TO THE east of Frastanz, upon the boundaries of Feldkirch, lies a chain of mountains, leading southwards towards the principality of Lichtenstein, out of which range rise three lofty bare grey jagged mountain peaks, which form the boundary marks of the country, and bear the name of “the Three Sisters,” to which are joined the Frastanz Alps.
Towards the end of the last century, a Venediger-Manndl used to come every year into that country, for the purpose of picking up gold, of which large quantities were to be found, especially in the forest valley of Samina, which is situated between the Three Sisters and the Ziegerberg. The Manndl used to fly through the air from Venice, carrying a large jar, which he put under a mountain spring, which threw up gold grains from a subterranean river, and when the jar was full he flew off with it home again. As a proof, he once showed the jar full of gold to some herdsmen, who were pasturing their cows in the neighbourhood; but they would not be taken in, and so they crossed themselves and let the Venetian go, for they knew that he was a sorcerer, who practised his arts through supernatural power, like all Venediger-Manndl used to do.
At that time, there lived at Frastanz three sisters, who upon a great fête day, instead of going to mass, set out very early in the morning to climb the mountain, for the purpose of gathering strawberries, which grew there in quantities, with the intention of selling them in the afternoon at Feldkirch. Upon the mountain they met the Venediger-Manndl, who indignantly and furiously asked them, “What are you doing here to-day?” The girls were terrified, for their consciences reproached them for having neglected their duty on such a great fête day, for the sake of gaining a little money, and they answered, “Nothing, nothing.” Then the sorcerer replied, with a voice towering with passion, “Well, then, you shall turn into nothing, nothing but bare rocks, without grass or leaf, without tree or fruit, and beneath you shall be hidden my golden wealth, which no mortal being shall ever succeed in finding.” At the same moment the three girls were turned into stone, for the sorcerer, in gaining power over them by their crime, redeemed himself, and delivered them in his stead to the evil one.
There still stand the Three Sisters, touching the clouds as three mountain peaks; but the Venetian has never been seen again, and his wealth-stream is said to have been dried up. The Three Sisters look solemnly down upon the upper part of the valley, called Rheinthal, upon Vaduz, and the country of Lichtenstein.