The woman of death

– Marguerite the wife of the deceased Trépas – After the wedding, they leave for the castle of the Rising Sun – Every morning, the Trépas leaves the castle only to return in the evening – One day, Marguerite’s brother comes to visit them – He wants to accompany the Death to know where he is going

Marguerite the woman of death Death

Marguerite the woman of death Death

– The first time, he fails to follow the Death, but he succeeds in the second – On the way, he witnesses unusual things which intrigue him – On his return, the Death explains to him the meaning of what he saw – Marguerite's brother wants to return home, but Death tells him that he has been gone for five hundred years and that his family and friends are dead –

There was an old maid left without a husband, probably because she had never found one. She was over forty, and people often said to her as a joke:
— You will marry again, Marguerite.
“Yes, yes,” she replied, “when Death comes to get me.

One day in August, she was alone in the house, busy preparing food for the drummers, when a person she did not know suddenly came in and asked her:
—Will you take me as your husband?
- Who are you ? She told him, very surprised.
“Death,” replied the stranger.
— So, I am willing to take you as my husband.

And she threw down her porridge stick there, and ran to the threshing floor:
— Come and dine, whenever you want, she said to the drummers, as for me, I'm going away, I'm getting married!
— It's not possible, Marguerite! cried the drummers,
— It's as I told you; my husband, the Trépas, came to get me.

The Dead, before leaving, told her that she could invite as many people to the wedding as she wanted, and that he would return exactly on the appointed day.

When the appointed day came, the bridegroom arrived, as he had promised. There was a big meal, and, getting up from the table, he told his wife to say goodbye to her parents and all the guests, because she was not going to see them again. He also told her to take a crust of bread to nibble on on the way, if she was hungry, because they had to go very far, and to tell her youngest brother, who was her godson, still in his cradle, to come see her, when he grows up, and always head towards the rising sun.

Marguerite did as she was advised, and they then left.
They were going on the wind, far, far, farther still; so much so that Marguerite asked if they would not soon arrive at the end of their journey.
“We still have a long way to go,” replied the Dead Man.
— I am very tired, and I cannot go any further without resting and eating a little.

And they stopped to spend the night in an old chapel.
- Nibble your crust of bread, if you are hungry, said the Dead Man to his wife; for my part, I will not eat.

The next morning, they set off again. They go still far, very far, ever further, so much so that Marguerite, tired, says again:
— God, how far away it is! Are we not yet getting closer?
— Yes, we are approaching; do you not see a high wall before you?
— Yes, I see a high wall in front of me.
— This is where I live.

They arrive at the high wall, and enter a courtyard.
— God, it’s beautiful here! cried Marguerite.

This was the castle of the Rising Sun. Every morning he left, only to return in the evening, and did not tell his wife where he was going. Moreover, Marguerite lacked nothing, and everything she wanted, she had it immediately. However, she was bored of always being alone, all day long.

One day, as she was walking in the courtyard of the castle, she saw someone coming down the nearby mountain. This surprised her, because no one other than her husband ever came near the castle. The stranger continued to descend the mountain, and he entered the courtyard of the castle. Then, Marguerite recognized her godson, her younger brother, who was in his cradle, when she left her father's house. And they threw themselves into each other's arms, shedding tears of joy.

— Where is my brother-in-law also, I wish him hello? asked the young man after a while.
—I don't know where he is, my dear brother; every morning he leaves on a trip, early, only to return in the evening, and he doesn't tell me where he's going.
— Well, I'll ask him this evening, when he comes back, why he's leaving you alone like this, and where he's going.
— Yes, ask him, dear brother.

The master of the castle arrived at his usual time, and he expressed great joy to his brother-in-law at his visit.
“Where do you go like this every morning, brother-in-law,” the young man asked him, leaving my sister all alone
at home ?
— I'm going around the world, darling brother-in-law.
— Jesus, brother-in-law, it is you who must see beautiful things! I would like to go with you, just once.

- Well ! Tomorrow morning, you can accompany me, if you want; but, whatever you may see or hear, do not question me, do not utter a single word, or you will have to immediately retrace your steps.
— I won't say a word, brother-in-law.
The next morning, they both set out together, and holding hands, they went, they went!...

The wind knocks off Marguerite's brother's hat, and he says:
—Wait a bit, brother-in-law, while I pick up my hat, which has just fallen off.

