven countries, and immediately all the
dragons appeared. "What are your Majesty's commands?"
She then told them what her husband required, and in the
morning Joe had the goblet of wine, which he took on horse-
back lest he should be late; he opened the baron's window, and,
as nobody was there, he placed the goblet on the table, closed
the window, and returned home.

At daybreak the baron turned in his bed. The bright light
reflected by the goblet met his eyes, and had such an effect on
him that he fell back in his bed, and got worse and worse.

The three masons arrived and wondered why their master did
not appear. Said the tallest to the middle one, " I taught him
something yesterday; now you must teach him something else."
" Well," said the middle one, " my idea is this, that Joe shall
build a silver bridge in front of the gate during the night, plant
both ends with all kinds of trees, and that the trees be filled
with all kinds of birds singing and twittering in the morning.
Pll warrant he won't do that, and so he will lose his wife."
When the baron came out they communicated their plan; he
at once sent for Joe and told him what he required. Joe went
away without even saying good-bye, he was so sad. When he
got home he told his wife what the baron wanted this time.
"Don't trouble yourself, my love," said his wife, "eat and drink
and get a good rest, all shall be well." At night she cracked
her whip and ordered the dragons to do all that was required,
and so at daybreak all was done. The birds made such a noise
that the whole of the village was awakened by them. One
nightingale loudly and clearly to the baron sang, " Whatever 
God has given to some one else that you must not covet; be
satisfied with what has been given to you." The baron awoke
and turned over, and, hearing the loud singing of the birds,
rose and looked out of the window. The glare of the silver
bridge opposite the gate blinded him, and he fell back in bed
and got worse and worse. When the three masons arrived they
could not enter, for the splendour of the silver bridge dazzled
them, and they were obliged to enter by another gate.

As they were working, the shortest said to the middle one,
" Go and see why his lordship does not come out; perhaps he is
worse." He went in and found the baron worse than ever.
Then said the shortest, "I thought of something, my lord, which
he will never be able to do, and so you will get his wife."
" What is that, mason ? " demanded the baron. " It is this, my
lord," said the mason, "that he shall ask God to dinner on Palm
Sunday, and that he can't do, and so he will lose his wife." " If
you can get Joe's wife for me you shall have all this property,"
said the baron. " It's ours, then," said they, u for he can't do
that." Joe was sent for, and came at once to know what was
required of him. " My orders are these," replied the baron,
" that you invite God to dinner on Palm Sunday to my house;
if you do not your wife is lost." Poor Joe went out without
saying good-bye, jumped into his carriage, and returned home
dreadfully miserable. When his wife asked him what was the
matter he told her of the baron's commands. " Go on," said
his wife; " bring me that foal, the yearling, the most wretched
one of all, put upon it an old saddle and silver harness on its
head, and then get on its back." He did so, said good-bye,
and the wretched yearling darted off at once straight to heaven.
By the time it arrived there it had become quite a beautiful
horse. When Joe reached the gates of Paradise he tied his
horse to a stake, knocked at the door, which opened, and he
went in and greeted the Almighty. St. Peter received him,
and asked him why he had come. " I've come," said he, " to


invite God to dinner at my lord's on Palm Sunday." " Tell him
from me," said the deity, " that I will come, and tell him that he
is to sow a plot with barley, and that it will ripen, and that I will
eat bread made of it at dinner. That a cow is to be taken to
the bull to-day, and that I will eat the flesh of the calf for my

With this Joe took leave, and the foal flew downward. As
they went Joe was like to fall head-foremost off, and called upon
the deity. St. Peter told him not to fear, it was all right ; he
would fall on his feet. When Joe arrived at home the barley
was waving in the breeze and the cow was in calf. " Well,
wife," said he, "I will go to the baron's and give him the
message." So he went, knocked at the door, and entered the
room. " Don't come a step further," cried the baron. " I don't
intend to," said Joe : u I've come to tell you I have executed
your commands, and mind you don't blame me for what will
happen. The deity has sent you this message : you are to sow a
plot with barley, and of it make bread for His dinner. A cow
is to go to the bull, and of the calf's flesh He will eat." The
baron became thoughtful. " Don't worry yourself, my lord,"
said Joe, " you have worried me enough, it is your turn now ;"
and so he said " good-bye," and went off home : when he got
there the barley-bread was baking and the veal was roasting.

At this moment the deity and St. Peter arrived from heaven
and were on their way to the baron's, who the moment he saw
them called out to his servant, " Lock the gate, and do not let
them in." Then said the deity, " Let us go back to the poor man's
home, and have dinner there." When they reached the foot of
the mountain St. Peter was told to look, back and say what he
saw, and lo ! the whole of the baron's property was a sheet of
water. " Now," said the deity to St. Peter, " let us go on, for
the mountain is high, and difficult to ascend." When they
arrived at Joe's he rushed out with outspread arms, fell to the
ground, and kissed the sole of the deity's foot. He entered and
sat down to dinner, so did Joe and his wife and also St. Peter.
Then said God to Joe, u Set a table in this world for the poor
and miserable, and you shall have one laid for you in the world
to come ; and now good-bye : you shall live in joy, and in each
other's love."

They are living still if they have not died since. May they
be your guests to-morrow !


LUCK and Bliss went out one day, and came to a town
where they found a poor man selling brooms, but
nobody seemed to buy anything from him. Bliss
thereupon said, " Let us stop, and I will buy them
all from the poor fellow, so that he may make a good bargain."
So they stopped, and Bliss bought them all, and gave him six
times the market value of them, in order that the poor man
might have a good start.

On another occasion they came to the same town and found
the man still selling brooms. Bliss bought them all, and gave
him ten times their market value. They came a third time to
the town, and the man was still selling brooms, whereupon
Luck said, " Let me try now, for, see, you have bought them
all twice, and in vain, for the man is a poor broom-seller still ;"
so Luck bought them, but she did not give a penny more
than the market price. They came to the town a fourth time
and saw the man who had sold brooms leading wheat into town
in a wagon with iron hoops on the wheels and drawn by four
fine bullocks. When they saw this Luck said to Bliss, " Do
you see that man who used to sell brooms ? You bought them
all twice for a very high price. I bought them but once, and
that for the market value, and the consequence of my having

done so is that he no longer sells brooms, as he used to do,

but wheat, and it appears he must have got on well with his
farm too."


LAD married a lazy rich girl, and he made a vow
that he would never beat her. The missis never did
any work but went about from house to house gos-
siping and making all kinds of mischief, but still
her husband never beat her. One morning as he was going out
to his work he said to the cat, " You cat, I command you to do
everything that is needed in the house. While I am away put
everything in order, cook the dinner, and do some spinning; if
you don't, I'll give you such a thrashing as you won't forget."
The cat listened to his speech half asleep, blinking on the hearth.
The woman thought to herself, " My husband has gone mad."
So she said, " Why do you order the cat to do all these things,
which she knows nothing about ? " " Whether she does or
whether she doesn't it's all the same to me, wife. I have no one
else whom I can ask to do anything ; and if she does not do all
that I have ordered her to do you will see that I will give her
such a thrashing as she will never forget." With this he went
out to work, and the wife began to talk to the cat and said,
" You had better get your work done, or he will beat you;"
but the cat did not work, and the wife went from house to
house gossiping. When she came home the cat was asleep on
the hearth, and the fire had gone out ; so she said, " Make the
fire up, cat, and get your work done^ or you will get a sound
thrashing ; " but the cat did no work. In the evening the
master came home and found that nothing was done and that 
his orders were not carried out; so he took hold of the cat by its
tail and fastened it to his wife's back, and began to beat till his
wife cried out, " Don't beat that cat any more ! Don't beat that
cat any more ! it is not her fault, she cannot help it, she does
not understand these things/' " Will you promise then that
you will do it all in her stead ? " inquired her husband. " I will
do it all and even more than you order," replied his wife, " if
you will only leave off beating that cat."

The woman then ran off home to complain to her mother of
all these things, and said, " I have promised that I will do all
the work instead of the cat, in order to prevent my husband
beating her to death on my back." And then her father spoke
up and said, " If you have promised to do it you must do it ;
if not, the cat will get a thrashing to-morrow." And he sent
her back to her husband.

Next time the master again ordered the cat what she had to
do, and she did nothing again. So she got another beating on
the wife's back, who ran home again to complain; but her
father drove her back, and she ran so fast that her foot did
not touch the ground as she went.

On the third morning again the master commenced to give
his commands to the cat, who, however, was too frightened to
listen, and did no work that day; but this time the mistress did
her work for her. She forgot no one thing she had promised she
lighted the fire, fetched water, cooked the food, swept the house,
and put everything in order; for she was frightened lest her
husband should beat the poor cat again ; for the wretched animal
in its agony stuck its claws into her back, and, besides, the end
of the two-tailed whip reached further than the cat's back, so
that with every stroke she received one as well as the cat. When
her husband came home everything was in order, and he kept
muttering, " Don't be afraid, cat, I won't thrash you this time;"
and his wife laid the cloth joyfully, dished up the food, and they
had a good meal in peace.


After that the cat had no more beatings, and the mistress
became such a good housewife that you could not wish for a

|HERE was once, over seven times seven countries,
a poor woman who had a son, and he decided
to go into service. So he said to his mother,
"Mother, fill my bag and let me go out to work,
for that will do me more good than staying here and wasting
my time." The lad's name was Paul. His mother filled
his bag for him, and he started off. As it became dark he
reached a wood, and in the distance he saw, as it were, a spark
glimmering amongst the trees, so he made his way in that
direction thinking that he might find some one there, and that
he would be able to get a night's lodging. So he walked and
walked for a long time, and- the nearer he came the larger the
light became. By midnight he reached the place where the fire
was, and lo ! there was a great ugly giant sleeping by the fire.
" Good evening, my father," said Paul. " God has brought you,
my son," replied the giant; " you may think yourself lucky that
you called me father, for if you had not done so I would have
swallowed you whole. And now what is your errand ? "

" I started from home," said Paul, " to find work, and good
fortune brought me this way. My father, permit me to sleep
to-night by your fire, for I am alone and don't know my way."
u With pleasure, my son," said the giant. So Paul sat down
and had his supper, and then they both fell asleep. Next
morning the giant asked him where he intended to go in search
of work. "If I could," replied Paul, "I should like to enter
the king's service, for I have heard he pays his servants justly."

" Alas ! my son," said the giant, " the king lives far away from
here. Your provisions would fail twice before you reached there,
but we can manage the matter if you will sit on my shoulder
and catch hold of the hair on the back of my head." Paul
took his seat on the giant's shoulders. " Shut your eyes," said
the giant, " because if you don't you will turn giddy." Paul
shut his eyes, and the giant started off, stepping from mountain
to mountain, till noon, when he stopped and said to Paul, "Open
your eyes now and tell me what you can see.' 5

Paul looked around as far as he could see, and said, " I see at
an infinite distance something white, as big as a star. What is
it, my father?" "That is the king's citadel," said the giant, and
then they sat down and had dinner. The giant's bag was made
of nine buffalo's skins, and in it were ten loaves (each loaf being
made of four bushels of wheat), and ten large bottles full of good
Hungarian wine. The giant consumed two bottles of wine and
two loaves for his dinner, and gave Paul what he needed. After a
short nap the giant took Paul upon his shoulders, bade him shut
his eyes, and started off again, stepping from mountain to moun-
tain. At three o'clock he said to Paul, " Open your eyes, and
tell me what you can see." " I can see the white shining thing
still," said Paul, " but now it looks like a building." " Well,
then, shut your eyes again/' said the giant, and he walked for
another hour, and then again asked Paul to look. Paul now saw
a splendid glittering fortress, such a one as he had never seen
before, not even in his dreams. " In another quarter-of-an-hour
we shall be there/' said the giant. Paul shut his eyes again, and
in fifteen minutes they were there ; and the giant put him down
in front of the gate of the king's palace, saying, " W^ell, now, I
will leave you here, for I have a pressing engagement, and must
get back, but whatsoever service they offer to you, take it, behave
well, and the Lord keep you." Paul thanked him for his kind-
ness and his good-will, and the giant left. As Paul was a
fine handsome fellow he was engaged at once, for the first three
months to tend the turkeys, as there was no other vacancy, but
even during this time he was employed on other work : and he
behaved so well, that at the end of the time he was promoted to
wait at the king's table. When he was dressed in his new suit
he looked like a splendid flower. The king had three daughters ;
the youngest was more beautiful than the rose or the lily, and
this young lady fell in love with Paul, which Paul very soon
noticed ; and day by day his courage grew, and he approached
her more and more, till they got very fond of each other.

The queen with her serpent's eye soon discovered the state of
affairs, and told the king of it.

" It's all right," said the king, " Pll soon settle the wretched
fellow ; only leave it to me, my wife."

Poor Paul, what awaits thee ?

The king then sent for Paul and said, " Look here, you good-
for-nothing, I can see you are a smart fellow ! Now listen to
me : I order you to cut down during the night the whole wood
that is in front of my window, to cart it home, chop it up, and
stack it in proper order in my courtyard ; if you don't I shall
have your head chopped off in the morning." Paul was so
frightened when he heard this that he turned white and said,
" Oh, my king! no man could do this." u What!" said the
king, "you good-for-nothing, you dare to contradict me? go
to prison at once ! " Paul was at once taken away, and the
king repeated his commands, saying that unless they were
obeyed Paul should lose his head. Poor Paul was very sad,
and wept like a baby; but the youngest princess stepped into
his prison through a secret trap-door, and consoled him, giving
him a copper whip, and telling him to go and stand outside the
gate on the top of the hill, and crack it three times, when all
the devils would appear. He was then to give his orders, which
the devils would carry out.

Paul went off through the trap, and the princess remained
in prison till Paul returned ; he went out, stood on the hill, and
cracked his whip well thrice, and lo ! the devils came running
to him from all sides, crying, " What are your commands
handsome Paul?" "I order you," replied Paul, "by to-
morrow morning to have all that large forest cut down, chopped,
and stacked in the king's courtyard; " with this he went back
to prison and spent a little time with the princess before she
went away. The devils entered the wood, and began to hew
the trees down; there was a roaring, clattering, and cracking
noise as the big trees were dragged by root and crown into the
king's yard ; they were chopped up and stacked ; and the devils,
having finished the task, ran back to hell. By one o'clock all
was done.

In the morning the first thing the king did was to look
through the window in the direction of the wood; he could not
see anything but bare land, and when he looked into the court-
yard he saw there all the wood chopped and stacked.

He then called Paul from prison and said, " Well, I can see
that you know something, my lad, and I now order you to
plough up to-night the place where the wood used to be, and
sow it with millet. The millet must grow, ripen, be reaped,
threshed, and ground into flour by the morning, and of it you
must make me a large millet cake, else you lose your head."
Paul was then sent back to prison, more miserable than ever,
for how could he do such an unheard-of thing as that ? His
sweetheart came in again through the trap-door and found him
weeping bitterly. When she heard the cause of his grief she
said, u Oh, don't worry yourself, dear; here is a golden whip,
go and crack it three times on the hill-top, and all the devils will
come that came last night; crack it again three times and all the
female devils will arrive; crack it another three times and even
the lame ones will appear, and those enceinte come creeping
forth. Tell them what you want and they will do it."

Paul went out and stood on the hill-top, and cracked his whip
three good cracks, and then three more, and three more, such
loud cracks that his ears rung, and again the devils came swarm-
ing in all directions like ants, old ones and young ones, males
and females, lame and enceinte, such a crowd that he could not
see them all without turning his head all round. They pressed
him hard, saying, " What are your commands, handsome Paul?
What are your commands, handsome Paul ? If you order us to
pluck all the stars from heaven and to place them in your hands
it shall be done."

Paul gave his orders and went back to prison, and stayed with
the princess till daybreak.

There was a sight on the hill-side, the devils were shouting
and making such a din that you could not tell one word from
another. " Now then ! Come here ! This way, Michael ! That
way, Jack ! Pull it this way ! Turn it that way ! Go at it !
See, the work is done ! "

The whole place was soon ploughed up, the millet sown, and
it began to sprout, it grew, ripened, was cut, carted in wagons,
in barrows, on their backs, or as best they could. It was thrashed
with iron flails, carried to the mill, crushed and bolted, a light
was put to the timber in the yard, it took fire, and the wood
crackled everywhere, and there was such a light that the king in
* the seventh country off could see to count his money by it. Then
they brought from hell the biggest cauldron they could find, put it
on the fire, put flour into it and boiling water; as the millet-cake
was bubbling and boiling they took it out of the pot and put it
into Mrs. Pluto's lap, placed a huge spoon into her hands, and
she began to stir away, mix it up, and cut it up with her quick
hands till it began to curl up at the side of the cauldron after
the spoon. As it was quite done she mixed it well once more,
and being out of breath handed the spoon to Pluto himself who
was superintending the whole work, who took out his pocket-
knife which was red-hot and began to scrape the cake off the
spoon and to eat it with great gusto.

Mrs. Pluto then took the cake out with a huge wooden spoon, 
heaped it up nicely, patted it all round, and put it on the fire once
more; when it was quite baked she turned it out a large millet-
cake in the midst of the yard, and then they all rushed back, as
fast as they could run, to hell.

Next morning, when the king looked through the window, an
immense millet-cake was to be seen there, so large that it nearly
filled the whole yard ; and he, however vexed he was, could
not help bursting out into a loud laugh. He gave instant orders
for the whole town to come and clear away the millet-cake, and
not to leave so much as a mouthful. Never was such a feast
seen before, and I don't think ever will be again : some carried it
away in their hands, some in bags, some in large table-cloths,
sacks, and even in wagons ; everybody took some, and it went in
all directions in every possible manner, so that in three hours the
huge cake was all gone; even the part that had stuck to the
ground was scraped up and carried away. Some made tarts of
it at home, pounded poppy-seed, and spread it over them ; others
wanted pork to eat with it, others ate it with fresh milk,
with dried prunes, with perry, with craps, with cream-milk,
sour-milk, cow's-milk, goat's-milk ; soms with curds; others
covered it over with cream-cheese, rolled it up and ate it
thus ; better houses mixed it with good bufFalo-milk, and ate it
with butter, lard, and cream -cheese, so that it was no longer
millet-cake with cream-cheese, but cream-cheese with millet-
cake ! There were many who had never eaten anything like it
before, and they got so full of it they could just breathe ; even
the king had a large piece served up for his breakfast on a
porcelain plate ; he then went to the larder for a large tub, which
was full of the best cream-cheese of Csik like unto the finest
butter; he took a large piece of this, spread it on his cake, set
to and ate it to the very last. He then drank three tumblerfuls
of the best old claret, and said, " Well, that really was a break-
fast fit for the gods ! " And thus it happened that all the millet-
cake was used up, and then the king sent for Paul and said to him,  

" Well, you brat of a devil, did you do all this, or who did it? "
" I don't know." "Well, there are in my stables a bay stallion,
a bay mare, two grey fillies and a bay filly, you must walk them
about, in turn, to-morrow morning, till they are tired out; if
you don't 111 have your head impaled." Paul wasn't a bit
frightened this time, but began to whistle, and hum tunes to
himself in the prison, being in capital spirits " It will be very
easy to walk these horses out," said he ; " it's not the first time
I've done that." The matter looked different however in the
evening when his sweetheart came and he told her all about it.
" My love," said she, " this is even worse than all the rest, because
the devils did all your former tasks for you, but this you must do
yourself. Moreover, you must know that the bay stallion will be
my father, the bay mare my mother, the two grey foals my elder
sisters, and the bay foal myself. However, we shall find some way
of doing even this. When you enter the stable we all will begin
to kick so terribly that you won't be able to get near us ; but
you must try to get hold of the iron pole that stands inside the
door, and with it thrash them all till they are tame ; then you
must lead them out as well as you can ; but don't beat me, for
I shall not desert you." His love then gave him a copper bridle,
which he hid in his bosom, and buttoned his coat over it. And
his lady-love went back to her bedroom ; for she knew there was
plenty of hard work in store for her on the morrow ; for the same
reason she ordered Paul to try to sleep well.

In the morning the jailer came, and brought two warders with
him, and led Paul to the stable to take the horses out for a walk.
Even in the distance he could hear the snorting, kicking, pawing,
and neighing in the stable, so that it filled the air. He tried in
vain to get inside the stable- door, he had not courage enough to
take even one step inside. Somehow or other, however, he got
hold of the iron pole, and with it he beat, pounded, and whacked
the bay stallion till it lay down in agony. He then took out his
bridle, threw it over its head, led it out, jumped upon its back, and
rode it about till the foam streamed from it, and then led it in
and tied it up. He did the same with the bay mare, only she
was worse ; and the grey foals were worse still, till by the end
he was nearly worn out with beating them. At last he came to
the bay foal, but he would not have touched her for all the
treasure of the world ; yet, in order to deceive the others, he
banged the crib, box, manger, and posts right lustily, till at
last the bay foal lay down. With this the mare, who was the
queen, said to the bay stallion, " You see it was that bay foal who
was the cause of all this. But wait a bit, confound her ! " she
cried after them as he led her out of the stable ; " I also have as
many wits as you, and I will teach you both a lesson. Never
mind, my sweet daughter, you have treated us all most cruelly
with that iron pole, but you shall pay for it shortly." When
Paul heard this he was so frightened he could hardly lead the
foal. " Don't be afraid," said the foal, " let's get away from
here, and the sooner the better, never to return, or woe betide
us ! " They cantered up to the house, where she sent him in
to get money, and jewellery, and the various things they would
need, and then galloped off as fast as she could with Paul on her
back, over seven times seven countries, till noon ; and just as the
sun was at noon the foal said to Paul, " Look back; what can
you see ? " Paul looked back and saw in the distance an eagle
flying towards them, from whose mouth shot forth a flame seven
fathoms long. Then said the foal, " I will turn a somersault,
and become a sprouting millet-field ; you do the same, you will
become the garde champetre, and when the eagle, which is my
father, comes, if he ask you if you have seen such and such
travellers, tell him, yes, you saw them pass when this millet was
sown." So the foal turned over and became a sprouting millet-
field, and Paul became the garde champetre. The eagle arrived,
and said, " My lad, have you not seen a young fellow on a bay
foal pass this way in a great hurry?" "Well, yes," replied
Paul, " I saw them at the time this millet was sown, but I can't
tell you where they may be now." " I don't think they can
have come this way/' said the eagle, and flew back home and
told his wife all about it. " Oh ! you baulked fool ! " cried she,
" the millet-field was your daughter, and the lad Paul. So back
you go at once, and bring them home."

Paul and his foal rode on half the afternoon, and then the
foal said, "Look back, what can you see?" "I see the
eagle again," said Paul, " but now the flame is twice seven
fathoms long; he flies very quickly." "Let's turn over again,"
said the foal, " and I will become a lamb and you will be the
shepherd, and if my father ask you if you have seen the travellers
say yes, you saw them when the lamb was born." So they
turned over, and one became a lamb and the other a shepherd ;
the eagle arrived and asked the shepherd if he had seen the
travellers pass by, and was told that they were seen when
the lamb was born. The king returned and told his wife all,
who drove him back, crying, "The lamb was your daughter
and the shepherd, Paul, you empty-headed fool." Paul and
the foal went on a long way, when the foal said, " What can
you see?" He saw the eagle again, but now it was enveloped
in flames ; they turned over and the foal became a chapel, and
Paul a hermit inside ; the eagle arrived and inquired after the
travellers, and was told by the hermit that they had passed by
when the chapel was building. The eagle went back a third
time, and his wife was in an awful rage and told him to stay
where he was, telling him that the chapel was his daughter and
the hermit Paul. " But you are so dense," said she, " they can
make you believe anything ; I will go myself and see whether
they will fool me."

The queen started off as a falcon. Paul and the foal went
still travelling on, when the foal said, " Look back, what can
you see ? " (i I see a falcon," said Paul, " with a flame seventy-
seven yards long coming out of its mouth." " That's my mother,"
said the foal, " we must be careful this time, Paul, for we shall
not be able to hoodwink her with lies ; let us turn over quickly,
she will be here in a second. I will be a lake of milk and you a
golden duck on it ; take care she doesn't catch you, or we are
done for." They turned over and changed; the falcon arrived
and swooped down upon the duck like lightning, who had just
time to dive and escape. The falcon tried again and again till it
got quite tired; for each time the duck dived and so she missed
him. In a great rage the falcon turned over and became the
queen. She picked up stones and tried to strike the duck dead,
but he was clever enough to dodge her, so she soon got tired of
that and said, " I can see, you beast, that I cannot do anything
with you ; my other two daughters died before my eyes to-day
from the beating you gave them with the iron pole, you murderer.
Now I curse you with this curse, that you will forget each other,
and never remember that you have ever known each other."

With this she turned over, became a falcon, and flew away
home very sad, and the other two changed also, this time into
Paul and the princess. " Nobody will persecute us now," said she,
"let us travel on quietly. The death of my two sisters is no sad
or bad news to me, for now when my father and mother are
dead the land will be ours, my dear Paul;" so they wandered
on, and talked over their affairs, till they came to a house ; and
as the day was closing they felt very tired and sat down to rest
and fell asleep. After sunset they awoke and stared at each other,
but couldn't make out who the other was, for they had forgotten
all the past, and inquired in astonishment "Who are you?" and
" Well, who are you?" But neither could tell who the other
was; so they walked into the town as strangers and separated.
Paul got a situation as valet to a nobleman, and the princess
became a lady's maid in another part of the city. They lived
there for twelve months, and never once remembered anything
that had happened in the past. One night Paul dreamt that
the bay stallion was in its last agony, and soon afterwards died ;
the lady's maid, at the same time, dreamt that the bay mare
was dying, and died ; by this dream they both remembered all
that had happened to each other ; but even then they did not
know that they were in the same town. On the day following
this dream Paul was sent by the nobleman's son secretly with a
love-letter to the nobleman's youngest daughter where the lady's
maid lived. Paul took the letter, and handed it to the lady's
maid so that she might place it in her mistress's hands ; then
he saw who the lady's maid was, that it was his old sweet-
heart, the beloved of his soul; now he remembered how often
before he had given her letters from his young master for the
young lady of the house, and how he had done a little love-
making on his own account, but never till now had he recognised
her. The princess recognised Paul at a glance and rushed into
his arms and wept for joy. They told each other their dreams,
and knew that her father and mother the bay mare and bay
stallion of yore died last night. u Let us be off," said the
princess, st or else the kingdom will be snatched from us." So
they agreed, and fixed the day after the morrow for the start.
Next morning the official crier proclaimed that the king and
queen had died suddenly about midnight; it happened at the
very moment they had had their dreams.

They started secretly by the same road, and arrived at home
in a day.

The king and queen were still laid in state, and the princess,
who was thought to be lost, shed tears over them.

She was soon afterwards crowned queen of the realm, and
chose Paul for her consort, and got married; if they have not
died since they are still alive, and in great happiness to this


devils. The eldest of them said to the rest, " Tell me what you
have heard and what you have been doing." One said, " I have
to-day killed a learned physician, who has discovered a medicine
with which he cured all crippled, maimed, or blind." "Well,
you're a smart fellow!" said the old devil; "what may the
medicine be ? " "It consists simply of this," replied the other,
"that to-night is Friday night, and there will be a new moon:
the cripples have to roll about and the blind to wash their eyes
in the dew that has fallen during the night; the cripples will be
healed of their infirmities and the blind will see." " That is
very good," said the old devil. " And now what have you done,
and what do you know ? " he asked the others.

" I," said another, " have just finished a little job of mine ; I
have cut off the water-supply and will thus kill the whole of the
population of the country-town not far from here/' " What is
your secret ?" asked the old devil. "It is this," replied he;
" I have placed a stone on the spring which is situate at the
eastern corner of the town at a depth of three fathoms. By
this means the spring will be blocked up, and not one drop of
water will flow; as for me I can go everywhere without fear,
because no one will ever find out my secret, and all will happen
just as I planned it."

The poor crippled Truth listened attentively to all these things.
Several other devils spoke; but poor Truth either did not under-
stand them or did not listen to what they said, as it did not
concern her.

Having finished all, the devils disappeared as the cock crew
announcing the break of day.

Truth thought she would try the remedies she had heard, and
at night rolled about on the dewy ground, when to her great
relief her arms grew again. Wishing to be completely cured,
she groped about and plucked every weed she could find, and
rubbed the dew into the cavities of her eyes. As day broke she
saw light once more. She then gave hearty thanks to the God
of Truth that he had not left her, his faithful follower, to
perish. Being hungry she set off in search of food. So she
hurried off to the nearest town, not only for food, but also because
she remembered what she had heard the devils say about cutting
off the water supply. She hurried on, so as not to be longer than
she could help in giving them her aid in their distress. She
soon got there, and found every one in mourning. Off she went
straight to the king, and told him all she knew ; he was delighted
when he was told that the thirst of the people might be
quenched. She also told the king how she had been maimed
and blinded, and the king believed all she said. They commenced
at once with great energy to dig up the stone that blocked the
spring. The work was soon done ; the stone reached, lifted out,
and the spring flowed once more. The king was full of joy and so
was the whole town, and there were great festivities and a general
holiday was held. The king would not allow Truth to leave, but
gave her all she needed, and treated her as his most confidential
friend, placing her in a position of great wealth and happiness.
In the meantime Falsehood's provisions came to an end, and she
was obliged to beg for food. As only very few houses gave her
anything .she was almost starving when she met her old travelling
companion again. She cried to Truth for a piece of bread.
" Yes, you can have it," said Truth, " but you must have an eye
gouged out;" and Falsehood was in such a fix that she had
either to submit or starve. Then the other eye was taken out,
and after that her arms were cut off, in exchange for dry crusts
of bread. Nor could she help it, for no one else would give her

Having lost her eyes and her arms she asked Truth to lead
her under the same gallows as she had been led to. At night
the devils came; and, as the eldest began questioning the others
as to what they had been doing and what they knew, one of
them proposed that search be made, just to see whether there
were any listeners to their conversation, as some one must have
been eaves- dropping the other night, else it would never have been
found out how the springs of the town were plugged up. To this
they all agreed, and search was made ; and soon they found False-
hood, whom they instantly tore to pieces, coiled up her bowels
into knots, burnt her, and dispersed her ashes to the winds. But
even her dust was so malignant that it was carried all over the
world; and that is the reason that wherever men exist there
Falsehood must be.


NCE there was a king whose only thought and only
pleasure was hunting; he brought up his sons to the
same ideas, and so they were called the Hunting
Princes. They had hunted all over the six snow-
capped mountains in their father's realm ; there was a seventh,
however, called the Black Mountain, and, although they were
continually asking their father to allow them to hunt there,
he would not give them permission. In the course of time
the king died, and his sons could scarcely wait till the
end of the funeral ceremonies before they rushed off to
hunt in the Black Mountain, leaving the government in the
hands of an old duke. They wandered about several days on
the mountain, but could not find so much as a single bird, so
they decided to separate, and that each of them should go to one
of the three great clefts in the mountain, thinking that perhaps
luck would serve them better in this way. They also agreed
that whoever shot an arrow uselessly should be slapped in the face.
They started off, each on his way. Suddenly the youngest one
saw a raven and something shining in its beak, that, he thought,
was in all probability a rich jewel. He shot, and a piece of steel
fell from the raven's beak, while the bird flew away unhurt.
The twang of the bow was heard all over the mountain, and the
two elder brothers came forward to see what he had done; when
they saw that he had shot uselessly they slapped his face and went
back to their places. When they had gone the youngest suddenly
saw a falcon sitting on the top of the rock. This he thought
was of value, so he shot, but the arrow stuck in a piece of pointed
rock which projected under the falcon's feet, and the bird flew
away; as it flew a piece of rock fell to the ground which he
discovered to be real flint. His elder brothers came, and slapped
his face for again shooting in so foolish a manner. No sooner
had they gone and the day was drawing to an end than he dis-
covered a squirrel just as it was running into its hole in a tree ;
so he thought its flesh would be good to eat; he shot, but the
squirrel escaped into a hollow of the tree, and the arrow struck
what appeared to be a large fungus, knocking a piece off, which
he found to be a fine piece of tinder. The elder brothers came
and gave him a sound thrashing which he took very quietly, and
after this they did not separate. As it was getting dark and
they were wandering on together a fine roebuck darted across
their path ; all three shot, and it fell. On they went till they
came to a beautiful meadow by the side of a spring, where they
found a copper trough all ready for them. They sat down,
skinned and washed the roebuck, got all ready for a good supper,
but they had no fire. " You slapped my face three times because
I was wasting my arrows," said the youngest; " if you will allow
me to return those slaps I will make you a good fire." The
elder brothers consented, but the younger waived his claim and
said to them, " You see, when you don't need a thing you think
it valueless ; see now, the steel, flint, and tinder you despised
will make us the fire you need." With that he made the fire.
They spitted a large piece of venison and had an excellent hunts-
man's supper. After supper they held a consultation as to who
was to be the guard, as they had decided not to sleep without a 
guard. It was arranged that they should take the duty in turns,
and that death was to be the punishment of any negligence of
duty. The first night the elder brother watched and the two
youngest slept. All passed well till midnight, when all at once
in the direction of the town of the Black Sorrow, which lay
behind the Black Mountain, a dragon came with three heads, a
flame three yards long protruding from its mouth. The dragon
lived in the Black Lake, which lay beyond the town of the Black
Sorrow, with two of his brothers, one with five heads and the
other with seven, and they were sworn enemies to the town
of the Black Sorrow. These dragons always used to come to
this spring to drink at midnight, and for that reason no man
or beast could walk there, because whatever the dragons found
there they slew. As soon as the dragon caught sight of the
princes he rushed at them to devour them, but he who was keep-
ing guard stood up against him and slew him, and dragged his
body into a copse near. The blood streamed forth in such torrents
that it put the fire out, all save a single spark, which the guarding
prince fanned up, and by the next morning there was a fire
such as it did one good to see. They hunted all day, returning
at night, when the middle prince was guard. At midnight the
dragon with the five heads came ; the prince slew him, and his
blood as it rushed out put the fire entirely out save one tiny
spark, which the prince managed to fan into a good fire by the

On the third night the youngest prince had to wrestle with
the dragon with seven heads. He vanquished it and killed it.
This time there was so much blood that the fire was completely
extinguished. When he was about to relight it he found that
he had lost his flint. What was to be done ? He began to
look about him, and see if he could find any means of relighting
the fire. He climbed up into a very high tree, and from it he
saw in a country three days' journey off, on a hill, a fire of some
sort glimmering : so off he went ; and as he was going he met
Midnight, who tried to pass him unseen ; but the prince saw
him, and cried out, " Here! stop ; wait for me on this spot till
I return." But Midnight would not stop ; so the prince caught
him, and fastened him with a stout strap to a thick oak-tree,
remarking, " Now, I know you will wait for me ! " He
went on some four or five hours longer, when he met Dawn:
he asked him, too, to wait for him, and as he would not he
tied him to a tree like Midnight, and went further and
further. Time did not go on, for it was stopped. At last he
arrived at the fire, and found there were twenty-four robbers
round a huge wood fire roasting a bullock. But he was afraid
to go near, so he stuck a piece of tinder on the end of his arrow,
and shot it through the flames. Fortunately the tinder caught
fire, but as he went to look for it the dry leaves crackled under
his feet, and the robbers seized him. Some of the robbers
belonged to his father's kingdom, and, as they had a grudge
against the father, they decided to kill the prince. One said,
" Let's roast him on a spit " ; another proposed to dig a hole
and bury him ; but the chief of the robbers said, " Don't let us
kill the lad, let's take him with us as he may be very useful to
us. You all know that we are about to kidnap the daughter of
the king of the town of the Black Sorrow, and we intend to
sack his palace, but we have no means of getting at the iron
cock at the top of the spire because when we go near it begins
at once to crow, and the watchman sees us ; let us take this lad
with us, and let him shoot off the iron cock, for we all know
what a capital marksman he is ; and if he succeeds we will let
him go." To this the robbers kindly consented, as they saw
they would by this means gain more than if they killed him. So
they started off, taking the prince with them, till they came close
to the fortress guarding the town of the Black Sorrow. They
then sent the prince in advance that he might shoot off the
iron cock ; this he did. Then said the chief of the robbers,
" Let's help him up to the battlements, and then he will pull us
up, let us down on the other side, and keep guard for us while
we are at work, and he shall have part of the spoil, and then we
will let him go." But the dog-soul of the chief was false, for his
plan was, that, having finished all, he would hand the prince over
to the robbers. This the prince had discovered from some
whisperings he had heard among them. He soon found a way
out of the difficulty. As he was letting them down one by one ,
he cut off their heads, and sent them headless into the fortress,
together with their chief. Finding himself all alone, and no one to
fear, he went to the king's palace : in the first apartment he found
the king asleep ; in the second the queen ; in the third the three
princesses. At the head of each one there was a candle burning ;
that the prince moved in each case to their feet, and none of
them noticed him, except the youngest princess, who awoke, and
was greatly frightened at finding a man in her bedroom ; but
when the prince told her who he was, and what he had done, she
got up, dressed, and took the young prince into a side-chamber
and gave him plenty to eat and drink, treated him kindly, and
accepted him as her lover, and gave him a ring and a hand-
kerchief as a sign of their betrothal. The prince then took leave
of his love, and went to where the robbers lay, cut off the tips of
their noses and ears, and bound them up in the handkerchief,
left the fortress, got the fire, released Midnight and Dawn,
arrived at their resting-place, made a good fire by morning, so
that all the blood was dried up.

At daybreak in the town ot the Black Sorrow, Knight Red, as
he was inspecting the sentries, came across the headless robbers.
As soon as he saw them he cut bits off their mutilated noses and
ears, and started for the town, walking up and down, and telling
everybody with great pride what a hero he was, and how that last
night he had killed the twenty-four robbers who for such a length of
time had been the terror of the town of the Black Sorrow. His
valour soon came to the ears of the king, who ordered the Red
Knight to appear before him : here he boasted of his valour, and
produced his handkerchief and the pieces cut from the robbers.
The king believed all that he said, and was so overjoyed at the
good news that he gave him permission to choose which of the
princesses he pleased for his wife, adding that he would also give
him a share of the kingdom. The Red Knight, however, made
a mistake, for he chose the youngest daughter, who knew all
about the whole affair, and was already engaged to the youngest
prince. The king told his daughter he was going to give her as
a wife.

To this she said, " Very well, father, but to whomsoever you
intend to give me he must be a worthy man, and he must give
proofs that he has rendered great service to our town." To
this the king replied, " Who could be able or who has been
able to render greater services to the town than this man, who
has killed the twenty-four robbers ? " The girl answered, " You
are right, father ; whoever did that I will be his wife." " Well
done, my daughter, you are quite right in carrying out my wish ;
prepare for your marriage, because I have found the man who
saved our town from this great danger." The young girl began
to get ready with great joy, for she knew nothing of the doings
of the Red Knight, and only saw what was going to happen
when all was ready, the altar- table laid, and the priest called,
when lo ! in walked the Red Knight as her bridegroom, a man
whom she had always detested, so that she could not bear even to
look at him. She rushed out and ran to her room, where she fell
weeping on her pillow. Everyone was there, and all was ready,
but she would not come; her father went in search of her, and
she told him how she had met the youngest of the Hunting
Princes the night before, and requested her father to send a royal
messenger into the deserted meadow, where the dragons of the
Black Lake went to drink at the copper trough, and to invite
to the wedding the three princes who were staying there ; and
asked her father not to press her to marry the Red Knight till
their arrival ; on such conditions she would go among the guests. 

Her father promised this, and sent the messenger in great haste
to the copper trough, and the young girl went among the guests.
The feast was going on in as sumptuous a manner as possible.
The messenger came to the copper trough, and hid himself
behind a bush at the skirts of an open place, and as he listened
to the conversation of the princes he knew that he had come
to the right place; he hastened to give them the invitation from
the king of the town of the Black Sorrow to the wedding of
his youngest daughter.

The princes soon got ready, especially the youngest one, who,
when he heard that his fiancee was to be married, would have
been there in the twinkling of an eye if he had been able.
When the princes arrived in the courtyard the twelve pillows
under the Red Knight began to move, as he sat on them at the
head of the table. When the youngest prince stepped upon the
first step of the stairs, one pillow slipped out from under the
Red Knight, and as he mounted each step another pillow fled,
till as they crossed the threshold even the chair upon which he
sat fell, and down dropped the Red Knight upon the floor.

The youngest Hunting Prince told them the whole story, how
his elder brothers had slain the dragons with three and five heads,
and he the one with seven heads; he also told them especially
all about the robbers, and how he met the king's daughter, how
he had walked through all their bedrooms and changed the
candles from their head to their feet; he also produced the ring
and the handkerchief, and placed upon the table the nose and
ear-tips he had cut off the robbers.

They tallied with those the Red Knight had shown, and it
was apparent to everybody which had been cut off first.

Everyone believed the prince and saw that the Red Knight
was false. For his trickery he was sentenced to be tied to a
horse's tail and dragged through the streets of the whole town,
then quartered and nailed to the four corners of the town.

The three Hunting Princes married the three daughters of the
king of the town of the Black Sorrow. The youngest prince
married the youngest princess, to whom he was engaged before,
and he became the heir-apparent in the town of Black Sorrow,
and the other two divided their father's realm.

May they be your guests to-morrow !


COMMON woman had a daughter who was a very
good worker, but she did not like spinning ; for this
her mother very often scolded her, and one day got
so vexed that she chased her down the road with the
distaff. As they were running a prince passed by in his carriage.
As the girl was very pretty the prince was very much struck with
her, and asked her mother " What is the matter? " " How can
I help it? 3 ' said the mother, " for, after she has spun everything
that I had, she asked for more flax to spin." " Let her alone,
my good woman," said the prince; " don't beat her. Give her
to me, let me take her with me, I will give her plenty to spin.
My mother has plenty of work that needs to be done, so she can
enjoy herself spinning as much as she likes." The woman gave
her daughter away with the greatest pleasure, thinking that what
she was unwilling to do at home she might be ashamed to shirk
in a strange place, and get used to it, and perhaps even become
a good spinster after all. The prince took the girl with him and
put her into a large shed full of flax, and said u If you spin all
you find here during the month you shall be my wife." The
girl seeing the great place full of flax nearly had a fit, as there

was enough to have employed all the girls in the village for the

whole of the winter; nor did she begin to work, but sat down

and fretted over it, and thus three weeks of the month passed by.

In the meantime she always asked the person who took her her

food, " What news there was? '' Each one told her something or

other. At the end of the third week one night, as she was terribly

downcast, suddenly a little man half an ell long, with a beard

one and a-half ells long, slipped in and said, u Why are you

worrying yourself, you good, pretty spinning-girl?" "That's

just what's the matter with me," replied the girl; " I am not a

good spinster, and still they will believe that I am a good spinster,

and that's the reason why I am locked up here." " Don't trouble

about that," said the little man ; "I can help you and will spin

all the flax during the next week if you agree to my proposal

and promise to come with me if you don't find out my name by

the time that I finish my spinning." " That's all right," said

the girl,'*' I will go with you," thinking that then the matter

would be all right. The little dwarf set to work. It happened

during the fourth week that one of the men-servants, who

brought the girl's food, went out hunting with the prince.

One day he was out rather late, and so was very late when

he brought the food. The girl said, "What's the news?"

The servant told her that that evening as he was coming home

very late he saw, in the forest, in a dark ditch, a little man

half an ell high, with a beard one and a-half ells long, who was

jumping from bough to bough, and spinning a thread, and

humming to himself: " My name is Dancing Vargaluska. My

wife will be good spinster Sue."

Sue, the pretty spinning-girl, knew very well what the little
man was doing, but she merely said to the servant, " It was all
imagination that made you think you saw it in the dark."
She brightened up; for she knew that all the stuff would
be spun, and that he would not be able to carry her off, as
she knew his name. In the evening the little man returned
with one-third of the work done and said to her, l( Well, do
you know my name yet ? "

"Perhaps, perhaps," said she; but she would not have told
his real name for all the treasures in the world, fearing that he
might cease working if she did. Nor did she tell him when he
came the next night. On the third night the little man brought
the last load; but this time he brought a wheelbarrow with him,
with three wheels, to take the girl away with him. When he
asked the girl his name she said, u If I'm not mistaken your
name is Dancing Vargaluska."

On hearing this the little man rushed off as if somebody had
pulled his nose.

The month being up, the prince sent to see if the girl had
completed her work ; and when the messenger brought back word
that all was finished the king was greatly astonished how it
could possibly have happened that so much work had been done
in so short a time, and went himself, accompanied by a great
suite of gentlemen and court-dames, and gazed with great
admiration upon the vast amount of fine yarn they saw. Nor
could they praise the girl enough, and all found her worthy to
be queen of the land. Next day the wedding was celebrated,
and the girl became queen. After the grand wedding-dinner
the poor came, and the king distributed alms to them ; amongst
them were three deformed beggars, who struck the king very
much : one was an old woman whose eyelids were so long that
they covered her whole face ; the second was an old woman
whose lower lip was so long that the end of it reached to her
knee ; the third old woman's posterior was so flat that it was like
a pancake.

These three were called into the reception-room and asked to
explain why they were so deformed. The first said, " In my
younger days I was such a good spinster that I had no rival in
the whole neighbourhood. I spun till 1 got so addicted to it 
that I even used to spin at night : the effect of all this was that
my eyelids became so long that the doctors could not get them
back to their places."

The second said, u I have spun so much during my life and
for such a length of time that with continually biting off the end
of the yarn my lips got so soft that one reached my knees."

The third said, " I have sat so much at my spinning that my
posterior became flat as it is now."

Hereupon the king, knowing how passionately fond his wife
was of spinning, got so frightened that he strictly prohibited
her ever spinning again.

The news of the story went out over the whole world, into
every royal court and every town ; and the women were so
frightened at what had happened to the beggars that they broke
every distaff, spinning-wheel, and spindle, and threw them into
the fire I


KING had three daughters whose names were Pride,
Gentleness, and Kindness. The king was very fond
of them all, but he loved the youngest one, Kind-
ness, the most, as she knew best how to please
him. Many clever young gentlemen came to visit Kindness,
but no one ever carne near the other two, and so they were
very envious of her, and decided they would get rid of her
somehow or other. One morning they asked their father's
permission to go out into the fields, and from thence they went
into the forest. Kindness was delighted at having liberty to
roam about in such pretty places ; the other two were pleased
that they had at last got the bird into their hands. As the dew
dried up the two eldest sisters strolled about arm in arm, whilst
the youngest chased butterflies and plucked the wild straw-
berries, with the intention of taking some home to her father;
she spent her time in great glee, singing and listening to the
songs of the birds, when suddenly she discovered that she had
strolled into an immense wood. As she was considering what to
do, her two sisters appeared by her side, and said spitefully,
"Well, you good-for-nothing! you have never done anything
but try to make our father love you most and to spoil our
chances in every way, prepare yourself for your end, for you
have eaten your last piece of bread/' Kindness lifted up her
hands, and besought them not to harm her, but they cut off her
hands, and only spared her life under the condition that she
would never go near her home again; they then took her
beautiful precious mantle from her, and dressed her in old rags ;
they then led her to the highest part of the forest, and showed
her an unknown land, bidding her go there and earn her living
by begging. The blood streamed from Kindness's arms, and her
heart ached in an indescribable way, but she never uttered the
slightest reproach against her sisters, but started off in the
direction pointed out to her. Suddenly she came to a beautiful
open plain, where there was a pretty little orchard full of trees,
and their fruit was always ripening all the year round. She
gave thanks to God that he had guided her there, then, entering
the garden, she crouched down in a by-place. As she had no
hands to pluck the fruit with she lived upon what grew upon low
boughs ; thus she spent the whole summer unnoticed by any one.
But towards autumn, when every other fruit was gone save
grapes, she lived on these, and then the gardener soon discovered
that the bunches had been tampered with and that there must
be some one about : he watched and caught her. Now it so
happened that the garden belonged to a prince, who spent a
great deal of his time there, as he was very fond of the place. The
gardener did not like to tell him of what had happened, as he 
pitied the poor handless girl and was afraid his master would
punish her severely. He decided therefore to let her go.
Accidentally, however, the prince came past and asked who she
was. "Your highness," replied the gardener, " I know no more
of her than you do. I caught her in the garden, and to prevent
her doing any more damage I was going to turn her out."
" Don't lead her away," said the prince ; " and who are you,
unfortunate girl ? " " You have called me right, my lord,"
said Kindness, " for I am unfortunate, but I am not bad ; I
am a beggar, but I am of royal blood. I was taken from my
father because he loved me most ; crippled because I was a good
child. That is my story." To this the prince replied, " However
dirtily and ragged you are dressed, still it is clear to me that you
are not of low birth : your pretty face and polished speech prove
it. Follow me ; and whatever you have lost you will find in my
house.'' li Your highness, in this nasty, dirty dress how can
I come into your presence ? Send clothes to me which I can put
on, and then I will do whatever you order." u Very well," said
the prince ; " stay here, and I will send to you." He went and
sent her a lady-in-waiting with perfumed water to wash with, a
gorgeous dress, and a carriage. Kindness washed and dressed
herself, got into the carriage, and went to the prince. Quite
changed in her appearance, not at all like as she was before,
however much she suffered she was as pretty as a Lucretia; and
the prince fell so much in love with her that he decided on the
spot that he would marry her; and so they got married, with
great splendour, and spent their time together in great happiness.
When the two elder sisters came home from the forest their
father inquired where Kindness was. " Has she not come
home ? " said they ; " we thought that she would have been
home before us. As she was running after butterflies she got
separated from us, We looked for her everywhere and called for
her ; as we got no answer we set off home before the darkness
set in, 5 '

The king gave orders that Kindness was to be looked for
everywhere; they searched for days but could not find her ; then
the king got so angry in his sorrow that he drove the two elder
girls away because they had not taken proper care of their
sister. They set out into the world in quite another direction,
but by accident arrived in the country where Kindness was
queen ; here they lived a retired life in a small town unknown
to all. Kindness at this time was enceinte; and as war broke
out with a neighbouring nation her royal husband was obliged
to go to the field of battle. The war lasted a long time, and in
the meantime Kindness gave birth to twins, two handsome sons;
on the forehead of one was the sign of the blessed sun, on the
other the sign of the blessed moon; in great joy the queen's
guardian sent a letter containing the good news to the king by
a messenger to the camp. The messenger had to pass through
the small town where the envious sisters dwelt ; it was quite dark
when he arrived, and as he did not see a light anywhere but in
their window he went and asked for a night's lodging; while he
stayed there he told them all about the object of his journey;
you may imagine how well he was received, and with what
pleasure they offered him lodging, these envious brutes ! When
the messenger fell asleep they immediately took possession of the
letter, tore it open, read it, and burnt it, and put in its place
another to the king, saying that the queen had given birth to
two monsters which looked more like puppies than babes; in the
morning they gave meat and drink to the messenger, and pressed
him to call and see them on his way back, as they would be
delighted to see him. He accepted their kind invitation, and
promised that he would come to them, and to no one else, on his
return. The messenger arrived at the camp and delivered his
letter to the king, who was very downcast as he read it ; but
still he wrote back and said that his wife was not to be blamed;
fl if it has happened thus how can I help it? don't show her the
slightest discourtesy," wrote he. As the messenger went back
he slept again in the house of the two old serpent-sisters ; they
stole the king's letter and wrote in its place : " I want neither
children nor mother; see that by the time I come home those
monsters be out of my way, so that not even so much as their
name remain." When this letter was read every one was very
sorry for the poor queen, and couldn't make out why the king was
so angry, but there was nothing for it but for the king's orders
to be carried out, and so the two pretty babes were put in a
sheet and hung round Kindness's neck, and she was sent away.
For days and days poor Kindness walked about suffering hunger
and thirst, till at last she came to a pretty wood ; passing through
this she travelled through a valley covered with trees; passing
through this at last she saw the great alpine fir-trees at the end
of the vale; there she found a clear spring; in her parching thirst
she stooped to drink, but in her hurry she lost her balance and
fell into the water ; as she tried to drag herself out with her two
stumps, to her intense astonishment she found that by immersion
her two hands had grown again as they were before; she wept
for joy. Although she was hiding in an unknown place with no
husband, no father, no friend, no help whatever, with two
starving children in this great wilderness, still she wasn't sorrow-
ful, because she was so delighted to have her hands again. She
stood there, and could not make up her mind in which direction
to go; as she stood looking all round she suddenly caught sight
of an old man coming towards her. " Who are you?" said the
old man. " Who am I ? " she replied, sighing deeply; u I'm an
unfortunate queen." She then told him all she had suffered,
and how she had recovered her hands that very minute by
washing in the spring. " My poor good daughter," said the
old man, bitterly, "then we are both afflicted ones; it's quite
enough that you are alive, and that I have found you. Listen
to me : your husband was warring against me, he drove me from
my country, and hiding from him I came this way ; not very
far from here with one of my faithful servants I have built a hut
and we will live together there." The old man, in order to prove
the miraculous curing power of the spring, dipped his maimed
finger into it, which was shot off in the last war; as he took it
out, lo ! it was all right once more.

When the war was over, Kindness's husband returned home
and inquired after his wife. They told him all that had
happened, and he was deeply grieved, and went in search of her
with a great number of his people, and they found her at last with
her two pretty babes, living with her old father. On inquiry it
was also found out where the messenger with the letters had
slept and how the letters were changed. Pride and Gentleness
were summoned and sentenced to death; but Kindness forgave
them all their misdeeds, and was so kind to them that she
obtained their pardon, and also persuaded her father to forgive

There is no more of this speech to which you need listen, as
I have told it to the very end and I have not missed a word out
of it. Those of whom I have spoken may they be your guests,
every one of them, to-morrow !


KING had three sons. When the enemy broke into
the land and occupied it, the king himself fell in the
war. The young princes were good huntsmen and fled
from the danger, all three, taking three horses with
them. They went on together for a long time, till they did not
even know wnere they were; on they journeyed, till at last they
came to the top of the very highest snow-covered mountain,
where the road branched off: here they decided to separate and
try their luck alone. They agreed that on the summit of the
mountain, at the top of a tall tree, they would fix a long pole,
and on it a white handkerchief. They were to keep well in
sight of this white flag, and whenever the handkerchief was
seen full of blood the one who saw it was to start in search of
his brothers, as one of them was in danger. The name of the
youngest was Eose ; he started off to the left, the other two went
to the right. When Rose came to the seventh snow-capped
mount and had got far into it he saw a beautiful castle and
went in. As he was tired with travelling and wanted a night's
rest, he settled down. When even came the gates of the castle
opened with great noise, and seven immense giants rushed into
the courtyard and from thence into the tower. Every one of
them was as big as a tall tower. Rose, in his fright, crept under
the bed; but the moment the giants entered one of them said,
"Phuh! What an Adam-like smell there is here !" Looking
about they caught Rose, cut him up into small pieces like the
stalk of a cabbage and threw him out of the window.

