ONCE upon a time there was a mother who had a very beautiful daughter. The mother was always bustling about, but the daughter would not do anything. So she gave her such a good beating that she sat down on a flat stone to cry. One day the young owner of the castle went by. He asks:
"What makes such a pretty girl cry like that?"
The woman answers him:
"As she is too pretty she will not work."
The young man asks if she knows how to sew.
She answers, "Yes; if she liked she could make seven shirts a day."
This young gentleman is much smitten with her. He goes home, and brings a piece of linen, and says to her:
"Here are seven shirts, and if you finish them by such a time we will marry together."
She sat thinking without doing anything, and with tears in her eyes. Then comes to her an old woman, who was a witch, and says to her:
"What is it makes you so sad?"
She answers, "Such a gentleman has brought me seven shirts to sew, but I cannot do them. I am sitting here thinking."
This old woman says to her:
"You know how to sew?"
"I know how to thread the needle; (that is all)."
This woman says to her:
"I will make your shirts for you when you want them, if you remember my name in a year and a day." And she adds, "If you do not remember I shall do with you whatever I like. Marie Kirikitoun--nobody can remember my name."
And she agreed. She makes her the seven shirts for the appointed time. When the young man came the shirts were made, and he takes the young girl with joy and they are both married.
But this young girl grew continually sadder and sadder; though her husband made great feasts for her she never laughed. One day they had a frightfully grand festival. There came to the door an old woman, and she asks the servant:
"What is the reason that you have such grand feastings?"
She answers, "Our lady never laughs at all, and her husband has these grand feasts to make her gay."
The old woman replied:
"If she saw what I have heard this day she would laugh most certainly."
The servant said to her, "Stay here; I will tell her so at once."
They call the old woman in, and she told them that she had seen an old woman leaping and bounding from one ditch to another, and saying all the time:
"Houpa, houpa, Marie Kirikitoun; nobody will remember my name."
When this young lady heard that, she was merry at once, and writes down this name at once. She recompensed highly the old woman, and she was very happy; and when the other old woman came she knew her name. 1
56:2 M. Cerquand has the same tale, Part I., p. 41.
58:1 This is a very widely spread legend. Cf. Patrañas, "What Ana saw in the Sunbeam;" "Duffy and the Devil," in Hunt's "Popular Romances of the West of England," p. 239; also Kennedy's "Idle Girl and her Aunts," which is very close to the Spanish story; and compare the references subjoined to the translation of the Irish legend in Brueyre's "Contes Populaires de la Grande Bretagne," p. 159.