COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in September 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Hart and the Making of the World, The.

A Christmas Carol.

SLOWLY, slowly, O Lord,
The little river Olt
Has grown big,
So big
That the borders cannot be seen.
But what is coming
Down the Olt?
Tall pines
And dry fir trees.
Among the pines,
Among the fir trees,
A three-year-old stag
Is swimming.
The stag swims,
And lifts up its horns.
On the top of his horns
A cradle is hanging and swinging,
A green cradle made of silk,
Woven in six strands.
But who sits in the cradle?
The maiden, the young girl,
With her tresses hanging down the back,
Like the holy sun.
She sits and sews,
And embroiders
A collar for her father,
A kerchief for her brother.
But she stops and does not sew,
Nor does her mouth keep quiet,
For she is singing:
“Slowly, slowly,
Old stag,
Slowly, slowly be thou swimming.
Do not hinder my work.
And the waves are rising;
They might wash me off and carry me off thy horns.
Slowly, slowly,
Dear old stag,
For I have three brothers at court,
Where they learn many things.
All the three are noted hunters,
And good falconers.
They will discover thee,
And run after me.
With their falcons they will pursue thee.
With their dogs they will worry thee.
With their lances they will prick thee.
Slowly, slowly,
Dear old stag—
For if my brothers find thee,
They will make my wedding feast
With thy poor flesh.
With thy bones
They will build
My little house.
With thy skin
They will cover
My little home.
With thy blood
They will paint
My little courts.
And with thy head
They will celebrate
The holy feast.
They will place it
Over the gate,
At the entrance of the little garden.
Of thy hoofs
They will make
Crystal cups,
Out of which
Nobles drink.
On rare occasions—
On Christmas day and Epiphany—
When the whole world rejoices,
I drink to the health of these houses
For many years.


The mythical stag carrying on his horns a girl who is like the sun is similar to the bull of Mithras and to the bull in the Avesta, out of which the world was created. The stag provides here all the elements for the building of a house and for the merriment of the nobles. Each part of its body is accounted for.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Hart and the Making of the World, The.
Tale Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Book Title: Rumanian Bird and Beast Stories
Book Author/Editor: Gaster, Moses
Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1915
Country of Origin: Romania
Classification: unclassified

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