In the morning the giants went out again on their business.
From a bush there came forth a snake, which had the head of a
pretty girl; she gathered up every morsel of Rose's body, arranged
them in order, and said, " This belongs here, that belongs there."
She then anointed him with grass that had healing power, and
brought water of life and death from a spring that was not far
off and sprinkled it over him. Rose suddenly jumped up on his
feet and was seven times more beautiful and strong than before.
At this moment the girl cast off the snake-skin as far as the
arm-pits. As Rose was now so strong he became braver, and in
the evening did not creep under the bed, but waited for the
giants coming home, at the gate. They arrived and sent their
servants in advance to cut up that wretched heir of Adam ; but
they could not manage him, it took the giants themselves to cut
him up. Next morning the serpent with the girl's head came
again and brought Rose to life as before, and she herself cast off
her skin as far as her waist. Rose was now twice as strong as a
single giant. The same evening the seven giants killed him
again, he himself having killed the servants and wounded several
of the giants. Next morning the giants were obliged to go
without their servants. Then the serpent came and restored Kose
once more, who was now stronger than all the seven giants put
together, and was so beautiful that though you could look at the
sun you could not look at him. The girl now cast off the
serpent's skin altogether and became a most beautiful creature.
They told each other the story of their lives. The girl said that
she was of royal blood, and that the giants had killed her father
and seized his land, that the castle belonged to her father, and
that the giants went out every day to plunder the people. She
herself had become a snake by the aid of a good old quack
nurse, and had made a vow that she would remain a serpent
until she had been avenged on the giants, and she knew now
that although she had cast off the snake's skin she had nothing
to fear because Kose was a match for the seven giants. a Now,
Kose," said she, u destroy them every one, and I will not be
ungrateful." To which he replied, " Dearest one, you have
restored me to life these three times how could I help being
grateful to you ? My life and my all are yours ! " They took an
oath to be true to each other till death, and spent the day
merrily till evening set in, when the giants came, and Kose
addressed them thus : " Is it not true, you pack of scoundrels,
that you have killed me three times ? Now, I tell you that not
one of you shall put his foot within these gates ! Don't you
believe me ? Let's fight ! " They charged upon him with great
fury, but victory was, this time, on his side; he killed them one
after the other and took the keys of the castle out of their
pockets. He then searched over every nook in the building, and
came to the conclusion that they were safe, as they had now
possession of the castle.

The night passed quietly; next morning Rose looked from
the courtyard to the top of the snow-covered mountain, in the
direction of the white flag, and saw that it was quite bloody.
He was exceedingly sorry, and said to his love, " I must go in
search of my two elder brothers, as some mischief has befallen
them ; wait till I return, because if I find them I shall certainly
be back."

He then got ready, took his sword, bow and arrow, some
healing-grass, and water of life and death with him, and went to
the very place where they had separated. On the way he shot
a hare, and when he came to the place of separation he went on
the same road by which his elder brothers had gone ; he found
there a small hut and a tree beside it ; he stopped in front of the
tree, and saw that his brothers* two dogs were chained to it; he
loosed them, lighted a fire, and began to roast the hare. As he
roasted it he heard a voice as if some one were shouting from the
tree in a shivering voice; u Oh, how cold I am ! " it said. " If
you're cold," replied Kose, " get down and warm yourself." " Yes,"
said the voice, " but I'm afraid of the dogs." " Don't be afraid
as they won't hurt an honest person." " I believe you,' 5 said the
voice in the tree, u but still I want you to throw this hair between
them; let them smell it first, then they will know me by it."
Rose took the hair and threw it into the fire. Down came an
old witch from the tree and warmed herself. Then she spitted a
toad and began to roast it. As she did so she said to Eose,
" This is mine, that is yours," and threw it at him. As Kose
couldn't stand this he jumped up, drew his sword, and smote the
witch; butlo! the sword turned into a log of wood, and the
witch flew at him to kill him, crying, "It's all up with you also.
I've killed your brothers in revenge because you killed my seven
giant sons." * But Kose set the dogs at her, and they dragged
her about till they drew blood. The blood was spilt on the log
of wood and it became a sword again. Kose caught hold of it
and chopped the old witch's left arm off. Now the witch showed

* According to Kozma this is the only instance in the Szckely folk-lore
which accounts for the origin of giants.
him the place where she had buried his brothers. Rose smote
her once more with his sword and the old witch went to Pluto's.
Rose dug out the bodies, put the bits together, anointed them
with the healing-grass, and sprinkled them with the water of life
and death, and they came to life again.

When they opened their eyes and saw Rose, they both ex-
claimed, " Oh ! how long I have been asleep." " Very long
indeed," said Rose, " and if I hadn't come you'd have been
asleep still. " They told him that soon after they had separated
they received the news that the enemy had withdrawn from their
country, and they decided to return, and that the elder should
undertake the government of the land, and the other go in search
of Rose. On their way they happened to go into the hut, and
the old witch treated them as she was going to treat Rose.

Rose also told them his tale, and spoke to them thus : " You,
my eldest brother, go home, and sit on our father's throne. You
my other brother come with me, and let us two govern the vast
country over which the giants had tyrannised until now:" and
thus they separated and each went on his own business.

Rose found his pretty love again, who was nearly dead with
fretting for him, but who quite recovered on his happy return.
They took into their hands the government of the vast country
which they had delivered from the sway of the giants. Rose
and his love got married with the most splendid wedding-feast,
and the bride had to dance a great deal ; and if they've not died
since they're alive still to this very day.

May they curl themselves into an eggshell and be your guests

The Prince
HERE was once, I don't know where, a king who had
three sons. This king had great delight in his three
sons, and decided to give them a sound education,
and after that to give them a place in the govern-
ment, so that he might leave them as fit and willing heirs to his
throne ; so he sent these sons to college to study, and they did
well for a while ; but all of a sudden they left college, came
home, and would not return. The king was very much annoyed
at their conduct, and prohibited them from ever entering his
presence. He himself retired, and lived in an eastern room of
the royal residence, where he spent his time sitting in a window
that looked eastward, as if he expected some one to come in that
direction. One of his eyes was continually weeping, while the
other was continually laughing. One day, when the princes
were grown up, they held a consultation, and decided to ascer-
tain from their royal father the reason why he always sat in the
east room, and why one eye was continually weeping while the
other never ceased laughing. The eldest son tried his fortune
first, and thus questioned the king : " Most gracious majesty, my
father. I have come to ask you, my royal sire, the reason why
one of your eyes is always weeping while the other never ceases
laughing, and why you always sit in this east room." The king
measured his son from top to toe, and never spoke a word, but
seized his long straight sword which leant against the window
and threw it at him : it struck the door, and entered into it up
to the hilt. The prince jumped through the door and escaped
the blow that was meant for him. As he went he met his two
brothers, who inquired how he had fared. " You'd better try
yourself and you will soon know," replied he. So the second
prince tried, but with no better result than his brother. At last
the third brother, whose name was Mirko, went in, and, like his
brother, informed the king of the reason of his coming. The
king uttered not a word, but seized the sword with even greater
fury, and threw it with such vehemence that it entered up to the
hilt in the wall of the room : yet Mirko did not run away, but
only dodged the sword, and then pulled it out of the wall and
took it back to his royal father, placing it on the table in front
of him. Seeing this the king began to speak and said to Prince
Mirko ? " My son, I can see that you know more about honour
than your two brothers. So I will answer your question. One
of my eyes weeps continually because I fret about you that you
are such good-for-nothings and not fit to rule; the other laughs
continually because in my younger days I had a good comrade,
Knight Mezey, with whom I fought in many battles, and he
promised me that if he succeeded in vanquishing his enemy he
would come and live with me, and we should spend our old age
together. I sit at the east window because I expect him to come in
that direction ; but Knight Mezey, who lives in the Silk Meadow,
has so many enemies rising against him every day as there are
blades of grass, and he has to cut them down all by himself
every day ; and until the enemies be extirpated he cannot come
and stay with me." With this, Prince Mirko left his father's
room, went back to his brothers, and told them what he
had heard from the king. So they held council again, and
decided to ask permission from their father to go and try their
fortunes. First the eldest prince went and told the king that
he was anxious to go and try his fortune, to which the king
consented : so the eldest prince went into the royal stables and
chose a fine charger, had it saddled, his bag filled, and started on
his journey the next morning. He was away for a whole year,
and then suddenly turned up one morning, carrying on his
shoulder a piece of bridge-flooring made of copper; throwing it
down in front of the royal residence, he walked into the king's
presence, told him where he had been, and what he had brought
back with him. The king listened to the end of his tale and
said, " Well, my son, when I was as young as you are I went
that way, and it only took me two hours from the place where
you brought this copper from. You are a very weak knight:
you won't do; you can go." With this the eldest prince left his
father's room. The second prince then came in and asked the
king to permit him to try his fortune, and the king gave him
permission. So he went to the royal stables, had a fine charger
saddled, his bag filled, and set off. At the end of a year he
returned home, bringing with him a piece of bridge-flooring
made of silver ; this he threw down in front of the royal
residence, and went in unto the king, told him all about his
journey and about his spoil. u Alas ! " said the king, " when
1 was as young as you I went that way, and it did not take me
more than three hours ; you are a very weak knight, my son :
you will not do."

With this he dismissed his second son also. At last Prince
Mirko went in and asked permission to go and try his fortune,
and the king granted him permission, so he also went into the
royal stables in order to choose a horse for the journey; but he
did not find one to suit him, so he went to the royal stud-farm
to choose one there. As he was examining the young horses, and
could not settle which to have, there suddenly appeared an old
witch, who asked him what he wanted. Prince Mirko told her
his intention, and that he wanted a horse to go on the journey.
" Alas! my lord," said the old witch, " you can't get a horse
here to suit you, but I will tell you how to obtain one: go to
your father, and ask him to let you have the horn which in his
younger days he used to call together his stud with golden hair,
blow into it, and the golden stud will at once appear. But don't
choose any of those with the golden hair; but at the very last
there will come a mare with crooked legs and shaggy coat; you
will know her by the fact that when the stud passes through the
gates of the royal fortress the mare will come last, and she will
whisk her tail and strike the heel-post of the fortress-gate with
such force that the whole fort will quiver with the shock. Choose
her, and try your fortune." Prince Mirko followed the witch's
advice most carefully. Going to the king he said, " My royal
father, I come to ask you to give me the horn with which in
your younger days you used to call together your stud with the
golden hair." " Who told you of this ? " inquired the king. " No-
body," replied Prince Mirko. " Well, my dear son, if no one
has informed you of this, and if it be your own conception, you
are a very clever fellow ; but if any one has told you to do this
they mean no good to you. I will tell you where the horn is,
but by this time, I daresay, it is all rust-eaten. In the seventh
cellar there is a recess in the wall; in this recess lies the horn,
bricked up; try to find it, take it out, and use it if you think
you can." Prince Mirko sent for the bricklayer on the spot, and
went with him to the cellar indicated, found the recess, took the
horn, and carried it off with him. He then stood in the hall of
the royal residence and blew it, facing east, west, south, and
north. In a short time he heard the tingle of golden bells begin
to sound, increasing till the whole town rang with the noise;
and lo ! through the gates of the royal residence beautiful
golden-haired horses came trooping in. Then he saw, even
at the distance, the mare with the crooked legs and shaggy
coat, and as she came, the last, great Heavens ! as she
came through the gates she whisked the heel-post with her
tail with such force that the whole building shook to its
very foundation. The moment the stud had got into the
royal courtyard he went to the crooked-legged shaggy-coated
mare, caught her, had her taken to the royal stables, and
made it known that he intended to try his fortune with her.
The mare said " Quite right, my prince ; but first you will
have to give me plenty of oats, because it would be difficult to go
a long journey without food." " What sort of food do you
wish? Because whatever my father possesses I will willingly
give to you," said the prince. " Very well, my prince," said the
mare; " but it is not usual to feed a horse just before you start on
a journey, but some time beforehand." " Well { I can't do much
at present," said the prince; "but whatever I've got you shall
have with pleasure." " Well, then, bring me a bushel of barley
at once, and have it emptied into my manger." Mirko did this;
and when she had eaten the barley she made him fetch a bushel
of millet; and when she had eaten that she said, " And now bring
me half a bushel of burning cinders, and empty them into my
manger." When she had eaten these she turned to a beautiful
golden-haired animal like to the morning-star. " Now, my
prince," said she, "go to the king and ask him to give you the
saddle he used when he rode me in his younger days." Prince
Mirko went to the old king and asked him for the saddle.
" It cannot be used now," said he, "as it has been lying
about so long in the coach-house, and it's all torn by this,
but if you can find it you can have it." Prince Mirko went to
the coach-house and found the saddle, but it was very dirty, as
the fowls and turkeys had for many years roosted on it, and torn
it; still he took it to the mare in order to put it on her, but
she said that it was not becoming a prince to sit upon such a
thing, wherefore he was going to have it altered and repaired ;
but the mare told him to hold it in front of her, and she breathed
on it, and in a moment it was changed into a beautiful gold
saddle, such as had not an equal over seven countries ; with this
he saddled the tatos (mythical horse). " Now, my prince,"
said she, " you had better go to your father and ask him for the
brace of pistols and the sword with which he used to set out
when he rode me in former days." So the prince went and asked
these from his father, but the old king replied " that they were all
rusty by this time, and of no use, but, if he really wanted them,
he could have them, and pointed out the rack where they were.
Prince Mirko took them and carried them to the mare, who
breathed upon them, and changed them into gold ; he then
girded on his sword, placed the pistols in the holsters, and got
ready for a start. " Well, my dear master/ 5 said the mare,
"where now is my bridle?" Whereupon the prince fetched
from the coach-house an old bridle, which she blew upon and it
changed into gold; this the prince threw over her head, and led
her out of the stable, and was about to mount her when the
mare said, i( Wait a minute, lead me outside the town first, and
then mount me;" so he led her outside the town, and then
mounted her, At this moment the mare said, " Well, my dear
master, how shall I carry you ? Shall I carry you with a speed
like the quick hurricane, or like a flash of thought ? " "I don't
mind, my dear mare, how you carry me, only take care that you
run so that I can bear it."

To this the mare replied, " Shut your eyes and hold fast."
Prince Mirko shut his eyes, and the mare darted off like a
hurricane. After a short time she stamped upon the ground and
said to the prince, " Open your eyes ! What can you see ? "
" I can see a great river/' said Prince Mirko, "and over it a
copper bridge." " Well, my dear master," said the mare, "that's
the bridge from which your eldest brother carried off part of the
flooring : can't you see the vacant place?" "Yes, 1 can see it,"
said the prince, u and where shall we go now ?" " Shut your
eyes and I will carry you;" with this, she started off like a flash
of lightning, and in a few moments again stamped upon the
ground and said, " Open your eyes ! Now what do you see ? "
" I see," said Prince Mirko, u a great river, and over it a silver
bridge." " Well, my dear master, that's the bridge from which
your second brother took the silver flooring; can't you see the
place? " "Yes," said he, "I can, and now where shall we go?"

" Shut your eyes and I will carry you," said the mare, and
off she darted like lightning, and in a moment she again stamped
upon the ground and stopped and said to Prince Mirk6, " Open
your eyes ! What can you see ? " "I see," replied he, " a vast,
broad, and deep river, and over it a golden bridge, and at each
end, on this side and that, four immense and fierce lions. How
are we to get over this?" "Don't take any notice of them," said
the mare, " I will settle with them, you shut your eyes." Prince
Mirk<5 shut his eyes, the mare darted off like a swift falcon, and
flew over the bridge; in a short time she stopped, stamped, and
said, " Open your eyes! Now what do you see?" "I see,"
said the prince, " an immense, high glass rock, with sides as
steep as the side of a house." u Well, my dear master," said
the mare, ** we have to get over that too."

" But that is impossible," said the prince; but the mare
cheered him, and said, " Don't worry yourself, dear master, as I
still have the very shoes on my hoofs which your father put on
them with diamond nails six hundred years ago. Shut your eyes
and hold fast."

At this moment the mare darted off, and in a twinkling of the
eye she reached the summit of the glass rock, where she stopped,
stamped, and said to the prince, " Open your eyes ! What can you
see?" "I can see, below me," said Prince Mirk6, " on
looking back, something black, the size of a fair-sized dish."
"Well, my dear master, that is the orb of the earth; but what
can you see in front of you? " " I can see," said Prince Mirk6,
" a narrow round-backed glass path, and by the side of it, this side
as well as on the other side, a deep bottomless abyss." " Well, my
dear master," said the mare, " we have to get over that, but the
passage is so difficult that if my foot slips the least bit either
way we shall perish, but rely on me. Shut your eyes and grasp
hold of me, and I will do it." With this the mare started and in
another moment she again stamped on the ground and said,
" Open your eyes ! What can you see?" "I can see," said
Prince Mirko, " behind me, in the distance, some faint light
and in front of me such a thick darkness that I cannot even see
my finger before me." 4C Well, my dear master, we have to get
through this also. Shut your eyes, and grasp me." Again she
started and again she stamped. " Open your eyes ! What can you
see now?" "I can see,' 5 said Prince Mirk6, "a beautiful
light, a beautiful snow-clad mountain, in the midst of the
mountain a meadow like silk, and in the midst of the
meadow something black.' 5 " Well, my dear master, that
meadow which looks like silk belongs to Knight Mezey, and
the black something in the middle of it is his tent, woven of
black silk; it does not matter now whether you shut your eyes or
not, we will go there." With this Prince Mirk 6 spurred the
mare, and at once reached the tent.

Prince Mirk6 jumped from his mare and tied her to the tent
by the side of Knight Mezey's horse, and he himself walked into
the tent, and lo ! inside, a knight was laid at full length on the
silken grass, fast asleep, but a sword over him was slashing in
all directions, so that not even a fly could settle on him. 6C Well,"
thought Prince Mirko to himself, " this fellow must be a brave
knight, but I could kill him while he sleeps; however, it would
not be an honourable act to kill a sleeping knight, and I will
wait till he wakes." With this he walked out of the tent, tied
his mare faster to the tent-post, and he also lay down full length
upon the silken grass, and said to his sword, " Sword, come out
of thy scabbard," and his sword began to slash about over him,
just like Knight Mezey's, so that not even a fly could, settle
on him.

All of a sudden Knight Mezey woke, and to his astonishment
he saw another horse tied by the side of his, and said, " Great
Heavens ! what's the meaning of this ? It's six hundred years
since I saw a strange horse by the side of mine ! Whom can it
belong to ? " He got up, went out of the tent, and saw Prince
Mirko asleep outside, and his sword slashing about over him.
u Well,' 5 said he, "this must be a brave knight, and as he has
not killed me while I was asleep, it would not be honourable to
kill him," with this he kicked the sleeping knight's foot and
woke him. He jumped up, and Knight Mezey thus questioned
him: " Who are you ? What is your business ? " Prince Mirko
told him whose son he was and why he had come. " Welcome,
my dear brother," said Knight Mezey, "your father is a dear
friend of mine, and I can see that you are as brave a knight as
your father, and I shall want you, because the large silken
meadow that you see is covered with enemies every day, and I
have to daily cut them down, but now that you are here to help
me I shall be in no hurry about them ; let's go inside and have
something to eat and drink, and let them gather into a crowd,
two of us will soon finish them." They went into the tent and had
something to eat and drink; but all at once his enemies came
up in such numbers that they came almost as far as the tent,
when Knight Mezey jumped to his feet and said, " Jump up,
comrade, or else we are done for." They sprang to their horses,
darted among the enemy, and both called out, " Sword, out
of thy scabbard ! " and in a moment the two swords began to
slash about, and cut off the heads of the enemy, so that they had
the greatest difficulty in advancing on account of the piles of
dead bodies, till at last, at the rear of the enemy, twelve knights
took to flight, and Knight Mezey and Prince Mirk6 rode in pursuit
of them, till they reached a glass rock, to which they followed
the twelve knights, Prince Mirko being the nearest to them.
On the top of the rock there was a beautiful open space,
towards which the knights rode and Prince Mirk6 after them on
his mare, when all at once they all disappeared, as if the earth
had swallowed them; seeing this, Prince Mirko rode to the spot
where they disappeared, where he found a trap-door, and under
the door a deep hole and a spiral staircase. The mare without
hesitation jumped into the hole, which was the entrance to
the infernal regions. Prince Mirko, looking round in Hades,
suddenly discerned a glittering diamond castle, which served the
lower regions instead of the sun, and saw that the twelve knights
were riding towards it; so he darted after them, and, calling out
"Sword, come out of thy scabbard," he slashed off the twelve
knights' heads in a moment, and, riding to the castle, he heard
such a hubbub and clattering that the whole place resounded with
it : he jumped off his horse, and walked into the castle, when lo !
there was an old diabolical-looking witch, who was weaving and
making the clattering noise, and the whole building was now
full of soldiers, whom the devilish witch produced by weaving.
When she threw the shuttle to the right, each time two hussars
on horseback jumped out from the shuttle, and when she threw
it to the left, each time two foot soldiers jumped from it fully
equipped. When he saw this, he ordered his sword out of
its scabbard, and cut down all the soldiers present. But the old
witch wove others again, so Prince Mirko thought to himself, if
this goes on, I shall never get out of this place, so he ordered his
sword to cut up into little pieces the old witch, and then he
carried out the whole bleeding mass into the courtyard, where
he found a heap of wood : he placed the mass on it, put a light to
it, and burnt it. But when it was fully alight a small piece of a
rib of the witch flew out of the fire and began to spin around in
the dust, and lo ! another witch grew out of it. Prince Mirko there-
upon was about to order his sword to cut her up too, when the old
witch addressed him thus: " Spare my life, Mirko, and I will help
you in return for your kindness ; if you destroy me you can't get
out of this place ; here ! I will give you four diamond horse-shoe
nails, put them away and you will find them useful." Prince
Mirko took the nails and put them away, thinking to himself,
" If I spare the old witch she will start weaving again, and
Knight Mezey will never get rid of his enemies," so he again
ordered his sword to cut up the witch, and threw her into the fire
and burnt her to cinders. She never came to life again. He then
got on his mare and rode all over the lower regions, but could not
find a living soul anywhere, whereupon he spurred his mare,
galloped to the foot of the spiral staircase, and in another moment
he reached the upper world. When he arrived at the brink of
the glass rock he was about to alight from his mare: and
stopped her for this purpose, but the mare questioned him thus,
" What are you going to do, Prince Mirko?" "I was going
to get down, because the road is very steep and it's impossible to
go down on horseback." " Well then, dear master, if you do
that you can't get below, because you couldn't walk on the
steep road, but if you stop on my back, take hold of my
mane, and shut your eyes, I will take you down." Whereupon
the mare started down the side of the rock, and, like a good
mountaineer, climbed down from the top to the bottom, and
having arrived at the foot of the steep rock, spoke to Prince
Mirko thus: " You can open your eyes now." Mirko having
opened his eyes, saw that they had arrived in the silken

They started in the direction of Knight Mezey's tent, but
Knight Mezey thought that Mirko had already perished, when
suddenly he saw that Mirko was alive, so he came in great joy to
meet him, and leading him into his tent, as he had no heir, he
offered him the silk meadow and his whole realm, but Mirko
replied thus: " My dear brother, now that I have destroyed all
your enemies, you need not fear that the enemy will occupy
your country, therefore I should like you to come with me to
my royal father, who has been expecting you for a very long
time." With this they got on their horses, and started off in
the direction of the old king's realm, and arrived safely at
the very spot on the glass rock where Mirko had jumped down.
Knight Mezey stopped here, and said to Prince Mirko: " My
dear brother, I cannot go further than this, because the diamond
nails of my horse's shoes have been worn out long ago, and the
horse's feet no longer grip the ground. 5 ' But Mirko remembered
that the old witch had given him some diamond nails, and said :
" Don't worry yourself, brother. I have got some nails with
me, and I will shoe thy horse." And taking out the diamond
nails, he shod Knight Mezey's horse with them. They mounted
once more, and like two good mountaineers descended the glass
rock, and as swift as thought were on the way home.

The old king was also then sitting in the eastern window,

awaiting Knight Mezey, when suddenly he saw two horsemen

approaching, and, looking at them with his telescope, recognised

them as his dear old comrade Knight Mezey, together with his

son, Prince Mirko, coming towards him; so he ran down at once,

and out of the hall. He ordered the bailiff to slaughter twelve

heifers, and by the time that Knight Mezey and Mirko arrived,

a grand dinner was ready waiting for them; and on their

arrival he received them with great joy, embraced them and

kissed them, and laughed with both his eyes. Then they sat

down to dinner, and ate and drank in great joy. During dinner

Knight Mezey related Mirko's brave deeds, and, amongst other

things, said to the old king: "Well, comrade, your son

Mirko is even a greater hero than we were. He is a brave

fellow, and you ought to be well pleased with him." The old

king said: " Well, when I come to think of it, I begin to be

satisfied with him, especially because he has brought you with him ;

but still I don't believe that he would have courage to fight

Doghead also.'* Prince Mirko was listening to their talk but did

not speak. After dinner, however, he called Knight Mezey

aside, and asked him who Doghead was, and where he lived.

Knight Mezey informed him that he lived in the north, and that

he was such a hero that there was no other to equal him under the

sun. Prince Mirko at once gave orders for the journey, filled

his bag, and next day started on his mare to Doghead's place ;

according to his Custom, he sat upon the mare, grasped her firmly,

and shut his eyes. The mare darted off, and flew like a swift

cyclone, then suddenly stopped, stamped on the ground,

and said, " Prince Mirko. open your eyes. What do you see ? "

l( I see," said the Prince, " a diamond castle, six stories high,

that glitters so that one can't look at it, although one could look

" Well, Doghead lives there," said the mare, " and
that is his royal castle." Prince Mirko rode close under the
window and shouted loudly: "Doghead! are you at home?
Come out, because I have to reckon with you." Doghead
himself was not at home, but his daughter was there such a
beautiful royal princess, whose like one could not find in the
whole world. As she sat in the window doing some needlework,
and heard the high shrill voice, she looked through the window
in a great rage, and gave him such a look with her beautiful flash-
ing black eyes, that Prince Mirko and his mare at once turned
into a stone statue. However, she began to think that perhaps
the young gentleman might be some prince who had come to
see her; so she repented that she had transformed him into
a stone statue so quickly; and ran down to him, took out
a golden rod, and began to walk round the stone statue, and
tapped its sides with her gold rod, and lo ! the stone crust began
to crack, and fell off, and all at once Prince Mirko and his mare
stood alive in front of her. Then the princess asked; "Who are
you ? and what is your business ? " And Mirko told her that
he was a prince, and had come to see the Princess of Doghead.
The princess slightly scolded him for shouting for her father so
roughly through the window, but at the same time fell in love with
Prince Mirko on the spot, and asked him to come into her diamond
castle, which was six stories high, and received him well.
However, while feasting, Prince Mirko during the conversa-
tion confessed what his true errand was, viz., to fight Doghead ;
but the princess advised him to desist from this, because there
was no man in the whole world who could match her father-
But when she found that Mirko could not be dissuaded, she
took pity on him, and, fearing that lest he should be vanquished,
let him into the secret how to conquer her father. " Go
down, "she said, "into the seventh cellar of the castle; there you
will find a cask which is not sealed. In that cask is kept my
father's strength, 1 hand you here a silver bottle, which you
have to fill from the cask; but do not cork the bottle, but
always take care that it shall hang uncorked from your neck ;
and when your strength begins to fail, dip your little finger into
it, and each time your strength will be increased by that of five
thousand men; also drink of it, because each drop of wine will
give you the strength of five thousand men." Prince Mirko
listened attentively to her counsel, hung the silver bottle round
his neck, and went down into the cellar, where he found the
wine in question, and from it he first drank a good deal, and
then filled his flask, and, thinking that he had enough in his
bottle, he let the rest run out to the last drop, so that Boghead
could use it no more. There were in the cellar six bushels of
wheat flour, with this he soaked it up, so that no moisture was
left, whereupon he went upstairs to the princess, and reported
that he was ready and also thanked her for her directions, and
promised that for all her kindness he would marry her, and
vowed eternal faith to her. The beautiful princess consented to
all, and only made one condition, viz., that in case Prince
Mirko conquered her father he would not kill him.

Prince Mirko then inquired of the beautiful princess when she
expected her father home, and in what direction, to which
the princess replied that at present he was away in his western
provinces, visiting their capitals, but that he would be home soon,
because he was due, and that it was easy to predict his coming,
because when he was two hundred miles from home, he would
throw home a mace weighing forty hundredweight, thus an-
nouncing his arrival, and wherever the mace dropped a spring
would suddenly burst from the ground. Prince Mirko thereupon
went with the royal princess into the portico of the royal castle,
to await there Loghead's arrival, when suddenly, good Heavens !
the air became dark, and a mace, forty hundredweight,
came down with a thud into the court-yard of the royal fortress,
and, striking the ground, water burst forth immediately in the
shape of a rainbow. Prince Mirko at once ran into the court-yard
in order to try how much his strength had increased. He picked up
the mace swung it over his head, and threw it back so that it
dropped just in front of Doghead. Boghead's horse stumbled over
the mace ; whereupon Doghead got angry. u Gee up ! I wish
the wolves and dogs would devour you," shouted Doghead to the
horse. " I have ridden you for the last six hundred years, and up
to this time you have never stumbled once. What's the reason
that you begin to stumble now?" "Alas! my dear master,"
said his horse, " there must be something serious the matter at
home, because some one has thrown back your mace that you
threw home, and I stumbled over it." " There's nothing the
matter," said Doghead ; "I dreamt six hundred years ago
that I would have to fight Prince Mirko, and it is he who is
at my castle; but what is he to me? I have more strength in
my little finger than he in his whole body." With this he darted
off at a great speed and appeared at the castle. Prince Mirko
was awaiting Doghead in the court-yard of the fortress. The
latter, seeing Prince Mirko, galloped straight to him and said,
" Well, Mirko. I know that you are waiting for me. Here I
am. How do you wish me to fight you? With swords? or shall
we wrestle?" "I don't care how; just as you please," said
Mirko. " Then let us try swords first," said Doghead, and,
getting off his horse, they stood up, and both ordered out their
swords. " Swords, come out of the scabbards. 5 ' The two swords flew
out of the scabbards and began to fence over the heads of the com-
batants. The whole place rung with their clashing, and in their
vehemence they sent forth sparks in such quantity that the
whole ground was covered with fire, so that no one could stand the
heat. Whereupon Doghead said to Mirko, u Don't let us spoil our
swords, but let us put them back into their scabbards, and let us
wrestle." Sothey sheathed their swords and began to wrestle. When
suddenly Doghead grasped Mirko round the waist, lifted him up,
and dashed him to the ground with such force that Mirko sank to his
belt. Mirk was frightened, and quickly dipped his little finger into
the bottle. Whereupon he regained his strength, and, jumping
out of the ground, made a desperate dash at Doghead, and
threw him to the ground with such force, that he lay full length on
the ground like a green frog ; then he seized him by his hair
and dragged him behind the royal residence, where a golden
bridge stood over a bottomless lake. He dragged him on to the
bridge, and, holding his head over the water, ordered his sword
out of the scabbard and cut off his head, so that it dropped into the
bottomless lake, and then he pushed the headless trunk after it.

Doghead's daughter saw all this, and grew very angry with
Prince Mirk<5, and as he approached her she turned her
face away, and would not even speak to him ; but Prince
Mirkd explained to her that he could not do otherwise, for
if he had spared Doghead's life he would have destroyed his;
and that he was willing to redeem his promise, and keep his
faith to the princess and take her for his wife. Whereupon the
royal princess became reconciled, and they decided to get ready
to go to Prince Mirko's realm. They ordered the horses
Doghead's charger was got ready for the beautiful princess and,
mounting them, were about to start, when all at once deep sorrow
seized Prince Mirko, and the beautiful royal princess thus ques-
tioned him: " Why are you so downcast, Mirko?" fl Well, be-
cause," said Mirko, " I'm anxious to go back to my country, but I
am also extremely sorry to leave behind this sumptuous diamond
castle, six stories high, which belonged to your father, for there
is nothing like it in my country." " Well, my love," said the
princess, " don't trouble about that. I will transform the castle
into a golden apple at once, and sit in the middle of it, and all you
will have to do is to put the apple into your pocket, and then you can
take me with you and the castle too, and when you arrive at
home you can re-transform me wherever you like." Thereupon
the pretty princess jumped down from her horse, handed the reins
to Mirk<5, took out a diamond rod, and commenced to walk
round the diamond castle, gently beating the sides of it with the
diamond rod, and the castle began to shrink and shrunk as small
as a sentry box, and then the princess jumped inside of
it, and the whole shrivelled up into a golden apple, the
diamond rod lying by the side of it. Prince Mirk6 picked up
the golden apple and the diamond rod, and put them into his
pocket, and then got on horseback, and, taking Doghead's horse
by the bridle, he rode quietly home. Having arrived at home,
Mirk<5 had the horses put in the stables, and then walked into
the royal palace, where he found the old king and Knight
Mezey quite content and enjoying themselves. He reported to
them that he had conquered even Doghead, and that he had
killed him ; but the old king and Knight Mezey doubted his
words. Therefore Prince Mirko took them both by their arms,
and said to them, " Come along with me, and you can satisfy
yourselves, with your own eyes, that I have conquered Doghead,
because I have brought away with me, not only his diamond
castle, six stories high, but also his beautiful daughter, inside
it, as a trophy of my victory. The old king and Knight Mezey
were astonished ' at his words, and, still doubting, followed
Mirk6, who took them into the flower garden of the king, in the
middle of which Prince Mirko selected a nice roomy place for
the diamond castle, and placed the golden apple there, and com-
menced walking round, and, patting its sides with the diamond
rod, the golden apple began to swell. It took a quadrangular
shape, growing and growing, higher and higher, till it became
a magnificent six- storied diamond castle ; and then he took
the old king and Knight Mezey by their arms, and led them
up the diamond staircase into the rooms of the castle, where
the princess, who was world-wide known for her beauty, met
them, and received them most cordially. She bade them sit
down, and sent lackeys to call the other sons of the old king and
also the higher dignitaries of the court. In the dining-hall there
was a big table, which could be opened out. She gave orders,
and the table was laid of itself, and on it appeared all sorts of
costly dishes and drinks, and the assembled guests feasted
in joy. The old king was highly satisfied with his son's
doings, and handed over to Mirko the royal power and the
whole realm : he himself and Knight Mezey retired into quiet
secluded life, and lived long in great happiness. The young royal
couple who got married had beautiful children, and they are
alive still, to this very day, if they have not died since. May
they be your guests to-morrow !


STUDENT started on a journey, and as he went
over a field he found some peas which were cracked.
He thought that they might be of use to him as he was
a poor lad, and his father had advised him to pick up
anything he saw, if it was worth no more than a flea; so he
gathered up the peas and put them in his pocket. As he travelled he
was overtaken by night just when he arrived at the royal borough ;
so he reported himself to the king, and asked for some money
for travelling expenses, and a night's lodging. Now the student
was a comely lad, spoke grammatically, and had good manners.
The queen noticed this, and as she had a daughter ready for marriage,
she came to the conclusion that he was a prince in disguise, who
had come in search of a wife. She told this to the king, and he
thought it very probable. Both agreed that they would try to
find out whether he really was a prince, and asked him to stay
with them for two days. The first night they did not give him a
very splendid bed, because they thought that if he were satisfied,
he was but a student, if not, then he must be a prince. They
made his bed in the adjoining house, and the king placed one of
his confidential servants outside of the window, that he mio-nt
spy out all that the student did. They showed the bed to the
student, and he began to undress when they left. As he un-
dressed all the peas dropped out of his pocket, and rolled under
the bed ; he at once began to look for them and pick them up,
one by one, and did not finish till dawn. The spy outside could
not make out what he was doing, but he saw that he did not go
to sleep till dawn, and then only for a short time, having spent
the night arranging his bed ; so he reported to the king that his
guest had not slept, but had fidgeted about, appearing not to be
used to such a bed. The student got up, and during breakfast
the king asked him how he had slept, to which he replied, " A
little restlessly, but it was through my own fault." From this they
concluded that he already repented of not having shown them
his true position, and thus having not got a proper bed. They
believed, therefore, that he was a prince, and treated him
accordingly. Next night they made his bed in the same place,
but in right royal style. As the student had not slept the night
before, the moment he put his head down he began to sleep like
a pumpkin, and never even moved till dawn. He had no
trouble with his peas this time, for he had tied them up in the
corner of his handkerchief as he picked them up from under the
bed. The spy reported to the king next morning that the
traveller slept soundly all night. They now firmly believed that
the student simply dressed up as such, but in reality was a
prince. They tried to persuade him that he was a prince,
and addressed him as such. The king's daughter ran after the
student to get into his favour, and it didn't take much to make
him fall in love with her, and so the two got married. They
had lived a whole year together, when they were sent off
to travel in order that the student-king might show his wife his
realm. The student was very frightened that he might not get
out of his trouble so well, and grew more and more alarmed,
till at last he accepted his fate. " Let come whatever is to
come,' 5 thought he, "I will go with them, and then, if nothing
else can be done, I can escape, and go back to college," for he
had carried his student's gown with him everywhere. They started
off and travelled till they came to a large forest. The student
slipped aside into a deep ditch, where he undressed, in order to put
on his student's clothes and to escape. Now there was a dragon
with seven heads lazily lying there, who accosted him thus: " Who
are you ? What are you looking for here ? What do you
want ? " The student told him his whole history, and also that
he was just going to run away. " There is no need to run
away," said the dragon, " that would be a pity, continue your
journey; when you get out of this wood you will see a copper
fortress, which swivels on a goose's leg. Go into it, and live
there in peace with your wife, with your dog and cat, till the
fortress begins to move and turn round. When this happens, be
off, because if 1 come home and catch you there, there will
be an end of you." The student went back to his travelling
companions and continued his way until, emerging from the wood,
he saw the fortress. They all went in and settled down as in
their own, and all went on very well for two years, and he
already began to believe that he really was a king, when
suddenly the fortress began to move, and swivel round very
quickly. The student was downcast, and went up on the
battlement of the fortress, wandering about in great sorrow ; he
there found an old woman, who asked him, "What's the matter with
your Majesty ? " " H'm ! the matter is, old woman," replied the
student, " that I am not a king ; and still I am compelled to be
one, 5 ' and then he told her his whole history up to that time.
" There's nothing in that, my son," said the old woman, " be
thankful that you have not tried to keep your secret from me. I
am the queen of magic, and the most formidable enemy of the
dragon with seven heads; therefore this is my advice: get a loaf
made at once, and let this loaf be placed in the oven seven times
with other loaves, this particular loaf each time to be put in
the oven the first and to be taken out last. Have this
loaf placed outside the fortress gate to-morrow, without fail.
When the dragon with the seven heads is coming, it will be
such a charm against him that he will never trouble you again,
and the fortress will be left to you with all that belongs
to it." The student had the loaf prepared as he was told,
and when the clock struck one after midnight the bread
was already placed outside the fortress gate. As the sun
rose, the dragon with seven heads went straight towards the
fortress gate, where the loaf addressed him thus, " Stop, I'm
guard here, and without my permission you may not enter;
if you wish to come in, you must first suffer what I have

" Well," said the dragon, " I've made up my mind to enter,
so let me know what ordeals you have gone through."

The loaf told him, that when it was a seed it was buried
in a field that had previously been dug up: then rotted,
sprouted, and grew ; it had suffered from cold, heat, rain, and
snow, until it ripened; it was then cut down, tied into sheaves,
threshed out, ground, kneaded into dough, and then seven times
running they put it in a fiery oven, each time before its mates:
u If you can stand all this," concluded the loaf, " then I'll let
you in, but on no other condition." The dragon, knowing that
he could not stand all this, got so angry that he burst in his rage
and perished. The student from that day became lord of the
fortress, and after the death of his wife's parents became king of
two lands; and if he has not died yet, he reigns still.

If I knew that I should fare as well as that student I would
become a student this very blessed day !


HEEE lived, at the two corners of a country, far away
from each other, two rich men; one of them had a
son, the other a daughter; these two men asked
each other to be godfather to their children, and,
during the christening they agreed that the babes should wed.
The children grew up, but did no work, and so were spoilt.
As soon as they were old enough their parents compelled them to
marry. Shortly afterwards their parents died and they were left
alone ; they knew nothing of the world and did not understand
farming, so the serfs and farm-labourers had it all their own
way. Soon their fields were all overgrown with weeds and
their corn-bins empty ; in a word they became poor. One day the
master bethought himself that he ought to go to market, as he
had seen his father do; so he set off, and drove with him a pair
of beautiful young oxen that were still left. On his way he met
a wedding-party, and greeted them thus, "May the Lord preserve
you from such a sorrowful change, and may He give consolation
to those who are in trouble," words he had once heard his father
use upon the occasion of a funeral. The wedding-party got
very vexed, and, as they were rather flushed with wine, gave
him a good drubbing, and told him that the next time he saw
such a ceremony he was to put his hat on the end of his stick,
lift it high in the air, and shout for joy. He went on further till
he came to the outskirts of a forest, where he met some butcher-
like looking people who were driving fat pigs, whereupon he seized
his hat, put it on the end of his stick, and began to shout : which so
frightened the pigs that they rushed off on all sides into the wood;
the butchers got hold of him and gave him a sound beating, and
told him that the next time he saw such a party he was to say,
" May the Lord bless you with two for every one you have."
He went on again and saw a man clearing out the weeds from
his field, and greeted him, u My brother, may the Lord bless
you with two for every one you have." The man, who was very
angry about the weeds, caught him and gave him a sound beating,
and told him that the next time he saw such things he had better
help to pull out one or two. In another place he met two men fight-
ing, so he went up and began to pull first at one and then at the
other, whereupon they left off fighting with each other and pitched
into him. Somehow or other he at last arrived at the market, and,
looking round, he saw an unpainted cart for sale, whereupon he
remembered that his father used to go into the wood in a cart,
and so he asked the man who had it for sale whether he would
change it for his two oxen not knowing that having once parted
with the oxen he would not get them back again. The man was at
first angry, because he thought he was making fun of the cart,
but he soon saw that the man with the oxen was not quite right
in his head, and so he struck the bargain with the young farmer,
who, when he got the cart, went dragging it to and fro in the
market. He met a blacksmith and changed the cart for a hatchet ;
soon the hatchet was changed for a whetstone ; then he started off
home as if he had settled matters in the most satisfactory manner.
Near his village he saw a lake, and on it a flock of wild ducks.
He immediately threw his whetstone at them, which sank to
the bottom, whilst every one of the ducks flew away.

tHe undressed and got into the lake, in order to recover his
whetstone, but in the meantime his clothes were stolen from the
bank, and, having no clothes, he had to walk home as naked as
when he was born. His wife was not at home when he arrived.
Be took a slice of bread from the drawer, and went into the
cellar to draw himself some wine ; having put the bread on the
loor-sill of the cellar, he went back to get his wine, as he did
so he saw a dog come up and run away with his bread; he at
once threw the spigot after the thief, so the spigot was lost, the
bread was lost, and every drop of wine was lost, for it all ran
out. Now there was a sack of flour in the cellar, and in order
that his wife might not notice the wine he spread the flour over
it. A goose was sitting on eggs in the cellar, and as he worked
she hissed at him. Thinking that the bird was saying,
that it was going to betray him to his wife, he asked it
two or three times, ' Will you split ? " Going up to the
goose, it hissed still more, so he caught hold of it by the neck,
and dashed it upon the ground with such force that it died on
the spot. He was now more frightened than ever, and in order
to amend his error he plucked off the feathers, rolled himself
about in the floury mess, then amongst the feathers, and then
sat on the nest as if he were sitting. His wife came home, and,
as she found the cellar door wide open, she went down stairs,
and found her husband sitting in the nest and hissing like a
goose; but his wife soon recognized him, and, picking up a log
of wood, she attacked him, saying, " Good Heavens, what an
animal, let me kill it at once ! " Up he jumped from the nest,
and cried out in a horrible fright, " Don't touch me, my dear
wife, it's I ! " His wife then questioned him about his transac-
tions, and he gave a full account of all that had happened ; so his
wife drove him away and said, " Don't come before my eyes
again till you have made good your faults." She then gave him
a slice of bread and a small flask of spirit, which he put in his
pocket and went on his way, his wife wishing him " a happy
journey, if the road is not muddy." On his way he met Our
Lord Christ and said to him, u I'm not going to divide my bread
with you, because you have not made a rich man of me." Then
he met Death, with him he divided his bread and his spirits,
therefore Death did not carry him off, and he asked Death to be
his child's god-father.

Then said Death, u Now you will see a wonder " ; with this
he slipped into the spirit flask, and was immediately corked up
by the young man. Death implored to be set free, but the
young farmer said, " Promise me then that you will make me
a rich man, and then I will let you out." Death promised him
this, and they agreed that the man was to be a doctor, and
whenever Death stood at the patient's feet, he or she was not to
die, and could be cured by any sort of medicine whatever : but
if Death stood at the patient's head he was to die: with this
they parted.

Our man reached a town where the king's daughter was very ill.
The doctors had tried all they could, but were not able to cure her,
so he said that he was going to cure her, if she could be cured,
if not, he would tell them ; so thereupon he went into the patient
and saw Death standing at her feet. He burnt a stack of hay, and
made a bath for her of the ashes, and she recovered so soon as
she had bathed in it. The king made him so many presents
that he became a very rich man: he removed to the town,
brought his wife there, and lived in great style as a doctor.
Once however he fell sick, and his koma [his child's godfather]
came and stood at his head, and the patient begged hard for him
to go and stand at his feet, but his koma replied, " Not if I
know it," and then the doctor also departed to the other world.


HE wife of a priest in olden times, it may have been
in the antediluvian world, put all the plates, dishes,
and milk-jugs into a basket and sent the servant to
wash them in the brook. While the girl was washing
she saw a cray-fish crawl out of the water, and, as she had never
seen one in her life before, she stood staring at it, and was a little
frightened. It so happened that a hussar rode past on horse-
back, and the girl asked him, "Would you mind telling me, my
gallant horseman, what sort of a God's wonder that yonder is?"
" Well, my sister," said the soldier, " that is a cray-fish." The
servant then took courage, and went near the cray-fish to look at
it, and said, " But it crawls ! " " But it's a cray-fish," said the
soldier again. " But it crawls," said the servant abruptly, " But
it's a cray-fish," said the soldier a third time. " Well, my
gallant horseman, how can you stand there and tell me that, when
I can see that it crawls ?" said the servant. " But, my sister,
how can you stand there and tell me, when I can see that it's a
cray-fish ?" said the soldier. "Well, I'm neither blind nor a
fool, and I can see quite well that it's a-crawling," said the servant.
" But neither am I blind nor a fool, and I can see that it is a cray-
fish," said the soldier.

The servant got so angry that she dashed her crockery to the
ground and broke it into fragments, crying, in a great rage,
"May I perish here if it is not a-crawling !" The hussar jumped
off his saddle, drew his sword, and cut off his horse's head,
saying, "May the executioner cut off my neck like this if
it isn't a cray-fish ! " The soldier went his way on foot, and the
servant went home without her ware, and the priest's wife asked,
" Well, where are all the pots ? " The servant told her what
had happened between the soldier and her about a cray-fish and
a-crawling. " Is that the reason why you have done all the
damage?" said the priest's wife. " Oh, mistress, how could 1
give in when I saw quite well that it was a-crawling; and still
that nasty soldier kept on saying it was a cray-fish? " The wife
of the priest was heating the oven, as she was going to bake, and
she got into such a rage that she seized her new fur jacket, for
which she had given a hundred florins, and pitched it into the
oven, saying, " May the flames of the fire burn me like this if
you were not both great fools!" "What is all this smell of
burning? " asked the priest, coming in. Learning what had hap-
pened about a cray-fish and a-crawling, he took his gown and
cut it up on the threshold with a hatchet, saying, a May the
executioner cut me into bits like this if the three of you are not
fools ! " Then came the schoolmaster (his calf had got loose
and run into the clergyman's yard, and he had come after it to
drive it home): and, hearing what had happened, and why, he
caught hold of a stick, and struck his calf such a blow on the
head that it fell down dead on the spot, exclaiming, " If God
will, may the fiery thunderbolt thus strike me dead if you all four
are not fools ! "

Then came the churchwarden, and asked what had happened
there, and when he was told he got into such a rage that he picked
up the church-box and dashed it on the ground in the middle of
the yard, so that the box was broken to pieces, and the precious
altar-covers and linen were rolling about on the dirty ground,
saying, " May I perish like this, at this very hour, if the whole
five of you are not fools ! "

In the meantime the sacristan came in, and, seeing the linen
on the floor, he threw up his hands and said, " "Well, I never !
Whatever's the matter?" Then they told him what had hap-
pened, and why, whereupon he picked up all the covers and linen
and tore them into shreds, saying, " May the devil tear me to
atoms like this if you six are not a parcel of raving lunatics! "

News of the event soon got abroad, and the whole congrega-
tion gathered together and set the priest's house on fire, crying,
" May the flames of the fire burn us all like this, every one of us,
if all the seven were not fools ! "


ONCE I discovered all of a sudden, it was before I was
born, that my father was going to get married, and
take my mother unto him. My father said to me, " Go
to the mill and have some corn ground for bread for
the wedding ! " Whereupon I betook myself hurriedly like a
smart fellow, I looked for a cloth, and took up into the loft three
bags, and filled nine sacks with the best wheat of Dalnok, the
best to be found ; I put all nine sacks at once over my shoulder,
and took them to the cart. I led out oxen and tried to yoke them,
but neither of them could find it's old place; I put the off-side
one on the near side, and the near-side one on the off side, and
they were all right. I tried the yoke-pins, but they would not fit,
I therefore put in lieu of one the handle of a shovel, and in
place of the other a pole, and then all was right. I went to the
mill with the team, and when I arrived there I stopped the
oxen and stuck the whip into the ground in front of them to
prevent them running away ; I myself went into the mill to call the
miller to assist me in carrying in the wheat. I couldn't find a
soul in the mill. I looked around, under the bed, behind the
oven, and saw that the green jug was not on it's peg; from this I
knew that the mill was away gathering strawberries, so I thought,
if this were so, I should have to wait patiently till it returned, but
then I remembered that it was not its custom to hurry back, and
by the time it got back my hair might be grey, and then it would
be difficult for oxen to wait from year to year as I had riot brought
aught for them to feed on. So I rushed after it at a dog's trot,
out on to the mount, and found it sniffing about the shrubs, so I
cut a jolly good stick and began to bang it on both sides as hard
as my strength allowed me, till I happened to hit it rather hard
with the stick, and, having struck it, I could hear it far away as
it began to move down in the valley, and it ground away and made
such a clatter; it was just grinding my wheat! In order to get
down from the mount into the valley more quickly, I lay down on
the ground and rolled down the slope, and after me all the stumps,
who envied my pastime. Nothing happened to them, and the only
accident I had was that I knocked my nose a little into some soft
cow-dung, but I didn't carry it away altogether, and a good deal
of it is left there still. The poor white horse fared much worse
than that, as it was grazing at the foot of the mount, it got so
frightened by us that it ran out of this world with a fetter
fastened to it's feet, and has not returned to this very day. I rubbed
my nose on the sward as a hen does, and went to see what had
become of the oxen in the meantime : lo ! the stock of my whip
had taken root and become such a tall tree that it was as high as
the big tower at Brasso * and the starlings had built their nests
in it, and had so many young ones that you couldn't hear the
clattering of the mill for their chirping.

Well. I was very much delighted, thinking that now I could
catch a lot of young starlings ; I knew how to climb well. I
climbed the tree, and tried to put my hand into a hole but
couldn't, so I tried my head, and that went in comfortably. I
stuffed my breast full of starlings. When I tried to get out of
the hole I could not ; so I rushed home and fetched an adze, and
cut myself out. I couldn't get down, as the tree was so thick
and my head so giddy, so I called the miller to help me, but he,
thinking that my complaint was hunger, sent me some miller-cake
by his son, but I told him in a great rage that that was not
what I wanted : so off he ran at once, and brought me a bushel of
bran, handing it up on the end of a pale. I twisted the bran into
a rope, so strong that it would bear a millstone, and I tried
whether it would reach the ground, but it did not reach, so I doubled
it up, then it not only reached, but trailed on the ground. I
began to glide down it, but a beetle aloft sawed it in two where
it was tied to the bough, and down I dropped rope and all; but
while I was falling to the ground, in the meantime, the young
starlings in my breast got their feathers, took to their wings, and
flew away with me. When we were flying over the river Olt, some
women who were washing rags on the bank began to shout, '* What
the fiery thunderbolt is the boy doing that he flies so well ? If he
drops he will drop straight in the river and drown." I saw they were
all staring at me, but from the chirping of the young starlings I
couldn't clearly hear what they shouted : so I thought they were
shouting that I should untie the waist-band of my shirt. I untied
the waist-band of my shirt below the garter that tied my socks : with
this the young starlings got out of my bosom all at once and
all the wings I had flew away. Down I dropped into the middle
of the river : with my splash the waters overflowed the banks
and washed as far as the foot of the mountain : but when the waters
flowed back into the bed of the river, (with the exception of a few
drops that were lapped up by a thirsty shepherd-dog of Gidofalii)
so many fish were left on the bank that they covered the whole
place, from Malnds to Doboly and from Arkos to Angyalos and
even the whole plain of Szepmezo. Well, there was a lot of fish !
Twelve buffalo-carts were carting them away without interruption
for a whole week, and the quantity didn't get less, you couldn't
see that any had been taken away : but a stark naked gipsy brat
came that way from Korospatak, and he picked them up, put
them into his shirt lap, and carried them all away.

I then remembered that they had not sent me here to play but
to grind corn, so I started in the direction of where I had left the
oxen to see what they were doing, and whether they were there
still. I travelled for a long time till I got quite tired. I saw in
a meadow a horse, and I thought I could easily get on it, and go
where I wished to go, but it would not wait for me. I caught
hold of its tail, turned it round, and so we stood face to face, and
I said to it quite bumptiously: "Ho! stop, old nag. Don't be
so frisky." It understood the kind words and stopped dead,
like a peg. I put the saddle on the grey and sat on the bay and
started off on the chestnut ; over a ditch and over a stile, so that
the horse's feet did not touch the ground. In one place I passed
a vineyard, and inside the hedge there was a lot of pretty ripe fruit.
I stopped the grey, got down from the bay, and tied the chestnut
to the paling. I tried to climb over the hedge, but couldn't, so I
caught hold of my hair, and swung myself over. I began to shake
vthe plum-tree, and walnuts dropped. I picked up the filberts and
put them in my bosom. It was very hot, I was very thirsty, so
that I nearly died of thirst. 1 saw that not very far away there were
some reapers, and I asked, " Where can I get water here ? " They
shewed me a spring not far off. I went there, and found that it
was frozen over. I tried in vain to break the ice with my heel,
and then with a stone, but did not succeed, as the ice was a span
thick ; so I took the skull from my head and broke the ice with
it easily. I scooped up water with it, and had a hearty drink.
I went to the hedge and swung myself over by the hair into the
road ; then I untied the grey, got on the bay, and galloped off
on the chestnut, over stile and ditch, so that my hair flew on the
wind. In one place I passed two men. As I overtook them,
they called out after me : " Where's your head, my boy ? " I
immediately felt my back, and lo! my head was not there; so I
galloped back at a quick dog-trot to the spring. What did I see ?
My skull felt lonely without me, and had so much sense that as I
forgot it there, it had made a neck, hands, waist, and feet, for
itself out of the mud, and 1 caught it sliding on the ice. Well! I
wasn't a bad hand at sliding myself, so I slid after it as fast as I
could. But it knew better than I did. and so I couldn't possibly
catch it. My good God ! What could I do ? I was very much
frightened that I was really going to be left without a head but
I remembered something, and thought to myself: " "Never mind,
skull, don't strain yourself, you can't outdo me." So I hurriedly
made a greyhound out of mud, and set it after my skull. He
caught it in a jiffy, and brought it to me. I took it and put it on :
I went to the hedge, and seizing myself by the hair, swung myself
over the hedge : untied the grey, got on the bay, and galloped away
on the chestnut, over a stile, and over a ditch, like a bird, till
I came to the mill, where I found that my father had not had
patience to wait for me, and so had set off in search of me ;
and, as he couldn't find me, began to bewail me, vociferating :
" Oh ! my soul ! Oh ! my son ! Where have you gone ?
Oh ! Oh ! Why did I send you without anybody to take
care of you ? Oh ! my soul ! Oh ! my son ! Now all is over
with you. You must have perished somewhere." As my father
was always scolding me, and calling me bad names in my lifetime,
I could never have believed that he were able to pity me so much.
When I saw what was the matter with him, I called from a distance :
" Console yourself, father, I am here, * a bad hatchet never
gets lost.' " It brought my poor old father's spirits back.
We put the sacks full of flour on the cart and went home, and
celebrated my father's wedding sumptuously. The bride was
my mother, and I was the first who danced the bride's dance
with her, and then the others had a turn, and when the wedding
was over, all the guests went away and we were left at home by
ourselves, and are alive at this date, if we are not dead. I was
born one year after this, and I am the legitimate son of my father,
and have grown up nicely, and have become a very clever lad.


