Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for the Táltos Princess

Once again from Hungary. I sense a trend here.
Oh wait, I'm Hungarian.

Táltos is our word for a person with supernatural knowledge (probably our old word for shaman from back in the day before we became Christian). There are táltos people, táltos horses (the kind that can fly and talk), and there are táltos princesses as well. At least one.
A Táltos Princess is, obviously, the daughter of the Táltos King. Said king is strong and powerful and versed in many arts - except for one, healing, which is especially lame since his own daughter is desperately in need of some. She is missing an arm and a leg. The King is really upset about this, and after long years of desperate searching he finds a possible solution: there is a fish that grants wishes, but only to people who has never killed anyone - and only once a year.
As it happens, the day before Fish Wish Day the princess gets kidnapped (a princess is a princess is a princess), and her father slays the intruder on his way out.
Good news: Princess is alive and safe. Bad news: No fish.

Story moves on. Some time later a mysterious stranger appears in court who turns out to be the Prince of the Cloud Kingdom. He falls in love with the princess and marries her, and two things happen: She learns to fly even though she can't walk, she learns to use her powers to command the rain and the storm, and she has a son. Well, that's three, but you get the picture.

This folktale was collected from a storyteller called Anna Pályuk about a hundred years ago. The entire book containing her tales is magical. She had a sense for coloring folktales and piecing them together in new ways, and also telling stories about princes, princesses and kings that behave suspiciously like real life people.


  1. I enjoyed your post and now I know about Taltos.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Very interesting. I learned something new today!
    Shawn at Reading Practice & Laughing at Life 2

  4. Interesting story...lots to think about.

  5. Another interesting princess story! I'm really enjoying your theme.

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com