Albanian folktales and legends

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The next day, he bought some fish, took it home and went off to work. He intended to cook the fish for lunch. When he finished work, he returned home and found that the fish had been cooked already, and in such a delicious manner that the whole neighbourhood was enticed by the smell. The godfather found the meal so delicious that he did not know how to praise the boy enough. Now the boy realized that his godfather had not made the meal at all and he was completely confused. The next day he took home all the food he had bought, but instead of going to work he hid in the cupboard. All of a sudden, he saw a maiden step out of the box he had bought.

The whole house radiated with her beauty. She immediately put on an apron and began to cook. He crept out of his hiding place, knelt before her and asked her if she was a human being or an angel. I am the daughter of the King of Egypt. One day, while spending the summer in Smyrna, I saw you and immediately fell in love with you because you are so handsome. When I returned to my father in Egypt, he wanted to give me away in marriage.

I asked the man to take me to Smyrna and sell me to you. So let us wait and see what my father intends to do, for he has no other children. But she caused him to rise and kissed him. Then they got married in secret, without telling his godfather. Take good care of it, as you would of your own eyes, and take it to my mother. In the letter, Constantine wrote that the woman in the box was his wife. The old woman received her with great love and kindness. Whenever he saw her at the door, he would immediately go up to sell his wares, but the maiden always went back into the house right away.

The Jew returned day after day to see her, but she hid from him. He sent people to talk to her, but she refused to see them. She is a wicked woman. From her window, the maiden saw him coming. She ran down the stairs to open the door and gave him a kiss. There was a large river next to the house. When Constantine saw his wife, he was so furious that he did not wait to ask whether what the Jew had written him was true or not. Instead, he seized her and threw her into the river. Then he entered the house and asked his mother about the maiden.

The mother told him everything the Jew had done to win the maiden and that she had always rejected his advances. Constantine was so grieved that he wanted to die. He ran down to the river and had people search everywhere to see whether his wife had drowned. As she was nowhere to be seen, he took flight, like a madman, to the mountains. Some fishermen were just spreading their nets when the maiden fell into the river and they fished her out of the water, half drowned, and wrapped her in a cloak. A Turk came along to buy fish. The fishermen said that they had caught nothing but a woman.

When the Turk saw her, his heart was ablaze and he bought her from the fishermen for fifty thousand piastres. When the young woman woke up, she found herself beside the Turk. If you take me with you and another man stronger than you sees me, he will take me away from you. Do you know what we should do? Give me some of your clothes so that I can dress up like a man.

Then no one will know I am a woman and you can keep me.

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She took the clothes, went behind a bush and got dressed. When the Turk wondered why she had not come back, he went in search of her, but she was gone. The poor man then set off too, half-naked and without his horse. The maiden rode for hours on end, from mountain to mountain, all through the night, until she arrived, without knowing it, in Egypt where her father reigned. Since the gates of the capital city were already closed and it was raining, she sat down outside. At that time in Egypt, the king had just died and, since he had left no heir, his ministers took counsel and sent emissaries off in search of his daughter, who according to the king was lost.

She mounted her horse and rode to the side to let them by. When they saw the handsome young man, they knelt at his feet, brought him into the palace and made him king. The maiden ruled wisely and no one knew that she was a woman. She reigned over the kingdom so well that everyone loved her.

The girl secretly ordered her servants to watch out for anyone who sighed on seeing her picture. They were to arrest him, take him to the palace and keep him there as long as she wished. One day the Jew who had written Constantine the letter came by and, seeing the picture, sighed.

When the royal servants noticed this, they arrested him and took him to the palace. The next day, the fishermen came by and sighed too when they saw the picture. So they were also taken to the palace. Then the Turk came by and he too was arrested when he sighed. When the maiden saw that all those who had wanted to have her had been gathered together, she ordered her ministers to assemble in order to announce to her prisoners the sentences she would pass.

