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Once upon a time, there was once a poor Gypsy with a very beautiful daughter, whom he guarded like the apple of his eye, for he wanted to marry her to a chieftain. So he always kept her in the tent when the lads and lasses sat of an evening by the fire and told stories, or beguiled the time with play and dance. Only a dog was the constant companion of this poor maiden. No one knew whom the dog belonged to, or where he came from. He had joined the band once, and thenceforth continued the trusty companion of the poor beautiful maiden.

It befell once that her father must go to a far city, to sell there his besoms, baskets, spoons, and troughs. He left his daughter with the other women in the tents on the heath, and set out with the men for the city. This troubled the poor girl greatly, for no one would speak to her, as all the women envied her for her beauty and avoided her; in a word, they hated the sight of her. Only the dog remained true to her; and once, as she sat sorrowfully in front of the tent, he said, ‘Come, let us go out on the heath; there I will tell you who I really am.’ The girl was terrified, for she had never heard of a dog being able to speak like a man; but when the dog repeated his request, she got up and went with him out on the heath. There the dog said, ‘Kiss me, and I shall become a man.’ The girl kissed him, and lo! before her stood a man of wondrous beauty. He sat down beside her in the grass, and told how a fairy had turned him into a dog for trying to steal her golden apples, and how he could resume his human shape for but one night in the year, and only then if a girl had kissed him first. Much more had the two to tell, and they toyed in the long grass all the livelong night. When day dawned, the girl slipped back with the dog to her tent; and the two henceforth were the very best of friends.

The poor Gypsy came back from the city to the heath, merry because he had made a good bit of money. When again he must go to the city to sell his besoms and spoons, the girl remained behind with the dog in the camp, and one night she brought forth a little white puppy. In her terror and anguish she ran to the great river, and jumped into the water. When the people sought to draw her out of the water, they could not find her corpse; and the old Gypsy, her father, would have thrown himself in too, when a handsome strange gentleman came up, and said, ‘I’ll soon get you the body.’ He took a bit of bread, kissed it, and threw it into the water. The dead girl straightway emerged from the water. The people drew the corpse to land, and bore it back to the tents, in three days’ time to bury it. But the strange gentleman said, ‘I will bring my sweetheart to life.’ And he took the little white puppy, the dead girl’s son, and laid it on the bosom of the corpse. The puppy began to suck, and when it had sucked its full, the dead girl awoke, and, on seeing the handsome man, started up and flew into his arms, for he was her lover who had lived with her as a white dog.

All greatly rejoiced when they heard this marvellous story, and nobody thought of the little white puppy, the son of the beautiful Gypsy girl. All of a sudden they heard a baby cry; and when they looked round, they saw a little child lying in the grass. Then was the joy great indeed. The little puppy had vanished and taken human shape. So they celebrated marriage and baptism together, and lived in wealth and prosperity till their happy end.

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/gypsy-folk-tales–book-one_p23332620.htm

ISBN: 978-0-956058-48-5

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Gypsy Folk Tales Book One - Illustrated Edition

 

Gypsy Folk Tales orginally published in 1899 has been given a new lease of life by Abela Publishing and Dutch Artist and Illustrator MAGGIE GUNZEL.

Maggie has provided 30 illustrations some of which can be viewed at http://www.abelapublishing.com/gypsytales1-ill.html

Published today, 30 April 2012, the book is currently available in PDF eBOOK form at the link provided. The paperback edition is due for release in late summer 2012.

Frontispiece

The Watchmaker and the King

The Two Children in the Cask

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

 

 

THERE was an old woman in a village. And grown-up maidens met and span, and made a ‘bee.’ And the young sparks came and laid hold of the girls, and pulled them about and kissed them. But one girl had no sweetheart to lay hold of her and kiss her. And she was a strapping lass, the daughter of wealthy peasants; but three whole days no one came near her. And she looked at the big girls, her comrades. And no one troubled himself with her. Yet she was a pretty girl, a prettier was not to be found. Then came a fine young spark, and took her in his arms and kissed her, and stayed with her until cock-crow. And when the cock crowed at dawn he departed. The old woman saw he had cock’s feet. And she kept looking at the lad’s feet, and she said, ‘Nita, my lass, did you see anything?’

‘I didn’t notice.’

‘Then didn’t I see he had cock’s feet?’

‘Let be, mother, I didn’t see it.’

And the girl went home and slept; and she arose and went off to the spinning, where many more girls were holding a ‘bee.’ And the young sparks came, and took each one his sweetheart. And they kissed them, and stayed a while, and went home. And the girl’s handsome young spark came and took her in his arms and kissed her and pulled her about, and stayed with her till midnight. And the cock began to crow. The young spark heard the cock crowing, and departed. What said the old woman who was in the hut, ‘Nita, did you notice that he had horse’s hoofs?’

‘And if he had, I didn’t see.’

Then the girl departed to her home. And she slept and arose in the morning, and did her work that she had to do. And night came, and she took her spindle and went to the old woman in the hut. And the other girls came, and the young sparks came, and each laid hold of his sweetheart. But the pretty girl looks at them. Then the young sparks gave over and departed home. And only the girl remained neither a long time nor a short time. Then came the girl’s young spark. Then what will the girl do? She took heed, and stuck a needle and thread in his back. And he departed when the cock crew, and she knew not where he had gone to. Then the girl arose in the morning and took the thread, and followed up the thread, and saw him in a grave where he was sitting. Then the girl trembled and went back home. At night the young spark that was in the grave came to the old woman’s house and saw that the girl was not there. He asked the old woman, ‘Where’s Nita?’

