Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

K173. It is better to suffer from an early age (Placidas), ATU 938.


A powerful and rich man loses everything, is separated from his wife and children, they are separated from each other. A person regains power and wealth, and the family is reunited.

Amhara, Kordofan, Sudanese Arabs, Algerian Berbers, Tunisian Arabs, Moroccan Arabs, Spaniards, Catalans, Portuguese, Italians (Tuscany? Campaign?) , Irish, French, Germans (Austria), Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Palestinians, Yemen, Shans, Ancient India (Purans), Punjabi, Kashmiris, Bengalis, Oriya, Tamils, Sinhales, Bulgarians, Greeks, Gagauz, Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Russians (Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Novgorod, Voronezh), Ukrainians (Eastern Slovakia, Ugric Russia, Galicia, Podolia, Pokutye, Volyn, Poltava), Belarusians, Adygs, Abkhazians, Ubykhs, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Turks, Kurds, Persians, Tajiks, Mountain Tajiks, Sarykol, Baluchis, Danes, Lithuanians, Finns, Veps, Uighurs.

Sudan-East Africa. Kordofan (language not specified) [man is young and rich; in his dream he is told that he will lose everything and earn pennies working as an aquifer; he decided that it is better to be tested in his youth, not in old age; took a bag of gold and a bag of silver, loaded it on a donkey; when crossing the Nile, the donkey drowned with the load; the man began to carry water; others sympathized when they saw that he came from a good family; the rich man tells 6 daughters to choose a husband and to do this throw a handkerchief at the chosen one; at the feast, the youngest sees that the water carrier's manners are much better than everyone else, chooses him; the rich man lodged 5 daughters in good at home, and the youngest is in the slave quarter; the rich man is ill, he needs gazelle milk; the older sons-in-law caught only males; three females fell into the traps of the water carrier; he gave milk to his older sons-in-law for permission to burn the stigma in their ass; the doctor said that the milk was spoiled and unsuitable; it only made the rich man worse; and the milk that the water carrier brought helped; the water carrier said that he came from a wealthy family and told the elders The sons-in-law were naked and showed that they were wearing his family brand; the rich man sent his younger son-in-law with the caravan home, and told the elders to be in his service; on the bank of the Nile, his father-in-law noticed a chain in the sand; son-in-law: this chain from my treasure bags; they pulled them out; at my son-in-law's house, my father-in-law was convinced how many worthy friends he had; told my daughter that her husband was the best]: Frobenius 1923, No. 18:204-216; amhara []: Klipple 1992:269-270; Sudanese Arabs: El-Shamy 2004, No. 938:441-444

North Africa. Tunisian Berbers []: Stumme 1900, No. 7:51-52; Algerian Berbers, Arabs of Morocco: El-Shamy 2004, No. 938:441-444

Southern Europe. Spaniards, Catalans, Portuguese: Uther 2004 (1), No. 938:580-581; Italians (Bocaccio; tentatively Tuscany or Campania): Cerise, Serafiuni 1975, No. 938:242; (cf. Portuguese [when the Queen finally became pregnant and was ready to give birth, a beggar came to the palace; the gatekeeper did not give him anything and he promised that when the princess was 15 she would be carried away a huge bird; a visiting prince gave the girl three blue stones, they played with them; she is 15 years old, her parents are gone; a bird who has arrived asked if the girl would like to survive her trials in her youth or old age; the maid advised me to answer that when she was young; the bird took her to the forest; the prince found her, brought her home, hid her from her mother and sister in his room; the mother opened the door, scolded her son, and began to hate him wife; she gave birth in the absence of a prince; the Queen cut off the newborn's little finger, lowered the boy into the sea in a basket, smeared her mother's mouth with blood, told her son that she had eaten her child; so three times; after For the third time, the prince ordered his wife to be buried waist-deep in front of the main staircase, everyone passing by had to beat her; she asked the prince to bring the three blue pebbles and a knife left there from her father; the king allowed take them, but promised to kill the prince if he did not bring him his daughter in a month; the prince gave the stones, hid and watched what would happen; the wife tells the first pebble if he remembers how the Queen cut off her baby's finger, etc.; the pebble knocks on the other pebbles; so with everyone; after that, the buried woman was going to cut her throat, but the prince stopped her; the king enclosed the mother and sister in the tower, married girl, took her parents]: Pedroso 1882, No. 29:116-121).

