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Two Welsh Fables  - Baba Indaba Childrens Stories # 87

Two Welsh Fables – Baba Indaba Childrens Stories # 87

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 87

In Issue 87 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the Welsh tales of A STRANGE OTTER and MELANGELL’S LAMBS. Two men chase and catch a red-skinned otter, but all is not what it seems to be. In Melangell’s Lambs, Baba narrates the story of runaway Princess Melangell who ends up in Wales. Download and read the stories to find out just what happened after that.

 

BUY ANY 4 BABA INDABA CHILDREN’S STORIES FOR ONLY $1

33% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_TWO_WELSH_TALES_A_STRANGE_OTTER_and_M?id=CbYaDAAAQBAJ

Story of Ahuula (Polynesian) - Cover

Story of Ahuula (Polynesian) – Cover

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 082

In Issue 82 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the tale of how the first feather cloak came to be created. Eleio was a kukini, or runner, in the service of Kakaalaneo, King of Maui. On one of his journeys he comes across a spirit in the form of a beautiful women. She gives him instructions and directs him to a house. What happened next? Well, you’ll just have to download and read the story to find out.

 

BUY ANY 4 BABA INDABA CHILDREN’S STORIES FOR ONLY US$1

33% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.

INCLUDES LINKS TO 8 FREE STORIES TO DOWNLOADS

Each issue also has a “WHERE IN THE WORLD – LOOK IT UP” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

 

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

 

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Anon_E_Mouse_THE_STORY_OF_AHUULA_A_Polynesian_tale?id=zW0ZDAAAQBAJ

ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 44
 
In Issue 44 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the old European tale of the tailor who through guile and cunning eventually wins the hand of a Princess. Download and read the story to find out the details of just how he achieved his feats.
 
This issue also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.
 
Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.
 
A Dozen at a Blow

A Dozen at a Blow

ONCE long ago there lived a king who had a stupid son. His father sent him to school for many years hoping that he might learn something there. His teachers all gave him up as hopelessly stupid, and with one accord they said, It is no use trying to teach this lad out of books. It is just a waste of our valuable time.

At length the king called together all the wisest men of his kingdom to consult with them as to the best way to make the prince wise and clever. They talked the matter over for a year and a day. It was the unanimous opinion of the wise men of the kingdom that the lad should be sent on a journey through many lands. In this way he might learn many of the things which his teachers had not been able to teach him out of books.

Accordingly the prince was equipped for his journey. He was given fine raiment, a splendid black horse upon which to ride, and a great bag full of money. Thus prepared, he started forth from the palace one bright morning with the blessing of the king, his father, and of all the wise men of the kingdom.

The prince journeyed through many lands. In one country he learned one thing, and in another country he learned another thing. There was no country or kingdom so small or poor that it did not have something to teach the prince. And the prince, though he had been so insufferably stupid at his books, learned the lessons of his journey with an open mind.

After long wanderings the prince arrived at a city where there was an auction going on. A singing bird was being offered for sale. What is the special advantage of this singing bird? asked the prince.

This bird, at the command of its owner, will sing a song which will put to sleep anyone who listens to it, was the reply.

The prince decided that the bird was worth purchasing. The next thing which was offered for sale was a beetle. What is the special advantage of this beetle? asked the prince.

This beetle will gnaw its way through any wall in the world, was the reply.

The prince purchased the beetle. Then a butterfly was offered for sale. What is the special advantage of owning this butterfly? asked the prince.

This butterfly is strong enough to bear upon its wings any weight which is put upon them, was the answer.

The prince bought the butterfly. With his bird and beetle and butterfly he travelled on and on until he became lost in the jungle. The foliage was so dense that he could not see his way, so he climbed to the top of the tallest tree he saw. From its summit he spied in the distance what looked like a mountain; but, when he had journeyed near to it, he saw that it was really the wall which surrounds the land of the giants.

A great giant whose head reached to the clouds stood on the wall as guard. A song from the singing bird put this guard to sleep immediately. The beetle soon had gnawed an entrance through the wall. Through this opening the prince entered the land of the giants.

The very first person whom the prince saw in the land of the giants was a lovely captive princess. The opening which the beetle had made in the wall led directly to the dungeon in which she was confined.

The prince had learned many things on his journey, and among the lessons he had learned was this one: Always rescue a fair maiden in distress. He immediately asked what he could do to rescue the beautiful captive princess.

You can never succeed in rescuing me, I fear, replied the princess. At the door of this palace there is a giant on guard who never sleeps.

Never mind, replied the prince. Ill put him to sleep.

Just at that moment the giant himself strode into the dungeon. He had heard voices there. Sing, my little bird, sing, commanded the prince to his singing bird.

At the first burst of melody the giant went to sleep there in the dungeon, though he had never before taken a wink of sleep in all his life.

This beetle of mine has gnawed an entrance through the great wall which surrounds the land of the giants, said the prince to the captive princess. To escape well not have to climb the high wall.

What of the guard who stands on top of the wall with his head reaching up to the clouds? asked the princess. Will he not spy us?

My singing bird has put him to sleep, too, replied the prince. If we hurry out he will not yet be awake.

I have been confined here in this dungeon so long that I fear I have forgotten how to walk, said the princess.

Never mind, replied the prince. My butterfly will bear you upon his wings.

With the lovely princess borne safely upon the butterflys wings the prince swiftly escaped from the land of the giants. The giant on the wall yawned in his sleep as they looked up at him. He is good for another hours nap, remarked the prince.

 

Tales of Giants from Brazil - with rescued princess he made his escape

The prince returned to his fathers kingdom as soon as he could find the way back. He took with him the lovely princess, and the singing bird, and the gnawing beetle, and the strong-winged butterfly.

His father and all the people of the kingdom received him with great joy. Never again will the prince of our kingdom be called stupid, said the wise men when they heard the account of his adventures. With his singing bird and his gnawing beetle and his strong-winged butterfly he has become the cleverest youth in the land.

 

For more info and to buy: http://abelapublishing.com/30-brazilian-folk-and-fairy-tales–olympics-special-offer_p31485781.htm

Once, long ago, the Moon Giant wooed the beautiful giantess who dwells in the Great River and won her love. He built for her a wonderful palace where the Great River runs into the sea. It was made of mother-of-pearl with rich carvings, and gold and silver and precious stones were used to adorn it. Never before in all the world had a giant or giantess possessed such a magnificent home.

When the baby daughter of the Moon Giant and the Giantess of the Great River was born it was decreed among the giants that she should be the Princess of all the Springs and should rule over all the rivers and lakes. The light of her eyes was like the moonbeams, and her smile was like moonlight on still waters. Her strength was as the strength of the Great River, and the fleetness of her foot was as the swiftness of the Great River.

As the beautiful Spring Princess grew older many suitors came to sing her praises beneath the palace windows, but she favoured none of them. She was so happy living in her own lovely palace with her own dear mother that she did not care at all for any suitor. No other daughter ever loved her mother as the Spring Princess loved the Giantess of the Great River.

At last the Sun Giant came to woo the Spring Princess. The strength of the Sun Giant was as the strength of ten of the other suitors of the fair princess. He was so powerful that he won her heart.

When he asked her to marry him, however, and go with him to his own palace, the Spring Princess shook her lovely head. “O Sun Giant, you are so wonderful and so powerful that I love you as I never before have loved a suitor who sang beneath my palace window,” said she, “but I love my mother, too. I cannot go away with you and leave my own dear mother. It would break my heart.”

The Sun Giant told the Spring Princess again and again of his great love for her, of his magnificent palace which would be her new home, of the happy life which awaited her as queen of the palace. At length she listened to his pleadings and decided that she could leave home and live with him for nine months of the year. For three months of every year, however, she would have to return to the wonderful palace of mother-of-pearl where the Great River runs into the sea and spend the time with her mother, the Giantess of the Great River.

The Sun Giant at last sorrowfully consented to this arrangement and the wedding feast was held. It lasted for seven days and seven nights. Then the Spring Princess went away with the Sun Giant to his own home.

