Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

K56f2. A woman, two men, five eggs, ATU 1663.


To divide a certain (often five) number of eggs equally between people of different sexes, a clever woman takes into account that each of the men already has two eggs.

Arabs of Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Portuguese, Italians (region?) , Germans (East Prussia), Palestinians, Arabs of Lebanon, Iraq, Arameans, Bulgarians, Bosnians, Romanians, Poles, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, Persians, Karelians, Kazakhs (Semirechye).

North Africa. Arabs of Morocco: El-Shamy 2004, № 1533B§: 903; Tunisian Arabs [when there is nothing to eat at all, the poor man tells his wife to borrow chicken from a neighbor, cook it: he will take it to the Caliph; he offered to divide; the poor man gave the Caliph a head, two viziers on either side of him, ate the rest himself; received 500 gold; when he found out, a rich neighbor brought 7 fried chickens; caliph: what am I eating more than citizens? ordered 500 blows with a stick; in the bathhouse, Caliph Zobeid's wife hears the wife of the punished complaining about the ruler's injustice; the caliph called both donors and ordered to separate 5 eggs; the former poor man gave the Caliph and The vizier one at a time and Zobeid three (the men already have two eggs); the rich man gave the Caliph three, the vizier and Zbeid one at a time, beaten again; the caliph to his wife: I reward not for gifts, but for the mind]: Bushnaq 1987:371-373; Arabs Egypt: El-Shamy 2004, No. 1663:903

Southern Europe. Portuguese, Italians: Uther 2004 (2), No. 1663:362.

Western Europe. The Germans (East Prussia and possibly other lands): Uther 2004 (2), No. 1663:362.

Western Asia. The Arabs of Lebanon and Iraq [the merchant went bankrupt; he brought the chicken to the Caliph, who ordered it to be divided; the merchant gave the Caliph his head, the two viziers wings, and took the rest for himself; the Caliph generously rewarded him; the neighbor found out, sent her husband to bring five chickens and rice to the Caliph; he ordered the chickens to be divided, but the person who came could not, he was beaten with sticks; the wife spoke about this in the bathhouse; the Caliph's wife (Harun al-Rashid) said husband; he summoned both and ordered them to split 5 eggs; the merchant gave the Caliph's wife 3 eggs, and the Caliph and the vizier one by one, because both already have two; the neighbor gave the Caliph three, and the Caliph's wife and vizier one by one; the wife of the Caliph ordered to reward the merchant and beat the neighbor]: Nowak 1969, No. 375:320-321; Palestinians, Aramaians: Uther 2004 (2), No. 1663:362.

The Balkans. Bosnians, Romanians: Uther 2004 (2), No. 1663:362; Bulgarians [the king orders to split 5 eggs between two men and one woman so that each has 4; an intelligent woman gives to the tsar and the prince one by one, but he takes 3 for himself: the tsar and the prince already have 2 eggs]: Daskalov-Perkovska et al. 1994, No. 1663:.

Central Europe. Ukrainians: Hnatjuk 1909:407 in Uther 2004 (2), No. 1663:362; (cf. Poles (Lviv) [there are 4 eggs on the table; the son says there are seven, because where there are four, there are three; the father took all four]: Krzyżanowski 19632, No. 1533B: 79).

Caucasus - Asia Minor. Crimean Tatars [Ieren Sheshen, No. 2; Ieren Sheshen, Janybek Khan and Karashas Khanym sat at the table; the Kh gave ISH 5 eggs: divide us equally; he took one for himself, gave one to D., and the Kh gave 3, for She doesn't have two of her own]: Zherdeva 2020.

Iran - Central Asia. Persians (Kerman) [when sharing, a woman gets three eggs, and men one at a time: each already has two; the judge is going to return the man's wife only if he solves the problem; the person does not maybe the judge decides for himself]: Marzolph 1984, no. 1663:241.

Baltoscandia. Karelians (northern: Povenets - Kem): Kecskeméti, Paunonen 1974, No. 1663:261.

Turkestan. Kazakhs (Semirechye) [when the sage arrived in Baghdad, he stayed with Kaziy; when he heard his speeches, Kaziy realized that he had a man in front of him who could easily take his place and decided to pay him money for it for him to leave the city; Kazia's wife promised to settle the matter by other methods; served the guest boiled chicken and asked him to divide it so that everyone got it equally; Kaziy received a head, his wife a neck ( closest to the head), two servants are legs, two children are wings, the slave always following the mistress is the tail, the rest is a dear guest; then the hostess cooked 5 eggs, asked them to share; the sage could not; the hostess gave an egg to the guest and her husband, and took three for herself; since each of the men already has two eggs, now everyone has three; the sage asked not to talk about his defeat and left the city]: Pantusov 1902 , NO. 3:21-23.