HERE was once, somewhere or in some other place, I
don't know where, over seven times seven countries,
or even beyond them, a poor widow, and she had
three unmarried sons who were so poor that one had
always to go out to service. First the eldest went, and, as he
was going and going over seven times seven countries, and even
beyond them, he met an old man, who accosted him, saying,
"My younger brother, where are you going?" The lad an-
swered, "My father, I am going to look for work." "And lam
in need of a servant," the old man replied ; so he engaged the lad on
the spot to tend his baa-lambs. In the morning, as the lad went
out with them, the old man told him not to drive them and not to
guide them, but simply to go after them, as they would graze
quietly if left to themselves. The lad started with the baa-lambs ;
first they came to a splendid meadow, he went in and trotted
after them as his master had told him; then they came to
a swift stream and the baa-lambs went over it, but the lad
had not the courage to go into the water, but walked up and down
the bank till evening, when the baa-lambs returned of their own
accord, recrossed the water, and, as night had set in, he drove
them home. " Well, my dear son/' said his master, " tell
me where you have been with the baa-lambs." " My dear
father, I only followed after them. First of all they went into a
large plain; after that we came to a great, swift stream ; they
got over the large sheet of water, but I remained on this side, as I
did not dare to go into the deep water." As the poor lad finished
his tale the master said, " Well^ my dear son, I shall send you
away, as I can see very well that you are not fit for service," and
he sent him off without any pay. The lad went home, very much
cast down. When he got home his two brothers asked him, "Well,
dear brother, how did you get on in service?" "Hum,
how did I get on, and what did I do? You'd better go your-
selves and you will soon know." " Very well," they replied,
and the second son went to look for service, met the same old
man, and fared the same as his brother, and was sent home with-
out anything. As he arrived home his younger brother met him
and asked, " Well, dear brother, what sort of service did you
get?" " Hum," replied he, " what sort of a place did I get?
You had better go and then you also will know." "Very well,"
replied the youngest, and he too went to try his luck. As he went
along he met the same old man, and was engaged by him to tend his
baa-lambs for a year; the old man told him, too, to walk after them,
and not to leave them under any circumstances. Next morning the
old man prepared the lad's bag, and let the baa-lambs out of the
fold; they started off, and the lad followed them, step by step,
till they came to a pretty, green plain : they walked over it,
quietly grazing along as they went, till they came to the swift stream;
the baa-lambs crossed it, and the lad followed them ; but the moment
he entered the water the swift current swept off his clothes and
shrivelled his flesh, so that, when he got to the other side, he
was only skin and bones; so soon as he reached the other bank
the baa-lambs turned back and began to blow on him, and his
body was at once fairer than it ever was before. The baa-lambs
started off again till they came to a large meadow where the
grass was so high that it was ready for the scythe, and still the
cattle grazing on it were so ill-fed that a breath of wind would
have blown them away; the baa-lambs went on to another
meadow which was quite barren, and the cattle there had nothing
to eat, yet they were as fat as butter; thence the baa-lambs
went into a huge forest, and there, on every tree, was such
a lamentation and crying and weeping as one could not conceive
of; the lad looked to see what the meaning of the loud crying could
be, and lo, on every bough there was a young sparrow, quite naked !
and all were weeping and crying. From here the baa-lambs
went sauntering on till they came to a vast garden; in this
garden there were two dogs fighting, so that the foam ran from
their mouths ; still they could not harm each other. The baa-lambs
went on further till they came to a great lake, and there the lad
saw a woman in the lake, scooping with a spoon something from the
water incessantly, and still she was not able to scoop the thing up.
From there the baa-lambs went further, and, as they went, he saw
a brook of beautiful, running water, clear like crystal, and, as he
was very thirsty, he had half a mind to drink of it, but, thinking


that the spring-head was very much better, he went there, and
saw that the water was bubbling out of the mouth of a rotting
dead dog, which so frightened him that he did not taste a drop.
From there the baa-lambs went into another garden, which was
so wonderfully pretty that human eye had never seen the like
before. Flowers of every kind were blooming, but the baa-lambs
left them untouched, only eating the green grass, and, as they
ate, he sat down under the shade of a beautiful flowering tree
in order to partake of some food, when suddenly he saw that a
beautiful white pigeon was fluttering about in front of him; he
took his small blunderbuss, which he had with him, and shot at
the pigeon, knocking off a feather, but the pigeon flew away ; he
picked up the feather and put it in his bag. From thence
the baa-lambs started off home, the lad following them. When
they arrived, the old man asked: u Well, my son, and how did
the baa-lambs go ? " " They went very well," answered the
lad, a I had no trouble with them. I had merely to walk after
them." As he said this, the old man asked him: " Well, my
son, tell me where you have been with the baa-lambs." Then
he told him that the baa-lambs first went into a pretty green
plain, then they went through a swift stream ; and he told him all
where he had been with them and so on. When he had finished
his tale, the old man said : " My dear son, you see that wonderful
pretty green plain where you went first with the baa-lambs
represents your youth up to this day. The water through which
you went is the water of life which washes away sin : that it
washed away all your clothes and dried up your flesh means
that it washes away all your previous sins: that on the other
shore, upon the baa-lambs breathing on you, your body
became purer, means that the holy faith, by the water of
life, has penetrated all over your soul, and you have become
purified from your sins, regenerate in all; the baa-lambs who
breathed upon you are angels, and your good and pious
teachers. The ill-fed cattle amidst the luxuriant grass means 
that the avaricious, whilst surrounded by plenty, even begrudge
themselves food ; they will be misers even in the other
world: they will have plenty to eat and drink, they will partake
of both, and still will be eternally hungry and thirsty. Those
beasts who fed in the barren field, and were so fat, means that
those who have given from their little to the poor in this world,
and have not chastised their bodies with hunger and thirst, will
feed heartily in the other world out of little food, and will never
know hunger or thirst. That the young birds cried so mourn-
fully in the woods, my son, means that those mothers in this
world who do not have their children baptised, but have them
buried without, will, in the other world, eternally weep and cry.
The two dogs who fought so in the garden means that those
relatives who in this world fight and squabble over property
will eternally fight in the other world, and never come to terms.
That woman who was fishing in a lake so busily for something with
a spoon, and could not catch it, is he who in this world
adulterates milk with water and sells it in this state to others ; he
will in the other world continually be in a lake, and will eternally
fish about with a spoon, in order to fish the milk out of the water,
and will never succeed. That you saw a pretty clear brook and
did not drink of it, but went to the spring where the water
flowed out of the mouth of a dead dog, that means, my dear son,
the beautiful sermons of the clergy and their holy prayers. The dead
dog from whose mouth the clear water flowed represents the priests
who preach pious and wise lessons, but never keep them them-
selves. The garden into which you went is Heaven. Those who
live without sin in this world will come into such a beautiful
garden in the other world. But now, my dear son, can you show
me some proof that you have really been in that garden?"

The lad quickly took from his bag the white pigeon's feather,
and handed it to him, saying, " Look here, my old father, I shot
this from a white pigeon there." The old man took the pigeon's
feather, and said to him, u You see, my son, I was that white
pigeon, and I have been following you all the journey through,
and always kept watch over you, to see what you did. So God
also follows man unknown to him, to see what he does. The
feather you shot away was one of my fingers ; look here, I have
not got it!" and as he looked he saw that the little finger was
missing from the old man's hand ; with this, the old man placed
the feather there, blew upon it, and the finger was once more all right.
In the meantime the year came to an end for if I may mention it
here the year consisted of but three days then so the old man said
to the lad : " Well, my son, the year is now ended ; hand me
over the bag, and then you can go. But first let me ask you
would you rather have heaven, or so much gold as you can carry
home ? " To this the lad replied that he did not wish for
gold, but only desired to be able to go to heaven." Thereupon the
old man at once filled a sack with gold for him, lifted it upon the
lad's back, and sent him home. The lad thanked the old man
for his present, betook himself home with his sack of gold, and
became such a rich farmer with six oxen that not in the whole
village, nay, not even in the whole neighbourhood, was there such
a one who came near him. He also took to himself a suitable girl
as his wife, who was as pretty as a flower ; he is alive to this
very day, if he has not died since. May he be your guest to-
morrow !


HERE was once somewhere, I don't know where,
beyond seven times seven countries, and even beyond
them, a poor man who had a wife and three children.
They were awfully poor. One day the eldest son
said: " Dear mother, bake me some ash-cake and let me go into
service." His mother at once baked the cake, and the lad
started, and went on and on till he came to a high snow-clad
mountain, where he met a grey-haired man and greeted him :
" May the Lord bless you, my good old father." " The Lord
bless you, my son. What are you after ? " asked the old man.
" I am going out to service, if the Lord will help me to some place."
" Well, then, come to me," said the old man, " I will engage you. 3 '
So they went to the house of the grey-haired old man, and the
very next day they went out ploughing but they only ploughed up
some grass-land, and sowed it with seed. Now let me tell you,
that the old man promised him a bushel of seed for sowing. Two
days passed, and at dawn of the third day the old man said:
"Well, my son, to-day you can go out ploughing for yourself;
get the plough ready, yoke the oxen in, and in the meantime I will
get the bushel of wheat I promised." So the lad put the oxen to
the plough and the old man got the bushel of wheat and placed
it on the plough. They started, the old man accompanying
him. Just at the end of the village he said to the lad: " Well,
my son, can you see that place yonder covered with shrubs ?
Go there, and plough up as much of it for yourself as you think
will be enough for the bushel of wheat." The lad went, but was
quite alarmed at the sight of the shrubs, and at once lost heart.
"How could he plough there? Why, by the time he had
grubbed up the shrubs alone it would be night." So he ran
off home, and left the plough there, and the oxen then returned
of their own accord to the old man's place if I may inter-
rupt myself, they were the oxen of a fairy. When the lad
arrived at his father's house, his other brothers asked him :
"What sort of a place have you found? " " What sort of a
place!" replied he, "go yourself, and you will soon find out."
The middle son set out, and just as he was going over the snow-
clad mountain he met the old man, who engaged him on the
spot as his servant, and promised him a bushel of wheat, as he
had done before. They went to the old man's home, and he
fared just as his elder brother had done. At dawn on the
third day, when he had to plough for himself, he got frightened
at the sight of the vast number of shrubs, which no human being
could have ploughed up in the stated time. So he went home
too, and on his way he met his younger brother, who
asked him: " What sort of a place have you found, my dear
elder brother ?" "What sort of a place had I? Get up out of
the ashes, and go yourself, and you will soon find out." Now
let me tell you that this boy was continually sitting among the
ashes. He was a lazy, ne'er-do-weel fellow ; but now he got
up, and shook the ashes from him and said : <l Well, my mother,
bake me a cake also : as my brothers have tried their fortune
let me try mine. 5 ' But his brothers said : u Oh ! you ash-pan !
Supposing you were required to do nothing else but eat, you
would not be good enough even for that." But still he
insisted, that his mother should bake something for him. So his
mother set to work and baked him a cake of some inferior
bran, and with this he set out. As he went over the boundless
snow-clad mountain, in the midst of it he met the old man and
greeted him : ' < The Lord bless you, my old father ! " " The Lord
bless you, my son ! Where are you going?" "lam going out
to service, if I can find an employer." " Well, you are the
very man I want; lam in search of a servant." And he en-
gaged him on the spot, promising to make him a present of a
bushel of wheat for sowing. They went home together, and
after they had ploughed together for two days, the lad set out
on the third day to plough up the land allotted to him for his
own use : while the youngster was putting the oxen to the plough
the old man got the wheat and placed it on the plough. On
the dyke there was a big dog, who always lay there quietly;
but this time he got up, and started off in front of him. The old
man also accompanied him as far as the end of the village, from
whence he showed him where to go ploughing. The youngster
went on with the plough, and soon saw that he was not able to
plough a single furrow, on account of the thick bushes. After
considering what to do, he bethought himself, and took his sharp
hatchet and began to cut down a vast quantity of shrubs and
thorns, the dog carrying them all into a heap. Seeing that he
had cut enough, he began to plough. The two oxen commenced
to drag the plough and cut up the roots in a manner never seen
before. After he had turned three times, he looked round and
said : ; ' Well, I'm not going to plough any more, but will begin
to sow. so that I may see how much seed I've got." He sowed
the seed, and noticed that it was just sufficient, and therefore he
had to plough no more. In great joy he set the plough
straight and went home. The old man met him and said :
" Well, my son, thanks to the Lord, you have now finished
your year, and in Clod's name I will let you go. I do not
intend to engage any more servants." Before I forget to tell
you, I may mention it here, that the year had three days then.
So the lad went home, and his brothers asked him: " Well,
then, what sort of a place have you found?" "Well, I
believe I've served my master as well as you did."

One day, a year after, he went into the field to look at his
wheat crop. There he saw an old woman reaping some young
wheat, so he went home and said to his father: "Well, my
father, do you know what we have to do? let's go reaping."
" Where, my son? " " Well, father, for my last year's service I
had a bushel of wheat given to me for sowing, it has got ripe by
this time, so let us go and reap it.' 5 So all four (his father, his
two brothers, and himself) went ; when they came to the spot they
saw that it was a magnificent crop, a mass of golden ears from
root to top, ready and ripe; so they all started to work and cut
down every head.

They made three stacks of it, each stack having twenty-six
sheaves. "Well my son,' 7 said the father, "there are three stacks
here and there are three of you to guard them, so while I go home
to hire a cart, guard them well, so that the birds may not carry
away a single stem. The father went home, and the three sat
down (one at the foot of each stack) to watch them, but the
youngest was the most anxious, as it was his own, and ran to and
fro continually to prevent his brothers falling asleep. Just as he
had awakened them and was going back to his own stack he saw
a woodpecker dragging away, by jerks, a golden ear along the
ground, so he ran after it in order to get it back, but just as he
was on the point of catching it the woodpecker flew off further
and further, and enticed him, until at last it got him into the
very midst of the boundless snowclad mountains. All of a sudden
the youngster discovered where he was, and that it was getting
dusk. " Where was he to go? and what was he to do?" So he
thought he would go back to the stacks, but as he had kept his
eye on the woodpecker and the wheat-ear, he had taken no
notice of the surroundings, and knew not which way he had
come. So he determined to climb the highest tree and look round
from there : he looked about and found the highest tree, climbed
it, and looked East but saw nought, South and saw nought:
North, and far, very far away he saw a light as big as a candle ;
so he came down, and started off in the direction in which he had
seen the light and went straight over ditches, woods, rocks,
and fields till at last he came to a large plain, and there he found
the fire which he had seen before, and lo ! it was such a heap of
burning wood that the flames nearly reached heaven: he ap-
proached it and when he drew near the burning heap he saw
that a man was lying curled round the fire, his head resting on
his feet, and that he was covered with a large cloak: then
thought the lad, t: Shall I lie down inside or outside of the
circle formed by the body of the man ? " If he lay outside he
would catch cold ; if he lay inside he would be scorched, he
thought ; so he crept into the sleeve of the cloak, and there fell
asleep. In the morning when the sun arose, the big man awoke,
he yawned wide, and got up from the fire; as he rose the
youngster dropt out of his sleeve on to the ground : the giant
looked at him (because I forgot to tell you it wasn't a man, it
was a giant), and was very much pleased at the sight ; he quickly
picked him up, took him into his arms, and carried him into
his palace, (and even there put him into the best room) and
put him to bed, covered him up well, and crept out of the
room on tiptoe lest he should wake him. When he heard that
the youngster was awake, he called to him through the open
door, " Don't be afraid, my dear son, I am a big man it
is true, but notwithstanding I will be to thee like thy father,
in thy father's place ; like thy mother, in thy mother's place/'
With this he entered the room, and the poor lad stared into
the giant's eyes, as if he were looking up to the sky. Suddenly
the giant asked him how he got there, and the lad told him
the whole tale. u Well, my dear little son, I will give you
everything that your heart can think of, or your mouth name,
I will fulfil your every wish, only don't worry yourself; "
and he had all sorts of splendid clothes made for him, and
kept him on costly food; and this lasted till the lad became
twenty years of age, when one day the lad became very sad,
and his giant father asked him, "Well, my dear son, tell me
why you are so sad, I will do all your heart can think of, or
your mouth name; but do tell me what's the matter with you? "
So the lad said, after hesitation, " Well ! well ! well ! my dear
father, I am so sad because the time has come when I ought
to get married, and there's nobody here to get married to."
" Oh! my son, don't worry yourself over that, such a lad as you
has but to wish and you will find plenty of womankind, the very
prettiest of them, ready to have you; you will but have to
choose the one your heart loves best." So saying he called the
lad before the gate and said : " Well, my son, you can see that
great white lake yonder: go there at noon prompt and hide
yourself under a tree, for every noon three lovely fairy girls
come there who are as handsome as handsome can be: you can
look at the sun. but you can't look at them ! They will come dis-
guised as pigeons, and when they arrive on the bank they will
turn somersaults, and at once become girls: they will then undress,
and lay their dresses on the bank : you must then glide up, and
steal the dress of the one your heart loves best, and run away
home with it, but be careful not to look back, however they
may shout : because if you do, believe me, she will catch you, box
your ears, and take her clothes from you."

So he went to the lake and hid himself under an oak, and all at
once three white pigeons came flying, their wings flapping loudly
as they came, they settled down on the bank, and went to take a bath.
The lad wasn't slow to leave his hiding-place, and pick up the
dress of the eldest fairy girl and run away with it; but she noticed
it at once, rushed out of the lake, and ran after him, shouting:
** Stop ! sweet love of my heart. Look at me; see how beautiful
my skin is; how pretty my breasts are. I'm yours, and you're
mine ! " So he looked round, and the fairy snatched her dress
away in a moment, slapped his face, and returned to the others
in the lake. Poor lad ! he was very sad, and went back and
told his giant father all that had happened , and his giant father
answered, "Well; wasn't I right? Didn't I tell you not to
look back? But don't fret; three in number are the divine
truths, and three times also will you have to try. There are
two yet left, go again to-morrow at noon. Take care you don't
look back, or pick up the same dress that you picked up yester-
day, because, believe rne, if you do, there will be the mischief to
pay." So he went early next day (he couldn't wait till noon)
and hid himself under a tree, when all of a sudden the pigeons
appeared, turned somersaults, and became three beautiful fairy
girls. They undressed, laid their dresses on the bank, and went
into the lake; in short, the lad fared with the second as with the
first he couldn't resist the temptation of looking back when the
beautiful fairy kept imploring him, as the sweet love of her heart,
to gaze at her beautiful skin and breasts. He looked back, was
slapped in the face as before, and lost the fairy dress. He went
home again, very sad, to his giant father, and told him how he
had fared; and the giant said in reply: "Never mind, don't
bother yourself, my son, three are the divine truths; there is one
more left for you ; you can try again to-morrow, but only be
very careful not to look back this time." Next day he couldn't
wait till noon, but went and hid himself under the oak very
early, and had to wait a long, long time. At last the white
pigeons arrived, turned somersaults as before, and put their
dresses on the bank, whilst they themselves went into the lake.
Out he rushed from his hiding-place, snatched up the youngest's
dress, and ran away with it. But the fairy noticed that her dress
was gone, and rushed out of the lake after him like a hurricane,
calling out incessantly : *' Stop ! sweet love of my heart, look
how beautifully white my skin is ! See how beautifully white
are my breasts. I am yours, and you are mine." But the lad
only ran faster than ever, and never looked behind once, but ran
straight home to his giant father, and told him that he had got
the dress this time. " Well, my dear son," said he, u didn't I tell
you not to worry yourself in the least, and that I would do all
for you that your heart could desire, or your mouth name ? " Once
after this the lad was very sad again, so his giant father asked
him : " Well, my son, what's the matter this time, that you are
so sad ? " " Well, my dear father, because we have only got a
dress, and that is not enough for a wedding. What's the use of
it? What can I do with it?" "Never mind, don't worry
about that. Go into the inside closet, and on a shelf you will
find a walnut, bring it here." So the lad went and fetched the nut,
and the giant split it neatly in two, took out the kernel, folded
up the dress (and I may mention it here the dress consisted of only
one piece), put it inside the nut-shell, fitted the two halves together,
and said to the lad: " Well, my son, let me have your waistcoat,
so that I may sew this nut into the pocket; and be careful that no
one opens it, neither thy father, nor thy mother, nor any one in this
world, because should any one open it your life will be made
wretched : you will be an outcast.' 5

With this, the giant sewed the nut into the pocket, and put the
waistcoat on him. As they finished this, they heard a great clamp-
ing noise, and a chinking (as of coins) outside. So the giant bade
him to look out of the window, and what did he see? He saw that
in the courtyard there was a lovely girl sitting in a carriage drawn
by six horses, and about her beautiful maids and outriders, and
the giant said, " You see, it is Fairy Elizabeth, your ladylove."
So they went out at once, and helped Fairy Elizabeth out of
her carriage, then she ordered the carriage and horses to go back,
at once, to where they had come from, and in a moment they
disappeared, and there was no trace of them left. They then
went into the house, but the giant remained outside, and he
drew in the dust figures of a priest, and a cantor, and guests, and
they appeared at once. All went into the house, and the young
folks got wed, and a great wedding feast was celebrated. There
was the bridegroom's best man, and the groom's men, and the
bride's duenna, and all her bridesmaids, and the wedding feast
lasted three full days. They ate, drank, and enjoyed themselves,
and when all was over the young couple lived together in quiet
happiness. Once more, however, the lad became very sad, and the
giant asked him : " Well, my dear son, why are you sad again ?
You know that I will do all your heart can desire, or your
mouth name." " Well, my dear father," replied he, " how can I
help being sad; it is true we live together happily, but who
knows how my father and mother and brothers and sisters are
at home ? I should like to go. to see them/'

16 Well, my dear son," said the giant, " I will let you go; you
two go home, and you will find your relations keeping the third
anniversary of your death : they have gathered in all the golden
corn, and become so rich that they are now the greatest farmers in
the village : each of your brothers have their own home and they
have become great men (six-ox farmers) and have a whole flock of
sheep." So the giant went outside, and drew in the dust the figures
of horses and carriage, coachman, footmen, outriders, and court
damsels, and they at once appeared ; the young couple sat in the car-
riage, and the giant told the lad if ought happened to him he had
only to think of one of these horses, and it would at once bring him
back here. With this they started, and they arrived at home and saw
that the courtyard of his father's house was full of tables, crowded
with people sitting round them, but no one spoke a word; they all
were speechless so that you could not even hear a whisper. The couple
got out of the carriage, in front of the gate, walked into the yard, and
met an old man; it happened to be his father. " May the Lord give
you a good day, Sir! " said he ; and the old man replied, "May
the Lord bless you also, my lord ! " a Well sir," asked the young
man, " what is the meaning of all this feasting that I see, all this
eating and drinking, and yet no one speaks a word; is it a marriage
or a funeral feast? " u My lord, it is a burial feast," replied the old
man ; " I had three sons, one was lost, and to-day we celebrate the
third anniversary of his death." <* Would you recognise your son if
he appeared ? " Upon hearing this his mother came forward and
said, " To be sure, my dearest and sweetest lord, because there
is a mark under his left armpit." With this the lad pulled up his
sleeve and showed the mark, and they at once recognised him as
their lost son; the funeral feast, thereupon, was at once changed in-
to a grand wedding festival. Then the lad called out to the carriage
and horses " Go back where you have come from," and in a mo-
ment there was not a trace of them left. His father at once sent for
the priest and the verger and they went through all the ceremonies
again, and whether the giant had celebrated them or not, certainly
the father did : the wedding feast was such a one as had never been
seen before ! When they rose from the table they began the bride's
dance : in the first place they handed the bride to the cleverest
dancer, and whether he danced or not, most certainly the bride did :
as she danced her feet never touched the ground, and everyone who
was there looked at the bride only, and all whispered to each other,
that no man had ever seen such a sight in all his life. When
the bride heard this she said, " Hum, whether I dance now or
whether I don't, I could dance much better if anyone would
return to me the dress I wore in my maiden days." Whereupon
they whispered to each other, "Where can that dress be?"
When the bride heard this she said, " Well, my souls, it is in a
nut-shell, sewn into my husband's waistcoat pocket, but no one
will ever be able to get it." u I can get it for you," said her
mother-in-law, " because I will give my son a sleeping-draught
in wine and he will go to sleep," and so she did, and the lad fell on
the bed fast asleep ; his mother then got the nut from his pocket
and gave it to her daughter-in-law, who at once opened it, took the
dress out, put it on, and danced so beautifully, that, whether she
danced the first time or not, she certainly danced this time ;
you could not imagine anything so graceful. But, as it was so hot
in the house, the windows were left open, and Fairy Elizabeth
turned a somersault, became a white pigeon, and flew out of the
window. Outside there was a pear tree, and she settled upon the
top of it, the people looking on in wonder and astonishment; then
she called out that she wanted to see her husband as she wished to
say a word or two to him, but the sleeping draught had not yet
lost its power, and they could not wake him, so they carried him
out in a sheet and put him under the tree and the pigeon dropped a
tear on his face; in a minute he awoke. " Can you hear me, sweet
love of my heart? " asked the pigeon, " if you ever want to meet
me seek for me in the town of Johara, in the country of Black
Sorrow," with this she spread her wings and flew away. Her hus-
band gazed after her for a while and then became so grieved that his
heart nearly broke. What was he to do now? He took leave of
all and went and hid himself. When he got outside of the gate he
suddenly remembered what the giant had told him about calling to
memory one of the horses ; he no sooner did so than it appeared all
ready saddled; he jumped upon it and thought he would like to be at
the giant's gate. In a moment he was there and the giant came
out to meet him. " Well, my dear son, didn't I tell you not to
give that nut to anyone?' 5 The poor lad replied, in great sorrow,
" Well, my dear father, what am I to do now ? " " Well, what
did Fairy Elizabeth say when she took leave of you ?" " She
said that if ever I wished to meet her again I was to go to the
town of Johara, in the country of Black Sorrow." "Alas, my
son !" said the giant, " I have never even heard the name, so how
could I direct you there ? Be still, and come and live with me,
and get on as well as you can." But the poor lad said that he
would go, and he must go, in search of his wife as far as his eye
could see. " Well, if you wish to go, there are two more children
of my parents left, an elder brother and an elder sister. Take
this; here's a mace. We three children couldn't divide it
amongst us, so it was left with me. They will know by this that
I have sent you; go first to my elder brother, he is the king of
all creeping things; perhaps he may be able to help you." With
this he drew in the duet the figure of a colt three years old, and
bade him sit on it, filled his bag with provisions, and recom-
mended him to the Lord. The lad went on and on, over seven
times seven countries, and even beyond them; he went on till the
colt got so old that it lost all its teeth ; at last he arrived at the
residence of the king of all creeping things, went in, and greeted
him, " May the Lord give you a good day, my dear father! 5 '
And the old man replied, " The Lord has brought you, my son
What is your errand ? " And he replied, " I want to go to the
country of Black Sorrow, into the town of Johara if ever I can
find it?" "Who are you?" asked the old man. With this
he showed him the mace, and the king at once recognised it
and said, tl Ah, my dear son, I never heard the name of that town.
I wish you had come last night, because all my animals were
here to greet me. But stay, I will call them together again to-
morrow morning, and we shall then see whether they can give
us any information." Next morning the old man got up very
early, took a whistle and blew it three times, and, in the twinkling
of an eye all the creeping things that existed in the world came

forward. He asked them, one by one, whether they knew aught

of the town of Johara in the country of Black Sorrow. But they

all answered that they had never seen it, and never even heard its

name. So the poor lad was very sad, and did not know what to do.

He went outside to saddle his horse, but the poor brute had died

of old age. So the old man at once drew another in the dust, and it

was again a colt three years old. He saddled it for him, filled

his bag with provisions, and gave him directions where to find his

elder sister. With this the lad started off, and went over seven

times seven countries, and even beyond them, till at last, very

late, he arrived at the elder sister's of the giant and greeted her.

She returned it; and asked him, "What is your errand?" he

replied that he was going to the town of Johara in the country

of Black Sorrow. "Well, my son," said the old woman, "and

who has sent you to me?" "Don't you know this mace? "

and she recognised it at once, and said, " Alas ! my dear son, I

am very pleased to see you, but I cannot direct you, because I

never even heard of the place. Why did you not come last

night, as all the animals were here then. But as my brother

has sent you, I will call them all together again to-night, and

perhaps they will be able to tell you something." With this, he

went out to put his horse in the stable, and found that it had

grown so old that it hadn't a single tooth left; he himself, too, was

shrivelled up with age, like a piece of bacon rind, and his hair

was like snow. At eve the old woman said to him, " Lie down

in this bed ! " when he lay down she put a heavy millstone upon

him ; she then took a whip, went outside the door, and cracked

it. It boomed like a gun and the poor man inside was so

startled that he lifted up the millstone quite a span high. " Don't

be afraid, my son," called out the old woman, " I'm only going to

crack it twice more," and she cracked it again; whether it

sounded the first time or not, it certainly did this time, so that

the poor man inside lifted the millstone quite a yard high, and
called out to the old woman not to crack that whip again, or he
should certainly die on the spot. But she cracked it again, not-
withstanding, and it sounded so loud, that whether the first two
sounded or not, this time it sounded so loud that the poor man
kicked the millstone right up to the ceiling. After that the old
woman went in and said to him, " You can get up now, as I am
not going to crack my whip any more." So he got up at once,
and she went and opened the window, and left the door wide open
too. At once it became quite dark, the animals came in such clouds
that they quite obscured the sunlight ; she let them in one by one
through the window, and read out the name of each one of them
from a list, and asked them if they knew where the country of Black
Sorrow was, but nobody knew it ; so she dismissed them and shut the
window and door. The poor man was very sad now ; he didn't
know what to do next or where he was to go. " There is nothing
more to be done,' 3 said the old woman ; "but I will give you a colt,
and fill your bag full of provisions, and in heaven's name go back
where you have come from." They were still consulting when some-
body knocked at the window and the old woman called out,
6t Who's that?" u ltis I, my dear queen," replied a bird; and she
began to scold it for being so late ; but still she let it in, hoping
that it might tell them something. Lo ! it was a lame woodpecker.
" Why are you so late ? " she demanded, and the bird replied that
it was because it had such a bad foot. " Where did you get your
leg broken?" inquired the old woman. " In Johara, in the country
of Black Sorrow." " You are just the one we want," said the
old woman; " I command you to take this man on your back
without delay and to carry him to the very town where you
have come from." The woodpecker began to make excuses and said
that it would rather not go there lest they should break the other
leg also; but the old woman stamped with her foot, and so it
was obliged to obey and at once set off with the man on its
back, whose third horse had already died ; on they went over
seven times seven countries, and even beyond them, till they
came to a very high mountain, so high that it reached to

"Now then," said the woodpecker, "you had better get
down here, as we cannot get over this." " Well, but," said the
poor man, "how did you get over it ? " " I ? Through a hole."
" Well then, take me also through a hole." Then the wood-
pecker began to make excuses, that it could not take him, first
urging this reason and then that ; so the poor man got angry with
the woodpecker, and began to dig his spurs into the bird's ribs
saying, " Go on, you must take me, and don't talk so much; ii
was you who stole the golden wheat-ear from my stack." So
what could the poor woodpecker do but carry him. They
arrived in the country of Black Sorrow, and stopped in the very
town of Johara. Then he sent the woodpecker away, and went
straight into the palace where Fairy Elizabeth lived. As he
entered Fairy Elizabeth sat on a golden sofa ; he greeted her,
and told her he had come to claim her as his wife. " Is that why
you have come ? " replied she. " Surely you don't expect me to
be your wife ; an old bent, shrivelled-up man like you. I will
give you meat and drink, and then in heaven's name go back to
where you have come from." Hearing this the poor man became
very sad and didn't know what to do, and began to cry bitterly ;
but in the meantime (not letting him know) Fairy Elizabeth
had ordered her maids to go out at once and gather all sorts
of rejuvenating plants, and to bring some youth-giving water, and
to prepare a bath for him as quickly as possible. Then she turned
to the old man again, and, in order to chaff him, said, "How
can you wish a beautiful young girl like me to marry such an ugly
old man as you ? Be quick, eat, drink, and go back to where you
have come from." In his sorrow the poor man's heart was
nearly broken, when all at once Fairy Elizabeth said to
him, " Well, dearest love of my youth, so that you may
not say that I am ungrateful to you for having taken the trouble
to come to me, and made all this long journey for me, I will
give you a bath." She motioned to the maids, they at once seized
him, undressed him, and put him into the tub; in a moment he
was a young man again a hundred times handsomer than he was
in his youth ; and while they were bathing him they brought
from a shop numerous costly dresses and clothed him with them
and took him to Fairy Elizabeth; man and wife embraced
and kissed each other again and again, and once more celebrated
a grand marriage festival, going through all the ceremonies
again; after all this was over they got into a carriage drawn by
six horses, and went to live with the giant, their father, but they
never went again, not even once, to the place where he had been
betrayed. The giant received them with great joy, and they
are still alive to this-day, if they haven't died since. May they
be your guests to-morrow !


HERE was once, I don't know where, beyond seven
times seven countries, and at a cock's crow even
beyond them an immense, tail, quivering poplar
tree. This tree had seven times seventy-seven
branches; on each branch there were seven times seventy-seven
crow-nests, and in each nest seven times seventy-seven young
crows. May those who don't listen attentively to my tale, or
who doze, have their eyes pecked out by all those young crows;
and those who listen with attention to my tale will never
behold the land of the Lord ! There was once, I don't know where,
a king who had three sons who were so much like each other that
not even their mother could distinguish them from each other. The
king sent his three sons wandering ; the three princes went, and
went, and, on the third day, they arrived at a vast forest, where
they first met a she-wolf with three whelps. "What are you doing
here, princes, where not even the birds ever come ? " asked the
wolf, "you can go no further, because I and my whelps will tear
you in pieces." " Don't harm us, wolf !" said the princes, "but
rather, let's have your whelps to go as our servants." " I will tear
you to pieces," howled the wolf, and attacked them ; but the
princes overcame the wolf, and took the three whelps with them.
They went and went further into the vast forest and met a bear
with three cubs, the next day. " What are you doing here,
princes, where not even a bird comes? " asked the bear; " you
can go no further, because I and my cubs will tear you in pieces."
" Don't harm us, bear,*' said the princes, " but rather let's have
your three cubs to come as our servants." " I will tear you in
pieces," roared the bear, and attacked them, but the princes
overcame the bear, and took the three cubs with them. Again
they went into the vast forest, and met a lioness and her three
cubs, on the third day. " What are you doing here, princes,
where not even a bird comes ? you can go no further, because I
and my cubs will tear you in pieces." " Don't harm us, lioness,"
said the princes, " but let's have your three cubs to come as our
servants." " I will tear you in pieces," roared the lioness, and
attacked them, but the princes overcame the lioness, and took
the three cubs as their servants: and thus each prince had three
servants, a lion, a bear, and a wolf. At last they reached the
outskirts of the vast forest, where the. road divided into three,
under a tree, and here the eldest said, " Let us stick our knives
into the tree, and each start in a different direction; in a year
hence we will be back again, and whosoever's knife is covered
with blood, he is in danger, and the others must go in search of
him." " Agreed," said the others, and, sticking their knives into
the tree, started off in different directions.

After long wanderings the eldest came to a town which was
wholly covered with black cloth, and here he took lodgings with
an old woman. " Why is this town hung with black ?" asked
the prince. u Alas, we live in great danger here ! " said the
old woman, " in the lake near the town lives the dragon with
seven heads, who vomits fire, and to him we have to give a virgin
every week, and to-morrow it is the king's daughter's turn, and
she has to go, and this is the reason why our town is covered
with black." u And is there no man who can help?" inquired
the prince. u We have not found one yet," said the old woman,
" although our king has promised his daughter, and after his
death his realm, to the one who kills the dragon." The prince
did not say another word, but took a rest and, afterwards, went
towards the lake, and as he passed the royal palace he saw the
princess in the window weeping. The royal princess was so
beautiful that even the sun stopped before the window, in his
course, to admire her beauty. At last he reached the lake, and
could already hear, even at a distance, the dragon with
seven heads roaring, so loudly that the ground trembled.
" How dare you approach me? You must die, even had you
seven souls ! " roared the dragon, but instead of an answer the
prince threw his mace at him, with such force that it smashed
one of his heads on the spot, thereupon he attacked him with his
sword, and also set his dogs at him, and while he cut the dragon's
heads off one by one, his servants bit him to pieces, and thus
killed the dragon, whose blood formed a brook seven miles long.
After this he drew a tooth out of each head of the dragon and put
them into his sabretache, and, as he was very tired, he lay down
amongst the bulrushes and went fast asleep with his dogs. The
Red Knight was watching the whole fight from amongst the
bulrushes, and, seeing that the prince was asleep, he crept to him
and killed him, and quartered him, so that he might not revive,
and, picking up the dragon's seven heads, went off towards the
town. As soon as the Red Knight had gone the three dogs
woke, and, seeing that their master had been murdered, began to
howl in their sorrow. " If we only had a rope, so that we could
tie him together. I know of a weed which would bring him
to life again," said the wolf. " If we only knew how to tie him
together, I would soon get a rope," said the lion. " I would tie
him together if I had a rope," said the bear ; whereupon the lion
ran to the town, the wolf went in search of the weed, and the bear
remained behind to guard his master's body. The lion rushed
into a ropemaker's and roared, " Give me a rope, or I will tear
you in pieces.' 5 The ropemaker, in his fright, produced all
the rope he had, and the lion rushed off with a coil. In the
meantime the wolf also returned with the weed, and the bear
tied the prince's body together, and the wolf anointed him.
When, all at once, the prince woke, and, rubbing his eyes, stood
up. " Well, I have slept a long time," said the prince, and as
he saw that the sun was setting he returned to the town with his
servants, and, as he again passed in front of the royal palace, he
saw the princess once more, who looked at him, smiling this
time. The prince again took his night's lodging with the old
woman, and, as he got up next morning, the whole town was
covered with red cloth. " Why is the whole town covered with
red, now? " asked the prince. " Because the Red Knight killed
the dragon, and saved the royal princess, and he is to be married to
her to-day, 5 ' replied the old woman. The prince thereupon went
into the palace, into which crowds of people were streaming.
The king was just leading the Red Knight to his daughter, and
said, "Here, my daughter, this is the hero who killed the dragon,
and only the hoe and the spade will separate him from you from
this day." " My royal father," said the princess, "that isn't the
man that killed the dragon, and therefore I cannot be his wife."
" He did kill him," shouted the king, "and, in proof of it, he
brought the dragon's seven heads with him, and therefore you
have to be his wife, according to my promise." And there was
a great feast after this, but the princess sat crying at the table,
and the prince went home very downcast. " Give me some food,
master, I'm hungry," said the wolf, when his master came home.
" Go to the king and get some food from his table," and the
wolf went. The Red Knight sat on seven red pillows, between
the king and his daughter, but when he saw the wolf enter, in
his fright a pillow dropped from under him, and the wolf took a
full dish, and went away, and told his master what had hap-
pened. "Give me some food, master. I'm hungry too," said
the bear ; and his master sent him also to the palace, and as he
entered the Red Knight in his fright again dropped a pillow from
under him. When the bear arrived at home with the food, he told
this to his master. And as the lion got hungry too, he had to go for
his food ; and this time the Red Knight dropped a third pillow,
and could hardly be seen above the cable. Now the prince went
to the palace himself, and as he entered every one of the pillows
dropped from under the Red Knight in his fright. u Majesty,
said the prince, " do you believe that the Red Knight has killed
the dragon with seven heads? " " Yes," answered the king, " and
he brought the seven heads with him, they are here." "But
look, majesty, whether there is anything missing out of every
head." The king examined the dragon's heads, and exclaimed
in astonishment: " Upon rny word there is a tooth missing from
every head." "Quite so," said the prince, "and the seven dragon
teeth are here," and, taking them from his sabretache, he handed
the teeth to the king. "Your Majesty, if the Red Knight has
killed the dragon, how could I have obtained the teeth?"
u What's the meaning of this?" inquired the king, in anger,
of the Red Knight ; ; ' who killed the dragon ? " il Pardon ! "
implored the knight. In his fear he confessed all, and the king
had him horsewhipped out of the palace, and sent the dogs after

He bade the prince sit down at once by the side of his
daughter, as her bridegroom ; and in joyful commemoration of
the event they celebrated such a wedding that the yellow
juice flowed from Henczida to Bonczida. And the prince and
princess lived happily afterwards as man and wife.

However, it happened once that as the prince went hunting with
his three servants, and after a long walk strolled into the wood, he
became tired and hungry; so he made a fire under a tree, and sat
down at it, and fried some bacon ; when suddenly he heard some
one call out with a trembling voice in the tree: " Oh ! how cold
I am." The prince looked up, and saw an old woman on the
top of the tree shivering. " Come down, old mother," said he.
But the old woman said, still shivering with cold, " I'm afraid to
come down, because your dogs will kill me; but if you will
strike them with this rod, which I throw down to you, they will
not touch me.' 5 And the good prince, never thinking that the
old woman was a witch, struck his servants with the rod, who,
without him noticing it, turned into stone. Seeing this, the old
woman came down from the tree, and, having prepared a branch
as a spit, she caught a toad. She drew it on the spit, and held it to
the fire, close to the bacon; and when the prince remonstrated and
tried to drive the old woman away, she threw the toad into his face,
whereupon the prince fainted. As his servants could not assist him.
the witch killed him, cut him up in pieces, salted him, and put
him into a cask. The princess was waiting for her husband in
great sorrow; but days passed, and still he did not come, and the
poor princess bewailed him day and night.

In the meantime, the second prince returned to the tree in which
they had stuck their knives ; and, finding that his elder brother's
knife was covered with blood, started in search of him. When he
came to the town, it was again covered with black. He also took
lodgings for the night with the old woman, and on inquiring she
told him the whole story of the first prince, and also informed him
that the town was draped in black because the prince was lost while
hunting. The second prince at once came to the conclusion that
it could be no one else but his elder brother, and went to the

dace. The princess, mistaking him for her husband in her joy,
threw her arms round his neck. " Charming princess, I am not
your husband," said the prince, " but your husband's younger
brother." The princess, however, would not believe him, as she
could not imagine how one man could so resemble another;
therefore she chatted with him the whole day, as if with her
husband, and, night having set in, he had to get into the same
bed with her. The prince, however, placed his unsheathed sword
between himself and his-sister-in-law, saying: " If you touch me,
this sword will at once cut offyour hand." The princess was very
sorry on hearing this, but, in order to try, she threw her hand-
kerchief over the prince, and the sword cut it in two at once.
Whereupon the princess burst out crying, and cried the whole
night. Next morning the prince went out in search of his
brother, and went out hunting in the same wood where he had
heard his brother was lost. But, unfortunately, he met the
witch, and was treated in the same way as his brother. She
killed and salted him also.

After this the youngest prince returned to the tree in
which the knives were, and, finding both his brothers'
knives covered with blood, went in the direction in which
his eldest brother had gone. He came to the town, which
was still draped in black, and learned all from the old woman;
he went to the palace, where the princess mistook him too for her
husband. He had to sleep with her, but, like his brother, placed a
sword between them, and, to the great sorrow of the princess, he,
too, went out hunting the next morning. Having become tired,
he made a fire, and began to fry some bacon, when the witch
threw him the rod; but the prince luckily discovered in the
thicket the six petrified dogs, and instead of touching his own
dogs with the rod, he touched those which had been turned into
stone, and all six came to life again. The witch was not aware
of this and came down from the tree, and the brutes seized her
on the spot, and compelled her to bring their masters to life
again. Then the two princes came to life again. In their joy
all three embraced each other, and their servants tore the witch
in pieces. Whereupon they went home, and now the joy of the
princess was full, because her husband and her brothers-in-law
had all returned, and she had no longer any fear that the sword
would be placed in the bed. On account of the joyful event the
town was again draped in red cloth. The eldest prince lived
happily with his wife for a long time, and later on became king.
His two brothers went home safely.


|HERE was once, I don't know where, even beyond
the Operenczias Sea, a poor man, who had three
sons. Having got up one morning, the father asked
the eldest one, " What have you dreamt, my son ? "
" Well, my dear father,' 5 said he, " I sat at a table covered with
many dishes, and I ate so much that when I patted my belly all
the sparrows in the whole village were startled by the sound."
"Well, my son," said the father, "if you had so much to eat,
you ought to be satisfied; and, as we are rather short of bread, you
shall not have anything to eat to-day." Then he asked the
second one, " What have you dreamt, my son?" "Well, my
dear father, I bought such spendid boots with spurs, that when I
put them on and knocked my heels together I could be heard
over seven countries." " Well, my good son/' answered the
father, * ' you have got good boots at last, and you won't want
any for the winter." At last he asked the youngest as to what
he had dreamt, but this one was reticent, and did not care to
tell ; his father ordered him to tell what it was he had dreamt,
but he was silent. As fair words were of no avail the old man
tried threats, but without success. Then he began to beat the lad.
" To flee is shameful, but very useful," they say. The lad fol-
lowed this good advice, and ran away, his father after him with
a stick. As they reached the street the king was just passing
down the high road, in a carriage drawn by six horses with
golden hair and diamond shoes. The king stopped, and asked
the father why he was ill-treating the lad. "Your Majesty,
because he won't tell me his dream." " Don't hurt him, my
good man," said the monarch ; " I'll tell you what, let the lad
go with me, and take this purse; I am anxious to know his
dream, and will take him with me" The father consented,
and the king continued his journey, taking the lad with him.
Arriving at home, he commanded the lad to appear before him,
and questioned him about his dream, but the lad would not tell
him. No imploring, nor threatening, would induce him to dis-
close his dream. The king grew angry with the lad's obstinacy,
and said, in a great rage, " You good-for-nothing fellow, to disobey
your king, you must know, is punishable by death ! You shall
die such a lingering death that you will have time to think over
what disobedience to the king means." He ordered the warders
to come, and gave them orders to take the lad into the tower of the
fortress, and to immure him alive in the wall. The lad listened
to the command in silence, and only the king's pretty daughter
seemed pale, who was quite taken by the young fellow's appear-
ance, and gazed upon him in silent joy. The lad was tall, with
snow-white complexion, and had dark eyes and rich raven locks.
He was carried away, but the princess was determined to save
the handsome lad's life, with whom she had fallen in love at
first sight ; and she bribed one of the workmen to leave a stone
loose, without its being noticed, so that it could be easily taken
out and replaced ; and so it was done !

And the pretty girl fed her sweetheart in his cell in secret.
One day after this, it happened that the powerful ruler of the
dog-headed Tartars gave orders that seven white horses should be
led into the other king's courtyard; the animals were so much
alike that there was not a hair to choose between them, and each
of the horses was one year older than another; at the same time
the despot commanded that he should choose the youngest from
among them, and the others in the order of their ages, including
the oldest ; if he could not do this, his country should be filled
with as many Tartars as there were blades of grass in the land ;
that he should be impaled ; and his daughter become the Tartar-
chief's wife. The king on hearing this news was very much
alarmed, held a council of all the wise men in his realm, but all
in vain : and the whole court was in sorrow and mourning. The
princess, too, was sad, and when she took the food to her sweet-
heart she did not smile as usual, but her eyes were filled with
tears: he seeing this inquired the cause ; the princess told him
the reason of her grief, but he consoled her, and asked her to tell
her father that he was to get seven different kinds of oats put into
seven different dishes, the oats to be the growths of seven dif-
ferent years ; the horses were to be let in and they would go and
eat the oats according to their different ages, and while they were
feeding they must put a mark on each of the horses. And so it
was done. The horses were sent back and the ages of them
given, and the Tartar monarch found the solution to be right.

But then it happened again that a rod was sent by him both
ends of which were of equal thickness ; the same threat was again
repeated in case the king should not find out which end had
grown nearest the trunk of the tree. The king was downcast and
the princess told her grief to the lad, but he said, " Don't worry
yourself, princess, but tell your father to measure carefully the
middle of the rod and to hang it up by the middle on a piece of
twine, the heavier end of it will swing downwards, that end will
be the one required." The king did so and sent the rod back
with the end marked as ordered. The Tartar monarch shook
his head but was obliged to admit that it was right. " I will
give them another trial," said he in a great rage; " and, as I
see that there must be some one at the king's court who wishes
to defy me, we will see who is the stronger." Not long after
this, an arrow struck the wall of the royal palace, which shook
it to its very foundation, like an earthquake ; and great was the
terror of the people, which was still more increased when they

found that the Tartar monarch's previous threats were written

on the feathers of the arrow, which threats were to be carried out

if the king had nobody who could draw out the arrow and shoot

it back. The king was more downcast than ever, and never

slept a wink: he called together all the heroes of his realm, and

every child born under a lucky star, who was born either with a

caul or with a tooth, or with a grey lock ; he promised to the

successful one, half of his realm and his daughter, if he fulfilled

the Tartar king's wish. The princess told the lad, in sad distress,

the cause of her latest grief, and he asked her to have the secret

opening closed, so that their love might not be found out, and

that no trace be left ; and then she was to say, that she dreamt

that the lad was still alive, and that he would be able to do what

was needed, and that they were to have the wall opened. The

princess did as she was told; the king was very much astonished,

but at the same time treated the matter as an idle dream in the

beginning. He had almost entirely forgotten the lad, and

thought that he had gone jto dust behind the walls long ago.

But in times of perplexity, when there is no help to be found

in reality, one is apt to believe dreams, and in his fear about his

daughter's safety, the king at last came to the conclusion that

the dream was not altogether impossible. He had the wall

opened; and a gallant knight stepped from the hole. "You

have nothing more to fear, my king," said the lad, who was

filled with hope, and, dragging out the arrow with his right hand,

he shot it towards Tartary with such force that all the fmials

of the loyalpalace dropped down with the force of the shock.

Seeing this, the Tartar monarch was not only anxious to see,

but also to make the acquaintance of him who did all these

things. The lad at once offered to go, and started on the journey

with twelve other knights, disguising himself so that he could

not be distinguished from his followers; his weapons, his armour,

and everything on him was exactly like those around him. This
was done in order to test the magic power of the Tartar chief.
The lad and his knights were received with great pomp by the
monarch, who, seeing that all were attired alike, at once dis-
covered the ruse; but, in order that he might not betray hia
ignorance, did not dare to inquire who the wise and powerful
knight was, but trusted to his mother, who had magic power,
to find him out. For this reason the magic mother put them all
in the same bedroom for the night, she concealing herself
in the room. The guests lay down, when one of them
remarked, with great satisfaction, u By Jove! what a good
cellar the monarch has !" " His wine is good, indeed," said
another, " because there is human blood mixed with it."
The magic mother noted from which bed the sound had come ;
and, when all were asleep, she cut off a lock from the knight
in question, and crept out of the room unnoticed, and in-
formed her son how he could recognise the true hero. The
guests got up next morning, but our man soon noticed that he
was marked, and in order to thwart the design, every one of the
knights cut off a lock. They sat down to dinner, and the
monarch was not able to recognise the hero.

The next night the monarch's mother again stole into the
bedroom, and this time a knight exclaimed, " By Jove ! what
good bread the Tartar monarch has !" " It's very good, in-
deed," said another, " because there is woman's milk in it."
When they went to sleep, she cut off the end of the moustache
from the knight who slept in the bed where the voice came
from, and made this sign known to her son; but the knights
were more on their guard than before, and having discovered
what the sign was, each of them cut off as much from their
moustache as the knight's who was marked; and so once more
the monarch could not distinguish between them.

The third night the old woman again secreted herself, when
one of the knights remarked. a By Jove ! what a handsome
man the monarch is!" "He is handsome, indeed, because he
is a love-child,' 5 said another. When they went to sleep, she
made a scratch on the visor of the knight who spoke last, and
told her son. Next morn the monarch saw that all visors were
marked alike. At last the monarch took courage and spoke
thus: " I can see there is a cleverer man amongst you than I;
and this is why I am so much more anxious to know him. I
pray, therefore, that he make himself known, so that I may see
him, and make the acquaintance of the only living man who
wishes to be wiser and more powerful than myself." The lad
stepped forward and said, " I do not wish to be wiser or more
powerful than you; but 1 have only carried out what you
bade me do; and I am the one who has been marked for the
last three nights." " Very well, my lad, now I wish you to
prove your words. Tell me, then, how is it possible there can
be human blood in my wine?" " Call your cupbearer, your
majesty, and he will explain it to you," said the lad. The
official appeared hastily, and told the king how, when filling
the tankards with the wine in question, he cut his finger with
his knife, and thus the blood got into the wine. " Then how
is it that there is woman's milk in my bread?" asked the
monarch. " Call the woman who baked the bread, and she will
tell," said the lad. The woman was questioned, and narrated
that she was nursing a baby, and that milk had collected in her
breasts; and as she was kneading the dough, the breast began
to run, and some milk dropped into it The magic mother had
previously informed her son, when telling him what happened
the three nights, and now confirmed her previous confession that
it was true that the monarch was a love-child. The monarch was
not able to keep his temper any longer, and spoke in a great rage
and very haughtily, u I cannot tolerate the presence of a man
who is my equal: either he or I will die. Defend yourself,
lad !" and with these words he flashed his sword, and dashed at
the lad. But in doing so, he accidentally slipped and fell, and the
lad's life was saved. Before the former had time to get on his
feet, the lad pierced him through, cut off his head, and pre-
sented it on the point of his sword to the king at home. "These
things that have happened to me are what I dreamt," said the
victorious lad; " but I could not divulge my secret beforehand,
or else it would not have been fulfilled." The king embraced
the lad, and presented to him his daughter and half his realm ;
and they perhaps still live in happiness to-day, if they have not
died since.


