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Today a story and poem from the land of Armenia……

 

The story of  ARTASHES AND SATENIK (From the History of Armenia) by MOSES OF KHORENE

AT this time the Alans united with all the people of the mountain country, and having taken possession of the half of Georgia, spread themselves in great multitudes over our land. And Artashes collected a mighty host together, and there was war between the two great nations. The Alans retreated somewhat, and crossing over the river Kur they encamped on its northern bank. And when Artashes arrived, he encamped on the southern hank, so that the river was between them. But because the son of the King of the Alans was taken captive by the Armenian hosts and brought to Artashes, the King of the Alans sought peace, promising to give to Artashes whatsoever he should ask. And he swore an eternal peace unto him, so that the sons of the Alans might not be carried away captive into the land of the Armenians. And when Artashes would not consent to give back the youth, his sister came to the river’s bank and stood upon a great rock. And by means of the interpreters she spoke to the camp of Artashes, saying:–“O brave Artashes, who hast vanquished the great nation of the Alans, unto thee I speak. Come, hearken unto the bright-eyed daughter of the Alan King, and give back the youth. For it is not the way of heroes to destroy life at the root, nor for the sake of humbling and enslaving a hostage to establish everlasting enmity between two great nations.” And on hearing such wise sayings, Artashes went to the bank of the river. And seeing that the maiden was beautiful, and having heard these words of wisdom from her, he desired her. And calling Smpad his chamberlain he told him the wishes of his heart, and commanded that he should obtain the maiden for him, swearing unto the great Alan nation oaths of peace, and promising to send the youth back in safety. And this appeared wise in the eyes of Smpad, and he sent messengers unto the King of the Alans asking him to give the lady Satenik his daughter as wife unto Artashes. And the King of the Mans answered, “From whence shall brave Artashes give thousands upon thousands and tens of thousands upon tens of thousands unto the Alans in return for the maiden?”

 

Concerning this the poets of that land sing in their songs:–

 

“Brave King Artashes
Mounted his fine black charger,
And took the red leathern cord
With the golden ring.
Like a swift-winged eagle
He passed over the river,
And cast the golden ring
Round the waist of the Alan Princess;
Causing much pain
To the tender maiden
As he bore her swiftly
Back to his camp.”

 

Which being interpreted meaneth that he was commanded to give much gold, leather, and crimson dye in exchange for the maiden. So also they sing of the wedding:–

 

“It rained showers of gold when Artashes became a bridegroom.
It rained pearls when Satenik became a bride.”

 

For it was the custom of our kings to scatter coins amongst the people when they arrived at the doors of the temple for their wedding, as also for the queens to scatter pearls in their bridechamber.

 

Artashes and Satenik from Armenian Poetry and Legends

 

——————

THE SORROWS OF ARMENIA

 

IN many a distant, unknown land,
My sons belovèd exiled roam,
Servile they kiss the stranger’s hand;
How shall I find and bring them home?

 

The ages pass, no tidings come;
My brave ones fall, are lost and gone.
My blood is chilled, my voice is dumb,
And friend or comfort I have none.

 

With endless griefs my heart is worn,
Eternal sorrow is my doom;
Far from my sons, despis’d, forlorn,
I must descend the darksome tomb.

 

Thou shepherd wandering o’er the hill,
Come weep with me my children lost;
Let mournful strains the valleys fill
For those we loved and valued most.

 

Fly, crane, Armenia’s bird, depart;
Tell them I die of grief; and tell
How hope is dead within my heart–
Bear to my sons my last farewell!

 

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From ARMENIAN POETRY AND LEGENDS

ISBN: 978-1-907256-18-9

http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_apl.html

 

A percentage of the profits will be donated to the Centre for Armenian Information and Advice (CAIA) in London.

Armenian Poetry and Legends

There was once a little Kid whose growing horns made him think he was a grown-up Billy Goat and able to take care of himself. So one evening when the flock started home from the pasture and his mother called, the Kid paid no heed and kept right on nibbling the tender grass. A little later when he lifted his head, the flock was gone.

 

He was all alone. The sun was sinking. Long shadows came creeping over the ground. A chilly little wind came creeping with them making scary noises in the grass. The Kid shivered as he thought of the terrible Wolf. Then he started wildly over the field, bleating for his mother. But not half-way, near a clump of trees, there was the Wolf!

The wolf and the kid from Aesop's fables for Children

The Kid knew there was little hope for him.

 

“Please, Mr. Wolf,” he said trembling, “I know you are going to eat me. But first please pipe me a tune, for I want to dance and be merry as long as I can.”

 

The Wolf liked the idea of a little music before eating, so he struck up a merry tune and the Kid leaped and frisked gaily.

 

Meanwhile, the flock was moving slowly homeward. In the still evening air the Wolf’s piping carried far. The Shepherd Dogs pricked up their ears. They recognized the song the Wolf sings before a feast, and in a moment they were racing back to the pasture. The Wolf’s song ended suddenly, and as he ran, with the Dogs at his heels, he called himself a fool for turning piper to please a Kid, when he should have stuck to his butcher’s trade.

 

MORAL: Do not let anything turn you from your purpose

 

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From ÆSOP FOR CHILDREN

To be published as a paperback and ebook during the summer of 2012

 

A percentage of the profits will be donated to Cecily’s Fund – educating Zambian children orphaned by Aids.

 

 

 

 

When the Son of the Chan was, as formerly, carrying Ssidi away in the sack, Ssidi inquired of him as before; but the Son of the Chan shook his head without speaking a word, so Ssidi proceeded as follows:—

 

“Many, many years ago there ruled over a certain kingdom a Chan named Guguluktschi. Upon the death of this Chan his son, who was of great reputation and worth, was elected Chan in his place.

 

“One berren (a measure of distance) from the residence of the Chan dwelt a man, who had a daughter of wonderful abilities and extraordinary beauty. The son of the Chan was enamoured of this maiden, and visited her daily; until, at length, he fell sick of a grievous malady, and died, without the maiden being made aware of it.

