A Discussion on the Tale "The Six Sisters from the Mountain"

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The Six Sisters from the Mountains IFA 7370 Narrated by Yaffa Cohen (Iraq) O nce there were six sisters. They lived in the mountains with their mother and father. One day, as he was leaving for work, the father said: “My daughter, bring me some food”—­ to which the daughter readily agreed. In the morning her mother told her: “Go. Bring this food to Daddy.” Once again, the daughter agreed. She took the food and went along, until she reached a place full of mud. She wanted very much to stop and play with the mud. She put down the food and started playing, forgetting all about her father. She played and played, until she fell fast asleep. When she awoke, it was already evening. She said: “Oh, my goodness. I didn’t bring Daddy his food . . .” When she arrived back home, her father asked: “My daughter, why didn’t you bring me my food?” She answered: “There was mud on the path, and I couldn’t get through.” Then he said: “Tomorrow you won’t come, but your younger sister will.” When dawn broke, the younger sister took food and set out to bring it to her father. She reached a hill full of flowers, and she also forgot about the food, playing with the flowers and saying: “Why do I need to bring Daddy this food? I’ll take these flowers and the food and bring them to Grandmother, who will kiss me.” Afterward she went to her grandmother and told her: “I have brought you food and flowers.” The same thing happened to the next three sisters: All three failed to bring the food. But on the sixth day, the mother told the youngest sister to bring the father his food. After walking halfway, she reached a high mountain. She climbed up until she reached the middle of the mountain, where she found a very shiny box. Using her hands, she dug and dug until she uncovered a small golden box full of gold. She marked the place, covered it with sand, and went directly to her father, completely forgetting the food. She went to her father and said: “Come on, what are you working for?” He asked her: “Why do you ask? You have never before asked me such a question.” So she answered: “I have a reason. Come home, and I’ll tell you why.” They went home, and she told him: “Bring a sack, and let’s go.” He asked her: “Where are we going?” To which she replied: “Somewhere.” They walked to the mountain, climbed up the hill to where the box was hidden, dug, and found the golden box. They put it in the sack and went down the hill. When they reached home, they told the mother and sisters what had happened. They all slept through the night. In the morning, the father woke up, took some gold, and went to the big city. He asked his daughters what presents they would like; each sister asked for something else. The youngest asked for two little kittens; the eldest asked for a necklace; the second sister asked for The Six Sisters from the Mountains 89 shoes; and so on, each sister asking for a present of her own. The father bought everything they asked for and began his homeward journey. On his way he encountered a pool with rocks. One of the kittens stopped there to drink water. He left the kitten where it was and continued on his way. When he reached home, the sisters saw him and ran toward him, asking him whether he had brought what they asked for, and he said yes. He gave each girl her present; only the youngest daughter didn’t get what she wanted—­ she had asked for two kittens, but received only one. She said: “I asked for only two small things, and you brought only one.” The father said: “I left one kitten near the pool. I stopped to drink there and forgot the second kitten. I will go and bring it now.” He went away, and when he reached the pool, he saw an eagle with the kitten in its mouth. The eagle asked: “Who owns this kitten?” The father answered: “I do. Give it to me. It’s for my daughter.” The eagle said: “If you give me your daughter, I’ll give you the kitten.” The father said that he couldn’t possibly give his own daughter to an...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Power of a Tale
Subtitle of host publicationStories from the Israel Folktale Archive
EditorsHaya Bar-Itzhak, Idit Pintel-Ginsberg
PublisherWayne State University Press
ISBN (Print)9780814342091
StatePublished - 2019


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