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A fantastic tale of the demon-haunted forests of 13th C. Germany. In the Dale of the Dragon, or Der Tal des Drachen, lives a young man named Jerome, the hero of our story. In the surrounding forest lives the witch Martha and her twin ravens which speak of Satan, who even makes an appearance to tempt Jerome to the dark side of life.

But what is a haunted forest if it doesn’t have robber barons and outlaws, and what would our story be without Agnes the maiden, who is, of course, in distress. Who is the mysterious Saint of the Dragon’s Dale – a powerful, mysterious figure with a dark secret. Will he ride in to save the day, or will he be too late.

To find the answers to these, and any other questions you may have, download this little book and find out for yourself.

Format: ebook – Kindle.Mobi, ePub, PDF
Download link: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/william-s-davis/the-saint-of-the-dragons-dale-medieval-action-and-adventure/

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Herein are 25 famous stories from The Greek, German, English, Spanish Scandinavian, Danish, French, Russian, Bohemian, Italian and other sources. These stories are further brought to life by 24 full colour plates

The myths and legends gathered here have appealed and will continue to appeal to every age. Nowhere in the realm of fiction are there stories to compare with those which took form centuries ago when the human race was in its childhood—stories so intimately connected with the life and history and religion of the great peoples of antiquity that they have become an integral part of our own civilization. These are a heritage of wealth to every child that is born into the world. Myths and legends like:
Prometheus The Friend Of Man, The Labors Of Hercules, The Gorgon’s Head, The Golden Fleece, The Cyclops, The Sack Of Troy, Beowulf And Grendel, The Good King Arthur and many, many more.

This volume is sure to keep you and your young ones enchanted for hours, if not because of the content, then because of their quality.

Format: eBook – Mobi/Kindle, ePub, PDF

Download Link: https://folklore-fairy-tales-myths-legends-and-other-stories.stores.streetlib.com/en/anon-e-mouse/myths-and-legends-of-all-nations-25-illustrated-myths-legends-and-stories-for-children/

MYTHS AND LEGENDS of all nations

THE STORY OF A SHEPHERD WHO SLEPT ALL WINTER 

Story Frontispiece

Story Frontispiece

Once upon a time there was a shepherd who was called Batcha. During the summer he pastured his flocks high up on the mountain where he had a little hut and a sheepfold.

One day in autumn while he was lying on the ground, idly blowing his pipes, he chanced to look down the mountain slope. There he saw a most amazing sight. A great army of snakes, hundreds and hundreds in number, was slowly crawling to a rocky cliff not far from where he was lying.

When they reached the cliff, every serpent bit off a leaf from a plant that was growing there. They then touched the cliff with the leaves and the rock opened. One by one they crawled inside. When the last one had disappeared, the rock closed.

Batcha blinked his eyes in bewilderment.

“What can this mean?” he asked himself. “Where are they gone? I think I’ll have to climb up there myself and see what that plant is. I wonder will the rock open for me?”

He whistled to Dunay, his dog, and left him in charge of the sheep. Then he made his way over to the cliff and examined the mysterious plant. It was something he had never seen before.

He picked a leaf and touched the cliff in the same place where the serpents had touched it. Instantly the rock opened.

Batcha stepped inside. He found himself in a huge cavern the walls of which glittered with gold and silver and precious stones. A golden table stood in the center and upon it a monster serpent, a very king of serpents, lay coiled up fast asleep. The other serpents, hundreds and hundreds of them, lay on the ground around the table. They also were fast asleep. As Batcha walked about, not one of them stirred.

Batcha sauntered here and there examining the walls and the golden table and the sleeping serpents. When he had seen everything he thought to himself:

“It’s very strange and interesting and all that, but now it’s time for me to get back to my sheep.”

It’s easy to say: “Now I’m going,” but when Batcha tried to go he found he couldn’t, for the rock had closed. So there he was locked in with the serpents.

He was a philosophical fellow and so, after puzzling a moment, he shrugged his shoulders and said:

“Well, if I can’t get out I suppose I’ll have to stay here for the night.”

With that he drew his cape about him, lay down, and was soon fast asleep.