Western Europe. Irish, French, German (Austria): Uther 2004 (1), No. 938:580-581

Western Asia. Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Palestinians, Yemen: El-Shamy 2004, No. 938:441-444

Burma - Indochina. Shana [during hunger, a man with his wife and children go on a journey, is separated from them; the local king died, the ox stopped next to the wanderer, he was chosen king; he invites everyone to holiday, finds a wife and sons among those who came, everyone is happy; sons began to rule the provinces]: Milne 1910:241-242.

South Asia. Ancient India (Puranas) [King Harishchandra promises vivisionary Vishwamitra any gift; he asks the whole kingdom, leaving H. only himself, his wife, son and his dharma; the king and his family leave; V. demands he is dakshina (payment for the sacrifice); H. has to agree to sell his wife to a brahman, who also buys a son; there is not enough money, V. sells H. chandale himself (a member of the lower caste); H. is forced to work for cemetery; his wife comes there to bury his son, who died from a snake bite; H. and his wife do not recognize each other at first, and when they find out, they enter the funeral pyre; gods appear and V. appear, he offers H. friendship; Indra invites H. to heaven; he goes up there with his subjects; V. anoints his son H. Rohitasya to the Kingdom]: Sakharov 1991:64-67; Punjabi [the king meets the old woman Whatever happens; she offers him a time when misfortunes will fall on him; after consulting his wife, the king chooses youth; enemies have destroyed his kingdom; he flees with his wife, two sons and their wives; when the money is over, the king orders that his daughters-in-law be abandoned; the eldest dressed as a man, becomes the bodyguard of the local king; at night I heard screams: this is the wife of a hanged robber, but in fact a ghoul woman; she manages to cut off a piece of her clothes; she brings it to the king, who shows his wife that the queen demands all such clothes - this is how she rare and beautiful; a warrior girl goes in search; in one place, a ghoul demands a man, a goat and bread to eat every day; this is said by a woman whose son should be another victim; the warrior goes instead of him, cuts off Gulya's leg; the king rewards a daughter, but the warrior girl promises to return for her later; comes to the castle where a ghoul woman whose piece of clothes she tore off and her husband, whose piece of clothing she has ripped off, live she cut off her leg; they have a captive girl; both would like to give her for the one who defeated them; a warrior girl gets a wife and an abundance of cloth for which she went; leaves the wives in the care of the youngest sisters; appointed vizier; laid out a wonderful garden, sent messengers to all ends with an invitation to visit it; her first father-in-law, wife and sons also come; daughter-in-law opens to them; tells the king to win back father-in-law's kingdom; two beauties received were passed off as other people]: Swynnerton 1892, No. 85:351-368; Kashmiris []: Knowles 1885:151-152; Bengalis [the wise and kind king allowed man who called himself a hermit, to reign in his place for three days; at the end of his term, the man asked for an extension; the king, with his wife and children, went on a journey; a merchant said that his wife was ill , let the king's wife spend the night with her; took her away to sell her; to cross the river, the king left one son waiting on the shore and carried the other; the tiger carried the first, the second fell into the water and was carried away by the river; the king came to the country where the former king died; according to custom, people gave a crown to a hawk, who sat on the head of the man who came; the king reigned, but remained single; a suitable bride was brought to him and she was his former wife; the hunter brought two orphan boys; they began to talk, got to know each other and the mother; the hunter and the fisherman who saved the second boy were awarded, the merchant kidnapper fled; the king put his sons on thrones of two kingdoms, and he and his wife retired]: Devi 1915:13-19; oriya [wives of two older brothers ask their husbands to bring a sari from the trip, the younger brother a magic bird; they ask about the bird king; the king sends hunters, if they do not bring them, he executes them; one hears how the vulture mother promises the chicks to live: tomorrow is the execution; and the bird is on this tree; the bird is brought, the brothers give it to the youngest; she finds him a bride, brings him to the island, a wedding; when his wife gives birth to two and is pregnant with a third, the bird advises him to return: if there are more children, she will not take them all away; the wife gives birth, they stop on the shore; he killed a bird to eat, a cripple whose arms and legs grew from the breath caused by its wings; the husband went to get firewood, he was made king after the sacred elephant approached him; the wife was seized to be sold to the palace, but it turned out that the king was her husband; the children were picked up by a milkman; they grew up and brought milk to the palace; the mother heard them talking; the family was reunited; the king saw feathers birds on a hunter's hat, from these feathers, a holy man revived the bird]: Mohanti 1975:32-37; Tamils [Raja is childless; asks the god of misfortune Sani to give a child; continues services even after rani became pregnant; she gave birth to twins in a hut in front of the Sani temple; Sani asks the raja if he will come now or when the children are older; the Raja promises to ask his wife but forgets every time; Sani tells him put a pebble in his pocket; when Raja sees it, asks his wife, and she replies that it is better now; the palace has burned down, the Raja and his wife and children have become poor; he hired to reap rice, but cut his finger; the hostess gave him two bags of rice, but the donkeys all ate; the Raja caught and fried the fish, but Sani ate it; Rani hired a merchant to grind rice, who stole it and sailed away on the ship; she locked herself in the cabin; when the Raja was transporting the children across the river, they remained on opposite banks, and he was carried away by water; the boys were picked up and raised by a woman; the minister told them to guard the box in which his daughter was; his elder brother went to the cremation site to buy fire; his bhuts (demons) surrounded them, but he chopped them; the thieves took the box, but the elder brother had previously released the minister's daughter; the grateful minister married her brothers; the Raja, who came to the theatrical performance merchant and both brothers; everything became clear; Raja came to the ship and Rani recognized his voice; her milk splashed into her sons' mouths; evil Sani fled]: Blackburn 2005, No. 76; Sinhalese [god Senasura advised the beggar to play with the king with all his money; the beggar won the kingdom against the king; the king and the queen left home; while the queen was sleeping, the king left; the queen stayed with the flower girl, doing her craft; the viper asked the king to drag her off the road, bit her, the king fell ill with leprosy; hired a groom; ogdin the merchant recognized her as a flower girl, the local queen recognized her as her sister; the local king had a feast; the kings came with grooms, the flower queen recognized and hugged her husband; both stayed in this city]: Volkhonsky, Solntseva 1985, No. 128:310-312.