Every year the Spring Princess went to visit her mother for three months according to the agreement. For three months of every year she lived in the palace of mother-of-pearl where the Great River runs into the sea. For three months of every year the rivers sang once more as they rushed along their way. For three months the lakes sparkled in the bright sunlight as their hearts once more were brimful of joy.

When at last the little son of the Spring Princess was born she wanted to take him with her when she went to visit her mother. The Sun Giant, however, did not approve of such a plan. He firmly refused to allow the child to leave home. After much pleading, all in vain, the Spring Princess set out upon her journey alone, with sorrow in her heart. She left her baby son with the best nurses she could procure.

Now it happened that the Giantess of the Great River had not expected that her daughter would be able to visit her that year. She had thought that all the rivers and lakes, the palace of mother-of-pearl, and her own mother heart would have to get along as best they could without a visit from the Spring Princess. The Giantess of the Great River had gone away to water the earth. One of the land giants had taken her prisoner and would not let her escape.

When the Spring Princess arrived at the beautiful palace of mother-of-pearl and gold and silver and precious stones, where the Great River runs into the sea, there was no one at home. She ran from room to room in the palace calling out, “O dear mother, Giantess of the Great River, dear, dear mother! Where are you? Where have you hidden yourself?”

There was no answer. Her own voice echoed back to her through the beautiful halls of mother-of-pearl with their rich carvings. The palace was entirely deserted.

She ran outside the palace and called to the fishes of the river, “O fishes of the river, have you seen my own dear mother?”

Fishes of the Sea, Have you seen my Mother?

Fishes of the Sea, Have you seen my Mother?

 

She called to the sands of the sea, “O sands of the sea, have you seen my darling mother?”

She called to the shells of the shore, “O shells of the shore, have you seen my precious mother?”

There was no answer. No one knew what had become of the Giantess of the Great River.

The Spring Princess was so worried that she thought her heart would break in its anguish. In her distress she ran over all the earth.

Then she went to the house of the Great Wind. The Giant of the Great Wind was away, but his old father was at home. He was very sorry for the Spring Princess when he heard her sad story. “I am sure my son can help you find your mother,” he said as he comforted her. “He will soon get home from his day’s work.”

When the Giant of the Great Wind reached home he was in a terrible temper. He stormed and raged and gave harsh blows to everything he met. His father had hid the Spring Princess in a closet out of the way, and it was fortunate indeed for her that he had done so.

After the Great Wind Giant had taken his bath and eaten his dinner he was better natured. Then his father said to him, “O my son, if a wandering princess had come this way on purpose to ask you a question, what would you do to her?”

“Why, I’d answer her question as best I could, of course,” responded the Giant of the Great Wind.

His father straightway opened the closet door and the Spring Princess stepped out. In spite of her long wanderings and great anguish of mind she was still very lovely as she knelt before the Giant of the Great Wind in her soft silvery green garments embroidered with pearls and diamonds. The big heart of the Giant of the Great Wind was touched at her beauty and at her grief.

“O Giant of the Great Wind,” said the Spring Princess, as he gently raised her from her knees before him, “I am the daughter of the Giantess of the Great River. I have lost my mother. I have searched for her through all the earth and now I have come to you for help. Can you tell me anything about where she is and how I can find her?”

The Giant of the Great Wind put on his thinking cap. He thought hard. “Your mother is in the power of a land giant who has imprisoned her,” he said. “I happen to know all about the affair. I passed that way only yesterday. I’ll gladly go with you and help you get her home. We’ll start at once.”

The Giant of the Great Wind took the Spring Princess back to earth on his swift horses. Then he stormed the castle of the land giant who had imprisoned the Giantess of the Great River. The Spring Princess dug quietly beneath the castle walls to the dungeon where her mother was confined. You may be sure that her mother was overjoyed to see her.

When the Spring Princess had led her mother safely outside the castle walls she thanked the Giant of the Great Wind for all he had done to help her. Then the Giantess of the Great River and the Spring Princess hastened back to the wonderful palace of mother-of-pearl set with gold and silver and precious stones, where the Great River runs into the Sea. As soon as she had safely reached there once more the Spring Princess suddenly remembered that she had stayed away from her home in the palace of the Sun Giant longer than the three months she was supposed to stay according to the agreement. She at once said good-bye to her mother and hastened to the home of the Sun Giant, her husband, and to her baby son.

Now the Sun Giant had been very much worried at first when the three months had passed and the Spring Princess had not come back to him and her little son. Then he became angry. He became so angry that he married another princess. The new wife discharged the nurses who were taking care of the tiny son of the Spring Princess and put him in the kitchen just as if he had been a little black slave baby.

When the Spring Princess arrived at the palace of the Sun Giant the very first person she saw was her own little son, so dirty and neglected that she hardly recognized him. Then she found out all that had happened in her absence.

The Spring Princess quickly seized her child and clasped him tight in her arms. Then she fled to the depths of the sea, and wept, and wept, and wept. The waters of the sea rose so high that they reached even to the palace of the Sun Giant. They covered the palace, and the Sun Giant, his new wife, and all the court entirely disappeared from view. For forty days the face of the Sun Giant was not seen upon the earth.

The little son of the Spring Princess grew up to be the Giant of the Rain. In the rainy season and the season of thunder showers he rules upon the earth. He sends upon the earth such tears as the Spring Princess shed in the depths of the seas.

9781910882764 Tales of Giants from Brazil - coverFrom: Tales of Giants from Brazil

By: Elsie Spicer-Eells

Contains: 12 Folk and Fairy Tales from Brazil

ISBN: 9781910882764

Format: A5, Paperback

Pages: 112

Illustrations: 8 pen and ink drawings

URL: http://goo.gl/8o9Vdc

—————————————-

More folk and fairy tales from the land of the 2016 Olympics: FAIRY TALES FROM BRAZIL – 18 Brazilian folk and fairy tales

By: Elsie Spicer-Eells

Contains: 18 Folk and Fairy Tales from Brazil

ISBN: 9781909302587

Pages: 148

Illustrations: 18 pen and ink illustrated story headings

URL: http://goo.gl/pUOQQn

Fairy Tales from Brazil - Cover

Fairy Tales from Brazil – Cover

 

 

 

Twenty-Tales-from-along-the-Amber-road-Whilrwind

Twenty-Tales-from-along-the-Amber-road-In a far-off country, beyond the sea and the mountains, there lived a king and queen, with a beautiful daughter, who was called Princess Ladna.

A great many princes came to woo her; but she liked only one of them, called Prince Dobrotek; so they confessed their love for one another to the king, who gave his consent, and the wedding-day was fixed.

Now among the princess’s rejected suitors there was one, who though he had changed himself into the shape of a prince, in order to come to court and make love to her, really was an ugly dwarf, only seven inches high, but with a beard more than seven feet long, and a great hump on his back. He was so offended with the princess for refusing him, that he determined to carry her off; so he watched his opportunity.

As the young couple, with all their followers and their guests, were leaving the palace to go to church, a violent wind began to blow, a regular whirlwind, raising a column of sand, and lifting the princess off her feet. She was carried up over the clouds, to the top of some inaccessible mountains, and dropped down into a magnificent palace, with a golden roof, and a high wall all round.

After a while the princess woke up from the fainting-fit into which she had fallen. She looked round the splendid apartment in which she was, and came to the conclusion that some young and handsome prince must have carried her off.

In the room there was a table ready spread; all the plates and dishes, as well as the knives, forks, and spoons, were of silver and gold; and the dinner itself was so good, that in spite of her grief and terror, she could not refrain from tasting it; and she had no sooner tasted, than she ate, till her appetite was appeased.

Then the doors opened, and there came in a company of negroes, bearing a great chair, in which sat the ugly dwarf, with the long beard and the great hump.

The dwarf now began to pay his court to the princess, and explain how he had carried her off in the guise of the whirlwind, because he loved her so much. But she would not listen to him, and gave him a sounding slap with her open hand right in his face, so that sparks danced before his eyes. Of course he was in a great passion; but for love of her he managed to keep his temper, and turned round to leave the room. But in his haste he caught his feet in his long beard, and was thrown down on the threshold, and in his fall he dropped his cap, which he was holding in one hand.

