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    from Exclusively Slavonic Sources

    by A. H. Wratislaw

    This collection of Slavic folktales at first glance appears to have all of the usual suspects of European <em>Märchen</em>. Evil stepmothers: check; plucky youths overcome impossible odds to marry kings’ daughter: check; dimwitted peasants given magical gifts: check. What makes this book special are some tales and motifs that hint at even older lore. Number 27 is for all intents and purposes identical to the Native American ‘Earth Diver’ creation myth. In 47, man is created from a drop of God’s sweat. There are two tales of a global flood in 48 and 49. In 36 there is a very dark ‘Abraham and Isaac’ story which goes a bit further than the Bible. In 51, there is a story of a hundred-leaved rose bush which resembles images from the Kabbalah and Yogic lore. And number 59 is the tale of St. Patrick in a Balkan setting. All in all, a great anthology of eastern European folklore.



    Is this easily found?


    [size=18pt]Bohemian Stories[/size]

    THERE was a king, who was already old, and had but one son. Once upon a time he called this son to him, and said to him, 'My dear son! you know that old fruit falls to make room for other fruit. My head is already ripening, and maybe the sun will soon no longer shine upon it; but before you bury me, I should like to see your wife, my future daughter. My son, marry!' The prince said, 'I would gladly, father, do as you wish; but I have no bride, and don't know any.' The old king put his hand into his pocket, took out a golden key and showed it to his son, with the words, 'Go up into the tower, to the top story,

    look round there, and then tell me which you fancy.' The prince went without delay. Nobody within the memory of man had been up there, or had ever heard what was up there.

    When he got up to the last story, he saw in the ceiling a little iron door like a trap-door. It was closed. He opened it with the golden key, lifted it, and went up above it. There there was a large circular room. The ceiling was blue like the sky on a clear night, and silver stars glittered on it; the floor was a carpet of green silk, and around in the wall were twelve high windows in golden frames, and in each window on crystal glass was a damsel painted with the colours of the rainbow, with a royal crown on her head, in each window a different one in a different dress, each handsomer than the other, and it was a wonder that the prince did not let his eyes dwell upon them. When he had gazed at them with astonishment, the damsels began to move as if they were alive, looked down upon him, smiled, and did everything but speak.

    Now the prince observed that one of the twelve windows was covered with a white curtain; he drew the curtain to see what was behind it. There there was a damsel in a white dress, girt with a silver girdle, with a crown of pearls on her head; she was the most beautiful of all, but was sad and pale, as if she had risen from the grave. The prince stood long before the picture, as if he had made a discovery, and as he thus gazed, his heart pained him, and he cried, 'This one will I have, and no other.' As he said the words the damsel bowed her head, blushed like a rose, and that instant all the pictures disappeared.

    When he went down and related to his father what he had seen and which damsel he had selected, the old king became sad, bethought himself, and said, 'You have done ill, my son, in uncovering what was curtained over, and

    have placed yourself in great danger on account of those words. That damsel is in the power of a wicked wizard, and kept captive in an iron castle; of all who have attempted to set her free, not one has hitherto returned. But what's done cannot be undone; the plighted word is a law. Go! try your luck, and return home safe and sound!'

    The prince took leave of his father, mounted his horse, and rode away in search of his bride. It came to pass that he rode through a vast forest, and through the forest he rode on and on till he lost the road. And as he was wandering with his horse in thickets and amongst rocks and morasses, not knowing which way to turn, he heard somebody shout behind him, 'Hi! stop!' The prince looked round, and saw a tall man hastening after him. 'Stop and take me with you, and take me into your service, and you won't regret it!' 'Who are you,' said the prince, 'and what can you do?' 'My name is Long, and I can extend myself. Do you see a bird's nest in that pine yonder? I will bring you the nest down without having to climb up.'

    Long then began to extend himself; his body grew rapidly till it was as tall as the pine; he then reached the nest, and in a moment contracted himself again and gave it to the prince. 'You know your business well, but what's the use of birds' nests to me, if you can't conduct me out of this forest?' 'Ahem! that's an easy matter,' said Long, and began to extend himself till he was thrice as high as the highest fir in the forest, looked round, and said: 'Here on this side we have the nearest way out of the forest.' He then contracted himself, took the horse by the bridle, and before the prince had any idea of it, they were beyond the forest. Before them was a long and wide plain, and beyond the plain tall gray rocks, like the walls of a large town, and mountains overgrown with forest trees.

    'Yonder, sir, goes my comrade!' said Long, and pointed suddenly to the plain; 'you should take him also into your service; I believe he would serve you well.' 'Shout to him, and call him hither, that I may see what he is good for.' 'It is a little too far, sir,' said Long; 'he would hardly hear me, and it would take a long time before he came, because he has a great deal to carry. I'll jump after him instead.' Then Long again extended himself to such a height that his head plunged into the clouds, made two or three steps, took his comrade by the arm, and placed him before the prince. He was a short, thick-set fellow, with a paunch like a sixty-four gallon cask. 'Who are you?' demanded the prince, 'and what can you do?' 'My name, sir, is Broad; I can widen myself.' 'Give me a specimen.' 'Ride quick, sir, quick, back into the forest!' cried Broad, as he began to blow himself out.

    The prince didn't understand why he was to ride away; but seeing that Long made all haste to get into the forest, he spurred his horse, and rode full gallop after him. It was high time that he did ride away, or else Broad would have squashed him, horse and all, as his paunch rapidly grew in all directions; it filled everything everywhere, just as if a mountain had rolled up. Broad then ceased to blow himself out, and took himself in again, raising such a wind that the trees in the forest bowed and bent, and became what he was at first. 'You've played me a nice trick,' said the prince, 'but I shan't find such a fellow every day; come with me.'

    They proceeded further. When they approached the rocks, they met a man who had his eyes bandaged with a handkerchief. 'Sir, this is our third comrade,' said Long, 'you ought to take him also into your service. I'm sure he won't eat his victuals for naught.' 'Who are you?' the prince asked him, 'and why are your eyes bandaged? You

    don't see your way!' 'No, sir, quite the contrary! It is just because I see too well that I am obliged to bandage my eyes; I see with bandaged eyes just as well as others with unbandaged eyes; and if I unbandage them I look everything through and through, and when I gaze sharply at anything, it catches fire and bursts into flame, and what can't burn splits into pieces. For this reason my name is Sharpsight.' He then turned to a rock opposite, removed the bandage, and fixed his flaming eyes upon it; the rock began to crackle, pieces flew on every side, and in a very short time nothing of it remained but a heap of sand, on which something glittered like fire. Sharpsight went to fetch it, and brought it to the prince. It was pure gold.

    'Heigho! you're a fellow that money can't purchase!' said the prince. 'He is a fool who wouldn't make use of your services, and if you have such good sight, look and tell me whether it is far to the iron castle, and what is now going on there?' 'If you rode by yourself, sir,' answered Sharpsight, 'maybe you wouldn't get there within a year; but with us you'll arrive to-day–they're just getting supper ready for us.' 'And what is my bride doing?'

    An iron lattice is before her,
    In a tower that's high
    She doth sit and sigh,
    A wizard watch and ward keeps o'er her.'
    The prince cried, 'Whoever is well disposed, help me to set her free!' They all promised to help him. They guided him among the gray rocks through the breach that Sharpsight had made in them with his eyes, and further and further on through rocks, through high mountains and deep forests, and wherever there was any obstacle in the road, forthwith it was removed by the three comrades. And when the sun was declining towards the west, the mountains began to become lower, the forests less dense, and the

    rocks concealed themselves amongst the heath; and when it was almost on the point of setting, the prince saw not far before him an iron castle; and when it was actually setting, he rode by an iron bridge to the gate, and as soon as it had set, up rose the iron bridge of itself, the gate closed with a single movement, and the prince and his companions were captives in the iron castle.

    When they had looked round in the court, the prince put his horse up in the stable, where everything was ready for it, and then they went into the castle. In the court, in the stable, in the castle hall, and in the rooms, they saw in the twilight many richly-dressed people, gentlemen and servants, but not one of them stirred–they were all turned to stone. They went through several rooms, and came into the supper-room. This was brilliantly lighted up, and in the midst was a table, and on it plenty of good meats and drinks, and covers were laid for four persons. They waited and waited, thinking that someone would come; but when nobody came for a long time, they sat down and ate and drank what the palate fancied.

    When they had done eating, they looked about to find where to sleep. Thereupon the door flew open unexpectedly all at once, and into the room came the wizard; a bent old man in a long black garb, with a bald head, a gray beard down to his knees, and three iron hoops instead of a girdle. By the hand he led a beautiful, very beautiful damsel, dressed in white; she had a silver girdle round her waist, and a crown of pearls on her head, but was pale and sad, as if she had risen from the grave. The prince recognised her at once, sprang forward, and went to meet her; but before he could utter a word the wizard addressed him: 'I know for what you have come; you want to take the princess away. Well, be it so! Take her, if you can keep her in sight for three nights, so that she doesn't vanish from you. If she vanishes, you will be turned into stone as well as your three servants; like all who have come before you.' He then motioned the princess to a seat and departed.

    The prince could not take his eyes off the princess, so beautiful was she. He began to talk to her, and asked her all manner of questions, but she neither answered nor smiled, nor looked at anyone any more than if she had been of marble. He sat down by her, and determined not to sleep all night long lest she should vanish from him, and, to make surer, Long extended himself like a strap, and wound himself round the whole room along the wall; Broad posted himself in the doorway, swelled himself up, and stopped it up so tight that not even a mouse could have slipped through; while Sharpsight placed himself against a pillar in the midst of the room on the look-out. But after a time they all began to nod, fell asleep, and slept the whole night, just as if the wizard had thrown them into the water.

    In the morning, when it began to dawn, the prince was the first to wake, but–as if a knife had been thrust into his heart–the princess was gone! He forthwith awoke his servants, and asked what was to be done. 'Never mind, sir,' said Sharpsight, and looked sharply out through the window, 'I see her already. A hundred miles hence is a forest, in the midst of the forest an old oak, and on the top of the oak an acorn, and she is that acorn.' Long immediately took him on his shoulders, extended himself, and went ten miles at a step, while Sharpsight showed him the way.

    No more time elapsed than would have been wanted to move once round a cottage before they were back again, and Long delivered the acorn to the prince. 'Sir, let it fall on the ground.' The prince let it fall, and that moment the princess stood beside him. And when the sun began to show itself beyond the mountains, the folding doors flew

    open with a crash, and the wizard entered the room and smiled spitefully; but when he saw the princess he frowned, growled, and hang! one of the iron hoops which he wore splintered and sprang off him. He then took the damsel by the hand and led her away.

