The riddle (Hungarian folk tale)

Where he was, where he wasn’t, in seventeen countries, across the Óperencías Sea, where the short-tailed pig roamed, not even a single drop of ode to the fallen-down furnace, where there was good, there was no bad, where there was no bad, there was good there were so many patties baked in it that a naked gypsy purdé took them all in his shirt sleeve, I saw it as I did now, I was there where they were talking, if you don’t believe it, ask… once upon a time there was a king, and his wife was so beautiful that even even the angels envied her beauty.

But they envied him so much that they sent down the angel of death to him and took him up to heaven. The king was saddened, a terrible great sorrow weighed on his heart, he mourned his wife day and night, but as a year or two passed, they kept whispering in his ears that one way or another, he could not remain a sad widow until death, the beggar also had he can’t even watch his partner, his little daughter, as an orphan, that he dressed up in a pretty cute turban and went to see the girls.

He started, but he said in advance that he would only marry a girl who was as beautiful as his first wife. Well, he traveled the country and the world, he saw many beautiful girls and women, but he did not find anyone as beautiful as his wife.

Time passed, the little princess grew into a beautiful young lady, suitors came, princes, princes, selected gypsy boys, but the king made up his mind that he would not give his daughter in marriage until he was married himself. That’s what he thought to himself, but he didn’t tell anyone, not even his daughter, but made up a riddle and announced that he would give his daughter to the one who invented the tale, but he should try his luck in such a way that whoever had a son or daughter, if he couldn’t guess the riddle fairy tale, his head will be on stakes.

The king was very confident that he would not meet anyone who would invent his tale, and that he would never run out of daughters, that there would be someone to nurse her when she grew old. Because the princess was as beautiful as the shining star, the princes, princes, counts, barons, young men of all orders and ranks came in droves, to whom the king gave his riddle, which said: He is looking for such a one, but he can’t find it, if he doesn’t find it, his mother’s blood hurts him.

Ten or twenty people tried one day, but none could decipher it correctly. Surely, if they did not know, they would not see God’s blessed day again. The news of this spread against seventeen countries, and the son of the widowed queen of the southeast heard it. When he heard that, he couldn’t rest anymore and said to his mother:

  • Well, my dear queen mother, I too am thinking and trying my luck. Hey, the queen was terribly frightened, she cried and wailed that the palace was ringing in her, and with clasped hands she asked for her son:
  • My sweet son, my flower has been torn from my heart, don’t play with your life, you will find different princesses, two for each finger!
  • I can find different ones, but not this one, because it is said that it has no equal in the whole world.

Although the queen cried and begged in vain, her son had nothing left. There was nothing to be done, she baked her mother’s cake for the trip, sent her most loyal servant with her, and also bound her to take care of the prince as well as the world of her eyes, because “the prince and his head!…”

Well, they set off, they went, they took refuge over mountains and valleys, through forests and fields, against the wind, under the sun, and they went and took refuge until they reached the city of the widowed king. There they go into the inn, eat and drink, and with that the prince went alone to the king, leaving his servant there to look after the horses.

He goes up to the king’s palace, is announced, bravely stands before the king and greets him with humanity.

  • Welcome, son! What good are you, whose son are you?
  • I am the son of the king of the southeast – answered the prince. – Did you hear the news, my noble king?
  • I heard it, I had a good friend, may he rest in peace.
  • Certainly, if my father was a good friend, I came to marry your majesty’s daughter.
  • Hoho, my brother, there’s a lot of that. Can you solve my riddle?
  • I’ll try if you tell me.
  • It’s better if you don’t try, I feel sorry for your young life.
  • Don’t be sorry, my noble king, just say it.
  • Well, if so, so be it, listen to me, son. He’s looking for that, but he can’t find it, if he doesn’t find it, his mother’s blood hurts him.

The prince thinks, scratches his head, and suddenly says:

  • Your majesty is looking for a woman like his wife, but he can’t find one, and if he doesn’t, his daughter will resent him, because he won’t marry her until then!
  • You hit it, you devilish bastard – screamed the king – but if you hit it, then you can also know that the girl is not for sale either to you or to anyone else!
  • Not until then! – retorted the prince. – He stands by the word of an honest man.
  • Hey, soldiers! – roared the king, and drew his sword to cut the king’s son.

Well, my lord, the soldiers ran in from all sides, they rushed at the prince, but the prince didn’t even think about it, uccu, him! Running is a shame, but it’s useful: he ran to the inn, got on his horse, etc

he didn’t even stop at home.

