ESPAÑOL

La ondina

ENGLISH

The water-nix


Un hermanito jugaba con su hermanita al borde de un manantial, y he aquí que, jugando, se cayeron los dos adentro. En el fondo vivía una ondina, que les dijo:
- ¡Ya os he cogido! Ahora vais a trabajar para mí, y de firme.
A la niña diole a hilar un lino sucio y enredado, y luego la obligó a echar agua en un barril sin fondo; el niño hubo de cortar un árbol con un hacha mellada. Y para comer no les daba más que unas albóndigas, duras como piedra. Finalmente, los niños perdieron la paciencia y, esperando un domingo a que la bruja estuviese en la iglesia, huyeron. Terminada la función, al darse cuenta la ondina de que sus pájaros habían volado, salió en su persecución a grandes saltos. Viéronla los niños desde lejos, y la hermanita soltó detrás de sí un cepillo, que se convirtió en una montaña erizada de miles y miles de púas, sobre las cuales hubo de trepar la ondina con grandes trabajos; pero al final pudo pasarla. Entonces el muchachito dejó caer un peine, que se convirtió en una enorme sierra con innumerables picachos; pero también se las compuso la ondina para cruzarla. Como último recurso, la niña arrojó hacia atrás un espejo, el cual produjo una montaña llana, tan lisa y bruñida que su perseguidora no pudo ya pasar por ella. Pensó entonces: "Volveré a casa corriendo, y cogeré un hacha para romper el cristal." Pero al tiempo que iba y volvía y se entretenía partiendo el cristal a hachazos, los niños habían tomado una enorme delantera, y la ondina no tuvo más remedio que volverse, pasito a paso, a su manantial.
A little brother and sister were once playing by a well, and while they were thus playing, they both fell in. A water-nix lived down below, who said, "Now I have got you, now you shall work hard for me!" and carried them off with her. She gave the girl dirty tangled flax to spin, and she had to fetch water in a bucket with a hole in it, and the boy had to hew down a tree with a blunt axe, and they got nothing to eat but dumplings as hard as stones. Then at last the children became so impatient, that they waited until one Sunday, when the nix was at church, and ran away. But when church was over, the nix saw that the birds were flown, and followed them with great strides. The children saw her from afar, and the girl threw a brush behind her which formed an immense hill of bristles, with thousands and thousands of spikes, over which the nix was forced to scramble with great difficulty; at last, however, she got over. When the children saw this, the boy threw behind him a comb which made a great hill of combs with a thousand times a thousand teeth, but the nix managed to keep herself steady on them, and at last crossed over that. Then the girl threw behind her a looking-glass which formed a hill of mirrors, and was so slippery that it was impossible for the nix to cross it. Then she thought, "I will go home quickly and fetch my axe, and cut the hill of glass in half." Long before she returned, however, and had hewn through the glass, the children had escaped to a great distance, and the water-nix was obliged to betake herself to her well again.




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