Tuesday, April 17, 2018

O is for the One-eyed Old Woman and the Death Horse (WTF Hungary - Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales)

Welcome to this year's A to Z Challenge titled WTF Hungary - Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales! You can find all other participating blogs on the A to Z Challenge main blog.

Remember the prince with the castle built on a single straw? The same guy who visited the Kingdom  of Mice?
Well, that story still has some elements worth mentioning.

The tale kicks off with a prince exiled from his kingdom - for losing his sisters. He asks his father, the king, to allow them to take a walk, and the moment the princesses set foot outside, the Sun, the Moon, and the Wind pick them up and spirit them away. The king takes his anger out on his son, and the prince has to make his own way in the world.
On his journey, the prince arrives to the mouth of a cave. He walks in, and keeps walking inside the cave for twelve days, until he finds a stone house, and in the stone house twelve candles. In the light of the candles he sees an old woman, who has only one eye and a lush beard.


She first tries to eat the prince, but he begs her not to. She then also convinces her twelve sons (who are bandits) not to hurt the guest. The next day, after some breakfast, she gives the prince directions: Since they recently ate the king's gardener (ahem), the prince should go and apply for the job. In order to get out of the underground kingdom faster, the one-eyed bearded lady gives the prince a Death Horse and a Wind Lamp. He rides the horse to the exit, and then sends it back home with the lamp around its neck.

We never find out what a Death Horse is, or what the Wind Lamp is for. Your guess is as good as mine. I do like the cyclops lady a lot, though.


  1. Never trust a lady with a lush beard, I say.

  2. A short story with lots of open ends - what happened to the princesses, does the price reconcile with his father, why does the cyclops lady live in a candle flame ... its a good story that keeps you wondering :) Thanks for sharing.

    Do check out my #BlogchatterA2Z submission for letter O:

    1. We do find out what happened to the princesses. I was only summarizing parts of the story.

  3. I don't like stories that don't have a proper ending. I want to know what happened to him haha!

    Only the Strong Survive by McFly

    1. It does have an ending. I was just highlighting the part with the old woman.

  4. Any chance you can do another post, later, with that information in it? It does sound intriguing!

    Aussie children's writers: O Is For Wendy Orr


  5. Maybe the Death Horse is a thestral.

  6. I do like stories with unanswered questions!

  7. Was the person who wrote this one drunk? They sound like they were drunk. LOL

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    My A to Z’s of Dining with IC
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  8. Oh! Obedient bandits in a tale. That is very interesting. Thank you for sharing.
    Jui Positive Cookies

  9. I don't know about a Death Horse, but I think a Wind Lamp would be an awesome thing to have. Perhaps it's a necessary accessory to keep one's lush beard illuminated on midnight rides.

  10. The Death Horse and its Wind Lamp. Sounds like a story to be told.

    Tale Spinning

  11. Sound like a war story to me, great writing.

  12. He must have begged for his life really well!
    Now I really want to know what a death horse is.
    Tasha's Thinkings - Movie Monsters

  13. Ooh, the Death Horse and Wind Lamp sound like items from the next Legend of Zelda game! :) I like that lady too, and I hope the next part we hear about is the Gardener-Prince! :)
    Jamie Lyn Weigt | Writing Dragons