IHERE was once a young prince who was, perhaps,
not quite twenty-five years old, tall, and his slim
figure was like a pine tree ; his forehead was sorrowful,
like the dark pine; his thunder-like voice made his
eyes flash; his dress and his armour were black, because the
prince, who was known all over the world simply as Csabor Ur
(Mr. Csabor), was serving with the picked heroes of the grand
king, and who had no other ornaments besides his black
suit but a gold star, which the grand king had presented to him
in the German camp for having saved his life. The fame of
Csabor Ur's bravery was great, and also of his benevolence,
because he was kind to the poor, and the grand king very often
had to scold him for distributing his property in a careless way.
The priests, however, could not boast of Csabor Ur's alms,
because he never gave any to them, nor did he ever give them
any money for masses, and for this reason the whole hierarchy
was angry with him, especially the head priest at the great king's
court; but Csabor Ur being a great favourite of the great king,
not even a priest dared to offend him openly, but in secret the
pot was boiling for him. One cold autumn the great king
arrived at the royal palace from the camp with Csabor Ur, the
palace standing on the bank of a large sheet of water, and before
they had taken the saddles off the stallions the great king thus
addressed Csabor Ur: " My lad, rest yourself during the night,
and at dawn, as soon as day breaks, hurry off with your most
trusty men into Koumania beyond the snow-covered mountains
to old Demeter, because I hear that my Roumanian neighbours
are not satisfied with my friendship, and are intriguing with
the Turks : find out, my lad, how many weeks the world will
last there (what's the news?) and warn the old fox to mind his
tail, because I may perhaps send him a rope instead of the
archiepiscopal pallium. Csabor Ur received the grand king's order
with great joy, and, having taken leave of Dame Margit (Mar-
garet), dashed off on his bay stallion over the sandy plains to
the banks of the Olt, and from there he crossed over during a
severe frost beyond the snow-covered mountains; he arrived at the
house of Jordan Boer, the king's confidential man, whose guest
he was, and here he heard of old Demeter's cunning in all its
details, and also that he was secretly encouraged by the great king's
head priest to plot against the sovereign ; hearing this, Csabor
Ur started on his journey, and arrived on the fourth day in
Roumania, where he became the bishop's guest, by whom he
was apparently received cordially; the old dog being anxious
to mislead with his glib tongue Csabor Ur, about the events
there, but it was very difficult to hoodwink the great king's man.
Csabor Ur never gave any answer to the bishop's many words,
and therefore made the bishop believe that he had succeeded in
deceiving Csabor Ur ; but he was more on his guard than ever and
soon discovered that every night crowds of people gathered into
the cathedral; therefore one night he also stole in there dressed
in the costume of the country, and to his horror heard how the
people were conspiring with the bishop against the great king,
and how they were plotting an attack with the aid of the
Turkish army.

Csabor Ur listened to these things in great silence and sent
one of his servants with a letter to the great king next day,
in which he described minutely the whole state of affairs. The
spies, however, laid in ambush for the servant, attacked and
killed him, took Csabor Ur's letter from him, and handed it to
the bishop, who learnt from its contents that Csabor Ur had
stolen into the cathedral every night. He, therefore, had the
large oak doors closed as soon as the congregation had assembled
on the same night, and in an infuriated sermon he informed the
people that there was a traitor among them. Hearing this every-
body demanded his death, and they were ready to take their
oath on the Holy Cross that they were not traitors. Where-
upon the bishop ordered a stool to be placed on the steps of the
altar, sat down, and administered the oath to all present. Only
one man, in a brown fur-cloak, did not budge from the side of
the stoup. The bishop, therefore, addressed him thus: " Then
who are you? Why don't you come to me?" But the dark
cloak did not move, and the bishop at once knew who it was
and ordered the man to be bound ; whereupon the multitude
rushed forward to carry out his command. Thereupon the man
dropped his brown cloak ; and, behold, Csabor Ur stood erect
like a dark pine with knitted brows and flashing eyes, holding
in his right hand a copper mace with a gilt handle, his left rest-
ing on a broad two-edged sword. The multitude stopped,
shuddering, like the huntsman, who in pursuit of hares suddenly
finds a bear confronting him ; but in the next moment the
crowd rushed at their prey. Csabor Ur, after cutting down
about thirty of them, dropped down dead himself. His blood
spurted up high upon the column, where it can still be seen in
the cathedral to the left of the entrance although the Rouma-
nian priests tried their best to whitewash it. The great king
heard of this, had the head priest imprisoned, and went with an
immense army to revenge Csabor Ur's murder. With his army
came also Dame Margit, dressed in men's clothes, who wept at
the foot of the blood-bespurt column till one day after mass they
picked her up dead from the flags.


HERE was once, I don't know where, in Slavonia, a
man who had three sons. " Well, my sons," said he
one day to them, "go to see the land; to see the
world. There is a country where even the yellow-
hammer bathes in wine, and where even the fence of the yards
is made of strings of sausages ; but if you wish to get on there
you must first learn the language of the country." The three
lads were quite delighted with the description of the wonderful
country, and were ready to start off at once. The father accom-
panied them as far as the top of a high mountain; it took them
three days to get to the top, and when they reached the summit
they were on the border of the happy land : here the father slung
an empty bag on every one of the lads' shoulders, and, pointing
out to the eldest one the direction, exclaimed, "Ah! can you see
Hungary? ' ; and with this he took leave of them quite as satisfied
as if he had then handed them the key of happiness. The three
lads went on and walked into Hungary ; and their first desire
was to learn Hungarian, in accord with their father's direction.
The moment they stepped over the border they met a man, who
inquired where they were going ? They informed him, se to
learn Hungarian/' ec Don't go any further, my lads," said the
man, " the school year consists of three days with me, at the end
of which you will have acquired the requisite knowledge." The
three lads stayed ; and at the end of the three days one of them
had happily learned by heart the words " we three " ; the other,
"for a cheese"; and the third, "that's right." The three
Slovak lads were delighted, and wouldn't learn any more ; and
so they continued on their journey. They walked till they came
to a forest, where they found a murdered man by the road-side;
they looked at him, and to their astonishment they recognised
the murdered man as their late master whom they had just left;
and while they were sighing, not knowing what to do, the rural
policeman arrived on the spot. lie began to question them
about the murdered man, saying, " \Yho killed him?' 5 The first,
not knowing anything else, answered, "We three." "Why?"
asked the policeman. " For a cheese," replied the second. " If
this is so," growled the policeman, " I shall have to put you in
irons." Whereupon the third said, " That's right." The lads
were escorted by the policeman, who also intended to get assist-
assistance to carry away the dead man ; but the moment they
left, the dead man jumped up, shook himself, and regained his
ordinary appearance, and became a sooty devil, with long ears
and tail, who stood laughing at the lads, being highly amused
at their stupidity, which enabled him to deceive them so easily. ;


JHERE was once, I don't know where, an old tumble-
down oven, there was nothing left of its sides ; there
was also once a town in which a countess lived,
with an immense fortune. This countess had an
exceedingly pretty daughter, who was her sole heiress. The fame
of her beauty and her riches being very great the marrying
magnates swarmed about her. Among others the three sons of
a count used to come to the house, whose castle stood outside the
town in a pretty wood. These young men appeared to be richer
than one would have supposed from their property, but no one
knew where and how the money came to them. The three
young men were invited almost every day to the house, but the
countess and her daughter never visited them in return, although
the young lady was continually asked by them. For a long
time the girl did not accept their invitation, till one day she was
preparing for a walk into the wood, in which the young counts'
castle was supposed to be: her mother was surprised to hear that
she intended to go into the wood, but as the young lady didn't
say exactly where she was going her mother raised no objection.
The girl went, and the prettiness of the wood, and also her
curiosity enticed her to go in further and further till at last she
discovered the turrets of a splendid castle ; being so near to it
her curiosity grew stronger, and at last she walked into the
courtyard. Everything seemed to show that the castle was
inhabited, but still she did not see a living soul ; the girl went
on till she came to the main entrance, the stairs were of white
marble, and the girl, quite dazzled at the splendour she beheld,
went up, counting the steps; " one hundred," said the girl, in a
half whisper, when she reached the first flight, and tarried on
the landing. Here she looked round when her attention fell on a
bird in a cage. " Girl, beware !" said the bird. But the girl,
dazzled by the glitter, and drawn on by her curiosity 3 again began
to mount the stairs, counting them, without heeding the bird's
words. " One hundred," again said the girl, as she tarried on
the next landing, but still no one was to be seen, but thinking
that she might find some one she opened the first door, which
revealed a splendour quite beyond all she had ever imagined,
a sight such as she had never seen before, but still no one appeared.
She went into another room and there amongst other furni-
ture she also found three bedsteads, " this is the three young
men's bedroom," she thought, and went on. The next room
into which she stepped was full of weapons of every pos-
sible description ; the girl stared and went on, and then she
came to a large hall which was full of all sorts of garments,
clerical, military, civilian, and also women's dresses. She went
on still further and in the next room she found a female figure,
made up of razors, which, with extended arms as it seemed, was
placed above a deep hole. The girl was horror-struck at
the sight and her fear drove her back ; trembling she went
back through the rooms again, but when she came into the
bedroom she heard male voices. Her courage fled and she
could go no further, but hearing some footsteps approach she
crept under one of the beds. The men entered, whom she
recognised as the three sons of the count, bringing with them a
beautiful girl, whom the trembling girl recognised by her voice
as a dear friend; they stripped her of all, and as they could not
take off a diamond ring from her little finger, one of the men
chopped it off and the finger rolled under the bed where the girl
lay concealed. One of the men began to look for the ring when
another said " You will find it some other time," and so he left
off looking for it. Having quite undressed the girl they took
her to the other room, when after a short lapse of time she
heard some faint screaming, and it appeared to her as if the
female figure of razors had snapped together, and the mangled
remains of the unfortunate victim were heard to drop down into
the deep hole. The three brothers came back and one of them
began to look for the ring: the cold sweat broke out on the
poor girl hiding under the bed. " Never mind, it is ours now
and you can find it in the morning," said one of the men, and
bade the others go to bed ; and so it happened : the search for the
ring was put off till next day. They went to bed and the girl
began to breathe more freely in her hiding-place; she began to
grope about in silence and found the ring and secreted it in her
dress, and hearing that the three brothers were fast asleep,
she stole out noiselessly leaving the door half ajar. The next
day the three brothers again visited the countess when the
daughter told them that she had a dream as if she had been to
their castle. She told them how she went up a flight of marble
stairs till she counted 100, and up the next flight when she again
counted 100. The brothers were charmed and very much sur-
prised at the dream and assured her that it was exactly like their
home. Then she told them how she went from one room to
another and what she saw, but when she came in her dream as
far as the razor-maid they began to feel uneasy and grew
suspicious, and when she told them the scene with the girl, and
in proof of her tale produced the finger with the ring, the
brothers were terrified and exclaiming, "We are betrayed!" took
flight ; but everything was arranged, and the servants, who were
ordered to watch, caught them. After an investigation all their
numberless horrible deeds were brought to light and they were


|HERE was once, I don't know where, beyond seven
times seven countries, a king who had three daughters.
One day the king was going to the market, and thus
inquired of his daughters: " What shall I bring you
from the market, my dear daughters?" The eldest said, " A
golden dress, my dear royal father ;" the second said, " A silver
dress for me;" the third said, " Speaking grapes, a smiling
apple, and a tinkling apricot for me." " Very well, my daugh-
ters," said the king, and went. He bought the dresses for his
two elder daughters in the market, as soon as he arrived; but, in
spite of all exertions and inquiries, he could not find the speaking
grapes, the smiling apple, and^ tinkling apricot. He was very
sad that he could not get what his youngest daughter wished, for
she was his favourite ; and he went home. It happened, however,
that the royal carriage stuck fast on the way home, although his
horses were of the best breed, for they were such high steppers
that they kicked the stars. So he at once sent for extra horses to
drag out the carriage; but all in vain, the horses couldn't move
either way. He gave up all hope, at last, of getting out of the
position, when a dirty, filthy pig came that way, and grunted,
" Grumph ! grumph ! grumph ! King, give me your youngest
daughter, and I will help you out of the mud." The king, never
thinking what he was promising, and over-anxious to get away,
consented, and the pig gave the carriage a push with its nose, so
that carriage and horses at once moved out of the mud. Having
arrived at home the king handed the dresses to his two daughters,
and was now sadder than ever that he had brought nothing for
his favourite daughter; the thought also troubled him that he
had promised her to an unclean animal.

After a short time the pig arrived in the court-yard of the
palace dragging a wheelbarrow after it, and grunted, u Grumph !
grumph ! grumph ! King, Pve come for your daughter." The
king was terrified, and, in order to save his daughter, he had a
peasant girl dressed in rich garments, embroidered with gold,
sent her down and had her seated in the wheelbarrow : the pig
again grunted, " Grumph ! grumph ! grumph ! King, this is
not your daughter ; " and, taking the barrow, it tipped her out.
The king, seeing that deceit was of no avail, sent down his
daughter, as promised, but dressed in ragged, dirty tatters, think-
ing that she would not please the pig ; but the animal grunted
in great joy, seized the girl, and placed her in the wheel-barrow.
Her father wept that, through a careless promise, he had brought
his favourite daughter to such a fate. The pig went on and on
with the sobbing girl, till, after a long journey, it stopped before
a dirty pig-stye and grunted, " Grumph ! grumph ! grumph !
Girl, get out of the wheelbarrow." The girl did as she was told.
"Grumph! grumph! grumph!" grunted the pig again; " go
into your new home." The girl, whose tears, now, were stream-
ing like a brook, obeyed ; the pig then offered her some
Indian corn that it had in a trough, and also its litter which
consisted of some old straw, for a resting-place. The girl had
not a wink of sleep for a long time, till at last, quite worn out
with mental torture, she fell asleep.

Being completely exhausted with all her trials, she slept so
soundly that she did not wake till next day at noon. On
awaking, she looked round, and was very much astonished to
find herself in a beautiful fairy-like palace, her bed being of
white silk with rich purple curtains and golden fringes. At the
first sign of her waking maids appeared all round her, awaiting
her orders, and bringing her costly dresses. The girl, quite en-
chanted with the scene, dressed without a word, and the maids
accompanied her to her breakfast in a splendid hall, where a
young man received her with great affection. " I am your
husband, if you accept me, and whatever you see here belongs to
you," said he ; and after breakfast led her into a beautiful garden.
The girl did not know whether it was a dream, she saw or
reality, and answered all the questions put to her by the young
man with evasive and chaffing replies. At this moment they
came to that part of the garden which was laid out as an orchard,
and the bunches of grapes began to speak " Our beautiful queen,
pluck some of us." The apples smiled at her continuously, and
the apricots tinkled a beautiful silvery tune. " You see, my
love," said the handsome youth, " here you have what you
wished for what your father could not obtain. You may know
now, that once I was a monarch but I was bewitched into a pig,
and I had to remain in that state till a girl wished for speaking
grapes, a smiling apple, and a tinkling apricot. You are the
girl, and I have been delivered ; and if I please you, you can be
mine for ever." The girl was enchanted with the handsome
youth and the royal splendour, and consented. They went with
great joy to carry the news to their father, and to tell him of
their happiness.


| HERE was once, I don't know where, a king, who
had three sons. They had reached a marriage-
able age,, but could not find any one who suited
them, or who pleased their father. " Go, my sons,
and look round in the world," said the king, " and try to find
wives somewhere else." The three sons went away, and at bed-
time they came to a small cottage, in which a very, very old
woman lived. She asked them about the object of their journey,
which the princes readily communicated to her. The old woman
provided them with the necessaries for the journey as well as
she could, and before taking leave of her guests, gave them an
orange each, with instructions to cut them open only in the
neighbourhood of water, else they would suffer great, very great
damage. The three princes started on their way again, and
the eldest not being able to restrain his curiosity as to what sort
of fruit it could be, or to conceive what harm could possibly
happen if he cut it open in a place where there was no water
near: cut into the orange; and lo! a beautiful girl, such as he
had never seen before, came out of it, and exclaimed, " Water !
let me have some water, or I shall die on the spot." The prince
ran in every direction to get water, but could not find any, and
the beautiful girl died in a short time, as the old woman had
said. The princes went on, and now the younger one began to
be inquisitive as to what could be in his orange.

They had just sat down to luncheon on a plain, under a tall,
leafy tree, when it appeared to them that they could see a lake
not very far off. " Supposing there is a girl in the fruit, I
can fulfil her wish," he thought to himself, and not being able
to restrain his curiosity any longer, as to what sort of girl
there could be inside, he cut his orange ; and lo ! a girl, very
much more beautiful than the first, stepped out of it, and
called out for water, in order to save her life. He had previ-
ously sent his brother to what he thought was a lake; and, as he
could not wait for his return with the water, he ran off himself,
quite out of breath, but the further he ran the further the lake
appeared to be off, because it was only a mirage. He rushed
back to the tree nearly beside himself, in order to see whether
the girl was yet alive, but only found her body lifeless, and
quite cold.

The two elder brothers, seeing that they had lost what they
had been searching for, and having given up all hope of find-
ing a prettier one, returned in great sorrow to their father's
house, and the youngest continued his journey alone. He
wandered about until, after much fatigue, he came to the neigh-
bourhood of some town, where he found a well. He had no
doubt that there was a girl in his orange also, so he took
courage, and cut it; and, indeed, a girl, who was a hundred
times prettier than the first two, came out of it. She called out
for water, and the prince gave her some at once, and death had
no power over her. The prince now hurried into the town
to purchase rich dresses for his love; and that no harm
might happen to her during his absence, he made her sit
up in a tree with dense foliage, the boughs of which overhung
the well.

As soon as the prince left, a gipsy woman came to the
well for water. She looked into the well, and saw in the
water the beautiful face of the girl in the tree. At first
she fancied that she saw the image of her own face, and
felt very much flattered ; but soon found out her mistake, and
looking about discovered the pretty girl in the tree. "What are
you waiting for, my pretty maid?" inquired the gipsy woman
with a cunning face. The girl told her her story, whereupon the
gipsy woman, shamming kindness, climbed up the tree, and
pushed the pretty girl into the well, taking her place
in the tree, when the pretty girl sank. The next moment a
beautiful little gold fish appeared swimming in the water ; the
gipsy woman recognised it as the girl, and, being afraid that it
might be dangerous to her, tried to catch it, when suddenly the
prince appeared with the costly dresses, so she at once laid her
plans to deceive him : the prince immediately noticed the dif-
ference between her and the girl he had left; but she succeeded
in making him believe that for a time after having left the fairy
world, she had to lose her beauty, but that she would recover it
the sooner the more he loved her: so the prince was satisfied
and went home to his father's house with the woman he found,
and actually loved her in hopes of her regaining her former
beauty. The good food and happy life, and also the pretty
dresses, improved the sunburnt woman's looks a little : the prince
imagining that his wife's prediction was going to be fulfilled, felt
still more attached to her, and was anxious to carry out all her

The woman, however, could not forget the little gold
fish, and therefore feigned illness, saying that she would not
get better till she had eaten of the liver of a gold fish, which
was to be found in such and such a well: the prince had the
fish caught at once, and the princess having partaken of the liver,
got better, and felt more cheerful than before. It happened, how-
ever, that one scale of the fish had been cast out in the courtyard
with the water, and from it a beautiful tree began to grow; the
princess noticed it and found out the reason, how the tree got
there, and again fell ill, and said that she could not get better
until they burnt the tree, and cooked her something by the
flames. This wish also was fulfilled, and she got better; it hap-
pened, however, that one of the woodcutters took a square piece
of the timber home to his wife, who used it as a lid for a milk
jug: these people lived not very far from the royal palace, and
were poor, the woman herself keeping the house, and doing
all servants' work.

One day she left her house very early, without having put any-
thing in order, and without having done her usual household
work ; when she came home in the evening, she found all clean,
and in the best order; she was very much astonished, and could
not imagine how it came to pass ; and it happened thus on several
days, whenever she had not put her house in order before going
out. In order to find out how these things were accomplished,
one day she purposely left her home. in disorder, but did not go far,
but remained outside peeping through the keyhole, to see what
would happen. As soon as everything became quiet in the house,
the woman saw that the lid of the milk jug which was standing
in the window, began to move with gentle noise, and in a few
moments a beautiful fairy stepped out of it, who first combed her
golden tresses, and performed her toilet, and afterwards put the
whole house in order. The woman, in order to trap the fairy
before she had time to retransform herself, opened the door
abruptly. They both seemed astonished, but the kind and encou-
raging words of the woman soon dispelled the .girl's fear, and
now she related her whole story, how she came into the world,
how she became a gold fish, and then a tree, and how she used to
walk out of the wooden lid of the milk jug to tidy the house;
she also enlightened the woman as to who the present queen was.
The woman listened to all in great astonishment, and in order to
prevent the girl from slipping back into the lid, she had pre-
viously picked it up, when she entered, and now threw it into
the fire. She at once went to the prince, and told him the
whole story.

The prince had already grown suspicious about his wife's
beauty, which had been very long in returning, and now he
was quite sure that she was a cheat: he sent for the girl and
recognised her at once as the pretty fairy whom he had left in
the tree. The gipsy woman was put into the pillory, and the
prince married the pretty girl, and they lived ever after in happi-


I HE RE was once, I don't know where, an old petticoat
a hundred years old, and in this petticoat a tuck,
in which I found the following story. There was
once a king who had seven sons and seven daughters :
he was in great trouble where to find princesses of royal blood
as wives for his sons and princes as husbands for his daughters.
At last the idea struck him that the seven sons should marry the
seven daughters. They all consented to their father's wish with
the exception of the youngest son and daughter: " Well, if you
won't," said the father, " I will give you your inheritance and you
can go and try your fortune, and get married as best you can." The
two children went, and came to a strange land, where they were
overtaken by darkness in a wood. They chose a bushy tree for
their resting place, whose leafy boughs bent down to the ground
and afforded shelter. When they woke next morning, the girl
told her brother that she had dreamt that there was a town not
far off, where a king lived who had been ill for a long time, and
thousands upon thousands of doctors had failed to cure him.
He again dreamt that an old man with snow-white hair told
him that the tree under which they slept gave water : in this water
the king was to be bathed, and he would be cured. They at
once examined the tree, and from a crack in the bark sap as
clear as crystal was dripping; they filled their flasks with the
fluid and continued their journey. When they reached the
outskirts of the forest, they saw a town in front of them.

Having arrived there they went into an inn to find out
whether their dream was true, and asked the host what the
news was in the town ; he, in his conversation, mentioned the
illness of the king, and the many unsuccessful attempts of men to
cure him, and that he had strict orders, under a heavy penalty, to
report at once every doctor that came to his inn. " I also am a
doctor," said the prince, " and this youth is my assistant," he con-
tinued, pointing to his sister, who was dressed in male attire.
The innkeeper at once reported them, and they went to court to
try their remedy on the king. The king's body was covered with
sores, and the doctor bathed his hand with the juice of the tree.
To his great joy, the king discovered next morning that the
place which had been bathed was visibly improving ; he there-
fore, the very same night, sent a huge wooden vessel on a cart to
the tree, to bring him sufficient water for a bath. After a few baths
the king actually recovered ; and the doctor, having received a
handsome present, requested a favour of the king, viz., to pay
him a visit and to do him the honour of dining with him. The
king cordially granted the request, and the prince received him
with great splendour in his spacious apartments, which were
decorated with a lavishness becoming a sovereign. As the king
found the doctor alone, he inquired after his assistant, and at this
moment a charming pretty girl stepped from one of the side
rooms, whom the king at once recognised as the doctor's assistant.
The strangers now related to him their story, and the king
became more affable, especially towards the pretty assistant, who
at once gained possession of his heart and soul, and the short
acquaintance ended with a wedding. The prince, not forgetting
the object of his journey, started soon after the wedding festivities
were over.

He passed on till he came to the boundary of the king's realm,
and then went on as far as the capital of the next country.
He was riding about the streets on a fine horse, when he heard a
voice coming from a window close by, " Hum, you, too, won't
get on without me," and looking in the direction from which the
voice came, he discovered an old man looking out of the window.
He didn't take any notice of the voice, but went on ; and, having
arrived at an inn, made sundry inquiries, when he was told that
adventurous young men in this town might either meet with
great fortune or with a great misfortune ; because the king had a
daughter whom no one had as yet seen, with the exception of her
old nurse. The girl had three marks on her, and whoever found
out what they were, and where they were, would become her
husband ; but whosoever undertook the task and failed, would be
impaled, and that already ninety-nine young fellows had died
in this manner.

Upon hearing this, it became clear to the prince what the mean-
ing of the old man's saying was; he thought, that no doubt the old
man took him for another adventurer, and the thought struck
him that the old man must be acquainted with the secret, and that
it would be advantageous to make his acquaintance. He found
a plea at once; the old man was a goldsmith, and, as the prince
had lost the rowel of his golden spur on the road, he called on him,
and, having come to terms about the spur, the prince inquired of
him about the princess, and the old man's tale tallied with that
of the innkeeper. After a short reflection, the prince told the
old man who he was, and, with a look full of meaning, inquired
if the goldsmith could help him in case he tried his luck. " For
a good sum with pleasure/' replied the goldsmith. " You
shall have it," said the prince; " but tell me how, and I will give
you this purse on account. 3 ' The old man, seeing that there
was good opportunity for gain, said, " I will construct a silver
horse in which you can conceal yourself, and I will expose it
for sale in the market. I am almost sure that no one will buy
it but some one attached to the royal court, and if once you
get in there, you can get out of the horse by a secret opening
and go back whenever you like and, I think, you will succeed."

And so it happened ; on the following market-day a splendid
silver horse was exhibited in the vicinity of the royal palace :
there were a good many admirers, but on account of the great
price there was no buyer, till at last a person belonging to the
royal court enquired the price ; after a few moments he returned
and bought the horse for the king, who presented it to his
daughter, and thus the prince managed to get into the chamber
of the princess, which was the most difficult of all things, and he
listened amidst fear and joy to the silvery voice of the pretty
girl, who amused herself with the horse which ran on wheels
and called it her dear pet.

Evening drew on, and the mysterious girl went to rest; every-
thing became quiet, and only her old nurse was sitting up
not far from her bed ; but about midnight she, too, fell asleep ;
hearing that she was fast asleep, the prince got out of the horse and
approached the girl's bed, holding his breath, and found the mark
of the sun shining on the girl's forehead, the moon on the right
breast, and three stars on the left. Having found out the three
secret marks, the prince was about to retire to his hiding-place
when the princess woke. She tried to scream, but at an imploring
gesture of the youth she kept silence. The girl could not take
her eyes off the handsome prince, who related to her how and for
what reason he had dared to come. The girl, being tired of her
long seclusion, consented to his scheme, and they secretly plotted
how the prince should get out of the palace; whereupon he went
back to his hiding-place. In accord with the plot, next morn-
ing the girl broke one of the horse's ears off, and it was sent
back to the goldsmith's to be repaired, and the prince was thus
able to leave his dangerous position.

Having again splendidly remunerated the goldsmith, he
returned to his new brother-in-law, so that he might come back
with a splendid suite and royal pomp, and appear as a king to
try his fortune. The prince returned with many magnificently-
clad knights and splendid horses, and reported himself to the
king, and informed him by message that he was anxious to try
his luck for the possession of his daughter. The king was very
much pleased with the appearance of the youth, and therefore
kindly admonished him not to risk his life, but the prince seemed
quite confident, and insisted on carrying out his wishes; so
a day was fixed for carrying out the task. The people streamed
out to the place where the trial was to take place, like as to a
huge festival. And all pitied the handsome youth, and had sad
misgivings as to his fate.

The king granted three days to those who tried their fortune,
and three guesses. On the first and second day, in order not
to betray the plot, and in order to increase the eclat the prince
guessed wrongly on purpose; but on the third day, when every-
one was convinced that he must die, he disclosed in a loud voice
the secret marks of the princess. The king declared them to be
right, and the prince was led to his future wife, amidst the cheers
of the multitude and the joyous strains of the band. The king
ordered immense wedding festivities all over the town, and
resigned his throne in favour of his son-in-law, who reigned
happy for many years after !


[HERE was once, I don't know where, a poor man
who had a very good son who was a shepherd. One
day he was tending his sheep in a rocky neighbour-
hood, and was sending sighs to Heaven as a man whose
heart was throbbing with burning wishes. Hearing a noise
as of some one approaching he looked round and saw St. Peter
standing in front of him in the guise of a very old grey man.
"Why are you sighing, my lad?" inquired he, " and what is
your wish?" "Nothing else," replied the lad, respectfully,
" but to possess a little bag which never gets full, and a fur
cloak which makes me invisible when 1 put it on." His wish was
fulfilled and St. Peter vanished. The lad gave up shepherd-
ing now and turned to the capital, where he thought he had
a chance of making his fortune. A king lived there who
had twelve daughters, and eleven of them wanted at least
six pairs of 'shoes each every night. Their father was very
angry about this, because it swallowed up a good deal of his
income ; he suspected that there was something wrong, but
couldn't succeed by any traps to get to the bottom of it.
At last he promised the youngest princess to him who would
unveil the secret.

The promise enticed many adventurous spirits to the ca-
pital, but the girls simply laughed at them, and they were
obliged to leave in disgrace. The shepherd lad, relying on his
fur cloak, reported himself; but the girls measured him, too,
with mocking eyes. Night came, and the shepherd, muffing
himself in his fur cloak, stood at the bedroom door where they
slept, and stole in amongst them when they went to bed. It
was midnight and a ghost walked round the beds and woke the
girls. There was now great preparation. They dressed and beau-
tified themselves, and filled a travelling bag with shoes. The
youngest knew nothing of all this, but on the present occasion
the invisible shepherd woke her whereupon her sisters got
frightened ; but as she was let into their secret they thought it
best to decoy her with them, to which, after a short resistance, the
girl consented. All being ready, the ghost placed a small dish
on the table. Everyone anointed their shoulders with the con-
tents, and wings grew to them. The shepherd did the same:
and when they all flew through the window, he followed them.

After flying for several hours they came to a huge copper
forest, and to a well, the railing round which was of copper, and
on this stood twelve copper tumblers. The girls drank here,
so as to refresh themselves, when the youngest, who was here for
the first time, looked round in fear. The lad, too, had something
to drink after the girls had left and put a tumbler, together with
a twig that he broke off a tree, in his bag; the tree trembled,
and the noise was heard all over the forest. The youngest girl
noticed it and warned her sisters that some one was after them,
but they felt so safe that they only laughed at her. They con-
tinued their journey, and after a short time came to a silver
forest, and to a silver well. Here again they drank, and the lad
again put a tumbler and a silver twig into his bag. In breaking
off the twig the tree shook, and the youngest again warned her
sisters, but in vain.

They soon came to the end of the forest and arrived at a
golden forest, with a gold well and tumblers. Here again they
stopped and drank, and the lad again put a gold tumbler and
twig in his bag. The youngest once more warned her sisters of
the noise the quivering tree made, but in vain. Having arrived
at the end of the forest they came to an immense moss-grown
rock, whose awe-inspiring lofty peaks soared up to the very
heavens. Here they all stopped. The ghost struck the rock with
a golden rod, whereupon it opened, and all entered, the
shepherd lad -with them. Now they came to a gorgeous room
from which several halls opened, which were all furnished in a
fairy -like manner. From these twelve fairy youths came forth
and greeted them, who were all wonderfully handsome. The
number of servants increased from minute to minute who were
rushing about getting everything ready for a magnificent dance.
Soon after strains of enchanting music were heard, and the
doors of a vast dancing hall opened and the dancing went on
without interruption. At dawn the girls returned also the
lad in the same way as they had come, and they lay down as
if nothing had happened, which, however, was belied by their
worn shoes, and the next morning they got up at the usual hour.

The king was impatiently awaiting the news the shepherd
was to bring, who came soon after and told him all that had
happened. He sent for his daughters, who denied every-
thing, but the tumblers and the twigs bore witness. What the
shepherd told the youngest girl also confirmed, whom the
shepherd woke for the purpose. The king fulfilled his promise
with regard to the youngest princess and the other eleven were
burnt for witchcraft.


| HERE was once, I shan't tell you where, it is enough
if I tell you that there was somewhere a tumble-
down oven, which was in first-rate condition barring
the sides, and there were some cakes baking in it;
this person (the narrator points to some one present) has eaten
some of them. Well then, on the mountains of Komarom, on
the glass bridges, on the beautiful golden chandelier, there was
once a Debreczen cloak which had ninety-nine tucks, and in the
ninety-ninth I found the following tale.

There was once a king with three daughters, but the king was
so poor that he could hardly keep his family ; his wife, who was
the girls' stepmother, therefore told her husband one night, that
in the morning she would take the girls into the wood and leave
them in the thicket so that they might not find again their way
home. The youngest overheard this, and as soon as the king
and queen fell asleep she hurried off to her godmother, who was
a magic woman, to ask her advice: her godmother's little pony
(tatos) was waiting at the front gate, and taking her on its back
ran straight to the magic woman. She knew well what the
girl needed and gave her at once a reel of cotton which she could
unwind in the wood and so find her way back, but she gave it to
her on the condition that she would not take her two elder sisters
home with her, because they were very bad and proud. As
arranged next morning the girls were led out by their step-
mother into the wood to gather chips as she said, and, having
wandered about a long time, she told them to rest; so they sat
down under a tree and soon all three went to sleep ; seeing thi?,
the stepmother hurried home.

On waking up, two of the girls, not being able to find their
mother, began began to cry, but the youngest was quiet, saying
that she knew her way home, and that she would go, but could
not take them with her; whereupon the two elder girls began to
flatter her, and implored her so much that she gave in at last.
Arriving at home their father received them with open arms;
their stepmother feigned delight. Next night she again told the
king that she would lead them deeper still into the wood : the
youngest again overheard the conversation, and, as on the
night before, went on her little pony to her godmother, who
scolded her for having taken home her bad sisters, and on
condition that this time she would not do so, she gave her a
bag full of ashes, which she had to strew over the road as they
went on, in order to know her way back; so the girls were led
into the wood again and left there, but the youngest again took
her sisters home, finding her way by the ashes, having been talked
over by many promises and implorings. At home, they were
received, as on the first occasion ; on the third night their step-
mother once more undertook to lead them away; the youngest
overheard them as before, but this time, she had not courage to
go to her godmother, moreover she thought that she could help
herself, and for this purpose she took a bag full of peas with her,
which she strewed about as they went. Left by their mother,
the two again began to cry, whereas the youngest said laughing,
that she was able to go home on this occasion also; and having
again yielded to her sisters she started on her way back, but to
her astonishment could not find a single pea, as the birds had
eaten them all. Now there was a general cry, and the three
outcasts wandered about the whole day in the wood, and did
not find a spring till sunset, to quench their thirst ; they also
found an acorn under an oak under which they had lain down
to rest; they set the acorn, and carried water in their mouths to
water it; by next morning it had grown into a tree as tall as a
tower, and the youngest climbed up it to see whether she could
not discover some habitation in the neighbourhood; not being
able to see anything, they spent the whole day crying and
wandering about. The following morning, the tree was as big as
two towers, but on this occasion too the youngest girl looked in
vain from its summit: but at last, by the end of the third day,
the tree was as tall as three towers, and this time the youngest
girl was more successful, because she discovered far away a
lighted window, and, having come down, she led her sisters in
the direction of the light. Her sisters, however, treated her
most shamefully, they took away all her best clothes, which she
thoughtfully had brought with her, tied up in a bundle, and she
had to be satisfied with the shabbiest ; whenever she dared to
contradict them they at once began to beat her; they gave her
orders that wherever they came she had to represent them as
daughters of rich people, she being their servant. Thus, they
went on for three days and three nights until at last they came
to an immense, beautiful castle.

They felt now in safety, and entered the beautiful palace with
great hopes, but how frightened were they when they discovered
a giantess inside who was as tall as a tower, and who had an eye
in the middle of her forehead as big as a dish, and who gnashed
her teeth, which were a span long. " Welcome, girls ! " thus
spoke the giantess, " what a splendid roast you will make!"
They all three were terrified at these words, but the youngest
shewed herself amiable, and promised the giantess that they
woidd make all kind of beautiful millinery for her if she did
them no harm; the woman with the big teeth listened, and
agreed, and hid the girls in a cupboard so that her husband
might not see them when he came home; the giant, who was
even taller than his wife, however, at once began to sniff about,
and demanded human flesh of his wife, threatening to swallow
her if she did not produce it. The girls were fetched out, but
were again spared, having promised to cook very savoury food
for the grumbling husband.

The chief reason of their life having been spared, however,
was because the husband wanted to eat them himself during the
absence of his wife, and the woman had a similar plan in her
mind. The girls now commenced to bake and roast, the two
eldest kneaded the dough, the youngest making the fire in the
oven, which was as big as hell, and when it got red hot, the
cunning young girl called the giant, and having placed a pot
full of lard into the oven, aeked him to taste it with his tongue
to see whether the lard was hot enough, and if the oven had
reached its proper heat. The tower of flesh tried it, but the
moment he put his head inside the oven, the girl gave him a
push and he was a dead man in the fiery oven ; seeing this, the
giantess got in a rage, and was about to swallow them up, but,
before doing so, the youngest induced her to let herself be beauti-
fied, to which she consented; a ladder was brought, so that the
young girl might get on to her head to comb the monster's hair;
instead of combing, however, the nimble little girl knocked the
giantess on the head with the huge iron comb, so that she dropped
down dead on the spot. The girls had the bodies carted away
with twenty-four pair of oxen, and became the sole owners of the
immense castle. Next Sunday, the two eldest dressed up in their
best, and went for a walk, and to a dance in the royal town.

After their departure their youngest sister, who remained at
home to do servants' work, examined all the rooms, passages,
and closets in the castle. During her search she accidentally
found something shining in a flue. She knocked it off with a
stone, and found that it was a most beautiful golden key. She
tried it in every door and cupboard, but only succeeded, after a
long search, in opening a small wardrobe with it; and, how
great was her surprise to find that it was full of ladies' dresses
and millinery, and that every thing seemed made to fit her.
She put on a silver dress in great haste, and went to the dance.
The well-known little pony was outside waiting for her, and
galloped away with her like a hurricane. The moment she
entered the dancing hall all eyes were fixed on her, and the
men and youths of the highest dignity vied with each other
as to who should dance with her. Her sisters who, till her
arrival, were the heroines of the evening and the belles of the
ball, were quite set aside now. After a few hours' enjoyment
the young lady suddenly disappeared ; and, later on, received
her sisters on their return in her servant's clothes. They told
her that they had enjoyed themselves very well at first, but
that later on some impudent female put them in the back-ground.
The little girl laughed and said, " Supposing that I was that
lady;" and she was beaten by her sisters, and called some not
very polite names for her remark. Next Sunday the same
thing happened again, only this time the young girl was dressed
in gold. Everything happened the same, and she was again
beaten at home.

The third Sunday the little girl appeared in a diamond dress.
At the dance, again, she was the soul of the evening ; but this
time the young men wanted her to stay to the end of the ball,
and watched her very closely, so that she might not escape.
When, therefore, she tried to get away, she was in such a hurry
that she had no time to pick up a shoe she accidentally dropped
in the corridor; she was just in time to receive her sisters.
The shoe came into the possession of the prince, who hid it care-
fully. After a few days the prince fell very ill, and the best
physicians could not find a cure for him ; his father was very
nearly in despair about his only son's health, when a foreign
doctor maintained that the patient could only be cured by
marrying, because he was love-sick. His father, therefore, im-
plored him to make him a full confession of his love, and,
whoever the person whom he wished might be, he should have
her. The prince produced the shoe, and declared that he
wanted the young lady to whom the shoe belonged. So it was
announced throughout the whole realm, that all the ladies of the
country should appear next Sunday to try on the shoe, and who-
soever's foot it fitted she should become the prince's wife. On
Sunday the ladies swarmed in crowds to the capital. Nor were
the two eldest of the three sisters missing, who had had their feet
previously scraped with a knife by their youngest sister, so that
they might be smaller. The youngest sister also got ready after
their departure, and, having wrapped the mate of the lost shoe in
a handkerchief, she jumped on the. pony's back in her best dress,
and rode to the appointed place. She overtook her sisters on
the road, and, jumping the pony into a puddle, splashed them
all over with mud. The moment she was seen approaching 100
cannons were fired off, and all the bells were rung; but she
wouldn't acknowledge the shoe as her own without a trial, and,
therefore, tried it on. The shoe fitted her exactly, and when she
produced its mate, 300 cannons greeted her as the future queen.
She accepted the honour upon one condition, namely, that the
king should restore her father's conquered realm. Her wish was
granted, and she became the prince's wife. Her sisters were con-
ducted back to their royal father, who was now rich and powerful
once more ; where they live still, if they have not died since.


PEASANT had three sons. One morning he sent
out the eldest to guard the vineyard. The lad went,
and was cheerfully eating a cake he had taken with
him, when a frog crept up to him, and asked him
to let it have some of his cake. " Anything else?" asked the
lad angrily, and picked up a stone to drive the frog away.
The frog left without a word, and the lad soon fell asleep, and,
on awaking, found the whole vineyard laid waste. The next
day the father sent his second son into the vineyard, but he
fared like the first.

The father was very angry about it, and did not know what
to do ; whereupon his youngest son spoke up, who was always
sitting in a corner amongst the ashes, and was not thought fit for
anything, and whom for this reason they nicknamed Cinder
Jack. " My father, send me out, and I will take care of the
vineyard." His father and his brothers laughed at him, but
they allowed him to have a trial ; so Cinder Jack went to the
vineyard, and, taking out his cake, began to eat it. The frog
again appeared, and asked for a piece of cake, which was given
to him at once. Having finished their breakfast, the frog gave
the lad a copper, a silver, and a gold rod ; and told him, that
three horses would appear shortly, of copper, silver, and gold,
and they would try to trample down the vineyard ; but, if he
beat them with the rods he had given him they would at once
become tame, and be his servants, and could at any time be
summoned to carry out his orders. It happened as the frog
foretold ; and the vineyard produced a rich vintage. But
Cinder Jack never told his master or his brothers how he had
been able to preserve the vineyard; in fact, he concealed all,
and again spent his time as usual, lying about in his favourite

One Sunday the king had a high fir pole erected in front of
the church, and a golden rosemary tied to the top, and promised
his daughter to him who should be able to take it down in one
jump on horseback. All the knights of the realm tried their
fortune, but not one of them was able to jump high enough.
But all of a sudden a knight clad in copper mail, on a copper
horse, appeared with his visor down, and snatched the rosemary
with an easy jump, and quickly disappeared. When his two
brothers got home they told Cinder Jack what had happened, and
he remarked, that he saw the whole proceeding much better, and on
being asked " where from?" his answer was, " From the top of the
hoarding." His brothers had the hoarding pulled down at once, so
that their younger brother might not look on any more. Next
Sunday a still higher pole, with a golden apple at the top, was
set up ; and whosoever wished to marry the king's daughter had
to take the apple down. Again, hundreds upon hundreds tried,
but all in vain ; till, at last, a knight in silver mail, on a silver
horse, took it, and disappeared. Cinder Jack again told his bro-
thers that he saw the festivities much better than they did ; he saw
them, he said, from the pigstye ; so this was pulled down also. The
third Sunday a silk kerchief interwoven with gold was displayed at
the top of a still higher fir pole, and, as nobody succeeded in get-
ting it, a knight in gold mail, on a gold horse, appeared ;
snatched it down, .and galloped off. Cinder Jack again told
his brothers that he saw all from the top of the house ; and his
envious brothers had the roof of the house taken off, so that the
youngest brother might not look on again.

The king now had it announced that the knight who had shown
himself worthy of his daughter should report himself, and should
bring with him the gold rosemary, the apple, and the silk ker-
chief; but no one came. So the king ordered every man in the
realm to appear before him, and still the knight in question
could not be found; till, at last, he arrived clad in gold mail on
a gold charger ; whereupon the bells were at once rung, and
hundreds and hundreds of cannons fired. The knight, having
handed to the princess the golden rosemary, the apple, and the
kerchief, respectfully demanded her hand, and, having obtained
it, lifted his visor, and the populace, to their great astonish-
ment, recognised Cinder Jack, whom they had even forgotten to
ask to the king's presence. The good-hearted lad had his bro-
thers' house rebuilt, and gave them presents as well. He took
his father to his house, as the old king died soon after. Cinder
Jack is reigning still, and is respected and honoured by all his
subjects !


|HERE was once a poor man who had three sons. " My
sons," said he to them one day, u you have not seen
anything yet, and you have no experience whatever ;
it is time for you to go to different countries and
try your luck in the world ; so get ready for the journey,
and go as far as your eves can see." The three lads got ready,
and, having filled their bags with cakes specially prepared for
the occasion, they left home. They went on and on till at
last they got tired and lay down, the two elder then pro-
posed that, as it became good brethren, they should all share
equally, and that they should begin with the youngest's pro-
visions, and when they were finished should divide those of the
second, and lastly those of the eldest. And so it happened ; on
the first day the youngest's bag was emptied; but the second
day, when meal-time came, the two eldest would not give the
youngest anything, and when he insisted on receiving his share,
they gouged out his eyes and left him to starve. For the present let
us leave the two eldest to continue their way, and let's see what
became of the poor blind lad. He, resigning himself to God's will,
groped his way about, till, alas ! he dropped into a well. There
was no water in it, but a great deal of mud; when he dropped
into it the mud splashed all over his body, and he felt quite a
new man again and ever so much better. Having besmeared his
face and the hollows of his eyes with the mud he again saw
clearly, because the healing power of the miracle-working mud
had renewed his eyes once more, and his whole face became of a
beautiful complexion.

The lad took as much mud in a flower pot with him
as he could carry and continued his journey, when suddenly he
noticed a little mouse quite crushed, imploring him for help;
he took pity on it, and, having besmeared it with the miraculous
mud, the mouse was cured, and gave to his benefactor a small
whistle, with the direction that if anything happened to him
he had to blow the whistle, and the mouse, who was the king
of mice, would come to his help with all his mates on earth.
He continued his way and found a bee quite crushed and cured
it too with the mud, and obtained another whistle, which he had
to blow in case of danger, and the queen of the bees would
come to his aid. Again going on he found a wolf shockingly
bruised; at first he had not courage to cure it, being afraid
that it would eat him ; but the wolf implored so long that at
last he cured him too, and the wolf became strong and beautiful;
the wolf, too, gave him a whistle to use in time of need.

The lad went on till at last he came to the royal town,
where he was engaged as servant to the king. His two brothers
were there already in the same service, and, having recognised
him, tried in every way to destroy him. After long deliberation
as to how to carry out their plan they went to the king and
falsely accused their brother of having told them that he was
able to gather the corn of the whole land into the king's barn in
one night ; the lad denied it, but all in vain. The king declared
that if all the corn was not in the barn by the morning he would
hang him. The lad wept and wailed for a long time, when
suddenly he remembered his whistles, and blew into the one that
the mouse had given him and when the mice came he told them
his misfortunes : by midnight all the corn of the country wau
gathered together. Next day his brothers were more angry still,
and falsely said to the king that their brother was able to build a
beautiful bridge of wax from the royal castle to the market place
in one night; the king ordered him to do this too, and having
blown his second whistle the bees, who appeared to receive his
command, did the task for him. Next morning from his window
the king very much admired the beautiful arched bridge ; his
brothers nearly burst in their rage, and spread the report that
their brother was able to bring twelve of the strongest wolves
into the royal courtyard by the next morning. They firmly
believed that on this occasion they were quite sure of their
victory, because either the wolves would tear their brother in
pieces, or if he could not fulfil the task the king would have
him executed; but again they were out of their reckoning:
the lad blew his third whistle and the king of wolves arrived
to receive his orders. He told him his misfortune, and the
wolf ordered not only twelve, but all his mates in the country,
into the royal courtyard. The lad now sat on the back of the
king of wolves, and drove with a whip the whole pack in front
of him, who tore everything in pieces that crossed them. There
was a great deal of weeping, imploring, and wailing in the royal
palace, but all in vain; the king promised a sack full of gold,
but all in vain. The king of the wolves, heedless of any words,
urged on the pack by howling at them continually: " Drive on !
Seize them !" The king promised more ; two sacks, three sacks,
ten, or even twenty sacks full of gold were offered but not
accepted the wolves tore everyone in pieces ; the two brothers
perished, and so did the king and all his servants, and only
his daughter was spared; the lad married her, occupied the
king's throne, and lives happily to this day if he has not died
since. In his last letter he promised to come and see us


iHERE were once two kings who lived in great friend-
ship; one had three sons, the other a daughter. The
two fathers made an agreement, that in case of either
of them dying, the other should become guardian of
the orphans; and that if one of the boys married the girl he
should inherit her property. Very soon after the girl's father
died, and she went to live with her guardian. After a little time
the eldest boy went to his father and asked the girl's hand,
threatening to commit suicide if his request was refused ; his
father promised to give him a reply in three weeks. At the end
of the first week the second son asked the girl's hand, and
threatened to blow out his brains if he could not wed her ; the
king promised to reply to him in a fortnight. At the end of the
second week, the youngest asked for the girl, and his father bade
him wait a week for his answer. The day arrived when all three
had to receive their reply, and their father addressed them thus:
" My sons, you all three love the girl, but you know too well
that only one can have her. I will, therefore, give her to the
one who will show himself the most worthy of her. You had
better go, wherever you please, and see the world, and return in
one year from this day, and the girl shall be his who will bring
the most valuable thing from his journey." The princes con-
sented to this, and started on their journey, travelling together
till they came to a tall oak in the nearest wood ; the road here
divided into three branches ; the eldest chose the one leading
west, the second selected the one running south, and the third
son the branch turning off to the east. Before separating, they
decided to return to the same place after the lapse of exactly
one year, and to make the homeward journey together.
The eldest looked at everything that he found worthy of note
during his travels, and spared no expense to get something ex-
cellent: after a long journey hither and thither, he at last suc-
ceeded in getting a telescope by the aid of which he could see
to the end of the world; so he decided to take it back to his
father, as the most valuable thing he had found. The second son
also endeavoured to find something so valuable that the possession
of it should make him an easy winner in the competition for the
girl's hand: after a long search he found a cloak by means of which,
when he put it on and thought of a place, he was immediately
transported there. The youngest, after long wandering, bought
an orange which had power to restore to life the dead when
put under the corpse's nose, provided death had not taken
place more than twenty-four hours before. These were the three
valuable things that were to be brought home ; and, as the year
was nearly up, the eldest and the youngest were already on their
way back to the oak: the second son only was still enjoying him-
self in various places, as one second was enough for him to get
to the meeting place. The two having arrived at the oak, the
middle one appeared after a little while, and they then shewed
each other the valuables acquired ; next they looked through the
telescope, and to their horror they saw that the lady for the
possession of whom they had been working hard for a whole
year, was lying dead; so they all three slipped hurriedly into the
cloak, and as quick as thought arrived at home; the father told
them in great grief that the girl could belong to no one as she was
dead : they inquired when she died, and receiving an answer that
she had been dead not quite twenty-four hours, the youngest
rushed up to her, and restored her to life with his magic orange.
Now there was a good deal of litigation and quarrelling among
the three lads: the eldest claimed the greatest merit for himself,
because, he said, had they not seen through his telescope that the
girlwasdead they would have been still lingeringat the oak, and the
orange would have been of no avail ; the second maintained that
if they had not got home so quickly with his cloak the orange
would have been of no use ; the third claimed his orange as the
best, for restoring the girl to life, without which the other two
would have been useless. In order to settle the dispute, they
called all the learned and old people of the realm together,
and these* awarded the girl to the youngest, and all three
were satisfied with the award, and the two others gave up all
idea about suicide. The eldest, by the aid of his telescope, found
himself a wife who was the prettiest royal princess on earth, and
married her : the second heard of one who was known for her
virtue and beauty, and got into his cloak, and went to her, and
so all three to their great satisfaction led their brides to the
altar, and became as happy as men can be


NCE a poor man had twelve sons, and, not having
sufficient means to keep them at home, he sent them
into the great world to earn their bread by work and
to try their fortunes. The brothers wandered twelve
days and nights over hills and dales till at last they came to a
wealthy king, who engaged them as grooms, and promised them
each three hundred florins a year for their wages. Among
the king's horses there was a half-starved looking, decrepit
little pony ; the eleven eldest boys continually beat and ill-
treated this animal on account of its ugliness, but the youngest
always took great care of it, he even saved all the bread crumbs
and other little dainties for his little invalid pony, for which his
brothers very often chaffed him, and in course of time they treated
him with silent contempt, believing him to be a lunatic; he bore
their insults patiently, and their badgering without a murmur,
in the same way as the little pony the bad treatment it received.
The year of service having come to an end, the lads received
their wages, and as a reward they were also each allowed to
choose a horse from the king's stud. The eleven eldest chose the
best-looking horses, but the youngest only begged leave to take
the poor little decrepit pony with him. His brothers tried to
persuade him to give up the foolish idea, but, all in vain, he
would have no other horse.

The little pony now confessed to his keeper that it was a magic
horse, and that whenever it wanted it could change into the
finest charger and could gallop as fast as lightning. The twelve
brothers then started homewards; the eleven eldest were proudly
jumping and prancing about on their fine horses, whereas the
youngest dragged his horse by its halter along the road : at one
time they came to a boggy place and the poor little decrepit pony
sank into it. The eleven brothers who had gone on before were
very angry about it, as they were obliged to return and drag
their brother's horse out of the mud: after a short journey the
youngest's again stuck in the mud, and his brothers had to drag
it out again, swearing at him all the time. When at last it
stuck the third time they would not listen any more to their
brother's cries for help. u Let them go," said the little pony, and
after a short time inquired if they had gone far? " They have,"
answered the lad. Again, after a short time, the pony inquired
whether he could still see them. " They look like flying crows or
black spots in the distance," replied his master. u Can you see
them now?' 5 asked the pony in a few minutes. "No," was the
reply; thereupon the pony jumped out of the mud and, taking
the lad on its back, rushed forth like lightning, leaving the others
far behind. Having arrived at home the pony became poor and
decrepit as before, and crawled on to the dung heap, eating the
straw it found there, the lad concealing himself behind the oven.
The others having arrived showed their wages and horses to
their father, and being asked about their brother they replied
that he had become an idiot, and chosen as his reward an ugly
pony, just such a one as the one on the dung heap, and that he
stuck fast in a bog, and perhaps was now dead. "It is not
true," called out the youngest from behind the oven, and
stepped forth to the astonishment of all.

Having spent a few days in enjoying themselves at their
father's house, the lads again started on a journey to find wives.
They had already journeyed over seven countries and seven
villages as well, and had not as yet been able to find twelve girls
suitable for them, till at last, as the sun was setting, they came
across an old woman with an iron nose, who was ploughing her field
with twelve mares; she asked of them what they sought, and,
having learned the object of their wanderings, she proposed
that they should look at her twelve daughters: the lads having
consented, the old woman drove her twelve mares home and took
the lads into her house and introduced them to her daughters,
who were none others than the twelve mares they saw before. In
the evening she bade each lad go to bed with one of the girls;
the eldest lad got into bed with the eldest girl and so on, her
youngest, who was the favourite daughter and had golden hair,
becoming the youngest lad's bedfellow.

This girl informed the lad that it was her mother's intention
to kill his eleven brothers; and so, in order to save them, on
their all falling asleep, the youngest lad got up and laid all his
brothers next to the wall, making all the girls lie outside, and
having done this, quietly crept back into his bed.