They all assembled and she sat down as king in the middle of the room. She then had all the prisoners brought in and gave orders that none of them should speak without her permission. I saw that it was the picture of a woman. The king then asked the fishermen why they had sighed.

They answered that they had fished the woman out of the river and sold her to a Turk. But she ran away from me before I got a chance to see her properly and took my clothes and my horse. Wait for a moment until I come back. When the men saw her, their eyes bulged in amazement. The ministers recognized her as the daughter of the king, and her husband and the others recognized her as the maiden. First her husband came up to her, fell to his knees and asked for forgiveness. She caused him to rise, kissed him and had him sit at her side. She gave money to the fishermen and to the Turk. She pardoned the Jew whom the minister wanted to hang, but ordered him to leave her kingdom within twenty-four hours.

Constantine was made king and they have been feasting right up to the present day. The tale of the youth who understood the language of the animals. Once upon a time there was a youth who was neither poor nor rich. He owned a team of oxen and a herd of sheep and had a garden with many different fruit trees growing in it. Whenever the young man was in his garden and people passed by, he would invite them in and allow them to pick and eat whatever fruit they liked. I can make you king. Or do you want the trees and stones to talk to you?

I can give you honours, or would you like to learn the language of the birds and the animals? Which of these things would you like? Tell me and I will give it to you. Please teach it to me! He got up, went home and could now understand everything the birds and animals were talking about. One evening he went out for a walk with his wife. They passed by the stable where the oxen, a mare, a donkey and other animals were kept. As they passed by, he overheard an ox talking to the donkey.

You eat the same grass as I do and they leave you alone. As for me, the master yokes me to the plough and I have to pull it all day long. I have to forage for myself. They leave you alone and bring you food. God has given you horns instead of brains. The wife asked him what he was listening to. The next morning the stable-boy went out to get the oxen and take them to the field, and found that one ox was sick. He ran to his master right away and reported what had happened.

Leave him alone today. Take the donkey instead and yoke him to the plough with the other oxen. The donkey had to work all day long until the sun set. He was so exhausted from his work that he could hardly walk.

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When he got back and they put him in the stable, the master went out to hear what the donkey would say to the ox. When the master, standing outside the stable, heard the nonsense the donkey had told the ox and saw how the ox was eating everything up, he had to laugh. I think you can understand the language of the animals. And so the young man, his wife and their little son set off. The wife was pregnant again. Before they set off, she packed all sorts of things onto a mare which the man mounted, setting his son in front of him.

I am getting tired. Keep up with me if you want or fall behind. But his wife was still tired and was unwilling to get off. Indeed she got very angry. Finally they arrived at the mountain hut. The shepherds were busy catching a little lamb to slaughter and eat when they saw the man coming. The jackals devour some of us and the humans eat the rest. Just let them do what they want. We are in their hands. The master does as he wishes. One of them will have to be sacrificed.

And so the shepherds slaughtered it, roasted and ate it. Afterwards they separated the little lambs from the mother sheep. The master remained in the mountain pastures, sleeping in a hut with his wife. In the night, jackals and wolves appeared, surrounding the sheep and howling. They got everything they wanted to eat. He also owned an old dog who had only two teeth left. All the others had fallen out. Sometimes they only gave the poor old dog a slice of bread, other times they gave him nothing at all. Leave a sheep here near us tomorrow so we will have something to eat. I have been living off his bread.

The next morning he got up early to return home. Kill them right away in my presence. When they had been home for some time, the wife began to weep and lament. Every time the husband gave her a chore she would groan and refuse to do it. Finally he asked her what was wrong. We eat together, we drink together, we sleep together.

What more do you want? Then, when we went up to the mountain hut, I had to get off the mare when it started neighing with its foal. Up in the pastures you only let them slaughter the third lamb. Yesterday morning, you had the two young dogs killed and let the old one live. She baked a loaf of bread, cooked the porridge, waiting impatiently for her husband to tell her everything, and was quite willing to let him die. There was a dog in the house who understood what was happening and began to whimper. The man also had a lot of hens, and with them was a rooster. While the dog was whining, the rooster called the hens to him and beat his wings proudly so that the hens began to tremble and ducked down, pecking at the ground.

