Mannikin Long Beard

A Lithuanian tale, this version is taken from the 1938 anthology Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards by Frances Jenkins Olcott.

In a certain village there was once a Land owner who had a wife. Though married long years, they had no child. Both of them grieved very much over this.

At last, however, the wife had a little son, whom she named Martin. The mother loved the child very much. He grew up to be so strong that no one could overcome him. When he was twenty years old, he felt a great longing to journey through the world, and begged his Father to have a smith make him a strong iron staff. Except for that, he did not want anything.

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The Royal Herd-Boy

An Estonian folktale, this version is taken from The Hero of Esthonia, compiled by W. F. Kirby and published in 1895.

Once upon a time there lived a king who was so mild and good to his subjects that there was no one who did not bless him, and pray to the Heavenly Father to grant him a long life.

The king had lived happily with his wife for many years, but as yet no child had blessed his marriage. Great was the rejoicing of the king and all his subjects when at length the queen brought a fair child into the world. But their happiness was short-lived, for three days after the birth of the prince, the mother closed her eyes for ever, leaving her child an orphan and her husband a widower. The king mourned grievously for the loss of his dear consort, and his subjects mourned with him, and there was not a cheerful face to be seen anywhere. Three years afterwards the king married again, in deference to the wishes of his subjects, but he was unfortunate in his second choice.

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The Mosquito and the Horse

An Estonian fairy tale, this version is from Tales of The Amber Sea, compiled and translated by Irina Zheleznova in 1974.

One day a horse was out grazing in the field when a mosquito flew up to him.

Said the mosquito, seeing that the horse did not notice him: “Don’t you see me, Horse?”

“I see you now,” the horse replied.

The mosquito looked over the horse – he looked at his tail, his back, his hoofs, his neck and at both his ears, one after the other. He looked and he shook his head.

“You’re terribly big , friend, aren’t you!” said he.

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