The Balkans. Gagauz people: Moshkov 1904, No. 38 [in his dream, Grief asks a rich man whether to come to him when he is young or old; he chose when he was young; his house burned down; he went with his wife and children to look for work; when he was hired by a gardener, one of the 12 royal associates took his wife; he carried his eldest son across the river; the youngest was taken away by a wolf at that time, the eldest was kidnapped; the children were rescued by peasants, they were hired batman officers; they began to talk about their past, realized that they were brothers; the officer's wife heard, understood that they were her sons; the king died, chose the man from whom his wife was kidnapped; after becoming king, he stabbed that officer], 38a [one king became impoverished, took his wife and children, came to another state, hired a shepherd; one cow was missing, he was hired by a winegrower; while he went with the owner to the bazaar, his wife kidnapped; began to carry the children across the river, one was carried away by a wolf; the father fell into the water, the fish swallowed him; one son went to the fishermen, the other escaped from the shepherds; the father asked the fish to vomit; the dowlet bird He sat on his head three times, he was elected king; the sons were hired as servants, began to talk about their lives, everyone got to know each other]: 55-56, 57-59.

Central Europe. The Poles [when asked whether he would like to experience misfortunes in his youth or old age, Placyd replies that when he is young; the ship's captain takes his wife, the lion and the wolf take their sons away; then he takes them meets again, returns to Rome]: Krzyżanowski 1962, No. 938:285; Russians (Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Novgorod, Voronezh), Ukrainians (Ugric Russia, Galicia, Podolia), Belarusians [Eustafiy Plakida: the enemy takes his wife away (expels his wife, unfairly accusing her of treason), the lion kidnaps his son and raises him, the other son is brought up by strangers; sons meet at war, then unite together]: SUS 1979, No. 938:240; Russians (Arkhangelsk), Ukrainians (Eastern Slovakia, Ugric Russia, Galicia, Podolia, Poltava), Belarusians [It is better to suffer from a young age: young spouses get the opportunity to choose suffering from a young age or old age; at the request of the wife, they choose the former; an unknown master (tsar) takes his wife and throws a bag (hat) of gold to her husband, the raven takes this gold; the son is kidnapped by a wolf; a husband in a foreign land is hired (as a groom to the king); finds a bag of gold carried away by the raven; according to "God's judgment" becomes tsar; meets wife and son]: SUS 1979, No. 938B: 240; Ukrainians (Pokutye) []: Zinchuk 2005b, No. 94:461-467; northern Ukrainians (Volyn, Zaslavsky district) [trouble asks a rich man if he wants to suffer when he is young or old; the man replies that when he is young; his estate burned down; he went on a journey with his wife; to meet the pan, grabbed him and took his wife away, leaving him a hundred rubles; the man returned, but did not find the money, and the wolves lifted up the horse; for 20 years, the man was interrupted by odd jobs; he found a wife at one farmstead, the lords gathered and awarded give him the property of the lord who tried to steal his wife]: Malinka 1902, No. 32:308-309.

Caucasus - Asia Minor. Adygs [the prince takes and keeps the wife of a happy husband locked; the latter drops one son into the river, the other is carried away by a wolf; ploughmen (shepherds, etc.) save the boys and give them to the prince; the father of these children is also hired by the prince; they find each other]: Tkhamokova 2014, No. 938:189; Abkhazians [the bird tells Talbey not to kill her; choose a happy youth or a happy old age; wife advised him to choose old age; after that, T.'s parents died, his property burned down; taking his wife and two sons, T. went to look for work; on the road, people