The negroes helped him again into the chair, and carried him out; but the princess jumped up, locked the door, and took up the cap that was lying on the ground. She put it on; and went to the glass to see how she looked in it. But what was her surprise to find that she could not see herself, till she took it off! So she came to the wise conclusion that this was an invisible cap; at which she was highly delighted; she put on the cap again, and began to walk about the room.

The door opened once more with a loud noise, and the dwarf came in with his long beard thrown back and twisted all round his hump, to be out of the way. But not seeing either his cap, or the princess, he guessed what had happened; so full of wild despair he began to rush madly about the room, knocking himself against the tables and chairs, while the princess made her escape through the door, and ran out into the garden.

The garden was very extensive, and full of beautiful fruit-trees; so she lived upon these fruits, and drank the water of a spring in the garden for some time. She used to make fun of the dwarf’s impotent rage. Sometimes when he rushed wildly about the garden, she would tease him by taking off the invisible cap, so that he saw her before him, in all her beauty; but when he made a rush after her she would put it on again, and become invisible to him; she would then throw cherry-stones at him, come close to him, and laugh loudly: and then run away again.

One day, when she was playing about in this manner, her cap got caught in the boughs of a tree, and fell upon a gooseberry bush. The dwarf saw it, and seized hold of the princess with one hand, and of the cap with the other. But just then—from the summit of the mountain, above the garden itself, was heard the sound of a trumpet-challenge, three times repeated.

At this the dwarf trembled with rage; but first breathing upon the princess, he put her to sleep with his breath, then placed his invisible cap on her head. Having done this he seized his two-edged sword, and flew up into the clouds, so as to strike the knight who had challenged him from above, and destroy him at one stroke.

But where did this knight come from?

When Princess Ladna had been carried off on her wedding-day by the whirlwind, there was the greatest consternation among all the bystanders. Her distracted father and her bridegroom rushed about in all directions, and sent courtiers everywhere in search of her; but the princess had been neither seen nor heard of, nor was any trace left of her.

The king (very unnecessarily) told Prince Dobrotek that if he did not get back his daughter, the princess, he would not only put him to death, but would reduce his whole country to ashes. He also told all the princes there that whoever should bring back his daughter should have her to wife, and receive half of his kingdom into the bargain.

When they heard this they all got to horse, and galloped in various directions; among them Prince Dobrotek.

He went on for three days, never stopping for food or rest; but on the fourth day, at dusk, he felt overcome by sleep; so he let his horse go free in a meadow, and himself lay down on the grass. Then all at once he heard a piercing shriek, and straight before him beheld a hare, and an owl perched upon it—its claws digging into the poor creature’s side.

The prince caught up the first thing that lay near him, and aimed at the screech-owl, so truly that he killed it on the spot, and the hare ran up to him, like a tame creature, licked his hands, and ran away.

Then the prince saw that the thing he had thrown at the owl was a human skull. And it spoke to him, in these words:

“Prince Dobrotek, I thank you for what you have done for me. When I was alive I committed suicide, and was therefore condemned to lie unburied at this cross-way, till I should be the means of saving life. I have lain here for seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and Heaven knows how much longer I should have had to remain, if you had not chanced to throw me at the screech-owl, and so saved the life of the poor hare. Now bury me, so that I may lie peacefully in the ground at this same place, and I will tell you how to summon the Grey Seer-horse, with the golden mane, who will always help you in case of need. Go out into a plain, and without looking behind you, call out:

“Grey Seer-horse, with golden mane!

Like a bird—and not like steed,

On the blast—and not the mead,

Fly thou hither unto me!”

Thus having spoken, the head was silent; but a blue light shot up from it towards the sky; it was the soul of the deceased, which having now expiated its sin by its long imprisonment in the skull, had attained heaven.

The prince then dug a grave, and buried the skull. He then called out:

“Grey Seer-horse, with golden mane! Like a bird—and not like steed, On the blast—and not the mead, Do thou hither fly to me!”

The wind rose, the lightning flashed, the thunder roared, and the wonderful horse with the golden mane appeared. He flew as fast as the storm-wind, flames shot from his nostrils, sparks from his eyes, and clouds of smoke from his mouth. He stood still, and said in human tones:

“What are your commands, Prince Dobrotek?”

“I am in trouble; I wish you to help me.”

And he told him all that had occurred.

“Creep in at my left ear,” said the horse, “and creep out again at the right.”

So the prince crept in at the horse’s left ear, and came out again at the right one, all clad in golden armour. He also found himself miraculously increased in strength, so that when he stamped on the ground it trembled; and when he shouted a storm arose, which shook the leaves from the trees.

Then he asked the horse:

“What is to be done next?”

“Your betrothed, Princess Ladna,” said the horse, “was carried off by the seven-inch-high dwarf, with the seven-foot-long beard; he is a powerful magician; he dwells beyond the seven seas, among inaccessible mountains. He can only be conquered by the All-Cutting Sword, which sword is jealously guarded by his own brother, the Giant-Head, with basilisk eye. To this Giant-Head we must therefore go.”

Prince Dobrotek mounted on horseback, and they flew like an arrow, over lands and seas, high mountains and wide oceans. They stopped at length upon a wide plain strewn with bones, before a moving mountain. And the horse said:

“This moving mountain, which you see before you, is the giant’s head with the basilisk eyes; and the bones strewn so thickly hereabouts prove how deadly his looks are—so be careful. He is now asleep from the heat of the sun; but only two steps before him lies the sword, with which alone you can conquer your enemy. Lie down along my back, so that his glance cannot reach you through my neck and mane; but when you get near to it, lay hold of the sword; when you have it you will not only be safe from his basilisk glances, but you will even have the giant’s head at your mercy.”

Twenty tales from the amber road - the horse appeared in the stormThe horse appears in the storm

And the horse drew near lightly, and the prince bent down, and secured the wonderful sword; but he shouted so loud that the Giant-Head woke up, sniffed hard, and looked about with his bloodshot eyes; and seeing the wonderful sword in the prince’s hand, he called out:

“Sir knight! are you weary of the world, that you court speedy death?”

“You need not boast like that, you empty head!” replied Prince Dobrotek. “Your looks cannot hurt me now; and you shall die by this All-Cutting Sword! But I would first know who, and what you are.”

“Then I confess, prince,” replied the head; “that I am in your power; but be merciful to me, for I am worthy of pity. I am a knight of the race of giants, and were it not for the envy of my brother, I should still have been happy. He was the black sheep of our family, and was born an ugly dwarf, with a long beard; and my handsome giant-like proportions caused him to hate me bitterly. His only good point is his great strength, and it all resides in his long beard, and so long as it is not cut he cannot be conquered, and this can only be done by that sword, which you now hold.

“One day, being bent upon my destruction, he said to me:

“‘Brother, do not refuse to help me. I have read in my books of magic that beyond the mountains, on a plain lies buried a certain sword, whereby a knight, seeking for his betrothed, shall compass the destruction of us both; let us therefore go and dig it up, so that we shall escape the threatened doom!’

“To this I agreed. I took a hundred-year-old pine—torn up from its roots—on one arm, and carried my brother on my other. We set out; he showed me the spot, and I dug up the sword, on this same plain. Then we began to quarrel about who should possess it. After a long dispute he said:

“‘We were best decide it by lot, brother. Let each of us lay his ear to the ground, and whoever first hears the sound of the evening bell shall have the sword.’

“So he laid his ear to the ground, and I mine. I listened; but heard nothing; and he meantime, having got hold of the sword, crept up to me, and cut my head from my shoulders.

“My headless trunk, left unburied, rotted away, and the grass grew over it; but my head, endowed with supernatural life by the malicious dwarf, my brother, was left here, with charge to guard this sword, and kill everyone who came near with my deadly glance. After many centuries you have won it; so I implore you to cut off his seven-foot beard, and make him into mince-meat; and avenge me.”