 

“One night, just as the moon was rising, the maiden heard a knocking at the door, and the face of the maiden was gladdened when she beheld the son of the Chan; and the maiden arose and went to meet him, and she led him in and placed arrack and cakes before him. ‘Wife,’ said the son of the Chan, ‘come with me!’

 

“The maiden followed, and they kept going further and further, until they arrived at the dwelling of the Chan, from which proceeded the sound of cymbals and kettledrums.

 

“‘Chan, what is this?’ she asked. The son of the Chan replied to these inquiries of the maiden, ‘Do you not know that they are now celebrating the feast of my funeral?’ Thus spake he; and the maiden replied, ‘The feast of thy funeral! Has anything then befallen the Chan’s son?’ And the son of the Chan replied, ‘He is departed. Thou wilt, however, bear a son unto him. And when the season is come, go into the stable of the elephant, and let him be born there. In the palace there will arise a contention betwixt my mother and her attendants, because of the wonderful stone of the kingdom. The wonderful stone lies under the table of sacrifice. After it has been discovered, do you and my mother reign over this kingdom until such time as my son comes of age.’

 

“Thus spake he, and vanished into air. But his beloved fell, from very anguish; into a swoon. ‘Chan! Chan!’ exclaimed she sorrowfully, when she came to herself again. And because she felt that the time was come, she betook herself to the stable of the elephants, and there gave birth to a son.

 

“On the following morning, when the keeper of the elephants entered the stable, he exclaimed, ‘What! has a woman given birth to a son in the stable of the elephants? This never happened before. This may be an injury to the elephants.’

 

“At these words the maiden said, ‘Go unto the mother of the Chan, and say unto her, “Arise! something wonderful has taken place.”‘

 

“When these words were told unto the mother of the Chan, then she arose and went unto the stable, and maiden related unto her all that had happened. ‘Wonderful!’ said the mother of the Chan. ‘Otherwise the Chan had left no successors. Let us go together into the house.’

 

“Thus speaking, she took the maiden with her into the house, and nursed her, and tended her carefully. And because her account of the wonderful stone was found correct, all the rest of her story was believed. So the mother of the Chan and his wife ruled over the kingdom.

 

“Henceforth, too, it happened that every month, on the night of the full moon, the deceased Chan appeared to his wife, remained with her until morning dawned, and then vanished into air. And the wife recounted this to his mother, but his mother believed her not, and said, ‘This is a mere invention. If it were true my son would, of a surety, show himself likewise unto me. If I am to believe your words, you must take care that mother and son meet one another.’

 

“When the son of the Chan came on the night of the full moon, his wife said unto him, ‘It is well that thou comest unto me on the night of every full moon, but it were yet better if thou camest every night.’ And as she spake thus, with tears in her eyes, the son of the Chan replied, ‘If thou hadst sufficient spirit to dare its accomplishment, thou mightest do what would bring me every night; but thou art young and cannot do it.’ ‘Then,’ said she, ‘if thou wilt but come every night, I will do all that is required of me, although I should thereby lose both flesh and bone.’

 

“Thereupon the son of the Chan spake as follows: Then betake thyself on the night of the full moon a berren from this place to the iron old man, and give unto him arrack. A little further you will come unto two rams, to them you must offer batschimak cakes. A little further on you will perceive a host of men in coats of mail and other armour, and there you must share out meat and cakes. From thence you must proceed to a large black building, stained with blood; the skin of a man floats over it instead of a flag. Two aerliks (fiends) stand at the entrance. Present unto them both offerings of blood. Within the mansion thou wilt discover nine fearful exorcists, and nine hearts upon a throne. “Take me! take me!” will the eight old hearts exclaim; and the ninth heart will cry out, “Do not take me!” But leave the old hearts and take the fresh one, and run home with it without looking round.’

 

“Much as the maiden was alarmed at the task which she had been enjoined to perform, she set forth on the night of the next full moon, divided the offerings, and entered the house. ‘Take me not!’ exclaimed the fresh heart; but the maiden seized the fresh heart and fled with it. The exorcists fled after her, and cried out to those who were watching, ‘Stop the thief of the heart!’ And the two aerlic (fiends) cried, ‘We have received offerings of blood!’ Then each of the armed men cried out, ‘Stop the thief!’ But the rams said, ‘We have received batschimak cakes.’ Then they called out to the iron old man, ‘Stop the thief with the heart!’ But the old man said, ‘I have received arrack from her, and shall not stop her.’

 

“Thereupon the maiden journeyed on without fear until she reached home; and she found upon entering the house the Chan’s son, attired in festive garments. And the Chan’s son drew nigh, and threw his arms about the neck of the maiden.”

 

“The maiden behaved well indeed!” exclaimed the Son of the Chan.

 

“Ruler of Destiny, thou hast spoken words! Ssarwala missdood jakzang.” Thus spake Ssidi, and burst from the sack through the air.

 

Thus Ssidi’s ninth relation treats of the Stealing of the Heart.

 

 

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From ORIENTAL FOLKLORE AND LEGENDS translated by C. J. Tibbitts

ISBN: 978-1-907256-10-3

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_ofl.html

Click on the URL for more info, a table of contents and to order in USD or GBP.

 

A percentage of the profits will be donated to UNICEF.

 

Oriental Folklore and Legends

 

 

Today we take a brief branch away from our usual folkore and fairy tales and have a look at three poems from the book WHEN HEARTS ARE TRUMPS.  The verse in this volume were  selected from works that had appeared in various periodicals, LIFE, TRUTH, TOWN TOPICS, VOGUE, and MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE during the five years 1893-1898 and whose editors kindly gave Tom Hall permission to republish them. So popular was this collection of poetry, that it had at least six editions. Read on and enjoy……….

 

THE OLD-FASHIONED GIRL.

 

There’s an old-fashioned girl in an old fashioned street,

Dressed in old-fashioned clothes from her head to her feet;

And she spends all her time in the old-fashioned way

Of caring for poor people’s children all day.

She never has been to cotillon1 or ball,

And she knows not the styles of the Spring or the Fall;

Two hundred a year will suffice for her needs,

And an old-fashioned Bible is all that she reads.