He was awakened by a rustling murmur. Thinking that he was in his own hut, he sat up and rubbed his eyes. Then he saw the glittering walls of the cavern and remembered his adventure.

The old king serpent still lay on the golden table but no longer asleep. A movement like a slow wave was rippling his great coils. All the other serpents on the ground were facing the golden table and with darting tongues were hissing:

“Is it time? Is it time?”

The old king serpent slowly lifted his head and with a deep murmurous hiss said:

“Yes, it is time.”

He stretched out his long body, slipped off the golden table, and glided away to the wall of the cavern. All the smaller serpents wriggled after him.

Batcha followed them, thinking to himself:

“I’ll go out the way they go.”

The old king serpent touched the wall with his tongue and the rock opened. Then he glided aside and the serpents crawled out, one by one. When the last one was out, Batcha tried to follow, but the rock swung shut in his face, again locking him in.

The old king serpent hissed at him in a deep breathy voice:

“Hah, you miserable man creature, you can’t get out! You’re here and here you stay!”

“But I can’t stay here,” Batcha said. “What can I do in here? I can’t sleep forever! You must let me out! I have sheep at pasture and a scolding wife at home in the valley. She’ll have a thing or two to say if I’m late in getting back!”

Batcha pleaded and argued until at last the old serpent said:

“Very well, I’ll let you out, but not until you have made me a triple oath that you won’t tell anyone how you came in.”

Batcha agreed to this. Three times he swore a mighty oath not to tell anyone how he had entered the cavern.

“I warn you,” the old serpent said, as he opened the wall, “if you break this oath a terrible fate will overtake you!”

Without another word Batcha hurried through the opening.

Once outside he looked about him in surprise. Everything seemed changed. It was autumn when he had followed the serpents into the cavern. Now it was spring!

“What has happened?” he cried in fright. “Oh, what an unfortunate fellow I am! Have I slept through the winter? Where are my sheep? And my wife—what will she say?”

With trembling knees he made his way to his hut. His wife was busy inside. He could see her through the open door. He didn’t know what to say to her at first, so he slipped into the sheepfold and hid himself while he tried to think out some likely story.

While he was crouching there, he saw a finely dressed gentleman come to the door of the hut and ask his wife where her husband was.

The woman burst into tears and explained to the stranger that one day in the previous autumn her husband had taken out his sheep as usual and had never come back.

“Dunay, the dog,” she said, “drove home the sheep and from that day to this nothing has ever been heard of my poor husband. I suppose a wolf devoured him, or the witches caught him and tore him to pieces and scattered him over the mountain. And here I am left, a poor forsaken widow! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!”

Her grief was so great that Batcha leaped out of the sheepfold to comfort her.

“There, there, dear wife, don’t cry! Here I am, alive and well! No wolf ate me, no witches caught me. I’ve been asleep in the sheepfold—that’s all. I must have slept all winter long!”

At sight and sound of her husband, the woman stopped crying. Her grief changed to surprise, then to fury.

“You wretch!” she cried. “You lazy, good-for-nothing loafer! A nice kind of shepherd you are to desert your sheep and yourself to idle away the winter sleeping like a serpent! That’s a fine story, isn’t it, and I suppose you think me fool enough to believe it! Oh, you—you sheep’s tick, where have you been and what have you been doing?”

She flew at Batcha with both hands and there’s no telling what she would have done to him if the stranger hadn’t interfered.

“There, there,” he said, “no use getting excited! Of course he hasn’t been sleeping here in the sheepfold all winter. The question is, where has he been? Here is some money for you. Take it and go along home to your cottage in the valley. Leave Batcha to me and I promise you I’ll get the truth out of him.”

The woman abused her husband some more and then, pocketing the money, went off.

As soon as she was gone, the stranger changed into a horrible looking creature with a third eye in the middle of his forehead.

“Good heavens!” Batcha gasped in fright. “He’s the wizard of the mountain! Now what’s going to happen to me!”

Batcha had often heard terrifying stories of the wizard, how he could himself take any form he wished and how he could turn a man into a ram.

“Aha!” the wizard laughed. “I see you know me! Now then, no more lies! Tell me: where have you been all winter long?”