    The whole day after the prince had nothing to do but walk up and down the castle, and round about the castle, and look at the wonderful things that were there. It was everywhere as if life had been lost in a single moment. In one hall he saw a prince, who held in both hands a brandished sword, as if he intended to cleave somebody in twain; but the blow never fell: he had been turned into stone. In one chamber was a knight turned into stone, just as if he had been fleeing from some one in terror, and, stumbling on the threshold, had taken a downward direction, but not fallen. Under the chimney sat a servant, who held in one hand a piece of roast meat, and with the other lifted a mouthful towards his mouth, which never reached it; when it was just in front of his mouth, he had also been turned to stone. Many others he saw there turned to stone, each in the position in which he was when the wizard said, 'Be turned into stone.' He likewise saw many fine horses turned to stone, and in the castle and round the castle all was desolate and dead; there were trees, but without leaves; there were meadows, but without grass; there was a river, but it did not flow; nowhere was there even a singing bird, or a flower, the offspring of the ground, or a white fish in the water.

    Morning, noon, and evening the prince and his companions found good and abundant entertainment in the castle; the viands came of themselves, the wine poured itself out. After supper the folding doors opened again, and the wizard brought in the princess for the prince to guard. And although they all determined to exert themselves

    with all their might not to fall asleep, yet it was of no use, fall asleep again they did. And when the prince awoke at dawn and saw the princess had vanished, he jumped up and pulled Sharpsight by the arm, 'Hey! get up, Sharpsight, do you know where the princess is?' He rubbed his eyes. looked, and said, 'I see her. There's a mountain 200 miles off; and in the mountain a rock, and in the rock a precious stone, and she's that precious stone. If Long carries me thither, we shall obtain her.'

    Long took him at once on his shoulders, extended himself, and went twenty miles at a step. Sharpsight fixed his flaming eyes on the mountain, the mountain crumbled, and the rock in it split into a thousand pieces, and amongst them glittered the precious stone. They took it up and brought it to the prince, and when he let it fall on the ground, the princess again stood there. When afterwards the wizard came and saw her there, his eyes flashed with spite, and bang! again an iron hoop cracked upon him and flew off. He growled and led the princess out of the room.

    That day all was again as it had been the day before. After supper the wizard brought the princess in again, looked the prince keenly in the face, and scornfully uttered the words, 'It will be seen who's a match for whom; whether you are victorious or I,' and with that he departed. This day they all exerted themselves still more to avoid going to sleep. They wouldn't even sit down, they wanted to walk about all night long, but all in vain; they were bewitched; one fell asleep after the other as he walked, and the princess vanished away from them.

    In the morning the prince again awoke earliest, and when he didn't see the princess, woke Sharpsight. 'Hey! get up, Sharpsight! look where the princess is!' Sharpsight looked out for a long time. 'Oh sir,' says he, 'she is a long way off, a long way off! Three hundred miles off is a black sea,

    and in the midst of the sea a shell on the bottom, and in the shell is a gold ring, and she's the ring. But never mind! we shall obtain her, but to-day Long must take Broad with him as well; we shall want him.' Long took Sharpsight on one shoulder, and Broad on the other, and went thirty miles at a step. When they came to the black sea, Sharpsight showed him where he must reach into the water for the shell. Long extended his hand as far as he could, but could not reach the bottom.

    'Wait, comrades! wait only a little and I'll help you,' said Broad, and swelled himself out as far as his paunch would stretch; he then lay down on the shore and drank. In a very short time the water fell so low that Long easily reached the bottom and took the shell out of the sea. Out of it he extracted the ring, took his comrades on his shoulders, and hastened back. But on the way he found it a little difficult to run with Broad, who had half a sea of water inside him, so he cast him from his shoulder on to the ground in a wide valley. Thump he went like a sack let fall from a tower, and in a moment the whole valley was under water like a vast lake. Broad himself barely crawled out of it.

    Meanwhile the prince was in great trouble in the castle. The dawn began to display itself over the mountains, and his servants had not returned; the more brilliantly the rays ascended, the greater was his anxiety; a deadly perspiration came out upon his forehead. Soon the sun showed itself in the east like a thin strip of flame–and then with a loud crash the door flew open, and on the threshold stood the wizard. He looked round the room, and seeing the princess was not there, laughed a hateful laugh and entered the room. But just at that moment, pop! the window flew in pieces, the gold ring fell on the floor, and in an instant there stood the princess again. Sharpsight, seeing what was

    going on in the castle, and in what danger his master was, told Long. Long made a step, and threw the ring through the window into the room. The wizard roared with rage, till the castle quaked, and then bang! went the third iron hoop that was round his waist, and sprang off him the wizard turned into a raven, and flew out and away through the shattered window.

    Then, and not till then, did the beautiful damsel speak and thank the prince for setting her free, and blushed like a rose. In the castle and round the castle everything became alive again at once. He who was holding in the hall the outstretched sword, swung it into the air, which whistled again, and then returned it to its sheath; he who was stumbling on the threshold, fell on the ground, but immediately got up again and felt his nose to see whether it was still entire; he who was sitting under the chimney put the piece of meat into his mouth and went on eating; and thus everybody completed what he had begun doing, and at the point where he had left off. In the stables the horses merrily stamped and snorted, the trees round the castle became green like periwinkles, the meadows were full of variegated flowers, high in the air warbled the skylark, and abundance of small fishes appeared in the clear river. Everywhere was life, everywhere enjoyment.

    Meanwhile a number of gentlemen assembled in the room where the prince was, and all thanked him for their liberation. But he said, 'You have nothing to thank me for; if it had not been for my trusty servants Long, Broad, and Sharpsight, I too should have been what you were.' He then immediately started on his way home to the old king, his father, with his bride and servants. On the way they met Broad and took him with them.

    The old king wept for joy at the success of his son; he had thought he would return no more. Soon afterwards

    there was a grand wedding, the festivities of which lasted three weeks; all the gentlemen that the prince had liberated were invited. After the wedding Long, Broad, and Sharpsight announced to the young king that they were going again into the world to look for work. The young king tried to persuade them to stay with him. 'I will give you everything you want, as long as you live,' said he; 'you needn't work at all.' But they didn't like such an idle life, took leave of him, went away and have been ever since knocking about somewhere or other in the world.



    Is this easily found?

    The book? I'm not sure. There is an online copy here. I'm just putting the stories into this thread so it's easier to access. There's more info on the site, I'm only posting the tales.



    THERE was a king who was so clever that he understood all animals, and knew what they said to each other. Hear how he learnt it. Once upon a time there came to him a little old woman, who brought him a snake in a basket, and told him to have it cooked for him; if he dined off it, he would understand what any animal in the air, on the earth, or in the water said. The king liked the idea of understanding what nobody else understood, paid the old woman well, and forth-with ordered his servant to cook the fish for dinner. 'But,' said he, 'be sure you don't take a morsel of it even on your tongue, else you shall pay for it with your head.'

    George, the servant, thought it odd that the king forbade him so energetically to do this. 'In my life I never saw such a fish,' said he to himself; 'it looks just like a snake! And what sort of cook would that be who didn't take a taste of what he was cooking?' When it was cooked, he took a morsel on his tongue, and tasted it. Thereupon he heard something buzzing round his ears: 'Some for us, too!' George looked round, and saw nothing but some flies that were flying about in the kitchen. Again somebody called with a hissing voice in the street outside: 'Where are you going? where are you going?' And shriller voices answered: 'To the miller's barley! to the miller's barley!' George peeped through the window, and saw a gander and a flock of geese. 'Aha!' said he; 'that's the kind of fish it is.' Now he knew what it was. He hastily thrust one more morsel into his month, and carried the snake to the king as if nothing had happened.

    After dinner the king ordered George to saddle the horses and accompany him, as he wished to take a ride. The king rode in front and George behind. As they were riding over a green meadow, George's horse bounded and began to neigh. 'Ho! ho! brother. I feel so light that I should like to jump over mountains!' 'As for that,' said the other, 'I should like to jump about, too, but there's an old man on my back; if I were to skip, he'd tumble on the ground like a sack and break his neck.' 'Let him break it–what matter?' said George's horse; 'instead of an old man you'll carry a young one.' George laughed heartily at this conversation, but so quietly that the king knew nothing about it. But the king also understood perfectly well what the horses were saying to each other, looked round, and seeing a smile on George's face, asked him what he was laughing at. Nothing, your illustrious majesty,' said George in excuse; 'only something occurred to my mind.' Nevertheless, the old king already suspected him, neither did he feel confidence in the horses, so he turned and rode back home.

    When they arrived at the palace, the king ordered George to pour him out a glass of wine. 'But your head for it,' said he, 'if you don't pour it full, or if you pour it so that it runs over.' George took the decanter and poured. Just then in flew two birds through the window; one was chasing the other, and the one that was trying to get away carried three golden hairs in its beak. 'Give them to me said the first; 'they are mine.' 'I shan't; they're mine; I took them up.' 'But I saw them fall, when the golden-haired maiden was combing her hair. At any rate, give me two.' 'Not one!' Hereupon the other bird made a rush, and seized the golden hairs. As they struggled for them on the wing, one remained in each bird's beak, and the third golden hair fell on the ground, where it rang again. At this moment George looked round at it, and then poured the wine over. 'You've forfeited your life!' shouted the king; 'but I'll deal mercifully with you if you obtain the golden-haired maiden, and bring her me to wife.'

    What was George to do? If he wanted to save his life, he must go in search of the maiden, though he did not know where to look for her. He saddled his horse, and rode at random. He came to a black forest, and there, under the forest by the roadside, a bush was burning; some cowherd had set it on fire. Under the bush was an ant-hill; sparks were falling on it, and the ants were fleeing in all directions with their little white eggs. 'Help, George, help!' cried they mournfully; 'we're being burnt to death, as well as our young ones in the eggs.' He got down from his horse at once, cut away the bush, and put out the fire. 'When you are in trouble think of us, and we'll help you.'

    He rode on through the forest, and came to a lofty pine. On the top of this pine was a raven's nest, and below, on the ground, were two young ravens crying and complaining: 'Our father and mother have flown away; we've got to seek food for ourselves, and we poor little birds can't fly yet. Help us, George, help us! Feed us, or we shall die of hunger!' George did not stop long to consider, but jumped down from his horse, and thrust his sword into its side, that the young ravens might have something to eat. 'When you are in need think of us, and we'll help you.'

    After this, George had to go on on foot. He walked a long, long way through the forest, and when he at last got out of it, he saw before him a long and broad sea. On the shore of this sea two fishermen were quarrelling. They had caught a large golden fish in their net, and each wanted to have it for himself, 'The net is mine, and mine's the fish.' The other replied: 'Much good would your net have been, if it hadn't been for my boat and my help.' 'If we catch such another fish again, it will be yours.' 'Not so; wait you for the next, and give me this.' I'll set you at one,' said George. 'Sell me the fish–I'll pay you well for it–and you divide the money between you, share and share alike.' He gave them all the money that the king had given him for his journey, leaving nothing at all for himself. The fishermen were delighted, and George let the fish go again into the sea. It splashed merrily through the water, dived, and then, not far from the shore, put out its head: 'When you want me, George, think of me, and I'll requite you.' It then disappeared. 'Where are you going?' the fishermen asked George. 'I'm going for the golden-haired maiden to be the bride of the old king, my lord, and I don't even know where to look for her.' 'We can tell you all about her,' said the fisher-men. 'It's Goldenhair, the king's daughter, of the Crystal Palace, on the island yonder. Every day at dawn she combs her golden hair, and the bright gleam therefrom goes over sky and over sea. If you wish it, we'll take you over to the island ourselves, as you set us at one again so nicely. But take care to bring away the right maiden; there are twelve maidens–the king's daughters–but only one has golden hair.'

