Once upon a time there was an old man who had three daughters. One day the king sent the message that he had to go to war as he had no son to go in his place. Then he tried a lot to find the solution but he couldn’t. The oldest daughter asked him what he had and he told her about the news, she listened to him and said him to marry her so the groom would go to war in his place, so said the middle daughter.
Then the youngest daughter went to him and said:
- Don’t you worry father, I will go in your place. You just find me a pair of man clothes and cut my hair so that I won’t look like a girl.
The father did all that she asked, gave her the horse and the ‘boy’ joined the others to go to the palace. That day the king had sent his son outside so that the dragon would eat him, because it came every year at the city and ate a boy each year. When the dragon approached everyone was terrified and none of them approached, but the girl took the spade and cut the head with the first stroke and saved the son of the king.
Both the son of the king and the girl started the way back to the palace and he said:
- My father will give you a lot of things, he will give you a kingdom too, but you shouldn’t accept that. Ask him to give you his horse that speaks like a human.
When she came across the king and he asked what she wanted as a reward, the girl told him that she wanted to get out of the war. The king told her that she would get out of war for sure but he wanted to give her something else. When the girl asked him for the horse, the king refused immediately and said:
- I can give you a kingdom, but I will not give you the horse.
The girl turned to go away and the prince followed her. When the king asked his sin where he was going, he said:
- I am going with my father because he is my father now, he saved my life. When my father loves more his horse than me, than I’d better go.
Hearing these words, the king gave the horse to the girl and put a golden saddle. So the boy that was in fact the girl, bestrode the horse and went to another kingdom. There he saw a hollow in front of the palace and some people wanted to overpass it but couldn’t. ‘‘The boy’’ was very surprised from this and when she asked the horse, he answered:
- The king has opened that hollow and he had told that the one who passes that with a horse and catches the apple that is thrown from the palace, he will marry the daughter of the king.
- I will overpass that hollow, you don’t be scared and try to catch the apple when they’ll throw it.
And the horse jumped, when he passed to the other side they threw the apple and the boy caught it. Everybody were surprised because there had been other people that passed the hollow but they hadn’t caught the apple. So the ‘boy’ that was a girl, married with the girl of the king. The next morning the king went and asked his daughter how she passed the night, because that was the custom, and the princess said it was a bad night. The same answer was for too many nights because the boy was a girl. So the king thought to send the ‘boy’ to go to the forest and bring food to the workers where the dragon was. ‘The boy’ heard everything because she was behind the door and was very sad. When the horse saw her, asked about what was going on and she told him everything, then the horse said:
- Don’t you get scared, but ask him a cart with two oxen to put the bread and I will tell you what to do.
When the king called her, ‘the boy’ told him he wanted an oxcart to put the bread, then he left. When they arrived there, he learnt how to act and after he caught it, put the dragon in the oxen place and turned back to the king’s palace. When the people saw him, they were terrified and closed their windows and doors. Having slept that night, in the morning the king asked the girl again and the same answer he got again. Then the king decided to send him to the land where was the mare that ate people. When the ‘boy’ heard him, he got very sad and didn’t know what to do. After being told the story, the horse said:
- Don’t be afraid because she is my mother. Go to the king and ask him two jars of honey. When she comes to the well, you’ll fill a basin with water, drop the honey in the water and mix it. When she drinks the water with honey, she’ll ask you to ride her. He asked for the two jars and the ‘boy’ went to the mare and did everything the horse told him to do. The mare drank it and told the boy that had climbed the tree to go down and ride her, but the boy didn’t trust her. After she promised him that she would do nothing, the ‘boy’ went with the mare. They played for a while and the mare said:
- If I had my son here with me I would be the happiest.
- I have your son here with me, - said the ‘boy’.
When he turned back to the palace, the mare joined the ‘boy’ and everyone was terrified. After everyone saw them, the horse and the ‘boy’ told the mare to leave and they would meet together again. The groom went to sleep and in the morning when the king asked the princess, she gave the same answer. Then the king decided to send him to a church that hadn’t paid the taxes and was full of snakes. The ‘boy’ went to the horse and told him that this time there was no salvation for him because the king would send him to such a place. But the horse told him to go to the king and ask him for some bells and a mule to carry the money. Then they took the mare and went to the church. The horse and his mother blocked the doors and began neighing strongly, while the boy began to shake the bells as hard as possible. The snakes were terrified from all that noise and took out all the money they had and gave it. When they noticed who it really was, they had already gone and the snakes said:
- You who took our money, we curse you to turn into a boy if you’re a girl, or into a girl if you’re a boy.
And the girl felt that she turned into a boy and said to the horse:
- Hey horse, I was a girl and I’ve become a boy now.
So they arrived at the palace. They went to sleep and when they got up in the morning, the king asked the princess how she passed the night and the daughter answered:
- So good that I cannot complain.
So they lived happily as a couple forever.