After a little while, the old woman with the iron nose got up
and, with a huge sword, cut off the heads of the eleven sleepers
who were lying outside, arid then she went back to bed to sleep.
Thereupon the youngest lad again got up, and, waking his
brothers, told them how he had saved them, and urged them
to flee as soon as possible. So they hurried off, their brother
remaining there till daybreak. At dawn he noticed that the old
woman was getting up, and that she was coming to examine the
beds, so he, too, got up, and sat on his pony, taking the little girl
with the golden hair with him. The old woman with the iron
nose, as soon as she found out the fraud, picked up a poker, turned
it into a horse, and flew after them; when she had nearly over-
taken them, the little pony gave the lad a currycomb, a brush,
and a piece of a horse-rug, and bade him throw first the curry-
comb behind him, and in case it did not answer, to throw the
brush, and as a last resource the piece of horse-rug; the lad
threw the currycomb, and in one moment it became a dense
forest, with as many trees as there were teeth in the comb ; by
the time that the old woman had broken her way through the
wood, the couple had travelled a long distance. When the old
woman came very near again, the lad threw the brush be-
hind him, and it at once became a dense forest, having as
many trees as there were bristles in the brush. The old woman
had the greatest difficulty in working her way through the wood ;
but again she drew close to their heels, and very nearly caught
them, when the lad threw the horse-rug away^ and it became
such a dense forest between them and the old woman, that it
looked like one immense tree; with all her perseverance, the old
woman could not penetrate this wood, so she changed into a
pigeon to enable her to fly over it; but as soon as the pony
noticed this he turned into a vulture, swooped down on the
pigeon, and tore it in pieces with his claws, thus saving both the
lad and the pretty girl with the golden hair from the fury of the
hateful old woman with the iron nose.

While the eleven elder brothers were still out looking after
wives, the youngest married the pretty little girl with the golden
hair, and they still live merrily together, out of all danger, if
they have not died since.


|HERE was once a very poor man, who went into the
wood to fell trees for his own use. The sweat ran
down his cheeks, from his hard work, when all at
once an old beggar appeared and asked for alms. The
poor man pitied him very much, and, putting his axe on the
ground, felt in his bag, and, with sincere compassion, shared his
few bits of bread with the poor old beggar. The latter, having
eaten his bread, spoke thus to the wood- cutter : " My son,
here! for your kindness accept this table-cloth, and whenever
hereafter you feel need and are hungry, say to the cloth,
' Spread thyself, little cloth,' and your table will be laid, and
covered with the best meats and drinks. I am the rewarder
of all good deeds, and I give this to you for your benevolence."
Thereupon the old man disappeared^ and the wood-cutter turned
homewards in great joy.

Having been overtaken by night on his way, he turned
into a hostelry, and informed the innkeeper, who was an old
acquaintance, of his good fortune; and, in order to give
greater weight to his word, he at once made a trial of the table-
cloth, and provided a jolly good supper for the innkeeper and his
wife, from the dainty dishes that were served up on the cloth.
After supper he laid down on the bench to sleep, and, in the mean-
time, the wicked wife of the innkeeper hemmed a similar cloth,
and by the morning exchanged it for that of the woodcutter.
He, suspecting nothing, hurried home with the exchanged
cloth, and, arriving there, told his wife what had happened; and,
to prove his words, at once gave orders to the cloth to spread
itself; but all in vain. He repeated at least a hundred times the
words " Little cloth, spread thyself," but the cloth never moved;
and the simpleton couldn't understand it. Next day he again went
to the wood, where he again shared his bread with the old beggar,
and received from him a lamb, to which he had only to say,
" Give me gold, little lamb,' 5 and the gold coins at once began
to rain. With this the woodcutter again went to the inn for
the night, and showed the present to the innkeeper, as before.
Next morning he had another lamb to take home, and was very
much surprised that it would not give the gold for which he
asked. He went to the wood again, and treated the beggar well,
Out also told him what had happened to the table-cloth and
lamb. The beggar was not at all surprised, and gave him a
club, and said to him, " If the innkeeper has changed your cloth
and lamb, you can regain them by means of this club: you
have only to say, ' Beat away, beat away, my little club,' and it
will have enough power to knock down a whole army." So the
woodcutter went to the inn a third time, and insisted upon his
cloth and lamb being returned; and, as the innkeeper would not
do so, he exclaimed, " Beat away, beat away, my little club!"
and the club began to beat the innkeeper and his wife, till the
missing property was returned.

He then went home and told his wife, with great joy, what
had happened; and, in order to give greater consequence to his
house, he invited the king to dinner next day. The king was
very much surprised, and, about noon, sent a lackey to see what
they were cooking for him; the messenger, however, returned
with the news that there was not even a fire in the kitchen. His
majesty was still more surprised when, at meal-time, he found the
table laden with the finest dishes and drinks. Upon inquiry
where all came from, the poor woodcutter told him his story,
what happened in the wood, about the lamb and cloth, but
did not mention a word about the club. The king, who was
a regular tyrant, at once claimed the cloth and the lamb ; and,
as the man would not comply, he sent a few lackeys to him, to
take them away; but they were soon knocked down by the club.
So the king sent a larger force against him; but they also
perished to a man. On hearing this the king got into a great
rage, and went in person with his whole army against him;
but on this occasion, too, the woodcutter was victorious, because
the club knocked down dead every one of the king's soldiers ;
the king himself died on the battle-field and his throne was
occupied by the once poor woodcutter. It was a real bless-
ing to his people ; because, in his magnanimity, he delighted
to assist all whom he knew to be in want or distress ; and
so he, also, lived a happy and contented man to the end of his


N the most beautiful land of Asia, where Adam and
Eve may have lived, where all animals, including
cows, live wild, where the corn grows wild, and
even bread grows on trees, there lived a pretty
girl, whose palace was built on a low hill, which looked over a
pretty, a very pretty valley, from which one could see the whole
.world. In the same country there lived a young king who de-
cided not to get married till he succeeded in finding the prettiest
woman or girl in the world. The pretty maid lived with her old
father, and with only two servant girls. The young king lived
and enjoyed himself amongst the finest young aristocrats. One
day it struck the young king that it would be a good thing to get
married; so he instructed his aristocratic friends to go all over
his vast realm, and to search about till they found the prettiest girl
in the land : they had not to trouble whether she was poor or  
rich ; but she must be the prettiest. Each of them was to remain
in the town where he found the girl that he deemed was the
prettiest and to write and let the king know, so that he might
go and have a look at all of them and choose for himself the
prettiest amongst all the beauties, the one he liked best. After a
year he received letters from every one of his seventy-seven friends,
and extraordinarily all the seventy-seven letters arrived from the
same town, where, on a low hill above a pretty little valley,
there stood a golden palace, in which there lived a young lady
with a nice old man and two maids, and from the four windows
of which palace the whole world could be seen. The young king
started with a large retinue of wedding guests to the place where
the prettiest girl in the world lived: he found there all his
seventy-seven friends, who were all fever-stricken with love, and
were lying about on the pavement of the palace, on hay which
was of a very fine silk-like grass; there they lay every one
of them. The moment the young king saw the beautiful girl
he cried: " The Lord has created you expressly for me; you are
mine and I am yours ! and it is my wish to find my rest in the
same grave with you."

The young lady also fell very much in love with the handsome
king ; in her fond passion she could not utter a word, but only
took him round his slender waist* and led him to her father.
Her old father wept tears of joy, that at last a man was found
whom his daughter could love, as she had thought every man
ugly hitherto. The ceremony of betrothal and wedding was very
short; at his pretty wife's wish, the king came to live on the
beautiful spot, than which there was not a prettier one in the
whole world ! By the side of the palace there was an earth-hut,
in which lived an old witch who knew all the young lady's secrets,
and who helped her with advice whenever she needed it. The old
witch praised the young lady's beauty to all she met, and it was she
who had gathered the seventy-seven young aristocrats into the
palace. On the evening of the wedding she called upon " the
world's beautiful lady " and praised the young king to her, his
handsomeness and riches, and after she had praised him for an hour
or two she sighed heavily: the pretty young lady asked her what
troubled her, as she had this very moment spoken of her husband
as being a handsome, rich, and worthy man ? " Because, my pretty
lady, my beautiful queen, if you two live sometime here, you will
not long be the prettiest woman in the world ; you are very pretty
now, and your husband is the handsomest of all men; but should
a daughter be born to you, she will be more beautiful than you;
she will be more beautiful than the morning star this is the
reason of my sadness, my beautiful lady." " You are quite
right, good old woman, I will follow any advice; if you tell me
what to do, I will obey you. I will do anything to remain the
most beautiful woman in the world." This was what the old
witch said to the beautiful lady: U I will give you a handful of
cotton wool ; when your husband sleeps with you, put this wool
on your lips^ but be careful not to make it wet, because there
will be poison on it. When your husband arrives at home all
in perspiration from the dance, he will come to you and kiss you,
and die a sudden death." The young lady did as the witch told
her, and the young king was found dead next morning; but the
poison was of such a nature that the physicians were not able
to find out what the king had died of.

The bride was left a widow, and again went to live with her
maid and her old father, and made a solemn vow that she would
never marry again. And she kept her word. As it happened,
however, by some inexplicable circumstance, or by some miracle,
after a few months she discovered that she was with child; so she
ran to the old witch and asked her what to do. The witch gave
her a looking-glass and the following advice : " Every morning you
have to ask this mirror whether there is a more beautiful woman
than yourself in existence, and if it says that there is not, there
really won't be one for a long time, and your mind may be at
ease; but should it say that there is one, there will be one, and
I will see to that myself." The beautiful lady snatched the
mirror from the witch in great joy, and as soon as she reached
her dressing-room she placed the little mirror on the window
ledge and queationed it thus: "Well, my dear little mirror, is
there a more beautiful woman in the world than I ? " The
mirror replied : <( Not yet, but there will be one soon, who will
be twice as handsome as you." The beautiful woman nearly
lost her wits in her sorrow, and informed the witch what the
mirror had replied. " No matter," said the old hag, " let her
be born, and we shall soon put her out of the way."

The beautiful lady was confined, and a pretty little daughter
was born, and it would have been a sin to look at her with an
evil eye. The bad woman did not even look at the pretty little
creature, but fetched her mirror and said: " Well, my dear little
mirror, is there a more beautiful creature than I?" and the
looking-glass replied : " You are very beautiful, but your little
daughter is seven times prettier than you." So as soon as she
left her bed she sent for the old witch to ask her advice,
who, when she took the babe in her arms, exclaimed that she
had never seen such a beautiful creature in all her life. While
she gazed at the beautiful child she spat in her eyes and
covered her face, telling the beautiful woman to look at the child
again in three hours, and when she uncovered it she would
be surprised to find what a monster it had become. The
beautiful lady felt very uneasy, and asked the witch whether
she was allowed to question the mirror again ? " Certainly,"
replied the witch, " for I know that at this moment you are the
most beautiful woman in existence." But the mirror replied,
il You are beautiful, but your daughter is seventy-seven times more
beautiful than you." The beautiful woman nearly died of rage,
but the old witch only smiled, being confident of her magic

The three hours passed, the little girl's face was uncovered,
and the old witch fainted away in her rage; for the little girl
had become not only seven times, but seventy-seven times more
beautiful than ever from the very same thing that usually dis-
figured other babies : when she recovered she advised the beau-
tiful lady to kill her baby, as not even the devil himself had
any power over it. The old father of the beautiful woman had
died suddenly, broken hearted by his daughter's shame ! The
beautiful woman was nearly killed by sorrow over the loss of
her father, and in order to forget her troubles, she spared her
daughter till she was thirteen : the little girl grew more beau-
tiful every day, so that the woman could not bear her daughter's
beauty any longer, and handed her to the old witch to be killed.
The witch was only too glad to avail herself of the opportunity,
and took her into a vast forest, where she tied the girl's hands
together with a wisp of straw, placed a wreath of straw on her
head, and a girdle of straw round her waist, so that by lighting
them she would burn to death the most beautiful masterpiece
of the Lord. But all of a sudden a loud shouting was heard in
the forest, and twelve robbers came running as swift as birds
towards the place where the old witch and the pretty girl were
standing. One of the robbers seized the girl, another knocked the
old witch on the head, and gave her a sound beating. The
witch shammed death, and the robbers left the wicked old
wretch behind, carrying off the pretty girl (who had fainted in
her fright) with them. After half an hour the old witch got up,
and rushed to the castle where the beautiful woman lived, and
said, " Well, my queen, don't question your mirror any more,
for you are now the most beautiful creature in the world, your
beautiful daughter lies under ground," The beautiful lady
jumped for joy, and kissed the ugly old witch.

The pretty girl upon her recovery found herself in a nice
little house, in a clean bed, and guarded by twelve men, who
praised her beauty in whispers, which was such as no human eye
had seen before. The innocent little thing, not thinking of any
harm, looked at the men with their great beards, who stared at
her with wide open eyes. She got up from her soft bed, and
thanked the good men for having delivered her from the
clutches of the awful old witch, and then inquired where she was,
and what they intended to do with her; if they meant to kill
her, she begged them do it at once, as she would die with plea-
sure, and was only afraid of being killed by that horrible old
witch, who was going to burn her to death. None of the
robbers could utter a word, their hearts were so softened by her
sweet words: such words as they had never before heard from
human lips, and her innocent look which would have tamed even
a wild bull. At last one of the robbers, who was splendidly
dressed, said: " You pretty creature of the Lord, you are in the
midst of twelve robbers, who are men of good hearts, but bad
morals ; we saved you from the hands of the ugly old witch whom
I knocked down, and killed I believe ; we would not kill you,
for the whole world; but, on the contrary, would fight the whole
world for you ! Be the ornament of our house and the feast of
our eyes! Whatsoever your eyes or your mouth may desire,
be it wherever man exists, we will bring it to you! be our
daughter, and we will be everything to you ! your fathers !
brothers ! guardians ! and, if you need it, your soldiers ! " The
little girl smiled, and was very pleased : she found more happi-
ness among the robbers than she ever did in her mother's
palace; she shook hands with all, commended herself to their
protection, and at once looked after the cooking. The chief of the
robbers called three strong maidens, dressed in white, from a
cave, and ordered them to carry out without delay the orders
of their queen, and if he heard one word of complaint against
any of them, they should die the death of a pig. The young
girl spoke kindly to the three maids, and called them her

The robbers then went out on to the highway in great joy
to continue their plundering singing and whistling with delight,
because their home and their band had the most beautiful
queen in the world. The beautiful woman, the girl's mother, one
day felt weary, and listless, because she had not heard any one
praise her beauty for a very long time. So in her ennui she took
her mirror and said to it : " My dear, sweet little mirror, is there
a more beautiful creature in all the world, than I ? " The
little mirror replied, " You are very beautiful, but your daughter
is a thousand times handsomer ! " The woman nearly had a
fit, in her rage, for she had not even suspected that her hateful
daughter was yet alive: she ran to the old witch like one out of
her mind, to tell what the mirror had said. The witch at once
disguised herself as a gipsy, and started on her journey, and
arrived at the fence of the place where the pretty girl lived ; the
garden was planted with flowers and large rose bushes; among
the flower beds she could see the pretty girl sauntering in a dress fit
for a queen. The old witch's heart nearly broke when she saw the
young girl, for never, not even in her imagination, had she ever
seen any one so beautiful. She stole into the garden among the
flower beds, and on approaching saw that the young girl's
fingers were covered with the most precious diamond rings: she
kissed the girl's beautiful hand, and begged to be allowed to put
on a ring more precious than any she had; the girl consented,
and even thanked her for it. When she entered the house, she
all at once dropped down as if dead ; the witch rushed home,
and brought the good news to the beautiful queen, who at once
questioned the mirror, whether there was yet any one who was
prettier than she, and the mirror replied, that there was not.

The pretty woman was delighted, and nearly went mad with
joy on hearing that she was once more the most beautiful
creature in existence, and gave the witch a handful of gold.

At noon the robbers dropped in one after another from
their plundering, and were thunderstruck when they saw that
the glory of their house and the jewel of their band lay dead.
They bewailed her with loud cries of grief, and commanded
the maidens with threats to tell them who had done it, but
they were even more stunned with grief, and bewailed the good
lady, and could not utter a single word, till one of them said
that she saw the pretty girl talking with a gipsy woman for a
while, and that the moment the woman left she suddenly
dropped down dead. After much weeping and wailing the
robbers made preparations for the laying out of their adored
queen ; they took off her shoes in order to put more beautiful
ones upon her pretty feet: they then took the rings off her
fingers in order to clean them, and as at the very last one of
the robbers pulled off the most precious ring from her little
finger, the young girl sat up and smiled, and informed them
that she had slept very well, and had had most beautiful
dreams ; and also that if they had not taken off that very
ring (which the gipsy woman had put on that day) from her
little finger she would never have waked again. The robbers
smashed the murderous ring to atoms with their hatchet-sticks,
and begged their dear queen not to speak to anyone, except them-
selves, as all others were wicked, and envious of her on account
of her beauty, while they adored her. Having partaken of a
good supper, the robbers again went out to their plunder sing-
ing, and quite at rest in their minds, and for a couple of weeks
nothing happened to the young lady; but after a fortnight her
mother again felt ennui and questioned her mirror: " Is there
any one living being on this earth more beautiful than I ? "
The mirror replied: " You are very beautiful, but your
daughter is one thousand times more beautiful." The beau-
tiful lady began to tear her hair in rage, and went to com-
plain to the witch that her daughter was alive still, so the
witch again went off and found the young lady, as before,
among the flower-beds. The witch disguised herself as a
Jewess this time, and began to praise the gold and diamond pins
with which the young lady's shawl was fastened, which she
admired very much, and begged the young lady's leave to allow
her to stick another pin amongst those which she had already in
her bosom, as a keepsake. Among all the pins the prettiest one
was the one which the witch disguised as a Jewess stuck in the
young lady's bosom. The young lady thanked her for it, and
went indoors to look after the cooking, but as soon as she arrived
in the house she gave a fearful scream and dropped down dead.

The joy of her mother was great when the witch arrived home
in great delight and the mirror again proved that the girl was
dead. The robbers were full of joy, in anticipation of the
pleasure of seeing again their pretty young girl, whose beauty
was apparently increasing daily; but when they heard the cries
of sorrow of the three servant maids and saw the beautiful corpse
stretched out on the bier, they lost all their cheerfulness and
began to weep also. Three of the robbers carried in all the
necessaries for the funeral, while the others undressed and washed
the corpse, and as they were drawing out from her shawl the
numerous pins, they found one amongst them which sparkled
most brilliantly, whereupon two of them snatched it away, each
being anxious to replace it in the girl's bosom when redressing
her for burial, when suddenly the virgin queen sat up and
informed them that her death was caused by a Jewess this time.
The robbers buried the pin five fathoms deep in the ground, so
that no evil spirit might get it. There is no more restless being
in the world than a woman ; it is a misfortune if she is pretty,
and the same if she is not : if she be pretty she likes to be con-
tinually told of it, if she be not she would like to be. The evil
one again tempted the beautiful lady, and she again questioned
her mirror whether any living being was prettier than she: the
mirror replied that her daughter was prettier.

Upon this she called the old witch all kinds of bad names
in her rage, and threatened her that if she did not kill her
daughter outright she would betray her to the world, and accuse
her of having led her to all her evil deeds ; that it was she who
induced her to kill her handsome husband, and that she had
given her the mysterious mirror, which was the cause of her
not being able to die in peace. The old hag made no reply, but
went off in a boisterous manner : she transformed herself into a
pretty girl and went straight into the house in which the young
lady was dressing herself and falsely told her that she had been
engaged by the robbers to wait always upon her while she
dressed, because she had already been killed twice, once by a
gipsy woman, and another time by a Jewess; and also that
the robbers had ordered her not to do anything else but to help
her in her toilet. The innocent girl believed all that the she-
devil said. She allowed her to undo her hair and to comb it.
The witch did her hair in accordance with the latest fashion,
and plaited it and fastened it with all sorts of hair pins ; while
doing so she hid a hair-pin which she had brought with her
among the girl's hair, so that it could not be noticed by anyone ;
having finished, the new lady's maid asked permission to leave
her mistress for a moment, but never returned, and her young
lady died, while all wept and sobbed most bitterly. The men
and the maids had again to attend with tears to their painful duty
of laying her out for her funeral ; they took away all her rings,
breast-pins, and hair-pins; they even opened every one of the
folds of her dress, but still they did not succeed in bringing the
young girl to life again. Her mother was really delighted this
time, because she kept on questioning the mirror for three or
or four days, and it always replied to her heart's content. The
robbers wailed and cried, and did not even enjoy their food; one
of them proposed that they should not bury the girl, but that
they should come to pray by the side of their dear dead;
others again thought that it would be a pity to confide the
pretty body to the earth, where it would be destroyed ; others
spoke of the terrible pang, and said that their hearts would break
if they had to look at her dead beauty for any length of time.
So they ordered a splendid coffin to bo made of wrought gold.

They wrapped her in purple and fine linen ; they caught an elk
and placed the coffin between its antlers, so that the precious
body might not decompose underground : the elk quietly carried
the precious coffin about, and took the utmost care to prevent it
falling from its antlers or its back. This elk happened to graze
in Persia just as the son of the Persian king was out hunting all
alone. The prince was twenty-three years old ; he noticed the
elk and also the splendid coffin between its antlers, whereupon
he took a pound of sugar from his bag and gave it to the elk to
eat. Taking the coffin from its back the Persian king's son
opened the gold coffin with fear and trembling, when, unfolding
the fine linen, he discovered a corpse, the like of which he had
never seen before, not even in his dreams.

He began to shake it to wake her: to kiss her, and at last
went down upon his knees by her side to pray to God fervently
to restore her to life, but still she didn't move. a I will take her
with me into my room," he said, sobbing. " Although it is a
corpse that must have been dead for some time, there is no
smell. The girl is prettier in her death than all the girls of Persia
alive/' It was late at night when the prince got home, carrying
the golden coffin under his cloak. He bewailed the dead girl
for a long time and then went to supper. The king looked
anxiously into his son's eyes, but did not dare to question him as
to the cause of his grief. Every night the prince locked himself
up, and did not go to sleep until he had, for a long time,
bemoaned his dead sweetheart; and whenever he awoke in the
night he wept again.

The prince had three sisters, and they were very good girls,
and very fond of their brother. They watched him every
night through the keyhole, but could see nothing. They heard,
however, their brother's sobbing and were very much grieved
by it. The Persian king had war declared against him by the
king of the neighbouring country. The king, being very ad-
vanced in age, asked his son to go in his place to fight the
enemy. The good son promised this willingly, although he
was tortured by the thought of being obliged to leave his beauti-
ful dead girl behind. As, however, he was aware that he
would again be able to see and weep over his dear one when
once the war was over, he locked himself in his room for two
hours, weeping all the time, and kissing his sweetheart. Having
finished, he locked his room and put the key in his sabre-
tache. The good-hearted princesses impatiently waited till their
brother crossed the border with his army, and so soon as they
knew that he had left the country they went to the locksmith of
the castle and took away every key he had, and with these tried
to unlock their brother's room, till at last one of the keys did fit.
They ordered every servant away from the floor on which the
room was situated and all three entered. They looked all round,
and in all the cupboards, and even took the bed to pieces, and
as they were taking out the planks of the bed they suddenly
discovered the glittering gold coffin, and in all haste placed it
on the table, and having opened it found the sleeping angel.
All three kissed her ; but when they saw that they were unable
to restore life, they wept most bitterly. They rubbed her and
held balsam under her nose, but without avail. Then they
examined her dress, which was very far superior to their own.
They moved her rings and breast-pins, and dressed her up like a
pretty doll. The youngest princess brought combs and perfumed
hair-oils in order to do the hair of the dear dead. They pulled
out the hair-pins and arranged them in nice order, so as to be able
to replace them as before. They parted her golden hair, and
began to comb it, adorning each lock with a hair-pin. As they
were combing the hair at the nape of the neck the comb stuck
fast, so they looked at once for the cause of it, when they saw
that a golden hair-pin was entangled in the hair, which the
eldest princess moved with the greatest care. Whereupon the
beautiful girl opened her eyes and her lips formed themselves
into a smile; and, as if awakening from a long, long dream,
she slightly stretched herself, and stepped from the coffin. The
girls were not afraid at all, as she, who was so beautiful in her
death, was still more beautiful in life. The youngest girl ran
to the old king and told him what they had done, and that they
had found out the cause of their brother's grief, and how happy
they were now. The old king wept for joy and hastened after
his daughter, and on seeing the beautiful child exclaimed: " You
shall be my son's wife, the mother of my grandchildren !" And
thereupon he embraced and kissed her, and took her into his
room with his daughters. He sent for singing birds so that they
might amuse his dear little new daughter. The old king inquired
how she made his son's acquaintance and where she first met
him. But the pretty princess knew nothing about it, but simply
told him what she knew, namely, that she had two enemies who
sooner or later would kill and destroy her ; and she also told him
that she had been living among robbers,, to whom she had been
handed over by an old witch who would always persecute her till
the last moment of her life. The old king encouraged her, and
bade her not to fear anyone, but to rest in peace, as neither her
mother nor the old witch could get at her, the Persian wise men
being quite able to distinguish evil souls from good ones. The
girl settled down and partook of meat and drink with the king's
daughters, and also inquired after the young prince, asking
whether he was handsome or ugly; although, she said, it did not
matter to her whether he was handsome or ugly; if he was
willing to have her, she would marry him. The princesses
brought down the painted portrait of the prince and the young
girl fell so deeply in love with it that she continually carried it
with her kissing it. One morning the news spread over all the
country that the young king had conquered his enemy and was
hurrying home to his residential city. The news turned out to
be true, and clouds of dust could be seen in the distance as the
horsemen approached. The princesses requested their pretty new
sister to go with them into the room which adjoined their
brother's, where her coffin was kept under the bed.

The moment the prince arrived, he jumped off his horse, and,
not even taking time to greet his father, he unlocked his room
and began to sob most violently, dragging out the coffin
gently from under the bed, placing it on the bed with great
care, and then opening the lid with tears ; but he could only find
a hair-pin. He rushed out of the room like a madman, leaving
the coffin and the door open, crying aloud, and demanding what
sacrilegious hand had robbed his angel from him. But his
angel, over whom he had shed so many tears, stood smiling
before him. The youth seized her and covered her with as many
kisses as there was room for. He took his betrothed, whom Pro-
vidence had given to him, to his father and told him how he
had found the pretty corpse on the back of an elk; and the girl
also told the whole story of her life ; and the princesses confessed
how they had broken into their brother's room, and how they
restored his sweetheart to life again. The old king was intoxi-
cated with joy, and the same day sent for a priest, and a great
wedding feast was celebrated. The young folks whom Provi-
dence had brought together lived very happily, when one day
the young queen, who was as beautiful as a fairy, informed her
husband that she was being persecuted, and that while her
mother lived she could never have any peace. u Don't fear,
angel of my heart," said the young king, " as no human or
diabolic power can harm you while you are here. Providence
is very kind to us. You seem to be a favourite and will be pro-
tected from all evil." The young queen was of a pious turn of
mind and believed the true words of her husband, as he had only
spoken out her own thoughts. About half a year had passed by
and the beautiful woman of the world was still happy. Her mirror
was covered with dust, as she never dreamt for a moment that
her daughter was yet alive; but being one day desirous to repeat
her former amusement she dusted her mirror, and, pressing it to
her bosom, said : " Is there a prettier living creature in the world
than myself?" The mirror replied: " You are very pretty, but
your daughter is seventy-seven thousand times more beautiful
than you." The beautiful woman, on hearing the mirror's reply,
fainted away, and they had to sprinkle cold water over her for
two hours before she came round. Off she set, very ill, to the old
witch and begged her, by everything that was holy, to save her
from that hateful girl, else she would have to go and commit
suicide. The old witch cheered her, and promised that she
would do all that lay in her power.

After eight months had elapsed the young prince had to go to
war again; and, with a heavy heart, took leave of his dear
pretty wife, as if one is obliged to tell it she was enceinte.
But the prince had to go, and he went, consoling his wife, who
wept bitterly, that he would return soon. The young king left
orders that as soon as his wife was confined a confidential
messenger was to be sent without delay to inform him of the
event. Soon after his departure two beautiful boys with golden
hair were born and there was great joy in the royal household.
The old king danced about, like a young child, with delight.
The princesses wrapped the babies in purple and silk, and showed
them to everybody as miracles of beauty.

The old king wrote down the joyful news and sent the letter
by a faithful soldier, instructing him that he was not to put up
anywhere under any pretence whatever. The old soldier staked
his moustache not to call anywhere till he reached the young

While angels were rejoicing, devils were racking their brains
and planning mischief!

The old witch hid a flask full of spirits under her apron and
hurried off on the same road as the soldier, in order to meet
him with his letter. She pitched a small tent on the road-side
using some dirty sheets she had brought with her, and, placing
her flask of spirits in front of her, waited for the passers-by.
She waited long, but no one came ; when all of a sudden a huge
cloud gathered in the sky, and the old witch was delighted. A
fearful storm set in. As the rain poured down, the old witch
saw the soldier running to escape the rain. As he ran past her
tent, the wicked old soul shouted to him to come in and sit down
in her tent till the rain was over. The soldier, being afraid of
the thunder, accepted her invitation, and sat musingly in the
tent, when the old woman placed a good dose of spirits in front
of him, which the soldier drank; she gave him another drop, and
he drank that too. Now there was a sleeping-draft in it, and so
the soldier fell fast asleep, and slept like a fur cloak. The old
woman then looked in his bag for the letter, and, imitating the
old king's hand- writing to great perfection, informed the young
prince that a great sorrow had fallen upon his house, inasmuch
as his wife had been delivered of two puppies. She sealed the
letter and woke the soldier, who began to run again and did not
stop until he reached the camp. The young prince was very
much upset by his father's letter, but wrote in reply that no
matter what sort of children his wife had borne they were not to
touch but to treat them as his own children until he returned. He
ordered the messenger to hurry back with his reply, and not to
stop anywhere; but the old soldier could not forget the good
glass of spirits he had, and so went into the tent again and had
some more. The witch again mixed it with a sleeping-draught
and searched the bag while the soldier slept. She stole the
letter, and, imitating the young prince's hand- writing, wrote back
to the old king that he was to have his wife and the young
babes killed, because he held a woman who had puppies must be
a bad person. The old king was very much surprised at his
son's reply but said nothing to anyone. At night he secretly
called the old soldier to him and had his daughter-in-law placed
in a black carriage. The old soldier sat on the box and had
orders to take the woman and her two children into the middle
you of the forest and brain them there. The carriage stopped in the
middle of the forest, the old soldier got down and opened the
door, weeping bitterly. He pulled out a big stick from under
his seat and requested the young queen to alight. She obeyed
his orders and descended holding her babes in her arms.

The old soldier tried three times to raise the stick, but could
not do so; he was too much overcome by grief. The young
queen implored him not to kill her, and told him she was willing
to go away and never see anyone again. The old soldier let her
go, and she took her two babes and sheltered in a hollow tree in
the forest: there she passed her time living on roots and wild

The soldier returned home, and was questioned by the old
king as to whether he had killed the young queen, as he didn't
like to disappoint his son, who was to return from the camp
next day. The old soldier declared on his oath that he had
killed her and her babes too, and that he had thrown their
bodies into the water. The young king arrived at home in
great sorrow, and was afraid to catch sight of his unfortunate
wife and her ugly babes.

The old king had left his son's letter upon his desk by mis-
take; the prince picked it up, and was enraged at its contents:
" This looks very like my writing," he said, u but I did not
write it ; it must be the work of some devil." He then pro-
duced his father's letter from his pocket, and handed it to him.
The old king was horrified at the awful lie which some devil had
written in his hand. " No, my dear son," said the old father,
weeping, " this is not what I wrote to you ; what I really did
write was, that two sons with golden hair had been born to
you." u And I," replied the young king, " said that whatsoever
my wife's offspring was, no harm was to happen to them till I
returned. Where is my wife? Where are my golden-haired
children?" " My son,' 5 said the old king, "I have carried out
your orders ; I sent them to the wood and had them killed, and
the corporal belonging to the royal household had their bodies
cast into the water." The old soldier listened, through a crack
in the door, to the conversation of the two kings, who both
wept bitterly. He entered the room without being summoned,
and said: "I could not carry out your orders, my lord and king;
I had not the heart to destroy the most beautiful creature in the
world; so I let her go free in the forest, and she left, weeping.
If they have not been devoured by wild beasts, they are alive
still." The young king never touched a bit of supper, but had
his horse saddled at once, and ordered his whole body-guard out.
For three days and three nights they searched the wood in every
direction, without intermission: on the fourth night, at midnight,
the young king thought he heard, issuing from a hollow tree, a
a baby's cry, which seemed as harmonious to him as the song of
a nightingale. He sprang off his horse, and found his beautiful
wife, who was more beautiful than ever, and his children, who
were joyfully prattling in their mother's arms. He took his
recovered family home, amidst the joyous strains of the band,
and, indeed, a high festival was celebrated throughout the whole

The young woman again expressed her fears with trembling,
that, while her mother and that she-devil were alive, she could
not live in peace.

The young king issued a warrant for the capture of the old
witch; and the old soldier came, leading behind him, tied to a long
rope, an awful creature, whose body was covered all over with
frightful prickles, and who had an immense horn in the middle
of her forehead. The young queen at once recognised her as
the old witch, who had been captured in the act of searching the
wood in order to find her, and slay her and her two babes. The
young queen had the old witch led into a secret room, where
she questioned her as to why she had persecuted her all her
life. u Because," said the old witch, (t I am the daughter of
your grandfather, and the sister of your mother ! When I was
yet but a suckling babe, your grandmother gave orders that
I was to be thrown into the water; a devil coming along the
road took me and educated me. I humoured your mother's folly
because I thought she would go mad in her sorrow that a
prettier creature than herself existed; but the Lord has preserved
you, and your mother did not go mad till I covered her with
small-pox, and her face became all pitted and scarred. Her
mirror was always mocking her, and she became a wandering
lunatic, roaming about over the face of the land, and the
children pelting her with stones. She continually bewails you."

The young queen informed her husband of all this, and he
had the old witch strangled, strung up in a tree, and a fire made
of brimstone lighted under her. When her soul (para-animal
soul) left her wicked body, a horse was tied to each of her hands
and feet, and her body torn into four, one quarter of her body
being sent to each of the points of the compass, so that the other
witches might receive a warning as to their fate.

The "most beautiful woman in the world" was now very ugly,
and happened by chance to reach the palace where the pretty
queen lived. Her daughter wept over her, and had her kept in
a beautiful room, every day showing her through a glass door
her beautiful children^ The poor lunatic wept and tortured her-
self till one day she jumped out of the window and broke her
neck. The young king loved his beautiful wife as a dove does
its mate; he obeyed her slightest wish, and guarded her from
every danger.

The two little sons with the golden hair became powerful and
valiant heroes, and when the old king died he was carried to his
vault by his two golden -haired grandchildren.

The young couple, who had gone through so many sad trials,
are alive still, if they have not died since.


|HERE was once, I don't know where, a king whose
only son was an exceedingly handsome and brave
fellow, who went far into the neighbouring country
to fight. The old king used to send letters to his son
into the camp, through an old faithful servant. Once it
happened that the letter-carrying old servant took a night's
lodging in a lonely house, which was inhabited by a middle-
aged woman and her daughter, who was very pretty. The
people of the house had supper prepared for the messenger,
and during the meal the woman questioned him whether he
thought her or her daughter to be the prettier, but the mes-
senger did not like to state the exact truth, as he did not wish
to appear ungrateful for their hospitality, and only said, " Well,
we can't deny but must confess it that we old people cannot be
so handsome as the young ones." The woman made no reply;
but as soon as the messenger had left she gave her servant
orders to take her daughter into the wood and kill her, and to
bring her liver, lungs, and two hands back with him. The man-
servant took the pretty girl with him, and, having gone a good
distance, he stopped, and told the girl of her mother's commands.
" But," continued he, "I haven't got the heart to kill you, as
you have always been very kind to me ; there is a small dog
which has followed us, and I will take his liver and lungs back
to your mother, but I shall be compelled to cut off your hands,
as I can't go back without them." The servant did as he
proposed ; he took out the small jiog's lungs and liver, and cut
off the girl's hands, much as it was against his wish. He care-
fully covered the stumps of her arms with a cloth, and sent the
girl away and went back to his mistress. The woman took the
lungs and liver, put them into her mouth, and said, " You have
come out of me, you must return into me," and swallowed them.
The two hands she threw up into the loft. The servant left the
woman's house in a great hurry at the earliest opportunity, and
never returned again. In the meantime the girl without hands
wandered about in unknown places. Fearing that she would be
discovered in the daytime, she hid herself in the wood, and only
left her hiding place at night to find food, and if she chanced to
get into an orchard she ate the fruit she could reach with her

At last she came to the town where the king lived : the
prince had by this time returned from the war. One morning,
the king was looking out of his window, and to his great an-
noyance discovered, that, again, there were less pears on a favourite
tree in the orchard than he had counted the previous day. In a
great rage he sent for the gardener, whose special business it was
to take care of the orchard; but he excused himself on the
ground that while he was watching the orchard at night an
irresistible desire to sleep came over him, the like of which he
had never experienced before, and which he was quite unable to
shake off. The king, therefore, ordered another man to keep
watch under the tree the next night, but he fared in the same
way as the first ; the king was still more angry. On the third
night, the prince himself volunteered to keep watch, and pro-
mised to guard the fruit of the favourite tree ; he laid down on the
lawn under the tree, and did not shut his eyes. About midnight,
the girl without hands came forth from a thicket in the garden,
and, seeing the prince, said to him, " One of your eyes is asleep,
the other one must go to sleep too, at once." No sooner
had she uttered these words than the prince fell fast asleep, and
the girl without hands walked under the tree, and picked the
fruit with her mouth. But as there were only a few more pears
left on the boughs which she could get at, she was obliged, in
order to satisfy her hunger, to step on a little mound, and stand
on tiptoe that she might reach the fruit; whilst standing in this
position she slipped, and, having no hands to hold on with, she
fell on the sleeping prince.

The shock awoke the prince at once, and, grasping the girl
firmly with his arms, he kept her fast. Next morning the king
looking out of his window discovered to his astonishment that no
pears were missing, and therefore sent a messenger into the
garden to his son to inquire what had happened? As soon as
dawn began to break, the prince saw the girPs beautiful face;
the king's messenger had by this time reached the prince, who
in reply to his query, said: " Tell my father that I have caught
the thief, and I will take care not to let her escape. If my
father, the king, will not give me permission to marry her, I
will never enter his house again ; tell him also, that the girl has
no hands." The king did not oppose his son's desire, and the
girl without hands became the prince's wife, and they lived
happily together for a time. It happened, however, that war
broke out again with the sovereign of the neighbouring country,
and the prince was once more obliged to go with his army.
While he was away the princess was confined, and bore two
children with golden hair. The old king was highly delighted,
and at once wrote to his son informing him of the happy event.
The letter was again entrusted to the same man, who took the
messages during the first war : he on his way remembered the
house where he was so well received on a previous occasion, and
arranged that he should spend the night there. This time he
found the old woman only. He got into conversation with her,
and she asked him where he was going, and what news he had
from the royal town : the messenger told her how the prince had
found a beautiful girl without hands, whom he had married, and
who had had two beautiful children. The woman at once guessed
that it was her own daughter, and that she had been deceived by
her servant; she gave her guegt plenty to eat and drink, till he
was quite drunk and went to sleep. Whereupon the woman
searched the messenger's bag, found the king's letter, opened it
and read it. The gist of the letter was this, ;< My dear son, you
have brought to my house a dear and beautiful wife, who has
borne you a beautiful golden-haired child."

The woman instantly wrote another letter, which ran thus:
' You have brought to my house a prostitute, who has brought
shame upon you, for she has been confined of two puppies."
She folded the letter, sealed it as the first had been, and put it
into the messenger's bag. Next morning the messenger left,
having first been invited to spend the night at her house on his
return, as the wicked mother was anxious to know what the
prince's answer would be to the forged letter. The messenger
reached the prince, handed him the letter, which gave him
inexpressible grief; but as he was very fond of his wife he only
replied, that, whatever the state of affairs might be, no harm
was to happen to his wife until his return. The messenger
took the letter back and again called upon the old woman, who
was not chary to make him drunk again and to read the reply
clandestinely. She was angry at the prince's answer, and wrote
another letter in his name, in which she said, that if matters
were as they had been represented to him in the letter, his wife
must get out of the house without delay, so that he might not
see her upon his return.

The messenger, not suspecting anything, handed the letter to
the king, who was very much upset, and read it to his daughter-
in-law. The old king pitied his pretty and good natured
daughter deeply, but what could he do? They saddled a quiet
horse, put the two golden-haired princes in a basket and tied it
in front of the princess; and thus the poor woman was sent away
amidst great lamentations.

She had been travelling without ceasing for three days, till on
the third day she came into a country where she found a lake
full of magic water, which had the power of reviving and making
good the maimed limbs of any crippled man or beast who bathed
in it. So the woman without hands took a bath in the lake,
and both her hands were restored. She washed her children's
clothes in the same lake, and again continued her journey. Not
long after this the war with the neighbouring king was over,
and the prince returned home. On hearing what had happened
to his wife he fell into a state of deep grief, and became so ill
that his death was expected daily. After a long illness, however,
his health began to improve, but only very slowly, and years
elapsed before his illness and his great grief had so far been
conquered that he had strength or inclination to go out. At
last he tried hunting, and spent whole days in the forest. One
day as he was thus engaged he followed a stag, and got deeper
and deeper into the thick part of the wood ; in the meantime the
sun had set and darkness set in. The prince, having gone too far,
could not find his way back. But as good luck would have it he
saw a small cottage, and started in its direction to find a night's
lodging. He entered, and found a woman with two children
his wife and two sons. The woman at once recognised the prince,
who, however, did not even suspect her to be his wife, because
her hands were grown again : but, at the same time, the great
likeness struck him very much, and at first sight he felt a great
liking for the woman. On the next day he again went out
hunting with his only faithful servant, and purposely allowed
darkness to set in so that he might sleep at the cottage. The
prince felt very tired and laid down to sleep, while his wife sat
at the table sewing, and the two little children played by her

It happened that in his sleep the prince dropped his arm out
of bed; one of the children noticing this called his mother's
attention to it, whereupon the woman said to her son, " Place it
back, my son, place it back, it's the hand of your royal father."
The child approached the sleeping prince and gently lifted his
arm back again. After a short time the prince dropped his leg
from the bed while asleep ; the child again told his mother of it,
and she said, " Place it back, my son, put it back, it's your
father's leg." The boy did as he was told, but the prince knew
nothing of it. It happened, however, that the prince's faithful
servant was awake and heard every word the woman said to the
child, and told the story to his master the next day. The prince
was astonished, and no longer doubted that the woman was his
wife, no matter how she had recovered her hands. So the next
day he again went out hunting, and, according to arrangement,
stayed late in the wood and had to return to the cottage again.
The prince, having gone to bed, feigned sleep, and dropped
his arm over the bed; his wife, seeing this, again said, "Put
it back, my son, put it back, it's your royal father's arm."
Afterwards he dropped his other arm, and then his two legs
purposely; and the woman in each case bade her son put
them back, in the same words. At last he let his head hang
over the bedside, and his wife said to her son, " Lift it back,
my son, lift it back; it's your royal father's head." But the
little fellow, getting tired of all this, replied, " I shan't do it;
you better do it yourself this time, mother.' 5 " Lift it back, my
son," again said the mother-, coaxingly; but the boy would
not obey, whereupon the woman herself went to the bed, in
order to lift the prince's head. But no sooner had she touched
him than her husband caught hold of her with both his hands,
and embraced her. " Why did you leave me?" said he, in a
reproachful tone. " How could I help leaving you," answered
his wife, u when you ordered me out of your house? 5 ' U I
wrote in the letter," said the prince, " this and this;" and told
her what he had really written ; and his wife explained to him
what had been read to her from the letter that had been changed.
The fraud was thus discovered, and the prince was glad beyond
everything that he had found his wife and her two beautiful

He at once had all three taken back to the palace, where a 
second wedding was celebrated, and a great festival held.
Guests were invited from the 77th country, and came to
the feast. Through the letter-carrying messenger it became
known that the cause of all the mischief was no one else than
the princess's envious mother. But the prince forgave her all at
the urgent request of his wife ; and the young couple lived for a
great many years in matrimonial bliss, their family increasing
greatly. At the old king's death the whole realm fell to the
happy couple, who are still alive, if they have not died since.


|N the country where lions and bearded wolves live
there was a king whose favourite sport was hunting
and shooting; he had some hundred hounds or more,
quite a house full of guns, and a great many hunts-
men. The king had a steady hand, a sharp eye, and the quarry
he aimed at never escaped, for the king never missed what he
aimed at; his only peculiarity was that he did not care to go
out shooting with his own people only, but he would have liked
the whole world to witness his skill in killing game, and that
every good man in the world should partake of it. Well then,
whenever he made a good bag the cook and the cellarer had so
much work to do that they were not done till dawn. Such was
the king who reigned in the land where lions and bearded
wolves live.

Once upon a time this king, according to custom, invited the
sovereigns of the neighbouring lands to a great shooting party,
and also their chief men. It was in the height of summer, just
at the beginning of the dog-days. In the early morning, when
they were driving out on to the pasture the sheep with the
silken fleece, the dogs conld already be heard yelping, huntsmen
blowing with all their might into the thin end of their horns,
and alb was noise and bustle, so that the royal courtyard rang out
with the noise. Then the king swallowed his breakfast in a
soldierlike fashion, and all put on their hunting hats adorned with
eagle's feathers, buckled the shining straps under their chins,
mounted their horses, and in a short time were off over hedges
and ditches, plunging into the vast forest, as the heat was too
great for them to hunt in the open country. Each king accom-
panied by his own men went in his own direction, and game was
killed with lightning speed ; but the king who owned the forest
went by himself in order to show his friends how much game he
could kill single handed. But by some strange chance who
can tell how? no game crossed the king's track. He went
hither and thither but found nothing; looking round he dis-
covered that he had got into a part of the wood where not even
his grandfather had ever been ; he went forward but still was
lost ; sideways, but still did not know the way ; to the right, and
found that he was in the same predicament as the man in Telek,
namely, that unless he was taken home he would never find it.
He called upon God for help, but as he never did that before
for the king didn't like to go to church and never invited the
priest, except upon All Souls' Day, to dinner the Lord would
not help him ; so he called upon the Devil, who appeared at
once, as he will appear anywhere, even where he is not wanted.
"You need not tell me what you are doing here, good king,"
said the evil spirit, " I know that you have been out shooting
and have found no game and that you have lost your way.
Promise me that you will give me what you have not got in
your house and you shall find plenty of game and I will take
you home/' "You ask very little, poor soul/' said the king,
"Your request shall be granted; moreover, I will give you some-
thing of what I have, whatever you may wish, if you will but
take me home."

Shortly afterwards the king arrived at home, and had so much
game with him that his horse could scarcely stand beneath the
weight; the other kings were quite impatient with waiting for
him, and were highly delighted when he arrived. At last they
sat down to supper and ate and drank heartily, but the devil ate
nothing but the scrapings from the pots and pans, and drank no
wine but the dregs that were left in the bottles. At midnight an
old woman appeared before the company of jolly kings and shouted
as loud as she could in delight because a beautiful little daughter
had been born to the king. The devil jumped up and capered
about in his joy; standing on his toes and clapping his bony heels
together, he spun the king round like a whirlwind and shouted in
his ear, " That girl, king, was not in your house to-day and I
will come for her in ten years." The devil hereupon saddled
midnight and darted off like lightning, while the guests stared
at each other in amazement, and the king's face turned ghastly

Next morning they counted the heads of game and found that
the king had twice as much as all the rest put together : yet he
was very sad; he made presents to all his guests, and gave them
an escort of soldiers as far as the boundary of his realm.

Ten years passed as swiftly as the bird flies and the devil
appeared punctually to the minute. The king tried to put him
off, and walked up and down his room greatly agitated ; he
thought first of one thing and then of another. At last he had
the swineherd's daughter dressed up like a princess, and placed
her on his wife's arm, and then took her to the devil, both
parents weeping most bitterly, and then handed the child over to
the black soul. The devil carried, her away in high glee, but
when the pretty little creature was passing a herd of swine she
said, " Well, little sucking pigs, my father won't beat me any
more on your account, for I'm leaving you and going to the
77th country, where the angels live. 5 ' The devil listened to the
little girl's words and at last discovered that he had been
deceived; in a rage he flew back to the royal fortress, and dashed
the poor child with such force against the gate-post that her
smallest bone was smashed into a thousand atoms. He roared at
the king in such a voice that all the window fittings dropped out
and the plaster fell off the walls in great lumps. " Give me your
own daughter," he screamed, " for whatever you promise to the
devil you must give to him or else he will carry off what you
have not promised." The king again tried to collect his wits and
had the shepherd's daughter who tended the sheep with the
golden fleece, and who was ten years old, dressed in the royal
fashion and handed her to the devil amidst great lamentation.
He even placed at the devil's disposal a closed carriage, " so that
the sun might not tan his daughter's face or the wind blow upon
her," as he said, but it was really to prevent the little girl seeing
what was passing and so betraying herself. As the carriage
passed by the silken meadow and the little girl heard the baaing
of the lambs she opened the door and called to the little animals,
saying, " Well, little baa-lambs, my father won't beat me any
more on your account, and I won't run after you in the heat
now, because the king is sending me to the 77th country, where
the angels live." The devil was now in a towering passion, and
the flame shot out of his nostrils as thick as my arm ; he
threw the little girl up into the clouds and returned to the royal

The king saw the carriage returning and trembled like an
aspen leaf. He dressed up his daughter, weeping bitterly as he
did so, and when the devil stepped across the threshold of the
palace he went to meet him with the beautiful child, the like of
which no other mother ever bore. The devil, in a great rage,
pushed the pretty lily into a slit of his shirt, and ran with her
over hill and dale. Like a thunderstorm he carried off the little
trembling Maria into his dark home, which was lighted up with
burning sulphur, and placed her on a pillow stuffed with owl's
feathers. He then set a black table before her, and on it mixed
two bushels of millet seed with three bushels of ashes, saying,
14 Now, you little wretch, if you don't clean this millet in two
hours, I will kill you with the most horrible tortures." With
this he left her, and slammed the door that it shock the whole
house. Little innocent Maria wept bitterly, for she knew she
could not possibly finish the work in the stated time. While
she wept in her loneliness, the devil's son very quietly entered
the room. He was a fine handsome lad, and they called him
Johnnie, Johnnie's heart was full of pity at seeing the little
girl's sorrow, and cheered her up, telling her that if she ceased
crying he would do the work for her at once. He felt in his
pocket, and took out a whistle; and, going into a side-room,
he blew it, and in a moment the whole place was filled with
devils, whom Johnnie commanded to clean the millet in the
twinkling of an eye. By the time little Maria winked three
times, the millet was not only cleansed, but every seed was
polished and glittered like diamonds. Until the father's return
Maria and Johnnie amused themselves in childish games. The
old devil upon his return, seeing all the work done, shook his
head so vehemently that burning cinders dropped from his
hair. He gave the little girl some manna to eat and lay down
to sleep.

Next day the ugly old devil mixed twice as much millet and
ashes, as he was very anxious to avenge himself on the child
whose father had taken him in twice ; but, by the help of Johnnie's
servants, the millet was again cleaned. The devil in his rage
gnawed off the end of his beard and spat it out on the ground,
where every hair became a venomous serpent. The little girl
screamed, and at the sound of her voice all the serpents stretched
themselves on the ground, and wriggled about before the little
girl like young eels, for they were charmed, never having heard
so sweet a voice before. The devil was very much enraged that
all the animals and the devils themselves, with the exception of
himself, were so fond of this pretty little girl. " Well, soul of
a dog, you little imp," said the devil, gnashing his teeth, " if by
to-morrow morning you do not build from nothing, under my
window, a church, the ceiling of which will be the sky, and the
priest in it the Lord Himself, whom your father does not fear,
I will slay you with tortures the like of which are not known
even in nethermost hell."

Little Maria was terribly frightened. The old devil, having
given his orders, disappeared amidst thunder. The kind-hearted
Johnnie here appeared, blew his whistle, and the devils came.
They listened to the orders, but replied, that no devil could
build a church out of nothing, and that, moreover, they dare
not go up to heaven and had no power over the Lord to make
him become a priest ; that the only advice they could give was,
for Johnnie and the little girl to set off at once, before it was
too late, and so escape the tortures threatened by the old devil.
They listened to the advice of the devils, and Johnnie buried his
whistle in a place where his father would not be able to find it,
and send the devils after them. They hurried off towards Maria's
father's land; when, all of a sudden, Maria felt her left cheek
burning very much, and complained of it to Johnnie, who, look-
ing back, found that his mother was galloping after them on
the stick of a whitewashing brush. Johnnie at once saw their
position, and told Maria to turn herself into a millet field, and
he would be the man whose duty it was to scare away the
birds. Maria did so at once, and Johnnie kept the spar-
rows off with a rattle. The old woman soon came up, and
asked whether he had not seen a boy and girl running past,
a few minutes before. " Well, yes," replied he, " there are
a great many sparrows about, my good lady, and I can't guard
my millet crop from them. Hush ! Hush ! " "I didn't ask
you," replied she, " whether you had any sparrows on your
millet field or not; but whether you saw a boy and girl
running past." " I've already broken the wings of two cock
sparrows, and hanged them to frighten away the rest," replied
the artful boy.

" The fellow's deaf, and crazy too," said the devil's wife, and
hurried back to the infernal regions. The boy and girl at once
retransformed themselves, and hurried on, when Maria's left
cheek began to burn again, more painfully this time than before;
and not without reason, for when Johnnie looked back this time,
he saw his father, who had saddled the south wind, tearing
after them, and great, awe-inspiring, rainbearing clouds follow-
ing in his track. Maria at once turned into a tumble-down
church, and Johnnie into an aged monk, holding an old clasp-
bible in his hand.

