This section is from the book "Myths And Folk-Tales Of The Russians, Western Slavs, And Magyars", by Jeremiah Curtin. Also available from Amazon: Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs, and the Magyars.
Vassilissa Golden Tress, Bareheaded Beauty. Page 124. (Part viii. p. 367).
[Written down by Bronnitski]
The name of the Tsar Svaitozar means "light-shining," "resplendent".
The Ring with Twelve Screws. Page 137. (Part viii. p. 541).
The struggle to the bitter end between Nikita and Yelena the Beautiful is well brought out in this tale.
Koshchei Without-Death. Page 165. (Part viii. p. 69).
For an interesting parallel to this tale, see "Phakir Chand" in "Folk-tales of Bengal," by the Rev. Lai Behari Day.
Go to the Verge of Destruction and Bring Back Shmat-Razum. Page 179. (Part vii. p. 38).
In the original text the last task given by the king is to go "I know not where and bring back I know not what." Shmat-Razum is a variant.
Marya Morevna. Page 203. (Part viii. p. 98).
Morevna means "daughter of the sea".
This is a very fine tale, in which the ancient characters are well preserved. Koshchei Without-Death, however, has his death with him this time.
Yelena the Wise. Page 218. (Part vii. p. 304).
The Seven Simeons, Full Brothers. Page 228. (Part i. p. 370)
The Simeons remind us at once of the brothers in "Fin Mac-Cumhail, the Seven Brothers, and the King of France." See "Myths and Folk-lore of Ireland".
The Enchanted Princess. Page 238. (Part viii. p. 138).
This tale contains a good deal of myth material. Specially interesting is the withering of the trees when the soldier is put to sleep, and their budding forth when South Wind brings him back.
Vassilissa the Cunning, and the Tsar of the Sea. Page 249. (Part vi. p. 218).
Vassilissa is written Vasilisa in Russian. I have doubled the s to assist the reader, but regret now that I did not preserve the Russian orthography and call attention to the pronunciation.
Tsar Unchristened Forehead is in the original text, and Tsar of the Sea is given as a variant. I have taken the variant, which is undoubtedly earlier than the name in the text. The battle between beasts and birds in the beginning of the tale is very curious. In Indian mythology struggles between beasts and birds are common; not, however, beasts and birds of the present kind, but the beings who lived before men appeared, and who fell from their former high places, becoming such beasts and birds as those that we see now. The eagle in this story corresponds in character to the mythologic birds before their fall.
It is noteworthy that the struggles for superiority in Indian myths are not carried on through fighting (the usual method in Aryan myths), but through trials of skill, strength, dexterity, - through playing ball, dice, foot-races, wrestling, and shooting. The opponents always bet their heads, and the head of the losing party is cut off without delay.
The "Chekh Myths and Folk-Tales," except "The Cuirassier and the Horned Princess," are taken from a work in two parts called, "Folk-Tales," by J. K. z. Radostova.1 Prague, 1872.
Boyislay, Youngest of Twelve. (Part ii. p. 241).
The Table, the Pack, and the Bag. (Part i. p. 81).
The King of the Toads. (Part i. p. 133).
The Mouse-hole, and the Underground Kingdom. (In the original, "Mouse-Hole." ' Part ii. p. 361).
1 Narodni Pohadky, od J. K. z. Radostova. V. Praze, 1872.
The Treacherous Brothers. (Part ii. p. 321).
"The Cuirassier and the Horned Princess" (in the original, "Concerning a Cuirassier") is taken from "Moravian Folk-Tales, Stories, Customs, and Beliefs," collected and written down by Benesh Method Kulda.1 Prague, 1874. This work is in two parts.
The "Magyar Myths and Folk-Tales" are taken from the following sources, -
From "Original Folk-Tales of the Sayo Valley," collected by Laszlo Merenyi.2 (2 parts).
The Poor Man, and the King of the Crows. (Part ii. p. 113).
Kiss Miklos, and the Green Daughter of the Green King. (In the original, "The Lead Friend." Part i. p. 1).
From "Original Folk-Tales," collected by Laszlo Merenyi.3 Pest, 1861. (2 parts).
The Reed Maiden. (Part ii. p. 35).
From "Original Folk-Tales of the Danube Border," collected by Laszld Merenyi.4 (2 parts).
The Useless Wagoner. (Part ii. p. 143).
The Hedgehog, the Merchant, the King, and the Poor Man. (In the original, "The Hedgehog." Part ii. p. 5).
1 Moravske Narodni Pohadky, Povesti, Obyceje a Povery sebral a napsal. Benes Method Kulda. V. Praze, 1874.
2 Sajovolgyi Erecleti Nepmesek Osszegyujtotte. Merenyi Laszlo. Pest, 1862.
3 Eredeti Nepmesek Osszegyujtotte. Merenyi Laszlo. Pest, 1861. 4 Dunamelleki Eredeti Nepmesek Osszegyujtotte. Merenyi Laszlo. Pest, 1864.
From "Wild Roses. A Collection of the Mental Creations of the Sekler People," by Yanosh Kriza.1 Klausenburg, 1863. (Volume I., all, I believe, that was published, contains ballads songs, and tales).
Mirko, the King's Son. (Part i. p. 436).
This beautiful tale was printed in the Keresturfiszek variety of Sekler Magyar, and has not been put into ordinary Magyar, so far as I know.
1 Vadroszak, Szekely Nepkoltesi Gyujtemeny. Szerkeszti Kriza Janos. Kolozsvartt, 1863.