took his wife away from him; when he was transporting the children across the river, one was carried away by a wolf, the other fell into the water and the river carried him away; T. hired a merchant, soon proved to be a good merchant; the dying king tells him to choose the new one on whom the three pigeons will sit; chosen by T.; to him they talk about an ever-grieving woman; she is brought to the palace, she tells her story, T. recognizes his wife, but two warriors rush to hug her; it turns out that her sons will be saved; everything is fine]: Shakryl 1975, No. 32:163-169; Ubykhs []: Khvartsky 1994:197-200; Armenians [the queen was asked whether she wanted to be happy in her youth or old age; the queen chose the latter: she was kidnapped by robbers; the king went in search of her, one of his sons was kidnapped by a wolf, the other was carried away by the river; the sons were saved - one by a shepherd, the other as a miller, grew up, came to the city, joined the king, were sent protect the goods of the merchant who saved the queen from robbers; mother and sons met, told each other about their fate, all united]: Gullakian 1983, No. 938:45; Azerbaijanis [king three times dreams: his army is defeated; decides to leave the throne and, taking his wife and both sons, to retire into exile; the caravan asks to let his wife help the woman in labor, the wife is missing; one son was carried away by a wolf, a peasant he repulsed the boy and took it for himself; at the crossing of the river, the second son was carried away by water, he was saved by a miller; the king died in one city; the devlet kushi, released, sat twice on the head of that king and he was made king in it kingdom; not recognizing them, the king hired two young men; sent them as guards to the caravan; talking about themselves, the brothers recognized each other; their mother heard and also recognized their sons; the caravan went to complain to the king - two men in his wife's tent; everything was clarified; the tsar expelled the caravan man, began to live with his wife and sons]: Bagriy, Zeynally 1935:211-215; Turks: Stebleva 1986, No. 81 [son of bey hears the question whether to come to him in his youth or old age; chooses in old age; his house burned down, his wife was taken away by a caravan, one son was dragged away at the river crossing by a lion and the other by a tiger; in a coffee shop, Bey's son as the only literate person was able to read the letter, he was made pasha, then padishah; his sons were repulsed from predators, brought up; they became the guards of the padishah; the caravan comes, the guards are sent protect his wife; the caravan finds them in her arms; they find out that they are brothers and the caravan's wife is their mother; the padishah recognizes his wife and sons; offers the caravan 40 horses or 40 knives, executes him] : 335-340; Walker, Uysal 1966, No. 8 []: 84-86; Kurds: Jalil et al. 1989, No. 78 [the padishah was immensely kind; his associates and people left the country to starve; the padishah, his wife and two sons went to his sister; the rider asks the padijash to let his wife give birth to his wife and kidnaps her; when he learns that she is the wife of a padishah, promises to treat her like mother and sister; crossing the river, the padishah took one and carried his son; the wolf who remained on the shore was carried away, and the other padishah dropped; in another city, a new king was elected, the bird sat on the head of the padishah three times, he was elected king; the shepherd took the boy from the wolf, and the miller picked up another; both found out that they were adopted, went to look for parents, met, hired guards for the palishah, who is their father; the wife's kidnapper and herself also came there; the guards talked to her, got to know each other; her named brother saw her lying between two young men; she explained that they were her sons; everything was explained]: 346-350; Rudenko 1970, No. 25 []: 53-56.