And she has an old-fashioned heart that is true

To a fellow who died in an old coat of blue,

With its buttons all brass,—who is waiting above

For the woman who loved him with old-fashioned love.

 

1 The Cotillion was a popular 18th and 19th century dance in the French Courts that preceded the Quadrille style of dancing.

 

– – – – – – –

A RHYMING REVERIE.

 

It was a dainty lady’s glove;

A souvenir to rhyme with love.

It was the memory of a kiss,

So called to make it rhyme with bliss.

There was a month at Mt. Desert,

Synonymous and rhymes with flirt.

A pretty girl and lots of style,

Which rhymes with happy for a while.

There came a rival old and bold,

To make him rhyme with gold and sold.

A broken heart there had to be.

Alas, the rhyme just fitted me.

 

– – – – – – –

 

VANITY FAIR.

 

Oh, whence, oh, where

Is Vanity Fair?

I want to be seen with the somebodies there.

I’ve money and beauty and college-bred brains;

Though my ‘scutcheon’s not spotless, who’ll mind a few stains?

To caper I wish in the chorus of style,

And wed an aristocrat after a while

So please tell me truly, and please tell me fair,

Just how many miles it’s from Madison Square.

It’s here, it’s there,

Is Vanity Fair.

It’s not like a labyrinth, not like a lair.

It’s North and it’s South, and it’s East and it’s West;

You can see it, oh, anywhere, quite at its best.

Dame Fashion is queen, Ready Money is king,

You can join it, provided you don’t know a thing.

It’s miles over here, and it’s miles over there;

And it’s not seven inches from Madison Square.

 

– – – – – – –

 

From WHEN HEARTS ARE TRUMPS compiled by Tom Hall

ISBN: 978-1-907256-55-4

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_what.html

Click on the URL for more info, a table of contents and to order in USD or GBP.

 

A percentage of the profits will be donated to The BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION.

 

When Hearts are Trumps a book of love poems

 

 

 

As Odin was the leader of all disembodied spirits, he was identified in the middle ages with the Pied Piper of Hamelin. According to mediæval legends, Hamelin was so infested by rats that life became unbearable, and a large reward was offered to any who would rid the town of these rodents. A piper, in parti-coloured garments, offered to undertake the commission, and the terms being accepted, he commenced to play through the streets in such wise that, one and all, the rats were beguiled out of their holes until they formed a vast procession. There was that in the strains which compelled them to follow, until at last the river Weser was reached, and all were drowned in its tide.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin from Myths of the Norsemen“And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered,

You heard as if an army muttered;

And the muttering grew to a grumbling;

And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling;

And out of the houses the rats came tumbling.

Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,

Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats,

Grave old plodders, gay young friskers,

Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins,

Cocking tails and pricking whiskers,

Families by tens and dozens,

Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives—

Followed the Piper for their lives.

From street to street he piped advancing,

And step for step they followed dancing,

Until they came to the river Weser,

Wherein all plunged and perished!”

Robert Browning.

As the rats were all dead, and there was no chance of their returning to plague them, the people of Hamelin refused to pay the reward, and they bade the piper do his worst. He took them at their word, and a few moments later the weird strains of the magic flute again arose, and this time it was the children who swarmed out of the houses and merrily followed the piper.

“There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling

Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling;

Small feet were pattering, wooden shoes clattering,

Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering,

And, like fowls in a farmyard when barley is scattering,

Out came all the children running.

All the little boys and girls,

With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls,

And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls,

Tripping and skipping, ran merrily after

The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.”

Robert Browning.

The burghers were powerless to prevent the tragedy, and as they stood spellbound the piper led the children out of the town to the Koppelberg, a hill on the confines of the town, which miraculously opened to receive the procession, and only closed again when the last child had passed out of sight. This legend probably originated the adage “to pay the piper.” The children were never seen in Hamelin again, and in commemoration of this public calamity all official decrees have since been dated so many years after the Pied Piper’s visit.

“They made a decree that lawyers never

Should think their records dated duly

If, after the day of the month and year,

These words did not as well appear,

’And so long after what happened here

On the Twenty-second of July,

Thirteen hundred and seventy-six:’

And the better in memory to fix

The place of the children’s last retreat,

They called it the Pied Piper Street—

Where any one playing on pipe or tabor

Was sure for the future to lose his labour.”

Robert Browning.

In this myth Odin is the piper, the shrill tones of the flute are emblematic of the whistling wind, the rats represent the souls of the dead, which cheerfully follow him, and the hollow mountain into which he leads the children is typical of the grave.

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From MYTHS OF THE NORSEMEN translated by H. A. Geurber

Illustrated by various artists

ISBN: 978-1-907256-65-3

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_motn.html

Click on the URL for more info, a table of contents and to order in USD or GBP.

A percentage of the profits will be donated to UNICEF.

Myths of the Norsemen by H A Geurber

YALLERY BROWN from MORE ENGLISH FAIRY TALES (1894)

ONCE UPON A TIME, and a very good time it was, though it wasn’t in my time, nor in your time, nor anyone else’s time, there was a young lad of eighteen or so named Tom Tiver working on the Hall Farm. One Sunday he was walking across the west field ’twas a beautiful July night, warm and still and the air was full of little sounds as though the trees and grass were chattering to themselves. And all at once there came a bit ahead of him the pitifullest greetings ever he heard, sob, sobbing, like a bairn spent with fear, and nigh heart-broken; breaking off into a moan and then rising again in a long whimpering wailing that made him feel sick to hark to it. He began to look everywhere for the poor creature. ‘It must be Sally Bratton’s child,’ he thought to himself; ‘she was always a flighty thing, and never looked after it. Like as not, she’s flaunting about the lanes, and has clean forgot the babby.’ But though he looked and looked, he could see naught. And presently the whimpering got louder and stronger in the quietness, and he thought he could make out words of some sort. He hearkened with all his ears, and the sorry thing was saying words all mixed up with sobbing —

 

‘Ooh! the stone, the great big stone! ooh! the stones on top!’