    When George was on the island, he went into the Crystal Palace to entreat the king to give the king, his lord, his golden-haired daughter to wife. 'I will,' said the king, 'but you must earn her; you must in three days perform three tasks, which I shall impose upon you, each day one. Meanwhile, you can rest till, to-morrow.' Next day, early, the king said to him: 'My Goldenhair had a necklace of costly pearls; the necklace broke, and the pearls were scattered in the long grass in the green meadow. You must collect all these pearls, without one being wanting.' George went into the meadow; it was long and broad; he knelt on the grass, and began to seek. He sought and sought from morn to noon, but never saw a pearl. 'Ah! if my ants were here, they might help me.' 'Here we are to help you,' said the ants, running in every direction, but always crowding round him. 'What do you want?' 'I have to collect pearls in this meadow, but I don't see one.' 'Only wait a bit, we'll collect them for you.' Before long they brought him a multitude of pearls out of the grass, and he had nothing to do but string them on the necklace. Afterwards, when he was going to fasten up the necklace, one more ant limped up–it was lame, its foot had been scorched when the fire was at the ant-hill–and cried out: 'Stop, George, don't fasten it up; I'm bringing you one more pearl.'

    When George brought the pearls to the king, the king counted them over; not one was wanting. 'You have done your business well,' said he; 'to-morrow I shall give you another piece of work.' In the morning George came, and the king said to him: 'My Goldenhair was bathing in the sea, and lost there a gold ring; you must find and bring it.' George went to the sea, and walked sorrowfully along the shore. The sea was clear, but so deep that he couldn't even see the bottom, much less could he seek and find the ring there. 'Oh that my golden fish were here; it might be able to help me.' Whereupon something glittered in the sea, and up swam the golden fish from the deep to the surface of the water: 'Here I am to help you; what do you want?' 'I've got to find a gold ring in the sea, and I can't even see the bottom.' 'I just met a pike which was carrying a gold ring in its mouth. Only wait a bit, I'll bring it to you.' Ere long it returned from the deep water, and brought him the pike, ring and all.

    The king commended George for doing his business well, and then next morning laid upon him the third task: 'If you wish me to give your king my Goldenhair to wife, you must bring her the waters of death and of life–she will require them.' George did not know whither to betake himself for these waters, and went at haphazard hither and thither, whither his feet carried him, till he came to a black forest: 'Ah, if my young ravens were here, perhaps they would help me.' Now there was a rustling over his head, and two young ravens appeared above him: 'Here we are to help you; what do you wish?' 'I've got to bring the waters of death and of life, and I don't know where to look for them.' 'Oh, we know them well; only wait a bit, we'll bring them to you.' After a short time they each brought George a bottle-gourd full of water; in the one gourd was the water of life, in the other the water of death. George was delighted with his good fortune, and hastened to the castle. At the edge of the forest he saw a cobweb extending from one pine-tree to another; in the midst of the cobweb sat a large spider sucking a fly. George took the bottle with the water of death, sprinkled the spider, and the spider dropped to the ground like a ripe cherry–he was dead. He then sprinkled the fly with the water of life out of the other bottle, and the fly began to move, extricated itself from the cobweb, and off into the air. 'Lucky for you, George, that you've brought me to life again,' it buzzed round his ears; 'without me you'd scarcely guess aright which of the twelve is Goldenhair.'

    When the king saw that George had completed this matter also, he said he would give him his golden-haired daughter. 'But,' said he, 'you must select her yourself.' He then led him into a great hall, in the midst of which was a round table, and round the table sat twelve beautiful maidens, one like the other; but each had on her head a long kerchief reaching down to the ground, white as snow, so that it couldn't be seen what manner of hair any of them had. 'Here are my daughters,' said the king; 'if you guess which of them is Goldenhair, you have won her, and can take her away at once; but if you don't guess right, she is not adjudged to you, you must depart without her.' George was in the greatest anxiety; he didn't know what to do. Whereupon something whispered into his ear: 'Buzz! buzz! go round the table, I'll tell you which is the one.' It was the fly that George had restored to life with the water of life. 'It isn't this maiden–nor this–nor this; this is Goldenhair!' 'Give me this one of your daughters,' cried George; 'I have earned her for my lord.' 'You have guessed right,' said the king; and the maiden at once rose from the table, threw off her kerchief, and her golden hair flowed in streams from her head to the ground, and such a brightness came from them, even as when the sun rises in the morning, that George's eyes were dazzled.

    Then the king gave his daughter all that was fitting for her journey, and George took her away to be his lord's bride. The old king's eyes sparkled, and he jumped for joy, when he saw Goldenhair, and gave orders at once for preparations to be made for the wedding. I intended to have you hanged for your disobedience, that the ravens might devour you,' said he to George; 'but you have served me so well, that I shall only have your head cut off with an axe, and then I shall have you honourably buried.' When George had been executed, Goldenhair begged the old king to grant her the body of his dead servant, and the king couldn't deny his golden-haired bride anything. She then fitted George's head to his body, and sprinkled him with the water of death, and the body and head grew together so that no mark of the wound remained. Then she sprinkled him with the water of life, and George rose up again, as if he had been born anew, as fresh as a stag, and youth beamed from his countenance. 'Oh, how heavily I have slept!' said George, and rubbed his eyes. 'Yes, indeed, you have slept heavily,' said Goldenhair; 'and if it hadn't been for me, you wouldn't have waked for ever and ever.' When the old king saw that George had come to life again, and that he was younger and handsomer than before, he wanted to be made young again also. He gave orders at once that his head should be cut off, and that he should be sprinkled with the water. They cut his head off and sprinkled him with the water of life, till they'd sprinkled it all away; but his head wouldn't grow on to the body. Then, and not till then, did they begin to sprinkle him with the water of death, and in an instant the head grew on to the body; but the king was dead all the same, because they had no more of the water of life to bring him to life again. And since the kingdom couldn't be without a king, and they'd no one so intelligent as to understand all animals like George, they made George king and Goldenhair queen.




    ONCE upon a time Luck met Intelligence on a garden-seat. 'Make room for me!' said Luck. Intelligence was then as yet inexperienced, and didn't know who ought to make room for whom. He said: 'Why should I make room for you? you're no better than I am.' 'He's the better man,' answered Luck, 'who performs most. See you there yon peasant's son who's ploughing in the field? Enter into him, and if he gets on better through you than through me, I'll always submissively make way for you, whensoever and wheresoever we meet.' Intelligence agreed, and entered at once into the ploughboy's head. As soon as the ploughboy felt that he had intelligence in his head, he began to think: 'Why must I follow the plough to the day of my death? I can go somewhere else and make my fortune more easily.' He left off ploughing, put up the plough, and drove home. 'Daddy,' says he, 'I don't like this peasant's life; I'd rather learn to be a gardener.' His father said: 'What ails you, Vanek? have you lost your wits?' However, he bethought himself; and said: 'Well, if you will, learn, and God be with you! Your brother will he heir to the cottage after me.' Vanek lost the cottage, but he didn't care for that, but went and put himself apprentice to the king's gardener. For every little that the gardener showed him, Vanek comprehended ever so much more. Ere long he didn't even obey the gardener's orders as to how he ought to do anything, but did everything his own way. At first the gardener was angry, but, seeing everything thus getting on better, he was content. 'I see that you've more intelligence than I,' said he, and henceforth let Vanek garden as he thought fit. In no long space of time Vanek made the garden so beautiful that the king took great delight in it, and frequently walked in it with the queen and with his only daughter.

    The princess was a very beautiful damsel, but ever since she was twelve years old she had ceased speaking, and no one ever heard a single word from her. The king was much grieved, and caused proclamation to be made, that whoever should bring it to pass that she should speak again, should be her husband. Many young kings, princes and other great lords announced themselves one after the other, but all went away as they had come; no one succeeded in causing her to speak. 'Why shouldn't I too try my luck?' thought Vanek; 'who knows whether I mayn't succeed in bringing her to answer when I ask her a question?' He at once caused himself to be announced at the palace, and the king and his councillors conducted him into the room where the princess was. The king's daughter had a pretty little dog, and was very fond of him because he was so clever, understanding everything that she wanted. When Vanek went into the room with the king and his councillors, he made as if he didn't even see the princess, but turned to the dog and said: 'I have heard, doggie, that you are very clever, and I come to you for advice. We are three companions in travel, a sculptor, a tailor and myself. Once upon a time we were going through a forest and were obliged to pass the night in it. To be safe from wolves, we made a fire, and agreed to keep watch one after the other. The sculptor kept watch first, and for amusement to kill time took a log and carved a damsel out of it. When it was finished he woke the tailor to keep watch in his turn. The tailor, seeing the wooden damsel, asked what it meant. "As you see," said the sculptor, "I was weary, and didn't know what to do with myself, so I carved a damsel out of a log; if you find time hang heavy on your hands, you can dress her." The tailor at once took out his scissors, needle and thread, cut out the clothes, stitched away, and when they were ready, dressed the damsel in them.

    He then called me to come and keep watch. I, too, asked him what the meaning of all this was. "As you see," said the tailor, "the sculptor found time hang heavy on his hands and carved a damsel out of a log, and I for the same reason clothed her; and if you find time hanging on your hands, you can teach her to speak." And by morning dawn I had actually taught her to speak. But in the morning when my companions woke up, each wanted to possess the damsel. The sculptor said, "I made her;" the tailor, "I clothed her." I, too, maintained my right. Tell me, therefore, doggie, to which of us the damsel belongs?' The dog said nothing, but instead of the dog the princess replied: 'To whom can she belong but to yourself? What's the good of the sculptor's damsel without life? What's the good of the tailor's dressing without speech? You gave her the best gift, life and speech, and therefore she by right belongs to you.' 'You have passed your own sentence,' said Vanek; 'I have given you speech again and a new life, and you therefore by right belong to me.' Then said one of the king's councillors: 'His Royal Grace will give you a plenteous reward for succeeding in unloosing his daughter's tongue; but you cannot have her to wife, as you are of mean lineage.' The king said: 'You are of mean lineage; I will give you a plenteous reward instead of our daughter.' But Vanek wouldn't hear of any other reward, and said: 'The king promised without any exception, that whoever caused his daughter to speak again should be her husband. A king's word is a law; and if the king wants others to observe his laws, he must first keep them himself. Therefore the king must give me his daughter.' 'Seize and bind him!' shouted the councillor. 'Whoever says the king must do anything, offers an insult to his Majesty, and is worthy of death. May it please your Majesty to order this malefactor to be executed with the sword?'

