Grisette de Collioure

The witches of Collioure were—strangely enough—three very pretty young girls. One of them, nicknamed La Grisette, was to marry a handsome guy who loved her. But an indiscreet old woman warns the future of the diabolical actions of the beauty, advising him to watch her.

Grisette de Collioure

Grisette de Collioure

The lover managed to hide in his fiancée's room, and, without being seen, was able to await events. Around midnight the young girl opened her window, waving a white handkerchief and soon two very cute married women arrived.

'Tomorrow is the Collioure festival,' said one of them. 'Let's go to the island of Saint-Vincent and we'll pick flowers to adorn ourselves.

The proposal having been agreed, La Grisette took from her cupboard a jar full of pomade in which each lightly dipped their thumbs. At the signal: pel sus fulla, led nos to the barca, the three witches disappeared, after having made the sign of the cross nine times.

The fisherman had only to imitate his fiancée, to dip his thumb in the ointment, to pronounce the sacramental words to be transported to the beach of Collioure where the bruixas were already. And as the latter were heading towards a boat, he preceded them there and lay down under the prow. The witches sat down and the badessa cried:

Vara per un, vara per dos, vara per tres!

But as the boat did not move, she asked her comrades if any of them were in a state of pregnancy (prenys), then repeated the formula by completing it:

Vara per un, vara per dos, vara per très, vara per cuatre!

And the boat headed for the Island of Saint-Vincent, while the astonished witches wondered who was the fourth character who had caused the departure. But the sinner was quiet in his hiding place. His attention was soon attracted by a strange conversation that Grisette had about him. On my wedding night, she said, I want to turn my husband into a fish and force him to swim all along the coast. This will be funny. And his comrades laugh.

"I," said one, "changed my husband into a horse and ordered him to ride the roads." The next day he was ill...

But, at this moment, we arrived on the edges of the Island. The witches having dismounted, the fisherman also came out of his hiding place and went, like them, to pick rare flowers, then returned hastily under the prow of the boat. The return was as quick as the outward journey and the young man was very happy to touch the ground, after such an instructive journey.

The next day he told the adventure to his comrades and gave them flowers from Saint-Vincent. With them he arrived at the daily rendezvous where his fiancée was waiting for him. But the sight of the flowers troubled the young girl who, pressed with questions and seeing herself discovered, had to confess everything, confirming the words of her lover the day before.

The sinner, in fact, declared to renounce his hand, making it impossible for him to marry in the commune.