- The Story of Zoulvisia
The Story of Zoulvisia is an Armenian
fairy talecollected by Frédéric Macler in "Contes Arméniens". Andrew Langincluded it in " The Olive Fairy Book".
In the middle of a wilderness, a beautiful mountain bore trees and waterfalls, but whoever left the road for it never returned.
A king advised his seven sons wisely, but no sooner than he died than his oldest son resolved to set out for the enchanted mountain. Advice only put him off it for a time, and he set out with his brothers and other attendants. He reached it, was lead off by a deer, and wandered about, but when he returned to his men, they were all dead or dying. He hid in the tree and saw a man approaching. This man had his servants dispose of the bodies and lead off the horses, but he realized that there were one more horses than bodies and asked whose was the king's horse. The king challenged him to fight before his house.
He told the king he accepted the challenge and he was to follow him, Zoulvisia. He mounted, and the king realized the figure was a woman. He set out to find her house. He came to three cottages, in each of which a
fairylived with her son. They urged him not to go. He gave them a mirror, a scissors, and a razor, telling them that if blood appeared on them, they should come to his aid.
He met an old man in a pit, who told him that Zoulvisia kept him prisoner there. He told how Zoulvisia could look over all her lands at sunrise, but if he hid in a certain cave, protecting it with a stick, he would survive and could come out on her third cry, having broken her power. He did that, and Zoulvisia admitted he had defeated her. She became his wife, freed the old man, and gave him her horse.
One day, he hunted, having received a case of pearls with one of Zoulvisia's hair, and a stag led him far, and he lost the case in a river without realizing it. It was swept downstream, and a watercarrier found it and brought it to the king. He demanded the chamberlain discover its secrets, and an old woman told the chamberlain of it. The chamberlain told her that if she brought him Zoulvisia, he would give her more gold. She arrived, on a raft, just as the king returned to his wife. He offered to help her, but his horse would not let him take her up; she guessed why and said she feared falling off, so she would walk. She amused Zoulvisia's maids with stories, they persuaded Zoulvisia to listen to her, and she persuaded Zoulvisia to trick the secret of her husband's strength, his sabre, from him, and tell her.
witchstole the sabre, struck the king down with poisonous snakes, and kidnapped Zoulvisia.
The fairies' son saw that something had happened to him. They went to his castle and could not find the sabre. They caught fish to eat, and a great fish thrashed in the water because it had eaten the sabre. They brought it to the king, who recovered. He set out on the horse. He found the place where the king was going to marry Zoulvisia. He had an old woman bring his ring to Zoulvisia. She told the woman to tell the king that she had come to her sense and would marry him, and to tell the man who gave the ring to await her in a garden in three days.
The king loosened the guard on her, and she went to the garden. Her husband carried her off on the horse.
The Bronze Ring
The Prince and the Princess in the Forest
* [http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/344.htm "The Story of Zoulvisia"]
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