“You shall be avenged,” said the prince; “and at once. Grey Seer-Horse, carry me to the kingdom of the dwarf magician, with the seven-foot-long beard.”

So they set off at once, flying with lightning speed through the air, over the seas and over the forests. In an hour or two they halted on the summit of a high mountain, and the horse said:

“These mountains are the kingdom of the dwarf magician, who carried off your betrothed, and they are both now in the garden; challenge him to fight.”

Prince Dobrotek sounded a challenge three times, and the dwarf, as we have seen, flew up into the air, so as to swoop down upon his antagonist, unperceived of him.

All at once the prince heard a murmuring sound above him, and he saw when he looked up, the dwarf soaring above him, like an eagle in the clouds—for he had the magic power of increasing his size and strength—with his sword drawn, ready to fall upon him.

The prince sprang aside, and the dwarf came down, with such an impetus, that his head and neck were rammed into the ground.

The prince dismounted, seized the dwarf by the beard, wound it about his left hand, and began to sever it with the All-Cutting Sword.

The dwarf saw that he had to do with no feather-bed knight; so he tugged with all his strength, and flew up again into the clouds; but the prince, holding fast with his left hand to the beard, kept on severing it with his sword, so that he had nearly cut half of it through; and the dwarf became weaker and weaker the more hair he lost, so he began to cry for mercy.

“Drop down to the ground, off which you took me,” said the prince.

The dwarf dropped down slowly, but the prince cut off the remainder of his beard and threw him—when thus deprived of his charms and his strength alike—on to the ground, wreathed the severed beard round his own helmet, and entered the palace.

The invisible servants of the dwarf, seeing their master’s beard, wreathed about the prince’s helmet, threw open all the doors to him at once.

He went through all the rooms; but not finding his princess anywhere, went into the garden, traversing all the paths and lawns, and calling her name. He could find her nowhere.

But thus running from one place to another he chanced to touch the invisible cap; he caught hold of it, and pulled it away from where it was, on the head of the princess, and saw her at once in all her loveliness, but fast asleep.

Overcome with joy, he called her by her name; but she had been cast into such a deep sleep by the dwarf’s poisonous breath, that he could not rouse her.

He took her up in his arms, put the invisible cap into his pocket, also picking up the wicked dwarf, whom he carried along with him. He then mounted his horse, flew like an arrow, and in a few minutes stood before the Giant-Head, with the basilisk eyes.

He threw the dwarf into its open jaws, where he was ground at once into powder; the prince then cut up the monstrous head into small pieces, and scattered them all over the plain.

Thus having got rid of both the dwarf and the giant, the prince rode on with the sleeping princess, upon the Golden-Mane horse, and at sunset they came to the same cross-roads, where he had first summoned him.

“Here, prince, we must part,” said the Golden-Mane; “but here in the meadow is your own horse, and it is not far to your own home, so creep into my right ear, and come out at my left.”

The prince did as he was told, and came out as he was before. His own horse recognized him, and came running with a joyful neigh to meet his master.

The prince was tired out with the long journey, so, having laid down his betrothed wife, still sleeping, on the soft grass, and covered her up from the cold, he laid down himself and went to sleep.

But that very night, one of Princess Ladna’s rejected suitors, riding that way, saw by the light of the moon those two asleep, and he recognized in them the princess, and the prince, his fortunate rival. So first stabbing the latter through with his sabre, he carried off the princess, and bore her on horseback before him to her father.

The king welcomed him rapturously, as his daughter’s deliverer. But when he found, to his dismay, that he could not awake her, with all his caresses, he asked the supposed rescuer what this meant.

“I do not know, Sir King,” replied the knight. “After I had overtaken and slain the great enchanter, who was carrying off the princess, I found her as she is now, sound asleep.”

Twenty-Tales-from-along-the-Amber-road-The Dwarf DefeatedThe dwarf defeated

Prince Dobrotek meanwhile, mortally wounded, had just strength enough left to summon the Wonderful Grey Horse, who came instantly; and seeing what was the matter, flew off to the top of the mountain of Everlasting Life. On its summit were three springs—the Water of Loosening, the Water of Healing, and the Water of Life. He sprinkled the dead prince with all three; Prince Dobrotek opened his eyes, and exclaimed:

“Oh! how well I have slept!”

“You were sleeping the sleep of death,” returned the Golden-Mane; “one of your rivals killed you sleeping, and carried off your princess home to her father, pretending to be her deliverer, in the hope of gaining her hand. But do not be afraid; she is still asleep, and only you can awaken her, by touching her forehead with the beard of the dwarf, which you have with you. Go then to her; I must be elsewhere.”

The Golden-Mane vanished, and the prince, calling his own horse, and taking with him his invisible cap, betook himself to the court of his loved one’s father.

But when he drew near he found that the city was all surrounded by enemies, who had already mastered the outer defences, and were threatening the town itself; and half of its defenders being slain, the rest were thinking of surrender.

Prince Dobrotek put on his invisible cap, and drawing his All-Cutting Sword, fell upon the enemy.

They fell to right and left as the sword smote them on each side, till one half of them were slain, and the rest ran away into the forest.

Unseen by anyone the prince entered the city, and arrived at the royal palace, where the king, surrounded by his knights, was hearing the account of this sudden attack, whereby his foes had been discomfited; but by whom no one could inform him.

Then Prince Dobrotek took off his invisible cap, and appearing suddenly in the midst of the assembly, said:

“King and father! it was I who beat your enemies. But where is my betrothed, Princess Ladna, whom I rescued from the wizard dwarf, with the seven-foot beard? whom one of your knights treacherously stole from me? Let me see her, that I may waken her from her magic sleep.”

When the traitor knight heard this he took to his heels; Prince Dobrotek touched the sleeping princess’s forehead with the beard, she woke up directly, gazed at him fondly with her lovely eyes, but could not at first understand where she was, or what had happened to her.

Twenty-Tales-from-along-the-Amber-road-The Ferryman Captures the Mermaid

The good ferryman captures the mermaid

The king caught her in his arms, pressed her to his heart, and that very evening he married her to Prince Dobrotek. He gave them half his kingdom, and there was a splendid wedding, such as had never been seen or heard of before.

_________________________________________________________

TWENTY FOLK AND FAIRY TALES FROM ALONG THE AMBER ROAD

The twenty tales in this volume originate from countries along the European Amber Road. Perhaps less well known than it’s cousins, the Silk Route and the Spice Route, the Amber Road traveled North to South across Europe passing through:

Russia

Latvia

Lithuania

Poland

Germany

The Czech Republic

Slovakia

Austria

Slovenia, and

Italy

In old times the Amber Road was an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber from coastal areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.

9781910882641 Twenty Tales from Along The Amber Road - centralised

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS

THE AMBER WIZARD – A poem

RUSSIA

BABA YAGA AND THE LITTLE GIRL WITH THE KIND HEART

THE THREE MEN OF POWER–EVENING, MIDNIGHT, AND SUNRISE

LATVIA

THE GOLD AXE

THE DUCKLING WITH GOLDEN FEATHERS

LITHUANIA

LUCK, LUCK IN THE RED COAT!

MANNIKIN LONG BEARD

POLAND

THE FROG PRINCESS

THE WHIRLWIND

GERMANY

THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN

THE NIXY

CZECH REPUBLIC

THE THREE CITRONS

THE TWELVE MONTHS: The Story of Marushka and the Wicked Holena

SLOVAKIA

PRINCE BAYAYA

VITAZKO THE VICTORIOUS

AUSTRIA

BIENER’S WIFE

BINDER-HANSL

THE GLUNKEZER GIANT

SLOVENIA

BEAUTY AND THE HORNS

ITALY

THE MYRTLE

THE SERPENT

THERE was once a king, who was very old; but he had three grown-up sons. So he called them to him, and said:

“My dear sons, I am very old, and the cares of government press heavily upon me. I must therefore give them over to one of you. But as it is the law among us, that no unmarried prince may be King, I wish you all to get married, and whoever chooses the best wife shall be my successor.”

