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But still they were not satisfied. Now they wanted to meet the husband. This time the maiden didn’t know what to do. While she was weeping, a black cat appeared and enticed the maiden into following it into a beautiful garden There she saw a girl and a boy under a rose bush. Beside them was a baby lying directly in the sun. The maiden felt sorry for the baby and covered its head with a towel. Then she noticed that the girl’s long blonde hair was entangled in the thorns of the rose bush, so she began extricating the strands one by one, careful not to hurt the girl or disturb her sleep.

The Moor then took the youth to the little apple tree in the middle of the big garden. The king’s daughter got up at midnight and found the youth asleep again. She took his fez, left him hers and departed. When the youth got up the next morning, he met the Stirrup Moor who asked him about the maiden. “She didn’t come,” said the youth. ” “My own,” replied the youth. “Look at the fez you’re wearing now,” said the Stirrup Moor. The youth looked at the fez and was amazed. So they went back to the old woman and forced her to return to the maiden again.

He then begged the dervish to make him just as strong as he was. ” The bear went off to the herd of the shepherd who was sorry indeed to see him come back alive. The bear returned with a goatskin bag full of milk, and on the orders of the dervish he lit a fire and placed a cauldron of milk on it. ” The bear stuck his head into the cauldron a first time and burned himself; he stuck his head in a second time and then a third time, whereupon the dervish gave him a kick and he fell into the cauldron and boiled to death.

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Albanian folktales and legends by Robert Elsie


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