The rooster gathered all the hens around him and then took his pleasure with them. He is about to die and you have no sense of shame. You are crowing and taking your pleasure with the hens! I love our master because he gives grain to me and my wives. I have forty wives and only have to beat my wings for them to tremble.

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But he has only one wife and this wife has persuaded him to reveal his secret. And now he is to die! He should do something! Then he would take a club of young hornbeam and beat her black and blue. He called his wife but instead of telling her his secret, he gave her a sound thrashing, threw her out and found himself another wife.

The Stirrup Moor. Once upon a time there was a king who owned a mare. It was his own personal mare and no one else was allowed to ride it. The mare had never had a foal. Nor did the king have any children. One day, he saddled the mare and rode out to find a potion so that his wife could bear children and the mare could have a foal. On his way, the king met an old man who asked him where he was going. Go home and peel it, and give the apple to the queen and the peelings to the mare. Then they will both become pregnant and give birth. He gave the apple to the queen and the peelings to the mare, as the old man had told him to do.

Both became pregnant and gave birth: the queen had a son with a star on his forehead and the mare had a foal with a star on its forehead. The king gave the stallion to his son and no one else was allowed to ride it. Everyone marvelled when the two rode out together. Time passed and the youth turned twenty. He loved to hunt and went out every day with his stallion. One day, he lost his way and came to a river as big as the Vjosa. As he was riding along the bank of the river he saw a beautiful maiden on the other side who was also out hunting with her servants and hounds.

The maiden was the daughter of a king, but her father was king of the jinns. She was therefore a jinn maiden, not a human being. When the youth saw the beautiful maiden he fell in love with her and returned day after day to the same place to see her. One day, he could stand it no longer. He spurred on his stallion and they leapt over the river to the other side. He then approached the maiden and spoke to her.

Do you love me or not? Your father is a king and my father is a king, but your father is king of the humans and mine is king of the jinns. Eat this toast instead when no one is watching. Then they will ask you what you want. Whenever they ask you, say you want nothing at all. The youth went home and became ill. They brought him food, but he would eat none of it. The king sent for all his physicians, for he had only one son, and he had no peer on earth.

But however much the physicians examined him, they could not find out what was wrong. The two met on the road and asked one another where they were going. You go too, my lord. Leave me alone with the youth. I think I can cure him. As you can see, he has gone out to see his stallion. He had simply fallen in love with the daughter of the king of the jinns. You must bring her here as a bride for your son, otherwise he will be so distraught in his longing that you will lose him. He sent a message to the king of the jinns inviting him to a banquet. When the king of the jinns arrived, they celebrated for a whole week, eating, drinking, listening to music and playing games.

But I would like to go even further. And so, the two kings became relatives and exchanged rings. If you agreed to that, you did a very wicked thing! She took her daughter there and left her with the other king of the jinns. Later, the mother died leaving the maiden all alone. When the son of the king of the humans heard that the maiden had been taken away, he became ill again and went to his stallion to tell him his tale of woe.

Then say to him: I want to go out into the courtyard and ride my stallion before I die, because I cannot give up the ghost without have ridden my stallion one last time with my best clothes on. On their way, they arrived at a house with no doors or windows. A beautiful maiden who had seven brothers lived there. The brothers were off fighting with the king of Russia because he wanted to marry their sister and they had refused to give her up. They had therefore gone to war and had been fighting for five years. When the youth approached the house, which was more like a fortress, he took out his sword and struck the wall with it.

A doorway opened where he had struck and the youth went through. On entering the house, he encountered the maiden all alone. There is a mighty king who has been fighting with my brothers for five years. No one is allowed to enter here. Tell me where your brothers are and I will go and make friends with them. The youth went out and struck the wall again, and the doorway disappeared. He went off to find the seven brothers. When he found them, they sat down to talk and he asked what they were doing there. I will stay here and fight with you. Once they get off the ships, we are lost.

