петък, май 18, 2012

Fairy Tale Friday - The neverborn maiden

Hi dears! It's Friday again or at least it should be Friday when this comes up.
* Thank you so much for the great comments you left for the first fairy tale last week, and everything you shared. I have to say I wasn't expecting anything at all on the book and challenge related posts and I was just hoping you won't run away from my blog ;D But all the comments made me really happy, I always check them after the post is up. *squees and happy lil dances*
Now I'm going to tell you another one, that I both like and dislike. It's gathered by Ran Bosilek, another famous writer and folklorist. I translate the title as the neverborn maiden, because "unborn" def doesn't sound right here. If you know of the proper fairy tale nomenclature, please share. I went on with more describing this time, telling the tale as it should be told. If that makes too many words to read, say in the comments and for the last tale I have planned for the challenge for now I'll get back to the short version.

The Neverborn Maiden

Once upon a time, in a rich kingdom, lived a king with his son. The prince ought to get married, but from all the princesses, he couldn't pick himslef a bride. In the end, his father build in front of the castle a huge fountain - from one side it was pouring wine, from the second - oil, and from the third - honey. Then he announced that every unmarried woman in the kingdom is welcome to use it and gather as much as she wants. The prince was to watch all the girls from the kingdom that came, and pick a bride from them. One day, and old woman came to the fountain. She had no bottles, nor bowls, instead she started gathering oil, wine and honey in empty egg shells and put them in her basket. This amused the bored prince, and from the castle window he shouted "This fountain is not for the old witches like you, it was made so I can choose myself a bride, and it is very unlikely that I would marry someone like you". Then he picked a stone, threw it and broke all the egg shells in the woman's basket. Furious, she cried "I may be old and ugly, but by the kings orders as unmarried I have all the rights to gather the goods. And you shall not find your bride next to this fountain, nor in this kingdom, nor in this land. You shall merry only a maiden that has never been born". This said, the old one left the castle grounds before the prince could say anything at all.
Time passed, and as even the fairest maidens that came repulsed the prince. He realised that indeed he could fall in love only with a neverborn maiden, so he bid farewell to his father and went on a journey. In nine kingdoms, no one could even give him a hint where such girl could be found. In the end, in the tenth, an old man told him "Pass this mountain is the sun's castle. I was once told that in his garden there's a tree that hides the secret of the maidens. Go there and ask the sun to give you some of the fruit. But don't talk to him in the evening when he's tired and angry, but in the morning before he goes on his jorney" The prince reached the castle, but it was almost night already. He couldn't stand to wait more after his long journey, so he sneaked in the garden, found the magic tree and took three of its apples. Outside the garden, he cut one of them and from the inside, the most beautiful girl appeared. She asked the prince for water, but he had none, and the maiden dissappeared. Happy that he now knew the secret, the prince reached a river and cut the second apple. He gave the maiden water, but then she asked for something to eat. The prince had nothing to offer, and this girl vanished as well. Now worried, he bought some food from a shepherd passing by, and cut the last apple. The third maiden was the fairest of them all. He gave her to drink and eat and in the end she said "I had water and food from this land, now I can stay on earth and become your bride". Full with joy, the prince led her to his castle. When they were closing near, he told her "You deserve to be welcomed properly. Let my go first so I can tell my father to begin preparing the celebrations" He helped the neverborn to climb a tree, afraid that someone might steal her, as beaitiful as she was, and went to the castle. Under the tree there was a well and after some time a woman came for water, she was young, but mean and envious. She saw the reflection of the maiden in the water, but pretendind there was no one on the tree, she started complaining how heavy the bucket is. In the end the maiden went down to help her. The woman started praising her kindness and her beauty, and in the end after hearing the neverborn's story, she added "Maybe if I was to wear such beautiful clothes once in my life, I would feel pretty too" The maiden agreed to exchange clothes for a short while, but as soon as the evil woman got the dress, she pushed the maiden into the well and climbed to take her place.
When the prince came back with his father and a huge wedding party, he, naturally, couldn't recognize his bride. But the false one said to him as she knew it from the maiden "Am I not the one you took from the last apple? You left me under the sun for so long, that my sking got burnt. But you cannot turn me down now, for after tasting the food and the water of the land of the mortals, I can't go back"
The prince could say nothing, so he took her and in the castle they started preparing the wedding. The false bride to be, constantly afraid that someone may find her secret, made the castle servant to take all the water from the well and destroy it. In the well they found a gold fish that the false bride ate, thinking that this way she will finally destroy the maiden. She threw the fishbones in the garden and where they landed just in few day grew a tree, tall and proud. Whenever the false bride was in its reach, the tree beat her with its branches, tearing her clothes and skin, but when the prince was near, it caressed him with its leaves. Furious, the bride had the tree chopped down and thrown into the fire.
By the same time an old woman was passing near the castle, gathering wood and fallen branches. Some branches of the maiden's tree flew pass the castle walls and she picked them as well.
The old lady lived on her own, but every time she was out, the branch from the magic tree turned back into a neverborn maiden. The girl cleaned, cooked and worked around the house, but never showed herslef. Curious to find out who's been helping her, the old woman spied of her one day and found the secret. the same evening she said "Oh, it's so cold tonight. I better light some fire" and reached for the magic branch. Afraid, the maiden turned back into human form and the two women started living together.
Meanwhile in the castle, the final preparations were going for the wedding, but the false bride broke the precious pearl necklace the prince had given her. Unable to put it back together, she called all the women near the castle grounds, promising a huge reward. Noone was able to do such fine work, until the neverborn maiden came, with her face hidden. She promised to repair the necklace, but as a reward she asked that the prince, the king and everyone in the castle gathered to watch her work. Having no choice, the false bride agreed.
The neverborn maiden started beading the necklace and with every pearl she was telling a story "Once upon a time, there was a prince... his father built a fountain with three sides.. " and by the last pearl she had finished telling her own tragic story and showed her face. The prince recognized her as his true bride, the deciever was chased away, and the couple lived happily ever after.

