Simeli Mountain

Simeli Mountain

There were once two brothers. One was rich and the other was poor. The rich one, however, gave nothing to the poor one. The poor brother barely made a living by selling corn, and often did so badly that he had no bread for his wife and children. Once when he was pushing a wheelbarrow through the forest he saw, on one side of him, a great, bare, naked-looking mountain. He had never seen it before, so he stood still and stared at it in amazement.

While he was standing there he saw twelve large, wild men coming towards him. The man believed they were robbers so he pushed his wheelbarrow into the bushes, climbed up a tree, and waited to see what would happen. The twelve men, however, went to the mountain and cried, “Semsi mountain, Semsi mountain, open,” and immediately the bare mountain opened down the middle, and the twelve went into it, and as soon as they were inside, it shut. After a short time, however, it opened again, and the men came out carrying heavy sacks on their shoulders, and when they were all once more in the daylight they said, “Semsi mountain, Semsi mountain, shut yourself.” Then the mountain closed together, and there was no longer any entrance to be seen, and the twelve went away.

When they were out of sight the poor man got down from the tree, and was curious to know what really was secretly hidden in the mountain. So he went up to it and said, “Semsi mountain, Semsi mountain, open,” and the mountain opened to him also. The he went inside, and the whole mountain was a cave full of silver and gold. Behind the precious metal lay great piles of pearls and sparkling jewels, heaped up like corn. The poor man didn’t know what to do. Should he take some of these treasures for himself? Finally, he filled his pockets with gold, but he left the pearls and precious stones where they were. When he came out again he also said, “Semsi mountain, Semsi mountain, shut yourself;” and the mountain closed itself, and he went home with his wheelbarrow.

After this he had no more troubles, and he could buy not only bread for his wife and children with his gold, but also wine. He lived happily and respectably, gave help to the poor, and did good to every one. When, however, the money ran out, he went to his brother, borrowed a measuring container and went back to the bare mountain. He took some more silver and gold but did not touch any of the most valuable things. When he wanted to fetch something for the third time, he again borrowed the measuring container from his brother. His rich brother, however, had been jealous of his younger brother for a long time. He used to be poor. How did he get so may possessions? How could he live so respectably? So he thought of a cunning plan to find out how his brother had found money. He covered the bottom of the measuring container with tar and when he got the measuring container back a piece of gold was sticking in it. He at once went to his brother and asked him, “What did you measure in that container?”

“Only corn,” said his brother

Then he showed him the gold coin, and threatened that if he did not tell the truth he would inform the police. The poor man then told him everything, just as it happened. Immediately, the rich man ordered his carriage to be made ready, and drove away, telling himself that he would use the opportunity better than his brother had done, and bring back with him quite different treasures.

When he came to the mountain he cried, “Semsi mountain, Semsi mountain, open.” The mountain opened, and he went inside it. There, lay the treasures all before him, and for a long time he did not know which to take. But then he loaded himself with as many precious stones as he could carry. It was time to carry the treasures outside, but his heart and soul were full of nothing but thoughts about how even richer he would become. When he wanted to open the mountain, he realized that he had forgotten the name. He cried out, “Simeli mountain, Simeli mountain, open.” That, however, was not the right name, and the mountain remained shut. He became scared, but the more he thought about the name, the more confused he became. His treasures were of no use to him.

In the evening the mountain opened, and the twelve robbers came in. When they saw him, they laughed, and cried out, “We have caught you at last! Did you think that we wouldn’t notice? You have already been in here twice. We couldn’t catch you before, but this third time, you won’t get out again!”

Then the man shouted, “It wasn’t me! It was my brother!” He begged for his life but it made no difference. The robbers cut off his head.

The End