So they determined each to go a different way, and settled it thus. They went to the top of a very high tower, and each one at a given signal shot an arrow in a different direction to the others. Wherever their arrows fell they were to go in search of their future wives.

The eldest prince’s arrow fell on a palace in the city, where lived a senator, who had a beautiful daughter; so he went there, and married her.

The second prince’s arrow struck upon a country-house, where a very pretty young lady, the daughter of a rich gentleman, was sitting; so he went there, and proposed to her, and they were married.

But the youngest prince’s arrow shot through a green wood, and fell into a lake. He saw his arrow floating among the reeds, and a frog sitting thereon, looking fixedly at him.

But the marshy ground was so unsafe that he could not venture upon it; so he sat down in despair.

“What is the matter, prince?” asked the frog.

“What is the matter? Why, I cannot reach that arrow on which you are sitting.”

“Take me for your wife, and I will give it to you.”

“But how can you be my wife, little frog?”

“That is just what has got to be. You know that you shot your arrow from the tower, thinking that where it fell, you would find a loving wife; so you will have her in me.”

“You are very wise, I see, little frog. But tell me, how can I marry you, or introduce you to my father? And what will the world say?”

“Take me home with you, and let nobody see me. Tell them that you have married an Eastern lady, who must not be seen by any man, except her husband, nor even by another woman.”

The prince considered a little. The arrow had now floated to the margin of the lake; he took the arrow from the little frog, put her in his pocket, carried her home, and then went to bed, sighing very deeply.

Next morning the king was told that all his sons had got married; so he called them all together, and said:

“Well children, are you all pleased with your wives?”

“Very pleased indeed, father and king.”

“Well, we shall see who has chosen best. Let each of my daughters-in-law weave me a carpet by to-morrow, and the one whose carpet is the most beautiful shall be queen.”

The elder princes hastened at once to their ladies; but the youngest, when he reached home, was in despair.

“What is the matter, prince?” asked the frog.

“What is the matter? My father has ordered that each of his daughters-in-law shall weave him a carpet, and the one whose carpet proves the most beautiful shall be first in rank. My brothers’ wives are most likely working at their looms already. But you, little frog, although you can give back an arrow, and talk like a human being, will not be able to weave a carpet, as far as I can see.”

“Don’t be afraid,” she said; “go to sleep, and before you wake the carpet shall be ready.”

So he lay down, and went to sleep.

But the little frog stood on her hind-legs in the window and sang:

“Ye breezes that blow, ye winds that sigh,

Come hither on airy wing;

And all of you straight to my dwelling hie,

And various treasures bring.

Two fleeces I crave of the finest wool,

And of the loveliest flowers a basketful;

From the depths of the ocean bring sands of gold,

And pearl-drops of lustre manifold;

That so I may fashion a carpet bright,

Adorned with fair flow’rets and gems of light,

And weave it in one short day and night,

When my true love’s hands must the treasure hold.”

 

There was a gentle murmur of the breezes, and from the sunbeams descended seven lovely maidens, who floated into the room, carrying baskets of various coloured wools, pearls, and flowers. They curtsied deeply to the little frog, and in a few minutes they wove a wonderfully beautiful carpet; then they curtsied again, and flew away.

Meanwhile the wives of the other princes bought the most beautifully coloured wools, and the best designs they could find, and worked hard at their looms all the next day.

Then all the princes came before the king, and spread out their carpets before him.

The king looked at the first and the second; but when he came to the third, he exclaimed:

“That’s the carpet for me! I give the first place to my youngest son’s wife; but there must be another trial yet.”

And he ordered that each of his daughters-in-law should make him a cake next day; and the husband of the one whose cake proved the best should be his successor.

The youngest prince came back to his frog wife; he looked very thoughtful, and sighed deeply.

 Polish Fairy Tales -  THE FAIRY GIRLS MAKE THE CARPET

THE FAIRY GIRLS MAKE THE CARPET

 

 

 

 

 

“What is the matter, prince?” she asked.

 

“My father demands another proof of skill; and I am not so sure that we shall succeed so well as before; for how can you bake a cake?”

 

“Do not be afraid,” she said: “Lie down, and sleep; and when you wake you will be in a happier frame of mind.”

 

The prince went to sleep; and the frog sprang up to the window, and sang:

 

“Ye breezes that blow, ye winds that sigh,

Come hither on airy wing;

And all of you straight to my dwelling hie,

These various gifts to bring.

From the sunbeams bright

Bring me heat and light;

And soft waters distil

From the pure flowing rill.

From the flowers of the field

The sweet odours they yield.

From the wheatfields obtain

Five full measures of grain,

That so I may bake In the night-time a cake,

For my true love’s sake.”

The winds began to rise, and the seven beautiful maidens floated down into the room, carrying baskets, with flour, water, sweetmeats, and all sorts of dainties. They curtsied to the little frog, and got the cake ready in a few minutes; curtsied again, and flew away.

The next day the three princes brought their cakes to the king. They were all very good; but when he tasted the one made by his youngest son’s wife, he exclaimed:

“That is the cake for me! light, floury, white, and delicious! I see, my son, you have made the best choice; but we must wait a little longer.”

The two elder sons went away much depressed; but the youngest greatly elated. When he reached home he took up his little frog, stroked and kissed her, and said:

“Tell me, my love, how it was that you, being only a little frog, could weave such a beautiful carpet, or make such a delicious cake?”

“Because, my prince, I am not what I seem. I am a princess, and my mother is the renowned Queen of Light, and a great enchantress. But she has many enemies, who, as they could not injure her, were always seeking to destroy me. To conceal me from them she was obliged to turn me into a frog; and for seven years I have been forced to stay in the marsh where you found me. But under this frog-skin I am really more beautiful than you can imagine; yet until my mother has conquered all her enemies I must wear this disguise; after that takes place you shall see me as I really am.”

While they were talking two courtiers entered, with the king’s orders to the young prince, to come to a banquet at the king’s palace, and bring his wife with him, as his brothers were doing by theirs.

He knew not what to do; but the little frog said:

“Do not be afraid, my prince. Go to your father alone; and when he asks for me, it will begin to rain. You must then say that your wife will follow you; but she is now bathing in May-dew. When it lightens say that I am dressing; and when it thunders, that I am coming.”

The prince, trusting to her word, set out for the palace; and the frog jumped up to the window, and standing on her hind-legs, began to sing:

 

“Ye breezes that blow,

ye winds that sigh,

Come hither on airy wing;

And all of you straight to my dwelling hie,

These several gifts to bring.

My beauty of yore;

And my bright youth once more;

All my dresses so fair;

And my jewels so rare;

And let me delight

My dear love by the sight.”

 

Then the seven beautiful damsels, who were the handmaidens of the princess—when she lived with her mother—floated on the sunbeams into the room. They curtsied, walked three times round her, and pronounced some magical words.

Then the frog-skin fell off her, and she stood among them a miracle of beauty, and the lovely princess she was.

Meanwhile the prince, her husband, had arrived at the royal banquet-hall, which was already full of guests. The old king welcomed him warmly, and asked him:

“Where is your wife, my son?”

Then a light rain began to fall, and the prince said:

“She will not be long; she is now bathing herself in May-dew.”

Then came a flash of lightning, which illuminated all the palace, and he said:

“She is now adorning herself.”

But when it thundered, he ran to the door exclaiming:

“Here she is!”

And the lovely princess came in, seeming to bring the sunshine with her. They all stood amazed at her beauty. The king could not contain his delight; and she seemed to him all the more beautiful, because he thought her the very image of his long-deceased queen. The prince himself was no less astonished and overjoyed to find such loveliness in her, whom he had only as yet seen in the shape of a little frog.

“Tell me, my son,” said the king, “why you did not let me know what a fortunate choice you had made?”

The prince told him everything in a whisper; and the king said:

“Go home then, my son, at once, and pick up that frog-skin of hers; throw it in the fire, and come back here as fast as you can. Then she will have to remain just as she is now.”