 

Naturally he wondered where the stone might be, and he looked again, and there by the hedge bottom was a great flat stone, nigh buried in the mools, and hid in the cotted grass and weeds. One of the stones was called the ‘Strangers’ Table’. However, down he fell on his knee-bones by that stone, and hearkened again. Clearer than ever, but tired and spent with greeting came the little sobbing voice — ‘Ooh! ooh! the stone, the stone on top.’ He was gey, and misliking to meddle with the thing, but he couldn’t stand the whimpering babby, and he tore like mad at the stone, till he felt it lifting from the mools, and all at once it came with a sough out o’ the damp earth and the tangled grass and growing things. And there in the hole lay a tiddy thing on its back, blinking up at the moon and at him. ‘Twas no bigger than a year-old baby, but it had long cotted hair and beard, twisted round and round its body so that you couldn’t see its clothes; and the hair was all yaller and shining and silky, like a bairn’s; but the face of it was old and as if ’twere hundreds of years since ’twas young and smooth. Just a heap of wrinkles, and two bright black eyne in the midst, set in a lot of shining yaller hair; and the skin was the colour of the fresh-turned earth in the spring — brown as brown could be, and its bare hands and feet were brown like the face of it. The greeting had stopped, but the tears were standing on its cheek, and the tiddy thing looked mazed like in the moonshine and the night air.

 

The creature’s eyne got used like to the moonlight, and presently he looked up in Tom’s face as bold as ever was; ‘Tom,’ says he, ‘thou’rt a good lad!’ as cool as thou can think, says he, ‘Tom, thou’rt a good lad!’ and his voice was soft and high and piping like a little bird twittering.

 

Tom touched his hat, and began to think what he ought to say. ‘Houts!’ says the thing again, ‘thou needn’t be feared o’ me; thou’st done me a better turn than thou know’st, my lad, and I’ll do as much for thee.’ Tom couldn’t speak yet, but he thought, ‘Lord! for sure ’tis a bogle!’

 

‘No!’ says he as quick as quick, ‘I am no bogle, but ye’d best not ask me what I be; anyways I be a good friend o’ thine.’ Tom’s very knee-bones struck, for certainly an ordinary body couldn’t have known what he’d been thinking to himself, but he looked so kind like, and spoke so fair, that he made bold to get out, a bit quavery like –‘Might I be axing to know your honour’s name?’

 

‘H’m,’ says he, pulling his beard; ‘as for that’ — and he thought a bit — ‘aye so,’ he went on at last, ‘Yallery Brown thou mayst call me, Yallery Brown; ’tis my nature seest thou, and as for a name ’twill do as any other. Yallery Brown, Tom, Yallery Brown’s thy friend, my lad.’

 

‘Thankee, master,’ says Tom, quite meek like.

 

‘And now,’ he says, ‘I’m in a hurry tonight, but tell me quick, what’ll I do far thee? Wilt have a wife? I can give thee the finest lass in the town. Wilt be rich? I’ll give thee gold as much as thou can carry. Or wilt have help wi’ thy work? Only say the word.’

 

Tom scratched his head. ‘Well, as for a wife, I have no hankering after such; they’re but bothersome bodies, and I have women folk at home as’ll mend my clouts; and for gold that’s as may be, but for work, there, I can’t abide work, and if thou’lt give me a helpin’ hand in it I’ll thank –‘

 

‘Stop,’ says he, quick as lightning. ‘I’ll help thee and welcome, but if ever thou sayest that to me — if ever thou thankest me, see’st thou, thou’lt never see me more. Mind that now; I want no thanks, I’ll have no thanks’; and he stampt his tiddy foot on the earth and looked as wicked as a raging bull.

 

‘Mind that now, great lump that thou be,’ he went on, calming down a bit, ‘and if ever thou need’st help, or get’st into trouble, call on me and just say, “Yallery Brown, come from the mools, I want thee!” and I’ll be wi’ thee at once; and now,’ says he, picking a dandelion puff, ‘good night to thee’, and he blowed it up, and it all came into Tom’s eyne and ears. Soon as Tom could see again the tiddy creature was gone, and but for the stone on end and the hole at his feet, he’d have thought he’d been dreaming.

 

Well, Tom went home and to bed; and by the morning he’d nigh forgot all about it. But when he went to the work, there was none to do! All was done already, the horses seen to, the stables cleaned out, everything in its proper place, and he’d nothing to do but sit with his hands in his pockets. And so it went on day after day, all the work done by Yallery Brown, and better done, too, than he could have done it himself. And if the master gave him more work, he sat down, and the work did itself, the singeing irons, or the broom, or what not, set to, and with ne’er a hand put to it would get through in no time. For he never saw Yallery Brown in daylight; only in the darklins he saw him hopping about, like a Will-o-th’-wyke without his lanthorn.

 

At first ’twas mighty fine for Tom; he’d naught to do and good pay for it; but by and by things began to grow vicey-varsy. If the work was done for Tom, ’twas undone for the other lads; if his buckets were filled, theirs were upset; if his tools were sharpened, theirs were blunted and spoiled; if his horses were clean as daisies, theirs were splashed with muck, and so on; day in and day out, ’twas the same. And the lads saw Yallery Brown flitting about o’ nights, and they saw the things working without hands o’ days, and they saw that Tom’s work was done for him, and theirs undone for them; and naturally they began to look shy on him, and they wouldn’t speak or come nigh him, and they carried tales to the master and so things went from bad to worse.

 

For Tom could do nothing himself; the brooms wouldn’t stay in his hand, the plough ran away from him, the hoe kept out of his grip. He thought that he’d do his own work after all, so that Yallery Brown would leave him and his neighbours alone. But he couldn’t — true as death he couldn’t. He could only sit by and look on, and have the cold shoulder turned on him, while the unnatural thing was meddling with the others, and working for him.

 

At last, things got so bad that the master gave Tom the sack, and if he hadn’t, all the rest of the lads would have sacked him, for they swore they’d not stay on the same garth with Tom. Well, naturally Tom felt bad; ’twas a very good place, and good pay too; and he was fair mad with Yallery Brown, as’d got him into such a trouble. So Tom shook his fist in the air and called out as loud as he could, ‘Yallery Brown, come from the mools; thou scamp, I want thee!’

