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Albanian fairy tales

Book: Albanian Folk Tales and Legends by Robert Elsie 

Relationship to country: This book has folk tales and fairy tales that originated in Albania

Book in a nutshell: A amazing folk tale about the mysterious Earthly Beauty and a boy that has formed a group of brothers.

Ages: 10+ (We skipped some stories because, 1. Mom made me, 2. Mom made me, 3. Mom made me etc.)

For the country of Albania, we read a few folk tales from a book on Kindle, Albanian Folk Tales and Legends. We read two stories about the Earthly Beauty, a very beautiful woman living in a palace who is not very nice to the men who try to marry her. One of the folk tales starts out with a young boy who's father had died. The only thing his father left behind was a sabre (a sword). He takes his sabre and leaves home to go find adventure. When he is travelling, he meets another boy and they decide to be brothers (as in, BFFs). They meet another boy, and the three of them decide to be brothers together forever.

They came upon a moat, and if they could jump over it, they would get to marry a princess. If they could not jump over it, they would get their heads chopped off. One of the friends, Ylli, is kind of a magical jumper because he is able to jump over the moat and carry the other two brothers with him. He marries the princess. Kordha, the boy with the sabre, decides to keep going without his brothers, but he leaves a feather behind. He tells them if there is ever blood on the feather, then he is in danger and to come save him. Kordha goes on to find the Earthly Beauty. In another story that we read, the Earthly Beauty made people pay just to look at her hand, and she was kind of stealing their money. Kordha kills a magical dragon creature to get to the Earthly Beauty. After he wins, an army comes to try to fight him and they lose. But then Kordha makes the mistake of telling the Earthly Beauty that he is getting all of his strength from his sabre. Now I am thinking that is why Kordha's father died, because his magical sabre was taken away from him. 

The feather gets covered in blood when the sabre is taken away from him, and he gets very sick and is about to die. His brothers make it just in time and return the sabre. They fight off the army and all go back to live with Kordha's mother. They stay friends and brothers forever. I liked the parts of this story about friendship and brotherhood.