The prince did as his father told him, went home, and threw the frog-skin into the fire, where it was at once consumed.

But things did not turn out as they expected; for the lovely princess, on coming home, sought for her frog-skin, and not finding it, began to cry bitterly. When the prince confessed the truth, she shrieked aloud, and taking out a green poppy-head, threw it at him. He went to sleep at once; but she sprang up to the window, sang her songs to the winds; upon which she was changed into a duck, and flew away.

The prince woke up in the morning, and grieved sadly, when he found his beautiful princess gone.

Then he got on horseback, and set out to find her, inquiring everywhere for the kingdom of the Queen of Light—his princess’s mother—to whom he supposed she must have fled.

He rode on for a very, very long time, till one day he came into a wide plain, all covered with poppies in full flower, the odour of which so overpowered him, that he could scarce keep upright in his saddle. Then he saw a queer little house, supported on four crooked legs. There was no door to the house; but knowing what he ought to do, he said:

“Little house, move On your crooked legs free; Turn your back to the wood, And your front door to me.”

The hut with the crooked legs made a creaking noise, and turned round, with its door towards the prince. He went straight in, and found an old fury, whose name was Jandza, inside  she was spinning from a distaff, and singing.

NOTE: Jandza pronounced Yen-jar.

“How are you, prince?” she said, “what brings you here?”

So the prince told her, and she said:

“You have done wisely to tell me the truth. I know your bride, the beautiful daughter of the Queen of Light; she flies to my house daily, in the shape of a duck, and this is where she sits. Hide yourself under the table, and watch your opportunity to lay hold of her. Hold her fast, whatever shapes she assumes; when she is tired she will turn into a spindle; you must then break the spindle in two, and you will find that which you are seeking.”

Presently the duck flew in, sat down beside the old fury, and began to preen her feathers with her beak. The prince seized her by the wing. The duck quacked, fluttered, and struggled to get loose. But seeing this was useless she changed herself into a pigeon, then into a hawk, and then into a serpent, which so frightened the prince, that he let her go; on which she became a duck again, quacked aloud, and flew out of the window.

The prince saw his mistake, and the old woman cried aloud: “What have you done, you careless fellow! you have frightened her away from me forever.

But as she is your bride, I must find some other way to help you. Take this ball of thread, throw it before you, and wherever it goes follow after it; you will then come to my sister’s house, and she will tell you what to do next.”

So the prince went on day and night, following the ball of thread, till he came to another queer little house, like the first, to which he said the same rhyme, and going in, found the second old fury, and told her his story.

“Hide under the bench,” she exclaimed; “your bride is just coming in.”

The duck flew in, as before, and the prince caught her by the wing; she quacked, and tried to get away.

Then she changed herself into a turkey, then into a dog, then into a cat, then into an eel, so that she slipped through his hands, and glided out of the window.

Polish Fairy Tales -  THE LITTLE HOUSE TURNS

 

 

THE LITTLE HOUSE TURNS

 

 

 

 

 

 

The prince was in despair; but the old woman gave him another ball of thread, and he again followed it, determining not to let the princess escape again so easily. So going on after the thread, as it kept unwinding, he came to a funny little house, like the two first, and said:

“Little house, move On your crooked legs free; Turn your back to the wood, And your front door to me.”

The little house turned round, so that he could go in, and he found a third old fury inside; much older than her sisters, and having white hair. He told her his story, and begged for help.

“Why did you go against the wishes of your clever and sensible wife?” said the old woman. “You see she knew better than you what her frog-skin was good for; but you must needs be in such a hurry to display her beauty, to gain the world’s applause, that you have lost her; and she was forced to fly away from you.”

The prince hid himself under the bench: the duck flew in and sat at the old woman’s feet; on which he caught her by the wings.

She struggled hard; but she felt his strength was too great for her to resist; so she turned herself into a spindle at once. He broke it across his knee…. And lo! and behold! instead of the two halves of the spindle he held the hands of his beautiful princess, who looked at him lovingly with her beautiful eyes, and smiled sweetly.

And she promised him that she would always remain as she was then, for since her mother’s enemies were all dead she had nothing to fear.

They embraced each other, and went out of the old fury’s hut. Then the princess spoke some magical spells; and in the twinkling of an eye there appeared a wonderful bridge, reaching from where they stood hundreds of miles, up to the very gallery of the palace, belonging to the prince’s father. It was all made of crystal, with golden hand-rails, and diamond bosses upon them.

The princess spoke some more magical words, and a golden coach appeared, drawn by eight horses, and a coachman, and two tall footmen, all in golden liveries.

 

Polish Fairy Tales - THE WAY HOME

 

 

THE WAY HOME

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there were four outriders on splendid horses, riding by the side of the coach, and an equerry, riding in front, and blowing a brazen trumpet. And a long procession of followers, in splendid dresses, came after them.

Then the prince and princess got into the golden coach, and drove away, thus accompanied, along the crystal bridge, till they reached home, when the old king came out to meet them, and embraced them both tenderly. He appointed the prince his successor; and such magnificent festivities were held on the occasion, as never were seen or heard of before.

 

 

Polish_Fairy_Tales_Cover_tight

Mokete was a chief’s daughter, but she was also beautiful beyond all the daughters of her father’s house, and Morongoe the brave and Tau the lion both desired to possess her, but Tau found not favour in the eyes of her parents, neither desired she to be his wife, whereas Morongoe was rich and the son of a great chief, and upon him was Mokete bestowed in marriage.

But Tau swore by all the evil spirits that their happiness should not long continue, and he called to his aid the old witch doctor, whose power was greater than the tongue of man could tell; and one day Morongoe walked down to the water and was seen no more. Mokete wept and mourned for her brave young husband, to whom she had been wedded but ten short moons, but Tau rejoiced greatly.

When two more moons had waned, a son was born to Mokete, to whom she gave the name of Tsietse (sadness). The child grew and throve, and the years passed by, but brought no news of Morongoe.

One day, when Tsietse was nearly seven years old, he cried unto his mother, saying, “Mother, how is it that I have never seen my father? My companions see and know their fathers, and love them, but I alone know not the face of my father, I alone have not a father’s protecting love.”

“My son,” replied his mother, “a father you have never known, for the evil spirits carried him from amongst us before ever you were born.” She then related to him all that had happened.

From that day Tsietse played no more with the other boys, but wandered about from one pool of water to another, asking the frogs to tell him of his father.

Now the custom of the Basuto, when any one falls into the water and is not found, is to drive cattle into the place where the person is supposed to have fallen, as they will bring him out. Many cattle had been driven into the different pools of water near Morongoe’s village, but as they had failed to bring his father, Tsietse knew it was not much use looking near home. Accordingly, one day he went to a large pond a long distance off, and there he asked the frogs to help him in his search. One old frog hopped close to the child, and said, “You will find your father, my son, when you have walked to the edge of the world and taken a leap into the waters beneath; but he is no longer as you are, nor does he know of your existence.”

This, at last, was the information Tsietse had longed for, now he could begin his search in real earnest. For many days he walked on, and ever on. At length, one day, just as the sun was setting, he saw before him a large sea of water of many beautiful colours. Stepping into it, he began to ask the same question; but at every word he uttered, the sea rose up, until at length it covered his head, and he began falling, falling through the deep sea.

Suddenly he found himself upon dry ground, and upon looking round he saw flocks and herds, flowers and fruit, on every side. At first he was too much astonished to speak, but after a little while he went up to one of the herd boys and asked him if he had ever seen his (Tsietse’s) father. The herd boy told him many strangers visited that place, and he had better see the chief, who would be able to answer his question.

When Tsietse had told his story to the chief, the old man knew at once that the great snake which dwelt in their midst must be the child’s father; so, bidding the boy remain and rest, he went off to consult with the snake as to how they should tell Tsietse the truth without frightening him; but as they talked, Tsietse ran up to them, and, seeing the snake, at once embraced it, for he knew it was his father.

