Daughter of the Witch
The Daughter of the Witch
THERE was once a witch, and she had a daughter called Guiomar, who was much attached to a certain prince. Her mother did not wish her to marry him, but the maiden told the prince to dress himself like a poor man, and some day, when her mother was not at home, to come begging, for she would open the door for him. The prince did as he was told, and the girl made him stand behind the door, and instructed him that when her mother came home he should say that he was a poor man, and to ask her to give him shelter for the night. When the witch returned home, she said, "I smell royal blood." "No, mother," said the girl, "it is a poor man who asks alms, and who would be glad to have shelter given him, as he has no place to go to." "Well, then, let him remain," replied the witch; "but he must present me to-morrow with a potful of guano of little birds." The prince, distressed to tears, asked the girl to tell him how he could possibly procure the guano. The girl, who knew some thing of witchcraft, replied, "Do not distress yourself about that, for I will show you how you are to do that." She then told him to go and place an earthenware pot at the foot of a certain great wall, which she indicated to him, and that he was to go at night for it, and he would find it full of little birds' guano; but she enjoined him very particularly not to mention to her mother what she had told him, as it was she who had instructed her. The prince did as the girl told him, and placed the earthenware pot at the foot of the wall, and at night he found the pot full of guano of little birds; and he then gave it to the mother. When the witch saw the pot, she said, "Ha! ha! ha! Guiomar has had a hand in this." But the prince said that she had not. The witch then said, "To-morrow you must plant a number of vines, and at night you must bring me a basket full of grapes from them." The prince, weeping, again went to the girl, and recounted all that the mother had ordered him to do. The girl told him not to be distressed, but to go and plant the vines, and that at night he was to go to the spot and he would find the vines full of grapes. The prince did so: he planted the vines, and at night he returned to the spot and found the grapes, and gave them to the mother. When the witch saw them, she said, "Ha! ha! ha! Guiomar has had a hand again in this." But the prince again assured her that she had not; and he went away contentedly to tell the girl the result. They afterwards agreed to run away on the following day, when the mother should go out. Next day, when they found that the mother had gone out of the house, they arranged everything for their flight. The girl spat three times on the ground at the threshold as she left the house, and they then ran away. When the witch returned and knocked at the door, one of the spits answered, "Who is there?" The witch replied, "Open to me, Guiomar." The other spit then said, "Guiomar has ran away." The witch asked, "With whom?" And the third spit answered, "With a young man." The witch then told the girl's father to go and run after them, for he might yet catch them. The father set to running; and the girl, when she was half way on the road, looked back and saw her father. She then said to the prince, "There comes my father; what shall I do?" He replied, in great fright, "Indeed, what shall we do!" But the girl said that she would arrange everything satisfactorily, and then continued saying, "Let my boy be converted into a public road, and myself into an old man with a sack on his back." And so it all took place. The father then coming up to the spot, and seeing the old man, he said, "Pray, my little neighbour, have you seen a girl, with a young man, on this road?" The old man replied-
The father, annoyed at the answer, turned back towards home. The witch had scarcely caught sight of him when she asked, "Well, did you meet with Guiomar?" "No, I did not; I met an old man with a sack on his back, and I asked him if he had scene a girl with a young man pass that way; and he replied to my inquiries thus-
and, feeling much annoyed at the stupid answer, I came away." The witch then said, "Lo! catch her, for it was Guiomar you saw!" And she hurried him back in pursuit of the girl, telling him that should he find the old man again with the sack on his back, to lay hold of him, for it was no other than Guiomar. The father renewed his pursuit; and when the girl saw him she said to the prince, "Let my lad be turned into a hermitage, and I into a hermit." When the father arrived at the spot, he asked, "Oh, my good uncle, did you happen to see a girl with a young man on this road?" The hermit replied-
"I am not inquiring for this," said the father; "but I wanted to know if your reverence has seen on this road a girl accompanied by a young man." The hermit gave the same answer as before-