 

You’ll scarce believe it, but he’d hardly brought out the words but he felt something tweaking his leg behind, while he jumped with the smart of it; and soon as he looked down, there was the tiddy thing, with his shining hair, and wrinkled face, and wicked glinting black eyne.

 

Tom was in a fine rage, and he would have liked to have kicked him, but ’twas no good, there wasn’t enough of it to get his boot against; but he said, ‘Look here, master, I’ll thank thee to leave me alone after this, dost hear? I want none of thy help, and I’ll have naught more to do with thee — see now.’

 

The horrid thing broke into a screeching laugh, and pointed its brown finger at Tom. ‘Ho, ho, Tom!’ says he. ‘Thou’st thanked me, my lad, and I told thee not, I told thee not!’

 

‘I don’t want thy help, I tell thee,’ Tom yelled at him — ‘I only want never to see thee again, and to have naught more to do with ‘ee –thou can go.’

 

The thing only laughed and screeched and mocked, as long as Tom went on swearing, but so soon as his breath gave out — ‘Tom, my lad,’ he said with a grin, ‘I’ll tell ‘ee summat, Tom. True’s true I’ll never help thee again, and call as thou wilt, thou’lt never see me after today; but I never said that I’d leave thee alone, Tom, and I never will, my lad! I was nice and safe under the stone, Tom, and could do no harm; but thou let me out thyself, and thou can’t put me back again! I would have been thy friend and worked for thee if thou had been wise; but since thou bee’st no more than a born fool I’ll give ‘ee no more than a born fool’s luck; and when all goes vicey-varsy, and everything agee — thou’lt mind that it’s Yallery Brown’s doing though m’appen thou doesn’t see him. Mark my words, will ‘ee?’

 

And he began to sing, dancing round Tom, like a bairn with his yellow hair, but looking older than ever with his grinning wrinkled bit of a face:

 

‘Work as thou will
Thou’lt never do well;
Work as thou mayst
Thou’ It never gain grist;
For harm and mischance and Yallery Brown
Thou’ st let out thyself from under the stone.’

 

Tom could never rightly mind what he said next. ‘Twas all cussing and calling down misfortune on him; but he was so mazed in fright that he could only stand there shaking all over, and staring down at the horrid thing; and if he’d gone on long, Tom would have tumbled down in a fit. But by and by, his yaller shining hair rose up in the air, and wrapt itself round him till he looked for all the world like a great dandelion puff; and it floated away on the wind over the wall and out o’ sight, with a parting skirl of wicked voice and sneering laugh.

 

And did it come true, sayst thou? My word! but it did, sure as death! He worked here and he worked there, and turned his hand to this and to that, but it always went agee, and ’twas all Yallery Brown’s doing. And the children died, and the crops rotted — the beasts never fatted, and nothing ever did well with him; and till he was dead and buried, and m’appen even afterwards, there was no end to Yallery Brown’s spite at him; day in and day out he used to hear him saying —

 

‘Work as thou will
Thou’ It never do well;
Work as thou mayst
Thou’ It never gain grist;
For harm and mischance and Yallery Brown
Thou’st let out thyself from under the stone.’

 

 

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From MORE ENGLISH FAIRY TALES compiled by Joseph Jacobs

Illustrated by John D. Batten

ISBN: 978-1-907256-09-7

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_meft.html

Click on the URL for more info, a table of contents and to order in USD or GBP.

A percentage of the profits from the sale of this book will be donated to the Prince’s Trust.

 

More English Fairy Tales cover

 

 

The Padishah returned to the dragon-mother and related his terrifying experience. Said she: “I forgot to tell you that I am called the Black Dragon, my brother, the Red Dragon. Go back and say that the Black Dragon sends greeting. As my name is known to no one, my brother will recognise that I have sent you. Then he will turn his back towards you, and you can approach him without danger; but beware of getting in front of him, or you will become a victim of the fiery glances of his eyes.”

 

Now the Padishah set out to return to the Red Dragon, and when he had reached the spot he cried with a loud voice: “Thy sister, the Black Dragon, sends thee greeting! ” On this the beast turned his back towards him. Approaching the dragon, the Padishah made known his wish to go to the Hyacinth Kiosk. The dragon took a whip from his girdle and smote the earth with it so mightily that the mountain seemed rent in twain. In a little while the Padishah saw approaching a rather large dragon, and as he came near he felt the heat that glowed from his great eyes. This dragon also turned his back toward the Padishah. “My son, if thou wouldst enter the Hyacinth Kiosk,” said the Red Dragon, “cry before thou enterest, ‘The Red Dragon has sent me!’ On this an Arab will appear: this is the very peri that has robbed thee of thy children. When he asks what thou wilt, tell him that the great dragon demands possession of the largest of the stolen children. If he refuses, ask for the smallest. If again he refuses, tell him the Red Dragon demands himself. Say no more, but return here in peace.”

The Padishah now mounted the back of the dragon which the Red Dragon had summoned and set off. Seeing the Hyacinth Kiosk in the distance the Padishah shouted: “Greeting from the Red Dragon!”

 

So mighty was the shout that earth and sky seemed to be shaken. Immediately a swarthy Arab with fan shaped lips appeared, grasping an enormous club in his hand. Stepping out into the open air, he inquired what was the matter. “The Red Dragon,” said the Padishah, “demands the largest of the stolen children.” “The largest is ill,” answered the peri. “Then send the smallest to him,” rejoined the Padishah. “He has gone to fetch water,” replied the Arab. “If that is so,” continued the Padishah, “the Red Dragon demands thyself.” “I am going into the kiosk,” said the Arab, and disappeared. The Padishah returned to the Red Dragon, to whom he related how he had fulfilled his mission.

