Bulgaria is a charming country with extremely beautiful nature. We have everything starting from steep mountains and snowy peaks, the Black Sea and sea resorts, green meadows and fields, rivers and springs, natural caves and extraordinary rock formations. But above all we have plenty of folklore stories and legends related to almost each of these places. I have decided to retell you one “family” story today about our two most beautiful mountains – Rila nd Pirin and their too naughty children – the rivers Iskar and Mesta. Here we go. 🙂
Once upon a time Rila was a woman named Rilka. She married a lad called Pirin. Their big love made them get married against Rilka’s parents’ will. They didn’t want their daughter to marry someone they didn’t know and Pirin was namely that kind of a fellow. Nobody knew who he was, where he had come from, what his family was, what his vocation was and how he would earn and look after his future family.
Rilka was a very beautiful and hard-working maiden but at the same time she was a little bit crazy, meaning that she always did what she wanted without listening to either her father or mother.
Rilka and Pirin got married without any witnesses, songs and dances and above all, without the young girl’s parents’ blessing. After their marriage they ran away and settled down in one mountainous and desert place. After some time the young lady gave a birth to two charming children. The named both kids by names which nobody had heard before. The boy was called Iskar and the girl – Mesta.
Pirin went hunting every day while his wife took care of their children and house. The two kids from the mountain were very vivid and too naughty. They fought with one another on a daily basis and made mischief after mischief. Rilka complained to Pirin permanently and asked him to bring them up as a father. But the husband never listened to his spouse’s complaints and requests. His only duty was to be a bread-winner, i.e. to bring warm clothes and food at home. As to the upbringing of the children, he thought it was Rilka’s duty.
However, one day, the brother and sister had a fight again. They were even talking to each other rudely. In the end, they even had a fight. Rilka was helpless to stop them. Her tears were falling down and at that very moment she cursed them:
“May God separate you and may you not see one another again. May people get afraid of you when they meet you! May you both live with fish and frogs and may they be your only companions! May I petrify so that I won’t be able to see you, talk to you, shout at you even though you are my children and I love you! May trees become my kids and may my body turn into a stone and ground. May my tears turn into rivers and springs which will amaze other people! May also Pirin turn into a stone and ground like me so he avoids people saying he is the father of such naughty and cursed kids! ”
Upon this curse, a flash appeared in the sky. It tore the sky into two parts. A horrible thunder was heard. And …and all of a sudden, Rilka turned into a mountain – the Rila Mountain. At the same time also Pirin who was far away from home hunting, petrified and became the Pirin Mountain. As for the two naughty kids, they became rivers. The Mesta River was quieter and her water was streaming slowly down in the mountain while the brother, the Iskar River, was as luxuriant as a young horse that is rushing tantivy down the field where he couldn’t “store” his waters anymore. His mother’s tears increased them and finally he brought them to the Balkan which he passed through and made his way to the Danube (his last destination).
Since then the two children have never met again. Like every mother, Rilka looks at them for some time and then she loses sight of them. Pirin never sees his boy and he’s sorry for this. That’s why, this green part of the mountain which faces the Sofia Valley is always dark and green, rarely lit by the sun. Pirin’s other side is gently turned to his daughter – Mesta. His soul fills with love and joy. He smiles at her, becomes more beautiful and amazes mountaineers and tourists. Visitors are greatly “seduced” by him and climb up to the top from where they could enjoy the beauty of his daughter together with him.