But he had barely said these words when he lost sight of his brother-in-law, and he had to return, alone, to the castle.
- Well ! His sister asked him, seeing him come back alone, have you learned anything?
— No really, my poor sister: we were going so fast that the wind knocked my hat off. I tell your husband to wait a little, to let me pick it up; but he continued on his way, and I lost sight of him. Anyway, tomorrow morning I will ask him to allow me to accompany him again, and I will not say a single word, whatever happens.

When the master of the castle returned in the evening, at his usual time, the young man asked him again:
— Will you allow me to accompany you again tomorrow morning, brother-in-law?
- I want it a lot ; but don't say a single word, or it will happen to you again like this morning.
— I will be careful not to speak, be sure of that.

So they leave with company again the next morning. They go, they go... Marguerite's brother's hat falls again, but this time, into a river, over which they were passing, and he forgets himself again and says:
— Come down a little, brother-in-law, so I can pick up my hat, which has just fallen into the water!

And immediately he is laid down again on the ground (for they were traveling through the air), and finds himself alone. And he returns to the castle, all sad and confused.
The next morning, his brother-in-law allowed him to accompany him again, but for the last time. They go, they go, through the air... the young man's hat falls again; but he didn't say a word this time.

They passed over a plain where the ground was all covered with white doves, and in the middle of them were two black doves. And the white doves gathered blades of grass and dry wood from all sides and piled them on the two black doves; and when they were covered with them, they set fire to the herbs and the wood.

Marguerite's brother really wanted to ask what that meant. He said nothing, however, and they continued on their way.

Further on, they arrived in front of a large gate, in the courtyard of a castle. Marguerite's husband entered through this door and told his brother-in-law to wait for him outside. He also told him that, if he grew tired of waiting and the desire came to enter too, he would only have to break a green branch and pass it under the door, and this desire would disappear. right away.

While the young man was waiting at the door, he saw a flock of birds descending on a laurel bush, which was near there; and the birds remained there for some time, singing and chirping. Then they flew away, each carrying a bay leaf in their beaks, but which they dropped at a short distance.

A moment later, another flock of birds descended on the same laurel bush, and they sang and chirped a little more than the first, and longer, and, as they left, they also took in their beaks each a bay leaf, which they also let fall, but a little further than the previous ones.

Finally, a third flock of birds fell on the bush, a moment later, and they chirped and sang better and longer than the others, and, as they left, they also each took in their beak a leaf of laurel; but he did not let them fall to the ground.

Marguerite’s brother, astonished at what he saw, said to himself: “What can all this mean? » As his brother-in-law did not return, he grew tired of waiting for him, and, having broken an oak branch all covered with green foliage, he shoved it under the door, as he had been told. Immediately the branch was consumed right down to his hand. " Hello ! he exclaimed, seeing this, it seems that it is hot in there! » And he no longer wanted to enter.

His brother-in-law finally came out, when his time had come, and they returned together. On the way, Marguerite's brother asked the other:
— Please tell me, brother-in-law, the meaning of what I saw, while I was waiting for you, at the gate of the castle: I first saw a flock of birds swooping down on a laurel bush, and, after singing and twittering there for some time, they flew away, each carrying in their beak a bay leaf, which they let fall to the ground, a short distance away.

— These birds represent people who go to mass, but who are distracted there, pray little and let their bay leaf, that is to say the divine word, fall to the ground where they forget their God.
—And the second flock of birds which then descended on the laurel tree, which chirped and sang a little longer, and also dropped their laurel leaves to the ground, but a little further away?

— These represent people who go to mass and are more attentive and pray longer than the first, but who, nevertheless, also let their laurel branch fall to the ground, that is to say, forget the word of God.
—And the third flock of birds, which chirped and sang much longer and better than the others, and also each took its bay leaf, but which they did not let fall to the ground?

— These represent the people who prayed well, from the bottom of their hearts, and did not forget the word of God, before arriving home.
—And the white doves that I saw, in a plain, gathering dry grass and wood to burn two black doves that were in their midst?
— These two black doves were your father and your mother, who were passed through the fire, to purify them of their sins. They are now in paradise.

At this moment they arrived at the castle.
Shortly after, Marguerite's brother said to his brother-in-law:
— I want to go home now.
— Go back home! And why, my poor friend?
— To see my parents, and live with them.
— But just think that you left them five hundred years ago!

All your parents died a long time ago, and where their house once was, there is now a large oak tree all rotten with age!...