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10-09-2015, 08:03

KANDEK

Armenia



The youngest of the seven daughters of an unnamed man and his cannibal wife. Troubled by what she should do with all her daughters, the wife decided that she would cook them, and so she bundled them all into the stove—all except for Kandek, who hid. When the six daughters had been cooked, the woman began to moan that she should have kept one of them to help her with her chores, especially to make the long walk to the fields to take her husband his lunch. Kandek crawled out of her hiding place and offered to help her mother if she promised never to try to cook her.



Kandek’s mother, being a lazy woman, readily agreed and sent Kandek off with her father’s lunch. Kandek found her father and gave him his lunch, and then went for a walk. As she walked, she came to an apple tree on which were growing large, ripe, red apples. Kandek helped herself to one and sat down to eat. As she ate, an old, blind woman came up and asked Kandek to give her an apple. Kandek took down an apple and threw it to the old woman, who missed it and complained to Kandek that she was blind and that Kandek would have to bring the apple to her.



Kandek did so, whereupon the old woman took hold of her, threw her into a sack, and started for her home. A short while later Kandek asked if she might be allowed to stretch her legs. The old woman agreed and let Kandek out of the sack. Kandek quickly filled the sack with stones and then made off. When the old woman picked up the sack, she complained about the weight, but nonetheless she carried it all the way home. When she found that the sack contained nothing but a pile of rocks, the woman changed into a wolf and sought out Kandek. Changing back into the old crone, she captured Kandek, threw her back into the sack, and started for home.



Again Kandek asked to be allowed to stretch her legs, and again the old woman agreed. This time Kandek filled the sack with snow and then she made off. When the old woman picked up the sack, she complained that Kandek was making her wet, but nevertheless she carried it all the way home—only to find the snow instead of Kandek. Again she turned into a wolf and set off to find Kandek. Once again Kandek found herself in the sack, and yet again she was allowed to stretch her legs when she asked. This time Kandek filled the sack with the branches of a thorn bush; and even though the old woman complained that Kandek was pricking her, she carried the sack all the way home.



This time, however, after the old woman had recaptured Kandek, she ignored the young girl’s request to be allowed to stretch her legs, and carried the sack straight back to her home, where she told her daughter to stoke the fire. Kandek cut her way out of the sack, killed the old woman’s daughter, toppled her over into the cauldron, and then hid in the rafters of the house. Only after the old woman had devoured her daughter, leaving no more than a pile of cleanly picked bones, did Kandek call out, asking the old woman to help her down from the rafters.



The old woman first made a pile of wood; but clambering onto it, she fell down and hurt her back. Then she made a pile of metal combs, but fell down when the teeth cut into her feet. Finally she made a pile of salt sacks; but the salt got into the wounds on her feet, and she fell down in agony, writhing in pain, and died. Then Kandek climbed down and made her way home, telling everyone she met that the old werewolf was dead.



This story is interesting for the simple fact that it contains a female werewolf, whereas in almost all other instances a werewolf is masculine. It is also interesting to note that it contains only one element common to most werewolf legends—the ability to change shape at will—and that no special weapons, such as silver spears, are needed in order to kill the creature.



See also: Werewolf





 

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