Folktales from the Ægean
View related articles Folktales from the sEgean. 197 " Dans le Lot-et-Garonne, j'ai entendu dire a une vieille femme tres interessante et un peu sorciere, avec laquelle j'ai cause" des journees, que, pour greffer les vignes autrefois (alors que Ton greffait un malaga sur d'anciens pieds francais, de meme pour les peches que Ton greffe sur des arbres sauvages), une jeune fille pubert (condition absolue) doit greffer le premier plant de chaque rangee. Dans le pays l'usage n'est plus observe", et
... plus observe", et quand j'ai demande pourquoi a la vieille Peirusseto, elle n'a su que me dire 1 Les vieux avaient dit qu'il fallait le faire.'" Peirusseto lived near Monerabeau, in that corner of the depart ment of Lot-et-Garonne which is between the departments of Gers and Les Landes (ancient Gascony). Mme. Gasquet visited the district in November, 1899. Mr. Fernand Lundgren told me a few days ago that among the Navajo Indians (North America) it is the custom that the first row or planting of maize shall be done by young girls. This custom is falling into disuse, but at one time it was considered absolutely necessary. CATHARINE A. JANVIER. March, 1900. FOLKTALES FROM THE AJGEAN. (Continued from p. 97.) XVIII. *The Woodcutter Lad. (From the same source as No. XIV.)' There was a poor woman who had one only son. • One day she found she had no meal to make bread, but her boy had to go and cut sticks on the hill, and he must have something to eat to take with him. She made him a cake out of ashes instead of flour, and told him, " Do your work first and then sit down and eat," for she was afraid he would get angry when he saw the black ashen bread, and come home and scold her and cut no sticks. Downloaded by [The University Of Melbourne Libraries] at 00:04 23 June 2016 198 Collectanea. Away he went to the hill and cut himself a big bundle of sticks, and then sat down with the other, woodcutter boys to eat When he untied his napkin and produced his black bread, the other boys laughed at him and bade him get away, and he sat down to eat by himself. As he was eating, an old monk appeared and begged to share his meal. " I have nothing but this black bread," said the boy," but share it if you will." Now this monk was Christ him self, and he had gone to the others and asked for food, but they had laughed at him and chased him away. He sat down and they began to eat, and lo, the ashen cake became a beautiful white loaf, and as they ate, it never diminished. The monk rose and took his leave, and blessed the bundle of sticks, and the boy tied the white loaf in his napkin and put the bundle of sticks on his back and started off home, and the bundle seemed no heavier than a feather. When his mother noticed the napkin and saw the white loaf, she asked him how he came by it, and he told her all . that had befallen him. She gave him some incense, and bade him return next day to the same place to cut sticks, and when he had finished his work, to bum the incense. So he did, and the old monk appeared, and asked him what he could do for him. " I want nothing at all," said the boy; but the monk said, "You may have anything you want; you have just got to ask for it and it will be yours." The boy began to trudge home with his bundle, and as he went he all of a sudden said to himself, " Why should these sticks ride on me, and why shouldn't I ride on them ? " Instantly he found himself mounted on the faggot and rode merrily home. On his way he had to pass the king's palace, and the princess "was standing on the balcony. When she saw the bumpkin riding on the faggot she/burst out laughing, and he looked up and said, "Laugh away, but may you grow.with child." 1 Sure enough after a few months the princess found herself pregnant; and one month passed, and another, and she gave birth to a boy. The king was deeply troubled, and questioned her again and again as to the father of the child, but she persisted in saying that she knew nothing of it. Then the king said, " We will do this: I will give the child an apple, and I will send and summon all my male subjects to pass before the palace window, and whomsoever he hits with the apple is his father." For three days the procla-' The same incident occurs in one of the stories in Easile's Pentamerone.