    The king said: 'Let him be executed.' Vanek was immediately bound and led to execution. When they came to the place of execution Luck was there waiting for him, and said secretly to Intelligence, 'See how this man has got on through you, till he has to lose his head! Make way, and let me take your place!' As soon as Luck entered Vanek, the executioner's sword broke against the scaffold, just as if someone had snapped it; and before they brought him another, up rode a trumpeter on horseback from the city, galloping as swift as a bird, trumpeted merrily, and waved a white flag, and after him came the royal carriage for Vanek. This is what had happened: The princess had told her father at home that Vanek had but spoken the truth, and the king's word ought not to be broken. If Vanek were of mean lineage the king could easily make him a prince. The king said: 'You're right; let him be a prince!' The royal carriage was immediately sent for Vanek, and the councillor who had irritated the king against him was executed in his stead. Afterwards, when Vanek and the princess were going together in a carriage from the wedding, Intelligence happened to be somewhere on the road, and seeing that he couldn't help meeting Luck, bent his head and slipped on one side, just as if cold water had been thrown upon him. And from that time forth it is said that Intelligence has always given a wide berth to Luck whenever he has had to meet him.




    THERE was a poor orphan lad who had neither father nor mother, and was compelled to go out to service to get his living. He travelled a long way without being able to obtain an engagement, till one day he came to a hovel all by itself under a wood. On the threshold sat an old man, who had dark caverns in his head instead of eyes. The goats were bleating in the stall, and the old man said: 'I wish I could take you, poor goats, to pasture, but I can't, I am blind; and I have nobody to send with you.' 'Daddy, send me,' answered the lad; 'I will pasture your goats, and also be glad to wait upon you.' 'Who are you? and what is your name?' The lad told him all, and that they called him Johnny. 'Well, Johnny, I will take you; but drive out the goats for me to pasture first of all. But don't lead them to yon hill in the forest; the Jezinkas will come to you, will put you to sleep, and will then tear out your eyes, as they have mine.' 'Never fear, Daddy, answered Johnny;' the Jezinkas won't tear out nay eyes.' He then let the goats out of the stall, and drove them to pasture.

    The first and second day he pastured them under the forest, but the third day he said to himself: 'Why should I be afraid of the Jezinkas? I'll drive them where there is better pasture.' He then broke off three green shoots of bramble, put them into his hat, and drove the goats straight on to the hill in the forest. There the goats wandered about for pasture, and Johnny sat down on a stone in the cool. He had not sat long, when all of a sudden, how it came about he knew not, a beautiful damsel stood before him, all dressed in white, with her hair–raven-black–prettily dressed and flowing down her back, and eyes like sloes. 'God bless you, young goatherd!' said she. See what apples grow in our garden! Here's one for you; I'll give it you, that you may know how good they are.' She offered him a beautiful rosy apple. But Johnny knew that if he took the apple and ate it he would fall asleep, and she would afterwards tear out his eyes, so he said: 'I am much obliged to you, beautiful damsel! My master has an apple-tree in his garden, on which still handsomer apples grow; I have eaten my fill of them.' 'Well, if you'd rather not,' l won't compel you,' said the damsel, and went away.

    After a while came another, still prettier, damsel, with a beautiful red rose in her hand, and said: 'God bless you, young goatherd! See what a beautiful rose I've just plucked off the hedge. It smells so nice; smell it yourself.' 'I am much obliged to you, beautiful damsel. My master has still handsomer roses in his garden; I have smelt my fill of them.' 'Well, then, if you won't, let it alone said the damsel, quite enraged, turned round, and retired. After a while, a third damsel, the youngest and prettiest of them all, came up. 'God bless you, young goatherd!' 'Thank you, beautiful damsel!' 'Indeed, you're a fine lad,' said the damsel, 'but you'd be still handsomer if you had your hair nicely combed and dressed. Come, I'll comb it for you.' Johnny said nothing, but when the damsel came up to him to comb his hair, he took his hat from his head, drew out a bramble-shoot, and pop! struck her on both hands. The damsel screamed 'Help, help!' began to weep, but was unable to move from the place. Johnny cared naught for her weeping, and bound her hands together with the bramble. Then up ran the other two damsels, and, seeing their sister a captive, began to beg Johnny to unbind her and let her go. 'Unbind her yourselves,' said Johnny. 'Alas! we can't, we have tender hands, we should prick ourselves.' But when they saw that the lad would not do as they wished, they went to their sister and wanted to unfasten the bramble. Thereupon Johnny leapt up, and pop! pop! struck them too with a spray, and then bound both their hands together. 'See, I've got you, you wicked Jezinkas! Why did you tear out my master's eyes?' After this, he went home to his master, and said, 'Come, daddy, I've found somebody who will give you your eyes again.' When they came to the hill, he said to the first Jezinka, 'Now tell me where the old man's eyes are. If you don't tell me, I shall throw you at once into the water.' The Jezinka made excuse that she didn't know, and Johnny was going to throw her into the river, which flowed hard by under the hill. 'Don't, Johnny, don't!' entreated the Jezinka, 'and I'll give you the old man's eyes.'

    She conducted him into a cavern, where was a great heap of eyes, large and small, black, red, blue and green, and took two out of the heap. But when Johnny placed them in the old man's sockets, the poor man began to cry: 'Alas, alas! these are not my eyes. I see nothing but owls.' Johnny became exasperated, seized the Jezinka, and threw her into the water. He then said to the second: 'Tell me, you, where the old man's eyes are.' She, too, began to make excuses that she didn't know; but when the lad threatened to throw her, too, into the water, she led him again to the cavern, and took out two other eyes. But the old man cried again: 'Alas! these are not my eyes. I see nothing but wolves.' The same was done to the second Jezinka as to the first; the water closed over her. 'Tell me, you, where the old man's eyes are,' said Johnny to the third and youngest Jezinka. She, too, led him to the heap in the cavern, and took out two eyes for him. But when they were inserted, the old man cried out again that they were not his eyes. 'I see nothing but pike.' Johnny saw that she, too, was cheating him, and was going to drown her as well; but the Jezinka besought him with tears: 'Don't, Johnny, don't! I will give you the old man's proper eyes.' She took them from under the whole heap. And when Johnny inserted them into the old man's sockets, he cried out joyfully: 'These, these are my eyes! Praise be to God! now I see well again!' Afterwards Johnny and the old man lived together happily; Johnny pastured the goats, and the old man made cheeses at home, mad they ate them together; but the Jezinka never showed herself again on that hill.




    BETTY was a little girl; her mother was a widow, and had no more of her property left than a dilapidated cottage and two she-goats; but Betty was, nevertheless, always cheerful. From spring to autumn she pastured the goats in the birch-wood. Whenever she went from home, her mother always gave her in a basket a slice of bread and a spindle, with the injunction, 'Let it be full.' As she had no distaff, she used to twine the flax round her head. Betty took the basket, and skipped off singing merrily after the goats to the birch-wood. When she got there, the goats went after pasture, and Betty sat under a tree, drew the fibres from her head with her left hand, and let down the spindle with her right so that it just hummed over the ground, and therewith she sang till the wood echoed; the goats meanwhile pastured. When the sun indicated mid-day, she put aside her spindle, called the goats, and after giving them each a morsel of bread that they mightn't stray from her, bounded into the wood for a few strawberries or any other woodland fruit that might happen to be just then in season, that she might have dessert to her bread. When she had finished her meal, she sprang up, folded her hands, danced and sang. The sun smiled on her through the green foliage, and the goats, enjoying themselves among the grass, thought: 'What a merry shepherdess we have After her dance, she spun again industriously, and at even, when she drove the goats home, her mother never scolded her for bringing back her spindle empty.

    Once, when according to custom, exactly at mid-day, after her scanty dinner, she was getting ready for a dance, all of a sudden–where she came, there she came–a very beautiful maiden stood before her. She had on a white dress as fine as gossamer, golden-coloured hair flowed from her head to her waist, and on her head she wore a garland of woodland flowers.

    Betty was struck dumb with astonishment. The maiden smiled at her, and said in an attractive voice, 'Betty, are you fond of dancing?' When the maiden spoke so prettily to her, Betty's terror quitted her, and she answered, 'Oh, I should like to dance all day long!' 'Come, then, let's dance together. I'll teach you!' So spoke the maiden, tucked her dress up on one side, took Betty by the waist, and began to dance with her. As they circled, such delightful music sounded over their heads, that Betty's heart skipped within her. The musicians sat on the branches of the birches in black, ash-coloured, brown, and variegated coats. It was a company of choice musicians that had come together at the beck of the beautiful maiden–nightingales, larks, linnets, goldfinches, greenfinches, thrushes, blackbirds, and a very skilful mocking-bird. Betty's cheek flamed, her eyes glittered, she forgot her task and her goats, and only gazed at her partner, who twirled before and round her with the most charming movements, and so lightly that the grass didn't even bend beneath her delicate foot. They danced from noon till eve, and Betty's feet were neither wearied nor painful. Then the beautiful maiden stopped, the music ceased, and as she came so she disappeared. Betty looked about her; the sun was setting behind the wood. She clapped her hands on the top of her head, and, feeling the unspun flax, remembered that her spindle, which was lying on the grass, was by no means full. She took the flax down from her head, and put it with the spindle into her basket, called the goats, and drove them home. She did not sing on the way, but bitterly reproached herself for letting the beautiful maiden delude her, and determined that if the maiden should come to her again, she would never listen to her any more. The goats, hearing no merry song behind them, looked round to see whether their own shepherdess was really following them.

    Her mother, too, wondered, and asked her daughter whether she was ill, as she didn't sing. 'No, mother dear, I'm not ill; but my throat is dry from very singing, and therefore I don't sing,' said Betty in excuse, and went to put away the spindle and the unspun flax. Knowing that her mother was not in the habit of reeling up the yarn at once, she intended to make up the next day what she had neglected to do the first day, and therefore did not say a word to her mother about the beautiful maiden.

    The next day Betty again drove the goats as usual to the birch-wood, and sang to herself again merrily. On arriving at the birch-wood the goats began to pasture, and she sat under the tree and began to spin industriously, singing to herself all the time, for work comes better from the hand while one sings. The sun indicated mid-day. Betty gave each of the goats a morsel of bread, went off for strawberries, and after returning began to eat her dinner and chatter with the goats. 'Ah, my little goats, I mustn't dance to-day,' sighed she, when after dinner she collected the crumbs from her lap in her hand and placed them on a stone that the birds might take them away. 'And why mustn't you?' spoke a pleasing voice, and the beautiful maiden stood beside her, as if she had dropped from the clouds. Betty was still more frightened than the first time, and closed her eyes that she might not even see the maiden; but when the maiden repeated the question, she answered modestly: 'Excuse me, beautiful lady, I can't dance with you, because I should again fail to perform my task of spinning, and my mother would scold me. To-day, before the sun sets, I must make up what I left undone yesterday.' 'Only come and dance; before the sun sets help will be found for you,' said the maiden, tucked up her dress, took Betty round the waist, the musicians sitting on the birch branches struck up, and the two dancers began to whirl.

    The beautiful maiden danced still more enchantingly. Betty couldn't take her eyes off her, and forgot the goats and her task. At last the dancer stopped, the music ceased, the sun was on the verge of setting. Betty clapped her hand on the top of her head, where the unspun flax was twined, and began to cry. The beautiful maiden put her hand on her head, took off the flax, twined it round the stem of a slender birch, seized the spindle, and began to spin. The spindle just swung over the surface of the ground, grew fuller before her eyes, and before the sun set behind the wood all the yarn was spun, as well as that which Betty had not finished the day 'before. While giving the full spool into the girl's hand the beautiful maiden said: 'Reel, and grumble not–remember my words, "Reel, and grumble not!"' After these words she vanished, as if the ground had sunk in beneath her. Betty was content, and thought on her way, 'If she is so good and kind, I will dance with her again if she comes again.' She sang again that the goats might step on merrily. But her mother gave her no cheerful welcome. Wishing in the course of the day to reel the yarn, she saw that the spindle was not full, and was therefore out of humour. 'What were you doing yesterday that you didn't finish your task?' asked her mother reprovingly. 'Pardon, mother; I danced a little too long,' said Betty humbly, and, showing her mother the spindle, added: 'To-day it is more than full to make up for it.' Her mother said no more, but went to milk the goats, and Betty put the spindle away. She wished to tell her mother of her adventure, but bethought herself again, 'No, not unless she comes again, and then I will ask her what kind of person she is, and will tell my mother.' So she made up her mind and held her tongue.

    The third morning, as usual, she drove the goats to the birch-wood. The goats began to pasture; Betty sat under the tree, and began to sing and spin. The sun indicated mid-day. Betty laid her spindle on the grass, gave each of the goats a morsel of bread, collected strawberries, ate her dinner, and while giving the crumbs to the birds, said: 'My little goats, I will dance to you to-day!' She jumped up, folded her hands, and was just going to try whether she could manage to dance as prettily as the beautiful maiden, when all at once she herself stood before her. 'Let's go together, together!' said she to Betty, seized her round the waist, and at the same moment the music struck up over their heads, and the maidens circled round with flying step. Betty forgot her spindle and her goats, saw nothing but the beautiful maiden, whose body bent in every direction like a willow-wand, and thought of nothing but the delightful music, in tune with which her feet bounded of their own accord. They danced from mid-day till even. Then the maiden stopped, and the music ceased. Betty looked round; the sun was behind the wood. With tears she clasped her hands on the top of her head, and turning in search of the half-empty spindle, lamented about what her mother would say to her. 'Give me your basket,' said the beautiful maiden. 'I will make up to you for what you have left undone to-day.' Betty handed her the basket, and the maiden disappeared for a moment, and afterwards handed Betty the basket again, saying, Not now; look at it at home,' and was gone, as if the wind had blown her away. Betty was afraid to peep into the basket immediately, but half-way home she couldn't restrain herself. The basket was as light as if there was just nothing in it. She couldn't help looking to see whether the maiden hadn't tricked her. And how frightened she was when she saw that the basket was full–of birch leaves! Then, and not till then, did she begin to weep and lament that she had been so credulous. In anger she threw out two handfuls of leaves, and was going to shake the basket out; but then she bethought herself, 'I will use them as litter for the goats,' and left some leaves in the basket.

    She was almost afraid to go home. The goats again could hardly recognise their shepherdess. Her mother was waiting for her on the threshold, full of anxiety. 'For Heaven's sake, girl! what sort of spool did you bring me home yesterday?' were her first words. 'Why?' asked Betty anxiously. 'When you went out in the morning, I went to reel; I reeled and reeled, and the spool still remained full. One skein, two, three skeins; the spool still full. "What evil spirit has spun it?" said I in a temper; and that instant the yarn vanished from the spindle, as if it were spirited away. Tell me what the meaning of this is!' Then Betty confessed, and began to tell about the beautiful maiden. 'That was a wood-lady!' cried her mother in astonishment; 'about mid-day and midnight the wood-ladies hold their dances. Lucky that you are not a boy, or you wouldn't have come out of her arms alive. She would have danced with you as long as there was breath in your body, or have tickled you to death. But they have compassion on girls, and often give them rich presents. It's a pity that you didn't tell me; if I hadn't spoken in a temper, I might have had a room full of yarn.' Then Betty bethought herself of the basket, and it occurred to her that perhaps, after all, there might have been something under those leaves. She took out the spindle and unspun flax from the top, and looked once more, and, 'See, mother!' she cried out. Her mother looked and clapped her hands. The birch-leaves were turned into gold! 'She ordered me: "Don't look now, but at home!" but I did not obey.' 'Lucky that you didn't empty out the whole basket,' thought her mother.

    The next morning she went herself to look at the place where Betty had thrown out the two handfuls of leaves, but on the road there lay nothing but fresh birch-leaves. But the riches that Betty had brought home were large enough. Her mother bought a small estate; they had many cattle. Betty had handsome clothes, and was not obliged to pasture goats; but whatever she had, however cheerful and happy she was, nothing ever gave her so great delight as the dance with the wood-lady. She often went to the birch-wood; she was attracted there. She hoped for the good fortune of seeing the beautiful maiden; but she never set eyes on her more.



    The book? I'm not sure. There is an online copy here. I'm just putting the stories into this thread so it's easier to access. There's more info on the site, I'm only posting the tales.

    Wonderful! Thank you so much!  As soon as I can give rep again, you're definitely getting some.  Stupid 1 hour minimum.



    THERE was a king who had a daughter who never could be induced to laugh; she was always sad. So the king proclaimed that she should be given to anyone who could cause her to laugh. There was also a shepherd who had a son named George. He said: 'Daddy! I, too, will go to see whether I can make her laugh. I want nothing from you but the goat.' His father said, 'Well, go.' The goat was of such a nature that, when her master wished, she detained everybody, and that person was obliged to stay by her.

    So he took the goat and went, and met a man who had a foot on his shoulder. George said: 'Why have you a foot on your shoulder?' He replied: 'If I take it off, I leap a hundred miles.' 'Whither are you going?' 'I am going in search of service, to see if anyone will take me.' 'Well, come with us.'

    They went on, and again met a man who had a bandage on his eyes. 'Why have you a bandage on your eyes?' He answered, 'If I remove the bandage, I see a hundred miles.' 'Whither are you going?' 'I am going in search of service, if you will take me?' 'Yes, I'll take you. Come also with me.'

    They went on a bit further, and met another fellow, who, had a bottle under his arm, and, instead of a stopper, held his thumb in it. 'Why do you hold your thumb there?' 'If I pull it out, I squirt a hundred miles, and besprinkle everything that I choose. If you like, take me also into your service; it may be to your advantage and ours too.' George replied: 'Well, come too!'

    Afterwards they came to the town where the king lived, and bought a silken riband for the goat. They came to an inn, and orders had already been given there beforehand, that when such people came, they were to give them what they liked to eat and drink–the king would pay for all. So they tied the goat with that very riband and placed it in the innkeeper's room to be taken care of, and he put it in the side room where his daughters slept. The innkeeper had three maiden daughters, who were not yet asleep. So Manka said: 'Oh! if I, too, could have such a riband! I will go and unfasten it from that goat.' The second, Dodla, said: 'Don't; he'll find it out in the morning.' But she went notwithstanding. And when Manka did not return for a long time, the third, Kate, said: 'Go, fetch her.' So Dodla went, and gave Manka a pat on the back. 'Come, leave it alone!' And now she too was unable to withdraw herself from her. So Kate said: 'Come, don't unfasten it!' Kate went and gave Dodla a pat on the petticoat; and now she, too, couldn't get away, but was obliged to stay by her.

    In the morning George made haste and went for the goat, and led the whole set away–Kate, Dodla, and Manka. The innkeeper was still asleep. They went through the village, and the judge looked out of a window and said, 'Fie, Kate! what's this? what's this?' He went and took her by the hand, wishing to pull her away, but remained also by her. After this, a cowherd drove some cows through a narrow street, and the bull came rushing round; he stuck fast, and George led him, too, in the procession.

    Thus they afterwards came in front of the castle, and the servants came out of doors; and when they saw such things, they went and told the king. 'O sire, we have such a spectacle here; we have already had all manner of masquerades, but this has never been here yet.' So they immediately led the king's daughter to the square in front of the castle, and she looked and laughed till the castle shook.

    Now they asked him what sort of person he was. He said that he was a shepherd's son, and was named George. They said that it could not be done; for he was of mean lineage, and they could not give him the damsel; but he must accomplish something more for them. He said, 'What?' They replied that there was a spring yonder, a hundred miles off; if he brought a goblet of water from it in a minute, then he should obtain the damsel. So George said to the man who had the foot on his shoulder: 'You said that if you took the foot down, you could jump a hundred miles.' He replied: 'I'll easily do that.' He took the foot down, jumped, and was there. But after this there was only a very little time to spare, and by then he ought to have been back. So George said to the second: 'You said that if you removed the bandage from your eyes, you could see a hundred miles. Peep and see what is going on.' 'Ah, sir! Goodness gracious! he's fallen asleep!' 'That will be a bad job,' said George; 'the time will be up. You, third man, you said if you pulled your thumb out, you could squirt a hundred miles; be quick and squirt thither, that he may get up. And you, look whether he is moving, or what.' 'Oh, sir! he's getting up now; he's knocking the dust off; he's drawing the water.' He then gave a jump, and was there exactly in time.

    After this they said that he must perform one task more; that yonder, in a rock, was a wild beast, a unicorn, of such a nature that he destroyed a great many of their people; if he cleared him out of the world he should obtain the damsel. So he took his people and went into the forest. They came to a firwood. There were three wild beasts, and three lairs had been formed by wallowing as they lay. Two did nothing; but the third destroyed people. So they took some stones and some pine-cones in their pockets, and climbed up into a tree; and when the beasts lay down, they dropped a stone down upon that one which was the unicorn. He said to the next: 'Be quiet; don't butt me.' It said: 'I'm not doing anything to you.' Again they let a stone fall from above upon the unicorn. 'Be quiet! you've already done it to me twice.' 'Indeed, I'm doing nothing to you.' So they attacked each other and fought together. The unicorn wanted to pierce the second beast through; but it jumped out of the way, and he rushed so violently after it, that he struck his horn into a tree, and couldn't pull it out quickly. So they sprang speedily down from the fir, and the other two beasts ran away and escaped, but they cut off the head of the third, the unicorn, took it up, and carried it to the castle.

    Now those in the castle saw that George had again accomplished that task. 'What, prithee, shall we do? Perhaps we must after all give him the damsel!' 'No, sire,' said one of the attendants, 'that cannot be; he is too lowborn to obtain a king's daughter! On the contrary, we must clear him out of the world.' So the king ordered them to note his words, what he should say. There was a hired female servant there, and she said to him: 'George, it will be evil for you to-day; they're going to clear you out of the world.' He answered: 'Oh, I'm not afraid. When I was only just twelve years old, I killed twelve of them at one blow!' But this was the fact: when his mother was baking a flat-cake, a dozen flies settled upon her, and he killed them all at a single blow.

    When they heard this, they said: 'Nothing else will do but we must shoot him.' So they drew up the soldiers, and said they would hold a review in his honour, for they would celebrate the wedding in the square before the castle. Then they conducted him thither, and the soldiers were already going to let fly at him. But George said to the man who held his thumb in the bottle in place of a stopper: 'You said, if you pulled your thumb out, you could besprinkle everything. Pull it out–quick!' 'Oh, sir, I'll easily perform that.' So he pulled out his thumb and gave them all such a sprinkling, that they were all blind, and not one could see.

    So, when they perceived that nothing else was to he done, they told him to go, for they would give him the damsel. Then they gave him a handsome royal robe, and the wedding took place. I, too, was at the wedding; they had music there, sang, ate, and drank; there was meat, there were cheesecakes, and baskets full of everything, and buckets full of strong waters. To-day I went, yesterday I came; I found an egg among the tree-stumps; I knocked it against somebody's head, and gave him a bald place, and he's got it still.



    [size=18pt]Moravian Stories[/size]

    THERE was a man, very poor in this world's goods, whose wife presented him with a baby boy. No one was willing to stand sponsor, because he was so very poor. The father said to himself: 'Dear Lord, I am so poor that no one is willing to be at my service in this matter; I'll take the baby, I'll go, and I'll ask the first person I meet to act as sponsor, and if I don't meet anybody, perhaps the sexton will help me.' He went and met Death, but didn't know what manner of person she was; she was a handsome woman, like any other woman. He asked her to be godmother. She didn't make any excuse, and immediately saluted him as parent of her godchild, took the baby in her arms, and carried him to church. The little lad was properly christened. When they came out of church, the child's father took the godmother to an inn, and wanted to give her a little treat as godmother. But she said to him, 'Gossip, * leave this alone, and come with me to my abode.' She took him with her to her apartment, which was very handsomely furnished. Afterwards she conducted him into great vaults, and through these vaults they went right into the underworld in the dark. There tapers were burning of three sizes–small, large, and middle-sized; and those which were not yet alight were very large. The godmother said to the godchild's father: 'Look, Gossip, here I have the duration of everybody's life.'

    The child's father gazed thereat, found there a tiny taper close to the very ground, and asked her: 'But, Gossip, I pray you, whose is this little taper close to the ground?' She said to him: 'That is yours! When any taper whatsoever burns down, I must go for that man.' He said to her: 'Gossip, I pray you, give me somewhat additional.' She said to him: 'Gossip, I cannot do that!' Afterwards she went and lighted a large new taper for the baby boy whom they had had christened. Meanwhile, while the godmother was not looking, the child's father took for himself a large new taper, lit it, and placed it where his tiny taper was burning down.

    The godmother looked round at him and said: 'Gossip, you ought not to have done that to me; but if you have given yourself additional lifetime, you have done so and possess it. Let us go hence, and we'll go to your wife.'

    She took a present, and went with the child's father and the child to the mother. She arrived, and placed the boy on his mother's bed, and asked her how she was, and whether she had any pain anywhere. The mother confided her griefs to her, and the father sent for some beer, and wanted to entertain her in his cottage, as godmother, in order to gratify her and show his gratitude. They drank and feasted together. Afterwards the godmother said to her godchild's father: 'Gossip, you are so poor that no one but myself would be at your service in this matter; but never mind, you shall bear me in memory! I will go to the houses of various respectable people and make them ill, and you shall physic and cure them. I will tell you all the remedies. I possess them all, and everybody will be glad to recompense you well, only observe this: When I stand at anyone's feet, you can be of assistance to every such person; but if I stand at anybody's head, don't attempt to aid him.' It came to pass. The child's father went from patient to patient, where the god-mother caused illness, and benefited every one. All at once he became a distinguished physician. A prince was dying–nay, he had breathed his last–nevertheless, they sent for the physician.

    He came, he began to anoint him with salves and give him his powders, and did him good. When he had restored him to health, they paid him well, without asking how much they were indebted. Again, a count was dying. They sent for the physician again. The physician came. Death was standing behind the bed at his head. The physician cried: 'It's a bad case, but we'll have a try.' He summoned the servants, and ordered them to turn the bed round with the patient's feet towards Death, and began to anoint him with salves and administer powders into his mouth, and did him good. The count paid him in return as much as he could carry away, without ever asking how much he was indebted; he was only too glad that he had restored him to health. When Death met the physician, she said to him: 'Gossip, if this occurs to you again, don't play me that trick any more. True, you have done him good, but only for a while; I must, none the less, take him off whither he is due.' The child's father went on in this way for some years; he was now very old. But at last he was wearied out, and asked Death herself to take him. Death was unable to take him, because he had given himself a long additional taper; she was obliged to wait till it burned out. One day he drove to a certain patient to restore him to health, and did so. Afterwards Death revealed herself to him, and rode with him in his carriage. She began to tickle and play with him, and tap him with a green twig under the throat; he threw himself into her lap, and went off into the last sleep. Death laid him in the carriage, and took herself off. They found the physician lying dead in his carriage, and conveyed him home. The whole town and all the villages lamented: 'That physician is much to be regretted. What a good doctor he was! He was of great assistance; there will never be his like again!' His son remained after him, but had not the same skill.

    The son went one day into church, and his godmother met him. She asked him: 'My dear son, how are you?' He said to her: 'Not all alike; so long as I have what my dad saved up for me, it is well with me, but after that the Lord God knows how it will be with me.' His godmother said: 'Well, my son, fear nought. I am your christening mamma; I helped your father to what he had, and will give you, too, a livelihood. You shall go to a physician as a pupil, and you shall be more skilful than he, only behave nicely.' After this she anointed him with salve over the ears, and conducted him to a physician. The physician didn't know what manner of lady it was, and what sort of son she brought him for instruction. The lady enjoined her son to behave nicely, and requested the physician to instruct him well, and bring him into a good position. Then she took leave of him and departed. The physician and the lad went together to gather herbs, and each herb cried out to the pupil what remedial virtue it had, and the pupil gathered it. The physician also gathered herbs, but knew not, with regard to any herb, what remedial virtue it possessed. The pupil's herbs were beneficial in every disease. The physician said to the pupil: 'You are cleverer than I, for I diagnose no one that comes to me; but you know herbs counter to every disease. Do you know what? Let us join partnership. I will give my doctor's diploma up to you, and will be your assistant, and am willing to be with you till death.' The lad was successful in doctoring and curing till his taper burned out in limbo.




    HERE was, once upon a time, a huntsman who had four sons, and these sons wanted to go to gain experience in the world. When they were all over sixteen years old, they said to their father: 'We are going into the world, father; we pray you give us money for our journey.' The father gave them 100 florins and a horse apiece. They mounted their horses and rode to the mountains. On a mountain were four roads, and between them stood a beech-tree. At this beech-tree they halted, and the eldest said to the rest, 'Brothers, let us separate here, and go each by a different road to seek his fortune in the world. Let us each stick his knife into this beech-tree, and in a year and a day let us all meet together here. These knives will be tokens for us; if any one of the knives is rusty, the one of us to whom it belongs will be dead; and he whose knife is free from rust will be alive and well.' They separated, and went each his way, and when they came to suitable places they each learned a handicraft. The eldest learned to be a cobbler, the second to be a thief, the third to be an astrologer, and the fourth to be a huntsman. When the year and day arrived, they started on their return.

    The eldest came first to the beech-tree, pulled out his own knife and looked at the other knives. Seeing that they were all free from rust, he rejoiced, and said, 'Praise be to God! we are all alive and well.' He went home. When he came to his father, his father asked him, 'What manner of handicraft have you learnt?' The son replied, 'Daddy, it's no use telling you stories; I'm a cobbler.' The father said, 'Well, you've learned a nice gainful handicraft.' The son answered, 'But, daddy, I'm not a cobbler like other cobblers, but I'm this kind of cobbler: if anything is worn out, I only say, "Let it be mended up," and it is so at once.' The father had a coat worn out at the elbows, and told him to cobble it up. The son gave the command, 'Let it be mended up,' and in a moment the coat was mended up as if it were brand new, nor was it possible to know that it had been mended at all. Upon this the father said nothing more. The next day the second son came to the beech.

    He pulled out his own knife, and looked at the remaining two; the third was already gone. Seeing that they were both free from rust, he rejoiced, and said, 'Praise be to God! we are all alive and well; our eldest brother is at home already.' He also went home. When he came to his father, his father asked him, 'What manner of handicraft have you learned?' The son replied, 'Dear daddy, it's no use telling stories to you; I'm a thief.' The father said, 'Oh, you've learned a nice gainful trade! Shame on you!' The son said to him, 'But, daddy, I'm not a thief like a thief, but I'm such a thief that, if I think of anything, be it where it may, I have it with me at once.' Just then a hare came running on the hillside; it could be seen through the window; the father told him to fetch the hare. The son immediately said, 'Let yon hare be here,' and it was with them at once. After this the father said no more. The third day the third son came to the beech, pulled out his own knife and looked at the other knife, two not being there. Seeing that it was clear of rust, he said, 'Praise be to God! we are all alive and well; my two elder brothers are at home already.' He also went home. When he came to his father, his father asked him what manner of handicraft he had learned. The son replied, 'Dear daddy, it's no use to tell you stories; I'm an astrologer.' His father said to him that it was a nice pretty handicraft. The son answered, 'But, daddy, I am this kind of astrologer: if I look at the sky, I see at once where anything is in the whole earth.' On the fourth day the youngest son came to the beech and pulled out his knife, the other three being there no longer. He was glad, and said, 'My brothers are already all at home.' He also went home. When he came to his father, the father asked him what manner of handicraft he had learned. The son answered that he was a huntsman. The father said, 'Anyhow, you have not despised my craft; for that you're a good lad.'

    The son said, 'But, dear daddy, I'm not such a huntsman as you are, but one of this kind; if there is an unusually fine head of game, I say, 'Let it be shot,' and immediately shot it is.' There was a hare darting along the hillside; it was visible through the window. The father said, 'Shoot it!' The youngest son spoke the word, and the hare lay dead. The father said, 'I don't see whether it is lying dead.' The astrologer looked at the sky, and said, 'Yes, daddy, it's lying there behind the bushes.' The father said, 'Yes, it's lying there, but how are we to get it?' The brother who was a thief said, 'Let it be here,' and immediately there it was. But it had come through thorny bushes, and was all torn. The father said, 'The whole skin is torn; who'll buy it of us?' The brother who was a cobbler said, 'Let it be mended up,' and immediately mended up it was. The father said, 'Well, you'll all four maintain yourselves by your handicrafts.'

    They lived for some time at home with their father, and maintained themselves well. Then a king lost the princess, his daughter, and made proclamation that whoever should find her, to that person he would give his daughter and the kingdom as well. The brothers said to one another, 'Let us go thither.' The father didn't give them leave to go, but go they did, and gave out that they were the people who would find the lost princess. The king immediately sent a carriage for them. When they came to the king, they said that they understood he had made proclamation that his daughter was lost, and that he would give her and the kingdom as well to whoever should find her. The king said that this was very truth, and immediately asked them to tell him where his daughter was. The astrologer replied that he could not tell him just then, but when evening came he would perceive in the sky where she was. About eight or nine o'clock they went out and gazed at the sky. The astrologer said that she had been taken captive by a dragon; that the dragon had seized her as she was out walking, and was keeping her on an island beyond the Red Sea; that she was obliged to fondle him for two hours every day, and that the dragon then had his head placed on her lap.

    When day came, they assembled and drove in the carriage to the Red Sea. Then they got into a boat and rowed to the island where the princess was. When they arrived at the island, the princess was out walking, and the dragon wasn't at home; but the princess made signs to them that they were in evil case, for the dragon was just flying home. The thief-brother called out with speed, 'Let the princess be here!' She was with them in the boat at once, but cried out that they were in evil case, and would all perish. They rowed speedily away in the boat, but the dragon, full of wrath, roared and growled and rose in the air above them. The astrologer said to the huntsman, 'Brother, shoot him.' The huntsman-brother said, 'Let him be shot.' The dragon was shot, but fell on the boat and broke a hole in it, so that the water came in. They threw the dragon into the sea, and the huntsman-brother gave the word to the cobbler-brother, 'Mend the leak.' The cobbler-brother mended the leak, so that not a drop of water came into the boat to them. Thus they arrived safely with the princess at the sea-shore, landed on the beach, took their seats in the carriage with the princess, and drove off. But as they drove along in the carriage, they disputed to which of them the princess and the kingdom belonged. The astrologer said, 'The princess is mine. If it hadn't been for me, we shouldn't have known where the princess was.'

    The thief said, The princess is mine. If it hadn't been for me, we shouldn't have got the princess into the boat.' The huntsman said that the princess was his; if it hadn't been for him, they wouldn't have shot the dragon. The cobbler shouted that the princess was his if it hadn't been for him, they would all have been drowned and have perished. When they came to the palace to the king, they asked him to decide to whom the princess belonged. The king said, 'Dear brothers, I will judge you righteously. It is true that you have all deserved her, but you cannot all obtain her. According to my promise, the astrologer-brother must obtain her, for I made proclamation that whoever should find the lost princess should obtain her and the kingdom with her; the astrologer found her, and told us where she was. But, that none of you may be unfairly dealt with, each shall receive a district of his own, and ye shall each be kings in your own districts.' They were all content. The astrologer, as soon as the wedding was over, sent home for his father. The father came, and was delighted that his sons had become monarchs each in his district. In the spring he lived with the cobbler, in the summer with the thief, in the autumn with the huntsman, and in winter with the astrologer, and enjoyed himself everywhere till death.



    [size=18pt]Hungarian-Slovenish Stories[/size]

    THERE was once upon a time an old king who had an only son. This son he one day summoned before him, and spoke to him thus: 'My son, you see that my head has become white; ere long I shall close my eyes, and I do not yet know in what condition I shall leave you. Take a wife, my son! Let me bless you in good time, before I close my eyes.' The son made no reply, but became lost in thought; he would gladly with all his heart have fulfilled his father's wish, but there was no damsel in whom his heart could take delight.

    Once upon a time, when he was sitting in the garden, and just considering what to do, all of a sudden an old woman appeared before him–where she came, there she came.

    Go to the glass hill, pluck the three lemons, and you will have a wife in whom your heart will take delight,' said she, and as she had appeared so she disappeared. Like a bright flash did these words dart through the prince's soul. At that moment he determined, come what might, to seek the glass hill and pluck the three lemons. He made known his determination to his father, and his father gave him for the journey a horse, arms and armour, and his fatherly blessing.

    Through forest-covered mountains, through desert plains, went our prince on his pilgrimage, for a very, very great distance; but there was nothing to be seen, nothing to be heard of the glass hill and the three lemons. Once, quite wearied out with his long journey, he threw himself down under the cool shade of a broad lime-tree. As he threw himself down, his father's sword, which he wore at his side, clanged against the ground, and a dozen ravens began croaking at the top of the tree. Frightened by the clang of the sword, they rose on their wings, and flew into the air above the lofty tree. 'Hem! till now I haven't seen a living creature for a long while,' said the prince to himself, springing from the ground. 'I will go in the direction in which the ravens have flown maybe some hope will disclose itself to me.'

    He went on–he went on anew for three whole days and three nights, till at last a lofty castle displayed itself to him at a distance. 'Praise be to God! I shall now at any rate come to human beings,' cried he, and proceeded further.

    The castle was of pure lead; round it flew the twelve ravens, and in front of it stood an old woman–it was Jezibaba *–leaning on a long leaden staff. 'Ah, my son! whither have you come? Here there is neither bird nor insect to be seen, much less a human being,' said Jezibaba to the prince. 'Flee, if life is dear to you; for, if my son comes, he will devour you.' 'Ah! not so, old mother, not so!' entreated the prince. 'I have come to you for counsel as to whether you cannot let me have some information about the glass hill and the three lemons.' 'I have never heard of the glass hill; but stay! when my son comes home, maybe he will be able to let you have the information. But I will now conceal you somewhat; you will hide yourself under the besom, and wait there concealed till I call you.'

    The mountains echoed, the castle quaked, and Jezibaba whispered to the prince that her son was coming. 'Foh! foh! there is a smell of human flesh; I am going to eat it!' shouted Jezibaba's son, while still in the doorway, and thumped on the ground with a huge leaden club, so that the whole castle quaked. 'Ah, not so, my son, not so!' said Jezibaba, soothing him. 'There has come a handsome youth who wants to consult you about something.' "Well, if he wants to consult me, let him come here.' 'Yes, indeed, my son, he shall come, but only on condition that you promise to do nothing to him.' 'Well, I'll do nothing to him, only let him come.'

    The prince was trembling like an aspen under the besom, for he saw before him through the twigs an ogre, up to whose knees he didn't reach. Happily his life was safe-guarded, when Jezibaba bade him come out from under the besom. 'Well, you beetle, why are you afraid?' shouted the giant. 'Whence are you? What do you want?' 'What do I want?' replied the prince. 'I've long been wandering in these mountains, and can't find that which I am seeking. Now I've come to ask you whether you can't give me information about the glass hill and the three lemons.' Jezibaba's son wrinkled his brow, but, after a while, said in a somewhat gentler voice: 'There's nothing to be seen here of the glass hill; but go to my brother in the silver castle, maybe he'll be able to tell you something. But stay, I won't let you go away hungry. Mother, here with the dumplings!' Old Jezibaba set a large dish upon the table, and her gigantic son sat down to it. 'Come and eat!' shouted he to the prince. The prince took the first dumpling and began to eat, but two of his teeth broke, for they were dumplings of lead. 'Well, why don't you eat? maybe you don't like them?' inquired Jezibaba's son. Yes, they are good; but I don't want any just now.' Well, if you don't want any just now, pocket some, and go your way.' The good prince–would he, nould he–was obliged to put some of the leaden dumplings into his pocket. He then took leave and proceeded further.

    On he went and on he went for three whole days and three nights, and the further he went, the deeper he wandered into a thickly wooded and gloomy range of mountains. Before him it was desolate, behind him it was desolate; there wasn't a single living creature to be seen. All wearied from his long journey, he threw himself on the ground. The clang of his silver-mounted sword spread far and wide. Above him four and twenty ravens, frightened by the clash of his sword, began to croak, and, rising on their wings, flew into the air. 'A good sign!' cried the prince. 'I will go in the direction in which the birds have flown.'

    And on he went in that direction, on he went as fast as his feet could carry him, till all at once a lofty castle displayed itself to him! He was still far from the castle, and already its walls were glistening in his eyes, for the castle was of pure silver. In front of the castle stood an old woman bent with age, leaning on a long silver staff, and this was Jezibaba. 'Ah, my son! How is it that you have come here? Here there is neither bird nor insect, much less a human being!' cried Jezibaba to the prince; 'if life is dear to you, flee away, for if my son comes, he will devour you!' 'Nay, old mother, he will hardly eat me. I bring him a greeting from his brother in the leaden castle.'

    Well, if you bring a greeting from the leaden castle, then come into the parlour, my son, and tell me what you are seeking.' 'What I am seeking, old mother? For ever so long a time I've been seeking the glass hill and the three lemons, and cannot find them; now I've come to inquire whether you can't give me information about them.' 'I know nothing about the glass hill; but stay! when my son comes, maybe he will be able to give you the information. Hide yourself under the bed, and don't make yourself known unless I call you.'

    The mountains echoed with a mighty voice, the castle quaked, and the prince knew that Jezibaba's son was coming home. 'Foh! foh! there's a smell of human flesh; I'm going to eat it!' roared a horrible ogre already in the door-way, and thumped upon the ground with a silver club, so that the whole castle quaked. 'Ah! not so, my son, not so; but a handsome youth has come and has brought you a greeting from your brother in the leaden castle.' 'Well, if he's been at my brother's, and if he has done nothing to him, let him have no fear of me either; let him come out.' The prince sprang out from under the bed, and went up to him, looking beside him as if he had placed himself under a very tall pine. 'Well, beetle, have you been at my brother's?' 'Indeed, I have; and here I've still the dumplings, which he gave me for the journey.' 'Well, I believe you; now tell me what it is you want.' 'What I want? I am come to ask you whether you can't give me information about the glass hill or the three lemons.' 'Hem! I've heard formerly about it, but I don't know how to direct you. Meanwhile, do you know what? Go to my brother in the golden castle, he will direct you. But stay, I won't let you go away hungry. Mother, here with the dumplings!' Jezibaba brought the dumplings on a large silver dish, and set them on the table. 'Eat!' shouted her son. The prince, seeing that they were silver dumplings, said that he didn't want to eat just then, but would take some for his journey, if he would give him them. 'Take as many as you like, and greet my brother and aunt.' The prince took the dumplings, thanked him courteously, and proceeded further.

    Three days had already passed since he quitted the silver castle, wandering continuously through densely wooded mountains, not knowing which way to go, whether to the right hand or to the left. All wearied out, he threw himself down under a wide-spreading beech, to take a little breath. His silver-mounted sword clanged on the ground, and the sound spread far and wide. 'Krr, krr, krr!' croaked a flock of ravens over the traveller, scared by the clash of his sword, and flew into the air. 'Praise be to God! the golden castle won't he far off now,' cried the prince, and proceeded, encouraged, onwards in the direction in which the ravens showed him the road. Scarcely had he come out of the valley on to a small hill, when he saw a beautiful and wide meadow, and in the midst of the meadow stood a golden castle, just as if he were gazing at the sun; and before the gate of the castle stood an old bent Jezibaba, leaning on a golden staff 'Ah! my son! what do you seek for here?' cried she to the prince. 'Here there is neither bird nor insect to be seen, much less a human being! If your life is dear to you, flee, for if my son comes, he will devour you!' Nay, old mother, he'll hardly eat me,' replied he. 'I bring him a greeting from his brother in the silver castle.' 'Well, if you bring him a greeting from the silver castle, come into the parlour and tell me what has brought you to us.' 'What has brought me to you, old mother? I have long been wandering in this mountain range, and haven't been able to find out where are the glass hill and the three lemons. I was directed to you, because haply you might be able to give me information about it.' 'Where is the glass hill? I cannot tell you that; but stay! when my son comes, he will counsel you which way you must go, and what you must do. Hide yourself under the table, and stay there till I call you.'

