The sister and the seven brothers

There was a very poor man and woman laden with children. They had the sister and the seven brothers. When they were a little older, they told their mother that it would be better for them to go their own way, that they would be better off that way. The mother let them go with great sorrow.

the sister and the seven brothers

The sister and the seven brothers

After their departure she gave birth to a little girl and when this little girl was a little old she went one day to have fun in the neighborhood and after she had played some childish trick on her the neighbor said to her:
“You will be a good girl, too, like your brothers were.”

The child came home and said to his mother, "Mom, do I have brothers?"
The mother says yes.
" Where are they ?
-Oh ! gone somewhere. »

The girl said to him, “I must go too, then. Give me a piece of canvas big enough to make seven shirts. »

And she left right away. The mother was very upset, having already seven children outside and the only one she had left wanted to leave. So she let her go.

The young girl went far, far, very far. She asked in a town if they knew of seven brothers who worked together. They tell him no. She went to a mountain and asked there too and was told which house they lived in. She entered this house and saw that all the housework had to be done and that there was no one at home. She made the beds, cleaned the whole house and put it in order. She cooked dinner and then hid in the ash pit. The brothers came home and were amazed to see all the housework done and dinner ready.

They started to look if there was anyone in the house, but they didn't think to look in the ash pit and they went back to their work. Before dark the young girl did all the rest of the work and cooked dinner just before her brothers returned and hid again in the ash pit. His brothers were very surprised and searched the house again, but found nothing.

They went to bed, and the girl began to sew and sewed a whole shirt. She gave it to her older brother and she made a shirt like this every night and wore it to one of her brothers. They couldn't figure out how it all happened. They always said they wouldn't sleep, but they fell asleep as soon as they got into bed. When it was the youngest's turn to receive the shirt, he said to his brothers: "I assure you that I will not fall asleep." After he had gone to bed the girl came and said to him, thinking he was asleep:
“Your turn has finally come, my beloved brother. »

And she was about to put the shirt on the bed, when her brother said to her:
“So you are my sister, are you? And he kissed her.

She then told him that she had learned that she had brothers and that she had wished to join them to help them. The other brothers got up and rejoiced, learning that it was their sister who had done all the cleaning.

The brothers forbade her to go to such and such a neighbour, no matter what. But one day, without thinking about it, as she had lingered at work, she ran to the house to get a little fire, to prepare dinner more quickly. We received her very well, this woman offered to give her everything she needed, but she said she only wanted a little fire.

This woman was a witch and gave him a packet of herbs, telling him to put it as it was in the water of the footbath, it was very relaxing. Every evening the seven brothers washed their feet at the same time in a large cauldron.

She therefore put these herbs in the cauldron and as soon as they had plunged their feet into it they were transformed into six cows and the seventh into a Breton cow. The poor girl was in unspeakable pain. The poor always kissed their sister, but the young girl preferred the Breton. Every day she took them to the field and stayed with them to guard them.

One day when she was in the field, the son of a king passed by and was very surprised to see such a beautiful girl there. He spoke to her and told her that he wanted to marry her. The young girl told him that she was very poor and that it was impossible. The king said, "Yes, yes, yes, it's all the same." »
The young girl made it a condition that, if she married him, he should never kill those cows and especially not the little Breton girl. The king promised her and they got married.

The princess came home with the cows, they were always treated well. The princess found herself pregnant and gave birth while the king was away. The witch came, took her out of her bed and threw her down a precipice that was on the king's lands and the witch got into the princess's bed. When the king returned home, he found her very changed and told her that he would not have recognized her. The princess told him that it was the suffering that had made her like this, and, to heal her more quickly, he had to have the Breton cow killed.

The king said to him:
"What! Didn't you make me promise never to kill her? How can you ask me that? »

The witch considered her his worst enemy, and as she left him no peace, he sent a servant to fetch the cows. He found all seven of them near the precipice, bellowing, and he tried to lead them home, but he could not and he heard a voice, which said:
“It is not for me that I grieve, but for my child and for my husband and for my beloved cows. Who will take care of them? »

The young man failed (to bring them back) and went to tell the king what was happening. The king himself went near the precipice and heard this voice. Quickly he tossed out a long rope, and when he felt she had time to grab it, he pulled it and saw that they had the princess there. Judge the joy of the king! She told her husband everything the witch had done to her, then and now.

The king went to the witch's bed and said to her:
"I know your wickedness now, and if you don't immediately turn those cows into the handsome boys they used to be, I'll put you in a red-hot oven." »

The witch made them look like men, and despite this, the king burned her in a red-hot oven and threw her ashes into the air. The king lived happily with his wife and the seven brothers married court ladies and brought their mother and all lived very happily together.