Slovenia – The Goldenhorn

Lake valley and rocky Komna were a mountain paradise long ago. There lived White women, goodhearted beings, that the people still remember with gratitude. They appared in the valley, gave help to the poor in dire straights, especially women giving birth; such a child was then all its life under the protection of White women. They taught shepherds to recognize medicinal herbs and their power, on naked rocky edges they wakened to growth juicy grasses, so that the poor manćs goat would find their pasture there. They avoided the thankfulness of the valley people, and if anyone dared to come near the high valley, they turned him from the path with threatening gestures. If anyone came either by mistake or on purpose boldly into the vicinity of their dwellings, they were forced to turn back by rocky landslide, heavy rainfalls and hail from the mountains.
On the rocky face, which ends in in Soška Valley, grazed the white goats of the maidens; if anybody came near, they threw stones at him. These goats were led by Goldenhorn, marvelous he-goat with golden horns. White women made him invulnerable. If a shooter wounded him, there grew from his blood, no matter where it felt, magic herb, called maguc balsam or Triglav rose. If Goldenhorn ate only one leaf of this herb, he immediately healed, even the hunter shot him in the heart. His gold horns wwere the key to the gold on the mountain Bogatin, which is guarded by the hundred-headed dragon.

Where rivers Soča and Koritnica merge, there stood long ago on the road to Trbiž an inn. The daughter of the inn-keeper had many suitors, but she loved the hunter from Trenta, son of the blind widow. This young man was known far and wide to be the best hunter, and he was said to be under protection of White women. He knew all paths, and he had no fear of rocky landslides.

In spring one year traveling merchants stopped at the inn on their way to the north. Among them, a young wealthy Italian, spoke sweet words to the inn-keeper’s daughter, and he was not backward with lovely gifts. So it happened that the girl and the hunter of Trenta quarrelled and the girl said to him, that Italians are fine gentlemen, and not like him, who knows all the riches of the mountains, but had not yet brought her the Triglav rose., while the Italian had given her a pearl necklace at their first meeting.

Then the hunter said, raging: “I know where the key to the Bogatin is hidden, and if I get it, I will be king in comparison to your traders, whom you can wait on as you like.”

Offended he left the inn and then met up with the Green hunter. This man did not have such a good reputation. He told tales about the wealth of Bogatin mountain and talked him into going with him to stalk the Goldenhorn. They came onto his spoor, the Trenta hunter shot him and then they followed the wounded animal along a narrow path, which ended at a sheer rock. At that moment the Trenta hunter saw between the snow and ice the most beautiful Triglav roses, among them the planika, which he used to make medicine for his motherćs eyes. The young man remembered his poor mother and was about to abandon his pursuit, but the Green hunter began to taunt him with mocking words, and so the young man continued to follow the bloody spoor.

In the meantime the Goldenhorn reached the spot where grew the bloodred Triglav roses and ate some. Immediately he regained his strength; in big jumps he ran towards the Trenta hunter on the narrow path, splendidly glowed his horns in the sun. At that moment the hunter lost his nerve: before him the proud Goldenhorn, coming nearer in threatening attack, beneath him the bottomless depths, behind him the skyhigh rocky face; he was overcome by dizziness, and fell into the depths. Next spring the water brought his body past the inn. In his hand, the hunter held a bunch of Triglav roses.

And when in summer the shepherds returned to the Lake valley, they found a rocky place instead of the paradise; White women had left the place forever, with them went the white goats. Goldenhorn had in his rage completely destroyed and buried the meadows, and today you can still see traces of his horns on the rocks.

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