THE THREE BROTHERS AND THREE SISTERS
Once upon a time there were three brothers and three sisters. When the moment to get married came, they gave the first sister to the Sun, the second to the Moon, the third to the Mountain. Time passed and the brothers set off to see how they sisters were living. While they were walking, night came and they stopped nearby a mountain. They made a fire and ate dinner, then the oldest of brothers told them to sleep because he would stay awake to watch over. At midnight, a dragon passed near them and when it saw the fire, the dragon went instantly to eat the two sleeping brothers. But the oldest brother went over it, cut its head and threw the body in an abyss so that his brothers wouldn’t see that. Then he awaked his brothers and continued their way. They stopped at another place the second night. They made the fire and ate the dinner, then the oldest and the youngest of brothers went to sleep, while the middle brother stood awake to watch them. Even this time, the middle brother killed a dragon and rescued his brothers. The third night, the youngest brother said he would stay awake to do the same thing. Again, a dragon came, and the youngest brother seized it, couldn’t cut its head definitely, so it shook the tail and turned off the fire. He wanted to light the fire again but couldn’t find anything to do that. So he took off to go to the top of the mountain. On his way he met with the Night’ mother and bound her so that it would dawn. Just as he went to the fire, he saw a copper with twelve ears in it, so he picked the copper up and took the fire. At that time the twelve thieves got up and when they saw that the boy could uplift the copper by himself, they were very surprised, so they told him to go with them to the king’s palace to steal his horses. The boy accepted to join them. He stood outside to watch over while they opened the hole in the wall and entered in. While he was guarding, the boy was wondering: ‘‘I have never stolen in my life, I am going to kill all those thieves’’. He called the thieves and told them that the guards were coming, so he waited for them at the hole, so at the time they took their head out of the hole, he cut their heads.
Then he jabbed the knife in the king’s court, took the fire, unbound the Night’s mother and went to his brothers, then they carried on the way.
When the king saw the knife in the middle of the court, he ordered to build up huts all over the world, so that everybody could go in the huts, eat and drink in there for free, but they must tell all the good and bad things they had done in their lives.
Lots of people went to the huts, ate and drank and told their stories. One day, the three brothers happened to pass there, and after they slept, ate and drank, they took out the money to pay. But they were told that they didn’t have to pay, but they had to tell all the good things they had done in their lives.
The oldest brother began, and he told the story about the dragon, so did the middle brother. When the youngest brother’s turn came, he told about the dragon and about the thieves he had murdered when they wanted to steal the king. Then they took him separately, and told him the king wanted to meet him. The two other brothers went on their way, but the youngest brother went to the king’s palace, who had heard about the boy’s deeds, so he allowed him to marry his daughter and made him the second leader of his kingdom. On the wedding’s day, according to the custom, they released too many prisoners. The groom saw among the prisoners, someone who was bound in handcuffs, called the Half- iron-and-half-man. He felt so sorry that he convinced the king to release him too. But just as they released him, he took the princess secretly and disappeared. The king was so mad that he took the knife out to kill the groom, but he stopped the king and told him: - Give me a pair of iron shoes and an iron rod, and I swear that I will come in a few months together with your daughter.
Then king gave him all he asked for, the boy took off and went to the first sister. There he met the Sun and asked him where he was staying, but he said he didn’t know anything, so maybe he should ask the Moon. He went to the second sister that was married to the Moon, and he asked the Moon, but the Moon said he didn’t know anything about that too. Then the boy went to the third sister which was married to the Mountain.
He asked the Mountain and told them:
I don’t know anything, but you should take off and go the mountain’s top, you’ll find falcon there, so big that it can’t even fly. Then you will follow it, seize it from its head and tell her:
‘‘If you don’t tell me where the Half- iron-and-half-man is, I will kill you’’.
The boy proceeded as his brother-in-law told him to do and the falcon told him:
I know where the Half- iron-and-half-man is, but you should give me meat constantly so that my limb heals because I’m too old, so that we can go to find him together.
The boy waited till the falcon’s limb hole, and he took too much meat with him before they took, because the Half- iron-and-half-man was staying on a very high mountain that was called the Otherworld. But before they reached the Otherworld, the meat was finished, and the falcon said that if he didn’t give him the meat, he would throw the boy away.
Then the boy cut a piece of his thigh, and another one from the other thigh, so they reached the place. But when the falcon saw the boy covered in blood, he took out the pieces and gave them back to the boy so that he could heal.
After the boy parted from the falcon, he went to a house nearby, where he saw his wife. She recognized him and let him in. The Half- iron-and-half-man came home while they were talking to each other, so she hid her husband at the ceiling. The Half- iron-and-half-man smelled meat scent, saw the hole in the ceiling and found the man. He sucked all his blood, took his skin and bones and threw them outside. When the falcon saw the boy, he said:
‘‘If I gave him some tern milk, he would reanimate.’’
Without wasting any time, the falcon took some tern milk in a faraway land, gave it to the boy and he was reanimated.’’
The boy got up, went to his wife and told her to fake as she was sick, and tell the Half- iron-and-half-man: ‘‘we’ve been together for so long and you never told me where your power comes from. I’m dying soon and I won’t tell anybody about this’’.
When she told him all that, the Half- iron-and-half-man told her that his power was at his broom.
Just as he got out the next morning, she threw the broom into the fire, but the Half- iron-and-half-man didn’t have any problem from that. She faked again and begged him to tell her the truth, and when he saw her that hopeless, he told her:
My power is inside a pig that lives at the mountain, he has silver teeth. Inside him is a rabbit, and there are three doves inside the rabbit’s belly, there’s where my power is. Then the boy went to find the pig and kill him. After too much struggle he had, he could kill the pig.
He found the silver tooth, slashed it, took the rabbit out, cut his belly and found the three doves inside. But when the boy killed the pig, the Half- iron-and-half-man got sick, later when the boy killed the rabbit and two doves, he was lying on his bed paraliysed. The boy took the third dove into his hands and went to the Half- iron-and-half-man’s bed. When he saw the boy, he tried to get up but he couldn’t move. Then the boy killed the third dove and the Half- iron-and-half-man died. Then the boy took the princess and turned back to the king. When he saw his daughter, safe and sound, together with her husband, he was very happy and he organized the best wedding that everybody had ever seen.