Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Emperor's Daughter and the Healer (Macedonian folk story)

A bad thought is a full-fledged disease - Macedonian proverb

Byzantine PrincessOnce upon a time, an emperor's daughter suffered from a bad thought she had. All imperial healers and physicians attempted to heal her, but nobody could find a cure. From day to day she grew worse, and her face was dying out.

An old healer heard about her plight. He was forgotten by the world forgot a long time ago due to his old age, and nobody ever sent for him any more.

"Ah, wait," the healer told himself, "I should go to the emperor's daughter, and see what kind of illness she has, so I can heal her."

He went to the castle and presented himself in front of the emperor's daughter. After he questioned her from all sides on what ails her, he found her cure.

"Many healers," the old healer said, "attempted to cure you by way of herbs, but they failed to make you well, daughter. I will cure you without herbs, so you will remember me and always mention me in your prayers 'may God have mercy on the old healer who cured me without herbs.'"

"Oh, gradpa," the emperor's daughter said sadly "If you can cure me, I will tell my father to make you the first healer of the capitol, and give you great riches."

After the healer heard this words, he went to the goldsmith and had made a golden ring, with a stamp on top. In the stamp, he wrote these words: "All that was – has come to pass, and all that will be – will pass also." He brought the ring to the princess and put it on her finger.

"Here's you cure, o imperial girl," said the healer. "Every hour of every day, when the bad thought comes to torment your heart, read the inscription and think about it a little bit. This way, if you read and think, in forty days you will be healed. Do this, I beseech you, and I guarantee with my own head: cut it off if you don't get well."

And in truth, the emperor's daughter recovered from the illness in her thought, in even less than forty days. She was cured, and the healer got great honors.

Written by Marko Cepenkov (1829-1920), translated into English by Filip Stojanovski.
Source: Царската ќерка и екимо.