Sonntag, 16. November 2014

The Girl without Hands - Part 2

“Should she go or should she stay?” we asked at the end of part 1.
Many of you answered that if they were the girl they would go – and all the same she did.

She said to her father: “Beloved father, I know that you care about me, but I cannot stay. Bind me my bundle onto my back and bind even my arm stumps below it, then let me trek into the world.” With a heavy heart her father agreed and let her go away.
She wandered the whole day, and as evening came by and she was really hungry, she came to a river which blocked her way. On the other side of the river lay a garden with a lot of fruit-bearing trees, and of one tree she was really fond of: It beard a lot of pears which were shining golden in the sinking sun. “How should I only get over it?” the girl groaned. In her distress she prayed to god to help her. Then god sent her an angel, strong, radiant white and beautiful like the bright day. He stood in the middle of the river with the result that the water accumulated behind him and she could go into the wonderful garden. There she gone immediately to the tree with the golden pears, positioned herself under one of these firm fruits and ate it with the mouth. When it got out of her control, the angel helped her to hold it. As she braced herself enough, the angel stood itself again into the river, so that she could cross it. On the other bank was a little grove, there he made up a place for her under a bush where she could sleep.
The other morning the king of that land, the owner of the orchard with the many fruit trees, went for a walk in it and discovered suddenly: “At my tree with the golden pears one is missing. Gardener!! Do you know where it has gone?” But the gardener couldn’t provide information to him, and the king was sure that it wasn’t the gardener who has stolen the pear. Then they decided both to lie in lookout for the next night in case the thief came back.
Then the gardener lied in lookout, and it passed the same as the night before: The angel stood itself in the river to make the crossing for the girl possible. She ate another golden pear with the angel helping her. Afterwards both went back to the grove on the other bank of the river.
As the gardener told the king the other morning of what he had seen, the king shouted: “Unbelievable! I have to see that with my own eyes! Tonight I will lie in lookout with you. But let us take the priest with us, he knows best how to deal with ghosts.”
As the night was falling down, the three lied in lookout like the gardener did the night before alone: The angel stood itself in the river, the girl came across and ate with his help another pear. Then the priest approached her: “Say to me, beautiful child, are you human or a ghost?” – “I am of flesh and blood, entirely like you, my lord”, she answered while the angel vanished. Immediately the king fell in love with the beautiful girl and invited her to stay at him, and shortly afterwards the wedding took place. Because of the love to his wife he let even make her hands of silver from his goldsmith. She could use them as it were her own ones.
The both were together very happy, and the girl who became queen expected now her first child as the king one day had to go to war far away. He was very sad about it and said to his mother: “Beloved mother, regrettably I have to go away, there is no help for it. Take care for my wife very well, and send me a message as soon as the child is born!” The queen mother agreed, and because she was dearly fond of her she didn’t let her go short during the absence of the king.
As the queen gave birth to a gorgeous little prince and all the royal place was very pleased, the queen mother wrote her son immediately a message as she has promised: In that message she praised the little one to the skies and congratulated her son to that magnificent offspring. But the messenger whom she has sent with the message fell asleep in transit, and while he slept the devil swapped the message. In the message that the king got now stood: “The queen has born a changeling. It has the hairiness of a monkey, the claws of an eagle, the face of a cat and the roaring of a bear – it has to be cursed. What shall we do now with that monster?” The king frightened a lot, but because he loved his wife a lot he answered his mother that she should care well for both and that he was looking forward to come home and to get the little one known. But on his way back the messenger again fell asleep, and the devil swapped the messages anew. In the message that got the queen mother stood: “That changeling indeed has to be cursed, I don’t want anything to do with him. Annihilate that monster and store as proof its eyes and heart, then send the queen packing.” The queen mother couldn’t believe what she read there because she took the measure of her son otherwise. Because of that she sent again a messenger to ask if the king is serious with that, but in return came the same message as before because even that time the devil swapped the messages.
The queen mother was very consternated and hadn’t the heart to kill the little boy, therefore she sent the gamekeeper into the forest to bring her eyes and heart of a young deer, those she wanted to store instead of the eyes and the heart of her grandson. Then she accredited she well and with a heavy heart she sent her to go into the world.
As the king returned from war and wanted readily to see his wife and son his mother reported that he has done as he has demanded and showed him the eyes, heart and the message she received. Then the king was very upset and cleared up the misunderstanding. “How awful!” the queen mother said. “How good that I haven’t done what was written in the message, I hadn’t the heart to do so. Eyes and heart that I have shown you are descended from a deer, and I have sent you wife together with the child into the world.” Then the king was very glad and also went into the world to look for his wife and his child.
The king trekked for a long time through the world and looked for them and couldn’t find them. He barely knew where else he could search as he came after seven long years to a hut in the forest. In front of it there stood a white clothed ghost who said to him: “Feel welcome, my king, come in, here you can brace yourself. After he had eaten he lay down on the bed beneath the table, and all the hardship and deprivation of the last seven years seem to fall of him. As he waked up and had his eyes yet closed he felt how a cloth laid on his face and was only moved by his breath. Because he was curious what would happen he blew it away, and then a gentle hand laid it back to his face. Again he blew it away, and this time he even opened the eyes and got sight of a gorgeous woman and a boy. “Who are you?” he asked them. “I am your woman, my king, and this is your son”, she answered. “That’s not possible”, he replied, “my wife had no hands, but you have the most beautiful hands I ever saw.” – “Richpains, go and fetch the hands of silver out of the chest”, she told her son to do. As he brought the hands of silver she said: “You let make these hands of silver for our wedding, do you remember? But during the time I was here my wounds healed, and those wonderful hands have grown.” Then the king clasped his wife and his son gladly into his arms. They returned to the castle, celebrated a big festival and lived happily unto their end.

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