Cor Hendriks – The Macaws (20): The Magic Horse | ATU 531 (2)
In the German version (of ATU 531) ‘The Key’ Hans, flying on his grey through the clouds, sees a bird, whose feathers shine like a sea of fire. ‘I wish I had that bird!’ The horse says: ‘Leave it alone!’ But Hans in his recklessness aims his key: ‘Ah, if it was only a pistol’, and ‘bang!’ And one feather falls on earth, while the bird flies off. Hans wants the feather, the grey tells him to leave it, but the boy forces it to descend and picks up the feather. Then they fly on till they reach a big city, where the horse alights in a meadow, where the boy has to take off the bridle, and when he needs the horse he has to shake it three times, and the horse will be there in the blink of an eye. The boy has to take a job in the service of the king as a stable-boy. He likes this way of living except the fact that in the evening the stable gets dark, because the king has forbidden (punishable by death) to burn lights at night. Once Hans takes in the night the feather from his bag and it shines like a sea of fire. Quickly he puts it back, but the soldiers of the king think they have seen a fire and come rushing in. The only way for Hans to save himself is by showing the feather, and in the morning they bring him before the king, who takes the feather from him and commands him to bring the bird, otherwise his head will be chopped off. He has three days to think about it, and the second day he shakes the bridle and there is the horse (‘I told you so!’), that tells him to ask the king for three ships, one with all kinds of cattle, one with grains and beans, and one with meat and bread. With these Hans sails away and comes (after half a year) along a sandbank, where he puts a big carp back in the water (if he needs him, he has to come there and shout: ‘Carp, the three kings!’). Then (after three months) they come to an island, where giants fights with each other for the last ox, and Hans gives them the ship with cattle and also that with grains because a storm-flood has destroyed their harvest (shout: ‘Giants, the three kings!’). Then (after three months) Hans comes to an island, where he sees an unprotected nest of a stork and builds a roof over it against the thunderstorm with big hailstones, that breaks out shortly after that. Then (after several weeks) Hans comes to mainland and sees the castle, of which the horse has told: ‘In the bedroom of the princess on a table there are two cages; put the bird in the iron cage, not in the golden, because that will be your misfortune!’ The gate is locked, but the key lets it jump open, and inside he passes through more and more beautiful rooms until he arrives in the bedroom of the princess, where Hans puts the bird in the iron cage and comes back to the ship without problems. After a year they are back in the palace of the old king, who sends him two days later to fetch the princess. They go with a ship full of victuals and a hundred trumpeters. With fifty of them he goes to the palace and gives a serenade under the window of the princess, who comes outside and is lured by Hans to the ship, where the other trumpeters are [playing]. Only when the ship is far out at sea she discovers, that she is abducted and throws in anger her key-chain in sea. Arrived at the king she only wants to marry when her (much bigger) castle is put next to that of the king (on the mountain) and of course Hans has to take care of that. The three giants do that: they give Hans an iron ring (from the finger of a giant), that he has to turn round on the spot on the mountain where the palace must come, and the castle will be there. But then the princess wants her key-chain, and Hans goes (everything on the advice of the horse) to the carp, who with his flute summons all the fishes, and as very last one there arrives a big pike, late because of the key-chain (as reward he receives a cross under his bones). Still the princess is reluctant to marry and demands ‘for ‘water of life’, ‘water of beauty’, and ‘water of death’; again Hans has to do this and he goes to the island of the stork. The blue storks give him the first two, and then conquer from the white storks the ‘water of death’. As soon as the princess has the three bottles she stabs Hans to death [instead of killing him with the ‘water of death’], makes him beautiful with the ‘water of beauty’ and revives him with the ‘water of life’. When the king sees how beautiful Hans has become, he wants that too, and the princess stabs him, but pours instead of ‘water of life’ ‘water of death’, and the king remains dead. Then Hans marries the princess, and the horse (after killing and reviving with the waters of beauty and life) turns out to be a wonderful princess (that marries the youngest brother of Hans, instead of with Hans as second wife) [Weinkauff 1988, 229-250 (coll. Jahn 1891, from Pomerania and Rügen)].
