Albanian folktales and legends by Robert Elsie

By Robert Elsie

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The two parts of the bridge then rose and joined to make one bridge. The Stirrup Moor walked onto the bridge and crossed over. The others said the same thing and they too were able to cross to the other side. Finally they reached the place where the daughter of the king of the jinns was living and entered the house of an old woman to spend the night. There they heard music, gun salutes, songs and dances as if a marriage were being celebrated in town and asked the old woman if someone was getting married.

The king rode home and told his daughter that she was to be married. He was quite sure that someone from the palace behind the moat had freed his horse and therefore took his daughter there. The maiden entered the palace and waited a moment in the hall. A horrible Moor came out, opening a large door. And what did the poor girl see through the door but a skull! She went in trembling feverishly and the Moor said to her, “This is your husband. ” The poor maiden was in the depths of despair and began to weep.

Then the youth sprinkled water over the sheep and they came back to life. The shepherd took the youth home, gave him something to eat, made some fine clothes and presented them to him. The youth then returned to his father who was in a very sad way because the Stirrup Moor had killed all his soldiers and because he hadn’t gained the wives. The youth asked the king what was wrong and why he looked so despondent. The king replied, “What do I have left, shepherd? ” “I agree,” said the king. The youth then went across to the Stirrup Moor’s palace.

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