    The mountains echoed, the castle quaked, and Jezibaba's son stepped into the parlour. 'Fob! foh! there's a smell of human flesh; I'm going to eat it!' shouted he, while still in the doorway, and thumped with a golden club upon the ground, so that the whole castle quaked. 'Gently, my son, gently!' said Jezibaba, soothing him; 'there is a handsome youth come, who brings you a greeting from your brother in the silver castle. If you will do nothing to him, I will call him at once.' 'Well, if my brother has done nothing to him, neither will I do anything to him.' The prince came out from under the table and placed himself beside him, looking, in comparison, as if he had placed himself beside a lofty tower, and showed him the silver dumplings in token that he had really been at the silver castle. 'Well, tell me, you beetle, what you want!' shouted the monstrous ogre; 'if I can counsel you, counsel you I will; don't fear!' Then the prince explained to him the aim of his long journey, and begged him to advise him which way to go to the glass hill, and what he must do to obtain the three lemons. 'Do you see that black knoll that looms yonder?' said he, pointing with his golden club; 'that is the glass hill; on the top of the hill stands a tree, and on the tree hang three lemons, whose scent spreads seven miles round. You will go up the glass hill, kneel under the tree, and hold up your hands; if the lemons are destined for you, they will fall off into your hands of themselves; but, if they are not destined for you, you will not pluck them, whatever you do. When you are on your return, and are hungry or thirsty, cut one of the lemons into halves, and you will eat and drink your fill. And now go, and God be with you! But stay, I won't let you go hungry. Mother, here with the dumplings!' Jezibaba set a large golden dish on the table. 'Eat!' said her son to the prince, 'or, if you don't want to do so now, put some into your pocket; you will eat them on the road.' The prince had no desire to eat, but put some into his pocket, saying that he would eat them on the road. He then thanked him courteously for his hospitality and counsel, and proceeded further.

    Swiftly he paced from hill into dale, from dale on to a fresh hill, and never stopped till he was beneath the glass hill itself. There he stopped, as if turned to a stone. The hill was high and smooth; there wasn't a single crack in it. On the top spread the branches of a wondrous tree, and on the tree swung three lemons, whose scent was so powerful that the prince almost fainted. s God help me! Now, as it shall be, so it will be. Now that I'm once here, I will at any rate make the attempt,' thought he to himself; and began to climb up the smooth glass; but scarcely had he ascended a few fathoms when his foot slipped, and he himself, pop! down the hill, so that he didn't know where he was, or what he was, till he found himself on the ground at the bottom. Wearied out, he began to throw away the dumplings, thinking that their weight was a hindrance to him. He threw away the first, and lo! the dumpling fixed itself on the glass hill. He threw a second and a third, and saw before him three steps, on which he could stand with safety. The prince was overjoyed. He kept throwing the dumplings before him, and in every case steps formed themselves from them for him. First he threw the leaden ones, then the silver, and then the golden ones. By the steps thus constructed he ascended higher and higher till he happily attained the topmost ridge of the glass hill. Here he knelt down under the tree and held up his hands. And lo! the three beautiful lemons flew down of themselves into the palms of his hands. The tree disappeared, the glass hill crashed and vanished, and when the prince came to himself, there was no tree, no hill, but a wide plain lay extended before him.

    He commenced his return homeward with delight. He neither ate nor drank, nor saw nor heard, for very joy. But when the third day came, a vacuum began to make itself felt in his stomach. He was so hungry that he would gladly have then and there betaken himself to the leaden dumplings if his pocket hadn't been empty. His pocket was empty, and all around was just as bare as the palm of his hand. Then he took a lemon out of his pocket and cut it into halves; and what came to pass? Out of the lemon sprang a beautiful damsel, who made a reverence before him, and cried out: 'Have you made ready for me to eat? Have you made ready for me to drink? Have you made pretty dresses ready for me?" 'I have nothing, beautiful creature, for you to eat, nothing for you to drink, nothing for you to put on,' said the prince, in a sorrowful voice, and the beautiful damsel clapped her white hands thrice before him, made a reverence and vanished.

    'Aha! now I know what sort of lemons these are,' said the prince; 'stay! I won't cut them up so lightly.' From the cut one he ate and drank to his satisfaction, and thus refreshed, proceeded onwards.

    But on the third day a hunger three times worse than the preceding, assailed him. 'God help me!' said he; I have still one remaining over. I'll cut it up.' He then took out the second lemon, cut it in halves, and lo! a damsel still more beautiful than the preceding one placed herself before him. 'Have you made ready for me to eat? Have you made ready for me to drink? Have you made pretty dresses ready for me?' 'I have not, dear soul! I have not!' and the beautiful damsel clapped her hands thrice before him, made a reverence, and vanished.

    Now he had only one lemon remaining; he took it in his hand and said: 'I will not cut you open save in my father's house,' and therewith proceeded onwards. On the third day he saw, after long absence, his native town. He didn't know himself how he got there, when he found himself at once in his father's castle. Tears of joy bedewed his old father's cheeks: 'Welcome, my son! welcome a hundred times he cried, and fell upon his neck. The prince related how it had gone with him on his journey, and the members of the household how anxiously they had waited for him.

    On the next day a grand entertainment was prepared; lords and ladies were invited from all quarters; and beautiful dresses, embroidered with gold and studded with pearls were got ready. The lords and ladies assembled, took their seats at the tables, and waited expectantly to see what would happen. Then the prince took out the last lemon, cut it in halves, and out of the lemon sprang a lady thrice as beautiful as had been the preceding ones. 'Have you made ready for me to eat? Have you made ready for me to drink? Have you got pretty dresses ready for me?' 'I have, my dear soul, got everything ready for you,' answered the prince, and presented the handsome dresses to her. The beautiful damsel put on the beautiful clothes, and all rejoiced at her extraordinary beauty. Ere long the betrothal took place, and after the betrothal a magnificent wedding.

    Now was fulfilled the old king's wish; he blessed his son, resigned the kingdom into his hands, and ere long died.

    The first thing that occurred to the new king after his father's death was a war, which a neighbouring king excited against him. Now he was constrained for the first time to part from his hard-earned wife. Lest, therefore, anything should happen to her in his absence, he caused a throne to be erected for her in a garden beside a lake, which no one could ascend, save the person to whom she let down a silken cord, and drew that person up to her.

    Not far from the royal castle lived an old woman, the same that had given the prince the counsel about the three lemons. She had a servant, a gipsy, whom she was in the habit of sending to the lake for water. She knew very well that the young king had obtained a wife, and it annoyed her excessively that he had not invited her to the wedding, nay, had not even thanked her for her good advice. One day she sent her maidservant to the lake for water. She went, drew water, and saw a beautiful image in the water. Under the impression that this was her own reflection, she banged her pitcher on the ground, so that it flew into a thousand pieces. 'Are you worthy,' said she, 'that so beautiful a person as myself should carry water for an old witch like you?' As she uttered this she looked up, and lo! it wasn't her own reflection that she saw in the water, but that of the beautiful queen. Ashamed, she picked up the pieces and returned home. The old woman, who knew beforehand what had occurred, went out to meet her with a fresh pitcher, and asked her servant, for appearance' sake, what had happened to her. The servant related all as it had occurred. 'Well, that's nothing!' said the old woman. But, do you know what? Go you once more to the lake, and ask the lady to let down the silken cord and draw you up, promising to comb and dress her hair. If she draws you up, you will comb her hair, and when she falls asleep, stick this pin into her head. Then dress yourself in her clothes and sit there as queen.'

    It wasn't necessary to use much persuasion to the gipsy; she took the pin, took the pitcher, and returned to the lake. She drew water and looked at the beautiful queen. 'Dear me! how beautiful you are! Ah! you are beautiful!' she screamed, and looked with coaxing gestures into her eyes. 'Yes,' said she; 'but you would be a hundred times more beautiful if you would let me comb and dress your hair; in truth, I would so twine those golden locks that your lord could not help being delighted.' And thus she jabbered, thus she coaxed, till the queen let down the silken cord and drew her up.

    The nasty gipsy combed, separated, and plaited the golden hair till the beautiful queen fell sound asleep. Then the gipsy drew out the pin, and stuck it into the sleeping queen's head. At that moment a beautiful white dove flew off the golden throne, and not a vestige remained of the lovely queen save her handsome clothes, in which the gipsy speedily dressed herself, took her seat in the place where the queen sat before, and gazed into the lake; but the beautiful reflection displayed itself no more in the lake, for even in the queen's clothes the gipsy nevertheless remained a gipsy.

    The young king was successful in overcoming his enemies, and made peace with them. Scarcely had he returned to the town, when he went to the garden to seek his delight, and to see whether anything had happened to her. But who shall express his astonishment and horror, when, instead of his beautiful queen, he beheld a sorry gipsy. 'Ah, my dear, my very dear one, how you have altered!' sighed he, and tears bedewed his cheeks. 'I have altered, my beloved! I have altered; for anxiety for you has tortured me,' answered the gipsy, and wanted to fall upon his neck; but the king turned away from her and departed in anger. From that time forth he had no settled abode, no rest; he knew neither day nor night; but merely mourned over the lost beauty of his wife, and nothing could comfort him.

    Thus agitated and melancholy, he was walking one day in the garden. Here, as he moved about at haphazard, a beautiful white dove flew on to his hand from a high tree, and looked with mournful gaze into his bloodshot eyes. 'Ah, my dove! why are you so sad? Has your mate been transformed like my beautiful wife?' said the young king, talking to it and caressingly stroking its head and back. But feeling a kind of protuberance on its head, he blew the feathers apart, and behold! the head of a pin! Touched with compassion, the king extracted the pin; that instant the beautiful mourning dove was changed into his beautiful wife. She narrated to him all that had happened to her, and how it had happened; how the gipsy had deluded her, and how she had stuck the pin into her head. The king immediately caused the gipsy and the old woman to be apprehended and burnt without further ado.

    From that time forth nothing interfered with his happiness, neither the might of his enemies nor the spite of wicked people. He lived with his beautiful wife in peace and love; he reigned prosperously, and is reigning yet, if he be yet alive.




    By Slovenish they mean?


    By Slovenish they mean?

    According to the website: 'THE Slovenes or Slovaks of North Hungary'. Doesn't really clear up things  ???

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