We have also, in Basque, a version of Madame d'Aulnoy's "Abenan." It seems to be a mixture of various legends strung together by this fanciful writer; but we do not think it worth either our own or our readers' while to try to disentangle its separate parts. The pretty little tale of "The Faded Roses" has been told us from two quite different sources. This tale, though without doubt derived from the French, we can trace up in Basque further than any other. It was told us by a lady of between seventy and eighty, who heard it as a child from an old nurse, whom she distinctly remembers to have told her that she learnt it as a child from her mother. It must thus have existed in Basque over a century.
We have also two versions of Tom Thumb, who is called in the one "Ukhailtcho," or "Baratchuri"--"a clove of garlic;" 1 in the other, "Mundua-mila-pes," both containing the episode of his being swallowed by an ox; in the last, he himself is swallowed, as they are washing out the ox' entrails, by "a thief of a dog"--"Ohoñ chakhurra." It is singular that the same episode is preserved in the Gaelic; cf. Campbell, Vol. III., p. 114.
We have in MS. a long Rabelesian legend, which opens like Cenac-Moncaut's tale of "Le Coffret de la Princesse," in his "Littérature Populaire de la Gascogne" (Paris, 1868). A king will give one of his daughters to whoever can guess what the skin of a certain animal is. It is the devil who guesses it, and who marries the princess. She is saved by the "white mare," which appears in so many of our tales. She then dresses as a man, but, nevertheless, a prince falls in love with her; and then follow a lot of scenes, the converse of the adventure of Achilles in Scyros. They marry;
but, after seven years, the devil-husband reappears. After strange adventures, they are again succoured and united by the "white mare," who binds the devil for ever, and then flies to heaven-as a white pigeon, and the rest live happily ever after. This legend is from "Laurentine, Sister of Toutou," and may be mingled with Cascarrot legends. We have given it as derived from the French, partly because the heroine's name is Fifine, and because this, and "Petit Perroquet and the Tartaro," are the only tales in our collection in which the term "prince" is employed in the Basque instead of "the king's son." Cf. Campbell's "Highland Tales," passim.
191:1 This was recited to M. Vinson, and has been published by him in the "Revue de Linguistique," p. 241 (Janvier, 1876). We have since heard of a longer form preserved at Renteria, in Guipuzcoa.