It is therefore not surprising that the nation of Georgia overflows with folklore. We invite you to enjoy Georgian Folktales, a short collection of thirty-eight traditional stories from Georgia, Mingrelia and Guria translated by Marjorie Wardrop in Princes, kings, viziers, wicked stepmothers, princesses, fools, speaking serpents, and simple folk who make good abound in the pages of this delightful volume. The twenty-eight Mingrelian proverbs are a bonus and provide additional insight into the culture of the region. Many of the themes in these stories are also reflected in European folklore, giving credence to the claim that folklore originated in Asia eons ago and was transported to Europe by the Gypsy and Roma folk.
A percentage of the sale from this book will be donated to scholarships for the underpriviledged in Georgia.
How could a headless man thieve? Once he fell ill, and became blind in both eyes. He sent his sons for a surgeon.
If this is caught, killed, and its blood sprinkled on your eyes, it may do good—the light will come back into your eyes—if not, there can be no other cure for you. Some time passed by. An old fisherman caught just such a crimson fish, and took it to the king. The king was asleep, and they did not dare to wake him, so they put the fish into a basin full of water.
Just then his son returned from his lessons. He saw the blood-red fish swimming in the basin. The king was very angry, and sent his son from the house. He went, he went, and he knew not whither he went.
On the way he saw a stream. He was weary and sat down to rest on the bank. Behold, a boy of his own age came out of the water. They travelled on some distance, when they came to a town, and they dwelt there. The other boy was away in the [ 44 ] town all day. At twilight, when he came home, he had a handkerchief quite full of provisions.
Several days slipped by. The prince stayed in all day, and his brother brought the food and drink.
Georgian Folk Tales, by Marjory Wardrop, at boibranacphoho.cf Cornell University Library GRG3 W26 Georgian folk tales, translated by Marjo olln 3 The original of tliis book is in tine Cornell University.
My adopted brother goes out and brings in food and drink. Why do I not do something?
What an idle fellow I am! I will go and do something! Whoever passed by placed money in the handkerchief.
Near there he saw a tower. He looked and looked, and could not understand what it meant. She asks him a question: if he cannot answer it his head is cut off, but if he can he may demand her in marriage. No one has yet been able to answer her question. I will ask this maiden in marriage: I will know if [ 45 ] this is my fate.
What is to be will be. What can she ask me that I shall not know? He came to the sunlike maiden and asked her in marriage. This is a wicked town. I have a grandmother, I shall take thee to her, and she will help thee. But at the moment when my grandmother looks at us, give her the gum and the candle, or she will eat thee.
He bought the gum and the candle, and they set out. The grandmother was standing in her doorway; the prince immediately gave her the gum and the candle. He came forward, and told everything in detail. The old woman flew up high, and then, in the twinkling of an eye, she flew down into the depths.
She took him into a town there, and went to the entrance of a bazaar. Where thou goest with him thou wilt learn the story of Gulambara and Sulambara.
Then when thou hast need of me, whistle and I shall be there. The prince did exactly as the old woman had instructed him; he went to the butcher, as his assistant. I am afraid; take me with thee. The butcher went home, and took the prince with him. They came to a wall, opened a door, went in, and it closed.
Inside that, was another wall; they went through that, and it closed. They passed thus through nine walls, and then they entered a house.
He put down the decaying head and struck it. He struck and struck until the head was completely gone. The butcher rose, took a sword, prepared himself, and said to the prince. I kept her under these nine locks, and I took care of her so that not even the wind of heaven blew [ 47 ] on her. Whatever she asked me I gave her at once. I loved her to distraction, and trusted her, and she told me that she loved no one in the world but me.
At that time I had an assistant who was called Sulambara, and my wife loved him and deceived me. Once I found them together, and seized them. I locked one in one cupboard and the other in another. Whenever I came home from business I went to the cupboards, and took out first one and then the other, and beat them as hard as I could. I will go to the door and pray to my God, and then do to me even as thou wishest. The prince went to the gate and whistled.
Immediately the old woman flew down, took him on her back, and flew off. The youth went to the town where the beautiful maiden dwelt, and told the sunlike one the story of Gulambara and Sulambara. The maiden was very much surprised; when she had heard all, she agreed to marry him. Whatever thou hast obtained has been by my counsel, [ 48 ] therefore thou shouldst share it with me. Again the youth raised his sword. The same thing happened.
I shall overtake thee in a minute. Then the old woman turned her stone towards Ghvthisavari, who lost his strength, and became as a corpse. When he came to the king, he spoke as the serpent had instructed him. When he saw his only son and his beautiful daughter-in-law his joy was so great that his eyes filled with tears. She wishes for thy death, therefore has she sent thee hither. I will go and seek them, and perchance find out what misfortune has overtaken them.
A third time he prepared to strike, with the same result. Now whatever poison was in her is completely gone, so do not fear her in the slightest degree.