Here is the story of the Morgans of the island of Ouessant. There used to be (a long, long time ago, perhaps when Saint Pol came from the land of Hibernia to our island), so there was in Ushant a beautiful young girl of sixteen to ten- seven years old, who was called Mona Kerbili.
Morgans of the island of Ouessant
She was so pretty that all who saw her were struck with admiration and said to her mother:
- You have a very beautiful girl there, Jeanne! She is as pretty as a Morganès, and no one has seen her like her on the island; it is as if she had a Morgan for her father.
- Do not say that, answered the good woman, because God knows that his father is indeed Fanch Kerbili, my sailor, just as I am his mother.
Mona's father was a fisherman and spent most of his time at sea; her mother cultivated a small patch of land she owned against her home, or spun flax, when the weather was bad. Mona went to the beach with young girls her age to look for brinics (patele shells), mussels, clams, winkles and other shells, which were the regular food of the family. It must be believed that the Morgans, who were then very numerous on the island, had noticed it and were also struck by its beauty.
One day when she was, as usual, on the beach, with her companions, they were talking about their lovers; each praised the skill of its own in catching fish and in governing and directing its boat, among the many reefs with which the island is surrounded.
- You are wrong, Mona, said Marc'harit ar Fur to the daughter of Fanch Kerbili, to put off, as you do, Ervoan Kerdudal; he is a handsome fellow, he does not drink, never quarrels with his comrades, and no one better than he knows how to steer his boat through the difficult passes of La Vieille-mare and Pointe du Stiff.
- Me, answered Mona with disdain - because by dint of hearing herself say that she was pretty, she had become vain and proud - I will never take a fisherman for my husband. I am as pretty as a Morganès, and I will marry only with a prince, or at least the son of a great lord, rich and powerful, or with a Morgan.
It seems that an old Morgan, who was hiding around there, behind a rock or under the seaweeds, heard her, and, throwing himself on her, carried her to the bottom of the water. Her companions ran to tell her mother about the adventure. Jeanne Kerbili was spinning on her doorstep; she threw down her distaff and spindle and ran to the shore. She called out to her daughter and even entered the water, as far as she could go, to where Mona had disappeared. But, it was in vain, and no voice answered her tears and her cries of despair.
Word of Mona's disappearance quickly spread across the island, and no one was much surprised. "Mona," they said, "was a Morgan's daughter, and her father kidnapped her." "
His captor was the king of the Morgans of these parts, and he had taken the young Ouessantine to his palace, which was a marvel that nothing came close to what is most beautiful on earth, in terms of dwellings. royal. Old Morgan had a son, the most beautiful of the Morgans children, and he fell in love with Mona and asked his father to let him marry him.
But the king, who also had the same intentions with regard to the young girl, replied that he would never consent to allow her to take a daughter of the men of the earth as his wife. There was no shortage of beautiful Morganezed in his kingdom, who would be happy to have him as a husband, and he would not refuse her consent, when he made his choice.
Here is young Morgan in despair. He replied to his father that he would never marry, if he was not allowed to marry the one he loved, Mona, the daughter of the earth. Old Morgan, seeing him wasting away with sadness and sorrow, forced him to marry a Morganès, the daughter of one of the greats of his court and who was renowned for her beauty. The wedding day was fixed, and many people were invited.
The engaged couples set out for the church, followed by a magnificent and numerous procession; for it seems that these seafarers also have their religion and their churches, under water, just like the rest of us, on earth, although they are not Christians. They even have bishops, it is said, and Goulven Penduff, an old sailor from our island, who has sailed all the seas of the world, told me to have seen more than one.
Poor Mona was ordered from old Morgan to stay home to prepare the wedding feast. But, she was not given what she needed for that, absolutely nothing but empty pots and kettles, which were large sea shells, and it is still said that if everything was not ready and if she did not serve an excellent meal, when the wedding party returned from church, they would be put to death immediately. Judge her embarrassment and her pain, poor girl!
The groom himself was no less embarrassed and no less sorry. As the procession was marching towards the church, he suddenly cried:
- I forgot my fiancée's ring!
"Say where he is, and I'll have him caught," his father told him.
- No, no, I'm going there myself, because no one else but me would know how to find it, where I put it. I'll run over and be back in a moment.
And he left, without allowing anyone to accompany him. He went straight to the kitchen, where poor Mona was crying and despairing.
- Console yourself, he said, your meal will be ready and cooked to perfection; just trust me.
And approaching the hearth, he said: "Good fire in the hearth!" And the fire ignited and immediately flared up.
Then, successively touching the pots, the saucepans, the spits and the dishes with his hand, he would say: mackerel fried there, and wines and liqueurs chosen and of the best, in these pots… ”And the pots, pans, dishes and pots were filled by enchantment with food and liquors, as soon as he touched them only. from the hand. Mona could not believe her astonishment to see the meal ready, in the blink of an eye, and without her having put her hand.
Young Morgan then hurriedly joined the procession, and they went to church. The ceremony was celebrated by a bishop of the sea. Then we returned to the palace. Old Morgan went straight to the kitchen, and addressing Mona:
- Here we are back; is everything ready?
"Everything is ready," Mona replied quietly.
Astonished at this answer, he uncovered the pots and pans, examined the dishes and the pots and said, with a displeased air:
- You have been helped; but, I do not take you for granted.
