THE TWO FRIENDS

Once upon a time there were two friends as close as brothers, and never did anything without talking to each other. One day, they decided to get married, one of them with the vampire’s wife and the other with the woman who lived on the other side of the sea. So they took their guns and took off. They passed fields and mountains and stopped in the dense forest where the vampire was hunting, but they had never seen him before and didn’t know how he looked like. He was a giant and terrified anyone who saw him, but the two friends didn’t get scared at all. The vampire asked them where they were going and they told him they had to go somewhere. But he said:

- If you want to get this way, you’ll have to run up against me.

He went towards them to eat the two men at first, but then he felt bad about this and let them free.

They continued their way to the vampire’s palace, and found his wife at the door and they began to like each other too much. She became so affectionate to them and she vowed that she would marry one of them. But that couldn’t be done if they didn’t kill the vampire. So they told his wife she had to ask him where did his power come from, and three days later they would come back. In the evening, the vampire got home with the deer and chamois he had hunted in the woods, and the wife began to blandish him like she had ever done before and told him:  

- I have always loved you, but you never said anything to me.

- What do you want to know from me? –the vampire asked.

- Show me where your strength comes from. - said the woman.

- He, he, - the vampire began to shake his head, - my power is at the palace yard.

The next day, his wife took a very beautiful carpet and covered the whole yard. When the vampire came home in the evening, he saw the yard paved and asked his wife:

- What have you done so?

- I wanted to honor your strength - the woman said.

Vampire was flattered so much and said, smiling: - My strength is not there, but at the door step.

The next day the woman covered the doorstep with a carpet too, the vampire was flattered even more and said:

- For all the credit you’ve done for my power, this time I will tell you the truth about it. Do you see that mountain over there? There is a she-bear, and my strength is hidden at the heart. But do not tell anyone because if they kill the bear my strength will instantly give out.

But the woman didn’t care and three days later when the two friends came, she told them everything. They took their guns and went to the mountain. They cut off the bear’s head, and a fox came out, they killed the fox too, and a rabbit came out, they killed the rabbit killed him and two white pigeons appeared. Then they went to the palace and cut off the pigeons’ heads, so the vampire’s power was diminished and they could kill him too. One of them, the oldest of them, he who was the eldest, married his wife and the wedding lasted a week. Then it was the time to get the other woman, the one overseas. When they reached the sea shore, they stopped and didn’t know where to go. At last, they saw a cave where the devil and his son lived.

They tried to listen to what they were saying, and the son was telling his father:

- Did you hear, dad? Two men had strangled the vampire and took his wife.

- Yes, I heard, - answered the devil.

They intend to take the woman which is overseas. But how will they cross the sea on foot? - the son was wondering.

It is not that impossible, - said the devil – they just have to go at the big shade on the shore and there they will find three black stones and three white ones. If they throw them into the sea, a bridge will be raised.

Whenever the devil spoke, he added the words: ‘‘If anyone hears these and tells them, I hope he becomes a stone and gets blind.’’ But this time he forgot to say those words.

So the two friends took the stones, threw them into the sea and the bridge appeared. And once they took the Beauty they got back.

Before they left, the oldest of them said to the other to go again to the cave, we can hear interesting things up there. But his friend told him to go on his own, and he would be waiting right there. So the oldest friend went near the cave and tried to listen, so he heard the son saying to the devil:

Did you hear, dad?  Those two friends had built the bridge over the water and took the Beauty away.

- Yes son, I know. But they don’t know that the bride has three snakes in her belly and she will kill her husband at the first night of marriage. -and after he finished the words, he said: ‘‘If anyone hears these and tells them, I hope he becomes a stone and gets blind.’’

The boy was terrified and turned back to his friend. His friend asked him what had happened and he said he had heard nothing. They turned back to the village and the wedding began, all of them ate, drank, danced, sang, but the oldest friend was sitting and wondering. He told his friend that he would go somewhere and would come back again, and the wedding should continue. And he went to the cave and heard the devil’s son speaking:

- Father, those two friends are organizing a wedding and the youngest friend will marry the Beauty. How is it that the snakes will come out of her belly?

You should stay all night long awake and wait for them to come out and cut their heads one by one with a pair of clips. And as always he added the words: ‘‘If anyone hears these and tells them, I hope he becomes a stone and gets blind.’’

After hearing those words, the boy went back to the wedding and celebrated with the others. Before the couple entered the room to sleep, he said he would go with them inside to guard them. Everyone started laughing at them but the groom understood what was going on and allowed him to go with them.

When the bride and the groom fell asleep, he stood awake with the clips in his hands and when the snakes came out, he cut off their heads one by one.

The next morning the weeding people began to mock the groom that his face was blackened. And the older friend told the whole story and turned into stones. They took and left him in the house yard.

Within a year they had a baby boy and one day the Beauty told her husband to do something and rescue his older brother, but he didn’t know what to do, and she said:

- Go again to the devil’s cave and you’ll probably hear something.

He went to the cave and heard the son saying to his father saying:

- Father, a year passed till the boy turned into a stone. How will they bring him to life?

His brother should take his son and cut his head above him. The blood of his son will revive him.

Then he began to say,… If anyone hears ... but the boy closed his ears and didn’t hear till the end what the devil said. He told his wife everything and after they reflected, they decided to cut off their son’s head. The wife took their so above the stone and her husband took out the knife, and when cut just a little his neck, a drop of blood fell and the stone revived. The older friend caught his friend’s hands before he cut completely the son’s head. So the son was safe, the friend was brought to life and all of them lived long and happy.