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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Even More Roma Myths

THE BLACK LADY
A young girl goes to service at an old castle with the Black Lady, who warns her not to look through the window. The Black Lady goes out. The girl gets bored, looks through the window, and sees the Black Lady playing cards with the devil. She falls down frightened. The Black Lady comes in and asks her what she has seen. 'Nothing saw I; nought can I say. Leave me alone; I am weary of my life.' The Black Lady beats her, and asks her again, What saw you through the window?' 'Nothing saw I,' etc. The girl runs off and meets a keeper, who takes her home, and after some years marries her. She has a child, and is bedded. Enter the Black Lady. 'What saw you through the window?' 'Nothing saw I,' etc. The Black Lady takes the child, dashes its brains out, and exit. Enter the husband. The wife offers no explanation, and the husband wants to burn her, but his mother intercedes and saves her this time. But the same thing happens again, and the husband makes a fire. As she is being brought to the stake, the Black Lady comes. 'What saw you through the window?' 'Nothing saw I,' etc. 'Take her and burn her,' says the Black Lady. They fasten her up, and bring a light. The same question, the same answer. The Black Lady sees that she is secret, so gives her back her .two children, and leaves her in peace.

THE TEN RABBITS
In a little house on the hill lived an old woman with her three sons, the youngest of them a fool. The eldest goes to seek his fortune, and tells his mother to bake him a cake. 'Which will you have--a big one and a curse with it, or a little one and a blessing in it?' He chooses a big cake. He comes to a stile and a beautiful road leading to a castle; he knocks at the castle door, and asks the old gentleman for work. He is sent into a field with the gentleman's rabbits. He eats his food, and refuses to give any to a little old man who asks for some. The rabbits run here and there. He tries to catch them, but fails to recover half of them. The gentleman counts them, and finds some missing, so cuts the eldest brother's head off, and sticks it on a gatepost. The second brother acts in the same way, and meets the same fate. The fool also will seek his fortune. He chooses a little cake with a blessing. His mother sends him with a sieve to get water for her. A robin bids him stop up the holes with leaves and clay. He does so, and brings water. He gets the cake and goes. He sees his two brothers' heads stuck on the gateposts, and stands laughing at them, saying, 'What are you doing there, you two fools?' and throwing stones at them. He enters, dines, and smiles at the old gentleman's daughter, who falls in love with him. He goes to the field, lets the rabbits go, and falls asleep. The rabbits run about here and there. An old man by the well begs food, and Jack shares his food with him. Jack hunts for hedgehogs. He can't get the rabbits back, but the old man gives him a silver whistle. Jack blows, and the rabbits return. The old gentleman counts them, and finds them correct. The girl brings Jack his dinner daily in the field. The old man tells Jack to marry her. He does so, still living as servant in the stable till the old people's death. Then he takes over the castle, and brings his mother to live 1 with him.

THE THREE WISHES
A fool lives with his mother. Once on a hillside he finds a young lady exposed to the heat of the sun, and twines a bower of bushes round her for protection. She awakes, and gives him three wishes. He wishes he were at home: no sooner said than done. On the way he catches a glimpse of a lovely lady at a window, and wishes idly that she were with child by him. She proves so, but knows not the cause. She bears a child, and her parents summon every one from far and near to visit her. When the fool enters, the babe says, 'Dad, dad!' Disgusted at the lover's low estate, the parents cast all three adrift in a boat. The lady asks him how she became with child, and he tells her. 'Then you must have a wish still left.' He wishes they were safe on shore in a fine castle of their own. They live happily there for some time, then return home, and visit the girl's parents splendidly dressed. The parents refuse to believe him the same man. He returns in his old clothes. Triumph and reconciliation. He provides for his old mother.

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