At first Batcha remembered his triple oath to the old king serpent and he feared to break it. But when the wizard thundered out the same question a second time and a third time, and grew bigger and more horrible looking each time he spoke, Batcha forgot his oath and confessed everything.

“Now come with me,” the wizard said. “Show me the cliff. Show me the magic plant.”

What could Batcha do but obey? He led the wizard to the cliff and picked a leaf of the magic plant.

“Open the rock,” the wizard commanded.

Batcha laid the leaf against the cliff and instantly the rock opened.

“Go inside!” the wizard ordered.

But Batcha’s trembling legs refused to move.

The wizard took out a book and began mumbling an incantation. Suddenly the earth trembled, the sky thundered, and with a great hissing whistling sound a monster dragon flew out of the cavern. It was the old king serpent whose seven years were up and who was now become a flying dragon. From his huge mouth he breathed out fire and smoke. With his long tail he swished right and left among the forest trees and these snapped and broke like little twigs.

The wizard, still mumbling from his book, handed Batcha a bridle.

“Throw this around his neck!” he commanded.

Batcha took the bridle but was too terrified to act. The wizard spoke again and Batcha made one uncertain step in the dragon’s direction. He lifted his arm to throw the bridle over the dragon’s head, when the dragon suddenly turned on him, swooped under him, and before Batcha knew what was happening he found himself on the dragon’s back and he felt himself being lifted up, up, up, above the tops of the forest trees, above the very mountains themselves.

On they went riding high up into the heavens

On they went riding high up into the heavens

For a moment the sky was so dark that only the fire, spurting from the dragon’s eyes and mouth, lighted them on their way.

The dragon lashed this way and that in fury, he belched forth great floods of boiling water, he hissed, he roared, until Batcha, clinging to his back, was half dead with fright.

Then gradually his anger cooled. He ceased belching forth boiling water, he stopped breathing fire, his hisses grew less terrifying.

“Thank God!” Batcha gasped. “Perhaps now he’ll sink to earth and let me go.”

But the dragon was not yet finished with punishing Batcha for breaking his oath. He rose still higher until the mountains of the earth looked like tiny ant-hills, still up until even these had disappeared. On, on they went, whizzing through the stars of heaven.

At last the dragon stopped flying and hung motionless in the firmament. To Batcha this was even more terrifying than moving.

“What shall I do? What shall I do?” he wept in agony. “If I jump down to earth I’ll kill myself and I can’t fly on up to heaven! Oh, dragon, have mercy on me! Fly back to earth and let me go and I swear before God that never again until death will I offend you!”

Batcha’s pleading would have moved a stone to pity but the dragon, with an angry shake of his tail, only hardened his heart.

Suddenly Batcha heard the sweet voice of the skylark that was mounting to heaven.

“Skylark!” he called. “Dear skylark, bird that God loves, help me, for I am in great trouble! Fly up to heaven and tell God Almighty that Batcha, the shepherd, is hung in midair on a dragon’s back. Tell Him that Batcha praises Him forever and begs Him to deliver him.”

The skylark carried this message to heaven and God Almighty, pitying the poor shepherd, took some birch leaves and wrote on them in letters of gold. He put them in the skylark’s bill and told the skylark to drop them on the dragon’s head.

So the skylark returned from heaven and, hovering over Batcha, dropped the birch leaves on the dragon’s head.

The dragon instantly sank to earth, so fast that Batcha lost consciousness.

When he came to himself he was sitting before his own hut. He looked about him. The dragon’s cliff had disappeared. Otherwise everything was the same.

It was late afternoon and Dunay, the dog, was driving home the sheep. There was a woman coming up the mountain path.

Batcha heaved a great sigh.

“Thank God I’m back!” he said to himself. “How fine it is to hear Dunay’s bark! And here comes my wife, God bless her! She’ll scold me, I know, but even if she does, how glad I am to see her!”

