THE FAITHFUL BRIDE

Once upon a time there was a man and a woman, to whom god had given a son. But all around the village there had been spread the chicken-pox disease, which was a terrible and lethal. So the couple decided to send their son to his uncle to save his life, because he lived in a city far away from there. The next day they sent their son with one of the servants, they set off and at noon they found themselves at a fountain. They unburdened the animals for a rest and took out the food to have the lunch. Not much time passed and a monk appeared. He greeted them and began to ask them where they were going and why were they leaving their house. The servant began to tell him about the cause of this journey, and the monk said:

- The boy won’t get infected from the disease, but he must invite me to his wedding when he gets married.

The boy and the servant asked him at once:

- Where will we find you to invite you to the wedding?

Then the monk said: - You will look for me here at this source. And if you don’t find me then call immediately three times, "Hey monk," and if I do not answer, then leave a written piece of paper and cover it with a stone. The servant and the boy were convinced by the words of the monk and went back to their village. They told to the man and woman the words they talked with the monk and the parents were convinced that nothing would affect the boy. A little time passed, the chicken-pox disease was spread all over the village and many people got sick and died, but the boy survived, so all the people believed and felt a great love for the monk. A few years passed, the son was engaged and when the wedding began he told his father said they should invite the monk.

- Son, - the father replied, - where do we find the monk now?

- I should keep the word I’ve given. -son said.

So he went to the fountain where they had met a few years ago. When he arrived there he found nobody. He called three times as the monk had said but again no one answered. Then he took out a letter and wrote it, covered it with a stone and left very happy that he accomplished the order and turned to the wedding where everyone was waiting him. The wedding finished and the boy took his bride home, but the monk did not appear in anywhere.

At night when the bride and the groom went to the room, the monk appeared at the chimney where only the boy and bride could see him. The boy was overjoyed when he saw the monk and wanted to treat him with wine and meat, but he did not put anything in his mouth and said:
- I did not come here to drink wine and eat meat, but I’ve come here to take your soul because God had sent me. The groom was heartbroken by the words of the monk and said: - Isn’t it a sin for a man to die in such a moment?

The monk looked ruefully and said: - I can do just a good thing for you, go and tell your mother and father and if one of them refuses to die in your place then you will be saved.
 

The boy went to his parents and told them the words the monk had said, but they told him: - Go and do as you wish with the monk, we don’t have time for this.

The boy turned humble to the monk and said the words that his parents told him. Then the monk told him to speak to his wife again, which according to the custom was standing behind the door and did not speak a single word. She had heard the words that the boy and the monk had said.

The boy went right to the bride and asked: - Would you die for me?

She did not answer the question because that was the custom, but made a sign putting her hand in the middle of her forehead. The groom turned to the monk and told him that the bride had not said a single word, but she had made that. Then the monk said: - Your wife had to live forty-four years more, but she wants to give you the half of the years. You will both die together after twenty-two years in the same day.

Having said these words, the monk disappeared. After twenty-two years, both husband and wife died in the same day, in the same hour and in the same minute. People buried them close to each-other, where a rose with red flowers and nice smell blossomed, and it showed the love and loyalty they had for one another.