Then he took off his fez and set upon the soldiers. The two of them shone so brightly that the soldiers were blinded, and the youth was able to charge into their midst and slay almost all of them. He let a few of them live so that they would return home with their ships to tell the tale of their disaster. Then the youth returned to the brothers who took him home to their house nearby.

But no one came. Let us become brothers. We will give you our sister in marriage. When I return, I will take your sister with me. The youngest of the seven brothers said he would accompany the youth.

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They kissed one another, said farewell and the two of them departed. On their way, they saw an inn in the distance. A Moor lives there who always sets a table at the roadside, but no one stops there to eat because everyone is afraid of him. His table is made of gold and so are the dishes, the plates, the spoons and the forks. When we approach the table, you get off and eat. We are now approaching someone selling hides.

Albanian Folktales and Legends

Buy five buffalo hides and cover my body with them, and put the saddle over them. He went over to the tanner, bought the hides, put them on the stallion and rode to the inn. There he found the table, got off and had something to eat.


Then the Moor went out and mounted his mare. The youth finished eating and jumped on his stallion. The mare immediately set upon the stallion and the stallion upon the mare. The mare bit into the stallion and ripped off a whole buffalo hide in one piece. The stallion bit into the mare and broke one of its ribs.

By the time the five buffalo hides had been torn off, the stallion and the mare were both exhausted. The Moor and the youth fought with their swords.

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But no matter how often they struck one another, neither one was ever wounded. After the sword-fight, they wrestled with their bare hands, but neither of them could win. I have seen the whole world, but I have never seen a person like you. The Moor took the youth with him and they went back to the inn. They called the other boy, took the horses with them and all went in together. The black man, however, was not a real Moor, but the Earthly Beauty. When they entered the inn, the Moor went into another room to make coffee.

Then he brought in the coffee, shook hands with everyone and welcomed them. When the men saw the beautiful girl, they began to tremble. They travelled a long, long way and eventually they arrived in another world. There, they came to a big river that was spanned by a bridge made of two parts. One part of the bridge was on one side of the river and the other part was on the other side. Otherwise it will collapse and you will drown.

The Stirrup Moor walked onto the bridge and crossed over. The others said the same thing and they too were able to cross to the other side. Finally they reached the place where the daughter of the king of the jinns was living and entered the house of an old woman to spend the night. There they heard music, gun salutes, songs and dances as if a marriage were being celebrated in town and asked the old woman if someone was getting married.

Another king is taking her away with him. Go to the maiden and whisper in her ear that the son of the king of the humans has come and wants to meet her. And bring us her answer. Let me through. The mistress overheard her and asked her servants why the old woman was shouting. She said nothing, but put a handful of sweets in his pocket and departed. The Moor examined the youth, took a look at his pocket and saw the sweets. He gave her a great deal of money and sent her off. The daughter of the king of the jinns was already waiting at the window.

The mistress then sent for a rod from a little apple tree in the middle of the big garden and used it to beat the old woman who fled home once more screaming. The Stirrup Moor asked the old woman what had happened, and she explained about the rod the maiden had used to beat her.

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The Moor then took the youth to the little apple tree in the middle of the big garden. She took his fez, left him hers and departed. When the youth got up the next morning, he met the Stirrup Moor who asked him about the maiden. The youth looked at the fez and was amazed.

So they went back to the old woman and forced her to return to the maiden again. What did the mistress do this time? The old woman fled home screaming and cursing, saying that she was going to throw all of them out of her house. The Stirrup Moor calmed her down again and gave her more money.

The old woman then told him where the nettles had come from. The Moor took the youth, set him in the place where the nettles grew, grabbed a bunch of them, shook them and stung the youth so that he could not sleep. He replied that he had come to marry her. There are jinns here too. But you would never get away. There is one thing you could do to save me, but someone would have to sacrifice himself. They will let me enter the mosque alone. If someone else were already in the mosque, I could give him my clothes and he could put them on and go back out as the bride.

