Selected Passages from Hungarian-Ottoman Wars between 1372-1699

The Little Rooster’s Diamond Halfpenny

It is a Hungarian folk tale from the age of the Ottoman occupation of Hungary between 1541-1699. It is about how a persistent little cock gets the Sultan to return his diamond halfpenny. This story gave me a hint about the Hungarians’ national character that one day included staunch tenacity, defiance, and bravery. The tale inspires me to go on pecking around on my garbage-heap here, in Budapest, so as to find something valuable to give it to the next generation.

Let me tell you the tale by an excellent slide-show made in 1975 by Arany László and Richly Zsolt:

Once upon a time, there was a poor woman who had a little rooster. He was just pecking around for crumbs on the scrap-heap when he came across a special treasure: a diamond halfpenny. 

The Turkish Sultan was walking in that way and happened to see the diamond halfpenny at the little rooster. He told him:

“Little rooster, give me your diamond halfpenny at once!”

“Cock-a-doodle-do! I don’t give it to you for sure, it belongs to the woman of this house.”

The Sultan heard this and because he was very greedy he said, “Servants grab that diamond button and put it in the treasure chest in my treasure chamber and that will be the end of that”

Well, the rooster was very angry. He flew up to the palace window and said to the Sultan, “Cock-a-doodle-do! Turkish Sultan, give me back my diamond halfpenny, Give me back my diamond halfpenny!”

The Sultan got mightily angry and said, “Servants grab that rooster and through him in the well and that will be the end of that”

With that servants grabbed the rooster and threw him into the well where he landed with a splash. But remember the rooster was a very special rooster, in fact, he was a magic rooster, and so he said, “Come my magic tummy, come my magic tummy, come my magic tummy, and swallow up all the water” and he swallowed up all the water till the well was dry. 

Then he flew out of the well and up to the palace window and said to the Sultan, “Cock-a-doodle-do! Turkish Sultan, give me back my diamond halfpenny, give me back my diamond halfpenny.”

The Sultan, a bit more irritated now, said, “Servants grab that rooster and throw him in the burning furnace and that will be the end of that.”

So the Sultan’s servants grabbed the rooster and threw him in the fire. But the rooster was a very special rooster and so he said,
“Come my magic tummy, come my magic tummy, come my magic tummy, and let out all the water.” All of the water from the well poured out of the rooster’s mouth putting out the fire in a great cloud of steam and soaking the Sultan, his servants, and the palace. 

The rooster then flew up to the palace window and said, “Cock-a-doodle-do! Turkish Sultan, give me back my diamond halfpenny, Give me back my diamond halfpenny.”

The Sultan was now very, very angry and he said, “Servants grab that rooster and throw him in the beehive and that will be the end of that.”

So the Sultan’s servants grabbed the rooster and threw him in the beehive. But the rooster was a very special rooster and so he said,
“Come my magic tummy, come my magic tummy, come my magic tummy, and swallow up all the bees.” The rooster swallowed all the bees in the beehive.

 Then, he flew up to the palace window and said to the Sultan, “Cock-a-doodle-do! Turkish Sultan, give me back my diamond halfpenny, Give me back my diamond halfpenny.”

The Sultan by now was hopping mad, he roared, “Servants grab that rooster and bring him to me! I have thrown him in the well, I have thrown him in the fire and I have thrown him in the Beehive, and still, he comes back. What should I do with him now?”

The servants gathered together and whispered, “psssssss”. Then they went to the Sultan and told him their idea. The Sultan listened and said, “Ah Huh! What a good idea” Then he grabbed the rooster and quickly stuffed him down the back of his pants and prepared to sit down on him.

But the rooster was a very special rooster and he said, “Come my magic tummy, come my magic tummy, come my magic tummy and let out all the bees.” The bees poured out of the rooster’s mouth and stung the Sultan right his big, fat, wobbly bottom.

 “Yeeeeowwww!” yelled the Sultan as he hopped up and down. The servants quickly pulled down the Sultan’s pants to let out the rooster and the angry bees. The rooster flew up to the palace window and said, “Cock-a-doodle-do! Turkish Sultan, give me back my diamond halfpenny, give me back my diamond halfpenny.”
The Sultan said, “Enough! Servants take that rooster to the treasure chest in the treasure chamber and give him back his diamond halfpenny and that will be the end of that.”

So the Sultan’s servants took the rooster to the treasure chest in the treasure chamber and they left him to find his diamond halfpenny. But while he was there the rooster saw all the piles of emeralds, diamonds, rubies and other treasures that filled the treasure chamber and he said, “Come my magic tummy, come my magic tummy, come my magic tummy and swallow up all this treasure.”

Then waddled out of the palace and down to the village to share all the treasure with all the villagers. From then on, they lived happily ever after. THE END


Also, you can enjoy the tale in English here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLvS2l59Gn0&t=185s

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