The Queen of Seven Beauty (Hungarian folk tale)

Where he was, where he wasn’t, beyond seventeen countries, there was once a poor man and his young son, who was called Kolontos Bandi. Well, they didn’t call this lad Kolontos for nothing, because all his actions were full of stupidity. His father and mother were then raised by the strong bully, that the son would screw them out of everything with his great stupidity.

Once, among other things, the woman says to her son:

  • Come, my son, water the flowers, because they all wither in the heat!

Bandi pulls herself together, goes down to the basement. There were three bottles of wine there, he takes it up to the garden and water it on the flowers. He had seen many times that people were in a good mood when they drank wine, and as soon as he poured the wine, he even asked the flowers:

  • You’re in a good mood, aren’t you? I believe that!

Other times he was told to sprinkle sand on the yard to make it straight. But Bandi thought that flour was better than sand, and whatever flour was in the house, he sprinkled it all over the yard. His father comes out and sees what Bandi has done.

  • Oh, you fool of the world, what are you doing?!
  • Maybe the yard is not straight enough? Bandi asked.
  • Stop, I’ll straighten you up!

He got a husáng and gave Bandit a good breeches, but he could have breeches, but he didn’t come to his senses. Time flies. One thinks that perhaps Bandi has come to his senses a little and tells him:

  • Come on, my son, feed the pigs, then let them go to bed! Bandi goes out and feeds the pigs, but when they are full, he catches himself and beats them with a stick until they stretch out over the bridge. With that, he went in to his father with great joy and said:
  • Well, father, I put the pigs to bed.

The man goes out, let him see what Bandi has done. Well, my lord, the pigs are all dead. The husáng is in front of you, Bandit is again well-trodden, but he could have done it, but he won’t come to his senses.

In the evening, the time comes, they go to bed, but neither the man nor his wife could sleep. They sighed, wondering what to do with this goddamn thing. If they somehow don’t get rid of him gracefully, sooner or later he will send them to the beggar’s cane.

They planned that no matter how bitter their hearts might be, they would take him out to the forest and leave him there. As it will be, so it will be, go where your eyes see; live as you may. Bandi pretended to be asleep, even snoring loudly; he heard well what the old men had agreed upon.

They get up in the morning, and the poor man says to Bandi:

  • Well, son, come to the forest, let’s cut wood!

They go out into the forest, and when they reach a good dense place, the man says to Bandi:

  • You just stay here, son! Cut down a tree or two, and I’ll go to the other side of the forest to see if I can find more beautiful ones there.

Bandi said nothing; he pretended to stay there, but his father had hardly gone ten or twenty steps, and he followed him, not far behind. The man was wise enough to stay there, look at this tree, how beautiful it is; look at that, it’s even more beautiful! – he could speak, as if to the black earth, Bandi was not left behind.

What was there to do for the poor man, he saw that he couldn’t get rid of Bandi, so he went home in disgust, and Bandi followed him everywhere. As soon as he goes home, a gray-haired old man meets him and asks:

  • Why is kend so sad, earthling?
  • How could I be sad, my old father, – says the man, – when I have this one son, and he is also so handsome.
  • Don’t worry about it, give me your son, I’ll bring him back to his senses.
  • I will give it to you with a good heart – says the man – just leave with your grace.

He asks his son:

  • Well, my son Bandi, would you go with this old man?
  • I’ll go, just have a good job.

The gray old man said:

  • Don’t be afraid, son! You’ll be fine with me.

That’s how they parted ways. The poor man went home, Bandi also went in the opposite direction to the gray old man, through the abundant forest; for three days and three nights they went without stopping.

Bandi speaks once:

  • Old man, give me something to eat, because since I came home, I haven’t eaten even one bite!

“It’s fine, my son, eat,” said the gray-haired old man.

He reached into his pocket and took out three bread crumbs, and Bandi was as full as if he had eaten three large loaves of bread, the size of a wheel.

They went on, took refuge, and one day two lions came towards them. Bandi gets terribly scared; he thought his life was over now. But the gray old man only pissed once, and the lions suddenly retreated into the thicket.

Then they got up again and went on, took shelter, and reached a great wasteland from many forests; on the edge of a great wasteland to the shore of the sea. There was a large poplar tree on the shore of the sea, the gray old man tore off a leaf from it, threw it into the sea, and behold, hear a miracle! the poplar leaf suddenly turned into a boat.

They sat nicely in the boat, rowed continuously on the sea for seven days and seven nights, they reached the other shore, and when they got out, the boat changed back to a poplar leaf. There was also a poplar tree on this side of the sea, and the gray old man threw the poplar leaf among the other leaves.

They continued from here, took shelter, and came to a cleft of a large rock, where there were two beds of moss, where they lay down nicely. The gray old man said:

  • Lie down, son, sleep, because we get up early in the morning and the lesson begins.

They go to bed, and they get up as soon as the dandruff has subsided. Then the gray old man took out all kinds of big books. For three days and three nights, he was constantly reading and explaining, but he could read and explain, Bandi was just as stupid, just as stupid as before.

