ESPAÑOL

Madre Nieve (Frau Holle)

ENGLISH

Mother Hulda


Cierta viuda tenía dos hijas, una de ellas hermosa y diligente; la otra, fea y perezosa. Sin embargo, quería mucho más a esta segunda, porque era verdadera hija suya, y cargaba a la otra todas las faenas del hogar, haciendo de ella la cenicienta de la casa. La pobre muchacha tenía que sentarse todos los días junto a un pozo, al borde de la carretera, y estarse hilando hasta que le sangraban los dedos. Tan manchado de sangre se le puso un día el huso, que la muchacha quiso lavarlo en el pozo, y he aquí que se le escapó de la mano y le cayó al fondo. Llorando, se fue a contar lo ocurrido a su madrastra, y ésta, que era muy dura de corazón, la riñó ásperamente y le dijo: "¡Puesto que has dejado caer el huso al pozo, irás a sacarlo!" Volvió la muchacha al pozo, sin saber qué hacer, y, en su angustia, se arrojó al agua en busca del huso. Perdió el sentido, y al despertarse y volver en sí, encontróse en un bellísimo prado bañado de sol y cubierto de millares de florecillas. Caminando por él, llegó a un horno lleno de pan, el cual le gritó: "¡Sácame de aquí! ¡Sácame de aquí, que me quemo! Ya estoy bastante cocido." Acercóse ella, y, con la pala, fue sacando las hogazas. Prosiguiendo su camino, vio un manzano cargado de manzanas, que le gritó, a su vez: "¡Sacúdeme, sacúdeme! Todas las manzanas estamos ya maduras." Sacudiendo ella el árbol, comenzó a caer una lluvia de manzanas, hasta no quedar ninguna, y después que las hubo reunido en un montón, siguió adelante. Finalmente, llegó a una casita, a una de cuyas ventanas estaba asomada una vieja; pero como tenía los dientes muy grandes, la niña echó a correr, asustada. La vieja la llamó: "¿De qué tienes miedo, hijita? Quédate conmigo. Si quieres cuidar de mi casa, lo pasarás muy bien. Sólo tienes que poner cuidado en sacudir bien mi cama para que vuelen las plumas, pues entonces nieva en la Tierra. Yo soy la Madre Nieve." Al oír a la vieja hablarle en tono tan cariñoso, la muchacha cobró ánimos, y, aceptando el ofrecimiento, entró a su servicio. Hacía todas las cosas a plena satisfacción de su ama, sacudiéndole vigorosamente la cama, de modo que las plumas volaban cual copos de nieve. En recompensa, disfrutaba de buena vida, no tenía que escuchar ni una palabra dura, y todos los días comía cocido y asado. Cuando ya llevaba una temporada en casa de Madre Nieve, entróle una extraña tristeza, que ni ella misma sabía explicarse, hasta que, al fin, se dio cuenta de que era nostalgia de su tierra. Aunque estuviera allí mil veces mejor que en su casa, añoraba a los suyos, y, así, un día dijo a su ama: "Siento nostalgia de casa, y aunque estoy muy bien aquí, no me siento con fuerzas para continuar; tengo que volverme a los míos." Respondió Madre Nieve: "Me place que sientas deseos de regresar a tu casa, y, puesto que me has servido tan fielmente, yo misma te acompañaré." Y, tomándola de la mano, la condujo hasta un gran portal. El portal estaba abierto, y, en el momento de traspasarlo la muchacha, cayóle encima una copiosísima lluvia de oro; y el oro se le quedó adherido a los vestidos, por lo que todo su cuerpo estaba cubierto del precioso metal. "Esto es para ti, en premio de la diligencia con que me has servido," díjole Madre Nieve, al tiempo que le devolvía el huso que le había caído al pozo. Cerróse entonces el portal, y la doncella se encontró de nuevo en el mundo, no lejos de la casa de su madre. Y cuando llegó al patio, el gallo, que estaba encaramado en el pretil del pozo, gritó:
A widow had two daughters; one was pretty and industrious, the other was ugly and lazy. And as the ugly one was her own daughter, she loved her much the best, and the pretty one was made to do all the work, and be the drudge of the house. Every day the poor girl had to sit by a well on the high road and spin until her fingers bled. Now it happened once that as the spindle was bloody, she dipped it into the well to wash it; but it slipped out of her hand and fell in. Then she began to cry, and ran to her step-mother, and told her of her misfortune; and her stepmother scolded her without mercy, and said in her rage: "As you have let the spindle fall in, you must go and fetch it out again!" Then the girl went back again to the well, not knowing what to do, and in the despair of her heart she jumped down into the well the same way the spindle had gone. After that she knew nothing; and when she came to herself she was in a beautiful meadow, and the sun was shining on the flowers that grew round her. And she walked on through the meadow until she came to a baker's oven that was full of bread; and the bread called out to her: "Oh, take me out, take me out, or I shall burn; I am baked enough already!" Then she drew near, and with the baker's peel she took out all the loaves one after the other. And she went farther on till she came to a tree weighed down with apples, and it called out to her: "Oh, shake me, shake me, we apples are all of us ripe!" Then she shook the tree until the apples fell like rain, and she shook until there were no more to fall; and when she had gathered them together in a heap, she went on farther. At last she came to a little house, and an old woman was peeping out of it, but she had such great teeth that the girl was terrified and about to run away, only the old woman called her back. "What are you afraid of, my dear child? Come and live with me, and if you do the house-work well and orderly, things shall go well with you. You must take great pains to make my bed well, and shake it up thoroughly, so that the feathers fly about, and then in the world it snows, for I am Mother Hulda." As the old woman spoke so kindly, the girl took courage, consented, and went to her work. She did everything to the old woman's satisfaction, and shook the bed with such a will that the feathers flew about like snow-flakes: and so she led a good life, had never a cross word, but boiled and roast meat every day. When she had lived a long time with Mother Hulda, she began to feel sad, not knowing herself what ailed her; at last she began to think she must be home-sick; and although she was a thousand times better off than at home where she was, yet she had a great longing to go home. At last she said to her mistress: "I am homesick, and although I am very well off here, I cannot stay any longer; I must go back to my own home." Mother Hulda answered: "It pleases me well that you should wish to go home, and, as you have served me faithfully, I will undertake to send you there!" She took her by the hand and led her to a large door standing open, and as she was passing through it there fell upon her a heavy shower of gold, and the gold hung all about her, so that she was covered with it. "All this is yours, because you have been so industrious," said Mother Hulda; and, besides that, she returned to her her spindle, the very same that she had dropped in the well. And then the door was shut again, and the girl found herself back again in the world, not far from her mother's house; and as she passed through the yard the cock stood on the top of the well and cried:


"¡Quiquiriquí,
"Cock-a-doodle doo!

nuestra doncella de oro vuelve a estar aquí!"
Our golden girl has come home too!"


Entró la muchacha, y tanto su madrastra como la hija de ésta la recibieron muy bien al ver que venía cubierta de oro.
Then she went in to her mother, and as she had returned covered with gold she was well received.


Contóles la muchacha todo lo que le había ocurrido, y al enterarse la madrastra de cómo había adquirido tanta riqueza, quiso procurar la misma fortuna a su hija, la fea y perezosa. Mandóla, pues, a hilar junto al pozo, y para que el huso se manchase de sangre, la hizo que se pinchase en un dedo y pusiera la mano en un espino. Luego arrojó el huso al pozo, y a continuación saltó ella. Llegó, como su hermanastra, al delicioso prado, y echó a andar por el mismo sendero. Al pasar junto al horno, volvió el pan a exclamar: "¡Sácame de aquí! ¡Sácame de aquí, que me quemo! Ya estoy bastante cocido." Pero le replicó la holgazana: "¿Crees que tengo ganas de ensuciarme?" y pasó de largo. No tardó en encontrar el manzano, el cual le gritó: "¡Sacúdeme, sacúdeme! Todas las manzanas estamos ya maduras." Replicóle ella: "¡Me guardaré muy bien! ¿Y si me cayese una en la cabeza?" y siguió adelante. Al llegar frente a la casa de Madre Nieve, no se asustó de sus dientes porque ya tenía noticia de ellos, y se quedó a su servicio. El primer día se dominó y trabajó con aplicación, obedeciendo puntualmente a su ama, pues pensaba en el oro que iba a regalarle. Pero al segundo día empezó ya a haraganear; el tercero se hizo la remolona al levantarse por la mañana, y así, cada día peor. Tampoco hacía la cama según las indicaciones de Madre Nieve, ni la sacudía de manera que volasen las plumas. Al fin, la señora se cansó y la despidió, con gran satisfacción de la holgazana, pues creía llegada la hora de la lluvia de oro. Madre Nieve la condujo también al portal; pero en vez de oro vertieron sobre ella un gran caldero de pez. "Esto es el pago de tus servicios," le dijo su ama, cerrando el portal. Y así se presentó la perezosa en su casa, con todo el cuerpo cubierto de pez, y el gallo del pozo, al verla, se puso a gritar:
So the girl related all her history, and what had happened to her, and when the mother heard how she came to have such great riches she began to wish that her ugly and idle daughter might have the same good fortune. So she sent her to sit by the well and spin; and in order to make her spindle bloody she put her hand into the thorn hedge. Then she threw the spindle into the well, and jumped in herself. She found herself, like her sister, in the beautiful meadow, and followed the same path, and when she came to the baker's oven, the bread cried out: "Oh, take me out, take me out, or I shall burn; I am quite done already!" But the lazy-bones answered: "I have no desire to black my hands," and went on farther. Soon she came to the apple-tree, who called out: "Oh, shake me, shake me, we apples are all of us ripe!" But she answered: "That is all very fine; suppose one of you should fall on my head," and went on farther. When she came to Mother Hulda's house she did not feel afraid, as she knew beforehand of her great teeth, and entered into her service at once. The first day she put her hand well to the work, and was industrious, and did everything Mother Hulda bade her, because of the gold she expected; but the second day she began to be idle, and the third day still more so, so that she would not get up in the morning. Neither did she make Mother Hulda's bed as it ought to have been made, and did not shake it for the feathers to fly about. So that Mother Hulda soon grew tired of her, and gave her warning, at which the lazy thing was well pleased, and thought that now the shower of gold was coming; so Mother Hulda led her to the door, and as she stood in the doorway, instead of the shower of gold a great kettle full of pitch was emptied over her. "That is the reward for your service," said Mother Hulda, and shut the door. So the lazy girl came home all covered with pitch, and the cock on the top of the well seeing her, cried:


"¡Quiquiriquí,
"Cock-a-doodle doo!

nuestra sucia doncella vuelve a estar aquí!"
Our dirty girl has come home too!"


La pez le quedó adherida, y en todo el resto de su vida no se la pudo quitar del cuerpo.
And the pitch remained sticking to her fast, and never, as long as she lived, could it be got off.





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