Translation:Tsar Dukljan

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Tsar Dukljan
by Anonymous, translated from Serbian by Wikisource
260679Tsar DukljanAnonymous

Tsar Dukljan

Once there was a tsar whose name was Dukljan[1]. One day while hunting by deep gullies and dense bush he saw a lake, and then quietly moved towards it so that he might hunt something down. As he leaned above the lake he saw a winged horse, and on him a winged man with heel-long golden hairs coming out of the lake. When the tsar saw them, he hid himself and started peeping to see where will and what will the man do. But as soon as he came out onto the dry land, he descended from the horse and grabbed some flute, long, curly[2] and brindled as the largest snake, and started playing it so that even from dear God one couldn't listen it, and from its sound all stones and trees started cracking. The tsar got afraid, and so he drew an arrow on this man and fiercely wounded him through both wings. The man fell from the horse and screams from pain and sorrow so that the sky could hear it, and yelled: "Pray to God, human, that you have seen me before I have seen you." Since the tsar saw that he wounded a man, he run towards him with his naked saber, but he whooshed in the lake wounded; then the tsar caught the horse, mounted him and ran away to home. But as soon as he mounted the horse, the king sprouted wings too, and the king got scared and descends from him, and taking him by the reins, led him, and while going his wings disappeared and so he came home. When he came home he told everything that happened, and the horse was led in the stable among other horses. The tsar's son when heard about the lake went one morning in hiding from his father, and by his father's telling stumbled upon the lake, but he didn't come quietly but with his bow drawn, but before he came to the lake he spotted outside of the lake a middle-aged woman with her hairs unbraided crying and looking at him, and then at the very spot he drops unconscious as if he was dead. In the moment that he toppled down, in that moment the winged horse started in the tsar's stable screaming and striking with wings so that from great noise and racket entire tsar's court started quaking. The tsar jumps to see what is with it, while the horse told to the tsar: "If you want to see your son alive, return me to the place you brought me from." The tsar got scared and just like that he mounted the naked horse, and when the horse got onto the open field, he flew like a lightning to the lake. When there, the tsar saw his son laying dead and above him the woman crying and plucking his eyes with a hair from the head. The tsar started lamenting his son and the horse screaming for the woman, until the horse shouted: "Now let's exchange the son for the son, and may his father be forgiven." Then the woman returned the eyes to the tsar's son and breathed on him, and when he came to life, she gave him to the tsar, and he gave her the horse.

(So, it is thought that the horse was a son of the woman, and the man that the tsar wounded was his father.)


  1. Pronounced dooklyan (IPA: [duklʲan]).
  2. Unclear word.

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This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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