Then there was great joy in the heart of Morongoe, for he knew that by his son’s aid he should be able to overcome his enemy, and return at length to his wife and home. So he told Tsietse how Tau had persuaded the old witch doctor to turn him into a snake, and banish him to this world below the earth. Soon afterwards Tsietse returned to his home, but he was no longer a child, but a noble youth, with a brave, straight look that made the wicked afraid. Very gently he told his mother all that had happened to him, and how eager his father was to return to his home. Mokete consulted an old doctor who lived in the mountain alone, and who told her she must get Tsietse to bring his father to the village in the brightness of the day-time, but that he must be so surrounded by his followers from the land beyond that none of his own people would be able to see him.

Quickly the news spread through the village that Morongoe had been found by his son and was returning to his people.

At length Tsietse was seen approaching with a great crowd of followers, while behind them came all the cattle which had been driven into the pools to seek Morongoe. As they approached Mokete’s house the door opened and the old doctor stood upon the threshold.

Making a sign to command silence, he said:”My children, many years ago your chief received a grievous wrong at the hand of his enemy, and was turned into a snake, but by the love and faithfulness of his son he is restored to you this day, and the wiles of his enemy are made of no account. Cover, then, your eyes, my children, lest the Evil Eye afflict you.”

He then bade the snake, which was in the centre of the crowd, enter the hut, upon which he shut the door, and set fire to the hut. The people, when they saw the flames, cried out in horror, but the old doctor bade them be still, for that no harm would come to their chief, but rather a great good. When everything was completely burnt, the doctor took from the middle of the ruins a large burnt ball; this he threw into the pool near by, and lo! from the water up rose Morongoe, clad in a kaross, the beauty of which was beyond all words, and carrying in his hand a stick of shining black, like none seen on this earth before, in beauty, or colour, or shape. Thus was the spell broken through the devotion of a true son, and peace and happiness restored, not only to Mokete’s heart, but to the whole village.

—————-
This book raises funds for the SENTABALE charity in the African mountain Kingdom of Lesotho – supporting children orphaned by AIDS.

For more info, a table of contents and to buy – click on this link http://abelapublishing.com/folklore-and-tales-from-lesotho_p26444658.htm

Folklore and Tales from Lesotho - cover art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISBN 978-1-909302-56-3

 

An excerpt from Andrew Lang’s RED FAIRY BOOK

 

THERE was once upon a time a fisherman, who lived hard by a palace and fished for the King’s table. One day he was out fishing, but caught nothing at all. Let him do what he might with rod and line, there was never even so much as a sprat on his hook; but when the day was well nigh over, a head rose up out of the water, and said: `If you will give me what your wife shows you when you go home, you shall catch fish enough.’

So the man said `Yes’ in a moment, and then he caught fish in plenty; but when he got home at night, and his wife showed him a baby which had just been born, and fell a-weeping and wailing when he told her of the promise which he had given, he was very unhappy.

All this was soon told to the King up at the palace, and when he heard what sorrow the woman was in, and the reason of it, he said that he himself would take the child and see if he could not save it. The baby was a boy, and the King took him at once and brought him up as his own son until the lad grew up. Then one day he begged to have leave to go out with his father to fish; he had a strong desire to do this, he said. The King was very unwilling to permit it, but at last the lad got leave. He stayed with his father, and all went prosperously and well with them the whole day, until they came back to land in the evening. Then the lad found that he had lost his pocket-handkerchief, and would go out in the boat after it; but no sooner had he got into the boat than it began to move off with him so quickly that the water foamed all round about, and all that the lad did to keep the boat back with the oars was done to no purpose, for it went on and on the whole night through, and at last he came to a white strand that lay far, far away. There he landed, and when he had walked on for some distance he met an old man with a long white beard.

`What is the name of this country?’ said the youth.

`Whiteland,’ answered the man, and then he begged the youth to tell him whence he came and what he was going to do, and the youth did so.

`Well, then,’ said the man, `if you walk on farther along the seashore here, you will come to three princesses who are standing in the earth so that their heads alone are out of it. Then the first of them will call you—she is the eldest—and will beg you very prettily to come to her and help her, and the second will do the same, but you must not go near either of them. Hurry past, as if you neither saw nor heard them; but you shall go to the third and do what she bids you; it will bring you good fortune.’

When the youth came to the first princess, she called to him and begged him to come to her very prettily, but he walked on as if he did not even see her, and he passed by the second in the same way, but he went up to the third.

`If thou wilt do what I tell thee, thou shalt choose among us three,’ said the Princess.

So the lad said that he was most willing, and she told him that three Trolls had planted them all three there in the earth, but that formerly they had dwelt in the castle which he could see at some distance in the wood.

`Now,’ she said, `thou shalt go into the castle, and let the Trolls beat thee one night for each of us, and if thou canst but endure that, thou wilt set us free.’

`Yes,’ answered the lad, `I will certainly try to do so.’

`When thou goest in,’ continued the Princess, `two lions will stand by the doorway, but if thou only goest straight between them they will do thee no harm; go straight forward into a small dark chamber; there thou shalt lie down. Then the Troll will come and beat thee, but thou shalt take the flask which is hanging on the wall, and anoint thyself wheresoever he has wounded thee, after which thou shalt be as well as before. Then lay hold of the sword which is hanging by the side of the flask, and smite the Troll dead.’

So he did what the Princess had told him. He walked straight in between the lions just as if he did not see them, and then into the small chamber, and lay down on the bed.

The first night a Troll came with three heads and three rods, and beat the lad most unmercifully; but he held out until the Troll was done with him, and then he took the flask and rubbed himself. Having done this, he grasped the sword and smote the Troll dead.

In the morning when he went to the sea-shore the Princesses were out of the earth as far as their waists.

The next night everything happened in the same way, but the Troll who came then had six heads and six rods, and he beat him much more severely than the first had done but when the lad went out of doors next morning, the Princesses were out of the earth as far as their knees.

On the third night a Troll came who had nine heads and nine rods, and he struck the lad and flogged him so long, that at last he swooned away; so the Troll took him up and flung him against the wall, and this made the flask of ointment fall down, and it splashed all over him, and he became as strong as ever again.

Then, without loss of time, he grasped the sword and struck the Troll dead, and in the morning when he went out of the castle the Princesses were standing there entirely out of the earth. So he took the youngest for his Queen, and lived with her very happily for a long time.

At last, however, he took a fancy to go home for a short time to see his parents. His Queen did not like this, but when his longing grew so great that he told her he must and would go, she said to him:

`One thing shalt thou promise me, and that is, to do what thy father bids thee, but not what thy mother bids thee,’ and this he promised.

So she gave him a ring, which enabled him who wore it to obtain two wishes.

He wished himself at home, and instantly found himself there; but his parents were so amazed at the splendour of his apparel that their wonder never ceased.

When he had been at home for some days his mother wanted him to go up to the palace, to show the King what a great man he had become.

The father said, `No; he must not do that, for if he does we shall have no more delight in him this time; `but he spoke in vain, for the mother begged and prayed until at last he went.

When he arrived there he was more splendid, both in raiment and in all else, than the other King, who did not like it, and said:

`Well, you can see what kind of Queen mine is, but I can’t see yours. I do not believe you have such a pretty Queen as I have.’

`Would to heaven she were standing here, and then you would be able to see!’ said the young King, and in an instant she was standing there.

But she was very sorrowful, and said to him, `Why didst thou not remember my words, and listen only to what thy father said? Now must I go home again at once, and thou hast wasted both thy wishes.’

Then she tied a ring in his hair, which had her name upon it, and wished herself at home again.

And now the young King was deeply afflicted, and day out and day in went about thinking of naught else but how to get back again to his Queen. `I will try to see if there is any place where I can learn how to find Whiteland,’ he thought, and journeyed forth out into the world.

When he had gone some distance he came to a mountain, where he met a man who was Lord over all the beasts in the forest —for they all came to him when he blew a horn which he had. So the King asked where Whiteland was.

`I do not know that,’ he answered, `but I will ask my beasts.’ Then he blew his horn and inquired whether any of them knew where Whiteland lay, but there was not one who knew that.

