Monday, March 17, 2014

Saddest story from Lääne county

On twenty third of January, 1680, two black clouds flew over Mihkli church in Läänemaa. The witch-hunters stepped into Ralli farm, where the old owner of the farm Hans met them.
It was an icy January evening and the children already slept.
'Where is your witchcraft stuff?' investigators asked. "Do you know the words of sorcerer? We know that your daughter Ello lives on the other side of church village."
"It's correct," Ralli Hans dryly answered. He brought some rotten meat as a proof of existence of his sorcery devices. The rotten meat had always connection with magic things.
"It's enough now," said interrogators. They took him away to the court room.
"Do not torture me," Ralli Hans said. "I cite the spells." And then he read:

Nõtku nõtku nõelakene, nõtku nõela neitsikene! Ära nõelakene kadus. Nõel ei kadund tukkudes, nõel kadus nõeludes, pisuke raudne pihus.

And it did mean a thing: "Waver-waver, needle, sway the needle, virgin! Needle was lost and not during sleep, but work, little iron in hand." It happened to be the first record of an Estonian folk-song. For the English reader, it also carries the association with following sentence:

When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?

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