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Sacrificing beloved ones

The Bulgarian legends about the Devil`s bridge tells the story of three brothers who were excellent builders, excellent craftsmen. The Sultan heard about them and told them that if they manage to build a bridge over the river Arda he would grant them great gifts and fortune, but if they fail – he would kill them and their entire families. The craftsmen had no choice. They found a spot and started working. It was spring though, the river was wild and everything they build during the day, it took away in the evening, bringing the bridge down. The three craftsmen felt that the place was cursed and that they will never succeed. They went to consult with a wise man from their village, but were not prepared for what he had to tell them. The wise man told them that the bridge needs a sacrifice in order to be finished. It needed a human soul (in the form of a human shadow built in) to fortify the bridge and calm down the river. They agreed that they would tell their wives nothing but only the youngest one kept his promise and didn`t tell his wife. So the brothers went to work and waited to see whose wife would be the first to come with food. The youngest brother’s wife – Struna - did all the house work and started on her way to bring food to the men. When he saw her, her husband froze. His heart started beating rapidly. He couldn’t cry. He told her that on that day she would be sacrificed for his little baby son, for his treacherous brothers and their wives. Struna did not utter a word because she could not imagine that her husband and child would suffer. She kissed her husband and she went to the bridge. The brother chased his brothers away. He started building his wife’s shadow alone. She returned home with her husband. She breastfed her baby one last time, but then fell sick and slowly withered away, dying in front of her husband’s eyes. In the Romanian legend about the master builder Manole, he was one of the best mason of those times. Because the walls of the monastery were continuously crumble, the Prince threatened to kill Manole and his workers. Desperate about the way construction went, one night Manole had a dream in which he was told that, for the monastery to be built, he had to incorporate into its walls some person very loved by him or his masons. He told his masons about his dream, and they agreed that the first wife who would come there with lunch for her husband the following day should be the one to be built into the walls of the monastery so that their art would last. he next day, Manole looked over the hills and sadly saw his wife, Ana (who was pregnant), coming from afar. He prayed to God to start rain and storm in order for her to stop her trip or go back home. As her love was stronger than the storm, she came to her husband. Manole had to keep his promise and started building walls around her body. And that was how the beautiful monastery was built.