We sat down to table; we ate and drank abundantly, then singing and dancing continued all night long.
Around midnight the newlyweds retired to their beautifully adorned bridal chamber, and old Morgan told Mona to accompany them there and stay there, holding a lighted candle in her hand. When the candle was consumed to her hand, she was to be put to death.
Poor Mona had to obey. Old Morgan stood in an adjoining room, and from time to time he would ask:
- Has the candle burnt to your hand?
- Not yet, replied Mona.
He repeated the question several times. Finally, when the candle was almost completely consumed, the newlywed said to his young wife:
"Take the candle for a moment from Mona's hands, and hold it, while she lights us a fire."
Young Morganès, who was unaware of her father-in-law's intentions, took the candle.
Old Morgan repeated his question at the same time:
- Has the candle burnt to your hand?
"Answer yes," said young Morgan.
- Yes, said La Morganès.
And at once old Morgan entered the room, threw himself on the one who was holding the candle, without looking at her, and cut her head down with a blow of his saber; then he left.
As soon as the sun rose, the newlywed went after his father and said:
- I come to ask your permission to marry me, father.
- Permission to get married? Didn't you get married yesterday?
- Yes, but my wife is dead, my father.
- Your wife is dead! ... So you killed her, wretch?
- No, father, you yourself killed her.
- I killed your wife?
- Yes, father: last night, didn't you cut down with a saber the head of the one who held a lighted candle near my bed?
- Yes, the daughter of Earth? ...
- No, my father, it was young Morganès whom I had just married to obey you, and I am already a widower. If you don't believe me, it's easy for you to make sure for yourself, her body is still in my room.
Old Morgan ran to the bridal chamber, and knew his mistake. His anger was great.
- Who do you want to have for a wife? he asked his son, when he was a little appeased.
- The daughter of Earth, my father.
He didn't answer and left. However, a few days later, undoubtedly understanding how unreasonable it was to pose as a rival of his son to the young girl, he granted her his consent, and the marriage was celebrated with pomp and solemnity.
Young Morgan was full of attentions and attentions to his wife. He fed her with delicate little fish, which he caught himself, made ornaments for her with fine pearls, and sought out for her pretty pearly, golden shells, and the most beautiful and rare marine plants and flowers. Despite all this, Mona wanted to come back to earth, to her father and mother, to their little cottage by the sea.
Her husband did not want to let her go because he feared that she would not come back. She then fell into great sadness, and did nothing but cry, night and day. Young Morgan said to him one day:
- Smile at me a little, my sweet, and I will take you to your father's house.
Mona smiles, and the Morgan, who was also a magician, says:
- Pontrail, get up.
And immediately a beautiful crystal bridge appeared, leading from the bottom of the sea to the land.
When old Morgan saw this, feeling that his son knew as much about magic as he did, he said:
- I also want to go with you.
The three of them stepped onto the bridge, Mona in front, her husband after her, and old Morgan a few paces behind them.
As soon as the first two had dismounted, young Morgan said:
- Pontrail, lower yourself.
And the bridge descended to the bottom of the sea, taking old Morgan with it.
Mona's husband, unable to accompany her to her parents' house, let her go alone with these recommendations:
- Come back at sunset; you will find me here, waiting for you; but, do not let yourself be kissed or even taken by the hand by any man.
Mona promised, and ran to her father's house. It was dinner time, and the whole little family was gathered.
- Hello, father and mother; hello, brothers and sisters, she said, rushing into the cottage.
The good people looked at her in amazement, and no one recognized her. She was so beautiful, so tall and so adorned! It hurt her, and tears came to her eyes. Then she began to walk around the house, touching every object with her hand, saying:
Here is the sea pebble on which I was sitting at the hearth; here is the little bed where I slept; here is the wooden bowl where I ate my soup; there, behind the door, I see the broomstick with which I was sweeping the house, and here, the pitcher with which I was going to draw water, at the fountain.
Hearing all this, her parents finally recognized her and kissed her, crying with joy, and they were all happy to be together.
Her husband had indeed recommended to Mona not to allow herself to be kissed by any man, and from that moment on she completely lost the memory of her marriage and her stay with the Morgans. She stayed with her parents, and soon she did not miss her lovers. But she hardly listened to them and did not want to get married.
The family had, like all the inhabitants of the island, a small piece of land, where they put potatoes, some vegetables, a little barley, and that was enough to support them, with the daily contribution. taken from the sea, fish and shellfish. There was a threshing floor in front of the house, with a stack of barley straw.
Often when Mona was in bed at night, through the roaring wind and the thud of the waves beating the rocks on the shore, she thought she heard moans and moans at the door of the dwelling; but, persuaded that it was the poor souls of the castaways, who asked prayers of the forgetful living, she recited a few De Profundis for them, pained the sailors who were at sea, then she fell asleep quietly.
But, one night, she distinctly heard these words uttered by a soul-splitting plaintive voice:
- 0 Mona, have you so quickly forgotten your husband the Morgan, who loves you so much and who saved you from death? You had promised me to come back, however, without delay; and you make me wait so long, and you make me so miserable! Ah! Mona, Mona, have mercy on me, and come back, soon!
So Mona remembered everything. She got up, went out and found her husband the Morgan, who was whining and wailing like that, near the door. She threw herself into his arms… and we haven't seen her since.