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The Story of Harap-Alb

"Once upon a time there lived a King who had three sons. And that King had an elder brother who was emperor in another country, a far-away one. And the name of the Emperor, that is the King's brother, was the Green Emperor; and the Green Emperor had no sons, but only girls. Many years have passed since the two brothers last met. And the cousins, that is the King's sons and the Emperor's daughters, have never seen each other. Thus, it happened that neither the King knew his nieces nor did the Emperor know his nephews, as the country where the King lived was at one of the Earth's ends, and the country where the king lived was at the other end.

But let's not get away from our story, and start telling it.

Now, the Emperor, being close to his death, wrote to his brother, the King, and told him to send his most ingenious to make King after his death. Hearing this, the Emperor called his sons and told them:

' This is what your uncle wrote. Which one of you thinks he is worthy of ruling such a large and rich country has my permission to go, so that I fulfill your uncle's wish.'

Hearing this, the older one from the three sons says:

' Father, I believe I am entitled to go, as I am the oldest one from your sons; so please give me money and clothes for the journey, weapons and horses and I shall be on my way."

Translated from Creangă, Ion (1983). Povestea lui Harap-Alb. Bucuresti: Albatros 

All texts translated by © Gustav Demeter