These ‘waters’ are also present in a (strange) Indonesian (Dutch Indian) version about a prince, who has an appointment with the princess, but when she arrives at midnight, his slave is not able to awake him, so the princess leaves [cf. ATU 400 III (i)]. When the prince awakes, he kills in his anger the slave, who immediately becomes a talking horse, on which the prince goes to the princess. On the way the horse wants to take a side-way, but the prince goes straight on and meets two man fighting over a goat-skin. He takes away the goat-skin. Again the horse wants to take a side-way, but continuing they come to two speaking sources; ‘death’, says one, ‘life’, says the other. The prince fills two bottles. Once more passing a side-way they come to two men fighting over a bird-feather, that lets food and valuables appear, and that the prince also takes. He is happy, but the horse warns him: he will rue it. They come to a king, where the prince vaunts that he can bring a man [the text says ‘horse’, but that is a mistake] back to life. The king gives a slave at his disposal and the prince kills him with ‘water of death’ and brings him back to life with the ‘water of life’. Then he waves with the feather and everywhere there are standing wonderful dishes and the most beautiful objects [these are the golden saucers from the story of Aladdin, etc.]. But then the prince is ordered by the king to go and get the bird (and more of those ‘waters’) and totally distraught he comes to his horse (‘I told you so!’), that advises him to go and sit on the goat-skin, with which he can fly higher than the birds and capture even five of them (+ five bottles of water). The king turns out to be the father of the princess and he may marry her and take her away to his country, where he kills the horse, sprinkles it with ‘water of life’, and the slave is back again [Vries 1964, 99-101 (from Rotti)].
Another strange way of getting the magic horse can be seen in a Tuscan version, collected in Pietrasanta in the Gulf of Spezia (before 1880). The hero, Giovanni, out shooting, gets lost, sees a light, comes to a beautiful palace, where no one answers the door, so he climbs up via a pear-tree to the roof, gets inside, where a table stands ready and food appears at his command. A voice tells him he can liberate them, three king’s daughters, by having himself cut into pieces in 3 consecutive nights [cf. ATU 400; infra]. He does this, each morning revived by the girls, and after three nights the girls appear to him, and he wants to marry one of them, but instead they give him a black horse. On it he comes to the court of a king, comes in his favor, and jealous servants say to the king that Giovanni has vaunted to be able to remove the hill in front of the palace in one night [cf. ‘The Golden Bird’]. Giovanni is ordered by the king to do this on pain of death. The horse commands him to request from the king 100 scudi, a barrel of wine and a beautiful cloth; the horse drinks the wine. Giovanni mounts it and the whole night they ride up and down the hill, that with every step sinks into the ground, until the hill is gone. The king loves Giovanni even more and now the servants accuse him to have vaunted to be able to bring the beloved of the king (who hates him) from an island in the middle of the sea. Anew Giovanni is ordered to bring her on pain of death. Giovanni asks the king for the same things, the horse drinks the wine, Giovanni puts on the cloth and mounts the horse, that jumps over the sea to the island. The father of the princess, then she herself try the horse, and Giovanni jumps behind her and the horse jumps back over the sea with the princess, who drops her diamond ring in the sea. Giovanni has to go get it. The horse commands him to ask the king for a (hand)mirror. At sea he calls the siren, who dives up the ring in exchange for the mirror. Still the princess refuses to marry the king, unless Giovanni steps into a cauldron with boiling oil. The king despairs, Giovanni tells it the horse and it says him to kill it and smear himself with its blood. Giovanni refuses, the horse stabs itself, becomes a beautiful girl. Giovanni wishes to marry her, she refuses and goes to join her three sisters in the palace. Giovanni smears himself with the blood, steps into the cauldron. The king sends a servant to go and see if he is dead, and he reports that he sits singing in the cauldron. The king claims the princess, she tells him to go in the cauldron, he does it thinking to be as safe as Giovanni, burns and dies. The princess marries Giovanni, who becomes the new king [FLJ 3, 370f after G. Apperson, Tuscan Fairy Tales, London 1880, 75-92 nº8].