" I say, old fool, have you not seen a young fellow and a little
wench run past? If you have, say so; if you have not, may you
be struck dumb ! " yelled the old devil to the monk with the
Bible. " Come in," said the pious monk, " come in, into the
house of the Lord. If you are a good soul pray to Him and
He will help you on your journey, and you will find what you
are so anxiously looking for. Put your alms into this bag, for
our Lord is pleased with the offerings of the pure in heart."
" Perish you, your church, and your book, you old fool. I'm
not going to waste any money in such tomfoolery. Answer my
question! Have you seen a boy and girl go past?" again in-
quired the devil, in a fearful rage. " Come back to your Lord,
you old cursed soul," replied the holy father, " its never too late
to mend, but it's a sin to put off amending your ways. Offer your
alms, and you will find what you seek !" The devil grew purple
with rage ; and, lifting up his huge mace, he struck like light-
ning at the monk's head, but the weapon slipped aside and hit
the devil on the shin such a blow that made him and all his
family limp ; they would limp to this very day, if they had not
perished since! Jumping on the wind with his lame leg,
the devil rode back home. The young couple by this time had
nearly reached the land where Maria's father reigned ; when, all
of a sudden, both the girl's cheeks began to burn as they had
never burnt before. Johnnie looked back and saw that both his
father and his mother were riding after them on two dragons,
who flew faster than even the whirlwind. Maria at once became
a silver lake and Johnnie a silver duck. As soon as the two
devils arrived they at once scented out that the lake was the girl
and the duck the boy; because wherever there are two devils
together nothing can be concealed. The woman began to scoop
up the water of the lake, and the male devil to throw stones at
the duck ; but each scoop of water taken out of the lake only
caused the water to rise higher and higher; and every stone
missed the duck, as he dived to the bottom of the lake and so
dodged them. The devil became quite exhausted with throwing
stones, and beckoned to his wife to wade with him into the lake,
and so catch the duck, as it would be a great pity for their son
to be restored to earth. The devils swam in, but the water of
the lake rose over their heads so quickly that they were both
drowned before they could swim out, and that's the reason why
there are no devils now left. The boy and the girl, after all their
trials, at last reached the palace of Maria's parents. The girl
told them what had happened to her since the devil carried her
off, and praised Johnnie very highly, telling them how he had
guarded her. She also warned her father, that he who does not
love God must perish, and is not worthy of happiness. The king
listened to his daughter's advice, and sent for a priest to the next
village, and first of all married Maria to the son of the devil,
and the young couple lived very happily ever after. The king
gave up hunting, and sent messages to the neighbouring kings,
that he was a happy father; and the poor found protection and
justice in his land. The king and his wife both died at the
same time, and, after that, Johnnie and his wife became rulers of
the land inhabited by lions and bearded wolves.


|N the shores of the Blue Sea there was a land in
which dragons grew. This land had a king whose
court was draped in black, and whose eye never
ceased to weep, because every Friday he had to
send ninety-nine men to the dragons, who were the pest of
the place, and who slew and devoured the ninety-nine human
beings sent to them. The king had three sons, each of whom
was handsomer and more clever than the other. The king
was very fond of his sons, and guarded them most carefully.
The eldest was called Andrew, the next Emerich, and the
youngest Ambrose. There were no other lads left in the land,
for the dragons fed on lads' flesh only. One day Andrew and
Emerich went to their father and begged him to allow them to
go and fight the dragons, as they were sure they could conquer
them, and that the dragons would not want any more human
flesh after they had been there. But the father would not even
listen to his sons' request. As for Ambrose, he did not even
dare so much as to submit such a request to his father. Andrew
and Emerich, at length, by dint of much talking, prevailed upon
their father to allow them to go and fight the dragons. Now,
there were only three dragons left in the land : one had seven
heads, another eight, and the third nine; and these three had
devoured all the other dragons, when they found that there were
no more lads to be had. Andrew and Emerich joyfully galloped
off towards the copper, silver, and golden bridges in the neigh-
bourhood of which the dragons lived, and Ambrose was left alone
to console his royal father, who bewailed his other sons.
Ambrose's godmother was a fairy, and as it is the custom
for godmothers to give presents to their godchildren, Ambrose
received a present from his fairy godmother, which consisted of a
black egg with five corners, which she placed under Ambrose's
left armpit. Ambrose carried his egg about with him under his
left armpit for seven winters and seven summers, and on Ash
Wednesday, in the eighth year, a horse with five legs and three
heads jumped out of the egg; this horse was a Tatos and could

At the time when the brothers went out to fight the dragons,
Ambrose was thirteen years and thirteen days old, and his horse
was exactly five years old. The two elder brothers had been
gone some time, when he went into the stable to his little horse,
and, laying his head upon its neck, began to weep bitterly. The
little horse neighed loudly and said, " Why are you crying, my
dear master ? " " Because," replied Ambrose, " I dare not ask
my father to let me go away, although I should like to do so
very much." u Go to your royal father, my dear master, for he
has a very bad attack of toothache just now, and tell him that
the king of herbs sends word to him through the Tatos-horse
with three heads, that his toothache will not cease until he gives
you permission to go and fight the dragons ; and you can also
tell him that if you go, there will be no more dragons left on this
earth ; but if you do not go his two elder boys will perish in the
stomachs of the dragons. Teli him, also, that I have assured
you that you will be able to make the dragons vomit out, at
once, all the lads whomsoever they have swallowed ; and that
his land will become so powerful when the lads, who have grown
strong in the stomachs of the dragons, return^ that, while the
world lasts, no nation will ever be able to vanquish him." Thus
spoke the Tatos colt, and neighed so loudly that the whole
world rang with the sound. The little boy told his father what
the Tdtos colt had told him ; but the king objected for a long
time, and no wonder, as he was afraid lest evil might happen to


his only son: but at last his sufferings got the better of him, and,
after objecting for three hours, he promised his son that if the
Tatos were able to carry out its promise he would give him
permission to go and fight the dragons.

As soon as he had uttered these words his toothache left him.
The little lad ran off and told the message to his little horse,
which capered and neighed with delight. "I heard you when
you were bargaining," said the horse to its little master, who in
his delight didn't know what to do with himself, " and I should
have heard you even if you had been a hundred miles away.
Don't fear anything, my little master ; our ride, it is true, will
be a long one, but in the end it will turn out a lucky one. Go,
my great-great-grandmother's great-great-grandmother's saddle
is there on that crooked willow; put it on me, it will fit me
exactly ! "

The prince ran, in fact he rushed like a madman, fetched the
ragged old saddle, put it on his horse, and tied it to a gate-
post. Before leaving his father's home, the little horse asked
its little master to plug up one of its nostrils; the prince did
so, and the little horse blew upon him with the other nostril
which he had left open, when, oh, horror! the little boy became
mangy like a diseased sucking pig. The little horse, however,
turned into a horse with golden hair, and glistened like a mirror.
When the little boy caught sight of his ugly face amidst the hair
of his shining horse, he became very sad. " Plug up my other
nostril, too ! " said the horse with the golden hair. At first the
little master would not do it, until the horse neighed very loudly
and bade him do it at once, as it was very unwise to delay obey-
ing the commands of a Tatos. So what could the poor lad do but
plug up the other nostril of the horse. The horse then opened
wide its mouth, and breathed upon the lad, who at once became
a most handsome prince, worthy to be a fairy king. " Now sit
on my back, my little master, my great king, we are worthy of
each other; and there is no thing in the world that we cannot
overcome. Kejoice ! You will conquer the dragons, and restore
the young men to your father's realm ; only do as I bid you, and
listen to no one else."

In an hour's time they arrived on the shore of the Red Sea,
which flows into the Blue Sea. There they found an inn, and
close to the inn, within earshot, stood the copper bridge, on the
other side of which the dragon with seven heads roamed about.
Andrew and Emerich were already at the inn, and as they were
very tired, they sat down and began to eat and drink : when the
new guest arrived the knives and forks dropped from the two
princes' hands ; but when they learned that he, too, had come to
fight the dragons they made friends with him. They could not,
however, recognise him for all the world. Night set in, and An-
drew and Emerich had eaten and drunk too much, and became
decidedly drunk, and so slept very deeply. Ambrose ate little,
drank nothing, and slept lightly. At dawn the Tatos-horse pulled
his master's hair, in order to wake him ; because it knew that the
dragon had least strength at dawn, and that the sun increased
his strength. Ambrose at once jumped on horseback and arrived
at the copper bridge : the dragon heard the clattering of the horse's
hoofs, and at once flew to meet him. " Pooh ! " cried the dragon
and snorted, " I smell a strange smell ! Ambrose, is it you ? I
know you; may you perish, you and your horse! Come on!"
They fought for one hour and three quarters. Ambrose, with
two strokes, slashed six of the dragon's heads off, but could not,
for a long time succeed in cutting off the seventh, for in it lay
the dragon's magic power. But, at last, the seventh head came
off too.

The dragon had seven horses, these Ambrose fastened together,
and took them to the inn, where he tied them by the side of
Emerich's horse. Andrew and Emerich did not awake till nine
o'clock, when Emerich asked Andrew if he had killed the dragon,
and Andrew asked Emerick if he had done so ; at last Ambrose
told them that he had killed the dragon with seven heads and
taken away his seven horses, which he gave to Emerich, who
thanked him for them. The three then continued their journey
together as far as the silver bridge : here again they found an
inn, which stood close to the bridge. Emerich and Andrew ate
and drank and went to sleep as before ; the Tatos horse, as soon
as day began to break, awoke his master, who cheerfully jumped
up, dressed neatly, and left the princes asleep. The Tatos
scented the dragon quite ten miles off, and growled like a dog,
and the dragon in his rage began to throw his sparks at them
when four German miles off ; they rushed upon each other and
met with a tremendous clash on the bridge ; it was a very diffi-
cult task for Ambrose to conquer this huge monster, but at last,
through the skilful mano3uvring of his horse, he deprived the
dragon of all his eight heads: the eight horses belonging to the
dragon he tied to a post near the head of the eldest prince,
Andrew. Andrew and Emerich did not awake till noon, and
were astonished at the sight of the splendid horses, questioning
each other as to who could have brought them there at such an
early hour, and then came to the conclusion that the prince must
have killed the dragon, and that these horses had belonged to
the monster, for no such horses ever neighed under a man
before. Ambrose again confessed that he had killed the dragon,
and brought away his horses for them. He also urged his two
companions to hurry on to kill the third dragon, or they would
be too late. They all got on horseback, but in their joy two of
them had had to eat and drink, till they had more than enough,
but Ambrose, according to his custom, took but little; the two
elder brothers again went to sleep and slept like tops ; but again
the little Tatos pulled Ambrose's hair, so soon as the morning
star began to glimmer.

Ambrose got up at once, and dressed even more quickly than
before; for the journey he took a small flask of wine, which he
secured upon his saddle The horse warned its master to ap-
proach the dragon with great caution, because it was a very
excitable one, and if he got frightened the least it would be very
difficult to conquer the monster. Soon the monster with nine
heads arrived, thumped once on the golden bridge, so that it
trembled under the thump ; Ambrose dashed at the dragon
and fought with it, but they could not conquer each other,
although they fought fiercely and long. At the last hug,
especially, Ambrose grew so weak that, if he had not taken a
long draught from his flask he would have been done for on
the spot; the draught, however, renewed his strength, and they
dashed at each other again, but still neither could conquer the

So the dragon asked Ambrose to change himself into a steel
hoop and he, the dragon, would become a flint hoop, and that
they should both climb to the top of yon rock, which was so
high that the sun was only a good span above it; and that they
should roll down together, and if, while running, the flint hoop
left the rut, and, striking the steel hoop, drew sparks therefrom,
that Ambrose's head should fall off; but if on the other hand,
the steel hoop left the rut and struck the flint hoop so as to
draw sparks, then all the dragon's heads should fall off. But
they were both wise and stuck to their own ruts, rolling down
in a straight course till they reached the foot of the mountain
without touching each other, and lay down when they got to the
bottom. As they could not manage in this way, the dragon pro-
posed : u I will become a red flame and you will become a white
one, and which ever flame reaches highest he shall be victor."
Ambrose agreed to this also ; while they were contending, they
both noticed an old crow, which croaked at them from a hollow
tree; the dragon was an old acquaintance of the aged crow,
and requested it to bring in its beak as much water as would
extinguish the white flame, and promised that if he won, he
would give his foe's flesh to the crow, every bit of it.

Ambrose asked for a single drop of water, and promised the
crow all the flesh of the big-bodied dragon. The crow helped
Ambrose : it soaked its crop full of water and spat it over the
red flame; thus Ambrose conquered his last foe. He got on his
horse, tied together the nine horses of the dragon with nine
heads and took them to his brothers, who were still snoring
loudly, although the sun had reached its zenith and was hot
enough to make a roast. At last the two lazy people got up,
and Ambrose divided the nine horses between them and took
leave of them, saying, " Go in peace, I myself am obliged to run
wherever my eyes can see." The two good-for-nothing brothers
were secretly delighted, and galloped off homewards. Ambrose
turned himself into a small rabbit, and as it ran over hill and
dale it ran into a small hut where the three wives of the three
dragons were seated. The wife of the dragon with seven heads
took it into her lap and stroked it for a long time, and thus
addressed it: " I don't know whether Ambrose has killed my
husband; if he has, there will be a plague in the world, because I
will turn into a great pear tree, and the odour of its fruit will be
smelt seven miles off, and will be sweet to the taste but deadly
poison. The tree which thus grows from me will not dry up
till Ambrose plunge his sword into its root, then both it and
myself will die." Then the wife of the dragon with eight heads
also took the little rabbit in her lap, and spoke thus: "If
Ambrose has killed my husband there will be a plague in the
world, I can tell you ! because in my sorrow I will change into a
spring ; there will be eight streams flowing out of this spring,
each one of which will run eight miles, where it again will sub-
divide into eight more branches. And whoever drinks of the
water will die ; but if Ambrose wash his sword in my blood
which is the water of the spring all the water will at once dry
up and I shall die." Then the wife of the dragon with nine
heads spoke to the rabbit, saying, " If Ambrose has killed my
husband, in my sorrow I will change into a huge bramble, and
will stretch all over the world, all along the highroads. And
whoever trips over me, will die; but if Ambrose cut my stalk in
two anywhere the bramble will dry up everywhere and I shall

Having listened to all this, the little rabbit scampered off out of
the hut; but an old woman with an iron nose, the mother of the
three dragons, chased him, and chased him over hill and dale: he
ran, and rushed about, till at length he overtook his brothers;
jumping on his little horse's back, he continued his journey at
his leisure. As they travelled on, his eldest brother longed for
some good fruit; just then they saw a fine pear tree, whereupon
Ambrose jumped from his horse, and plunged his sword into
the roots of the tree, and drew blood, and a moaning voice was
heard. They travelled on for a few miles, when Emerich all of a
sudden became very thirsty: he discovered a spring, and jumped
off his horse in order to drink, but Ambrose was first to arrive at
the water; when, plunging his sword into it, it became blood, and
fearful screams were heard, and in one moment the whole of the
water dried up. From this point Ambrose galloped on in front
till he left his brothers two miles behind, because he knew that
the bramble was stretching far along the country road; he cut it
in two, blood oozed out, and the bramble at once dried up.
Having thus cleared away all dangers from his brothers' way, he
blest them and separated from them.

The brothers went home, but the old woman with the iron
nose persecuted Ambrose more than ever, being in a great rage
at his having killed her sons and her daughters-in-law. Ambrose
ran as hard as he could, for he had left his horse with his
brothers; but when he was quite exhausted and had lost all
confidence in himself, he ran into a smithy, and promised the
smith that he would serve him for two years for nothing if he
would hide him safely and well. The bargain was soon struck,
and no sooner had the smith hidden him than the old woman
appeared on the spot and inquired after a youth : she described
his figure, the shape of his eyes and mouth, height, colour of his
moustache and hair, dress, and general appearance. But the smith
was not such a fool as to betray the lad who had engaged to work
at his anvil for him for two years for nothing. So the old witch
with the iron nose got to know nothing and left the place growl-
ing. One day Ambrose was perspiring heavily by the side of the
anvil ; so at eventide he went for a short walk in the road in order
to get a mouthful of fresh air. When he had nearly reached the
edge of the wood, which was only at a dog's trot from the smithy,
he met a very old woman with wizened face, whose carriage was
drawn by two small cats: the old woman began to ogle little
Ambrose, making sheep's eyes at him, like fast young women do.
" May hell swallow you, you old hag," said Ambrose to her
angrily, "I see you have still such foolish ideas in your head,
although you have grown so old ! " Having said this he gave
the carriage in which the witch sat, a kick, but poor Ambrose's
right foot stuck fast to the axle, and the two cats scampered off
over hill and dale with him until he suddenly discovered that he
was trotting in hell, and saw old Pilate staring at him. The old
witch with the iron nose because it was she who had the carriage
and pair of cats fell over head and ears in love with the young
lad, and at once asked him to marry her.

Ambrose shuddered when he heard this repulsive, unnatural
request. " Very well," said the woman with the iron nose, " as
you don't intend to marry me, into jail you go ! twelve hundred-
weight of iron on your feet !" Nine black servants seized hold
of poor Ambrose, at once, and took him nine miles down into
the bowels of the earth, and fastened a piece of iron weighing
twelve hundred-weight on his feet and secured it with a lock.
The poor lad wept and groaned, but no one had admission to
where he was, with the exception of the old witch and one of
her maids. The maid of the witch with the iron nose was not
quite such an ugly fright as her wizened old mistress, in fact she
was such a pretty girl that one would have to search far for a
prettier lass. She commenced to visit Ambrose in his prison
rather often, sometimes even when the old witch did not dream of
it to tell the truth, she fell head over ears in love with the lad,
nor did Ambrose dislike the pretty girl; on the contrary, he pro-
mised to marry her if she were able to effect his escape from his deep
prison. The girl did not require any further coaxing, but com-
menced plotting at once, At last she hit upon a scheme, and
thus spoke to her darling Ambrose: " You cannot get out of
this place, unless you marry the old woman with the iron nose.
She having once become your wife will reveal to you all her
secrets; she will also tell you how she manages to keep alive so
long, and by what ways and means she may be got rid of."
Ambrose followed her instructions and was married to the old
witch by a clergyman there are clergy even in hell, as many as
you want. The first night Ambrose, after having for a long time
been kissing and making love to the old iron nose, asked her :
" What keeps you alive for so long, and when do you think you
will die? I don't ask these questions, my dearest love," he
added, flatteringly, " as if I wished for your death, but because
I should like to use those means myself which prolong your life
and keep away everything from me which would shorten life,
and thus preserve me, living long and happily with you." The
old woman at first was half inclined to believe his words, but
while meditating over what she had just heard, she suddenly
kicked out in bed, and Ambrose Hew three miles into hell in
his fright.

But the result of all the questioning and flattering in the end
was that the old woman confessed. She confided to him that
she kept a wild boar in the silken meadow, and if it were killed,
they would find a hare inside, inside the hare a pigeon, inside
the pigeon a small box, inside the little box one black and one
shining beetle : the shining beetle held her life, the black one her
power ; if those two beetles died then her life would come to an
end, too. As soon as the old woman went out for a drive
which she had to do every day Ambrose killed the wild boar,
took out the hare, from the hare the pigeon, from the pigeon the 
box, and from the box the two beetles : he killed the black one
at once, but kept the shining one alive. The old witch's power
left her immediately. When she returned home her bed had
to be made for her. Ambrose sat by her bedside and looked
very sad, and asked her with tears if she, who was the other half
of his soul, died what would become of him, who was a man
from earth and a good soul, who had no business there. " In
case I die, my dear husband," said the doomed woman, in a
mild voice, "open with the key which I keep in my bosom yon
black closet in the wall. But you can't remove the key from
my bosom until I am dead. In the closet you will find a small
golden rod ; with this rod you must strike the side of the castle
in which we are, arid it will become a golden apple. You, then,
can get into the upper world by harnessing my two cats in my
carriage, and by whipping them with the golden rod. Here-
upon Ambrose killed the shining beetle too, and her para (animal
soul) left the old witch at once.

He then struck the castle side with the golden rod, and it
turned into an apple; having harnessed the two cats and patted
them with the golden rod, he bade the maid sit by him, and in
a wink they reached the upper world. The maid had been kid-
napped by the old witch with the iron nose from the king of the
country in the upper world, in whose land the mouth of hell was
situated. Ambrose placed the golden apple in the prettiest part
of the country and tapped its side with the rod and it became a
beautiful castle of gold, in which he married his sweetheart and
lived with her happily. Some time after he returned to his
father's land, where an immense number of strong soldiers had
grown up since Ambrose had killed the dragons. The old king
distributed his realm among his three sons, giving the most beau-
tiful empires to Ambrose, who took his father to him and kept
him in great honour. His wife bore pretty children who rude
out every day on the Tatos.


DON'T know in what country, in which county, in
which district, in which village, in which street,
in which corner, there lived a poor widower, and
not far from him a rich widow. The widower
had a beautiful daughter. The widow had two who were not
very pretty, and were rather advanced in years. The widower
married the widow and they combined the two households and
lived together. The husband was as fond of his wife's daughters
as of his own ; but the woman liked her own daughters better
than her husband's child, and the two older girls loved their
parents truly but disliked their pretty sister very much. The
poor man was very sad at this, but could not help it.

Once upon a time there was a fair held in the town, which
was not far from the village, and the husband had to go to the
fair. The two elder girls and their loving mother asked for no
end of pretty dresses they wished their father to bring them from
the fair: but the pretty girl of the poor man did not dare to
open her mouth to ask for anything. " Well, my daughter,
what shall I bring for you?" asked the poor man, in a sad voice;
" why don't you speak ? You shall have something, too." <; Don't
bring me anything," replied the pretty little girl, "but three wal-
nuts, and I shall be satisfied; a little girl does not want any pretty
dresses as yet." The poor man went to the fair and brought home
many showy dresses, red shoes, and bracelets. The two girls rum-
maged among the heaps of pretty things; they threw about the
coloured ribbons, golden rings, and artificial flowers ; they tried
on their heads the various Turkish shawls, and tried the effect of
paints on their faces; they skipped about and sang in their joy ;
they cheerfully embraced their mother and highly praised their
father's choice. At last, having got tired of looking at the things,
everyone put away her share into her closet. The pretty little girl
placed the three walnuts in her bosom and felt very sad. The two
elder girls could hardly wait for Sunday. They dressed up most
showily ; they painted their faces, and as soon as the bells began to
ring ran to church and stuck themselves in the front pew. Before
leaving home, however, they gave the pretty little girl some very
dirty wheat and ordered her to clean it about half a bushel full
by the time they came back from church. The little girl
began to sort the wheat weeping, and her tears mingled with the
wheat; but her complaining was heard in Heaven and the Lord
sent her a flock of white pigeons who in a minute picked out the
dirt and the tares from among the wheat, and in another minute
flew back to where they had come from. The little girl gave
thanks to Providence and cried no more. She fetched her three
walnuts in order to eat them, but as she opened the first one a
beautiful copper dress fell out of it; from the second a silver
one; and from the third a glittering gold one. She was highly
delighted, and at once locked the two walnuts in which the gold
and silver dresses were, safely in a cupboard. She put on the
copper dress, hurried off to church, and sat down in the last pew
all among the old women : and lo ! the whole congregation stood
up to admire her, so that the clergyman was obliged to stop in
his sermon : the two old maids looked back quite surprised and
found that the new comer's dress was ever so much prettier than
their own.

It happened that the king's son was also present in whose
country the village was and in which village the poor man and
his new wife lived. The beautiful girl dressed in the glittering
copper dress was at once noticed by the king's son who was at
that time looking for a wife all over the country. As soon as the
pretty little girl noticed that the sermon was coming to an end
she left her seat and ran home in order to get undressed before
her step-mother and her two sisters got home. The king sent
a flunkey after her and gave him orders to note the door where
the pretty girl entered ; but the swift girl ran much quicker
than the king's servant, and he lost her. She undressed in a
great hurry, and by the time that her two sisters got home in
company with their young men she had her copper dress put
away in the walnut and locked it in a cupboard and donned her
ordinary every-day dress, which was very clean, and was found
in the act of fanning the fire under a pot full of cabbage, and
making herself busy about the kitchen in general. " Poor
orphan, you have not seen any thing," exclaimed the two eldest
sisters, who were in high spirits. " The king's son was at chuch,
he sat just opposite, for a while he kept his eyes fixed on us as if
enchanted. You did not see that, did you ? At the beginning
of the sermon, however, such a beautiful girl, dressed in such a
gorgeous dress, came in the like of which no human eye has ever
seen before." " I did see that pretty girl as she turned the
corner of the street." " From where did you see her?" at once
asked the envious sisters. " I got on the ladder and went up to
the chimney and saw her from there." " Indeed, then you spent
your time gaping about. You will catch it when father comes
home and finds the wheat unpicked." And they rushed to the
place where the wheat was kept, but lo ! the wheat was as clean
as washed gold, and the tares and the dirt had been removed
from the house.

In the afternoon the ladder was taken away from the front of
the house, so that the orphan girl should not be able to get on it
any more. In the afternoon the church bells were again heard
ringing. The two elder girls dressed up even more showily
than before and went to church. The prince also put in his
appearance. The little orphan girl had twice as much wheat
meted out to her, and they threatened that if it was not cleaned
by the time they came home they would maltreat her. The little
girl set to work in great sorrow, but white pigeons came, twice as
many as in the morning. The wheat got cleaned like gold in
one minute. The little girl at once opened the second walnut,
and the silver dress, shining like moonbeams, unfolded itself.
She went to church and sat in the same seat where she sat in
the morning. The prince took out his eyeglass and eyed the
pretty girl in the silver dress. He nearly devoured her with his
eyes. The girl did not stay long in her place, and at a moment
when nobody was looking she stole out of the church and ran
home. The king's flunkey again was unable to find out her abode.
When the two sisters came home the little girl was filling the
cleaned wheat into bags ready to be carried up into the loft.
" Don't carry it up yet wait a moment," said the two sisters
to her. " You have never seen and will never behold in all your
life what we saw to-day. The fairy girl of this morning came
this afternoon to church dressed in pure silver; she gleamed like
moonlight." " I've seen her," said the orphan girl, with a
meek smile; " I got on the hoarding and stood on the top rail
and saw her as she slipped out of church." " And how about
the wheat ; let's have a look at it. We suppose you spent all
your time gaping again. Father will give it to you," said the
two wicked girls. But the wheat was all clean, and would have
been so if it had been as much more. They drove a lot of
sharp nails into the top of the hoarding, in order to prevent the
orphan girl getting on to it.

The two elder girls anxiously waited for the coming Sunday,
as they were eager to show off some of their new dresses they
had never had on before. Sunday at last arrived, and the two
elder girls dressed up ever so much more gorgeously than before.
They put on their rings; tied on many coloured bows; put on
red shoes; and rouged their faces. They went off in great hurry
as soon as the bells began. The prince again was present, and
some of his friends with him. The two elder girls tried their
best to look charming : they screwed up their mouths to make
them look small; they piously bent their heads on one side, and
kept on adjusting their ribbons and bows. Whenever the prince,
or any of his friends looked at them they coyly cast down their
eyes and played with their nosegays. The little girl was again
left at home; they gave her three times as much dirty wheat to
pick as on the first occasion, and threatened her that if by the
time they came home she did not get it picked her father would
give her a sound thrashing. The pigeons again came to assist
the pretty child, there were three times as many as at first,
and her wheat was again picked in a minute. The little girl
opened the third nut, and, dressed in the golden dress, went to
church, and sat down in her usual place. The congregation was
more astounded than ever ; the women and girls jumped up from
,heir seats. They did not listen to the sermon, but kept staring
at the fairy little girl, and whispered to each other. The prince
was determined that the girl must become his wife, whatever

appened; but the fairy-like girl again slipped away, and the
king's servant followed her, until he saw her run into a house,
whereupon he marked it by sticking a gold rose into the gate-
t. The little girl did not notice this. The elder girls came
nning home. " If you lived for another thousand years you

ould not see such a beauty as we saw to-day. We saw a pretty

creature dressed in pure gold ; we don't think there is another in

the whole world like her." " I saw her," said the little girl,

laughing ; " I climbed on the mulberry tree and followed her

ith my eyes from the street corner all the way to church."

And how about the wheat ; is it picked ?" "The Lord has

elped me," said the good little child, " as He always will help

rphans." The mulberry tree was cut down the very same after-

In the afternoon the girls did not bring home any more news

i'om church ; they did not inquire any more whether the wheat
been cleaned, because they noticed that their step-father was
very angry with them for their having shown so much envy
against their sister. The poor father led his little girl to the cot-
tage of a widow who lived at the end of the village, and who
herself had no children. There she was kept for several weeks
on rather scanty food. The prince had not come to church for
several Sundays; but, after the lapse of three months, three
weeks, and three days, at three in the afternoon, three quarters,
and three minutes, he came on foot into the village, where he
had seen the pretty girl. He had only his servant with him.
They examined every gate-post, and at last found the golden
rose which the servant had stuck there. They entered the cot-
tage, wherein they found an old woman seated reading her
prayers. " Is there a girl in this cot ?" inquired the prince.
" Yes, your highness," replied the old woman, u there are two,
and either of them is well worthy of a prince's love." " Call
them, my old mother, call them both ; my heart will then recog-
nise its choice."

" Here they are my lord and prince,' 5 said the mother with a
joyful face, having in about half an hour got her two daughters
dressed up as well as she could. fi The choice of my heart is not
among them;" said the prince, sadly, " have you no more daugh-
ters, good woman ? call also the third if you value my happi-
ness." " The Lord has not given me any more, these two are
quite enough, you cannot find any prettier or better in the whole
village." " Haven't you got a husband and hasn't he got a
daughter? " asked the prince, in great sorrow. " My husband is
dead," said the old hag, " it is three years since he was put into
his grave." " Let us go on then, my lord and prince," said the
servant, " and we shall find her if it please the Lord." As they
passed through the gate the servant took the golden rose from
the crack in the gate-post and threw it to the winds. The
golden rose thereupon quietly floated in the air above the heads
of the prince and his servant. The fortune-seekers followed the
rose, mumbling prayers, till at the end of the village it dropped
on the ground in front of the gate of the last cot. " Let's go in
here, my lord and prince, as our prayer has brought us here."
" If the Lord call us, let us enter, my faithful servant," replied the
prince. A cock crowed just as they stepped across the threshold,
and a very poor old woman greeted the guests. u Have you a
daughter, my old mother? 5 ' inquired the prince graciously.
" No, my lord ; I never had one," said the old woman sadly.
" If not, don't you keep an orphan? The Lord will preserve the
good mother who takes care of the orphan, as well as the orphan."
" Yes, my lord, but she has no dress fit to appear in, and she is
not a bit worthy of your looking at her; she is naughty and does
not like work, and for this reason her step-mother has cast her
off. Her father supplies in secret her daily food." " The Lord
will provide for him who is in need," said the prince. " Call
her; never mind how ugly she is, or how badly she is clad. I
like to make orphans happy." After much pressing the wretch
of an old woman at last produced the little girl, who looked very
poor, but was very cleanly dressed; her face was as soft as dew
The prince recognised at the first glance the beautiful figure and
the charming features.

" I'm not sorry for the trouble I have taken," said the prince,
and embraced the pretty girl. He gave rich presents to the
poor woman, and took his long-sought-for sweetheart with him.
On his way home the servant reminded his master that it would
not be the proper thing to bring the prince's bride home in such
a sorry plight. The prince found his servant's remark correct.
They had only to walk about three miles to reach the frontier of
land where the prince's father reigned. They came to a round
lake where they halted, and on its bank stood a large weeping
willow, so they made the girl sit among the branches and
advised her not to leave her place until they returned with the
golden dresses and the royal carriage. Thereupon they left.
The little girl had hidden the three walnuts in her bosom and
in order to surprise her bridegroom she put on her golden
dress and thus dressed awaited his return. No sooner had she
finished her toilet than a whole troop of gipsy women arrived
under the tree on which she sat in her golden dress. The gipsy
women at once questioned her, why she sat there ? whom she
expected? and where she was going! She, in her innocence,
was not afraid of them, and told them of her descent, narrated
them her past vicissitudes, her present good fortune, and also
confided to them that she was preparing a joke for her royal
bridegroom, and showed her walnuts and her glittering dresses
in them. The prettiest of the gipsy women climbed on the tree
and commenced to flatter her. She asked her to be allowed to
see her walnuts, and in one moment, when the girl was off her
guard, pushed her from the tree down into the lake. To the
great amazement of the gipsies the girl transformed herself into
a gold duck, and flew to the centre of the lake, and, alighting
on the water, began to swim. Thereupon the gipsy women
began to throw stones at her, which, however, she evaded by
diving under water. The women at last got tired of throwing
stones, and left the gold duck in the lake, and the gipsy woman
among the branches of the weeping willow. The prince arrived
at sunset at the tree where he had left his pretty fiancde. When
lo ! he discovered the woman in the golden dress. He admired
her golden raiment, and begged her to tell him where she had
got her golden dress. The gipsy told him what the girl had
related to her, and asked him his forgiveness for not having
mentioned it when she first saw him at the widow's cot, and
made the prince believe that she had kept silence about it solely
because she wished to find out whether he loved her in her poor
dress. The prince believed every word the gipsy said, and
begged her to come down and sit in his carriage, and to drive
home with him to his royal father's palace. As the prince
assisted the gipsy woman down from the willow, the tanned face
of his fiancde looked to him as something most extraordinary.
"You were not so sunburnt, my dear, when I left you; what
made your skin get so discoloured." " My tender skin got dis-
coloured from the broiling rays of the sun," replied the wicked
soul; " let me get into the shade arid in a few days I shall
become pale again." The prince believed it and bade her sit in
his carriage. "I can't leave here until you shoot that gold duck,
I should like to have a bit of it at my wedding feast," said the
false one. The bridegroom and his servants tried for a long time
to hit the golden bird, they wasted a vast amount of powder and
shot; but still the golden duck was unhurt because it always
dived under the water.

The dusky woman looked very much disheartened when she
took her seat in the prince's coach, but he soon revived her
spirits by sweet and kind words, and in a short time they
arrived at home. The old king did not at all like the looks of
his future daughter-in-law, but on his son assuring him that in a
few days she would regain her fairy-like beauty his mind was
set at ease. They lived together for several months and the
young wife was still sunburnt, and so the prince gradually got
cool towards her. The gipsy woman noticed this, and in order
to revive the spirits of her royal husband she announced it all
over the town and in the adjacent villages that there would be
a great feather-picking, held henceforth three times a week in
the royal palace, and everybody rich and poor was invited, the
queen being glad to see anyone. The golden duck had flown
after the coach when the queen was driven home, and, having
regained her girl-form, entered service not far from the royal
mansion and worked diligently. She too went to the first
feather-picking meeting, and, not saying a word to anyone, sat
at the end of the table and made herself busy. " Well, my
dear queen and wife," said the prince, " tell the good work-
people here the pretty story which happened to you when your
envious sisters would not let you go to church. Tell them
also who helped you to clean the wheat." The gipsy did not
know anything about these events ; but still commenced to
chatter away whatever came into her head first. She told them,
among other things, that she had crept through the keyhole in
the gate, and collected all the girls in the neighbourhood, with
whose help she finished her wheat-cleaning. " That wasn't so,
most gracious queen," said a girl, with a pretty voice, who was
very shabbily dressed but looked very clean; " it was from the
chimney stack, and from the top of the hoarding, and from
among the branches of the mulberry tree, from where the orphan
girl did her peeping. But the poor orphan girl only told an
innocent fib. It was the same girl with whom the prince fell in
love, whom her half-sisters had cast off', for whom the prince
searched with his servant, whom he seated in the willow tree,
and whom you pushed into the lake, whom your husband tried
to shoot. That orphan girl is nobody else but myself." The
prince at once recognised his sweetheart. His wife thereupon
fainted away. She soon recovered however.

The king made an example of the gipsy woman for her
wicked deed : he had her quartered, and burnt, and then
married the little orphan girl. He had her stepmother cast
into prison, and her two daughters' hair cut, which he ordered
to be burnt and cast to the winds: he also took the orphan
girl's father to his court, and married him to the widow at
whose cot he had found his wife. The poor little orphan girl's
and her father's wedding were celebrated together. There was
plenty to eat and drink, so that even the orphan children had
rice to eat. Behind the door there stood a sack in which the
Danube and the Theiss were kept. I too was among the
dancing guests, and had a long spur made of straw on my
boot ; somebody pushed me by accident, and my spur knocked
a hole in the sack in which the Danube and Theiss were kept;
so the water all ran out and engulphed me, and washed me
ashore, not far from here. If you don't believe my story, here
I am !


|HERE were 10,000 wagons rolling along the turnpike
road, in each wagon there were 10,000 casks, in
each cask 10,000 bags, in each bag 10,000 poppy
seeds, in each poppy seed 10,000 lightnings. May
all these thunderous lightnings strike him who won't listen to
my tale, which I have brought from beyond the Operencian Sea !
There was once, it doesn't matter where : there was once
upon a time, a poor man who had a pretty young wife; they
were very fond of each other. The only thing they had to
complain of was their poverty, as neither of them owned a far-
thing ; it happened, therefore, sometimes, that they quarrelled a
little, and then they always cast it in each other's teeth that they
hadn't got anything to bless themselves with. But still they
loved each other.

One evening the woman came home much earlier than her
husband and went into the kitchen and lighted the fire, although
she had nothing to cook. " I think I can cook a little soup, at
least, for my husband. It will be ready by the time he comes
home " But no sooner had she put the kettle over the fire, and
a few logs of wood on the fire in order to make the water boil
quicker, than her husband arrived home and took his seat by the
side of her on the little bench. They warmed themselves by the
fire, as it was late in the autumn and cold. In the neighbouring
village they had commenced the vintage on that very day.
" Do you know the news, wife?" inquired he. " No, I don't.
I've heard nothing; tell me what it is." "As I was coming
from the squire's maize-field, I saw in the dark, in the distance,
a black spot on the road. I couldn't make out what it was, so I
went nearer, and lo ! do you know what it was ? A beautiful
little golden carriage, with a pretty little woman inside, and
four fine black dogs harnessed to it." a You're joking," inter-
rupted the wife. " I'm not, indeed, it's perfectly true. You
know how muddy the roads about here are ; it happened that the
dogs stuck fast with the carriage and they couldn't move from
the spot; the little woman didn't care to get out into the mud,
as she was afraid of soiling her golden dress. At first, when I
found out what it was, I had a good mind to run away, as I took
her for an evil spirit, but she called out after me and implored
me to help her out of the mud; she promised that no harm
should come to me, but on the contrary she would reward me.
So I thought that it would be a good thing for us if she could
help us in our poverty; and with my assistance the dogs dragged
her carriage out of the mud. The woman asked me whether I
was married. I told her I was. And she asked me if I was
rich. I replied, not at all; I didn't think, I said, that there were
two people in our village who were poorer than we. That can
be remedied, replied she. [ will fulfil three wishes that your wife
may propose. And she left as suddenly as if dragons had kid-
napped her: she was a fairy."

" Well, she made a regular fool of you ! "

" That remains to be seen; you must try and wish something,
my dear wife." Thereupon the woman without much thought
said : " Well, I should like to have some sausage, and we could
cook it beautifully on this nice fire." No sooner were the words
uttered than a frying-pan came down the chimney, and in it a
sausage of such length that it was long enough to fence in
the whole garden. " This is grand ! " they both exclaimed
together. " But we must be a little more clever with our next
two wishes; how well we shall be off! I will at once buy two
heifers and two horses, as well as a sucking pig," said the
husband. Whereupon he took his pipe from his hatband, took
out his tobacco-pouch, and filled his pipe ; then he tried to light
it with a hot cinder, but was so awkward about it that he upset
the frying-pan with the sausage in it. "Good heavens! the
sausage ; what on earth are you doing ! I wish that sausage
would grow on to your nose," exclaimed the frightened woman,
and tried to snatch the same out of the fire, but it was too late, as
it was already dangling from her husband's nose down to his
toes. " My Lord Creator help me ! " shouted the woman. " You
see, you fool, what you've done, there! now the second wish is
gone," said her husband, " what can we do with this thing?"
"Can't we get it off?" said the woman. "Take off the devil!
Don't you see that it has quite grown to my nose ; you can't
take it off." " Then we must cut it off," said she, " as we
can do nothing else." " I shan't permit it: how could I allow
my body to be cut about ? not for all the treasures on earth ; but
do you know what we can do, love? there is yet one wish left;
you'd better wish that the sausage go back to the pan, and so all
will be right." But the woman replied, "How about the
heifers and the horses, and how about the sucking pig ; how shall
we get those? " " Well, I can't walk about with this ornament,
and I'm sure you won't kiss me again with this sausage dangling
from my nose." And so they quarrelled for a long time, till at
last he succeeded in persuading his wife to wish that the sausage
go back to the pan. And thus all three wishes were fulfilled;
and yet they were as poor as ever.

They, however, made a hearty meal of the sausage; and as they
came to the conclusion that it was in consequence of their
quarrelling that they had no heifers, nor horses, nor sucking pig,
they agreed to live thenceforth in harmony together ; and they
quarrelled no more after this. They got on much better in the
world, and in time they acquired heifers, horses, and a sucking
pig into the bargain, because they were industrious and thrifty.


[HERE was once, I know not where, even beyond the
Operencian Land, a village, and at the end of the
village a little hovel. Within the tumble-down walls
of this hovel a poor old woman was lying on some
rotting straw, and two children were crying by her side. The
elder was a pretty girl. The younger was her brother, a small
boy with auburn hair. The old mother died. Her cold body
was buried by the parish ; but, as none offered themselves to take
charge of the two orphans, they left the place. They went and
went, over many a hill and dale, and had already covered a
long distance when Jack felt burning thirst. They found in the
road some turbid water in a rut, at the sight of which the thirsty
little fellow shouted for joy. " My dear sister, I will drink from
this rut." " Don't drink from it," said his thoughtful sister,
" or you will turn into a cart-wheel if you do.' 5 Jack sighed,
and they went on their way. They found some bears' tracks in
which some stale rain-water was putrifying. " My dear sister,
I'm thirsty, allow me to drink of this rain-water.' 5 " If you
drink, my dear brother, you will become a bear." The little
fellow began to cry, but obeyed, and they went on. In the road
they found some footprints of a wolf. Jack again implored his
sister, with tears, and repeated his former request. " Don't
drink, my dear Jack, or else you will become a wolf/' Jack,
although his tongue was parched with burning thirst, obeyed,
and they continued their walk quite exhausted. They found the
footmarks of a roebuck in the read. Water clear as crystal
shone in them, that invited him to drink. Jack's feet gave way
under him when he reached the water, and, in spite of all warn-
ing, he drank of it with avidity. His sister, seeing her fear
realised, began to cry. The beautiful auburn locks of her brother
suddenly turned to a soft grayish hair, and horns grew behind
his ears. His legs and arms became the four legs of a roedeer,
and the pretty little creature rubbed gently against his sister,
who stroked him with her pretty hands. The little girl and her
brother, the roebuck, continued their journey till at last they
reached the king's palace, where the young monarch received
them with smiles, and offered them a tidy little room. The little
girl lived with her brother here, and, although she forbade him
to speak before others, they would chat when left alone, their
conversation turning mainly upon their deceased good mother,
their journey, the handsome young king, and his frequent
hunts. After several weeks the pretty girl received a royal
splendid dress and was married to the young king.

The fame of their wedding travelled over seven countries. The
loving couple lived contentedly together; the queen was pretty
and good, and her husband was madly in love with her. The
little deer kept continually by his sister's side; they ate from the
same plate, and drank out of the same glass, and slept in the
same room ; but this happiness did not last long. There lived
in the king's country an old witch, with iron teeth, who had a
very ugly daughter, whose face was black, her eyes were yellow,
her nose was full of warts, her teeth like hoes, her voice screech-
ing, her waist crooked ; and, besides all this, she was lame of one
foot. It was the old witch's determination to make this creature
the queen of the realm. As she was frustrated in her design she
raved. In her fury she tore up bits of rocks, and dried up
whole forests. She vowed death upon the poor orphan's head;
and, in order to cheer up her ugly daughter's long forlorn hope,
she prophecied the queen's death, and thus spoke : " Dear child,
beloved Lucinda, would you like to be a queen ? if so, go
secretly into the king's palace, and when the king is out hunt-
ing, steal near the queen in her sleep, and cut off a large lock of
her hair, and bring it to me. Mind where you step, and keep an


eye on every movement of hers." Lucinda dressed herself in a
cloak with grey and red stripes, and at dead of night she reached
the king's palace, and without arousing suspicion stole into the
queen's bedroom. She spread her cloak on the floor, so that she
might not awake the sleeping queen with its rustling as she
moved about, and at her mother's sign she approached the
queen's bed on tiptoe, and cut off a beautiful lock with a rusty
old knife: the little deer did not wake. In the morning, the
witch wrapt the beautiful auburn lock in the lungs of a toad,
and roasted it over the embers of some yew boughs which were
cut on Christmas night. After a while, with the ointment thus
made, the old witch rubbed Lucinda from head to foot, who
became the next moment an exact likeness of the young queen.
Now the old witch began to ponder how to do away with the
young queen, and at last she hit upon a plan. There lived at
court a miserly gatekeeper, whom she bribed with gold, and
with his assistance, in the absence of the king, they broke into
the queen's bedroom at night, and dragged away by force the
poor innocent woman; the little deer woke at the noise, and
followed the murderers at a distance.

In a secluded corner of the courtyard there was an old disused
stone-well, and in this well lived a huge whale ; they threw
the pretty queen to the bottom of this well, and in her now
empty bed Lucinda was placed, whose outer appearance was not
in the slightest different from that of the queen, so that when
the king arrived at home he did not notice the awful fraud. The
little deer henceforward spent all his days near the well, which
circumstance did not escape the notice of the quick-eyed old
witch. So she instructed her daughter to persuade her royal
husband to have the deer killed, and in order to carry this out,
she planned the following scheme. Lucinda shammed deadly
illness, her mother having previously changed her red com-
plexion to yellow ; her husband sat every day and night by her
bedside, while the little deer still spent all his time by the well.

They could not find any medicine which could give the patient
relief, when Lucinda, as planned beforehand, expressed a desire
to have the deer's heart and liver cooked for her. Her husband
was horrified en hearing this unexpected wish, and began to
suspect his wife. He could not believe that she could wish to
have her dear little animal, which she idolized, killed; but Lu-
cinda would not give in, until at last the king, being very much
concerned about his wife's recovery, allowed himself to be per-
suaded, and gave orders to one of his cooks to have the deer
killed. The deer heard quite well what Lucinda wished and what
the orders were, but kept silence; and, in order not to arouse
suspicion, went back to its favourite place, the well, where, in
its deep grief, it thus spoke down into the whale's dwelling :

My little sister, my little sister,
You dear little sister,
Come out of the well,
Out of the whale's stomach,
Because they are whetting the knife
For my gentle breast,
They are washing the basin
For my beautiful red blood.

When the cook, clasping a long knife, stole up to the little
animal in order to drag it to the slaughter-house, the deer
repeated his mournful song, upon hearing which the cook got
frightened and ran away and informed the king of what he had
heard and seen. Thereupon the king determined to personally
satisfy himself as to whether his tale was true. The little deer
thereupon cried twice as mournfully as before, and amid tears
sang out the same song as before.

The king now stepped forward from his hiding-place, and the
deer, upon being questioned, told him the story how the witch
and the gate-keeper dragged his sister out of bed, and how
they threw her into the well. As soon as the pretty animal
finished its tale, the huge whale was dragged out from the
bottom of the well; they slit open its stomach, and the real 

queen appeared, now seven times prettier than before; her
husband himself assisted her and conducted her back to the
palace in triumph.

Lucinda, her mother, and the gate-keeper were quartered,
and their bodies exhibited at the four corners of the castle as a
warning to everybody. The queen anointed her little brother
with some ointment she had found in the whale's stomach, and
he regained his old form. And so all three of them are alive to
this very date, if they have not died since. May they get into
an egg shell and be your guests to-morrow.


(HERE was once, I don't know where, a man who had
three daughters. One day the father thus spoke to
the eldest girl : "Go, my daughter, and fetch me
some fresh water from the well." The girl went> but
when she came to the well a huge frog called out to her from
the bottom, that he would not allow her to draw water in her
jug until she threw him down the gold ring on her finger.
"Nothing else? is that all you want?" replied the girl, lt I
won't give away my rings to such an ugly creature as you,"
and she returned as she came with the empty pitchers. So the
father sent the second girl, and she fared as the first; the frog
would not let her have any water, as she refused to throw
down her gold ring. Her father gave his two elder daughters
a good scolding, and then thus addressed the youngest: "You
go, Betsie, my dear, you have always been a clever girl:
I'm sure you will be able to get some water, and will not
allow your father to suffer thirst ; go, shame your sisters ! "

Betsie picked up the pitchers and went, but the frog again
refused the water unless she threw her ring down; but she, as
she was very fond of her father, threw the ring in as demanded,
and returned home with full pitchers to her father's great delight.
In the evening, as soon as darkness set in, the frog crawled out
of the well, and thus commenced to shout in front of Betsie's
father's door: " Father-in-law ! father-in-law! I should like
something to eat." The man got angry, and called out to his
daughters; " Give something in a broken plate to that ugly frog
to gnaw." " Father-in-law ! father-in-law ! this won't do for me;
I want some roast meat on a tin plate," retorted the frog. " Give
him something on a tin plate then, or else he will cast a spell on
us," said the father. The frog began to eat heartily, and, having
had enough, again commenced to croak: " Father-in-law ! father-
in-law ! I want something to drink." " Give him some slops in
a broken pot/' said the lather. '* Father-in-law ! father-in-law !
I won't have this; I want some wine in a nice tumbler." " Give
him some wine then," angrily called out the father. He guzzled
up his wine and began again : " Father-in-law ! Father-in-law !
I would like to go to sleep." " Throw him some rags in a
corner," was the reply. " Father-in-law ! father-in-law I I won't
have that; I want a silk bed," croaked the frog. This was also
given to him; but no sooner has he gone to bed than again
he began to croak, u Father-in-law ! father-in-law! I want a
girl, indeed." " Go, my daughter, and lie by the side of him,"
said the father to the eldest. '* Father-in-law! father-in law! I
don't want that, I want another." The father sent the second
girl, but the frog again croaked: " Father-in-law! father-in-law !
I don't want that, Betsie is the girl I want." " Go, my Betsie,"
said the father, quite disheartened, " else this confounded monster
will cast a spell on us." So Betsie went to bed with the frog,
but her father thoughtfully left a lamp burning on the top of the
oven; noticing which, the frog crawled out of bed and blew the
lamp out.

The father lighted it again, but the frog put it out a? be-
fore, and so it happened a third time. The father saw that the
frog would not yield, and was therefore obliged to leave his
dear little Betsie in the dark by the side of the ugly frog, and
felt great anxiety about her. Jn the morning, when the father
and the two elder girls got up, they opened their eyes and
mouths wide in astonishment, because the frog had disappeared,
and by the side of Betsie they found a handsome Magyar lad,
with auburn locks, in a beautiful costume, with gold braid and
buttons and gold spurs on his boots. The handsome lad asked
for Betsie's hand, and, having received the father's consent, they
hastened to celebrate the wedding, so that christening might
not follow the wedding too soon.

The two elder sisters looked with invidious eyes on Betsie, as
they also were very much smitten with the handsome lad.
Betsie was very happy after, so happy that if anyone doubt it he
can satisfy himself with his own eyes. If she is still alive, let
him go and look for her, and try to find her in this big world.


|HEKE was once, I know not where, a soldier who was
flogged many times, and who one night had to stand
on sentry. As he paced up and down, a man with a
red cap stopped in front of him and stared hard into
his eyes. The soldier said not a word, but the stranger began :
" My dear son, I know what happens in your heart, you don't
like this soldier's life, and your thoughts are at this very minute
wandering to your sweetheart." The soldier at once concluded
that he had to do with the devil, and so made his acquaintance.



" Well, my dear son," said the devil, " undress quickly, and let's
change our clothes; I will stand here on guard for you if you
promise me that in a year hence, on this very day, at this very
hour, to the very minute, you will be back here. In the mean-
time, go home to your native place, and don this red cap, as you
can freely walk about and no one will see you as long as you have it
on your head." The soldier went home to his native land, over
seven times seven countries, and no one saw him as he reached
his village. Pie walked into the garden and opened the door
leading into his father's house and stood there listening. His
friends were just then speaking of him. He was delighted to
hear it, and gradually took the red cap from his head and
suddenly appeared before them, who were very pleased to see
him back. His sweetheart was also there; but no one would
believe their own eyes, and thought that some sprite played
them a trick. But the soldier explained it all; and, in order to
prove the truth, he disappeared, and the next minute reappeared.
All went well with the poor soldier until the time came when
he had to start back. At the appointed hour and minute he
took leave of his friends and sweetheart amid tears.

He put on his red cap and walked back unseen by any.
u Bravo, my son," said the devil. "I see now that you are an
honest man. A Magyar always keeps his word. You've returned
to the very hour and minute. I've received a good many flog-
gings, though, during your absence ; but don't be afraid, we
shall alter all this. You needn't be particular about your good
conduct ; nobody will touch you henceforth, as I've cast a spell
and whenever they flog you the captain will feel the pain."
The devil then changed his uniform, took back the red cap, and
disappeared. The poor soldier he couldn't help it, as he was
tired of soldiering again committed something wrong, the
punishment for which was one hundred strokes. All the prepa-
rations to carry out the sentence had already been made, but
before he was even touched the captain began to yell as he felt
quite sure that he would suffer under it. Therefore he deemed
it more wise to recommend the dismissal of the useless fellow,
instead of worrying about him. And so it happened, the soldier
was dismissed and arrived home safely : but since this happened
even the devil will not take pity on a poor soldier.


poor widow had a son who was so courageous that not
even the devil's mother would have frightened him,
and therefore he was named in his childhood Jack
Dreadnought. His mother was in continual terror
lest something dreadful might happen to her son, as he was so
plucky, nay foolhardy, and determined to use all possible means
to teach him to fear. For this reason she sent him to the clergy-
man of the village as " mendicant," and requested the minister
to use all his knowledge in trying to teach her son to fear. The
clergyman left nothing untried to make the boy frightened ; he
told him all sorts of ghostly and horrible tales, but these, instead
of frightening the lad, made him only more anxious to make the
acquaintance of ghosts similar to those mentioned in the tales.
The clergyman thereupon hit upon the idea of introducing some
sham ghosts in order to break Jack Dreadnought's intrepidity.

He fixed upon the three nights before Christmas ; on these nights
the lad had to go to ring the bells at midnight in the tower that
stood at the very end of the village, and the clergyman thought
that he could find some opportunity of frightening Jack. He
took an old cassock and stuffed it with straw and placed it before
the tower door with one hand on the handle. Midnight came
and Jack went to ring the bells and discovered the dummy in
the cassock. "Who are you? " he called out, but received no
reply. " Very well," said the boy, li if you won't answer I will
tell you this, that if you don't clear off from that door I'll kick
you in the stomach that you will turn twelve somersaults." As
there was no reply, Jack in his rage took hold of the dummy's
collar and threw him on the ground with such violence that it
rolled away three fathoms, and then, as if nothing had happened,
went up into the tower, rang the bells, and went home. The
clergyman, as his first experiment did not succeed, made two
dummies the next day, which were exactly alike; one he placed
in the same position as before at the door of the tower, the other
near the bell ropes.

At midnight Jack again went to ring the bells and, as before,
made short work of the first dummy; as he did not receive any
reply he took him by the collar and threw him on the ground.
When he went up into the tower and saw trtat the rope was held
by another, he thought it was the first one, and thus addressed
him, "Well, my friend, you've come here, have you? You
hadn't enough with the first fall? Answer me or I will dash
you on the ground so that you will not be able to get up
again," and as the dummy did not reply Jack took it by the
throat and pitched it from the window of the tower, and it
whizzed through the air. The clergy man had had two unsuccessful
experiments but he had great confidence in the third. He made
three dummies this time, two were placed as before and the
third he stood on the bell so that it might prevent it ringing.
Jack Dreadnought dealt with the two first dummies as on the
previous night, but as he was about to ring, to his astonishment,
he discovered the dummy on the bell ; he was not frightened, but
when he saw that it would not come down, after a polite request,
took it angrily by one leg and pitched it through the window
like a cat. The clergyman had now come to the conclusion
that he was unable to teach Jack fear, and now commenced to
plan how he might get rid of him. The next morning he called
him, and thus spoke to him : " Jack, you are a fine courageous
fellow; go, take my grey horse, and as much provisions as you
think will last you three days, and go into the world and follow
your nose; do not stop all day, but take up your night quarters
wherever darkness finds you. Do this for three days, and settle
down where you spend the third night, and you will be pros-

The clergyman thought that Jack would perish on the way;
but we shall see whether he did. Jack started off the first day,
and in the evening came to a narrow, round timber hut, which
was rather high, and he decided to sleep there. As he found it
empty he made a fire in its centre and commenced to fry some
bacon ; all of a sudden he felt something dripping, he looked
up and saw something like a human form dangling in the air.
" Well, upon my word," shouted he, " the devil won't leave me
alone even here: get down from there, will you, or do you expect
me to take you down?" No reply came, and Jack, with a
clever jump, caught hold of one of his legs, and brought it down,
but the head was torn off and fell down. Only then he dis-
covered that it was a hanged man, but he did not think much
of it, and stayed there all night. He travelled the whole of the
next day; in the evening he reached an inn and asked for a room,
and received in reply that they had an empty room on the upper
floor, the only one vacant; but that no one could sleep there, as
the place was haunted. " What !" shouted Jack; " Oh ! I know
those ghosts; let me have a dish of good food, a mouthful of good
wine, and a burning candle in the upper room, and I will sleep
there. I swear by Beelzebub that the ghosts will come no more ! "
The innkeeper tried to dissuade Jack from his foolhardy attempt,
but he would not give way.