The father, weary and annoyed, turned back home, and when he arrived he related to the witch what had taken place. "Lo! Catch her, for the hermit is no other than Guiomar! And since you are not clever and discriminating enough for the purpose I shall myself go there." When the girl had nearly come to the end of her journey she looked back and said, breathless and in great trepidation, "Oh! there comes my mother! I have saved myself from my father, but now I do not know how to escape from my mother!" But, after a short pause, she said, "My lad, be transformed into a river, and I into an eel!" When the mother arrived she at once found her daughter out; she came close to the edge of the river and called out three times, "Guiomar, come here!" whilst the eel replied significantly every time with her tail that she would not come. The witch then said, "The curse, which I invoke to fall upon you is, that when the prince arrives at his own palace, the first person that shall give him a kiss shall make him forget you." And saying this she went away. They now returned to their original form and continued to walk on. The girl said to the prince, "Be on your guard that no one gives you a kiss, for my mother's imprecations never fail to take effect." The prince on entering the palace was on his guard that neither his mother or his sisters should give him a kiss. As he arrived very tired he laid down to sleep. One of the sisters who was passing through his room, seeing that he was quietly asleep, gave him a kiss. When the prince awoke and Guiomar spoke to him he did not know her. And when the girl perceived it she remembered her mother's imprecation and went to live in a separate house which stood in front of the palace; and every day she dressed and adorned herself very well, and sat at one of the windows looking out. One day, as three of the chamberlains were at the palace window, they said one to the other "Who can that girl be, opposite to us? I have a mind to go and ask her if she will allow me to speak to her." The chamberlain went and passed under her window and asked the girl to allow him to have a chat with her. The girl replied that she was quite willing and appointed him to come at four o'clock in the after noon. When the chamberlain entered in and saw the girl he sat down to converse with her, until it was nearly dark; and then the girl said, "It is now almost night and my servant does not come to light a candle for me." The chamberlain said that he would go and do it for her. He tried to strike fire with the steel and flint, but do what he would he could not succeed in lighting the tinder, whilst his fingers were hurt and bleeding. He left the house very much mortified and vexed at what had happened to him, and returned to the palace. The girl had done all this to fascinate the prince by means of witchcraft, and to induce him, as will be seen, to come and speak to her. The chamberlain related what had happened to him, and one of the other three chamberlains said, "I lay a wager that I shall go there to-morrow and that she will not treat me in the same way." He therefore passed under her window next day, asked her if he could have a chat with her, and she answered that he might come when he liked. The chamberlain entered and commenced to converse with the girl; and when they had been chatting for some time the girl said, "I am very thirsty, but my servant does not come to give me water." The chamberlain said he would go and get it for her. He took up a glass and from a jar on the table commenced to pour out water, but the water instead of being poured into the glass went over him, so that he was thoroughly drenched. He left the house vexed and mortified, and returned to the palace. He recounted what had happened to him, and then the third chamberlain said, "I lay a wager that if I go and see the girl she will not- treat me in this way." Next day he passed under her window and asked the girl if she would allow him to come up and have a chat with her, and the girl said "Yes." When they were deep in conversation, a great wind began to rise, and the girl said to the chamberlain, "Oh! there is so much wind in the room, and the servant does not come to shut the window." The chamberlain immediately offered to shut the window himself; but the window began to slam and to beat him in the chest, and the more he tried to shut it the more did the window beat against him, and to such a degree that he began to spit blood profusely.
The prince found all three chamberlains very bitterly complaining of pain and vexation, and he asked them what was the matter, and they told him what had happened to them. The curiosity of the prince being roused, he said, "I also shall go to see the girl and try if the same thing will happen to me." He passed under the girl's window and asked her when he could go and speak to her. "At once," replied the girl, "and the sooner the better." The prince entered the house, and at the same time the girl threw a spell over him, so that he might remember what had passed on the highroad when they ran away from her mother's house. The prince went up the stairs, pushed open a door he came to, and he there found a public road along which an old man with a sack on his back was trudging along. He asked him the way to the queen's room, and the old man replied,
The prince went further on and he found another door, and pushing it open he there saw an hermitage and a hermit. He asked the hermit the way to the queen's room, and the hermit answered him,
At this the prince commenced to recollect that he had heard that before. He went on further and he came to another door, and inside he found that there was a river and the eel. That moment he recollected everything that had been dismissed from his mind, and falling upon his knees he begged the girl's pardon for his forgetfulness of her. The girl transformed her self back into her natural state, married the prince, and they lived happily ever after.
The text came from:
Folk Lore Society Publications, Vol. 9. Miss Henrietta Monteiro, translator.
New York: Folk Lore Society Publications, 1882.