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Demir Hisar version of the origin of Itar Pejo (SlyPeter)

A hundred, maybe two hundred years ago Itar Pejyyoas born in the village of Zheleznec, where Crna Reka is up to the loins of the villagers.

Stojna, beautiful, too much beautiful, wonderful girl, mature for marriage, had remained gravid (pregnant NB) without knowing from whom because she was very close with many guys lying at the spring of Crna Reka. Poor Stojna, her abdomen was becoming bigger, so she was shaming and fearing from her father. When the time came for delivering the birth, she went at the spring, screaming loudest, and something screamed and slipped down her legs. She would have threaded it if she has not heard the baby’s crying. She has wrapped the baby in leaves and grasses and has hidden it in the bush beside the pit. In the evening when darkness covered the village she made a basket of twigs, and sent it on water. Since then there was no trace from the screaming creature.
The poor child posted in the basket, rolled from rock to rock in the river, was going into the whirling and after a month or two the blurred frothy waters brought him to Mariovo. His eyes, ears, nose have filled with mud, sand and other filth. During the daytime he was hiding in the whirling, and during the nights when the moon lit the way the basket was moving, so he got to one whirling, before one dry willow trunk that was hampering the river. The boy was moving left and right, but – in vain, he remained in the whirling, sleeping during the night, screaming loudly during the day, asking for help.

Stojan, the shepherd of Migrevci in Iveni, born in the village of Gradeshnica, as he led the sheep besides the riverside, heard child’s screaming and ran to the river. When climbed on the dry willow he saw a baby bruised. Quickly he grabbed him and rolled into the cloak. It was twilight, it was becoming cold since it was autumn; despite that it was raining and snowing at the same time. Stojan caring not to be seen by anybody, hid behind a tree and opened the cloak, cleaned the baby of the mud, much sand he retrieved from the mouth, ears, nose; when the baby breathed freely, he started screaming.
 
He went to another shepherd, who was near, asking him to keep the sheep and as much as he could he was running to Gradeshnica at his wife. "Woman”, he called her, God blessed us, so he sent us a baby". They did not have their own offspring, so Stojan’s wife was very delighted and quickly hid the baby. She was hiding the baby nine months. In order to make the thing truly secret, as she was saying, she moved to Stojan’s sheepfold and every time when she was coming to the village she was placing pillow under the dress pretending pregnancy before the peasants. When the day came, she showed the baby before the villagers. They have awed of his size.  Mitre’s witty woman once saw the baby said: “Oh, my God, where did you bring the baby, dear sister? And she made a cross. Mother boasted that the baby while was in her womb he ate bacon and corn mush, drinking goat’s milk, therefore he had teeth and hair. Grandfather Petko gave the name Peyo to the baby to be wise and lucky as him. They did not bring him to the church or to the registry officer. They looked after him as their eyes, as they say. Anything he requested, he got. They made him fat as a piglet and spoilt him too much. Therefore, very often, through the years Peyo used to say: “For I do not know to work anything, it’s my dad and mom’s fault; they were leaving me to touch neither a straw.”

Mitre, the father aged, became grey haired and hunchback and he felt pang of conscience about the secret that he kept. He was very exhausted, hardly recognizing the people. He was lying in bed one whole year in the barn. He called Peyo and started rambling. He did not understand himself, too. Peyo unfortunately was turning his head, tearing and crying for his father. Mitre closed the eyes and left this life failing to tell the truth. One week after Mitre’s death his wife suffered a stroke and she died. She also did tell nothing, brought the secret in the grave.

Beautiful Stojna was not married yet two or three years. She delivered two other children and also threw them in the river Crna Reka. After that she married chorbadzhya Bogoslav in Pribilci.  He took her for his son Damjan, more than ten years younger than Stojna. They made marvelous wedding. They adorned her with golden coins: necklaces, earrings, silver embroidered dresses. She did not deliver any child, neither she looked in the river Crna because some childish eyes were looking at her and her mind swirled. When her husband grew up he went to Istanbul to earn money. Stojna left alone with the parents-in-law and died young due to the chats in the village about the bride and the man being in illicit relationship. The entire municipal government was staying at their house. Stojna was attractive. She was in close relations with the widowers from the village, woodsmen, teachers, gendarmes, close friend of outlaws and rebels. It was said that she took rifle on shoulder and spent the nights at Crna Reka’s spring. She was killing Turks-heathens. The government issued arrest warrant and award for the one that would kill or capture her alive. No one got the gold coins because her corpse was found in the river Crna, near to the village of Gradishte. One night she bended over the frothy waters and stiffened: she saw baby’s eyes looking at her and two baby’s arms come from the water and hug her. She fell and did not stand up anymore. She also did not tell the truth of Itar Peyo. As per narration of Mito Vrbovski from the v. of Pribilci, he had heard the story from this grandfather, and the grandfather from his father who was a rebel in the band of Jordan Piperkata. (Noted in 1986 by the author in the village of Pribilci, Demir Hisar)
Trajko Ognenovski, “Itar Peyo – Macedonian wag and folk funny character” published in Miscellany “Folklore and Etnology in Mriovo and Meglen”, Prilep, 1994, 207.