Page:The Grateful Dead.djvu/74

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
58
The Grateful Dead.

of the actual division. As so often, it is not stated that the companion made a share of the gains a condition of his help.

Bulgarian is in some respects very primitive, though fragmentary. A father sends his son out into the world to gain experience. The youth is joined by an archangel, who promises him assistance on condition that he will pay their joint expenses and will be obedient. The companion kills a negro and a serpent, and goes with the hero into their den, where the adventurers find, but leave, great treasure. They come to a city where the king's daughter has been thrice married, each time only to have her bridegroom die on the wedding night. Now she is to be given to any man who can live with her one night; and many wooers have died in the attempt. The youth offers himself as a suitor, and is saved by the archangel, who draws a serpent out of the woman. Later he helps the hero to get the wealth previously found in the cave, and demands the division of everything, even the wife. When he cuts her in two, many little snakes fall out of her body. He then unites her, and gives the hero all the riches they have obtained.

The burial of the dead has entirely disappeared, as will be observed, though the other traits of the story show that we must regard it as of the type now under consideration. The appearance of the archangel as companion, and the plunder which they take by the way, suggest the influence of Tobit, which indeed appears as a folk-tale in the same collection.[1] The conditions made by the angel are only slightly altered from the normal form, while every other feature is found intact, even to the actual division of the woman.

Esthonian II. has altogether lost the essential features of our theme; and it has besides put in several traits from a märchen, which, as we shall soon see, is joined

  1. See p. 47, note, above.