‘She has not come.’

Then he went to Nita’s house, where she lived, and called, ‘Nita, are you at home?’

Nita answered, [‘I am’].

‘Tell me what you saw when you came to the church. For if you don’t tell me I will kill your father.’

‘I didn’t see anything.’

Then he looked, and he killed her father, and departed to his grave.

Next night he came back. ‘Nita, tell me what you saw.’ I didn’t see anything.’

‘Tell me, or I will kill your mother, as I killed your father. Tell me what you saw.’

‘I didn’t see anything.’

Then he killed her mother, and departed to his grave. Then the girl arose in the morning. And she had twelve servants. And she said to them, ‘See, I have much money and many oxen and many sheep; and they shall come to the twelve of you as a gift, for I shall die to-night. And it will fare ill with you if you bury me not in the forest at the foot of an apple-tree.’

At night came the young spark from the grave and asked, Nita, are you at home?’

‘I am.’

‘Tell me, Nita, what you saw three days ago, or I will kill you, as I killed your parents.’

‘I have nothing to tell you.’

Then he took and killed her. Then, casting a look, he departed to his grave.

So the servants, when they arose in the morning, found Nita dead. The servants took her and laid her out decently. They sat and made a hole in the wall and passed her through the hole, and carried her, as she had bidden, and buried her in the forest by the apple-tree.

And half a year passed by, and a prince went to go and course hares with greyhounds and other dogs. And he went to hunt, and the hounds ranged the forest and came to the maiden’s grave. And a flower grew out of it, the like of which for beauty there was not in the whole kingdom. So the hounds came on her monument, where she was buried, and they began to bark and scratched at the maiden’s grave. Then the prince took and called the dogs with his horn, and the dogs came not. The prince said, ‘Go quickly thither.’

Four huntsmen arose and came and saw the flower burning like a candle. They returned to the prince, and he asked them, ‘What is it?’

‘It is a flower, the like was never seen.’

Then the lad heard, and came to the maiden’s grave, and saw the flower and plucked it. And he came home and showed it to his father and mother. Then he took and put it in a vase at his bed-head where he slept. Then the flower arose from the vase and turned a somersault, and became a full-grown maiden. And she took the lad and kissed him, and bit him and pulled him about, and slept with him in her arms, and put her hand under his head. And he knew it not. When the dawn came she became a flower again.

In the morning the lad rose up sick, and complained to his father and mother, ‘Mammy, my shoulders hurt me, and my head hurts me.’

His mother went and brought a wise woman and tended him. He asked for something to eat and drink. And he waited a bit, and then went to his business that he had to do. And he went home again at night. And he ate and drank and lay down on his couch, and sleep seized him. Then the flower arose and again became a full-grown maiden. And she took him again in her arms, and slept with him, and sat with him in her arms. And he slept. And she went back to the vase. And he arose, and his bones hurt him, and he told his mother and his father. Then his father said to his wife, ‘It began with the coming of the flower. Something must be the matter, for the boy is quite ill. Let us watch to-night, and post ourselves on one side, and see who comes to our son.’

Night came, and the prince laid himself in his bed to sleep. Then the maiden arose from the vase, and became there was never anything more fair–as burns the flame of a candle. And his mother and his father, the king, saw the maiden, and laid hands on her. Then the prince arose out of his sleep, and saw the maiden that she was fair. Then he took her in his arms and kissed her, and lay down in his bed, slept till day.

And they made a marriage and ate and drank. The folk marvelled, for a being so fair as that maiden was not to be found in all the realm. And he dwelt with her half a year, and she bore a golden boy, two apples in his hand. And it pleased the prince well.

Then her old sweetheart heard it, the vampire who had made love to her, and had killed her. He arose and came to her and asked her, ‘Nita, tell me, what did you see me doing?’

‘I didn’t see anything.’

‘Tell me truly, or I will kill your child, your little boy, as I killed your father and mother. Tell me truly.’

‘I have nothing to tell you.’

And he killed her boy. And she arose and carried him to the church and buried him.

At night the vampire came again and asked her, ‘Tell me, Nita, what you saw.’

‘I didn’t see anything.’

‘Tell me, or I will kill the lord whom you have wedded.’

Then Nita arose and said, ‘It shall not happen that you kill my lord. God send you burst.’

The vampire heard what Nita said, and burst. Ay, he died, and burst for very rage. In the morning Nita arose and saw the floor swimming two hand’s-breadth deep in blood. Then Nita bade her father-in-law take out the vampire’s heart with all speed. Her father-in-law, the king, hearkened, and opened him and took out his heart, and gave it into Nita’s hand. And she went to the grave of her boy and dug the boy up, applied the heart, and the boy arose. And Nita went to her father and to her mother, and anointed them with the blood, and they arose. Then, looking on them, Nita told all the troubles she had borne, and what she had suffered at the hands of the vampire.

—————-

From “Gypsy Folk Tales – Book One”

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

Gypsy Folk Tales - Book One

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