 

Meanwhile the Arab came forth, in each hand a great club, wooden shoes three yards long on his feet, and on his head a cap as high as a minaret. Seeing him, the Red Dragon said: “So-ho! my dear Hyacinther; thou hast the children of this Padishah; be good enough to deliver them up.” “I have a request to make,” replied the Arab, “and if the Padishah will grant it I will gladly give him his children back again. Ten years ago I stole the son of a certain Padishah, and when he was twelve years old he was stolen away from me by a Dew-woman named Porsuk (a Dew is an evil spirit). Every day she sends the boy to the spring for water, gives him an ashcake to eat, and compels him to drink a glass of human blood. If I can but regain possession of this youth, I desire nothing more, for never in the whole world have I seen such a handsome lad. This Porsuk has a son who loves me, and evil has been done me because I will not adopt him in place of the stolen boy. I am aware that the children of this Padishah are brave and handsome, and I stole them to mitigate my sufferings. Let him but fulfil my wish, and I will fulfil thine.”

 

Having uttered this speech the Arab went away (Note: Turkish Dews are also called ‘Arabs’)

The Arab The Red Dragon reflected a little, then spoke as follows: “My son, fear not. This Porsuk is not particularly valiant, though skilled in sorcery. She cannot be vanquished by magic; but it is her custom on one day in the year to work no magic, therefore on that day she may be overcome. One month must thou wait, during which I will discover the exact day and inform thee thereof,”

 

The Padishah agreeing to this, the Red Dragon dispatched his sons to discover the precise day on which the Dew worked no magic. As soon as they returned with the desired information it was duly imparted to the Padishah, with the additional fact that on that day the Dew always slept. “When thou arrivest,” the Red Dragon counselled the Padishah, “the youth she retains will come to fetch water from the spring. Take his cap off his head and set it on thine own: thus he will be unable to stir from the spot, and thou canst do what thou wilt with him.”

 

The Red Dragon then sent for his sons, instructing them to escort the Padishah to the Porsuk-Dew’s spring, wait there until he had accomplished his object, and then accompany both back in safety.

 

Arrived at the spring, all hid themselves until the youth came for water. While he was filling his bottle the Padishah sprang forth suddenly, whisked off the youth’s cap, set it on his own head, and instantly disappeared into his hiding-place. The youth looked around, and seeing no one, could not think what had happened. Then the young dragons swooped down upon him, captured him, and with the Padishah led him a prisoner to the Red Dragon.

The Padisha Whisked off the cap

Striking the earth with his whip, the Red Dragon brought the Hyacinth Arab on the scene, and as soon as he caught sight of the boy he sprang towards him, embraced and kissed him, expressing his deep gratitude to the friends who had restored him.

 

Now he in his turn clapped his hands and stamped his feet on the ground and immediately forty birds flew up twittering merrily. Taking a flask from his girdle, the Arab sprinkled them with the liquid it contained, and lo! the birds were transformed into forty lovely maidens and handsome youths, who drew up in line and stood at attention. ” Now, my Shah,” said the Arab, “behold thy children! Take them and be happy, and pardon me the suffering I have caused thee.”

 

Had anyone begged the Padishah’s costliest treasure at that moment it would have been given him, so overwhelmed with joy was the monarch at recovering his children. He freely pardoned the Hyacinth Arab, and would even have rewarded him had there been anything he desired.

 

The Padishah now bade goodbye to the Red Dragon. At the moment of parting the Red Dragon pulled out a hair from behind his ear and, giving it to the Padishah, said:

 

“Take this, and when in trouble of any sort break it in two and I will hasten to thy aid.”

 

Thus the Padishah and his children set out, and in due course arrived at the abode of the Black Dragon. She also took a hair from behind her ear and presented it to the Padishah with the following advice: “Marry thy children at once, and if on their wedding day thou wilt fumigate them with this hair, they will be forever delivered from the power of the Porsuk-Dew.”

 

The Padishah expressed his thanks, bade the Black Dragon a hearty good. bye, and all proceeded on their way.

 

During the journey the Padishah entertained his children by relating his adventures, and then he listened to those of his sons and daughters. Suddenly a fearful storm arose. None of the party knew what their fate would be, yet all waited in trembling expectancy. At length one of the maidens exclaimed: “Dear father and Shah, I have heard the Arab say that whenever the Porsuk-Dew passes she is accompanied by a storm such as this. I believe it is she who is now passing, and no other.” Collecting his courage, the Padishah drew forth the hair of the Red Dragon and broke it in two. The Porsuk Dew at once fell down from the sky with a crash, and at the same moment the Red Dragon came up swinging and cracking his whip. The Dew was found to have broken her arm s and smashed her nose, so that she was quite incapable of inflicting further mischief.

The Dew Smashed her nose

The Padishah was exceedingly afraid lest he should lose one of his children again, but the Red Dragon reassured him. “Fear not, my Shah,” said he; “take this whip.” The Padishah accepted it, and as he cracked it he felt the sensation o f being lifted into the air.

 

Descending to earth again, he found himself just outside the gates of his own capital city. “Now thou art quite safe,” said the Red Dragon as he disappeared. At sight of the domes and minarets and familiar walls of their birthplace they all cast themselves on their knees and wept for joy. Since the Padishah had left his palace continual lamentation and gloom had reigned supreme, and now all the pashas and beys came out joyfully to meet their returning master and his children. The Sultana went down the whole line embracing and kissing her beautiful sons and daughters, and the delighted Padishah ordered seven days and seven nights of merrymaking in honour of the glad event.

 

These festivities were scarcely over when wives for the Padishah’s sons and husbands for his daughters were sought and found, and then commenced forty days and forty nights of revelry in celebration of the grand wedding.

 

Unfortunately, on the wedding day the Padishah forgot to fumigate them all with the Black Dragon’s hair, with the result that as soon as the ceremony was over rain began to fall in a deluging torrent, and the wind blew so fiercely that nothing could withstand it. At first the Padishah thought it was merely a great storm, but later he remembered the Porsuk-Dew, and cried out in his fear. Hearing the clamour, the inmates of the serai, including the newly-wedded princes and princesses, came in to see what was the matter. The frightened Padishah gave the Black Dragon’s hair to the Vezir and commanded him to burn it immediately. No one understood the order, and all thought the Padishah must have lost his wits; nevertheless his wish was obeyed and the hair burnt. Immediately a fearful howling was heard in the garden outside, and the Porsuk-Dew cried with a loud voice: “Thou hast burnt me, O Padishah! Henceforth in thy garden shall no blade of grass grow.” Next morning it was seen that every tree and flower in the garden was scorched, as though a conflagration had raged over the scene.

