Bleu Kelsch

The woman in strawberries

(Canton de Dannemarie)

The wood of Hasenberg, near Hagenbach, was formerly haunted by a strange ghost: it was the Woman in strawberries. We so called him(it) because she(it) roamed in wood, at the time of the picking of strawberries. Whom was she(it), where from did she(it) come, where from did she want? We have never known him(it) really. Without being sure(safe), we thought that she stayed up jealously wild strawberries, these small red berries and perfumed which grow and mature level with the ground, within the reach of the childish handcuffs.

In the part of the country, especially at the beginning of the summer, we often evoked the Woman in Strawberries. We threatened the children with it tried to gain(win) the forest to satisfy their greed. Nevertheless, certain kids dared to venture, the basket in the arm, in search of small delicious fruits; and they ran away deftly, like sparrows which égaillent, as soon as the appearance showed itself. She(it) had hurt however never anybody; so while saving itself in his(her,its) approach, we took time to look at her(it) a little. That is why we described her(it) dressed in a wrinkled dress and richly decorated, which fell up to its feet; with long fair hair coming down to(falling) him(her) behind shoulders. When she(it) walked(worked), it is hardly, so much she(it) was light, if she(it) landed.

A day, this fairy surprised three girls occupied with filling(performing) with strawberries their small baskets. By seeing her(it), two of them escaped, quite frightened, whereas the third remained on-the-spot, doubtless enthralled(subjugated) by the beauty of the lady. This girl, whose legend curiously kept(preserved) the patronymic - Kuster-, crossed(spent) as being rather fearless. She was not thus afraid of the fairy when she approached him(it), and let her(it) caress(cherish) him(her) the head. And as the wonderful appearance asked him(her), in a melodious voice(vote), to recite immediately five Paternoster to its intention, she(it) ran docilely.

Once the prayer was finished, the fairy disappeared slowly, such a scarf(sling) of mist was scattered by a breath of breeze; and the child heard(understood) then, through the forest, his(her) soft voice(vote) which said: " I am freed(delivered) from a heavy burden, and I am soon going you to reward for it ".

The girl, every dreamer, got back to the house of her parents(relatives). A few days later, she(it) was taken by the strange evil and went out slowly, as a lamp was deprived of oil: the lady in Strawberries, faithful to her promise, had just welcomed him(it) in the Afterlife.

Légendes d’Alsace, Gravier, tomme 1.