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VERSIONS of this story are common in Finland as well as in Esthonia. One of the latter is “Rōugutaja’s Daughter” (Kreutzwald). Old Rōugutaja1 lived with his wife and daughter in a wood. The daughter had a beautiful face, but it was reported that her skin was of bark, and she could find no suitors. At last the mother contrived to inveigle a youth into marrying her daughter by means of a love-philtre, but on the first night be ran away, and shortly afterwards married another bride. On the birth p. 46 of a child, the witch-mother transforms the young mother into a wolf, and substitutes her own daughter. The nurse is ordered to take the crying child for a walk; she meets the wolf; the deceit is discovered, and the husband inveigles the witch-mother and daughter into the bathhouse, and burns it down.
There is little in this story except the bark-skin of the witch-bride to distinguish it from the numerous variants among other peoples.
1 See vol. i. p. 22.