After all, he hadn’t even reached the country of the Southeast before he could get his soldiers back on their feet, because the king came after him with a terribly large army, and he was terribly angry with the king for talking back to him. Come on, poor prince! There were hardly any of his soldiers left even as a messenger, he was beaten so badly by the king’s army, and they could hardly hide his mother, and he himself ran away from his country, his poor head could die.

The poor prince went and sought refuge with great sorrow and grief against seventeen countries, he went and sought refuge until he reached a sea. Just then, a ship left from there, he asked about it, and stood among the sailors.

The ship sheltered day and night, uninterrupted, the sea was as quiet as water at the bottom of a plate, but on the seventh night a terrible big storm rolled in, threw the ship higher than a tall tower, and dashed it against a rock in such a way that it broke apart. Fortunately, the king’s son was unharmed, and he continued on the rock, wandering this way and that, everywhere, then he came to many forests, from many forests to a great wasteland.

Well, my lord creator, there were as many soldiers on that wasteland as there were blades of grass in the meadow, as many stars in the sky. They were just in full swing. The king was also sitting there on a hill, on his golden throne, puffing a lot of smoke from his long-stemmed pipe, and looking at his soldiers with great heartfelt beauty. The prince watches the spell, and suddenly the king sees him and motions him to go there.

The prince goes there, salutes like a soldier, the king says to him:

  • I see that you were once a soldier too, stand in line, my son, and train yourself.

The prince is standing in line, he is talking with the others, and the king was all looking at him, and he was so pleased with the prince’s gait and posture that he called out to him:

  • Get out of line, son, exercise my soldiers, let me see what you can do!

The king’s son stands out of the line, shouts beware, then sets off, but he orders the king’s soldiers to execute the king’s soldiers in such a way that the ground rumbled and shook, and the long-stemmed pipe fell out of the king’s mouth, even though four goats were holding the stem of the pipe. (By the way, four bucks caught him, one poked the fire. I saw it like today.)

  • Hoho, my son – shouted the king – whoever your son is, you were born to be a leader, from now on you are my leader!

They go home in the evening to the king’s court, the king throws a big party in the evening, he seats the king’s son at the head of the table, next to him, they eat and drink, they carry the wine with a strainer, but the king’s son just did not want to be pleased.

  • What’s wrong, son? asked the king. – You are as sad as three days of rainy weather. Drink, son, don’t sulk!

But the prince continued to grieve.

  • Well, wait, I’ll bring your happiness home.

He told the butler to invite the princess, but to bring her zither as well. The princess comes in (hair, but her soul mate was beautiful!), swings her zither, plays more cheerful notes on it, so that everyone clapped their ankles, but she could play the most cheerful note, the prince was not happy.

But what did the prince think, he asked the princess for the zither and played such a sad note that they all cried like children. He gave a shout of joy, but such a joy that they all danced at the same time, even the king, but even outside in the yard the greyhounds hugged the hounds, and they walked the two of Kálla like that.

Tell me, don’t tell me, if I tell you, you won’t believe me anyway, if I don’t tell you, you will certainly believe me: the royal princess liked the prince very much, and she asked her father to let this brave zither player stay with them, to let him learn to play the zither.

After all, the king scolded her there as well, as if he had scolded her, and the prince taught the princess skillfully, but she just didn’t feel like it. Although the princess questioned him in vain, he did not tell her what was wrong with him.

Hey, my God, the royal princess became sad too, she kept playing sad notes on the zither, but the king was almost sad too, he thought: this is not good, let’s turn things around. Once he took out the king’s son hard.

  • Do you hear, my son, you have made my daughter’s heart sad, tell me a word or two, let me know how many weeks the world is.

The king said:

  • Did your majesty know the king of the southeast?
  • How could I have known him! We were good friends in our youth, may God rest in peace.
  • Well, I’m his son.
  • Hey, damn it, you couldn’t say that until now? Are you telling the truth, boy?!

At this, the prince pulled his cloak aside, and a bright star shone there.

  • I have seen it many times on your father’s chest, son! said the king. – Well, God guided me because I heard about your sad case. Don’t worry, we’ll take your country back!

With that they went up to the palace. But the prince wasn’t sad at all. At once a priest was called, the young people took an oath, then there was a great feast, a wedding, the music played seven days and seven nights, then they stopped, they gathered around, the king’s kingdom was taken back, then the music played, the joy stopped

g seven days and seven nights.

I was there too, I danced for seven nights, then I ran away and didn’t stop until I got home. This is the end, run away with it!

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

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