 

The Padishah, however, did not allow this loss to trouble him; he had his children again with him, and that joy eclipsed any ordinary misfortunes that might befall him. He explained everything to his suite, who could hardly believe what they heard, it was all so astonishing. No further danger was to be feared, and thus the Padishah and his family, with their husbands and wives, lived happily together until their lives’ end.

 

 

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From FORTY-FOUR TURKISH FAIRY TALES compiled and translated by Dr. Ignácz Kúnos

Illustrated by Willy Pogany

ISBN: 978-1-907256-37-0

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_fftfp.html

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A colour, hardback collector’s edition is also available at http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_fftfh.html

 

44 Turkish Fairy Tales

 

 

Before we start, an explanation of some of the unfamiliar Turkish words used in this tale:

Abdest –           Religious ablution

Dervish –         Mendicant monk

Kismet –           Fate

Padishah –       Sultan

Peri –               Fairy

 

OK. Now we’re ready to go…………….

 

THERE was once a Padishah who had the misfortune to have all his children stolen as soon as they reached their seventh year. Grief at this terrible affliction caused him almost to lose his reason, “Forty children have been born to me,” said he, “each seeming more beautiful than the one which preceded it, so that I never tired of regarding them. O that one at least had been spared to me! Better that I should have had none than that each should have caused me so much grief.” He brooded continually over the loss of his children, and at length, unable to endure it longer, he left his palace at night and wandered no one knew whither. When morning broke he was already a good distance from his capital. Presently he reached a spring, and was about to take an abdest to say the prayer namaz, when he observed what appeared like a black cloud in the sky, moving towards him.

 

When it came quite near he saw that it was a flight of forty birds, which, twittering and cooing, alighted at the spring.

 

The Padishah and the Dragon from Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales

Alarmed, the Padishah hid himself. As they drank at the spring one of the birds said: “Mother’s-milk was never our kismet. We must perforce drink mountain water. Neither father nor mother care for us.” Then said another: “Even if they think about us, they cannot know where we are.” At these words they flew away. The Padishah murmured to himself: “Poor things! Even such small creatures, it seems, grieve over the absence of their parents.”

 

When he had taken his abdest and said his prayers the day had fully dawned and the nightingales filled the air with their delightful songs Having travelled all night, he could not keep his eyes open longer from fatigue, and he fell into a slumber while his mind was still occupied with thoughts of his lost children. In a dream he saw a dervish approaching him. The Padishah offered him a place at his side and made the newcomer the confidant of his sorrow.

 

"The Padishah Offered him a place" from Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales

Now the dervish knew what had befallen the Padishah’s children, and said: “My Shah, grieve not; though thou seest not thy children, thy children see thee. The birds that came to the spring while thou wast praying were thy children. They were stolen by the peris, and their abode is at a year’s distance from here. They can, if they will, fly not only here but even into thy palace, but

they fear the peris. When thou departest from here, drink like the doves from the spring, and Allah will restore to thee thy children.”

 

The Padishah woke up from his sleep and, reflecting a little, he remembered the words of the dervish in his dream, and he decided to bend his steps towards the spring. What a sight his eyes beheld there! Blood was flowing from the spring. Alarmed, he wondered whether he were sleeping or waking. Presently the sun appeared above the horizon and he was convinced it was no dream. Closing his eyes and repressing his aversion, he drank from the bloody spring as though it were pure water; then, turning to the right, he hastened on his way.

 

All at once he saw in the distance what seemed like a great army drawn up in battle array. Not knowing whether they were enemies or friends, he hesitated about proceeding, but at length resolved to go forward and take his chance. On approaching the army he was surprised to find it was composed of dragons of all sizes, the smallest, however, being as large as a camel. “Woe is me!” he groaned; “who knows but what I thought a dream was sorcery! What shall I do now? If I go forward I shall certainly be cut to pieces, and I cannot go back without being seen.” He prayed to Allah for deliverance from this danger which threatened him.

 

It happened, however, that these were only newly-born dragons, the oldest being but a few days old. None of them had their eyes open, Thus they were wandering about blindly, unable to find their home, though keeping together by instinct.

 

This discovery was very reassuring for the Padishah, who gave the dragons a wide berth and so continued his way without molestation.

 

NIGHT came on, and as he wended his way among the mountains the sound of a terrible howling smote his ears. It was the dragon-mother calling her lost children. The Padishah was seized with fear as the dragon, seeing him, exclaimed: “At last I have thee; my young ones have fared ill at thy hands; thou shalt not escape–thou who hast slain a thousand of my offspring.”

 

The Padishah answered tremblingly that he had indeed seen the young dragons, but had done them no harm; not being a hunter, he had no thought of harming anyone. “If thou speakest the truth,” returned the dragon-mother, “tell me in what direction my children have gone.” The Padishah accordingly explained where he had seen them, whereupon the old dragon changed him into a tobacco-box, which she stuck in her girdle. Thus she carried him with her on her search for the missing young ones, and after a while she found them quite safe and sound.

The Baby Dragons from Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales

The Dragon-mother drove her children home before her, the Padishah still as a tobacco-box in her girdle. By and by they came across the four walls of a fortress standing in the midst of the desert. Taking a whip from her girdle the dragon struck the walls a mighty blow, on which they fell down and a larger dragon came forth from the ruins. The walls now destroyed had enclosed a fine serai, which they entered. The female Dragon, having changed the Padishah again to his original form, took him into one of the apartments of the palace and thus addressed him: “Child of men, why camest thou hither? I see thou hadst no evil intention.”