A version that combines a lot of themes known from European versions has been collected from the Mexican Indians, and is called ‘The Horse with the seven Colors’. First there is the night-watch on the field, because at night a horse eats from the wheat. The two elder brothers fall asleep and are chased from home by their father. The youngest, Juan del Dedo (Tom Thumb), keeps himself awake in a rocking chair that he lines with needles, that sting him when he moves. The horse comes up to him, and asks: ‘How are you doing today, Juan?’ – ‘Ah, it is you, sorry excuse for a horse! It is your fault my father has chased both my brothers away.’ The horse lets itself be caught and promises him money and bread, when he doesn’t hurt it; and it gives him a small bag with money and turned some ears into bread (semita) to give to his parents. They praise him, but he takes leave of them. The horse asks what his plan is. To seek his brothers. The horse advises against it, but if he is in trouble he can always call it, and it gives him a magic tablecloth and a wand. After a month he has found his brothers; they see him coming; the oldest sends him into the dangerous well, and they lower him with a rope (made of pieces of cloth they wear around their body). After they have drunk, they chop the rope. Tom Thumb thinks a while, then calls his ‘Little horse with the seven colors’ (first time it is called like this). The horse comes, blames him for not listening, and lowers its tail in the pit and pulls him out [cf. the fox in KHM 57: ‘The Golden Bird’]. Juan wants to go again after his brothers. The horse tells him what will happen: They will send him to get food, light a fire and throw him in it. This is indeed what happens, but the horse comes and saves him from the fire. Again Juan goes after his brothers, who begin to suspect that there is something with him, but take him to an old woman near the palace of a king, and give her in exchange for night-quarters the finger-sized Juan as present. She tells them that the king gives his daughter in marriage to anyone who can hit her on the chest with a golden apple, while she sits on a [high] platform. The brothers go that evening to have a look and Juan del Dedo has to stay home. When they come back around 11, they tell that there were a lot of men throwing shiny apples, but none hit her. They saw also a beautiful horse there. The next evening the elder brothers go again into town. The little one asks his ‘grandmother’ to let him go too, and he is allowed as long as his brothers won’t see him. When he is there, the horse comes and asks if he wants to have the princess. But she is surrounded by four policemen ready to arrest anyone who hit her. The horse tells him to have no fear: ‘Climb on my back, bend over my neck and turn the little hook next to my ear. Then we will fly over the crowd and the policemen.’ [cf. infra ‘Wooden Horse’] ‘Okay,’ says Juan. And the story goes very fast, and continues when he is already back at the old woman, whom he asks for a cloth for presents, fruits and sweets [from the tablecloth]. She asks how he came to them. ‘Ah, granny, you should have seen how many friendships I made. They all gave me something, more than I could eat.’ She thanks him and tells him to go to bed before the brothers come home. The brothers tell the old woman about the beautiful horse they saw and the boy that suddenly jumped on this horse with the seven different colors. He had three shiny apples and hit the princess three times. But neither the police nor someone else could prevent that he disappeared with the horse. Juan has come out of bed and steps into the room. ‘Maybe it was me?’ he says, smiling [cf. Russian version]. And bang, he gets a box on the ear [from the oldest brother]. Weeping he goes to bed. The next morning the old woman reproaches him for his action. In the evening the brothers go again to the square. Juan goes later, the horse comes to him: ‘What would you say, Juan?’ – ‘Hombre, the princess is a very beautiful girl. And she will marry anyone who fulfils the assignment.’ He had asked the magic cloth for a nice suit and tie and other stuff, like golden apples and a gilded saddle, and a hat. His brothers don’t recognize him. He advances to the platform, throws the apples and hits (of course because the many-colored horse helped him). This time the horse lets them catch him. He says: ‘They may catch me, but see to it that they don’t lock me in a stable. Tell them that you have to take care of it, because it won’t let someone else touch it. I go away now. Think about it that I am not far away.’ Meanwhile the elder brothers come home, but only discover in the morning that Juan has disappeared. A month later he shows himself with the princess on the balcony. All this time they haven’t left the room and made love to each other. Now they show themselves to the crowd, and the elders brothers are also there and recognize their little brother. ‘Our little brother is seeking it in higher places. There must be something in it for us. In the future he becomes king; we have to prevent that,’ says the oldest. But the second says that he is no match for him, which angers the oldest. The next day they go to the palace, and the oldest speaks to the king, who comes personally to open the door. ‘Majesty, I have come because your son-in-law has assured me that he can bring back the lapdogs you’ve played with as a child.’ Juan is summoned, but has never said such a thing. The king swears and gives Juan three days to bring the dogs or else he will lose his life. Juan is worried, as well as the princess. He think the horse will have no appetite for helping him [because he has neglected it for a month and had it closed up in the stable], but still he goes to the stables and the horse comes running to him, asking why he is so sad. He tells what the brothers have come up with. The well-known ‘I told you so!’ of the horse, who advises him to take his guitar with him and a large round bread. They go to the coast, where Juan must sit down, playing guitar; a whale comes that he feeds with pieces of the bread. It has a chest with the dogs in his belly. The horse is hidden, while the whale comes closer. At a certain moment the horse gives Juan the signal to cut open the belly; afterwards the horse fills it with sand, sows it up, and throws the whale back. They bring the dogs to the king, but the horse warns that this will not be the end of the problems. The king is very happy. A month or so goes by, then the elder brothers come again to the palace and tell the king that Juan has claimed to be able to catch the green bird that lives close to the sea. Again Juan gets three days. The horse already comes running; he knows it all and takes him to the coast. ‘Yonder live a Negro and a giant. When the Negro has his eyes closed he sleeps, with the giant it is the other way around. There are all kind of cages; you must take the most miserable bird in the oldest cage.’ Most cages are of pure gold, but he takes the oldest, most unlikely cage and brings it to the horse, who then turns into a prince, saying, that Juan has to explain to the king the role of his brothers, because his magic and help have come to an end. Juan is finally convinced and goes to the king, where the brothers try to deny everything, but in vain, and the king orders them locked up in a house with the cellar full of gunpowder, and then blown to pieces. (Juan asks permission to search for their bones.) Juan and the prince who had been a horse, and the princess then go to visit Juan’s parents. They are very old and ask about his brothers. Advised by the prince Juan says: ‘They went this way, and I went that way.’ The old folks don’t want to move, so they build a mansion for them, and then they go back to the land of the princess [where Juan of course becomes king]. [Hetmann 1994, 75-86 (nº7). Recorded by Joel Gomez in La Encantada, Texas, April 1968.]
The story has also been collected in the Philippines and is of Portuguese or Spanish descent, seeing that the hero is called Juan. He is the son of a widow, living with his mother in the woods. One day he goes out to find work with the king. At the palace he sees the guard in a beautiful uniform, thinks he is the king, greets him with a deep bow. The guard sends him on, and he comes to another guard, even more beautiful dressed; again Juan makes a deep bow. Finally he arrives at the king, kneels deep, kisses his right hand. The king asks what he wants, and sends him to his pigs. Juan works good, the pigs become fat. The king is delighted, asks if he wants to study, and gives him a teacher. The lessons start right away and after a month the teacher has nothing to teach, and Juan receives a second one, and a month later a third one, who is also finished in a month. The counselors of the king become jealous, say: ‘What is it with this new guy, who has all the privileges? He has even had three teachers! He must be eliminated!’ They forge a letter, imitating Juan’s handwriting, in which he says to have seen a kabayon bintoragem (flying horse [Port. Cavalo; Sp. Caballo]). The king reads the letter, summons Juan, and orders him to bring him the flying horse on pain of death. Juan says: ‘I’ll do my best’, goes to his mother, gives her money and provisions, and leaves on good luck. In the night he sees a light. An old man, living in a hut, invites him for diner. The pan with rice is not emptied although Juan eats for four. The old man gives him a red handkerchief. The next morning Juan leaves, wanders a week, finally lays himself down to sleep under a tree, hears very soft calling for help: a big red ant is caught between two branches. Juan sets him free. Then he hears other cries: a nest of birds is being attacked by a serpent. Juan chases away the serpent, and the mother-bird promises to help him one day. Juan travels all day, comes to the beach. A fish on dry land is crying; Juan puts it back in the water [cf. ATU 554]. Finally Juan reaches the seventh mountain, sees a beautiful flying horse, waves the red handkerchief; the horse comes flying to him. He mounts it, flies to the palace. The people, the king are exited, the counselors are embarrassed. They come up with another forged letter in which Juan is supposed to have seen a magic bird that with its shit can turn people to stone. The king orders Juan to bring him this bird within a month and gives him the flying horse. The boy goes again to the old man in the hut, who tells him that the bird roosts on the seventh mountain. Juan catches the bird that has the power to put people to sleep with its singing [Juan must have had plugs in his ears like Odysseus with the Sirens] and brings it to the king. The bird puts the counselors to sleep for three days and nights, but then they forge another letter in which Juan claims to know the reyna ed paosy na dayat (queen [Sp. reina; Port. rainha] of the bottom of the seas), and the king orders Juan to bring her to him on pain of death. So Juan leaves again on his flying horse, goes to the man in the hut. The horse brings him on a balcony in the middle of the sea and says: ‘Here lives the queen; but she wants me.’ Juan can understand that. The queen likes the horse and asks if she can mount it. Juan agrees, lets her play with the horse, jumps in front of her, and brings her to the king. ‘I want to marry you,’ says the king. ‘I don’t want to! I want to return to my realm!’ says the queen, who can’t stop weeping. Weeks go by. Finally the queen says: ‘I will marry you on condition that you bring me back my hairbrush that has fallen into the wood.’ The king commands Juan to bring the brush. Juan leaves, meets his friend the red ant. The friends of the ant appear, carrying the brush. Juan brings it to the king, who gives it to the queen, who now wants her ring that she has dropped into the sea. Juan leaves and meets his friend the fish. His colleagues come, carrying the queen’s ring. But now the queen wants a bottle of heaven-water and a bottle of hell-water. Again Juan is sent out, meets his friend the bird, who brings him the bottles, each tied under a wing: the heavenly water on the right, the water of hell under the left. From exhaustion the bird drops dead at Juan’s feet [an excellent opportunity to test the water, but not used]. The queen has a last condition; she takes a saber and a tray. The king has to lie down on the tray, and she puts the saber to his neck. The king shouts: ‘I don’t want to die!’ Then the queen calls Juan, lays him down [on the tray], puts the saber to his neck, chops him to pieces. Then she pours over him the heavenly water, and Juan revives, more beautiful than before. The surprised king declares then that he also wants to be chopped to pieces. The queen chops him up, pours over him the water of hell, the pieces come together and an ox appears. The queen puts the ox to work and marries Juan. They live happy, with the mother of Juan. [Coyaut & Potet 1986, 95f nº100: ‘Le roi qui devient boeuf’ (= ACF 1969, 115-126).]
A hair plays the role of the feather in a version (of ATU 531) from Lebanon, summarized by Nowak. A wealthy merchant gives before his death his son Hasan the keys to his riches, allows 39 rooms to be opened, but not the 40th. The 39 rooms are filled with riches, in the 40th room Hasan finds a golden hair of a woman. The king and vizier have watched him from a window [alerted by a flashlight from the hair] and demand the hair from him. He wants to flee with the hair on a foal, but the foal, an enchanted king of the genies, advises him to bring the hair to the king, who commands Hasan to bring him the woman of the hair. The foal advises him to have a ship equipped at the expense of the vizier, and gives him travel directions. He brings the girl, but the girl wants Hasan to bring the ring she has dropped in the sea. With the help of the foal he finds the ring. She demands a room from the castle of her father. Hasan brings also this with the help of the foal and paid by the vizier. The girl doesn’t want to show herself to the king before Hasan is burnt. The foal helps him to stay unharmed in the fire. When the king and the vizier undertake the same fire-test [because Hasan has become more beautiful and younger], they burn. The girl marries Hasan and they reign together. The foal turns into a beautiful young man who offers his help in case of need [Nowak 1969, 181f type 176: ‘Der kluge Kaufmannsohn’, based on 1. Lebanon: Bustânî, Hihâyât, 185-192; 2. Iraq: Meisner, Neuarabischen Geschichten, 123-126].