Then we would be able to flee together. The youth went back to the Stirrup Moor and told him everything. When the maiden arrived the next morning, she gave him her clothes, and he put them on and became the bride. There they chose the swiftest horses and mounted them. They were received hospitably by the brothers and stayed at their house for some time.

The youngest of the seven brothers still wanted to accompany them and the other brothers agreed. One morning the king got up and was surprised to see a palace right across from his.

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He asked which palace it was and who had built it. The king returned to his palace and invited the son to a banquet. The youth arrived with his wives, his brother-in-law and wife and was received as hospitably as he had received the king. Put out my eyes. You have won. The king has blinded our husband to take us away from him. When the king saw that they were going, he rushed to try and stop them. When they left, the youth managed to climb an oak tree to protect himself from the birds. There was a spring nearby where devils were gathering.

The first one he asked was the devil who had possessed the king and made him blind his own son. The sheep have fallen ill and will all die. He then asked the next devil what he had done. And how is the shepherd to know that if he comes to the spring and sprinkles the water over the sheep, they will all get well? When they were gone, the youth climbed down from the tree and walked in the direction of the voices.

He got closer to the spring and, hearing it bubbling, groped forward to find it. Then he sprinkled sand in his eyes, scooped out some water, rinsed his eyes with it and regained his sight. Near the spring he found an empty gourd which the devils had left behind. He filled it with water and went off to the shepherd whose sheep were all dying and who was at the verge of killing himself. The youth asked the shepherd what he would give him if he saved his sheep. Just bring the sheep back to life. I will give you my own clothes in exchange. The shepherd took the youth home, gave him something to eat, made some fine clothes and presented them to him.

The youth asked the king what was wrong and why he looked so despondent. The Moor had put on his black skin and was waiting for the enemy to come so that he could vanquish them. When the youth arrived, the Moor lunged at him with his lance. The youth deflected it with his hands and grappled with the Moor who began fighting with his bare hands too.

The youth got closer and the Moor lunged at him again. This one is just as strong as our husband and will take us. Then they all recognized him, opened the door and let him in. A little later, the youth sent a message to the king to tell him to come over because he was in the palace. The king happily rushed over to the palace and hugged and kissed the shepherd, still not knowing that it was his own son.

The king and the son then went into a room, sat down and sent for the women. The king was overjoyed when they arrived. The shepherd declared that he now owned half of the kingdom and one of the wives, one that the king did not want. This one? Or that one? All the better. Or shall I give you the third one? She would be best. The Stirrup Moor had put the oven on and by the time they had gone through all the palace, it was very hot indeed. Immediately, the Stirrup Moor seized the king and threw him into the oven where he was burnt to ashes.

And so they lived and reigned happily ever after. Mother cannot bear the loss of all of her children and not having even her daughter close to her at an old age, her mourning too heavy to bear. Her monologue is full of pathos and anger. He finds Doruntine dancing during Easter time. Doruntine knew absolutely nothing about all 12 brothers being dead. Constandin tells her to come immediately with him and brings Doruntine back overnight on the back of his horse. She cannot know that he is already dead. When they arrive back home, he leaves her at the door and tells her that he has to go to take the horse inside the barn, but instead goes back to his grave.

The finale is breathtaking because of the shock of the two women who realize that Constandin has risen from the dead. Another famous legend is RozafaCastle. Rozafa was the castle associated with a famous legend about a woman who was buried in the foundation of the castle:.

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Albanian folktales and legends Albanian folktales and legends
Albanian folktales and legends Albanian folktales and legends
Albanian folktales and legends Albanian folktales and legends
Albanian folktales and legends Albanian folktales and legends
Albanian folktales and legends Albanian folktales and legends
Albanian folktales and legends Albanian folktales and legends
Albanian folktales and legends Albanian folktales and legends

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