Calin the Fool
by Mihai Eminescu
English short version by
Anca Gandea and Andreea Giurca

           Once upon a time, there was an emperor who had three daughters. They were all very beautiful but the second born was fairer than words can tell. Many princes wanted to marry them but the emperor wouldn't let them.  

              One day, three young men came and asked for their hands. As the emperor wouldn't listen to them, they kidnapped the girls and they all vanished. The emperor had it rumoured throughout the land that those who would find the princesses would get them in marriage. In a village of the empire, there lived a man who had three sons. Two were just passable bu one of them was downright foolish. The three brothers decided to go and seek the girls. After they walked days and nights, they had a break and one of them had to stay on guard to keep the fire burning while the others were sleeping. On the first night the eldest one was guarding and he had to fight a three-headed giant and killed him. On the second night, the second one fought a four-headed giant and killed him too. On the third night, Calin fought an eight-headed giant, he killed him too but the fire died out. Very upset he started to seek fire. While he was walking he met Late-at-night, then he met Midnight and finally Day-break. As he was afraid that the day would come, he tied them all and then he arrived at a place where he saw fire. There were 12 giants and their mothers. He tried to take fire and all the food but, by mistake he woke a giant up. To let him go, Calin promised to bring them the Red Emperor's daughter.  

               They agreed and when they arrived at the castle he cut their heads and their tongues, but one of the giantesses escaped. Then he got in the castle, kissed the girl and took her ring. Then he got back, lit the fire but that before he had released the three men. The day came and Calin left by himself to find the girls. In the Golden forest he found the eldest daughter who was cooking lunch for the giant. When the giant came, he fought him and killed him. Then he went to the Silver forest where he fought another giant and he took the second girl with him because he fell in 
love with her. Finally he arrived in the Copper forest where he had a long fight with the giant but killed him anyway. 
Then he took the girls and went to his brothers. Since they were envious, they took the girls, cut Calin's legs, then 
returned to the emperor. When he woke up, Calin found the man without hands, the one who had escaped from the 
giants. Both of them met the giantess who had left alive and shoe cured them. They killed her and went to the Rod 
Emperor's castle where the man without hands married the princess.  

              Then Calin returned to the castle and there he mat his son. At last his two brothers died because of their mistake and Calin married the second girl, the one that he was in love with. There was a wedding that no one had ever seen before and Calin with his wife and son lived happily ever after.  

Anca Gandea
 Andreea Giurca
"Stirbei- Voda" Highschool Calarasi, Romania
 Teacher coordinator: Gratiela Preda
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