He was shown into the room ; it was a large apartment on the
upper floor. Jack placed the lighted candle in the middle ; a
dishful of food and a jug of wine by the side of it; and settled
down in a chair, waiting for the awful ghosts. No sooner had
the clock struck midnight than, all of a sudden, a fearful chorus
of animal noises was to be heard, like the howling of dogs,
neighing of horses, bellowing of cattle, roaring of wild beasts,
bleating of sheep and of goats, and also crying, laughing, and
clanking of chains. Jack was quite delighted with the noc-
turnal concert; but, all of a sudden a big skull rolled in through
the door and stopped by the side of the dish. Jack stared at it,
and, instead of the skull, he saw an old monk standing before
him with long heavy chains. "Good evening, brother friar!"
shouted Jack, " pray have supper with me." " I'm going from
here/' said the friar, " and I want you to come too ; I will show
you something." " With pleasure," replied Jack, " will you
lead the way, you devil, or you reverend gentleman?" There-
upon Jack followed the friar with the lighted candle. "When
they arrived at the stairs the friar insisted upon his going
first, but Jack would not ; and the friar was obliged to lead the
way. Next they came to a narrow landing at the top of the
cellar stairs. Here, again, the friar invited him to go first, but
he would not; and so the apparition had to go first. But, as
soon as he went down a few steps, Jack gave the friar such a
push with such dexterity that he went head over heels down the
steps and broke his neck. In the morning the innkeeper had the
friar buried. He made Jack a handsome present, and the latter
continued his journey.

Jack Dreadnought rode the whole next day, and in the evening
again came to an inn, where he could not get any room except up
stairs, where no one else would sleep, on account of ghostly
visitors. Jack took the room and was again enjoying his supper
in the centre, when the old clock struck midnight. The same
sort of music struck his ear as on the previous night, and, amid
a great crash, a human hand dropped from the ceiling to near
his dish. Jack, in cold blood, took up the hand and threw it
behind the door. Another hand fell and went the same way.

Now a leg came, and this, too, went behind the door. Then came
its fellow, which was soon despatched to the rest. At last a big
skull dropped right into the middle of the dish and broke it.
Jack got into a rage, and threw the skull violently behind the
door ; and, on looking back, he found, instead of the limbs, an
immense ghost standing behind the door, whom Jack at once
taxed with the damage done to the dish, demanding payment.
The ghost replied, " Very well ; I will pay for it, if you come
with me." Jack consented, and they went off together : as before,
he always insisted on the ghost going first. They came to a long
winding staircase, and down into a huge cellar. Jack opened
his eyes and mouth wide when he found in the cellar three vats
full of gold, six vats of silver, and twelve vats of copper coins.
Then the ghost said to him, " There, choose a vat full of coins
for your dish, and take it whenever you like." But Jack, how-
ever, did not touch the money, but replied, " Not I ; do you
suppose that I will carry that money? Whoever brought it
here, let him take it away." " Well done," replied the ghost;
" I see I've found my man at last. Had you touched the treasure
you would have died a sudden death ; but now, since you are
such a fine courageous fellow, the like of whom I have never
seen before, settle down in this place and use the treasure in
peace; nobody will ever disturb or haunt you any more. 3 ' After
these words the ghost disappeared.

Jack became the owner of the immense treasure, and married
the innkeeper's only daughter, who was very pretty, and lives
with her to this day, if he has not died since, enjoying life and
spending the money he found in the vats in the cellar.


|HERE was once, I don't know where, beyond the seas,
a little village, and in the village a widow. The widow
had a pretty little son whose cheeks were as the rose ;
on the left side of the little boy a scabbard had grown,
and as the boy grew the scabbard grew with him. On the same
day on which the little boy was born the point of a sword
appeared in the soil in their little garden, which kept pace with
the growth of the scabbard on the little boy's side. When the boy
was a year old he discovered the sword in the garden, and every
evening at sunset he tried the sword in the scabbard. One evening
after sunset the little boy lay down and fell fast asleep. Next
morning he awaited dawn squatting by the side of the growing
sword, which he passed seven times into the scabbard. He ran
quite delighted to his mother, who got up as the morning bell
began to ring. " Oh, my dear mother, I had such a nice dream.
I wouldn't give my dream for the whole world." " Then what
have you dreamt, my son?" queried the mother. " I wouldn't
tell anyone till my dream has been realised." " Yes, but I want
to know it," said his mother angrily, " and if you won't tell me,
I will thrash you."

But the widow threatened her little son in vain ; neither kind
words nor threats could induce him to tell his secret. At last she
thrashed him, but with no result; the little fellow went into the
garden and knelt down by the side of his little sword, which had
the peculiar feature that it continually revolved, and cut every-
one's hand who touched it with the exception of that of the
little boy. The little sword as soon as its point felt the touch of
the scabbard stopped and slid into the scabbard, and the little
boy for a long time gazed at his weapon and wept bitterly. As
he was thus weeping in his mother's garden, the king of the
country passed outside the fencing ; the king heard the sound of
crying and stopped his carriage, and thus spoke to his footman :
" My dear servant, go to see who is crying in that garden, and ask
the cause of it ?" The footman obeyed, and on his return gave
the following reply to his royal master : " Your majesty, a child
is kneeling among the flowers, and cries because his mother has
cruelly beaten him." " Bring him here, my dear servant, tell
him his king wants him, who has never cried in his life, and
cannot bear to hear anyone else cry." The footman brought the
child back with him, wiped away his tears, and the king asked
the dear little boy whether he would like to go with him as he
was willing to adopt him as his son. " I would like to go,
majesty, if my mother would let me." " Go, my servant, to this
little fellow's mother," said the king to his footman, " and tell
her that the king will take her pretty son to his palace and if he
behave well will give him half of his realm, and also his prettiest

The widow, who only a moment ago was so angry, commenced
to cry for joy, and placed her son with her own hands into the
king's lap, and kissed the monarch's hand. " Don't be so stub-
born when you are at your royal father's court as you were at your
widow-mother's house," she said to him, and with these words
the old woman ran away from her pretty little son, who again
cried bitterly. Then the dear little prince begged leave to get
down from the carriage ; he pulled the little sword up out of the
ground, and placed it in the scabbard, where it rattled unceasingly.
They had driven a good distance, and the boy had had his cry,
when the king said, (i Why did you cry so bitterly in the little
garden, my dear son?" " Because" replied the little boy "my
mother continually scolded me, and also thrashed me cruelly."
" And why did your mother thrash you cruelly and scold you?"
asked the king. " Because I wouldn't tell her my dream." " And
why would you not tell your dream to your poor mother?" " Be-
cause I will not tell it to anyone till it is fulfilled." " And won't
you tell it to me either?" asked the king in astonishment. " No,
nobody shall know it but God, who knows it already/' " I'm
sure you will tell me when we get home," said his royal father
smiling. After three days' journey they arrived at the king's
town: the queen with her three daughters were greatly delighted
that their royal husband and father had brought them such a
pretty boy. The girls offered all sorts of things to their pretty

" Don't love him so much," said the wise king, " as he
does not deserve it; he harbours some secret in his heart which
he will not tell anyone." " He will tell me," said the eldest
girl, but the little boy shook his head. " He will tell it me,"
said the second. " Not I," said the little boy angrily. " You
won't keep it from me," said the youngest coaxingly. " I will
not tell my secret to anyone till it is realised, and I will punish
anyone who dares to inquire," threatened the little boy. The
king in his great sorrow looked at his wife and daughters; he
summoned his servants, handed the little boy to them, and said,
" Take away this stubborn child, take him to your house, he's
not fit for a royal palace." The sword at the little boy's side
clanked loudly; the servants obeyed their royal master's orders,
and took the boy to the place where they lived. The pretty child
cried upon being taken away from the gorgeous palace, and the
servants' children consoled him, offered him fruits and toys, and
thus brought back his spirits in a few hours ; the children got
used to each other, and the little boy lived with them until he
became seventeen years of age. The elder daughters of the king
married kings of countries beyond the seas, and the youngest one
has also grown old enough to be married. One day she ran from
the lofty palace into the servants' house, where she saw the little
boy, who had grown so handsome that there wasn't a more
handsome lad to be seen over seven times seven countries. The
king's daughter was very much struck as she had. never before
seen so fine a lad, and thus spoke to him : "If you, handsome
Iad 5 will reveal your secret to me I will become yours, and you
will be mine, and not even the coffin shall separate us." The
lad thrashed the inquisitive princess as he had promised of yore ;
the pretty girl wept bitterly and ran to her royal father and
complained about the lad's cruelty. The old king was very
angry and uttered an oath, adding, "If he had a thousand
souls he will have to die ; his very memory must die out in my

On the same day on which the widow's son had beaten the
king's daughter, lofty gallows were erected on the western side
of the royal town, and the whole population went out to the
place where the execution was to take place. The hangman
tied the handsome lad's hands behind his back, when the sword
again clanked at the lad's side. The assembled people, who a
moment ago were so noisy, grew silent, when the king's preacher
read out the sentence. Suddenly a great hubbub arose, and a
gorgeous coach, from which a white flag was waving, was seen
driving rapidly up to the gallows; in the coach sat the King
of the Magyars. The coach stopped underneath the gallows,
and the King of the Magyars jumped out and asked for the
handsome lad's reprieve, who was blindfolded. The angry king
informed him that he had great reason to have the scoundrel
hanged, because he thrashed his daughter for no other cause
than her asking him to reveal his secret. The secret was a
dream which he could only tell when it was realised. " My
royal colleague, hand the culprit over to me," said the king
of the Magyars, " I'm sure he will tell me his secret. I have a
pretty daughter who is like the Morning Star, and she will get
it out of him." The sword again clanked at the side of the
handsome lad. The king handed the prisoner to the Magyar
king, who bade him sit in his carriage, and asked him his secret.
" It is impossible, my king and master," said the sad lad, u until
the dream is fulfilled." " You will tell my daughter/' said the
Magyar king smiling. u To none ! " said the lad resolutely, and
his sword gave a terrific clank. The king and the handsome lad
arrived at Buda in a few days. The king's daughter was just
promenading in the garden when her father arrived with the
handsome lad. The pretty girl hurried to her father, and as she
kissed his hand she noticed the handsome lad, the like of whom
she had never seen before. " Have you brought him for me ?"
inquired the love-sick maid, '* from fairy land? No woman
has yet carried, has yet borne, such a child in her arms ! "

" My dear daughter, I've brought him not from fairy land,
but from the gallows," replied the king, who was vexed with
his daughter for having so quickly fallen in love with him,
although she had never spoken to a man before. " I don't care,
my dear father," said the blushing maid, " even if you brought
him from the gallows, he's mine, and I am his, and we shall die
together." The last words were addressed by the king's daughter
to the handsome lad, who smothered the pretty princess with
kisses. " You will soon be angry with him, my dear daughter,"
said the sorrowful king, "if you ask his secret; he's a coarse fellow,
he's of no royal blood, his place is among the servants." " If
he killed me, if he gouged out my eyes, or bit off my nose, I
could'nt get angry with him," said the princess. u He will tell
me his secret, his lodging will be in the room set apart for my
guests, and he will find a place in the middle of my heart ! "

But the king shook his head, and sent the lad down into the
summer-house, where he could amuse himself with reading. No
sooner had a week passed than the girl, who was as pretty as a
fairy, put her best dress on and went to the summer-house to pay
a visit to the lad who lived secluded there, to get his secret out of
him. When the young lad saw the pretty girl and had examined
her beautiful dress, the book dropped from his hand, and he
stared but could not utter a single word. The princess thereupon
addressed him in such a beautiful voice as his ear had never heard
before, " Tell me, my handsome lad, why have I come to see you,
if you guess it I will be yours ? " " My dove, my angel ! " said
the lad with glowing cheeks, " I won't tell you my secret, and if
you wish to get back safely to your royal father's palace you had
better not ask any more questions about the matter." But the
girl would not listen to the lad's warning but pressed for an
answer more urgently and embraced him and kissed him. The
lad at last got so angry that he slapped the princess's face and
made her nose bleed. The princess ran screaming back to the
palace, where her father was waiting for her answer; when the
king beheld the blood running down upon the pretty girl's
beautiful dress, he yelled down from the window into the garden,
61 1 will starve you to death, you son of a dragon ! " and began to
wash his daughter's cheek and nose.

The very same day the king summoned all the masons and
bricklayers in the town, and gave them orders to run up in all haste
a square building in which there was to be just room for a stool
and a small table, the table to be so small that only a prayer book
could find room on it. In two hours a small tower was built ;
the masons had already left off work, and were going to in-
form the king that the structure was finished. They met the
king's daughter, who asked one of the masons to stay, the one
who appeared to be the eldest, and asked him whether he could
make so small a hole in the tower that a plate of food and a
bottle of wine could be passed through, and which could not
be noticed by any one. u To be sure," said the grey old mason,
" I can and I will make it." The hole was ready in a quarter of
an hour; the king's daughter paid the mason handsomely and
hurried home.

At sunset, among a large crowd of people, the secret-keeping
lad was conducted into the stone structure, and after all his mis-
deeds had been once more enumerated he was walled in. But the
king's daughter did not allow him to suffer cither hunger or
thirst, she visited her sweetheart three times every day ; and
brought him books for which he asked. The king sent every
third day his secretary to look after the prisoner and to see
if he were dead, but the scribe found him still alive, and the
king was very much astonished. One day the Turkish Sultan
sent a letter to the Magyar king; the messenger bearing the
letter brought with him also three canes; the Turkish Sultan
wrote in the letter, that if the king could not tell him which of
the three canes grew nearest the root, which in the middle, and
which at the top, he would declare war against him. The king
was very much alarmed, and became sad. His daughter noticed
her father's sorrow, and inquired, " Why are you so downcast,
my royal father ? " " How can I be otherwise, my dear
daughter," said the good king; " look here, the Turkish Sultan
has sent me three canes, and writes, that if I cannot tell him
which is the cane's root-end, middle-part, and top-end, he will
send his army against my country." " The God of the Magyars
will help you, my dear father," said the girl; and hurried to the
tower, and informed her sweetheart through the secret hole of
the Turkish Sultan's message, and of her father's sorrow. " Go
home, my love, my sweetheart; go to bed and sleep, and when
you wake tell your royal father that you have dreamt that the
canes have to be placed in lukewarm water, and he will then be
able to tell on which part of the plant the cnnes grew : the one
that sinks to the bottom is the one from nearest the root ; the one
which does not sink and does not float on the surface, comes from
the middle; and the one that remains on the surface is from the
top." The girl ran home, went to bed and slept, and told her
father her dream, as her sweetheart had instructed her. The
king did as his daughter advised him, and marked the three
canes, namely, with one notch the root-piece, the middle-piece
with two notches, and the top-piece with three, and sent the
explanation to the Sultan; and, actually, the canes had grown
as the Magyar king had picked them out ; and the Sultan did
not declare war against tthe Magyar.

After a year the Sultan wrote another letter to the Magyar
king and sent him three foals ; in the letter he asked him to
guess which of the three animals was foaled in the morn, which
at noon, and which in the evening, and threatened with war
in case a correct guess was not forthcoming. The king was
again sorrowful, and his daughter asked him the reason. "How
should I not be sorrowful, my pretty sweet daughter," said the
old king, " I had another letter from the Sultan, and he sent me
three foals, and if I cannot tell him which was foaled in the
morn, noon, and even, he will declare war against me." " The
Lord will again help you, my dear royal father," said the girl quite
joyfully. In half an hour she was again with her sweetheart,
and communicated to him her father's trouble and sorrow. " Go
home, idol of my heart," said the captive lad ; "go to bed and'
sleep. In your dream scream out, and when your father asks you
what is the matter, tell him that you dreamt that the Sultan had
sent some Turks in order to carry your father off to captivity, as
he was not able to guess when the foals were born ; but just as
they were pinioning him, you dreamt that the lad who had slapped
your face got out somehow from his prison, and told you which
of the foals was foaled in the morning, which at noon, and which
in the evening." The king's daughter ran home and did exactly
as the immured lad had told her. Next morning the tower was
pulled down and the handsome lad conducted before the king.
" The Lord has preserved you in your long captivity, my son, and
I also feel inclined to grant you pardon. But before doing this
you will have to help me in an important matter. I hand you
here the Sultan's letter, read it; the three foals are in my stables;
can you answer his query?" " I can, my king and master/' said
the liberated lad, " but I must ask you some questions. Have
you got three exactly similar troughs ?" " No, but I will get
some," replied the king. In a quarter of an hour three troughs of
the same size and colour were ready. " Give orders, my king, 5 '
said the lad, " to have some oats put into one, some live coals
in the other, and some dry coal in the third: the foal which
goes to the oats was foaled in the morning, the one to the live
coals, at noon, and the one which goes to the dry coals, in the
evening." The king did as the lad advised him. He marked
the foals and sent them home. The Sultan was satisfied and did
not send any troops against the Magyar king.

The Sultan had an aunt who was a witch, whom he consulted
what to do in order to get possession of Hungary, and to tell
him how he could get to know who was the man who answered
all his questions so cleverly. "Alas! my dear relative," said
the witch, " it isn't the Magyar king who answered all your
queries : he has a lad who is the son of a very poor woman, but
who will become king of Hungary; so long as you do not kill
him you will covet Hungary in vain." Another letter came to the
king of Hungary, in which it was written that if the lad who was
kept by the king, and who was the brat of a poor woman, be not
sent to Turkey, war shall be declared against the king. The king
shewed the letter to the good lad in great sorrow, who, after
having read the haughty monarch's lines, spoke thus: " I'm not
afraid of bald-headed dogs, and I will cut to pieces the whole lot
of them." At these words the sword clanked as it never did
before. " I do not want anything save two lads; they must be
both alike, and I will paint a mask resembling their features,
and if we three look alike I'm not afraid of the whole world."

In the royal town were two brothers who were exactly alike,
and the handsome lad painted himself a mask and put it on,
and all three went to Turkey. The witch smelt the strangers'
approach from a great distance. When they arrived in the
Sultan's palace they all three saluted him, and all three bowed
simultaneously ; they answered the Sultan's questions all together ;
they sat down to supper all together; they all conveyed their
food to their mouths at the same time ; they all got up at the
same time ; after supper they all three bowed, and at the signal
from the Sultan all three went to bed. The Sultan could not
see any difference between the three, but he did not like to kill
all three. The witch, however, recognised the lad, and explained
to her nephew his distinguishing feature, but the Sultan could
not understand her explanation. " Well, you will know to-
morrow morning, my Sultan and relative, which is the one whom
we intend to kill/' said the witch; " you will know him by his
shirt-collar, which will have a scissors-cut in it; he is the Magyar
king's man." An hour before midnight, at the time the witches
are invisible, and when they are able to pass through the eye of
a needle, the old witch glided through the keyhole into the
bedroom where the youths soundly slept. All three were lying
in the same bed, the handsome lad on the outside. The witch
produced a pair of small scissors, and clipped out a piece of his
shirt-collar, and then crept out of the room. But the handsome
lad, when dressing in the morning, noticed in the looking-glass
the damaged shirt-collar and marked his two mates' collars the
same way. The Sultan asked the three lads to breakfast. The
old witch stood in the window, and was very much surprised that
the shirt-collars of all three were marked in the same way.
After breakfast, they bowed and retired, and were allowed to
return home. The king's daughter was very anxious until her
sweetheart returned, but when she saw him one evening in her
father's palace in good health and safe she was greatly delighted,
and begged her father's permission to marry him. The king,
however, made no reply, and the girl was very vexed with her
father. One evening when she was again pleading on his behalf
she suddenly fainted away ; her eye fell on a letter sent by the
Turkish Sultan asking her father to send him this strange lad
alone, because he was a dangerous man to Hungary. The old
king sent the letter to the lad by his daughter, which the girl
handed to him with tears. u Do not weep, love of my heart.

God is with me, and his power." Thus he consoled her. " I
will start at sunrise to-morrow, and in a year's time we shall
be each other's." The brave hero went alone to the Sultan? he
met the old witch in the courtyard, who whispered to him, "It
is the last time you will come to beautiful Turkey." The sword
clanked, and the youth would not even listen to the old woman's
words. When he stepped across the Sultan's threshold, fifteen
armed Turks confronted him: the sword darted forth from its
scabbard, and cut up the Turks into pulp. It did not touch the
Sultan, but went back into its scabbard. At night the old witch
tried to steal the lad's sword, but the sword jumped out and
chopped off the witch's iron nose. Next morning the Sultan
arrayed an enormous army against the lad, but the sword did
its work so swiftly that not a sword, nor an arrow even so much
as scratched the lad, and all the Turks were killed in a heap.

The daughter of the Magyar king was nearly in despair,
because her sweetheart did not return on the appointed day,
and she bothered her father with her requests until he led an
army against Turkey. The girl led the troops herself in military
uniform, but the troops had not to march more than a mile, as
the lad was already on his way home with his little sword. The
king's daughter and the army conducted him to the royal palace,
and proclaimed him viceroy. The young hero with a few
thousand soldiers returned to the country where he was born.
His mother was very much frightened when she saw the soldiers
approach, as she thought that they had come to destroy the town;
and was still more frightened when she discovered that, while
other courtyards were free from soldiers, her own was full of
them, so full that one could not even drop a needle among them.
She trembled, when a handsome fellow got off his horse, and
approached her, but was very much surprised when the same
handsome fellow took hold of her hand and kissed it, saying:
" Well, my dear mother, I will now tell you what I have dreamt.
I dreamt that I should become king of Hungary, my dream has
become true, and I may tell you now what it was, because it is
an accomplished fact, and I am king of Hungary. I wouldn't
tell you in my childhood when you asked me, because had I told
you my dream the Magyar king would have killed me. And
now may the Lord bless you that you did beat me; had you not
beaten me the king would not have taken me; had he not taken
me he would not have sentenced me to the gallows ; had the
king not sentenced me to the gallows the other king would not

have carried me off I am now off to get married."

And so it happened; he went home with his soldiers, and
married the daughter of the Magyar king. He is still alive if he
has not died since !


IHEKE was once, I don't know where, a shepherd, who
one day found a little boy in a meadow ; the boy was
not more than two days old, and so the shepherd
took him to an old ewe and it nursed the child. The
little boy was suckled by it for seven years, his name was Paul ;
and he grew so strong that he was able to uproot good-sized trees.
The old shepherd kept the boy another seven years on the old
ewe's milk, and after that he grew so strong that he could pull
up oak-trees like weeds. One day Paul betook himself into the
world in order to see countries, to get to know something of life,
and try his luck. He went on and on, and on the very first day
he met a man who was combing huge trees like one does flax.
"Good day, my relative," said Paul; " upon my word, you
are very strong! my Koma!" "I am Tree-Comber/' said the
man, " and am very anxious to wrestle with Shepherd Paul."
" I'm the man you name; come along and let us wrestle," ex-
claimed Paul. And thereupon he seized Tree-Comber and threw
him to the ground with such force that he sunk into the ground
as far as his knees. But he soon recovered, jumped up, seized
Paul, and threw him to the ground, so that he went in as far as
his waist ; and then Paul again caught him, and put him in as
far as his neck. " That will do ! " called out Tree-Comber; " I
can see that you are a smart fellow, and should be glad to
become your ally." u Well and good," said Paul, and they con-
tinued their journey together.

They went on and soon after found a man who was crush-
ing stones to powder with his hands, as if they were clods.
"Good day/' said Paul; "you must be a strong chap, my Koma."
" I am Stone-Crusher, and should like to wrestle with Shepherd
Paul." Thereupon Paul wre&tled with him too, and defeated him
the same way as he had done Tree-Comber ; and he too became
an ally, and all three continued their journey. After a short time,
they came across a man who was kneading hard iron, as if it
were dough. "Good day," said Paul; "you must have the
strength of a devil, Koma." " I am Iron-Kneader, and should
like to fight Shepherd Paul," answered this man. Paul wrestled
with him and defeated him, and they all four became allies, and
continued their journey. About noon they settled down in a
forest, and Paul thus addressed his mates: u We three are going
to look for some game, and you, Koma Tree-Comber, will stop
here in the meantime and prepare a good supper for us." The
three went hunting, and Tree- Comber in the meantime com-
menced to boil and roast, until he had nearly got the meal ready,
when a little dwarf with a pointed beard came to the place, and
said, " What are you cooking, countryman? Give me some of
it." " I'll give you some on your back if you like," replied
Tree-Comber. The little dwarf made no reply, but waited till the
sauerkraut was done, and then, suddenly seizing Tree-Comber by
the neck and pulling him on his back, he placed the saucepan on
his belly, ate the sauerkraut, and disappeared. Tree-Comber was
rather ashamed of this, and in order to hide the real facts from
his friends, commenced working afresh; however, the vegetable
was not done by the time his mates returned, but he did not tell
them the cause of it.

Next day, Stone-Crusher remained behind, while the others
went hunting ; he fared like Tree-Comber with the dwarf with
the pointed beard, and the same thing happened to Iron-Kneader
on the third day. Thereupon, Paul spoke thus: "Well, my
Komas, there must be something behind all this, I think ; none
of you have been able to do the work while the rest of us were
hunting. I propose that you three go hunting, while I remain
and prepare the food." They went in high glee, chuckling that
the little dwarf would teach Shepherd Paul a lesson also. Paul
hurried on with the cooking, and had nearly finished, when the
little fellow with the pointed beard came and asked for something
to eat. " Be off," shouted Paul, and picked up the saucepan,
so that the little fellow could not get it. The dwarf tried to get
hold of his collar, but Paul swiftly seized him by his beard and
tied him to a big tree, so that he could not move. The three
mates returned early from their hunting, but Paul had the supper
ready, and thus spoke to the three astonished men: "You; my
Komas, are a fraud, you weren't able even to outwit that little
dwarf with the pointed beard. Now let us have our supper at
once, and then I will show you what I have done with him/'
When they finished, Paul took his mates to the place where he
had fastened the dwarf, but he was gone, and so was the tree, as
he had pulled it up by its roots and run away. The four fellows
thereupon decided to give chase to him, and they followed the
track made by the tree, and thus arrived at a deep hole, and
as the track of the tree stopped here they came to the con-
clusion that the dwarf must have for a certainty got down into
the deep hole. They held a short consultation and came to
the resolution that they would lower Paul in a basket, and that
they would remain above until Paul should pull the rope, and
thus give them a signal to haul him up with all haste. So they
lowered Paul, and deep below in the earth among beautiful
valleys he found a splendid castle, into which he at once entered.
In the castle he found a beautiful girl who at once warned him
to run away as fast as possible if he valued his life, because the
castle belonged to a dragon with six heads, who had kidnapped
her from earth, taken her to this underground place, and made
her his wife ; but Paul decided to await the dragon's return,
as he was desirous of liberating the pretty girl. The monster
with six heads soon arrived and angrily gnashed his teeth at the
foolhardy Paul, who thus addressed him, " I am the famous Shep-
herd Paul, and I've come to fight you." " Well done," replied
the dragon; " so, at least, I shall have something for supper, but
first, let's have something to whet our appetites." Whereupon
he commenced to devour a few hundredweights of huge round
boulders, and, after he had satisfied his hunger, offered Paul one.
Paul took a wooden knife and cut in two the stone offered to him,
which weighed one hundredweight, and took up both halves and
launched them with such power at the dragon that two of his heads
were smashed to pulp. The dragon thereupon got into an awful
rage, and made a furious onslaught on Paul, but he with a clever
sword-cut slashed off two more of the monster's heads, and took
him round the waist, and dashed him against the rock with such
force, that the brains splashed out of the remaining two heads.
The pretty girl thereupon with tears in her eyes thanked Paul
for his services, for having liberated her from her ugly tormentor,
but at the same time informed him, that two younger sisters of
hers were languishing in the possession of two more powerful

Paul thereupon at once made up his mind to liberate the other
two, and to take the girl with him. The girl handed him a
golden rod, with which he struck the castle ; and it became a
golden apple, which he put in his pocket and went on. Not far
off in a gorgeous castle he found the second girl, whose husband
and tormentor was a dragon with twelve heads. This girl gave

Paul a silk shirt in order to make him more fit for the struggle
with her husband. The shirt made Paul twice as strong. He had
dinner with the twelve-headed dragon, and after a long struggle
succeeded in defeating him, and took away all his twelve heads;
he then transformed the castle with a golden rod into a golden
apple, and continued his way with the two girls. Not far off in
a castle they found the third girl, who was the youngest and the
prettiest, and whose husband was a dragon with eighteen heads,
whoj however, assumed the shape of a little dwarf with a pointed
beard whenever he went on his expeditions on the surface of the

Paul longed more than ever to be at him, and in order the
better to fortify him for the struggle with the awful monster, the
pretty girl dressed him in a silk shirt which made him ten times
stronger, and she also gave him some wine which doubled his
power again. When the huge dragon with the eighteen heads
arrived, Paul at once accosted him, saying, " Well, my Koma,
I'm Shepherd Paul, and I've come to wrestle with you, and to
liberate that pretty girl from your claws/' " I'm glad I've met
you," replied the dragon, " it's you who killed my two brothers,
and you'll have to pay for that with your life, for it is only your
blood that can repay me for the loss." Thereupon the monster
went into the next room, to put on the fortifying shirt, and to
drink the strengthening wine ; but there was no shirt, and no wine
in the cask, because the pretty girl had allowed what Paul could
not drink to run out. The dragon became very angry and began
to pace up and down, being rather nervous as to the issue. But
Paul was not long before he set at him, and with one stroke
slashed off six of his heads, and, after a short struggle, either
broke or cut off the rest; and having thus liberated the third girl,
he transformed the castle, like the previous two, into a golden
apple, hid it in his pocket, and started with the three girls towards
the opening at the top of which his mates awaited him.

Having got there, as there was no room for all four in the
basket, Paul bade the three girls to get in, and pulled the rope,
whereupon his three mates hastily drew up the basket. Seeing
the three pretty girls, they forgot all about hauling up Paul ;
each chose a girl and hastily left the forest, and settled down with
them beyond the seventh country. Paul seeing that he was
deceived by his faithless friends, began to swear in his rage, and
vowed by heaven and earth that so soon as he should get out
he would take bloody revenge on his deceitful mates, even if they
had hidden themselves at the end of the world. Thereupon, he
walked about aimlessly underground, and cogitated how to get out-
After long wanderings he came to the nest of the huge griffin,
in which he found several small griffins, and as the old bird was
away, and it was hailing fire, he covered the nest with his cloak,
and thus saved the little griffins. The old bird, in order to reward
him, took him upon its back to carry him up to the surface. It
took with it some provisions for the way, which consisted of a
roast bullock hanging on one side, and a cask of wine on the
other, and gave Paul directions that whenever it turned its head
to the bullock he was to cut off a piece, and put it in its mouth,
and whenever it turned its head to the cask, to pour a pint of
wine down its throat. The griffin started off with Paul on its
back, and flew three days and three nights, and on the morning
of the fourth day it alighted with Paul outside the very town
where his three faithless mates lived, put him down, and returned
to its nest. Paul, as soon as he had rested from his fatigues,
started off in search of his three mates, who were dreadfully
frightened when they saw Shepherd Paul appear, who they
thought was dead long ago. Paul gave them a severe scolding
for their faithlessness, and then quietly killed all three. He
placed the three apples in the prettiest part of the town, side
by side, tapped them with the golden rod, and they became
three splendid castles. He placed the three girls in them, married
the youngest, and lives with her still in the middle castle, if he
hasn't died since !


jHERE was once, I don't know where, there was in
the world an old king ; one of whose eyes always
wept, and the other always smiled. He had three sons.
The youngest was twelve, the eldest twenty, and the
middle one sixteen. These three sons got talking together one
spring morning about different things : the eldest of his sweet-
heart, the middle one of his saddle-horse, and the youngest one
of his birds. Their conversation at last turned upon more
serious matters, and they wished to know why their father's one
eye always wept and why the other always smiled ; so they
decided to go and ask him the reason at once. The father was at
luncheon. The eldest son knocked ; and, after greeting his father,
kissed his hand, and asked him why the one eye always wept
and the other always smiled ? The father looked very angrily at
his son, and beckoned him to go. The boy became very fright-
ened at seeing his father grow angry so suddenly, and ran away.
Just as he ran through the door he heard a noise at his heels,
and found that his father had thrown his knife and fork after
him. The terrified lad brought the disappointing news to his
brothers. " Then I'll ask him, if no one else will," said the
middle son, who, for his chivalrous deeds, was his father's
favourite. The king still sat at lunch, and the second son, like
his elder brother, also asked his father why one eye always wept,
whilst the other always smiled. The father then threw knife
and fork after him, and the fork stuck fast in the heel of the
lad's shoe. The lad was very frightened, and told his brothers
what had happened, at which they were much disappointed, as
they had every confidence in him. "It is of no use your going/'
said the second eldest to the youngest, " because our royal father
dislikes you on account of your bird-catching habits."

But still the little boy went in, and in a trembling but con-
fident voice asked his father why one eye always wept, whilst the
other always smiled. The king, who had just finished his lunch,
no sooner heard the boy's question than he threw his knives
and forks at him, and the blade of one knife lodged in the boy's
thigh, so that the blood spurted out; but the little boy was not
frightened, and, amid his tears, drew the knife out from his thigh,
and having wiped it, took it back to his father, and repeated his
question. The father lovingly stroked the little fellow's hair
and bade him sit on a low chair, and told him the secret, saying :
"One eye always laughs because you three boys are very hand-
some children; and when I die you will make three brave kings
for any three countries. My other eye always weeps because once
upon a time I had a beautiful pelican, whose song was so
charming, that whosoever heard it was at once transformed into
a youth seventeen years of age. That bird was stolen from me
by two men dressed in black. That is the reason why one eye
always weeps, and why my soul is vexed within me.'* The little
fellow kissed his father's hand and hurried off to his brothers,
who received him with a mocking smile, but soon felt ashamed
of themselves, when the child, with his wounded thigh, brought
the reply to their question. " We will try to console our father,
and make him young again/' said the three brothers all together;
u we will endeavour to find that pelican, if it be yet alive,
whether it be on land or sea." Having thus spoken, they at
once got ready for the journey.

The eldest and the middle sons went to their father's stables,
saddled the finest horses, and put a great deal of treasure in
their sabre-taches, and set forth : so that the youngest son was
left without a horse, as his elder brothers had taken away the
horses that would have suited him.

When they came to the end of the village, an old beggar met
them, and asked them for a coin or a bit of bread : the two
elder lads took no notice of him, but galloped on, the beggar
shouting mocking words after them. The youngest lad arrived
half an hour later, and shared half his cake with the beggar.
" As you have helped me, prince," said the beggar, " I will help
you. I know where you are going, and what you are seeking.
You would need the lives of three men if you went on foot, or
on the back of on ordinary horse, for the church in which your
pelican sings now is beyond the Operencian Sea. The saddle-
horse which can go there must have been brought up on dragon's
milk, to prevent its hoofs being worn away on the long journey;
but for a good deed you may expect a good one in return. You
have helped me, and I will help you, with my advice at least,
and that is all a poor beggar can offer. Five miles from this
bridge where we stand lives an old witch who has two horses.
If you serve her for a year (her year has three days) she will
give you as much money as you ask for; but if you do not serve
your whole year she will chop off your head. The man has
not yet been found who can serve her a whole year, for her
horses are her two daughters, and so soon as the groom, falls
asleep, they either disappear into the clouds or the sea ; or slip
under ground, and do not reappear until the groom's head is im-
paled. But I trust that you will be able to take care of them.
Take this whistle ; it has three holes. If you open the first hole
the King of the Gnats will appear at your command ; if the
second, the King of the Fishes; if the third, the King of the
Mice. Take great care of this whistle, and when you have done
your year, don't ask for money, cattle, clothes, lands, or suchlike
things (the old witch will offer you all these), but ask for the
half-rotten foal which lies buried seven fathoms deep in the
dung-heap. There is a hen-coop, and on the top of it a saddle
and a bridle; put these on the foal just after you have dug it
out. It will be too weak to walk, therefore you must take it on
your back, and carry it to the end of the village There you
will find a bridge. Place it under the bridge, in the water, for
one hour, and then wash it. I won't tell you any more."

The same evening, just after the cows had been driven home,
the lad was to be seen sitting on the threshold of the witch's
door. The old witch was at the same hour driving her horses
home from the field. Sometimes they jumped about on the
ground ; sometimes they flew in the air ; but the old witch was
after them everywhere, riding a-straddle on a saddled mopstick.
" Good evening, my dear old mother," said the lad, in a confi-
dential voice. " Good fortune has brought you, my dear son,"
commenced the witch, " it's lucky that you called me your mother,
for see ! there are ninety-nine human heads impaled, and yours
would have been the hundredth. What's your errand, my dear
son?" " Pm looking for a situation, my dear old mother!"
" Good fortune has brought you, my dear son; the year lasts
three days with me, and during that time you will have to take
care of my two horses. Your wages will be whatever you ask,
and as much as you desire. But if you don't take care of those
two horses, you must die ! " " The Lord will help me." " Come
in to supper, for you will have to take the horses out into the
Silken Meadow for the night." The prince went in, and after
supper the witch poured a sleeping draught into the new groom's
drinking-cup. Supper over the prince went into the stables and
stroked the horses. He then prepared two halters from a piece
of rope that the beggar had given him, threw them over their
heads, and jumped on the back of the finer horse. The horse,
which had become quite tame with the unusual halter, walked
along peaceably with the prince on its back, to the great surprise
of the witch. " Well, that fellow must know a thing or two!"
sighed the old witch as she looked after him, and slammed the
door behind her. As soon as the prince arrived in the Silken
Meadow with the horses a heavy sleep seized him, and he slept
soundly all night. The sun was high in the heavens when he
woke, rubbing his sleepy eyes, and began to call for his horses,
which would not come. He was in great despair until, fumbling
in his pockets, he found the little whistle, which he immer
diately blew, leaving the first hole open. The King of the Gnats
appeared! " We wait your orders," said a huge gnat : u speak
and tell us what you require. If it be anything in the air we
will find it for you." " I had to take care of two horses, and
I cannot find them. If I do not take them home, death will be
my doom." Gnats went flying forth in all directions at their
king's singing, and in less than half an hour two griffins alighted
in front of the lad. He struck them on the heads with a halter,
and they became horses, and the little groom went home in great
joy. " So you have brought them home safely, my son; your
breakfast is ready ; eat it and then go to sleep. By-and-by your
dinner will be ready. You have nothing else to do to-day." So
saying, the old witch gave her horses a sound thrashing with a
peel, and then, giving them some burning cinders to eat, went
back to the house, and, sitting in a corner, threaded beads until

In the evening the old woman again mixed some sleeping
draught into the little groom's drink, making it stronger than
before. He took out his horses, and when he had gone a little
way on the road he fell off the saddle, and slept till noon the next
day. When he awoke his horses were gone, and so he blew
his whistle, leaving the second hole open, and the King of the
Fishes appeared. " We wait your orders," said a mighty whale;
" speak and tell us. If it is to be found in or above the ocean
we will find it." " I had to guard two horses, and I can't find
them anywhere, and if I don't take them back I must die."
Fishes swam forth in every river and sea at the command of
their king, and in an hour they drove a big pike to shore, which
had two little gold fish in its inside. The whale ordered a
sword-fish to rip open the pike's belly. The little lad struck the
gold fishes on the head with his halter, and they became horses
once more. Late in the afternoon the little groom arrived in
the courtyard with the horses. " Go inside, my son, and have
something to eat, you have nothing more to do until the
evening," said the witch, who then thrashed her horses with a
huge poker, and, having given them some burning cinders to eat,
hobbled back into the house and began to count her gold coins.
The prince had to spend another night with the horses ; and in
the evening the old witch went to the horses, and, having
scolded them well, declared that if they would not hide themselves
properly this time she would punish them horribly. She gave
her little groom drink until he was half drunk, and also three
pillows which were stuffed with owl's feathers, which would
make him sleep sounder. And he did go to sleep until the mid-
day sun awoke him next day in the Silken Meadow. But the
little whistle again came to his aid; he opened the lowest hole
and blew the whistle, and the King of all the Mice appeared.
"We wait your orders," said a rat with a big moustache.
" Whatever is to be found on earth or under its crust we will
bring to you, if you order us to do so." " I had to guard two
horses and can't find any trace of them ; if I don't take them
home I must die." The mice came forth from every wall and
every hole in the ground at the squeak of their king. After an
hour and a half they drove two rats from a granary to the lad,
who struck them on the head with his halter, and changed them
back into his horses.

On his arrival at home the witch said to the prince, " So you
have guarded them well, my dear son. Your year of service is
over. Ask what you like. Here are three keys, one of which
opens a cellar where there are vats full of gold and silver, take as
much as you like. The second key opens a wardrobe, from
which you may choose either royal dresses, or if you like magic
garments, which will change into anything you like. The third
key opens the stables, where you will find horses with golden
or silver hair; take which you like best, and as many as you
like, it is all the same to me." The prince looked at the
treasures, clothes, and horses, but chose none of them, and
returned the keys, looking very downcast.

" My father the king has horses, costly garments, and gold ; I
have no need for any of these things. 5 '

"Ask, then, whatever you like; ask my life, because whoso-
ever has served a year with me well deserves his wages."

" I don't want your life or your death, my dear old mother;
but under your dung-heap there lies buried seven fathoms deep a
wretched foal, and on the top of your hen-coop there's a worn-
out old saddle very much soiled. These are the things I want ;
give them to me."

" You're in league with the devil, my dear son, take care that
you don't get into hell."

The witch tried to put him off, and made all manner of ex-
cuses, but at last she brought a golden spade and traced a triangle
on the dung-heap which pointed to where, without fail, the
wretched foal was to be found. The prince dug without ceasing
for seven days and seven nights, and on the dawn which followed
the eighth night the ground began to move under his spade
and the Tatos foal showed its hoofs. The prince dug it out,
scraped the dirt from it, and, having fetched the saddle from the
hen-coop, put it on the foal ; and having taken leave of his witch
mistress he took the foal on his back and carried it as far as the
bridge. While the foal was soaking in the water the old beggar
appeared on the bridge and received a piece of bread from the

" Prince, when you sit on your horse's back," said the
beggar, ," take care of yourself. It will carry you through
clouds and over waters; it knows well the way to the country
where the pelican lives, so let it go wherever it pleases. When
you arrive at the shore of the Operencian Sea leave your horse
there, for you will have to walk three hundred miles further. On
your way go into every house and make inquiries. A man who
knows how to use his tongue can get far, and one stion is
worth more than a hundred bad guesses. On the shore of the
Operencian Sea there are two trees, one on this side and one on
the opposite shore; you cannot get over the sea unless you
climb the trees when they kiss each other, and this only happens
twice a year, at the end of the summer and at the beginning of
spring. More I will not tell you. Good-bye."

Their conversation had lasted a whole hour, and behold ! the
wretched foal had become such a beautiful horse with golden hair
and three legs, that one could not find another to match it.

The little prince got into the saddle, which had also become
gold, and rode leisurely over the bridge. At the other end his
steed spoke thus: " I shall now be able to see, my little master,
whether we can start at once;" and thereupon darted into the
clouds ; from thence to the moon ; from thence to the sun ; and
from the sun to the " hen and chickens " (the Pleiades) ; and
from thence back to the bridge.

" I have lived for many a thousand years, but such a rider as
you has not sat on my back before.' 5 And again it darted off
over seven times seven countries, and in half an hour the prince
reached his brothers, who had been galloping for the last three
days and three nights. They rode together for a little while
when the eldest thus spoke : (( My younger brothers, if we all
three keep together we shall never be able to find the pelican.
The road divides into three branches here. Let each of us go
into a different country, and let us mark this finger-post, and in
one year's time meet here again. Should blood ooze out of the
post it will be a sign that the brother who is absent is in misery
or captivity; but if milk flow out of it, then he is well." This
proposal was accepted. The two eldest took the roads on the
right and the youngest the one on the left. But the two eldest
were wicked. They did not look for the pelican but got into
bad habits and spent their time in making love to young ladies.
They did not trouble themselves very much about their father's
rejuvenescence. The youngest prince went on steadily and
covered a thousand miles a day ; till at last he reached the
Operencian Sea. The two trees which stood on its shores were
just then kissing each other. The prince slackened the girth of
his horse, jumped on the tree, ran along its upper branches,
which touched the tree on the other side of the sea, and in an
hour gained the opposite shore. He had left his horse in a silken
meadow, the grass standing as high as the horse's knees. His
horse neighed after him and urged him to make haste.

On the opposite shore of the sea there was a golden forest.
He had a small hand-adze with him and with it he notched the
stems of the trees so that he might not miss his road upon his
return. Beyond the golden forest there stood a small cottage
where an aged woman an hundred years old lived.

" Good day, my dear old mother. 1 "

" Good fortune has brought you, my dear son. What are
you doing here, whither not even a bird ever comes ? What do
you want here, my dear son ?"

" I am trying to find the pelican, my dear old mother/'

" Well, my son, I do not know where it is, but I have heard
of it. Go a hundred miles beyond yonder silver forest, and ask
my grandmother. If she does not know anything about it,
nobody does. On your way back with your bird come and see
me, my dear son, and I will give you a present. Life is worth

The old woman sent her cat with the prince, which accom-
panied him as far as the right road, mewed once, and turned
back. The wandering prince, after a journey which lasted for
weeks, got through the silver forest and found a cottage where
the old woman lived, who was so much bent from age that her
nose touched the ground.

" Good evening, my grandmother."

" Good fortune has brought you, my dear son. What are
you doing here, whither not even a bird ever comes ? What do
you want, my dear son?"

"I seek the pelican, my dear mother, whose song makes old
people young again. The Jesuits have stolen it from my father."

" Well, my son, I know nothing of it. But fifty miles beyond
yonder copper-forest lives my mother, and if she knows nothing
about your bird, then nobody does. On your way back with the
bird call upon me, my dear son, and I will give you a good
present for your trouble. Life is still very pleasant, even to

The prince again continued his journey in company with a red
cock, which took him as far as the right road. There it crowed
once, and flew back. After a journey of days and weeks the
prince discovered on the borders of the copper-forest a little
cottage, in which the old woman sat, whose eyelids were quite
covered with moss. " Good day, my dear old mother ! " " Good
fortune has brought you, my dear son. What do you want?"

" I am looking for the pelican." " You are on the right spot,
my dear son. Though I have never .seen it ; because when it was
brought hither I could use my legs no longer. Step across the
threshold, and within a gun-shot you will see an old tumble-
down church ; the pelican is kept in there. By the side of the
church there is a beautiful mansion, in it live the two old Jesuits
who brought the bird from some foreign land ; but the bird will
not sing to them. Go and tell them that you think you will be
able to make the bird sing, as perhaps it will sing to you as you
come from a foreign land."

The prince, however, didn't dare to go to see the friars, but
waited for the evening or the morning bell to be rung, and then
stole into the church. He had to wait for seven days, and still
he did not succeed in hearing the pelican sing, as on each occa-
sion a deep sleep overcame him. The two friars had become
youths of seventeen years of age during the last two days.

No one knew why the bird did sing on the third day. On
this day, the prince, as soon as he had stepped into the church,
made his nose bleed, and this kept him awake, and he heard the
bird's song, and saw the friars caper round the cage and throw
sugar into it. The prince hid himself under a chair, and when
every one had retired to rest after evening prayers he let the bird
out of its cage, hid it under his cloak, and went back to the first
old woman and made her young again. The old woman jumped
with delight, and gave him as much gold and silver as he liked.
In a few weeks he got back to the other old women who lived in
the gold and silver forests, and they regaled him in a royal

When he reached the sea-shore the two trees were kissing
again, so he ran across them with the bird and appeared by the
side of his horse, which had eaten so much of the fine grass that
it had become so fat that the girth had quite cut into its belly.
He made the horse young too, and sat on its back, and in a short
time returned to the post where he had left his brothers. Lo !
blood was flowing on that side on which his brothers had gone.
His sensitive heart was quite overcome with sorrow, because his
brothers were either in danger or misery. So he went on the
same road on which the poor fellows had departed. He had not
gone more than a couple of miles before he came to an inn.
Adjoining the inn was a garden, where his two brothers were
working in irons, because they had squandered their all, in-
cluding their horses, and had got into debt for drink. After
scolding the innkeeper the little prince bought his brothers off
and repurchased their horses.

They then started home all together, and he related all his
adventures, and how he had got possession of the favorite pelican.
At last they came to the outskirts of a forest about three miles
from home, and at 'this place the two elder brothers attacked
him from behind, cut off his hands and feet, took his little bird
from him, and hurried home in order to lengthen their father's
life by means of the song of the dear bird that had been brought
back from so far off. The poor little prince began to cry
bitterly with pain and fear. His cries were heard by a swine-
herd who was tending his herd in the same forest in which the
wicked brothers had maimed the little prince,

The swine-herd picked up the poor boy without hands and
feet and carried him to his hut. " He will do to take care of
the hut," said the swine-herd, " poor wretch I" In the evening,
the little crippled boy related all about his brothers' cruelty, and
the poor swine-herd's heart was filled with pity for the boy's
misfortune. Next morning just as he was going to look after his
hogs the little prince called him back with fearful screams, and
to his surprise he saw something that looked like a human skull
wriggle out of the ground. He quickly knocked off the top of
the skull with his hatchet, and the remainder slipped back into
the ground. From the part cut off, blood flowed on to the
ground. Somehow or other his maimed finger came in contact
with the mud formed out of the blood and the dust and to his
astonishment it was healed. Great was the simple swine-herd's
joy ! He rubbed the boy's stumps with the mud, and lo ! his
hands and feet grew again !

As soon as the news had spread in the royal town that the
pelican had come back all the old men gathered together and
many brought presents to the princes, and took out their horses
and dragged their carriage along the streets. At ten o'clock the
next morning the church was crowded, and the pelican was re-
installed in its old place. The organ began to play but the bird
would not sing. The king had it proclaimed through the length
and breadth of his kingdom that any one who could make the
pelican sing should have half his realm. The swine-herd heard
the news and told it to his helpmate. " Take me, my brother,
under your cloak. 5 ' said the little prince, " as I do not wish my
brothers to see me, lest they kill me. Let us then go into the town,
and, as you are very old, I will induce the pelican to sing and
make you young." So they set off together and the swine-herd
sent word into the crowded meeting that he had confidence in the
Lord, and thought he would be able to make the bird sing. The
people crowded round the swine-herd, who had a handsome, well-
built boy hidden under his cloak. They conducted him into the
church, where he at once took off his great cloak, and no sooner
did the pelican see its liberator than it at once began to sing
most beautifully, and all the old men who were there assembled
in great numbers became seventeen years old. The king recog-
nised his son and made him tell all about his journey. When he
came to the incident of the savage attack by his brothers the
people began to hiss and groan, and resolved to draw and quarter
the two villains, to tie them to horses' tails, drag them over the
town, and hang them on the four corners of the fortress. The
resolution was at once carried into effect. In vain did the kind-
hearted lad beg for their lives. They had to die. The old
king gave half of the realm to the young prince. The swine-
herd was dressed up in velvet and purple^ and they all are alive
to this day, if they have not died since.


|HERE was once, I do not know where, in the world
an old man who had twelve sons; the eldest of
whom served the king for twenty-four years. One
day the old man took it into his head that all his
sons should get married, and they all were willing to comply
with their father's wish, with the exception of the eldest son,
who could not on any account be coaxed into matrimony.
However the old man would not give in, and said, " Do you
hear me, my son ? the eldest of you must marry at the same
time as the youngest; I want you all to get married at the same

So the old man had a pair of boots made for himself with
iron soles and went in search of wives for his twelve sons. He
wandered hither and thither over several countries until the iron
soles of his boots were worn into holes; at last, however, he
found at a house twelve girls, who, he thought, would do.

The eleven younger lads made great preparations and went to
the fair to buy themselves saddle-horses; but the eldest, who
was serving the king, did not concern himself about anything,
and turned out the king's horses to grass as usual. Among the
animals there was a mare with a foal, and Jack this was the
name of the eldest lad always bestowed the greatest care upon
the mare. One day, as the whole stud were grazing in the
fields, the mare neighed and said to the lad, " I say, Jack, I
hear that you are thinking of getting married; your eleven
brothers have already gone to the fair to purchase riding-horses
for the wedding ; they are buying the finest animals they can get ;
but don't you go and purchase anything : there is a foal of mine
that was foaled last year, go and beg the king to let you have
it, you will have no cause to repent your choice. The king
will try to palm off some other animal on you, but don't you
take it. Choose the foal as I tell you."

So it happened Jack went up stairs and saw the king and
spoke to him thus : " Most gracious Majesty ! I have now served
you for twenty-four years and should like to leave this place,
because my eleven brothers are already on their way to get
themselves wives ; the tips of my moustache too reach already
to my ears, the days fly fast, and it is high time for me to find
a wife too; I should be much obliged if you would pay me my
wages." u You are perfectly right, my dear son, Jack," replied
the king, "it is high time that you too get married; and, as you
have so faithfully served me, I will give orders for your wedding
to be celebrated with the greatest pomp. Let me know your
wishes ! would you like to have so much silver as you can carry,
or would you prefer as much gold? " " Most gracious Majesty,
I have only one desire, and that is to be allowed to take with me
from your stud a certain foal that belongs to a certain mare that
is with foal again this year." " Surely you don't want to make
an exhibition of yourself on that wretched creature?" " Aye,
but I do, your Majesty, and I do not want anything else."

Our Jack was still fast asleep when his eleven brothers set out
on the finest horses to fetch their girls. Jack did not get up
till noon, at which hour the king ordered out a coach and six,
together with a couple of outriders, and thus addressed the lad :
" Well, Jack, my boy, I have no objection, you can take your
foal, but don't reproach me hereafter." Jack thereupon had
plenty to eat and drink, and even took out a bucketful of wine
to his foal and made it drink the whole. He then took his
goods and chattels and sat in the coach, but the king would not
allow the foal to run along with the coach, and said: " Not that
way, if I know it; put the ugly creature up on the box! I
should feel ashamed if anybody saw the ugly brute running
alongside my coach." So the foal was tied up to the box, and
they set off till they reached the outskirts of the town. By this
time the foal, which was in a most uncomfortable position,
presented a most pitiful sight; for by rubbing against the box the
whole of one of its sides had become raw. So they stopped, and
it was taken down and placed on the ground. Jack got out, and,
the coach having set out for home, he sat on the foal's back, his
feet touching the ground. The foal gazed round to see whether
anybody was looking on, and, not seeing a soul, it flew up high
into the air and thus addressed the lad: u Well, my dear master,
at what speed shall we proceed? Shall we go like the hurricane
or like a flash of thought?" " As quick as you can, my dear
horse/' was his reply.