The gray old man said:

  • Well, my son, I can see that I’m not going to get anywhere with you like this, and then I’ll try another way.

He took out a golden hammer and tapped Bandi on the head with it every day. This went on for half a year, and then Bandi became such a smart man that there was hardly enough cleverness in his head. The old man taught him all kinds of fairy tales, but also how to make all kinds of expensive cakes from poplar branches.

When he taught him all kinds of tricks, the gray old man said:

  • Well, now, my son, come with the news of God, try your luck!

He gave Bandi three bread crumbs and sent him on his way. Bandi goes, seeks shelter, through forests and fields, and when he gets hungry, he just eats a small crumb and is so full that he can go on happily for a week. When he had eaten all three crumbs, he just cut off a poplar branch and hit the ground with it, and there were so many expensive good cakes in front of him that he couldn’t even convince himself to eat them.

Well, time has passed. Maybe a year has already passed, if I think about it: two, even three, since Bandi divorced the gray old man. Once, as he was passing through a dense forest, he saw a small house and wanted to enter, but there was no handle on the door. Well, if there isn’t, that’s fine.

He remembered the fairy tales that the gray old man had taught him, and he said to the door: Gingalló, holy door, open of your own accord! The door opens, he enters the house, and there is nothing else in that house, only a table and a large book on the table.

It was written on the board of the book in fairy letters: The book of the Queen of Seven Beauty. Bandi opens the book and looks at what is written in it. It was written that the king in whose country he was now wandering had a daughter as beautiful as if she had been woven and woven together from the seven most beautiful daughters in the world. That’s why she was called: Princess of Seven Beauty.

Once Goat, the king of the goats, went to Princess Seven Beauty and asked for her hand in marriage. Princess Hétsépségög laughed out loud:

  • What, you abomination, you still dare to come here?! The very first royal sons asked for my hand, I didn’t give it to them either. Get out of my sight!

Goat Goat left with great grief and sorrow, and in his great grief he jumped off the top of the highest rock and died a terrible death. The goats found out what had happened to their king: twelve, the biggest and strongest, got together.

They crept into the king’s palace at night, and when the royal princess was asleep, they took the cute wretch on their horns and frolicked with her like a ferocious beast.

It was further written in the book: that seventy-seven miles from this house, under the golden earth, there is another such book, in which it is written where the Princess of Seven Beauty went.

There was no staying for Bandi. He went through mountains and valleys, and did not stop until he found that golden land. He stopped there and said: Gingalló, holy door, magical book, stay up here!

At that moment, the ground opened and a large book emerged from it. It had the following written on its board: The book of the Queen of Seven Beauty.

He opens the book, reads it, turns the pages, and it is written in beautiful fairy letters that the twelve goats took the Princess of Seven Beauty to Kecskebak castle. There he was laid down in the seventy-seventh room of the castle, Kecskebak’s mother put him to sleep forever, and he never wakes up until a person throws himself there who speaks to him in fairy tales.

After all, Bandi didn’t need anything else either, he turned and went straight to the court of the father of the Princess of Seven Beauty. The king had already announced throughout the world that he would give his daughter and his entire kingdom to whoever would bring her back.

Kings and princes tried it; lads of all orders and ranks, but none of them found the Princess of Seven Beauty. They traveled all over the world. Searched underwater, underground; they looked for him in the air, looked for him everywhere, they couldn’t find him.

Then Bandi arrived at the king’s court and offered himself that he, one life, one death, would find the princess somewhere.

“Okay, my son,” said the king, “ninety-nine have already tried and failed to find it, you are the hundredth, see if luck favors you.”

The king gave him a golden-haired horse, the most beautiful of his studs. Sufficient silver and gold so that there is no shortage of money. Bandi took off, flying with the golden-haired Paripa like a bird. On the seventh day he arrives at the castle of Kecskebak, and, my lord, there were a hundred gates, a thousand doors, but not a single one had a doorknob.

Bandi stops in front of a door and says: Gingallo, holy door, open yourself! And not only the door he was standing in front of opened, the others opened as well; the gates also opened, the whole palace was lit up, shining, shining like a diamond, all its corners. Then he started and went through the rooms; into the seventy-seventh.

There she lay in the golden bed of the princess. It was white as a lily, but as beautiful as if it had been woven and braided from not seven, but seventy-seven beautiful maidens. Bandi stopped in front of the shack, cast his eyes on the Princess of Seven Beauty, and said quietly: Gingallo, holy door, get up from your shack!

And lo and behold, Princess Seven Beauty suddenly opened her eyes. She looked at him, her face and eyes smiled, then she got up from her misery, hugged the young man and said in an enthusiastic voice:

  • You will be for me, you will be my faithful partner!

They immediately caught up with the golden-haired girl and didn’t stop until they got home. But there was joy at home, my God, how great! At once, a priest was called, the young people conspired, after the wedding they became egg-haired, descended the Tisza; They moored at a place on the banks of the Tisza, and went back and forth until they found Bandi’s father and mother. They took it with them to their country.

After that, they were doing well, they had no problem with salt or wood. They are still alive today, if not dead.

(Elek Benedek: Hungarian fairy-tale world, volume 3)

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