Iran - Central Asia. Persians: Osmanov 1987 []: 260-263; Rosenfeld 1956 [the padishah answers the dervish that he really complies with all requests; the dervish tells him to give him the kingdom for 40 days; after becoming a padishah, he distributed everything treasures, and after 40 people did not want the return of the former padishah; the padishah has sons Saad and Said; taking them and his wife, he went to wander; at the crossing, the lion took Said, and the river took Saad; the passerby asked the padishah's wife to help his wife give birth to his wife, tricked her away; the padishah came to the city where the ruler died; the falcon sat on his head three times, he was chosen as the new ruler; when his sons should At the age of 16 and 17, the padishah told all young men of this age to be guards in pairs and call travelers to the outside of the palace; Saad and Said are guards, telling each other about their adventures, they recognize each other; their mother hears this, hugs her sons; a hunter caught by a lion, carried away by the river by a field watchman; the padishah appointed them to the viziers; the kidnapper of the wife, who claimed to be her husband, put in a hole]: 52-57; Tajiks [when he dies, a rich merchant tells his son Hamdam to be fair and repay his father's debts, although he himself does not remember owing anyone; one by one are (imaginary?) lenders, H. is ruined, sails with his wife and two sons on a ship that wrecks, H. is thrown to a deserted shore; finds precious stones in the sea, exchanges caravans for food and clothing; provides water; a city is being built, H. is chosen by king; a merchant comes with his named sister; H. finds two young men to protect it; they talk about themselves and understand that they are brothers; The merchant's sister turns out to be H.'s wife; everything is fine]: Niyazmukhamedov 1945:37-46; mountain Tajiks (Darvaz) [Grief asks the rich man to pull him out of the pond, jumps up on his shoulders, stays with him; he leaves with his wife and children; his wife was stolen by merchants, the eldest son was taken away by a wolf, the youngest fell into the river; he is hired to work at a butter churn; after the death of the Shah, a falcon of happiness sits on the head of the former rich man three times; his they make Shah; it turned out that the shepherd saved the eldest son, the collector of firewood the youngest; the brothers find each other, free the mother; the merchant comes to complain that his wife was stolen; everything is explained the merchant is tied to the tails of horses]: Rosenfeld, Rychkova 1990, No. 21:98-101; Sarykol residents [King Odilkhon of Yemen is generous and fair; seven wanderers from Bakri's country ask him to give them his kingdom to 40 days; the king is ready to give a hundred times longer; having received power, the wanderers gave everyone, did not regain the throne of O.; he left with his wife and two sons; the robber Tijorbaman told O.'s wife that his his wife gives birth, she went with him; at night someone threatened him with punishment, T. made O.'s wife a sister, promised to protect him; when crossing the river, one son O. was carried away by a rider, the other drowned; O. has been living in the desert for two years near the village of Bakri; the local king is dead, the falcon sits on O.'s head, he is elected king; he finds two helpers, does not know that they are his sons (the youngest did not drown, but was swallowed by fish and saved by a fisherman); T. comes to O., says he has left great value in the tent; O. sends assistants; they get to know each other and his mother; T. says that O.'s assistants are trying to deprive him of his value (i.e. that woman), O. tells behead them; meets his wife, understands the mistake; the doctor brought them back to life; O. and his family stayed in Bakri, and T. made them king of Yemen]: Grunberg, Steblin-Kamensky 1976, No. 26:266-273 (Pakhalina 1966:125-131); Baluchi [God asks the fortuneteller if he wants to be poor when he is young or old; the wife says to be young; their property dies; a merchant caravan stole his wife; at the crossing across the river, the predictor was swallowed by a crocodile, his sons remained on opposite banks of the river; they were sheltered by a shepherd; a fisherman killed a crocodile, pulled the fortuneteller out of his belly; the falcon sat on head, he was chosen king; the sons of the fortuneteller became guards, they were sent to guard the merchant's wife; they recognized each other, and their mother; the merchant was hanged, everything is fine]: Porozhnyakov 1989:110-113.

