King Shkharpas 

and a girl 

(Shapsug fairy tale) 
Once upon a time lived king Shkharpas. One
 night he came out to the yard and saw that in one aul a lamp burned.
- What do these people do so late? - he thought - Go and learn what they do in this house - he told to his uneut1.
Uneut obeyed. He stole up to the window. In this house three sisters lived. They had no relatives. Uneut began to listen to what girls spoke about. The senior sister said:
- If I worked at king Shkharpas I would wash clothes, cook food and never be hungry.
The second sister sighed and said:
- If I washed and darn clothes not for king but even for his servant neither would I be ever hungry.
The junior sister said nothing.
- Why are you silent, Dakhanef?2 her sisters asked her. Then Dakhanef said:
- What I will say goes from the bottom of my heart. Not only want I to wash clothes and cook for king but even if Shkharpas strewed me with gold and wanted me to become his wife I wouldn“t agree. Let him eat dung!
Uneut was very surprised by girls“ conversation. He came to Shkharpas and told him what he had managed to know.
The king got into rage when he heard what Dakhanef had said about him.
- Fetch here all three sisters immediately - he cried to his uneut.
Girls were brought to the king.
- What did you say about me this night? - he asked the senior sister.
She answered: - I said that if I could wash your clothes and cook food for you I would never be hungry.
- Give her this job - Shkharaps told.
- And what did yoy say? - he asked the second sister.
- I said that if I could wash and darn clothes even of your servant neither would I be ever hungry.
- Give her this job too - Shkharaps told.
When it was turn of Dakhanef to answer Shkharpas looked at her fiercely.
- What did you say this night? - he asked.
Shkharaps thought that Dakhanef would get afraid and not say the truth. But she looked at him with contempt and answered:
- I said that not only would I not wash your clothes and cook for you food but if you even wanted to marry me and strewed me with gold I would not marry you. I also said that you should eat dung. I“d better be hungry than work for you - so Dkhanefa answered.
Shkharaps gritted his teeth - Drive her out of my estate to remote forests! - he cried to his servants.
The girl was grasped, put on a cart, brought to the remote forest and left there.
It is frightful to remain alone in the forest. But Dakhanef was a courageous girl. She selected a cornel stick and made her way in the direction where the sun arised.
Dakhanef went for a long time. Her clothes turned into rags. Strength began to leave her, She ate wild pears and apples.
- Shall I really die here? - Dakhanef thought. She strained herself and climbed up a high tree. Not far off from there she saw smoke. Dakhanef, happy, descended to the ground and made her way in that direction. Soon she saw old man and old woman who ploughed land on mountain slope.
- Selam aleykum3 - Dakhanef said.
- Aleykum selam4, beauty - they answered in a friendly manner - Who are you, and where do you come from?
- May name is Dakhanef, I am a daughter of a poor Shapsug who died long time ago. I have no relatives and I ask you to adopt me to your family as your daughter - Dakhanef said gently.
The oldmen rejoiced to her words. They had no children. They brought her to their house and laid her to the best bed.
The next morning all the three went to plough land. The old woman conducted bulls and Dakhanef picked up stones and stubs. But it seemed to her that to conduct bulls was harder than to pick up stones and stubs.
- Nana5 - Dakhanef said - Let me conduct bulls too.
The old woman gave a rein to her and began to pick up stones and stubs. But Dakhanef was mistaken: for the old woman to pick stones was harder than to conduct bulls. Having seen it Dakhanef immediately gave a rein to her back and continued to throw stones away from the field.
Dakhanaf turned over one stone and saw under it a hole with a jug at its bottom. The jug was filled with gold. «It is good» - Dakhanef thought. She put the stone on its place and went on to work. Dakhanef decided not to speak to the oldmen about her finding for a while, and in the evening after the work she poured some gold into her pocket and left the rest on the place. This day they finished ploughing.
The next morning Dakhanaf came to the old man and said:
- Father, soon we won“t have anything to sit on.  You see - the bench“s feet are broken, and table soon will fall as well. Let“s go and buy everything new.
The old man loughed.
- Alas, my daughter, if I had had money I would have bought everything long ago. But I am a poor man and can“t do it.
- I will find money - Dakhanef answered. The old man didn“t believe her but he loved her very much and didn“t want to upset her by his refusal.
They prepared, the old man harnessed a horse and they started for purchases.
The old woman neither believed to her daughter. But in three days the cart came into the yard. It was loaded by various expensive things and clothes.
Oldmen never had lived so good before Dakhanef“s advent to them. But nobody knew that the girl had found gold. Some time passed and Dakhanef began to ask the old man again:
- Father, let me build a house at the place where seven roads went away.
The old man laughed again.
- You make me wonder, Dakhanef. In order to build a new house it“s necessary to have a lot of money. And, also, how can you build a house if you don“t have a right for it. Proprietor of the land is a landlord. If he permit to you I will only be glad.
Dakhanef was a persistent girl. She obtained permission and built a house at the place where seven road went away. Dkhanef knew in what beautiful house Shkharpas lived and tried to make her house even more beautiful. On all roads she set sentinels and gave them the following order:
- Everyone who passes along these seven roads must come in my house and eat food without any payment. But if anyone refuses from food he may not go on his way till he carries out the custom of my house.
Fame about beauty and custom of Dkhanef spread all over the world. Shkharpas heard this news too but who was this girl he didn“t know. He changed into plain clothes took two friends with him and went to see who had dared to build a house that was more beautiful than his one and introduce a custom that everybody liked so much.
After ten-days travelling they approached the place where seven roads went away.
- Stop - a sentinel told them - You must come in the house and refresh themselves. It is a custom of Dakhanef and you may not violate it.
- We have no time to spend for eating in this house - Shkharpas said.
- In this case you may not go on your way.
There was nothing to do and Shkharaps with his friends dismounted.
Dakhanef saw from the window Shkharpas and recognized him immediately. She told her friend:
- When these three people come in the room you go out to the corridor and cry: «Dakhanef, come here, I see something very interesting!»
Shkharpas came in the room where Dakhanef was. Never he met so beautiful woman. He wanted to approach her but at that moment her friend went out to the corridor and cried:
- Dakhanef, come here, I see something very interesting!
Dakhanef began to look for her shoes. Shkharpas wanted to render service to the girl. He took from under the bed her golden shoes and set them in front of the girl.
Then Dakhanef said:
- You are a king Shkharpas, I recognized you at once. You forgot that you banned me from your estate and now you give me my shoes.
Shkharaps got ashamed in front of his friends. He went out of Dakhanef“s house and went to his house. He never was so angry as now but he wanted very much to marry Dakhanef.
Shkharpas changed into king“s attire took precious gifts for Dakhanef and went to woo her.
- You expelled me, poor girl, to remote forests, I can“t forgive you and refuse to become your wife. You“d better go out home - Dakhanef told him.
Shkharaps had nothing to do but go home and Dakhanef remained to live in her house and lives happily up to know.

1. Servant
2. Beautiful light
3. Greeting
4. Greeting in return
5. Mother

This fairy tale was told by Khasanov Yunus Iskhakovich,  from Shapsugia
Drawinngs by Zaur Bgazhnokov.