Once upon a time, there lived a man who is a shepherd of goats in the mountains by the sea. The man has four sons and one daughter.
Everyday, the three sons will go fishing at the sea. The daughter would take care of the young goats.
One day, when the daughter was looking after the goat flock at the mountains, the sun suddenly becomes very dark. A thick white mist came toward the girl from the sea.
She felt very afraid until her body kept on shivering. She tries to gather the goats but it seems that there are strong arms holding her. That very day, she disappeared but the young goats did come home.
After a year and a day passed, the girl still didn’t came back home. At this time, Gorla and his wife is already old.
Ardan, the eldest son says, “A year and a day is already passed and yet our sister has not yet come home. She must have been taken away by someone. If she left us to someone, she should have given us a token so that we can remember her but she didn’t. Therefore, I vowed that I will go and search for my sister.”
Gorla says, “If you had vowed to find your sister, you must do it. But first you have to ask permission from your father and mother. Your mother will also bake one or two cakes for you to take along with you.”
The mother got us and baked two cakes; one big cake and one small cake.
The mother says, “Do you want the big cake with no blessing from me or small cake with my blessing? You can only choose one cake.”
Ardan says, “I want the big cake.” He says this because he thinks, “What good is my mother’s blessing if I am to die of hunger?”
So Ardan set out on his journey to search for his sister. After some time, he feels very tired and sit down under a tree to eat his cake.
Suddenly a raven flew by and says, “Please give me a morsel of your cake.”
Ardan says, “No! I have only a little food for myself.”
After Ardan finished eating, he continues his journey. The day has becomes so dark until Ardan saw a light shining from a house in front of him.
The door of the house is open so Ardan walked into the house. Inside the house, there is an old man lying on a bench. Opposite the old man is a young girl combing her gold hair.
The old man says, “If you can look after my three cows, I will pay you a large sum of money.”
But the girl with the golden hair says, “Don’t take up the job offer by the old man.”
Ardan says rudely, “A counsel that is unsought is worthless.”
So Ardan took up the offer from the old man. The next morning, before the deer bell rang, the golden hair maiden milked the cow and then bring them to Ardan and the old man.
The old man says, “Let the cows go wherever they want to go but you must always follow them. Don’t let anything distract you.”
When Ardan is looking after the goats, a golden cock and silver hen came by. Ardan forgot about the words of the old man. He tried to catch the golden cock and silver hen but he couldn’t. Then he remembered about the cows and looked back. Luckily the cows didn’t stray far.
Later while Ardan was sitting under a tree, he saw a golden staff and a silver staff doubling odd ways. Once again, Ardan tries to catch the golden staff and silver staff but he couldn’t.
At night, Ardan brought the three cows back. The golden hair maiden was standing at the door of the stable waiting to milk the cows. When the three cows arrived at the stable, the golden hair maiden sat down to milk them but it was not milk that flows into he bucket but a thin stream of water.
Suddenly the old man appeared. “You who has no faith in me, you have betrayed your promise and now you will get the reward that you deserve!” Immediately, the old man turns Ardan into the stone.