THE BEAUTY AND THE WITCH

Once upon a time there was an old man who had three sons. One day, he called his sons and said:

- You’ve grown up and now you are men, but remember these words and you’ll never regret it. Everyone has his own nymph and God has given one to each of us.

When you’ll be in difficulty, call the nymph and she will help you.

One day, the youngest son stood up and told his family that he would go and look for his fate. On his way he met an old woman, which was washing clothes in the lake. She asked him where he was going and he replied that he was looking for his fate. There were three different ways in front of him and he asked if she knew where they led to. After he heard the old woman, he took the most dangerous way which was as high as a rock. Then he lost the way and was stuck at a rock, so he thought the only thing left to do was suicide, but he remembered the words his father had said about the nymphs.  He called the nymph and she appeared immediately and helped the boy get down. And the nymph said:

What were you trying to do? Don’t you know that you were born under an auspicious star? Do you see that building over there? The Beauty lives there and we’ve decided that you should marry her. Go and try to take her, but be careful because twenty-one jinnees are guarding her.

The boy went to the palace and was too scared, but respired from the nymph’s words, and when he saw the girl at the window he became more confident. He got up on the first floor and saw seven jinnees sleeping, he took out the knife and killed them all. On the second floor he killed seven others and on the third floor got rid of the last seven ones. Then he got to a large room and the nymph told that was the place where she and the other nymphs decided about the people’s fates. Then he met the Beauty, she was released from the jinnees’ curse and they got married on the same day. On the other side of the tower, there was a room with three locks, and the Beauty told the boy:

Never open that door, otherwise we will be in too much trouble.

Even the boy tried to do that, he did not keep his word and opened the door. At that moment white ghost appeared and vanished like smoke. The smoke was the Beauty’s fate. When the king saw it, he knew that it was the fate and said that the one who would find whose fate it was, he would give him whatever he wanted. The old woman, who told him where the paths led to, was a witch and she went to the palace where the Beauty and the boy were sleeping.

She pressed the needle into his heart, she took the Beauty and tied her up with black threads and closed her mouth with ember. She brought her to the king, he immobilized her inside a tower and she never opened her mouth in nine years.

Three years had passed since when the boy had left home and his two brothers had gone to find him. On their way, they found the old woman which was washing the clothes and asked her if she had seen their little brother. She wanted them to lose his traces so she told them to go back, but they didn’t listen to her and went on their way. Then they were lost and didn’t know where to go, so they called their nymph, which asked them why they were in that place. They said that they were trying to find their youngest brother and she said:

- Your brother is giving up the ghost, the old woman that you met a little earlier has stabbed him. But you did the best thing that called me because only I can rescue him.

So she gave them dragon blood to heal the youngest brother.

The two brothers reached the palace and began to call out loudly, no one replied, so they broke the door and went inside the palace. They gave him dragon blood, and he woke up at once. He asked where the wife was but they didn’t know that he was married and told that there was no woman in the palace.  He thought they lied to him and had taken her away because she was very beautiful. They swore that they didn’t know anything, but he didn’t believe them, then two older brothers went back home. He stood alone, then he looked for his wife for nine years, but he couldn’t find her. One day he passed by the king's palace and there he saw his wife, and when she saw him too, at last she spoke for the first time in nine years. When the king heard that she had spoken, he ran to her room but she had gone out of the window and escaped with her husband. They walked till it was getting dark and the night came. They stopped so that they could find a house to spend the night. They knocked on a door and an old woman answered. It was the witch but they didn’t recognize her. She made a good fire and was thinking of hatching a trick. So she took a few bones and greased the boy’s right arm, so he fell into a deep sleep. And then she called her seven sons who were at another room, and they began to eat and drink happy that the Beauty was at their house.

The girl was not afraid, but she celebrated together with them until they were drunk, and when she saw that they were not conscious, she took the knife and killed them all. Then she got on a horse and left. She went to a place where there was no king and folks had gathered to choose someone to lead them. Then the girl cut he hair, and dressed like a man. They liked too much the brave, who was the Beauty dressed like a man and they put her to be their king. When she began to rule the country, she made a portrait of her own and put that at the crossroad. She ordered a guard to stay there and to bring whoever saw the portrait and uttered words.A few days later, her husband was passing there and when he saw her portrait, he said:

- She told me not to open that door but I did not listen to her!

The guard handcuffed and arrested him. Days later, the witch was passing there too, and when she saw the portrait, she said:

- Poor me! She did to my sons the same thing I wanted to do to her!

The guard grabbed her and said to the Beauty that she had caught two people. She ordered him to bring them one by one and the old woman came first. She asked her what she had meant by those words, and the old woman replied:

- They weren’t for you, Your Majesty, but for a girl who hurt my seven sons.

- You’re the one who hurt them with your behavior like a witch that you are – the girl said.

She said she wasn’t a witch but the Beauty gave her a stern look and the old woman understood who she was, then swore that she would never hurt anyone. Then the girl said to the witch:

- Choose the one you like the most out of these two items: do you want to have two stallions or two very sharp knives?

The old woman thought that if she took the two horses, she could sell them and earn some money, so chose the horses. But once she approached, horses tore the old woman and her rags. Then they brought her husband and he recognized her at once and said:

- I have suffered a lot and I regret that I didn’t listen to the words you said, so now you can do whatever you want to and I will follow you.

Then the Beauty got up from the throne and hugged him. Then she took off her clothes and put her husband to rule as a king and she became the queen.