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Georgian Folk Tales, by Marjory Wardrop [1894], at


The Priest's youngest Son

THERE was once a priest who had three sons. On the day of his death, the priest said to his sons: 'When I die, let each of you read the psalter over me for one night.' But the elder sons did not do as their father had bidden them, only the youngest read the psalter over him. That night his father appeared, and gave him a horse. Next night he again read the psalter over his father in his brothers' place. His father again appeared, and gave him another horse, which he resolved to give to his younger

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brother. On the third night he again read the psalter. His father brought him a third horse, gave the young man his blessing, and departed.

At that time, a princess was to be married to any man whose horse could jump up to the castle, so that its rider could kiss that maiden-queen. Many princes came to woo, but none of their horses could leap up to the castle. Then the priest's youngest son mounted the horse his father had given him, and rode up to the royal palace; he struck the horse with his switch, and made it jump, but it could only go one third of the way up to the castle. Next day he mounted another horse, and made it jump, it went two thirds of the height of the castle. The third day he came on the third horse, and made it jump; it jumped right up to the top of the castle; the youth kissed the princess, and they married him to her. After this the priest's son went home.

At this time the queen, his mother-in-law, fell ill; she sent for her son-in-law, and said to him: 'Between the white sea and the black sea there feeds a doe, they tell me that its milk will do me good; if thou canst get it for me I shall recover, if not, I must die.' Then the youth mounted his horse and went forth. He rode between the seas, milked the doe, brought its milk to his mother-in-law, gave it to her to drink, and healed her.

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