They flew along for a while, when the foal again spoke, asking :
" Is your hat tied on, my dear master?"

Ce Yes, it is, my dear horse."

Again they flew along, and again the little foal said: " Well,
my dear master, your hat that you have bought for your
wedding is gone. You have lost it. We have left it some seven
miles behind, but we will go back to fetch it; nobody has as
yet picked it up." So they returned and picked up the hat,
and the little foal again flew high up into the air. After pro-
ceeding for three hours they reached the inn where his brothers
had decided to take up their night's lodgings. The other lads
had started at dawn, he not till noon, after his midday meal, and
still he left them behind. Having got within a short distance of
the inn, the foal alighted on the ground with Jack, and addressed
him in these words: " Well, my dear master, get off here and
turn me out on to that heap of rubbish and weeds yonder, then
walk into the inn and have plenty to eat and drink ; your eleven
younger brothers will also arrive here shortly." So Jack entered
the inn, ordered a bottle of wine, made a hearty meal, and
enjoyed himself heartily. He took out a bucketful of wine to
his foal and gave it to drink ; time passed on .... when, at
last his brothers arrived. They were still at some distance when
the youngest caught sight of the foal, and exclaimed: " Oh,
look at that miserable screw ! Surely it is our eldest brother's
steed." " So it is ! So it is I " exclaimed all the others, but at
the same time they all stared at each other, and could not
explain how it came to pass that, although they had started
much earlier than their brother, they had been outdistanced by
him, notwithstanding the fact that his animal could not be
compared with their own horses. The brothers put their steeds
into the stables and placed plenty of hay and corn before them,
then they walked into the tap-room and found Jack already
enjoying himself.

u So you have got here a brother," they remarked. " As you
behold, youngsters, though I had not left home when the clock
struck twelve." " Certainly it is a mystery how you have got
here on that thorough-bred of yours, a wolf could swallow the
creature at a bite."

They sat down and ate and drank ; so soon as it became dark,
the lads went out to look after the horses.

" Well then, where will you put your horse over night?"
they inquired of the eldest.

" I will put it into the same stables with yours."

" You don't mean that, it will barely reach to the bellies of
our horses, the stables are too big for that steed of yours."

But Jack took his foal into the stables and threw his cloak
over its back. In the meantime his brothers had returned to
the tap-room and were holding council as to what was to be
done with their eldest brother.

" What shall we do with him? what indeed ? what can we do
under the circumstances but kill him ? It will never do to take
him with us to the girls, they will laugh at us and drive us off
in disgrace."

At this the foal began to speak, and said : " I say, dear
master, tie me near the wall, your brothers will come to kill
you, but don't do anything in the matter, leave it to me; join
them, eat and drink, and then come back and lie down at my
feet, I will do the rest."

Jack did as he was told; upon leaving the tap-room he
returned to the stables and lay down at the feet of his foal, and
as the wine had made him a bit drowsy he soon fell asleep.
Ere long his brothers arrived with their hatchet-sticks which
they had purchased for the wedding.

" Gee-up, you jackass," they shouted, and all eleven were
about to attack the poor little foal, when it kicked out with
such force that it sent the youngest flying against the wall.

" Get up, dear master, they have come." Jack thereupon
woke, and his little foal asked him, " What shall I do with

" Oh ! knock them all against the wall."

The foal did as it was told, and the lads dropped about like
crab-apples. It collected them all into a heap, when Jack,
seeing their condition, became frightened, so he hurriedly picked
up a bucket, ran to the well, fetched some water and poured it
over the eleven. They managed, with some difficulty, to get
on to their feet and then showered reproaches upon him, com-
plaining bitterly about his unbrotherly conduct in ordering his
foal to handle them so roughly as it had done.

The eleven then left the inn without a moment's delay, and
toiled along the whole night and the next day, until at last, on
the following evening, they reached the home of the twelve
girls. But to get in was not such an easy task, for the place
was fenced round with strong iron rails, the gate was also very
strong and made of iron, and the latch was so heavy that it took
more than six powerful men to lift it. The eleven brothers
made their horses prance about and bade them to kick against
the latch, but all their manoeuvres were of no avail they could
not move the latch.

But what has become of Jack? where did he tarry? His
foal knew only too well where the girls could be found, and
how they could be got at; so he did not budge from the inn
until late in the afternoon, and spent his time eating and drink-
ing. His brothers were still busily engaged with the latch,
hammering at it and kicking, when at last, just when the people
were lighting the candles at dusk, the brothers discovered Jack
approaching high up in the air on his foal. As soon as he
reached the gate he wheeled round, the foal gave a tremendous
kick at the latch, whereupon the gate, and with it a portion of
the railing, heeled over into the dust. The landlady, a diabolical
old witch, then came running to the gate with a lamp in her
hand, and said: fi I knew Jack that you had arrived, and I have
come and opened the gate." This statement was of course not

The lads entered the house, where they found the twelve girls
all standing in a row. With regard to the age of the maidens
they corresponded to those of the lads; and when it came to
choice, the eldest lad fell in love with the eldest girl, the
youngest lad with the youngest maid, and so on, every lad with
the girl of his own age. They sat down to supper, each girl by
the side of her beau; they ate and drank, enjoyed themselves,
and the kissing had no end. At last they exchanged handker-
chiefs. As it was getting late, and the young folks became
sleepy, they all retired to rest. Beds were prepared for all
twenty-four in a huge room; on one side stood the beds for
the girls, on the other those for the lads. Just then the mis-
chievous old witch, who was the girls' mother, walked out of the
house, and muttered to herself:

" Now I have got you all in my net, you wretched crew, we
shall see which of you will leave this place alive !"

It so happened that Jack went out to look after his foal ; he
took a bucketful of wine with him and gave his animal a drink,
whereupon the foal spoke to him thus :

" 1 say, dear master! we have come to an awful place; that
old witch intends to kill you all. At the same time don't be
frightened, but do what I am about to tell you. After everybody
has gone to bed, come out again and lead us horses out from
these stables, and tie twelve horses belonging to the old witch
in our places. With regard to yourselves, place your hats on
to the girls' heads, and the old witch will mistake the maids,
and slay them in your stead. I will send such a deep slumber
over them that even a noise seven times as loud as you will
make cannot wake them."

In conformity with the advice thus received, Jack re-entered
the bedchamber, placed the twelve men's hats on to the heads of
the girls ; he then exchanged the horses, and went back to bed.
Soon after the old witch commenced to whet a huge knife,
which sent forth a shower of vivid sparks : she then approached
the beds, groped about, and as soon as she discovered a hat, snap!
off went a head, and so she went on until she had cut off all
the girls' heads. Then she left the house, fetched a broad axe,
sharpened it and went into the stables. Snap ! off came the
head of the first horse, then the next, till she had killed all

The foal then stamped upon the ground, whereupon Jack went
out, and was thus spoken to by his foal :

" Now then, dear master! rouse up all your brothers, and tell
them to saddle their horses ! and let them get away from this
place without a moment's delay. Don't let dawn overtake them
here, or they are lost. You yourself can go back and finish your

Jack rushed in and with great difficulty roused them ; and
then informed them of the dangerous position they were in.
After a great deal of trouble, they got up and left the place.
Jack himself laid down and had a sound sleep. As soon as the
first streaks of dawn appeared, the foal again stamped; Jack
went out, sat upon it, and as they flew through the gate the foal
gave the railing such a powerful kick that even the house
tottered and fell. The old witch hereupon jumped up in great
hurry, sat a-straddle an iron pole, and rode in pursuit of Jack.

"Stop Jack, you deceitful lad!" she shouted; "you have
killed my twelve daughters, and destroyed my twelve horses. I
am not sure whether you will be able to come again hither or
not !"

" If I do, I shall be here ; if not, then I shan't."

Poor Jack got weary of his life, not having been able to
get himself a wife. He did not return to his native town,
but went into the wide, wide world. As he and his foal were
proceeding on their journey, the steed said to him: "Look,
dear master ! I have stept on a hair of real gold ; it is here under
my hoof. It would bring ill luck if we picked it up, but it
would equally be unlucky to leave it; so you had better take it
with you." Jack picked up the golden hair, and re-mounted
his foal, and continued his journey. After a while the foal again
spoke, saying : " My dear master ! now I have stept on a half
horse-shoe of pure gold, it is here under my hoof. It would
be unlucky to take it with us, but we should not fare better if
we left it; so you had better take it." Jack picked up the half
horse-shoe of pure gold, put it into his bag, and they again flew
like lightning. They reached a town just as the evening bell
rang, and stopped in front of an hostelry ; Jack got off, walked
in and asked the innkeeper :

' ' Well, my dear host, what is the news in this town ? "

"Nothing else, my kinsman, but that the king's coachman, who
drove his state-coach, is lying on his death-bed; if you care for
the situation, you had better take it."

So Jack at once made up his mind, and went to see the king
who was then still a bachelor and was at once engaged by
him to drive the state-coach. He did not ask for any wages,
but only stipulated that his foal should be allowed to feed with
the coach-horses from the same manger. To this the king agreed,
and Jack at once proceeded to the stables. In the evening the
other grooms (there were some fifty or sixty of them) raised a
great cry, and all asked for candles from the woman who served
out the stores. But Jack did not want any, so he did not ask
for any, and still his horses were in better condition, and were
better groomed than the rest. All the other grooms used a whole
candle a head every night. This set the storekeeper woman
thinking; she could not imagine how it could be that, whereas
all the other men wanted a whole candle a head every blessed
night, the man who drove the state-coach did not want any, and
still his horses looked a hundred times better than the others.
She told the strange discovery to the king, who immediately sent
for all the men with the exception of Jack.

" Well, my sons, tell me this: How is it that every one of you
burns a whole candle every night, whereas my state -coach man
has never asked for any, and still his horses look seven times
better than yours ?"

<c Oh, your majesty, he has no need to ask for any; we could
do without them, if we were in his position."

" How is that, explain yourselves."

" Because, sir, he does his work one morning by the light of
a golden hair, and every other morning by the rays of half a
horse-shoe of pure gold."

The king dismissed the grooms, and the next day at dawn
concealed himself, and watched Jack, and satisfied himself with
his own eyes that his men had spoken the truth. So soon as he
got back into his rooms, he sent for Jack, and addressed him
thus :

" I say, my boy, you were working this morning by the light
of a hair of real gold."

'* That is not true, your majesty; where on earth could I get
a hair of real gold?"

" Don't let us waste any words ! I saw it with my own eyes
this morning. If the girl to whom that golden hair belonged is
not here by to-morrow morning you forfeit your life ! I'll hang
you ! "

Poor Jack returned to the stables and wept like a child.
ll What is the matter?" inquired his foal; " why do 1 see those
tears ? what makes you cry?"

" How could I help crying and weeping? the king has just
sent for me and told me that if I can't produce the girl to whom
the golden hair belonged he will hang me."

" This is indeed a very serious look-out, my dear master,
because you must know that the old witch whose twelve girls
we have slain has yet another most beautiful daughter ; the girl
has not yet been allowed to see daylight, she is always kept in a
special room which she has never yet left, and in which six
candles are kept burning day and night that is the girl to
whom that golden hair once belonged. But never mind, eat and
drink to your heart's content, we will go and fetch her. But be
cautious when you enter the house where the daughter of the old
witch is guarded, because there are a dozen bells over the door,
and they may betray you."

Jack therefore ate and drank, and took a bucketful of wine to
his foal too, and gave it a drink. Then they started and went
and went, until after a while they reached the dwelling of the
old witch. Jack dismounted, cautiously approached the door,
carefully muffled the dozen bells, and gently opened the door
without making the slightest noise. And lo ! inside he beheld
the girl with the golden tresses, such a wonderfully pretty creature
the like of which he had not set his eyes upon before during all his
eventful life. He stole up to her bedside on tiptoe, grasped the
girl round the waist, and in another second was again out of the
house, carrying her off with him. He ran as fast as he could
and mounted his steed. The foal gave a parting kick to the
house that made the roof tumble in, and the next moment was
off, high up in the air like a swift bird. But the old witch was
not slow either, the moment she was roused she mounted a long
fir-pole and tore after Jack like forked lightning.

" It is you, Jack, you good-for-nothing, deceitful fellow !
My twelve daughters have perished by your hand, and now you
carry off my thirteenth ! You may have been here before, but
I'll take care that you don't come again."

If I do, I do; if I don't, I don't."

Jack went and went, and by dawn had already reached home;
he conducted the girl into the king's presence, and lo ! no
sooner had the monarch caught sight of her than he rushed
forward and embraced her, saying: " Oh, my darling, my pretty
love, you are mine and I am yours ! " But the girl would not
utter a single word, not for the whole world. This made the king
question her: " What is the matter, my love? Why are you so

" How can I help being sad ? Nobody can have me until
ome one brings hither all my goods and chattels, my spinning-
wheel and distaff, nay, the very dust in my room."

The king at once sent for Jack.

" Well, my boy, if the golden-haired girl's goods and chattels,
spinning-wheel, distaff, and the very dust in her room, are not
here by to-morrow morning, I will hang you."

Jack was very much downcast and began to cry. When he
reached the stables his foal again asked him: "What's the
matter with you, my dear master ? Why all this sorrow ? "

11 How can I help weeping and crying, my dear horse; the
king has sent for me and threatened to hang me if the golden-
haired girl's goods and chattels, nay, the very dust of her room,
be not here by to-morrow morning."

" Don't fret, my dear master, we will go and fetch them too.
Get a table-cloth somewhere, and when you enter her room
spread out the cloth on the floor and sweep all her paraphernalia
into it."

Jack got ready and started on his errand. Within a short
time he reached the dwelling of the old witch, entered the room,
and spread out his cloth. But, would anybody believe it, the
glare of the place very nearly blinded him ; the very dust on the
floor was pure gold. He swept everything he could find into
the table-cloth, swung the bundle on his back, and ran out;
having got outside, the foal at his bidding gave the building a
powerful kick that demolished its very foundations. This woke
the old witch, who immediately mounted a red-hot broom and
tore after him like a whirlwind.

" Confound you, deceitful Jack! after you have robbed me
of all my thirteen daughters, you now come and steal the
chattels of the youngest girl. I warrant that you won't return
hither any more."

If I do, I do; if I don't, I don't."

Jack went home with T the luggage and handed it to the king.
u Well, my darling, my pretty love ! your wish is now
fulfilled, and nothing can prevent you from becoming mine."

" You shall have me, but only on one condition. Somebody
must go for my stud with golden hair, which is to be found
beyond the Red Sea. Until all my horses are here nobody can
have me."

The king again sent for Jack.

" Listen to this, my boy ; the girl with the golden hair has a
golden-haired stud beyond the Red Sea; if you don't go at once
to fetch them, you forfeit your life."

Jack went down stairs in great trouble, bent over his foal,
buried his face in his hands, and wept most bitterly, and as he
sobbed and moaned the little foal asked : (: What are you crying
about now ? " Jack told the foal what the king had ordered
him to do, and what the punishment would be if the order were
not obeyed.

" 'Don't weep, dear master, don't fret; the thing can be done
if you follow my directions. Go up stairs to the king and beg of
him twelve buffalo-hides, twelve balls of twine, a grubbing-hoe,
and an ordinary hoe, besides a stout awl to sew the buffalo-
hides together with."

Jack went to the king and declared himself willing to carry
out his order if he would let him have these things, to which
the king replied: " Go and take anything that you may require,
there must be some sixty buffalo-hides still left hanging in the

Jack went up to the loft and took what he wanted; then he
ate and drank, gave his foal a bucketful of wine, and set out in
search of the horses with the golden hair.

He journeyed on till, after a short lapse of time, he reached
the Red Sea, which he crossed on the back of his foal. As soon
as they emerged from the water and gained the opposite shore,
the foal said: " Look, my dear master; can you see the pear-tree
on that hill yonder ? Let's go up on the hill, take your hoe and
dig a hole big enough to hold me ; and as soon as you have dug
the hole sew the twelve buffalo-hides together and wrap them
round me, as it would not be advisable for me to get into the
hole without them. As soon as I have got in, blow this whistle
and the stallion will appear ; and the moment you see it touching
the buffalo skins, throw a halter over its head."

Jack tucked up his shirt-sleeves, dug the hole, sewed the
twelve buffalo-hides on to the foal, and his steed got into the
hole. Then he blew the whistle, and lo ! a fine stallion, with
golden hair, and almost entirely covered with golden froth,
jumped out of the ground; it pranced about, and kicked out in
all directions, whereupon Jack's foal said: " Now then, my dear
master, throw that halter over its head and jump on its back."
Jack did as he was told; when, no sooner was he on its back,
than the stallion gave a tremendous neigh that rent all the
mountains asunder. At its call a vast number of golden-haired
horses appeared; so many, that Jack was not able to count them.
The whole herd immediately took to their heels, and galloped
off with the speed of lightning. The king had not yet finished
dressing in the morning when the whole stud with golden hair
stood arrayed in his courtyard. So soon as he caught sight of
them he rushed off to the girl with the golden hair and ex-
claimed : " Well, my love, the golden horses are all here, and
now you are mine." " Oh, no ! I shan't be yours. I won't
touch either food or drink until the lad who has fetched my
animals milks the mares."

The king sent for Jack.

" I say, my boy, if you do not at once milk the mares, I'll
play the hangman with you."

" How can I milk them, sir ? Even as they are, I find it
difficult to save myself from being trampled to death."

" Do not let us waste any words ; it must be done !"

Jack returned to the stables, and looked very sad; he would
not touch any food or drink. His foal again addressed him and
asked: "Why all this sorrow, dear master?"

" How could I help being sad ? The king has ordered me to
milk the mares no matter what happens, whether I get over it
dead or alive/'

" Don't fret. Ask him to lend you the tub up in the loft,
and milk the mares. They won't do you the least harm."

And so it happened. Jack fetched the tub and milked the
mares. They stood all the time as quietly as the most patient
milch-cows. The king then said to the girl with the golden
hair, "Well, my darling; your wish is fulfilled, and you are

" I shan't be yours until the lad who milked the mares has
bathed in the milk."

The king sent for Jack.

*' Well, my boy, as you have milked the mares, you had better
bathe in the milk."

" Gracious majesty ! How could I do that ? The milk is
boiling hot, and throws up bubbles as high as a man."

" Don't talk ; you have to bathe in the milk or you forfeit
your life."

Jack went down and cried, and gave up all hope of life; he
was sure of death on the gallows. His foal again spoke, and
said: " Don't cry, dear master, but tell me what is the matter
with you." Jack told him what he had to do under penalty of

" Don't fret, my dear master ; but go to the king and ask his
permission to allow you to lead me to the tub, and be present
when you take your bath. I will draw out all the heat, and you
can bathe in the milk without any fear."

So Jack went to the king, and said, '< Well, gracious majesty,
at least grant me the favour of allowing my foal to be present
when I am having my bath, so that it may see me give up the

" I don't care if there be a hundred foals present."
Jack returned to the stables, led his foal to the tub, who began
to sniff. At last it took a deep breath, and beckoned to Jack
not to jump in yet. Then it continued drawing in its breath,
and suddenly at a sign Jack jumped into the tub, and had his
bath. When he finished and got out of the tub he was three
times more handsome than before ; although he was a very hand-
some lad then. When the king saw this he said to the lad:
" Well, Jack, you see you would not have the bath at first.
I'm going to have one myself." The king jumped in, but in
the meantime the foal had sent all the heat into the milk back
again, and the tyrant was scalded to death. The heat was so
intense that nothing was left of his body except a few bits of
bone, as big as my little finger, which were every now and then
brought up by the bubbles. Jack lost not a moment, but rushed
up to the girl with the golden hair, embraced and kissed her,
and said : " Well, my pretty darling, love of my heart, you are
now mine, and I am yours ; not even the spade and the hoe
shall separate us one from another." To which she replied:
u Oh, my love, Jackie, for a long time this has been one of my
fondest wishes, as I knew that you were a brave lad."

The wedding was celebrated with great pomp, that gave
people something to talk about over seven countries. I, too,
was present at the banquet, and kept on shouting : " Chef! Cook !
let me have a bone," till, at last, he did take up a bone and threw
it at me. It hit me, and made my side ache ever since.


|OMEWHERE, I don't know where, even beyond the
Operencian Seas, there was once a maid. She had
lost her father and mother, but she loved the hand-
somest lad in the village where she lived. They
were as happy together as a pair of turtle-doves in the wood.
They fixed the day of the wedding at a not very distant date,
and invited their most intimate friends to it ; the girl, her god-
mother the lad, a dear old friend of his.

Time went on, and the wedding would have taken place in
another week, but in the meantime war broke out in the country.
The king called out all his fighting-men to march against the
enemy. The sabres were sharpened, and gallant fellows, on
fine, gaily -caparisoned horses, swarmed to the banners of the
king, like bees. John, our hero, too, took leave of his pretty
fiancee ; he led out his grey charger, mounted, and said to his
young bride: "I shall be back in three years, my dove; wait
until then, and don't be afraid; I promise to bring you back my
love and remain faithful to you, even were I tempted by the
beauty of a thousand other girls." The lass accompanied him
as far as the frontier, and before parting solemnly promised to
him, amidst a shower of tears, that all the treasures of the whole
world should not tempt her to marry another, even if she had
to wait ten years for her John.

The war lasted two years, and then peace was concluded
between the belligerents. The girl was highly pleased with
the news, because she expected to see her lover return with the
others. She grew impatient, and would sally forth on the road
by which he was expected to return, to meet him. She would
go out often ten times a day, but as yet she had no tidings of
her John. Three years elapsed; four years had gone by, and
the bridegroom had not yet returned. The girl could not wait
any longer, but went to see her godmother, and asked for her
advice, who (1 must tell you, between ourselves) was a witch.
The old hag received her well, and gave her the following
direction: *' As it will be full moon to-morrow night, go into
the cemetery, my dear girl, and ask the gravedigger to give you
a human skull. If he should refuse, tell him that it is I who
sent you. Then bring the skull home to me, and we shall
place it in a huge earthenware pot, and boil it with some
millet, for, say, two hours. You may be sure it will let you
know whether your lover is alive yet or dead, and perchance it
will entice him here." The girl thanked her for her good advice,
and went to the cemetery next night. She found the grave-
digger enjoying his pipe in front of the gate.

" Good evening to you, dear old father."

" Good evening, my lass ! What are you doing here at this
hour of the night ? "

" I have come to you to ask you to grant me a favour."

" Let me hear what it is; and, if I can, I will comply with
your request."

u Well, then, give me a human skull!''

a With pleasure; but what do you intend to do with it?"

" I don't know exactly, myself; my godmother has sent me
for it."

" Well and good; here is one, take it."

The girl carefully wrapped up the skull, and ran home with
it. Having arrived at home, she put it in a huge earthenware
pot with some millet, and at once placed it on the fire. The
millet soon began to boil and throw up bubbles as big as two
fists. The girl was eagerly watching it and wondering what
would happen. When, all of a sudden, a huge bubble formed
on the surface of the boiling mass, and went off with a loud re-
port like a musket. The next moment the girl saw the skull
balanced on the rim of the pot. " He has started," it said, in a
vicious tone. The girl waited a little longer, when two more
loud reports came from the pot, and the skull said, " He has got
half way." Another few moments elapsed, when the pot gave
three very loud reports, and the skull was heard to say, " He
has arrived outside in the yard." The maid thereupon rushed
out, and found her lover standing close to the threshold. His
charger was snow-white, and he himself was clad entirely in
white, including his helmet and boots. As soon as he caught
sight of the girl, he asked: "Will you come to the country
where I dwell?" " To be sure, my dear Jack; to the very end
of the world." " Then come up into my saddle."

The girl mounted into the saddle, and they embraced and
kissed one another ever so many times.

u And is the country where you live very far from here ? "
*' Yes, my love, it is very far; but in spite of the distance it-
will not take us long to get there."

Then they started on their journey. When they got outside
the village, they saw ten mounted men rush past, all clad in
spotless white, like to the finest wheat flour. As soon as they
vanished, another ten appeared, and could be very well seen in
the moonlight, when suddenly John said :

" How beautifully shines the moon, the moon;
ts How beautifully march past the dead.
u Are you afraid, my love, my little Judith?"
" I am not afraid while I can see you, my dear Jack."
As they proceeded, the girl saw a hundred mounted men; they
rode past in beautiful military order, like soldiers. So soon as
the hundred vanished another hundred appeared and followed
the others. Again her lover said :

" How beautifully shines the moon, the moon;
" How beautifully march past the dead.
" Are you afraid, my love, my little Judith?"
u I am not afraid while I can see you, my darling Jack."
And as they proceeded the mounted men appeared in fast

increasing numbers, so that she could not count them ; some
rode past so close that they nearly brushed against her. Again
her lover said :

" How beautifully shines the moon, the moon;

" How beautifully march past the dead.

" Are you afraid, my love, my little Judith? "

u I am not afraid while I see you, Jack, my darling."

u You are a brave and "good girl, my dove; I see that you
would do anything for me. As a reward, you shall have every-
thing that 'your heart can wish when we get to my new

They went along till they came to an old burial-ground,
which was inclosed by a black wall. John stopped here and
said to his sweetheart: "This is our country, my little Judith,
we shall soon come to our house." The house to which John
alluded was an open grave, at the bottom of which an empty
coffin could be seen with the lid off. " Go in, my darling,"
said the lad. ( \ You had better go first, my love Jack, 5 ' replied
the girl, u you know the way." Thereupon the lad descended
into the grave and laid down in the coffin ; but the lass, instead
of following him, ran away as fast as her feet would carry her,
and took refuge in a mansion that was situated a couple of miles
from the cemetery. When she had reached the mansion she
shook every door, but none of them would open to her entreaties,
except one that led to a long corridor, at the end of which there
was a dead body laid out in state in a coffin. The lass secreted
herself in a dark corner of the fire-place.

As soon as John discovered that his bride had run away he
jumped out of the grave and pursued the lass, but in spite of all
his exertions could not overtake her. When he reached the
door at the end of the corridor he knocked and exclaimed :
" Dead man, open the door to a fellow dead man." The corpse
inside began to tremble at the sound of these words. Again
said Jack, " Dead man, open the door to a fellow dead man."

Now the corpse sat up in the coffin, and as Jack repeated a third
time the words " Dead man, open the door to a fellow dead man,"
the corpse walked to the door and opened it.

" Is my bride here ? "

u Yes, there she is, hiding in the corner of the fire-place/'

" Come and let us tear her in pieces/' And with this inten-
tion they both approached the girl, but just as they were about
to lay bands upon her the cock in the loft began to crow, and
announced daybreak, and the two dead men disappeared.

The next moment a most richly attired gentleman entered
from one of the neighbouring rooms. Judging by his appear-
ance one would have believed it was the king himself, who
at once approached the girl and overwhelmed her with his
embraces and kisses.

" Thank you so much. The corpse that you saw here laid
out in state was my brother. I have already had him buried
three hundred and sixty-five times with the greatest pomp, but
he has returned each time. As you have relieved me of him, my
sweet, pretty darling, you shall become mine and I yours; not
even the hoe and the spade shall separate us from one another ! "

The girl consented to the proposal of the rich gentleman, and
they got married and celebrated their wedding-feast during the
same winter.

This is how far the tale goes. This is the end of it.


|AK, very far, there was once, I do not know where,
even beyond the frozen Operencian Sea, a poplar-
tree, on the top of which there was a very old,
tattered petticoat. In the tucks of this old petticoat

I found the following tale. Whosoever listens to it will not see

the kingdom of heaven. 

There was in the world a poor man and this poor man had
twelve sons. The man was so poor that sometimes he had not
even enough wood to make a fire with. So he had frequently
to go into the forest and would pick up there what he could
find. One day, as he could not come across anything else, he
was just getting ready to cut up a huge tree-stump, and, in fact,
had already driven his axe into it, when an immense, dread-
inspiring serpent, as big as a grown-up lad, crept out of the
stump. The poor man began to ponder whether to leave it or
to take it home with him ; it might bring him luck or turn out
a disastrous venture. At last he made up his mind that after all
was said and done he would take it home with him. And so it
happened, he picked up the creature and carried it home. His
wife was not a little astonished at seeing him arrive with his
burden, and said, " What on earth induced you, master, to
bring that ugly creature home ? It will frighten all the children
to death/'

" No fear, wife/' replied the man ; " they won't be afraid of
it; on the contrary, they will be glad to have it to play with."

As it was just meal- time, the poor woman dished out the
food and placed it on the table. The twelve children were soon
seated and busily engaged with their spoons, when suddenly the
serpent began to talk from underneath the table, and said,
u Mother, dear, let me have some of that soup."

They were all not a little astonished at hearing a serpent
talk ; and the woman ladled out a plateful of soup and placed it
under the bench. The snake crept to the plate and in another
minute had drunk up the soup, and said : " I say, father, will
you go into the larder and fetch me a loaf of bread ? "

"Alas! my son," replied the poor man, "it is long very
long since there was any bread in the larder. I was wealthy
then; but now the very walls of the larder are coming down."

' f Just try, father, and fetch me a loaf from there."

" What's the good of my going, when there is nothing to be
found there ? "

u Just go and see/'

After a good deal of pressing the poor man went to the
larder when oh, joy ! he was nearly blinded by the sight of
the mass of gold, silver, and other treasure ; it glittered on all
sides. Moreover, bacon and hams were hanging from the roof,
casks filled with honey, milk, &c., standing on the floor; the
bins were full of flour; in a word, there were to be seen all
imaginable things to bake and roast. The poor man rushed
back and fetched the family to see the miracle, and they were
all astounded, but did not dare to touch anything.

Then the serpent again spoke and said " Listen to me, mother
dear. Go up to the king and ask him to give me his daughter
in marriage."

" Oh, my dear son, how can you ask me to do that ? You
must know that the king is a great man, and he would not
even listen to a pauper like myself."

" Just go and try."

So the poor woman went to the king's palace, knocked at the
door, and, entering, greeted the king, and said : ' May the Lord
grant you a happy good day, gracious king ! "

" May the Lord grant the same to you, my good woman.
What have you brought ? What can I do for you? "

" Hum ! most gracious king, I hardly dare to speak . . . but
still I will tell you .... My son has sent me to request your
majesty to give him your youngest daughter in marriage."

" I will grant him the request, good woman, on one con-
dition. If your son will fill with gold a sack of the size of a
full-grown man, and send it here, he can have the princess at
any minute."

The poor woman was greatly pleased at hearing this; returned
home and delivered the message.
ce That can easily be done, dear mother. Let's have a wagon,
and the king shall have the gold to a grain."

And so it happened. They borrowed a wagon of the king,
the serpent filled a sack of the required size full of gold,
and put a heap of gold and diamonds loose in the wagon besides.
The king was not a little astonished, and exclaimed, "Well!
upon my word, although I am a king I do not possess so much
gold as this lad." And the princess was accordingly given

It happened that the two elder princesses were also to be
married shortly, and orders were issued by the king that the
wedding of his youngest daughter should take place at the same
time. The state carriage was therefore wheeled out of the shed,
six fine horses were put to it, the youngest princess sat in it and
drove straight to the poor man's cottage to fetch her bride-
groom. But the poor girl very nearly jumped out of the coach
when she saw the snake approaching. But the snake tried to
allay her fears and said, " Don't shrink from me, I am your
bridegroom," and with this crept into the carnage. The bride
poor thing, what could she do? put her arm round the snake
and covered him with her shawl, as she did not wish to let the
whole town know her misfortune. Then they drove to church.
The priest threw up his arms in amazement when he saw the
bridegroom approach the altar. From church they drove to
the castle. There kings, princes, dukes, barons, and deputy-
lieutenants of the counties were assembled at the festival and
enjoying themselves; they were all dancing their legs off
in true Magyar style, and very nearly kicked out the sides of the
dancing-room, when suddenly the youngest princess entered,
followed by her bridegroom, who crept everywhere after her.
The king upon seeing this grew very angry, and exclaimed,
" Get out of my sight ! A girl who will marry such a husband
does not deserve to stay under the same roof with me, and I will
take care that you two do not remain here. Body-guards, conduct



this woman with her snake-husband down into the poultry-yard,
and lock them up in the darkest poultry-house among the geese.
Let them stay there, and don't allow them to come here to shock
my guests with their presence."

And so it happened. The poor couple were locked up with
the geese; there they were left crying and weeping, and lived in
great sorrow until the day when the curse expired, and the
snake who was a bewitched prince became a very handsome
young man, whose very hair was of pure gold. And, as you
may imagine, great was the bride's joy when she saw the

" I say, love," spoke her prince, " I will go home to my
father's and fetch some clothes and other things ; in the mean-
time, stay here ; don't be afraid. I shall be back ere long
without fail/ 5

Then the prince shook himself arid became a white pigeon,
and flew away. Having arrived at his fathers place he said to
his parent, " My dear father, let me have back my former horse,
my saddle, sword, gun, and all my other goods and chattels.
The power of the curse has now passed away, and I have taken
a wife to myself."

" The horse is in the stables, my son, and all your other
things are up in the loft."

The prince led out his horse, fetched down his things from
the loft, put on his rich uniform all glittering with gold, mounted
his charger, and flew up into the air. He was yet at a good
distance from the castle where the festivities were still going
on, when all the loveliest princesses turned out and crowded the
balconies to see who the great swell was whom they saw coming.
He did not pass under the crossbeam of the gate, but flew
over it like a bird. He tied his charger to a tree in the yard,
and then entered the castle and walked among the dancers. The
dance was immediately stopped, everybody gazed upon him and
admired'him, and tried to get into his favour. For amusement


several of the guests did various tricks ; at last his turn came,
and by Jove ! he did show them things that made the guests
open their mouths and eyes in astonishment. He could trans-
form himself into a wild duck, a pigeon, a quail, and so on, into
anything one could conceive of.

After the conjuring was over he went into the poultry-yard to
fetch his bride. He made her a hundred times prettier than she
already was, and dressed her up in rich garments of pure silver
and gold. The assembled guests were very sorry that the hand-
some youth in rich attire, who had shown them such amusing
and clever tricks, had so soon left them.

All at once the king remembered the newly-married couple
and thought he would go to see what the young folks were
doing in the poultry-yard. He sent down a few of his friends,
who were nearly overpowered by the shine and glitter on looking
into the poultry-house. They at once unlocked the door, and
led the bride and bridegroom into their royal father's presence.
When they entered the castle, every one was struck with wonder
at discovering that the bridegroom was no one else than the
youth who had amused them shortly before.

Then the bridegroom walked up to the king and said:
" Gracious majesty, my father and king, for the past twelve
years I lay under a curse and was compelled to wear a serpent's
skin. "When I entered, not long ago, your castle in my former
plight, I was the laughing-stock of everybody, all present
mocked me. But now, as my time of curse has passed, let me
see the man who can put himself against me."

" There is, indeed, nobody, no man living," replied the king.

The bridegroom then led off his bride to the dance, and cele-
brated such a fine wedding, that it was talked of over seven


[ALE, tale, mate; a black little bird flew on the tree;
it broke one of its legs; a new cloak, a shabby old
cloak ; it put it on.

Well, to commence ! there was in the world a king,
who was called the " Green King," and who had three
daughters. He did not like them at all ; he would have very
much preferred if they had been boys. He continually scolded
and abused them, and one day, in a fit of passion, the words
slipped from his lips: " What is the good of all these wenches?
I wish the devil would come and fetch them all three !" The
devil wasn't slow ; he took the king at his word and ran away
with all three girls at once. The king's fondest wish was here-
after fulfilled ; his wife bore him three sons, and he was very
fond of them.

But the king grew old ; his hair turned quite grey. So his
sons set out for the fairies' well to fetch their father some youth-
giving water. They wandered along till they came to a small
road-side inn, where they had something to eat and drink, and
gave their horses hay and corn. They tippled for some time,
until the two elder princes got jolly, and commenced to dance in
true style. The youngest one every now and then reminded
them that it was time to continue the journey, but they would
not listen to him. " Don't talk so much/' they said, "if you
are so very anxious to be off you had better leave us and go

So the youngest saddled his horse and left his two brothers.
He travelled along until all of a sudden he discovered that he
had lost his way and found himself in a vast forest. In wander-
ing hither and thither, he came to a small hut in which an old
hermit dwelt. He at once went to it, knocked and entered, and
greeted the old man, saying, u May the Lord grant you a happy
good day, my father."

" The Lord bless you, my son ! Where are you going?"

a Well, old father, I intend to go to the fairies' well for some
youth-giving water, if I can find the way thither."

16 May the Lord help you, my son I I don't believe that you
will be able to get there unaided, because it is a difficult journey.
But I will tell you something. I have a piebald horse, that will
carry you without mishap to the fairies' well. I will let you have
it if you promise to bring me back some youth-giving water."

*'' 1 will bring you some with pleasure, old father. You are
quite welcome to it."

"Very well, my son! Get on the piebald, and be off in the
name of Heaven !"

The piebald horse was led out and saddled, the prince mounted,
and in another second they were high up in the air, like birds,
because the piebald was a magic horse that at all times grazed
en the silken meadow, the meadow of the fairies. On. they
travelled, till all at once the piebald said :

" I say, dear master, I suppose you know that once you had
three sisters, and that all three were carried off by the devil.
W e will go and pay a visit to the eldest. It is true, your brother-
in-law is at this moment out rabbiting, but he will be back soon
if I go to fetch him. He will ask you to bring him, also, some
youth-giving water. I'll tell you what to do. He has a plaid
which has the power of making the wearer invisible. If you put
it on, nobody on this earth can see you. If he will give you
that plaid you can promise him as much water as he likes; a
whole tub full, if he wants it."

When they reached the house, the prince walked in ; and the
piebald horse immediately hurried off to the fields, and began to
drive the devil so that his eyes sparkled. As the devil ran
homewards, he passed a pair of gallows with a man hanging upon
them; he lifted off the corpse, and ran away with it. Having
arrived at home, he called from the yard through the window :
" Take this, wife ! half of him roasted, the other half boiled, for
my meal. Be sure to have him ready by the time I get inside."
Thereupon he pitched the dead man through the window;
the meal was ready in a minute and the devil walked in, sat
down and ate him. Having finished, he happened to look
towards the oven and caught sight of the prince.

" Halloo ! is it you, brother-in-law ? Why did you not speak ?
What a pity that I did not notice you sooner ? You are just too
late; you could have had a bit or two of my bonne-bouche."

" Thank you, brother-in-law. I don't care for your dainties."

" Well, then get him some wine, wife ! perhaps he will have
some of that?"

The wife brought in the wine and placed it on the table,
and the two set to drinking.

" May I ask, what are you looking for in this strange part of
the world? " inquired the devil.

" I am going to the fairies' well for some youth-giving water."

" Look here, my good man, I am a bit of a smart fellow
myself, something better than you, and still I could not accom-
plish that journey. I can get to within about fourteen miles of
the place, but even there the heat is so great that it shrivels me
up like bacon-rind."

" Well, I will go all the same, if Heaven will help me ! "

" And I will give you as much gold and silver as you can
carry, if you will bring me back a gourdful of that water."

" I'll bring you back some, but for nothing less than for the
plaid hanging on that peg. If you will give that to me you
shall have the water."

At first the devil would not part with the plaid on any
account; but the prince begged so hard that the devil at last

" Well, brother-in-law ! This is such a plaid, that if you put
it on nobody can see you."

The prince was just going when the devil asked him, " Have
you any money for the journey, brother ? "
" I had a little, but I have spent it all."

l( Then you had better have some more." Whereupon he
emptied a whole dishful of copper coins into the prince's bag.
The prince went out into the yard and shook the bridle; the
piebald horse at once appeared, and the prince mounted. The
devil no sooner caught sight of the piebald than he exclaimed,
addressing the prince, " Oh, you rascally fellow ! Then you
travel on that villainous creature the persecutor and murderer
of our kinsfolk? Give me back at once my plaid and my gourd,
I don't want any of your youth-giving water ! "

But the prince was not such a fool as to give him back the
plaid. In a minute the piebald was high up in the air and flew
off like a bird. They travelled along until the horse again spoke
and said, " Well then, dear master, we will now go and Icok up
your second sister. True, your brother-in-law is out rabbiting,
but he will soon be back if I go for him. He, too, will offer you
all sorts of things in return for getting him some youth-giving
water. Don't ask for anything else but for a ring on the windov
sill, which has this virtue, that it will squeeze your finger and
wake you in case of need."

The prince went into the house and the piebald fetched the
devil. Everything happened as at the previous house. The
devil had his meal, recognised his brother-in-law, sent for wine,
and asked the prince:

" Well, what are you doing in this neighbourhood?
" I am going to the fairies' well for some youth-giving water."
" You don't mean that! You have undertaken a very diffi-
cult task. I am as good a man as a hundred of your stamp put
together, and still I can't go there. The heat there is so great
that it would shrivel me up like bacon-rind at a distance of
fourteen miles. They boil lead there as we boil water here."

" Still I intend to go, by the help of Heaven."

" Very well, brother-in-law. I will give you so much treasure
that you can fill several wagons with it, if you will bring me a
gourd full of that youth-giving water."

" I don't want anything, brother-in-law, but that ring in the
window yonder."

" Of what use would it be to you?"

" Oh ! I don't know; let me have it."

So after a good deal of pressing the devil gave him the ring
and said :

" Woll, brother-in law, this is such a ring that it will squeeze
your finger and wake you, no matter how sound you may be

By this time the prince had already reached the courtyard,
and was ready to start, when the devil stopped him and said :

" Stop a bit, brother-in-law, have you any money for the
journey ? "

" I had a little, but it is all gone/' replied the prince.

" Then you had better have some." Whereupon the devil
emptied a dishful of silver money into the prince's bag. The
prince then shook the bridle and the piebald horse at once
appeared, which nearly frightened the devil into a fit.

"Oh, you rascally fellow ! " he exclaimed. " Then you are
in league with the persecutor of our kinsfolk ? Stop ! Give me
back that ring and gourd at once. I don't want any of your
youth-giving water ! "

But the Green Prince took no notice of the devil's shouting
and flew away on his piebald like a bird. They had been
travelling for some distance when the horse said: "We shall
now go to see your youngest sister. Her husband, too, is out
at present rabbiting, but I shall fetch him in, in no time. He,
also, will beseech you to get him some youth-giving water, but
don't you yield, no matter how much wealth he promises you,
until he gives you his sword that hangs on the wall. It is such
a weapon that at your command it will slay the populations of
seven countries."

In the meantime they reached the house. The Green Prince
walked in and the piebald went to look for the third devil.
Everything happened as on the two previous occasions, and the
devil asked his wife to send him in three casks of wine, and
they commenced drinking. All of a sudden the devil asked,
" Where are you going ? "

" I am going to the fairies' well for some youth-giving water.
My father has grown very old and requires some of the water to
give him back his youth."

The devil replied that it was impossible to get there on
account of the great heat. To which the prince said, that he
was determined to go, no matter what might happen.

" Very well," continued the devil. " I will give you as much
gold and silver as your heart can wish or your mouth name if
you will bring me back a gourd full of the water.' 3

"The gold is of no use to me; I have plenty of it at home;
as much as I need. But if you will give me that sword on the
wall, I will bring you some water from the fairies' well, with

4 'Of what use would that sword be to you? You can't do
anything with it."

" No matter. Let me have it."

The devil, at first, would not part with the sword; but, at
last, he gave in. The Green Prince went into the yard, and
was about to start, when the devil asked :

" Brother-in-law, have you any money left for the journey ?"

" I had some; but it's nearly gone."

" Then you had better have some." And with this the devil put
a plateful of gold coins into the prince's bag. The latter
shook the bridle and his piebald appeared. The devil was very
much alarmed at the sight, and exclaimed : " You rascal, then
you associate with our arch-persecutor. Let me have back my
sword and the gourd, I don't want any of your water." But
the prince did not listen to him ; in fact he had no time to heed
the devil's words even if he had any intention of doing so, as he
was already high up in the air 3 and the piebald now questioned
him: u How shall we go, dear master? shall we fly as fast as
the whirlwind, or like a flash of thought?" u Just as you
please, my dear horse."

And the piebald flew away, with the prince on its back, in
the direction of the fairies' well. Soon they reached their goal,
and alighted on the ground, whereupon the horse said: "Well,
my dear master, we have reached our destination. Put on the
plaid that the first devil gave you and walk into the fairy queen's
palace. The queen has just sat down to supper. Eat, drink,
and enjoy yourself. Don't be afraid, nobody will know that
you are there. In the meantime I will go into the silken meadow
and graze with the horses of the fairy over night. I shall
return in the morning and we will then fill our gourd."

And so it happened. The Green Prince put on the plaid and
walked into the fairy queen's dining-room, sat down and supped,
and for every glass of wine consumed by the fairy he drank two.
The supper over they enjoyed themselves. Suddenly the fairy
queen felt a sensation as if she were touched by a man, although
she could not see anybody. She thereupon exclaimed to her
fairies: "Fairies, fairies, keep the bellows going under the
boiling lead. Some calamity will befall us to-night."

In the morning the piebald appeared before the castle; the
Green Prince was still fast asleep, but luckily the ring squeezed
his finger and he awoke and so was saved. He lost no time in
going down to his horse.

" I am glad to tell you, my dear master, that all is well.
They have not yet been able to see you. Let us go and get the
water at once. This is how you must proceed. Stick the gourd
on the point of your sword and then dip it under. But, be
careful ; the gourd must touch the water before my feet get wet,
or else we must pay with our lives for our audacity."

The Green Prince did as he was told. He stuck the gourd on
the point of the sword and dipped it into the well, before the
piebald's hoofs touched the surface of the water.

" Well, my dear master, this has gone off without mishap.
Let us at once go and liberate your sisters." First they visited the
youngest. The Green Prince put on the plaid, and brought her
away unnoticed. Then he rescued the second princess; and at
last the eldest, by the aid of his plaid. And their diabolic
husbands never noticed that they had been stolen. Having thus
liberated his three sisters, he returned without delay to the
hermit's hut.

" Well done, my son ! Have you brought back any youth-
giving water ?" exclaimed the hermit, as he saw the prince
approaching in the distance.

" To be sure, old father; I have brought plenty."

With these words the Green Prince approached the hermit,
and allowed just one drop of the magic water drop on to the old
man's hand; and oh, wonder! immediately a change came over
him, and the old man instantly became young, and looked like
a lad of sixteen.

" Well, my son; you have not made your journey in vain.
You have secured the prize that you have striven for; and I
shall always be deeply grateful to you until the end of my days.
1 won't take back the piebald from you, as I have another one
exactly like it hidden away somewhere. True, it is only a little
foal; but it will grow, and will then be good enough for me."

Then they parted, and the prince bent his way homewards.
Having arrived at home he allowed a drop of the magic water
drop on to his father's hand, and the old king immediately
became a youth of sixteen. And he not only got younger,
but also grew handsomer; and a hundred times better looking
than he ever was before.

But the Green Prince had been away for such a length of
time on his journey to the fairies'' well that not even his father
could rein ember him. The king had completely forgotten that
the prince was ever born. What was he to do ? Nobody knew
him at his father's palace, or would recognise him as his father's
son ; so he conceived the strange idea of accepting a situation as
swineherd in his father's service. He found stables for the pie-
bald in a cellar at the end of the town.

While he tended his father's pigs, and went through his
duties as swineherd, the fairies travelled all over the world and
searched every nook and corner for the father of the child of
their queen. Among other places they also came to the town of
the Green King, and declared that it was their intention to
examine every prince, as the person for whom they searched
could only be a prince. The Green King then suddenly remem-
bered that he had once another son but did not know his where-
abouts. Something or other, however, recalled to his mind the
swineherd, so he at once took pen and paper and wrote a note to
the swineherd. The purport of the writing was that the king
was the real father of the swineherd, and that the prince should
come home with the least possible delay. The Green King
sealed the letter and handed it to a gipsy with strict instructions
to at once deliver it to the swineherd. The gipsy went, and the
swineherd read the note and handed it back to the messenger,
saying :

" My good man, take the note back. They have sent you on
a fool's errand. I am not the son of the Green King."

The gipsy took the letter back in great anger. The swine-
herd, again, ran as fast as his legs would carry him to the stables
in the cellar at the outskirts of the town, saddled his piebald,
and rode venire a terre to the centre of the town, and pulled up
in front of the king's palace. There was such a sight to be seen.
A great number of wonderfully pretty fairies had congregated,
and were fanning the fire under a huge cauldron of boiling lead,
which emitted such a heat that nobody could approach. The
eldest prince came out and was about to try his fortune; he
was gorgeously dressed, his garments glittering like a mass of
gold. As he approached the cauldron full of boiling lead, a
pretty fairy called out to him :

" Son of the Green King ! are you the father of the child of
the queen of fairies?"

I am."

" Then jump into this seething mass of boiling lead."

He jumped in and was burnt, shrivelling up to the size of a

" You won't do/' said the fairy.

Then the second prince stepped forth ; his dress, too, was one
mass of sparkling gold. As he approached the cauldron a fairy

" Son of the Green King! are you the father of the child of
the queen of fairies?"

I am."

" Then jump into this seething mass of boiling lead. 5 '

He jumped in and fared no better than his elder brother.

Now the swineherd rode forth on his piebald horse. His
clothes were one mass of dirt and grease. To him, too, the
fairy called out:

" Are you the father of the child of the queen of fairies?"

I am."

" Then jump into this seething mass of boiling lead like the

And, behold ! he spurred the piebald horse, pulled tight the
bridle, and again slackened it. The piebald shot up into the
air like an arrow; and, having reached a good height, it came
down with the swineherd on its back in one bold swoop, and
jumped into the cauldron full of boiling lead without a single
hair of him getting hurt. Seeing this, the fairies at once lifted
him out, tore his dirty clothes from him, and dressed him up in
garments becoming a king.

He married the queen of fairies and a sumptuous wedding-
feast was celebrated.

This is the end of my tale.


| HERE was once in the world a poor man who had a
wife and two children, the elder a girl, the younger
a boy. The poor man went out one day ploughing
with two wretched little oxen, his only property ;
his wife remained at home to do the cooking. The girl, being
the older of the two children, was often sent out on short errands;
upon the present occasion, too, she was away from the house, her
mother having sent her out to borrow a peel, the dough for the
bread being very nearly spoilt for having been kept too long in
the trough.

Availing herself of the girl's absence, the mother killed the
poor little boy and hid him in a pot of stewed cabbage. By the
time that the girl returned her dear little brother was half
stewed. When the mess was quite done, the woman poured it
into a smaller pot, placed the small pot into a sling, and sent the
food by her daughter to her husband who was in the field. The
man liked the dish very much, and asked the girl:

" What kind of meat is this? It is very nice."

" I believe, dear father, mother had to kill a small lamb last
night, and no doubt she cooked it for you," replied the girl.

But somehow or other the girl learned the true state of things,
and the news nearly broke her heart. She immediately went
back to the field, gathered up the bones of her little brother,
carefully wrapped them into a beautiful piece of new white linen
and took them into the nearest forest, where she hid them in a
hollow tree. Nobody can foretell what will happen, and so it
came to pass that the bones did not remain very long in the
hollow of the tree. Next spring a crow came and hatched them,
and they became exactly such a boy as they were before. The
boy would sometimes perch on the edge of the hollow, and sing
to a beautiful tune the following words:

" My mother killed me,

" My father ate me,

" My sister gathered up my bones,

" She wrapped them in clean white linen,

" She placed them in a hollow tree,

" And now, behold, I'm a young crow."

Upon one occasion, just as he was singing this song, a man
with a cloak strolled by.

" Go on, my son," he said, " repeat that pretty song for me ! I
live in a big village, and have travelled a good deal in my life-
time, but I have never heard such a pretty song."

So the boy again commenced to sing:

" My mother killed me,

" My father ate me,

" My sister gathered up my bones,

" She wrapped them in clean white linen,

"She placed them in a hollow tree,

" And now, behold, I'm a young crow."

The man with the cloak liked the song very much, and made
the boy a present of his cloak. Then a man with a crutch-stick
hobbled by. " Well, my boy," he said, " sing me that song
again. I live in a big village, have travelled far, but have never
heard such a pretty tune." And the boy again commenced to

" My mother killed me,

" My father ate me,
" My sister gathered up my bones,
" She wrapped them in clean white linen,
" She placed them in a hollow tree,
" And now behold I'm a young crow."

The man with the crutch-stick, too, liked the song immensely,
and gave the boy his crutch-stick. The next one to pass was a
miller. He also asked the boy to repeat the pretty tune, and as
the boy complied with his request the miller presented him with
a millstone.

Then a sudden thought flashed across the boy's head and he
flew to his father's house, settled on the roof, and commenced to

" My mother killed me,

" My father ate me,

" My sister gathered up my bones,

" She wrapped them in clean white linen,

" She placed them in a hollow tree,

" And now behold I'm a young crow/'

The woman was terrified, and said to her daughter, " Go and
drive away that bird, I don't like its croaking." The girl went
out and tried to drive away the bird, but instead of flying away
the young crow continued to sing the same song, and threw down
the cloak to his sister. The girl was much pleased with the
present, ran into the house and exclaimed : " Look here what
a nice present that ugly bird has given to me ! "

"Very nice indeed; very nice indeed. I will go out too," said
her father. So he went out, and the bird threw down to him
the crutch-stick. The old man was highly delighted with the
gift ; he was getting very weak, and the crutch-stick came in
useful to him as a support,

" Look here what a strong crutch-stick he has given to me !
It will be a great help to me in my eld age."
Then bis mother jumped up from behind the oven and said,
a I must go out too; if presents won't shower at least a few
might drivel to me."

So she went out and looked up to the roof, and the boy gave
her a present for which she had not bargained. He threw the
millstone at her, which killed her on the spot.

Thus far goes our tale. Here it ends.


SHEPHERD saved the life of the daughter of the
king of snakes, the princess narrowly escaping being
burnt to death. To show him her gratitude she
taught him the language of animals, and he was
able to understand them. One day his donkey said something
that made him smile ; whereupon his wife commenced to tease
him, and wanted to know the joke, but the shepherd was unable
to gratify her wish, as his betraying the secret would have
immediately been followed by the penalty of sudden death.
However the wife would not give in and leave him in peace,
but continued to torment her husband with so many questions
that he at last determined to die rather than to bear his wife's
ill-temper any longer. With this view he had his coffin made
and brought to his house; he laid down in the coffin quite
prepared for death and ready to divulge the secret. His faithful
dog sat mournfully by his side watching, while the cock belong-
ing to the house merrily hopped about in the room. The dog
remonstrated with the cock and said that this was not the time
for merriment, seeing how near their master was to death. But
the cock replied quite curtly, u It's master's own fault! why is
he such a great fool and coward ? Look at me ! I have fifty
wives, and they all do as I tell them to do ! If I can get on
with so many, surely he ought to be able to manage one ! "
Hearing this the shepherd jumped out of the coffin, seized a wet
rope-end and gave the woman a sound thrashing.

Peace was restored, and they lived happily together ever