In a Bohemian version the hero finds a ‘Gold-feather, Gold-horseshoe, and Gold-hair’ as the story is called. The story starts with a version of ATU 1119: The Ogre Kills his Own Children. A farmer goes looking for 12 sisters as wives for his 12 sons, finds them and sends his 11 eldest sons to them. The youngest, the mute Thomas, stays at home. A horse comes, tells him to speed after his brothers. Thomas can talk, catches up with his brothers and comes with them in the castle of the witch with 12 daughters with whom the brothers sleep. On advice of his horse Thomas switches the girls’ head-shawls for the boys’ caps. The witch kills in the night her daughters, the brothers flee. Thomas finds on the way a golden hair, feather and horseshoe, takes them with him against the advice of the horse. The brothers go in the service of a king who favors the youngest, and the jealous elder brothers see Thomas light his room with the horseshoe and advise the king to send Thomas for the horse with golden shoes. Thomas rides to the witch [cf. ATU 328] and has to take (advice from horse) the worse horse tethered with ordinary threads, but he takes the valuable bridle [cf. ATU 550]; it is attached with [iron] strings to the wall; they resound [like Jack’s harp, etc.]. Thomas flees and is scolded by his horse and send to the king to require from him a golden bridle. With it they return to the castle of the witch and put at the crossroad: at 11 o’clock at night the mangy horse will come out of the stable that he has to catch with the golden bridle. He brings the horse to the king. Then he is send for the golden bird [display of the feather, jealous brothers], drives three days to the castle of the witch, the horse sends him through the third gate and three doors into the third room, where beautiful cages with wonderful birds are hanging, but he has to take a miserable bird in the worst cage, takes a beautiful one and the strings sound. Thomas flees, has to go ask the king for a golden cage, etc. Then he is send for the gold-haired princess. On advice of the horse he requires from the king a copper, silver and golden net with a firm bag and rides to the castle of the witch. In the water [around the castle?] he catches with the copper net a lobster, the Sea-King, puts him back, with the silver net a frog, the Sea-Queen, puts her back, with the golden net a lizard, the daughter of the Sea-King, that he puts in the bag. The horse commands him to hold the bag tight and to close his eyes. But he looks anyway, sees in the bag a dragon and drops the bag in the water. The horse sends him to the king to get a firmer bag. They return and this time Thomas holds the captured lizard tightly. As soon as they cross the border around the witch’s castle, the lizard changes into a gold-haired princess who promises Thomas her hand. She demands the king to gild his hair with boiling milk. The king demands this first of Thomas. Thomas dives in the kettle, has gold hair [cf. ‘Goldener’] and is as beautiful as the day. The king goes in the kettle and gets boiled. The princess marries Thomas, who beheads on request the horse that changes into the brother of the princess [Tille 1921, 165-167 §5Aa2, version Popelkova 8; also ID., 167f, versions Miksícek 1847.1 & Peck 1884. With magical obstacle flight: ID., 168f, version Popelka (115) = Popelka 1883.7] [Cf. Medea makes first a kettle for Aison who becomes young and beautiful, then one for Pelias the king, who gets killed, whereupon Aison aka Jason becomes king. Cf. E. Maaß, ‘Äschylus und Aristophanes’, in: NJb.f.cl.Altertum 16, 1913, 632: entweder wurde Äson durch einen Trank oder durch ein Bad verjüngt. Die Entscheidung liegt in den Scholien zu Aristophanes. Die Komiker läßt den Demos hinter der Bühne durch den Wurstmacher abkochen. ‘Das ist gut so’, sagt der Scoliast, ‘denn der Wurstmacher ist kochkundig. So hat’s ja auch Medea nach der Überlieferung gemacht. Nach Äschylus verjüngte sie nämlich im Kochkessel die Pflegerinnen des Dionysos nebst ihren Männern, nach den Nosten sogar Äson, nach Pherekydes und Simonides den Iason.’ Daß Iasons Verjüngung durch Aufkochen erfolgte, weiß die Parallelstelle der Medea-Hypothesis. Dem Scholiasten kommt es aber auf die Gleichheit der Zauberprozedur an. Zwei von drei vergleichenden Wundern der ‘εψάνδρα’ ([men-boiler (?)] so heist Medea einmal) sind Wunder durch Jungkochen. Dann muß auch für den Äson der Nosten ein solches Wunder angenommen werden. Natürlich ist möglich, daß anderswo auch irgendeine andere Verjüngungskur für Äson bekannt war. Für Iason war sie es: auf dem (…) etruskischen Spiegel nimmt er in Athenas Gegenwart aus Medeas Händen den Trank].
