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I got a book of folk tales from around Europe that I've been reading, and I decided I'd start doing some translating because I haven't been doing language things much recently. I haven't heard of most of these before (although some are definitely just different versions of folk tales I'd already heard), so hopefully people find these interesting. Formatting is kind of strange on account of it being difficult to tab stuff, but hopefully spacing with an extra line isn't too obnoxious

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The story of the halved rooster

 

In a village on the coast of the sea, a poor fisher lived with his two children, Jannekn and Mieken. When he died, for he was very old, the children stood totally alone in the world; they had no relatives. When they had buried their father, they went to divide their inheritance. It was not very much at all, only two hens and a rooster, and that was it. Each got a hen, but how should they divide the rooster between them?

 

“We should cut the rooster in two, each will get a half” said Mieken.

 

And they did so. Janneken got the half with the head, and Mieken the half with the tail.

 

Mieken plucked his portion, put it in a pot and enjoyed a good tasting meal.

 

Janneken's godmother however was a witch, and she suddenly appeared through the chimney of the hut and said to her godchild;

 

“Don't put your half-rooster in the pot. I will enchant it, and it will do for you whatever you want”

 

The witch took her magic wand and waved it over the half-rooster and chanted all sorts of magic words, and then disappeared into the fireplace.

 

“This is good and well,” said Janneken to Mieken, “but what should we do with the half-rooster?”

 

Mieken, who was very clever, said, “if we had money, we can do anything. We should send the half-rooster into the castle of our lord Van Bruinkasteel, and it should bring back three sacks of gold.

 

So the half-rooster started on its way.

 

Along the way, the half-rooster met two thieves. They asked, astonished, “where are you going?”

 

“Into the castle of the lord Van Bruinkasteel”

 

“May we join you?”

 

“Yes, yes, just creep underneath my feathers”

 

And so it went, the two thieves hidden under the half-rooster's feathers.

 

In a short weil, the half-rooster met two foxes. They asked him, totally astonished; “half-rooster, where are you going?”

 

“To the castle of the lord Van Bruinkasteel”

 

“May we join you?”

 

“Yes, yes, just hide yourselves under my feathers”

 

And the foxes did so.

 

After a time, the half-rooster came to a great body of water. It asked the same question of the rooster, and wanted to go with. The half-rooster had nothing against it, and so the water disappeared under its plumage.

 

Then the half-rooster arrived at the castle. He knocked on the door and said to the servant who answered him; “Tell your lord to give me three sacks of gold.”

 

The servant brought the request to his lord, but the lord instead had the half-rooster placed in the chickencoop with the other chickens.

 

When the night came, the half-rooster said to the two foxes “now, eat the chickens all up”

 

The two foxes did so gladly. When the servant came the next morning and saw what had happened he returned to tell his lord what had happened.

 

“Lock the half-rooster in the horse stalls”

 

The servant did so. In the night however, the half-rooster called the two thieves, who swung up onto the two best horses and rode away. The servant had hidden himself in the stalls and had seen everything. He told his lord, who ordered him to put the half-rooster into a glowing oven.

 

But the half-rooster had only just been put into the oven when the water stormed out from underneath its feathers, and in the blink of an eye the fire was cold.

 

Then the lord Van Bruinkasteel said “Give the cursed animal whatever it wants, or else it will ruin me and my whole house”, and the half-rooster was given the three sacks of gold, and began to return home. Janneken and Mieken were now very rich and lived happily and without worries for many, many years, and they cherished and cared for the half-rooster for the rest of their lives.

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The Gray Who Gave Wisdom


Once upon a time there was a rich man who had three sons. He owned a large mill, a rich farm, and a gray horse. About the gray though, it was said that it could see the future, and speak with a human voice. When the rich man died, his oldest son inherited the mill, the second the farm, and the third the gray. The oldest became a miller, the second a farmer, and the third decided to roam the wide world on his horse.
For a long time he rode around the world. One day he came upon a large mountain range. Along the side of the road he saw a feather. It was purple with tips of pure silver. 
“I'll take this feather and put it in my hat,” said the youth, but the gray with the human voice spoke to him:
“Heed my advice, don't take this feather from the ground!”
“I don't know why I should leave this feather alone, but I'll follow your advice,” said the youth. He rode further into the mountains, and there again on the edge of the road he saw a feather. This one was silver with tips of pure gold. 
“I will take this feather!” said the youth, but again the gray spoke:
“Heed my words, do not pick this feather from the ground!”
“Again I don't know why I should not pick up this feather, but I'll listen to you again,” said the youth. He rode further along the way, and he came before the gate of a great city. He saw there along the edge of the road yet another feather. This one was of pure gold, with tips of diamond.
“I will pick up this feather,” said the youth, and once again the gray spoke
“Listen to my advice, do not pick this feather from the ground!”
But the youth answered “twice I have heeded your advice, but this golden feather is so lordly that it would be unthinkable that I shouldn't take it!”
He climbed off the horse, picked up the feather, and stuck it in his hat. He then rode through the gate of the city. He had only just ridden through the gates when the inhabitants of the city saw the feather and began to call 
“Vivat! Cheers! Our new king lives!”
The lead him to the castle and spoke
“Our king has died, the sign that we should pick our new king was that 'whoever rides through the gate with the golden feather is the chosen.”
He was shortly crowned and married to the daughter of the old king, and lived blessedly for a long time. One day he went to the king's stalls, and when he came to the gray, he remembered the feathers, and he spoke 
“Why did you tell me not to take the third feather? It has been my greatest fortune.”
“If you had taken the first feather you would have become a count, if you had taken the second feather you would have become a duke, but if you had left the third feather, then you would have seen a feather lying at the top of the mountains. This one was made of pure diamond, and I would have said to you, 'take this feather from the ground. You will become a powerful emperor, the most powerful lord in the world, and in your kingdom the sun will never set.'”
The young king thought for a moment, then spoke;
“Would it have really been fortunate for me to be the strongest lord in the world, if the sun would never set in my kingdom? The day can't be without the night.”
The young king returned to the castle and his queen, and lived with her and the gray, happy and satisfied to the end of their days.

(From Holland)

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I'm on my phone but I can suggest some tales to read.  These are pretty old, some going back to Kievan times.  There is a compendium of a bunch of Slavic folk tales, including these, but I forgot that is is called. 
 

Dobrynya Nikitich and the Dragon            
Vasilisa the Beautiful            
The Firebird and Princess Vasilisa
Finist the Falcon
Tsarevitch Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf
The Bold Knight, the Apples of Youth, and the Water of Life

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