THE SEVEN BOYS AND THE DEVIL
Once upon a time, there was a king who had only a daughter. When the girl grew up and was ready to get married, the king was thinking to give the girl to a good man, but she refused to get married. She was raising a louse and was keeping it on her forehead. Always under pressure from her father, she finally agreed to marry on one condition: she took the louse that was grown and swollen too much, beheaded and put it in the middle of the court. Then she spread the word everywhere that "I will marry the man who finds out what it is."
Word spread very quickly, and courageous, generous men of all the countries came and gathered in the courtyard of the king. No matter how they tried, none of them found what that strange thing was. The last one who tried was the devil, who recognized the louse at once. According to the given word, they gave the king's daughter for wife.
The old king was very glad that he was facilitated by that heavy burden and he didn’t have to puzzle over about the fate of his daughter. But the devil, as the devil that he was, just as he took the girl he began to tantalize her. A few days passed, then he disappeared secretly and went to his house that was under the ground, in a very, very distant place. But the girl had brought a dove with her, and she played with it. One day, suffering locked underground day and night, she thought to send a message with the dove to her father to tell him what had happened. Then she wrote a letter, and bound it at the pigeon’s leg and at the time the devil opened the land’s portal to go out, she secretly sent the dove. Just as the dove came out, the dove flew right of the girl's ground and went to the royal palace. When the servants saw it , they took the letter and took it to the king quickly. He was so mad after reading the letter that he gave order to assemble all the bravest people of the country, and devastated by the pain he said:
- I want you to find my daughter, anywhere she is. Here, look at the letter he sent me with her dove.
But the girl was disappeared without leaving any trace, and they couldn’t find where she was from the letter, so none of them dared to promise the king that he would go and would bring his daughter. Among the masters crowded in the court of the king, there was an old woman who had seven sons, and each of them had an extraordinary gift.
The first one, flied like a bird.
The second threw the cudgel far away and could hit a fly.
The third had a sharp hearing and he could hear everything that was happening on and under the ground.
The fourth carried an iron stick, that he used to throw it on the ground and it could make a tower raise.
The fifth had such strong shoulders that he could move the ground up.
The sixth, with his powerful arms could carry everything that fell from the sky.
The seventh, he was so sharp-sighted that he could look so far that he could reach the heart of the earth.
But each of them lived in different places and they didn’t know each other. Then the old woman thought she should gather all of them together, so they could find the daughter of the king. To do that, she began to make a shirt for each of them, so when one of them came and asked "whose is this shirt?", she said, "that's yours, come to pick it up a few days later". She fixed the same day for all of them to come and get the shirt, and when the day came they gathered one by one in their mother’s house. So they saw each other and how much they resembled to each-other and the old woman said:
- You’re all my sons, brothers of a womb and I do not want you to live separately hereafter.
Then, after she told them the story of the king’s daughter, she told them to go all to the king's palace and read the letter. They did so, but since the letter did not indicate where the girl was, they took the dove to show them the way. After walking for a long time following the dove, they came to a place where the bird began to make signs using its beak and pointing the ground. Then the third son came closer and put his head on the ground, and heard a weak woman’s voice from the end of the earth, and all the brothers rejoiced immensely because they had finally found the place where she lived. Then the seventh came, and he looked down around the ground. After the seventh, the fifth came and he put his shoulders to the ground to throw it in the air. At that time the sixth came and opened his arms to take the girl when falling, and they took the way back to the palace. But the devil had seen them, and radiated such a high temperature that it began to burn them. The girl couldn’t bear and began to scream .At that time, the fourth caught his iron rod, hit the ground, a big tower lifted off at once, and they entered it to get rid of the heat. But the devil saw them and chased them step by step. He knew he couldn’t reach them, so he began to beg them to let him see the girl for the last time, even her small fingertip. After a lot of begging, they opened a small hole where the little girl pulled the finger out. That’s all the devil wanted and absorbed the girl, and after he took her, he went to the palace he had built over the clouds. The fourth didn’t waste time and destroyed the devil’s palace with his iron rod, while the second used his cudgel to smash it, while the first went in the clouds flying to take the girl in his arms and he brought her to his brothers. So, having escaped once and for all from the devil, they took the way back to the royal palace. When the king heard that his daughter had survived, the king gave order, and all the people came and honored the seven brothers. Then the princess asked her father to allow her to choose by herself who would become her husband. He would be one of seven brothers for sure, and she chose the fourth, the one with the the iron rod. They both lived happily for life.