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Sunday, December 21, 2014

AWESOME Roma Myth: The Lying Story

Before I was born, my mother had a fancy for roast starlings. And there was no one to go, so I went alone to the. forest. And I found roast starlings in the hollow of a tree. I put in my hand, and could not draw it out. I took and got right in, and the hole closed up. I set out and went to my godfather to borrow the axe.

My godfather said, 'The servant with the axe is not at home, but,' said my godfather, 'I will give you the hatchet, and the hatchet is expecting little hatchets.'

'Never fear, godfather.'

And he gave me the hatchet, and I went and cut my way out of the tree, and I flung down the hatchet. Whilst it was falling a bird built its nest in the handle, and laid eggs, and hatched them, and brought forth young ones; and when the hatchet had fallen down, it gave birth to twelve little hatchets. And I put them in my wallet, and carried them to my godfather. My godfather rejoiced. He gave me one of the hatchets, and I stuck it in my belt at my back, and went home. I was thirsty and went to the well. The well was deep. I cut off my brainpan, and drank water out of it. I laid my brainpan by the well, and went home. And I felt something biting me on the head; and when I put up my hand to my head there came forth worms. I returned to my brainpan, and a wild-duck had laid eggs in my brainpan, and hatched them, and brought forth ducklings. And I took the hatchet, and flung it, and killed the wild-duck, but the ducklings flew away. Behind the well was a fire, and the hatchet fell into the fire. I hunted for the hatchet, and found the handle, but the blade of the hatchet was burnt. And I took the handle, and stuck it in my belt at my back, and went home, and found our mare, and got up on her. And the handle cut the mare in half, and I went riding on two of her legs, and the two hind ones were eating grass. And I went back, and cut a willow withy, and trimmed it, and sewed the mare together. Out of her grew a willow-tree up to heaven. And I, remembered that God is owing me a treeful of eggs and a pailful of sour milk. And I climbed up the willow, and went to God, and went to God's thrashing-floor. There twelve men were thrashing oats.

'Where are you going to, man?'

'I am going to God.'

'Don't go; God isn't at home.'

And the smiths felled the willow, and I took an oat-straw and made a rope, and let myself down. And the rope was too short, and I kept cutting off above, and tying on below; then I jumped down, and came to the other world. I went home, and got a spade, and dug myself out [of the other, or nether world], and went home, and gave the starlings to my mother, and she ate, and was safely delivered of me, and I am living in the world.

Wonst upon a time there was a Romano, and his name was Happy Boz’ll, and he had a German-silver grinding-barrow, and he used to put his wife and his child on the top, and he used to go that quick along the road he 'd beat all the coaches. Then he thought this grinding-barrow was too heavy and clumsy to take about, and he cut it up and made tent-rods of it. And then his donkey got away, and he didn't know where it was gone to; and one day he was going by the tent, and he said to himself, 'Bless my soul, wherever's that donkey got to?' And there was a tree close by, and the donkey shouted out and said, 'I'm here, my Happy, getting you a bit o’ stick to make a fire.' Well, the donkey come down with a lot of sticks, and he had been up the tree a week, getting firewood. Well then, Happy had a dog, and he went out one day, the dog one side the hedge, and him the other. And then he saw two hares. The dog ran after the two; and as he was going across the field, he cut himself right through with a scythe; and then one half ran after one hare, and the other after the other. Then the two halves of the dog catched the two hares; and then the dog smacked together again; and he said, 'Well, I've got ’em, my Happy'; and then the dog died. And Happy had a hole in the knee of his breeches, and he cut a piece of the dog's skin, after it was dead, and sewed it in the knee of his breeches. And that day twelve months his breeches-knee burst open, and barked at him. And so that's the end of Happy Boz’ll.

IN a hut on a mountain, in a fair forest, lived a girl with her four brothers, her father, and her mother. The sister loved a handsome rich huntsman, who often ranged the forest, but who would never speak to the pretty girl. Mara wept day and night, because the handsome man never came near her. She often spoke to him, but he never answered, and went on his way. She sang the song:

'Dear man from a far country,
Slip your hand into mine;
Clasp me, an you will, in your arms;
Lovingly will I kiss you.'

[paragraph continues] She sang it often and often, but he paid no heed. Knowing now no other succour, she called the devil. 'O devil, help me.' The devil came, holding a mirror in his hand, and asked what she wanted. Mara told him her story and bemoaned to him her sorrow. 'If that's all,' said the devil, 'I can help you. I'll give you this. Show it to your beloved, and you'll entice him to you.' Once again came the huntsman to the forest, and Mara had the mirror in her hand and went to meet him. When the huntsman saw himself in the mirror, he cried, 'Oh! that's the devil, that is the devil's doing; I see myself.' And he ran away, and came no more to the forest.

Mara wept now again day and night, for the handsome man never came near her.; Knowing now no other succour for her grief, she called again the devil. 'O devil, help me.' The devil came and asked what she wanted. Mara told how the huntsman had run away, when he saw himself in the mirror. The devil laughed and said, 'Let him run, I shall catch him; like you, he belongs to me. For you both have looked in the mirror, and whoso looks in the mirror is mine. And now I will help you, but you must give me your four brothers, or help you I cannot.' The devil went away and came back at night, when the four brothers slept, and made four strings of them, fiddle-strings--one thicker, then one thinner, the third thinner still, and the thinnest the fourth. Then said the devil, 'Give me also your father.' Mara said, 'Good, I give you my father, only you must help me.' Of the father the devil made a box: that was the fiddle. Then he said, 'Give me also your mother.' Mara answered, 'Good, I give you also my mother, only you must help me.' The devil smiled, and made of the mother a stick, and horsehair of her hair: this was the fiddle-stick. Then the devil played, and Mara rejoiced. But the devil played on and on, and Mara wept. Now laughed the devil and said, 'When your beloved comes, play, and you will entice him to you.' Mara played, and the huntsman heard her playing and came to her. In nine days came the devil and said, 'Worship me, I am your lord.' They would not, and the devil carried them off. The fiddle remained in the forest lying on the ground, and a poor Gypsy came by and saw it. He played, and as he played in thorp and town they laughed and wept just as he chose.

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