So the man gave him a pair of snow shoes. `When you have these on,’ he said, `you will come to my brother, who lives hundreds of miles from here; he is Lord over all the birds in the air—ask him. When you have got there, just turn the shoes so that the toes point this way, and then they will come home again of their own accord.’

When the King arrived there he turned the shoes as the Lord of the beasts had bidden him, and they went back.

And now he once more asked after Whiteland, and the man summoned all the birds together, and inquired if any of them knew where Whiteland lay. No, none knew this. Long after the others there came an old eagle. He had been absent ten whole years, but he too knew no more than the rest.

`Well, well,’ said the man, `then you shall have the loan of a pair of snow shoes of mine. If you wear them you will get to my brother, who lives hundreds of miles from here. He is Lord of all the fish in the sea—you can ask him. But do not forget to turn the shoes round.’

The King thanked him, put on the shoes, and when he had got to him who was Lord of all the fish in the sea, he turned the snow shoes round, and back they went just as the others had gone, and he asked once more where Whiteland was.

The man called the fish together with his horn, but none of them knew anything about it. At last came an old, old pike, which he had great difficulty in bringing home to him.

When he asked the pike, it said, `Yes, Whiteland is well known to me, for I have been cook there these ten years. To-morrow morning I have to go back there, for now the Queen, whose King is staying away, is to marry someone else.’

`If that be the case I will give you a piece of advice,’ said the man. `Not far from here on a moor stand three brothers, who have stood there a hundred years fighting for a hat, a cloak, and a pair of boots; if anyone has these three things he can make himself invisible, and if he desires to go to any place, he has but to wish and he is there. You may tell them that you have a desire to try these things, and then you will be able to decide which of the men is to have them.’

So the King thanked him and went, and did what he had said.

`What is this that you are standing fighting about forever and ever?’ said he to the brothers; `let me make a trial of these things, and then I will judge between you.’

They willingly consented to this, but when he had got the hat, the cloak, and the boots, he said, `Next time we meet you shall have my decision,’ and hereupon he wished himself away.

While he was going quickly through the air he fell in with the North Wind.

`And where may you be going?’ said the North Wind.

`To Whiteland,’ said the King, and then he related what had happened to him.

`Well,’ said the North Wind, `you can easily go a little quicker than I can, for I have to puff and blow into every corner; but when you get there, place yourself on the stairs by the side of the door, and then I will come blustering in as if I wanted to blow down the whole castle, and when the Prince who is to have your Queen comes out to see what is astir, just take him by the throat and fling him out, and then I will try to carry him away from court.’

As the North Wind had said, so did the King. He stood on the stairs, and when the North Wind came howling and roaring, and caught the roof and walls of the castle till they shook again, the Prince went out to see what was the matter; but as soon as he came the King took him by the neck and flung him out, and then the North Wind laid hold of him and carried him off. And when he was rid of him the King went into the castle. At first the Queen did not know him, because he had grown so thin and pale from having travelled so long and so sorrowfully; but when she saw her ring she was heartily glad, and then the rightful wedding was held, and held in such a way that it was talked about far and wide.

 

From: Andrew Lang’s RED FAIRY BOOK

ISBN: 978-1-907256-87-5

URL: www.AbelaPublishing.com/redfairybook.html

HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

Listen to the laughing Wizard with the pointed eyes!

 

IN OLD times there lived a King. He had only one daughter. He would not give her in marriage except to the man who could perform three great tasks even if he were most miserable of beggars. Many tried, but none succeeded.

Now not far away dwelt a poor man who had three sons. The eldest and wisest said:

“I am going to win the Princess.”

On the way thither he met an old Beggar, and he never even said good morning to him.

The Beggar said, “Whither do you speed, my Son?”

“What business is that of yours?” he growled in passing.

The old one answered, “Your going will be in vain.”

And so it was. The eldest and wisest returned home without having accomplished anything.

The second and wise son, now said he was going, and surely he would win the Princess. But it happened to him, as it had happened to the first.

Then the third and stupid son spoke:

“Since the two elder have been, I am going. Perhaps I shall succeed.”

“What can you do, when the wisest could not succeed?”

But he did not ask for anything, and set out for the King. He met the old Beggar, bowed to him, took off his cap, and wished him a good morning.

The old man thanked him, and asked where he was going. The lad showed him his whole heart, he hid nothing. The Beggar then gave him a whistle, and said:

“Today you will have to tend a hundred hares. Just whistle to them, and they will obey you.”

It happened as he said.

When the lad came to the King, the lad’s first word was:

“Where is your daughter? I want to see her, whether she pleases me.

When he had looked at her he said, “She pleases me. For her sake I will perform the three tasks.”

The King set him the task for that day, of tending a hundred hares. When they carried them to the field and turned them loose, the hares ran away in every direction.

At first the stupid son let them do as they wished; but when they were all out of sight, he wanted to see if they would obey him. He blew on his whistle, and the hares were there like lightning. He counted them, and missed none.

“Good! Run away again and feed. When I need you, I will whistle,” said he to the hundred.

I do not know who saw all this and reported it to the King. But he was in a great rage. He sent his wife to the lad that she might ask and beg for a hare. She dressed herself like an old woman, came slyly to the lad, and asked if he would give her just one hare, she needed it so much!

He answered, “I can neither sell it nor give it. The hares are not mine.”

She kept on begging and begging, “You could easily give me just one.”

He marked who she was, and finally said he would give her a hare, if she would give him a hearty kiss. She said no! and no! but when she saw it was the only way out she gave him a kiss.

She stuffed the hare into a covered basket, and went away happy, thinking she had deceived the stupid lad. He waited till she was near home, drew out his whistle, and whistled hard. Bang! the hare sprang against the cover and, heigh ho! leaped back to his master. The Queen stood still with her mouth open. The hare was gone!

That evening the stupid lad chased his hundred hares home, and handed them over to the King.

The next morning the old Beggar came again. He gave the lad a horn to call together horses. That day the King set him the task of herding a hundred horses, and of driving them all home at evening.

When they let the horses loose in the field, they ran away in every direction. But in a little while the lad sounded his horn, and they all came galloping up and stood around him.

Then the King told his wife to go and beg for a horse. But she would not go. She said she was afraid of horses, that he should go. The King disguised himself so that no one should know him, and rode to the field where the lad was, and asked him if he had a horse to sell.

“I have none, for sale,” said he.

Well, could it be borrowed?

No indeed!

Well, could it be given away?

“O if need be, I could give one, but only if you will kiss your donkey.”

The King twisted his mouth this way and that. But it was of no use! He had to kiss the donkey, or he would get no horse.

When he had done this, he placed himself joyfully on the horse, rode home, and shut the animal in the stable, thinking:

“I have certainly deceived that lad! There will be one of his horses missing tonight!”

The youngest son, not knowing that the King had already reached home, sounded his horn soon after the horse was in the stable. When the horse heard the horn, he sprang against the door. The door opened crick, crack! and the King hearing the noise ran to the window. All he could see was the whisk of a tail.

In the evening the lad chased the horses home, and drove them together into the stable.

On the third day, the King ordered him to tell lies into an empty sack till he, the king, called out:

“Bind it!”

The lad stuck his mouth into the sack, lied and fibbed as hard as he could, but the sack stayed empty. Then it came into his head to fill the sack with truth!

He began to relate how he had tended hares, and how the Queen had come to buy, but that he had given her nothing till she kissed him!

Ha! ha! ha! The King roared with laughter, and enjoyed the shame of his wife.

Now the lad began to tell further, that while he was herding the horses the King himself had come to get a horse, but that he, the lad, had given him nothing till he–the donkey–

“Bind the sack, quick!” cried out the King before the lad could finish. “It is full!”

And so the lad won the Princess, as easily as rolling off a log.

————–

From “Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards”

ISBN: 978-1-907256-58-5

URL http://abelapublishing.com/wonder-tales-from-baltic-wizards_p23332702.htm

Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards - Cover

Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards – Cover