Well I think by now it's pretty clear what is there to like and hate in this tale. From one side, it's an awesome magic tale. It follows quite predictable way, but it's still very interesting and I like all the magic and fairy elements.
On the other side, the prince is a total jerk, quite stupid, and with an evident need of glasses. He's rude, impatient and a show-off in the beginning of the story and didn't change much. I go back to the tale again, and can't see one moment when he proved himself useful or good for something. Beside being a prince there is nothing more, that is. I almost feel sorry for the maiden to be stuck with him.
Yup, my dragon guy is def the best :D
In the other variations of this tale I found, the old woman that cursed the prince used broken clay pots instead of egg shells and the prince broke only one of them. Other difference I found was that he waited and got to talk with the Sun who let him take only one apple, but the prince couldn't choose and so he take all the three. I think the mildest variation was where he talked to the sun's mother and she gave him the three apples. Anyway, I still think he's a jerk.
In that variation too, he uses one of the fishbones to clean his teeth. No, really. When I talked about Soulless I mentioned that sitting on the other person's hedgehog is a good sign for a future together. Using the other partner's bones to clean your teeth is not so promising.
Do you know some classic fairy tale stories, where some characters are not being threated the way they deserve, getting more or less than what they should?

This goes to : the Fairy Tale  challenge
Hosted by Tif Talks Books

Ето още една приказка за книжното предизвикателство на Тиф. Този път си избрах една приказка на Ран Босилек, която хем я харесвам, хем не - Неродена мома
Причини за нехаресване: добре де, принцът си е пълен простак. Да видим какво всъщност успява да направи той по време на цялата приказка: да виси и да зяпа през прозореца, а като му доскучее да мята камъни по възрастното население, с което просто сам си изпроси да го кълнат. Да свие на Слънцето ябълките -  вариантът на приказката от линка е малко по-милостив - той има разрешение да си избере и да вземе една, а вместо това си обира и трите. В този, който аз помня, направо си влезе с взлом в слънчовата градина и си ги отмъкна. Но въпросът е принципен. После, за да може да се изфука, заряза булката пред двореца, че да доведе сватбарите, с което даде възможност да се развият всичките останали събития, не особено приятни за неродената мома. Когато го изправят пред подмемената невеста, той се пооглежда, почесва се по брадата, казва ами хубаво, и си я прибира, сигурно с някакви блуждаещи чувства за вина. И общо взето  до края на приказката не се изявява с нищо друго, като изключим, че в горния вариант спира да си почисти зъбите с една от костите на рибата, през която форма за малко минава неродената мома.  
Като приказвах за предната книга, Без душа, споменах, че според мен сядането на таралеж е обещаващо начало на семеен живот. Да си чистиш зъбите с която и да е кост на другия партньор като цяло не е.

Общо взето много ми напомня на принц Чар от Шрек.

6 коментара:

Анонимен каза...


Thank you for that fairy tale, I really enjoyed it. Yes the prince is a jerk(:

missy-tannenbaum каза...

It is a nice story, and you told it well, but you're right, the prince is awful! There's one of the Canterbury Tales like that, where a knight is punished for violently assaulting a maiden by, in the end... getting to marry a beautiful woman. -_- I guess the Canterbury Tale is more extreme, but the neverborn maiden still deserved a guy who could remember what she looked like!

mdgtjulie каза...

What an awesome tale. I totally agree with you that the prince is a jerk. He should have recognized that she was not his bride, geesh. I wonder if the original tale tells how long they traveled to get back to the prince's kingdom...

Tif Sweeney каза...

Yet another tale that I am not completely familiar with. Thank you so much for sharing. I really enjoyed this one!

Mangogirl каза...

I've never heard that exact story but from the start I didn't like that prince. I wanted him to marry the false bride and her to live happily with the old lady!

Priscilla Howe каза...

Благодаря много за приказката! Особено ми харесва "neverborn" вместо "unborn." I'm an American storyteller and am in the process of collecting/translating Bulgarian folktales (въпреки че нямам нито една капка български кръв, била съм българофил от повече от 30 години). I wonder if you would mind if I used that phrasе, "neverborn maiden"? My version is a bit different, as I'm going farther back to the Сборник за народни умотворения, наука и книжнина and other sources. Do you know the version where the young woman is inside a cucumber?! I found it here: http://www.bookva.org/books/1520

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