————–

From: THE SHOEMAKER’S APRON – 20 Czech & Slovak Folk Tales

ISBN: 9781909302440

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/the-shoemakers-apron–20-czech-and-slovak-folk-tales_p25032987.htm

eBooks: http://abelapublishing.com/the-shoemakers-apron–20-czech-and-slovak-folk-tales_p24975669.htm PDF & ePub formats – only US$0.50 or GBP0.25

THERE WAS A GREAT CITY. In that city was great mourning; every day it was hung with black cloth and with red. There was in a cave a great dragon; it had four-and-twenty heads. Every day must he eat a woman–ah! God! what can be done in such a case? It is clean impossible every day to find food for that dragon. There was but one girl left. Her father was a very wealthy man; he was a king; over all kings he was lord. And there came a certain wanderer, came into the city, and asked what’s new there.
They said to him, ‘Here is very great mourning.’
‘Why so? any one dead?’
‘Every day we must feed the dragon with twenty-four heads. If we failed to feed him, he would crush all our city underneath his feet.’
‘I’ll help you out of that. It is just twelve o’clock; I will go there alone with my dog.’
He had such a big dog: whatever a man just thought of, that dog immediately knew. It would have striven with the very devil. When the wanderer came to the cave, he kept crying, ‘Dragon, come out here with your blind mother. Bread and men you have eaten, but will eat no more. I’ll see if you are any good.’
The dragon called him into his cave, and the wanderer said to him, ‘Now give me whatever I ask for to eat and to drink, and swear to me always to give that city peace, and never to eat men, no, not one. For if ever I hear of your doing so I shall come back and cut your throat.’
‘My good man, fear not; I swear to you. For I see you’re a proper man. If you weren’t, I should long since have eaten up you and your dog. Then tell me what you want of me.’
‘I only want you to bring me the finest wine to drink, and meat such as no man has ever eaten. If you don’t, you will see I shall destroy everything that is yours, shall shut you up here, and you will never come out of this cave.’
‘Good, I will fetch a basket of meat, and forthwith cook it for you.’
He went and brought him such meat as no man ever had eaten. When he had eaten and drunk his fill, then the dragon must swear to him never to eat anybody, but sooner to die of hunger.
‘Good, so let us leave it.’
He went back, that man, who thus had delivered the city, so that it had peace. Then all the gentlemen asked him what he wanted for doing so well. The dragon from that hour never ate any one. And if they are not dead they are still alive.

From: Gypsy Folk Tales Book Two – Illustrated Edition
ISBN: 978-1-909302-00-6
URL: http://abelapublishing.com/gypsy-folk-tales-book-two–illustrated-edition_p23392767.htm

Every day the town was hung with black cloth & with red

Every day the town was hung with black cloth & with red

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

 

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

 

The dragon said, ‘Let’s become brothers.’

 

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

 

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

 

‘I am thinking whether to kill you.’

 

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

 

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

 

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

The deluded dragon from “Gypsy Folk Tales Book One – Illustrated Edition”

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

 

‘Catch hold of this bough.’

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

‘Thanks, brother-in-law.’

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

‘I am digging the whole well to carry it home.’

 

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

 

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

 

The dragon came. ‘What are you doing, brother?’

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Give him a sackful of money to go away.’

 

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

 

‘Give it me.’

 

He gave it. ‘Take it, brother, and be gone.’

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

‘Where are you flying to, dragon?’

 

‘The old man will kill me.’

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

————————-

From: GYPSY FOLK TALES BOOK ONE – Illustrated Edition

ISBN: 978-1-907256-XX-X

http://www.abelapublishing.com/gypsytales1-ill.html

 

A percentage of the profits will be donated to THE RELIEF FUND for ROMANIA

 

Gypsy Folk Tales Book One - Illustrated Edition

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

His mother said, ‘I will not, darling.’

 

And the lad departed into the forest to hunt.

 

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

 

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

 

‘I love thee,’ she said.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

The bad mother - from Gypsy Folk Tales Book One

One of the new illustrations by Maggie Gunzel

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

‘I’ve brought it, mother.’

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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From Gypsy Folk Tales Book One

NOTE: New illustrated edition due out in Summer 2012 with illustrations by Maggie Gunzel

ISBN: 978-0-956058-47-8

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_gft1.html

 

Gypsy Folk Tales Book One

 

 

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