Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/339

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Székely Tales.

reference is made to the fairy tales of the surrounding nations. Saxons, Roumanians, (Wallachians), Serbians or Bulgarians, Albanians and Greeks, represent as many distinct nationalities as names, and still the Székelys, otherwise totally differing from each of these, have the same tales in common. Only the theory that tales are borrowed from one nation and transmitted to another can explain this mysterious coincidence.

Herein lies the paramount value of the folk-lore of the Hungarian, Székely, and other similar nationalities. They throw a flood of light on the problems of ethno-psychology.

I.—The Genius.

There was once a king. This king had but one only son; but, the good God alone knows why, he was so furiously angry with him one day that he drove him out of the house to go where he liked—up or down! In vain the queen took his part, in vain she made the whole village weep for the dear child torn from her heart; there was no pardon; the little prince must go away.

The prince set out then very sadly; he went strolling on over hill and dale. As he goes, he hears someone, very much out of breath, running behind him, and calling out his name. He turns back, and sees a servant from the court. He has brought him a watch, sent after him by his dear mother. The prince took the watch, put it in his pocket, and then went on.

As he goes along he takes the watch out and opens the case, and then! some invisible being, or something, speaks, and says: "What are your commands, my soul, my dear good master?"

The prince was astonished at this, very much so; his astonishment was so great that he did not say a single word, but put the watch back in his pocket.