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Sixty Folk-Tales from Exclusively Slavonic Sources, by A.H. Wratislaw, [1890], at


ONE warm summer day a tall and handsome young man of Veprim was going over the hill Uczka, and found by the path on the grass a beautiful maiden, dressed in white, with a sun-kerchief, and was astounded on beholding the beauty of her countenance. Not wishing to awaken her, he tore off a large branch, and fixed it quietly in the ground, to form a shade for her. Erelong she woke up, saw the branch which had been planted, herself in the shade, and the young man standing by her. She asked him: 'Are you, young man, the person who set up this shade for me?' He replied: 'I am; for your appearance pleased me, and I was afraid that the sun would scorch you.' She said to him further: 'What do you want for this kindness?' The young man replied merrily: 'Allow me to behold your most beautiful countenance, and to take you to wife.' 'Good! I am content to take you for my husband,' said she; 'but you must know that I am a Vila. But you must never utter my name; if you speak my name Vila, I must quit you at once.' He promised that he would not, conducted

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her home, told his parents all that had happened, and how it had happened, only did not tell them that his bride was a Vila. She pleased them, and they willingly consented to the match. Erelong they were wedded. The two lived for some years in cheerful happiness; domestic prosperity continued in every shape and form, and she bore him a little daughter, beautiful as an angel.

Some years afterwards the young man one summer morning heard it thundering quite early. He got up, went to the window, saw that a terrible storm was brewing, and said to his wife: 'Wife, it is a pity and a great misfortune that we haven't cut our wheat; the hail will beat it all down.' She said to him: 'Never fear; it won't beat ours down.' After saying this she rose and went in front of the door. When she came back a terrible hailstorm began to fall. Her husband said reproachfully: 'I told you we should lose all our wheat.' She laughed at him, and said in reply: 'Go to the threshing-floor; you'll see that it hasn't beaten it down for us.' When the hail ceased, the husband did go to the threshing-floor, and there saw all the wheat nicely put together in sheaves, and, on returning, called out in utter astonishment: 'Ah, she is a Vila! she is a Vila!' But that moment she vanished. Her husband remained sad and sorrowful with his little daughter without his Vila wife.

The Vila mother still came back from time to time, visible only to her little daughter, helping her in all needs, as the most careful mother, until she grew up to a marriageable age. When the Vila's daughter came to the proper time of life, she married and was the ancestress of the present family of Polharski.--So the story.






Elliot Stock, Paternoster Row, London.