 

When the Padishah had related his story, the Dragon observed: “The matter can easily be rectified. All thy children are in the Hyacinth Kiosk. The place is a good distance away, and if thou goest alone thou wilt hardly succeed in reaching it. After crossing the mountain thou wilt come to a desert where my brother lives; his children are bigger than mine and know the place well. Go to him, present my compliments, and ask him to escort thee to the Hyacinth Kiosk.” The dragon now took leave of the Padishah, who set off on his journey.

 

It was a long time ere he had crossed the mountain and come in sight of the desert. After traversing the latter for some time he saw a serai much larger than the one he had left. At the gate stood a dragon twice as large as the other, at a thousand paces distant its eyes seemed to be closed, but from the narrow opening between the upper and lower lids came a ray of flame sufficient to scorch any human being that might come within reach of it. When the Padishah saw this he thought to himself: “My last hour is surely come.” At the top of his voice he shouted to the dragon his sister’s greeting. Hearing the words the great beast opened his eyes and as he did so, it seemed as though the whole region was enveloped in flames. The Padishah, unable to endure the sight, ran back. To the dragon he seemed no larger than a flea, and consequently not worth troubling about.

 

 

————————-

From FORTY-FOUR TURKISH FAIRY TALES compiled and translated by Dr. Ignácz Kúnos

Illustrated by Willy Pogany

ISBN: 978-1-907256-37-0

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_fftfp.html

Click on the URL for more info, a table of contents and to order in USD or GBP.

 

A colour, hardback collector’s edition is also available at http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_fftfh.html

 

Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales

 

 

THERE was and there was not at all (of God’s best may it be!), there was a king. When the day of his death was drawing nigh, he called his son to him, and said: ‘In the day when thou goest to hunt in the east, take this coffer, but only open it when thou art in dire distress.’

 

The king died, and was buried in the manner he had wished. The prince fell into a state of grief, and would not go outside the door. At last the ministers of state came to the new king, and proposed to him that he should go out hunting. The king was delighted with the idea, and set out for the chase with his suite.

 

They went eastwards, and killed a great quantity of game. On their way home, the young monarch saw a tower near the road, and wished to know what was in it. He asked one of his viziers to go and try to find out about it. He obeyed, but first said:

 

‘I hope to return in three days, and if I do not I shall be dead.’

 

Three days passed, and the vizier did not return. The king sent a second, a third, a fourth, but not one of them came back. Then he rose and went himself. When he arrived, he saw written over the door: ‘Enter and thou wilt repent; enter not and thou wilt repent.’

 

‘I must do one or the other,’ said the king to himself, ‘so I shall go in.’

 

He opened the door and went in. Behold! there stood twelve men with drawn swords. They took his hand and led him into twelve rooms. When he was come into the twelfth, he saw a golden couch, on which was stretched a boy of eight or nine years of age. His eyes were closed, and he did not utter a word. The king was told:

 

‘Thou mayst ask him three questions, but if he does not understand and answer all of them, thou must lose thy head.’

 

The king became very sad, but at last remembered the coffer his father had given him. ‘What greater misfortune can I have than to lose my head?’ said he to himself. He took out the coffer and opened it; from it there fell out an apple, which rolled towards the couch. ‘What help can this be to me?’ said the king.

 

But the apple began to speak, and told the following tale to the boy:–‘A certain man was travelling with his wife and brother, when night fell, and they had no food. The woman’s brother-in-law went into a neighbouring village to buy bread; on the way he met brigands, who robbed him and cut off his head. When his brother did not return, the man went to look for him; he met the same fate. The next day the unhappy woman went to seek them, and there she saw her husband and brother-in-law lying in one place with their heads cut off; around was a pool of blood. The woman sat down, tore her hair, and began to weep bitterly. At that moment there jumped out a little mouse. It began to lick the blood, but the woman took a stone, threw it at the mouse, and killed it. Then the mouse’s mother came out and said: “Look at me, I can bring my child back to life, but what canst thou do for thy husband and his brother?” She pulled up an herb, applied it to the little mouse, and it was restored to life. Then they both disappeared in their hole. The woman rejoiced greatly when she saw this; she also plucked of the same herb, put the heads on the bodies, and applied it to them. Her husband and brother-in-law both came back to life, but alas! she had put the wrong heads on the bodies. Now, my sage youth! tell me, which was the woman’s husband?’ concluded the apple.

 

He opened his eyes, and said: ‘Certainly it was he who had the right head.’

 

The king was very glad.

 

‘A joiner, a tailor, and a priest were travelling together at one time,’ began the apple. ‘Night came on when they were in a wood; they lighted a huge fire, had their supper, and then said: “Do not let us be deprived of employment, each of us shall in turn watch, and do something in his trade.” The joiner’s turn came first. He cut down a tree, and out of it he fashioned a man. Then he lay down, and went to sleep, while the tailor mounted guard. When he saw the wooden man, he took off his clothes and put them on it. Last of all, the priest acted as sentinel. When he saw the man he said: “I will pray to God that He may give this man a soul.” He prayed, and his wish was granted.’

 

‘Now, my boy, canst thou tell me who made the man?’

 

‘He who gave him the soul.’

 

The king was pleased, and said to himself: ‘That is two.’ The apple again went on: ‘There were a diviner, a physician, and a swift runner. The diviner said: “There is a certain prince who is ill with such and such a disease.” The physician said: “I know a cure for it.” “I will run with it,” said the swift runner. The physician prepared the medicine, and the man ran with it. Now tell me who cured the king’s son?’ said the apple.

 

‘He who made the medicine,’ replied the boy. When he had given the three answers, the apple rolled back into the casket, and the king put it in his pocket. The boy arose, embraced the king, and kissed him: ‘Many men have been here, but I have not been able to speak before: now tell me what thou wishest, and I will do it.’ The king asked that his viziers might be restored to life, and they all went away with rich presents.

 

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From Georgian Folk Tales (1894) compiled and translated by Marjory Wardrop

ISBN: 978-1-907256-12-7

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_gft.html

 

Click on the URL for more info, a table of contents and to order in USD or GBP.

 

Georgian Folk Tales 1894