The same beginning with ATU 1119 are the Bohemian stories grouped by Tille as ‘Birds, Wine, Wild’. A king has seven sons; six go out into the world, while the sick seventh stays home. He is healed by an old man, who sends him to a pear-tree in the suburb, where a grey-horse is awaiting him. He overtakes the brothers, visits with them the seven daughters of a witch. On advice of the horse he switches the sleeping place of the boys and girls, and in the night the witch chops off the heads of her daughters. The brothers flee, go into the service of a king, who favors the youngest. The jealous elder brothers advise the king, who has no birds in his realm, to sent the youngest to the witch in whose castle are in the 1st room silver, in the second golden, and in the third diamond birds. In the fourth room is an ordinary bird in an ordinary cage, that the boy must get. He obeys, releases the bird and in the morning the kingdom is full of birds. By comparable ways the youngest brings wild animals (by getting the dog of the witch). Finally he goes to the witch for wine, descends in the night in the cellar, pulling a 300 meter long rope with him. He has to take the smallest cask, but touches by accident another cask next to it, and the witch awakes. The horse pulls him out of the cellar with the rope, the witch pursues in vain. The brothers advise the king to send the youngest for the princess of the golden Sea-Castle. The prince helps on the way a fish, feeds three hungry giants and an eagle. The giants build a street for him over the sea [cf. Rama Bridge], he brings the king the princess, who wants her castle, which is done by the giants. Then she wants Water of Death, of Life, and of Beauty from her island. The prince rides over the street of the giants to the island, is too late in going back, and the street is washed over and the prince drowns; his horse flies home and positions itself under the pear-tree. The eagle brings the prince on the island, makes him alive with Water of Life. The prince takes water from all 3 wells and is brought back to the pear-tree by the brother of the eagle (who can’t leave her young). The prince hears about the death of his father and the approaching marriage of the princess with the old king. The princess tries to rejuvenate the king, switches the bottles, uses two times Water of Death. The king remains dead, the brothers accuse the youngest of murder, are burnt. The princess marries the youngest; the horse is as requested decapitated, a dove flies up to heaven [Tille 1921, 163 §5Aa1, version Rad. 17] .
In a second version 11 of the 12 sons of a count serve as hussars. The youngest meets after the death of his parents an old man, who turns himself into a grey-horse to serve the youngest. He rides into the world, helps on the way a carp, meets the brothers in an inn and goes with them to the witch with 12 daughters. They receive from the witch a sleeping draught, but the youngest switches (on advice of the horse) the glasses. The brothers flee, come to a count without wild animals. The youngest rides to the witch, steals from many birds the one in the worst cage, is in vain pursued by the witch in the shape of a mist-cloud. In the morning the count’s zoo is crawling with wild animals. He also has no wine, the youngest steals the worst cask, she pursues him in vain as a fire-ball. The count wants to marry, the youngest gets from a cave on the Red Sea beach a black princess, who wants her ring that has dropped in the sea; is found by the grateful carp. Then she wants Waters of Beauty, of Life, and of Death. The grey-horse takes the youngest to the Black Sea beach at a pillar with three holes, from where the three waters stream. The princess sprinkles the brothers and the count with Water of Beauty and of Death, revives the brothers with Water of Life, leaving nothing for the count. The princess marries the youngest [Tille 1921, 164 §5Aa1, version Václavek/Soukal II.5]. The stealing from the witch is of course the same as in ATU 328 (supra), which has often the same combination with ATU 1119.