Turkestan. Uighurs: Jarring 1948, No. 1 (Tashmalyk near Kashgar) [Adil Padishah gives alms generously, surprised that no one comes; promises to fulfill any wish whoever asks; beggar asks stay for three days; tells them not to take taxes; asks the people who people want; they prefer a new king; the former leaves with his wife and children; the robbers stole all the treasures; said that from the local king the wife cannot be born, let A.'s wife help; took her away; A. began to cross the river with her children; the water took his youngest son away, he was swallowed by a dragon; 10 years later A. came to the city where the king died; they they released a bird, it sat on A.'s head, he was elected the new king; he needed a servant, he bought a young man, it turned out to be his son, whom the fisherman removed from the dragon's womb; the king did not recognize him; he brought another son and the robber sold; the wife was also brought by a robber (God forbid him to abuse her); they began to tell their stories and got to know each other]: 141-150; 1951, No. 1 (Guma) [just like in Tamalik)]: 7- 20.

SwahiliSwahili (Zanzibar) [the lion, hyena and rabbit have planted a vegetable garden far from home; the harvest is ripening; after going for the harvest, the animals hurry and decide to eat anyone who will stop on the way to take a break; the hare is the first to stop, convinces the hyena and the lion that he thinks, not resting, stopped for the second time, spent the lion and the hyena again; the hyena stops, deceive the companions she fails, the hyena gets eaten; the hare stops and cheats for the third time; the hare lures the lion into the cave, the lion gets stuck; the hare eats the lion, reaches the garden]: Bateman 1901:47-56. nandi [a hare and an elephant brought a bull and a cow, the hare got a bull, and the elephant got a cow, she gave birth to a calf, then two more; the hare took them; said he simply put them in a cave; asked the elephant to bring the cow there, and he would bring and slaughter the bull; but the elephant did not get into the cave; the hare asked him to get up on a run, the elephant broke its head, the hare got the cow and the calves, and that's it bull meat]: Hollis 1909:101