Basque Tales 21

Basque tales

Here are various tales Basque : the enchanted belt, the servant of Arbeldi, the field of Iribarne

Basque tales

The enchanted belt

At that time the lamiñak who lived in the cave of Sare held a council to advise on ways to show the vanity of the power of the priests. Their decision made, a lamiña addressed a man, her neighbour, and said to him:
– “Go to the parish priest of Sare and tell him, on our behalf, that he must come to the cave without fail, because we want to talk to him”.

The poor man, intimidated, went to the home of the parish priest of Sare and said to him:
– “Sir, I come on behalf of the lamiñak of the old cave, to tell you that you were going to find them and that they absolutely want to talk to you”.
“I will go without fail,” replied the priest, and immediately set off.

But the priest's virtue frightened the laminaks so much that they all sank into their hole and none dared to wait for him. So he quietly returned home without having seen a single lamiña. the lamiñaks then imagine another stratagem.

They return to their messenger:
- "Who was this man dressed in black, they say, who was here just now?" Behold: you will take this silk belt to him from us, and you will tell him to gird himself with it until it is worn out”.

The man, obedient, goes to find the priest again and says to him:
– “Sir, I come to you again from the lamiñak; and here is a silk girdle they send you to wear until it is worn out.
"Have you measured the length of this silk sash?" asked the priest.
- " No sir.
- " Well ! you know the chestnut tree which is near the cave. Go and measure how many times the belt will go around it”.

The man goes away, still obedient, and unrolls the belt around the tree. But, as he reached the end, all of a sudden the tree and the belt disappeared and the man remained there, unable to understand anything and stupefied.

Arbeldi's servant

A young girl served as a servant in a house in Aya, Ataun district. She went down every Saturday to her birthplace. She stayed there with her family until Sunday, at the end of the day.

When it was time to leave for Aya she had no desire, she was helpless. One Sunday she was even lazier than usual, she didn't leave home, despite the coming evening. As night fell, her mother, upset, cursed her.

She ends up going to Aya. As she passed near the chasm of Agamunda, she saw at its entrance a hazel tree laden with fruit. She wanted to take a few and climbed the tree, but she was so unlucky that she slipped and sank into the abyss.

Nothing was heard of her until one evening the people of the Ergoone district saw something like a crack in the rock, under the Arbeldi bridge.
Out of it came half of a human arm. They pulled him out but from the depths of the crevice a voice was heard: “Leave it alone, it's mine”.

The Iribarne field

Iribarne d'Aussurucq, now deceased, going to his barn, found near the cross of the fields a golden comb that a lamiña had forgotten there. When he returned, the lamiña begged him to give her back her comb; but Iribarne denied that he had found it.

The same night, the field of Iribarne, near the cross, was covered with stones of such size that no man could have moved them; and in the morning Iribarne saw with sorrow his ruined field and returned home to tell his misfortune. His nearest neighbor gave him to understand that he had undoubtedly injured the lamiñak, the only ones capable of carrying these large stones in a single night.

Iribarne again tried to deny, then ended up confessing that he had found a golden comb and refused to return it at the lamiña's request. The neighbor advised him to return the golden comb to where he had found it, Iribarne consented to this and, the following night, his field was cleared of all the stones that encumbered it.

From that moment, everyone respected the objects belonging to the lamiñak.