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By Robert Elsie

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The old woman then told him where the nettles had come from. The Moor took the youth, set him in the place where the nettles grew, grabbed a bunch of them, shook them and stung the youth so that he could not sleep. At midnight, the king’s daughter appeared and this time found the youth awake. ” she asked. He replied that he had come to marry her. She retorted, “I would like to marry you, but it wouldn’t be that easy. There are jinns here too. I could get away; they couldn’t catch me. ” inquired the youth.

The Jew replied, “What can I tell you, oh king? ” He then proceeded to tell the whole truth, including the letter he had written because the maiden had refused to marry him. ” And he stayed put. The king then asked the fishermen why they had sighed. They answered that they had fished the woman out of the river and sold her to a Turk. ” “I am the one,” he said, “who bought her. ” The ministers were puzzled and looked at the king, but she gave a sign that they should remain silent. ” “No,” she replied, “you haven’t lost her at all.

And what did the poor girl see through the door but a skull! She went in trembling feverishly and the Moor said to her, “This is your husband. ” The poor maiden was in the depths of despair and began to weep. What a sorrowful life with a skull! The next morning, the father sent the old governess to the maiden to ask her how she was. When the maiden saw the governess, she threw her arms around her, weeping and begging to be taken home because she could not stand another minute. So the old woman took the daughter back to her father without saying a word.

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Albanian folktales and legends by Robert Elsie


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