Today’s tale is another from The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales by Franz Xaver Von Schonwerth. “The Howling of the Wind” is a sad story without a happy ending.
A woodsman had a son and when the woodsman died, the son had no job, so he, in typical fairy tale fashion he went out into the world to seek his fortune. He ended up getting lost in the woods and eating all he had, a crust of bread. He became terribly thirsty, but as luck would have it he spotted a footpath that led him to a well. At the well, a beautiful woman was drawing water. She offered him a drink which he accepted and then offered him a job working for her, which he of course accepted.
They soon fell in love and were married, but he woman had one condition. Her husband must not ask about her on Thursdays. For almost fourteen years, they lived happily together and had seven sons. Then hubby started getting curious – we know no good can come of that. Fairy tales don’t tend to approve of “curious.” He spies on his wife one day through the key hole in her room and sees her in the tub – and she has a fish. At this point, I’m thinking mermaid, but turns out I’m wrong.
The next day, hubby shoves his wife away when she comes near, because he doesn’t want to live with a dragon. A dragon – that surprised me. Anyway, the wife cries and says if he had just been able to wait the full 14 years, her curse would have been lifted – the curse placed on her by her own mother. She tells him that now she’s going to have to fly around til Judgement Day. “The howling of the wind will be my voice; swirls of dust will be my food;, and I will drink my tears.” Hubby tries to stop her from leaving, but she escapes and begins flying around the house. One of their sons was at each of the windows. Their mother cried as she wished them good-bye and they each began sobbing too. The boys were drawn out of the windows and their voices, too, became the howling of the wind. Not really the fierce dragon of legend, is she?
Poor guy was left all alone. His own fault really. Her secret was pretty harmless – it’s not like she was killing all her previous husbands or something.
That little line about her mom putting her under the curse is interesting. It’s her mom, not a step-mother or a witch. I wonder if she cursed her because she was such a beautiful person and mom was jealous.
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Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook