PORTUGUÊS

O fuso, a lançadeira e a agulha

ENGLISH

The spindle, the shuttle, and the needle


Houve, uma vez, una moça que perdera os pais ainda criancinha. Sua madrinha, que era muito boa, morava sozinha em pequena casa humilde, na extremidade da aldeia, e lá passava a vida fiando, tecendo e cosendo. A velha trouxe para junto de si a pobre criança abandonada; ensinou-a a trabalhar e educou-a para viver piedosamente no santo temor de Deus.
Quando a jovem chegou aos quinze anos, a madrinha caiu doente e, chamando-a junto da cama, disse-lhe:
- Minha querida filha, sinto o meu fim aproximar-se; deixo-te a casinha, que te abrigará do vento e da chuva. Deixo-te, também, o meu fuso, a minha lançadeira e a minha agulha a fim de que possas ganhar honestamente o pão de cada dia.
Depois, colocou-lhe a mão sobre a cabeça e abençoou-a, dizendo:
- Conserva sempre Deus no teu coração, e serás feliz.
Em seguida, fecharam-se-lhe os olhos; quando a levaram para o cemitério, a afilhada acompanhou o féretro e, debulhada em lágrimas, prestou-lhe as últimas homenagens.
Desde esse dia, a moça viveu sozinha na pequena casa, dedicando-se a fiar, a tecer e a coser com grande desvelo; todo o seu trabalho tinha as bênçãos da boa velha.
Dir-se-ia que o linho se multiplicava em casa e, à medida que. tecia uma peça de pano ou um tapete, ou então, que fazia uma camisa, logo se apresentava um comprador, que as pagava generosamente; de modo que ela, não só estava livre de preocupações, mas ainda podia ajudar os pobres.
Por esse tempo, o filho do rei percorria o país à procura da esposa que lhe. conviesse. Não podia escolher uma pobre e não queria uma rica.
- Casar-me-ei com aquela que for, ao mesmo tempo, a mais pobre e a mais rica, - dizia ele.
Chegando, casualmente, à aldeia em que habitava a moça, perguntou aos moradores, como fazia habitualmente, quem era a moça mais pobre e a mais rica do lugar.
Em primeiro lugar, designaram-lhe a mais rica; quanto à mais pobre, era a jovem que habitava na casinha isolada, no extremo da aldeia.
Quando o príncipe passou pela rua principal, a mais rica estava sentada à porta de sua residência, muito bem vestida e adornada; assim que o viu aproximar-se, foi- lhe ao encontro, fazendo uma graciosa reverência.
O príncipe olhou para ela, fez uma inclinação de cabeça e, sem dizer palavra, continuou o caminho. Chegou à casa da jovem pobre; esta não estava à porta para ver o príncipe mas sim dentro de sua casinha. O filho do rei fez deter o cavalo e, através da janela cheia de sol, viu a moça sentada diante da roca, fiando ativamente.
Ela ergueu os olhos e, ao perceber o príncipe olhando para dentro da casa, enrubesceu vivamente, e baixando os olhos muito confusa, continuou a trabalhar. Não é possível saber-se se o fio dessa vez saiu bem igual, mas ela continuou assim mesmo, até que o príncipe se afastou.
Assim que ele se foi, correu a abrir a janela, murmurando: Como faz calor nesta sala!" e seguiu com o olhar enquanto pôde lobrigar as plumas brancas do seu chapéu.
Depois, voltou novamente para o seu lugar e continuou a fiar. Nisto, veio-lhe à memória o estribilho de uma canção que a velha às vezes cantava quando estava trabalhando, e ela pôs-se a cantá-la a meia-vos:

Fuso, meu fuso, anda apressado,
Traze para casa o bem-amado...

E o que sucedeu? Imediatamente o fuso saltou-lhe das mãos e saiu para a rua. Ela ergueu-se estupefata e seguiu-o com a vista; viu que ele corria pelos campos, dançando alegremente, deixando atrás de si um reluzente fio de ouro. A moça não tardou a perdê-lo de vista e, não tendo mais o fuso, ela pegou na lançadeira e se pôs a tecer.
O fuso, sempre bailando, continuou a corrida sempre para mais longe e, justamente quando o fio estava a acabar, ele alcançou o príncipe.
- O que vejo?! - exclamou o príncipe admirado. - Certamente este fuso quer-me conduzir a algum lugar!
Voltou o cavalo e seguiu o fio de ouro.
Entretanto, a moça continuava o trabalho e cantava:

Tece, minha lançadeira, a roupa fininha,
e traze meu bem amado a esta casinha...

Imediatamente a lançadeira fugiu-lhe das mãos e saiu pela porta. Mas, no limiar desta, começou a tecer um tapete tão fino e maravilhoso como nunca se vira igual no mundo.
As barras eram bordadas de rosas e lírios e, ao centro, num fundo de ouro, destacavam-se pâmpanos verdes, entre os quais pulavam lebres, coelhos, veados e cabritos monteses entremostrando a cabeça. No alto dos galhos, empoleiravam-se aves multicores, às quais só faltava cantar. A lançadeira continuava a correr de lá para cá e a obra avançava maravilhosamente.
Como lhe tinha fugido a lançadeira, a moça pôs-se a coser; tinha a agulha na mão e principiou a cantar:

Agulha, linda agulhinha,
Para o bem amado, arruma a casinha...

Mal o disse, a agulha escapou-lhe dos dedos e saiu a correr pela casa, veloz como um raio.
E era como se estivessem a trabalhar inúmeros espíritos invisíveis; a casa ficou logo arrumadinha; a mesa e os bancos cobriram-se de belos panos verdes; as cadeiras cobriram-se de veludo e nas janelas pendiam cortinas de seda.
Logo que a agulha deu o último ponto, a moça avistou pela janela as brancas plumas do príncipe, conduzido até ai pelo fio de ouro. Ele entrou na casa, passando sobre o tapete e, ao entrar na sala, viu a jovem vestida com pobres trajes, mas tão fulgurante como uma rosa na roseira.
- Tu és, realmente, a mais pobre e a mais rica! - disse-lhe o príncipe; - vem comigo e serás minha esposa.
Sem dizer nada ela estendeu-lhe a mão gentilmente. Ele então, curvou-se e beijou-a. Depois fê-la montar à garupa do cavalo e levou-a para o castelo, onde se celebraram as núpcias com grande brilho e esplendor.
O fuso, a lançadeira e a agulha, foram preciosamente conservados no tesouro real e tratados com todas as honras.
There was once a girl whose father and mother died while she was still a little child. All alone, in a small house at the end of the village, dwelt her godmother, who supported herself by spinning, weaving, and sewing. The old woman took the forlorn child to live with her, kept her to her work, and educated her in all that is good. When the girl was fifteen years old, the old woman became ill, called the child to her bedside, and said, "Dear daughter, I feel my end drawing near. I leave thee the little house, which will protect thee from wind and weather, and my spindle, shuttle, and needle, with which thou canst earn thy bread." Then she laid her hands on the girl's head, blessed her, and said, "Only preserve the love of God in thy heart, and all will go well with thee." Thereupon she closed her eyes, and when she was laid in the earth, the maiden followed the coffin, weeping bitterly, and paid her the last mark of respect. And now the maiden lived quite alone in the little house, and was industrious, and span, wove, and sewed, and the blessing of the good old woman was on all that she did. It seemed as if the flax in the room increased of its own accord, and whenever she wove a piece of cloth or carpet, or had made a shirt, she at once found a buyer who paid her amply for it, so that she was in want of nothing, and even had something to share with others.
About this time, the son of the King was travelling about the country looking for a bride. He was not to choose a poor one, and did not want to have a rich one. So he said, "She shall be my wife who is the poorest, and at the same time the richest." When he came to the village where the maiden dwelt, he inquired, as he did wherever he went, who was the richest and also the poorest girl in the place? They first named the richest; the poorest, they said, was the girl who lived in the small house quite at the end of the village. The rich girl was sitting in all her splendour before the door of her house, and when the prince approached her, she got up, went to meet him, and made him a low curtsey. He looked at her, said nothing, and rode on. When he came to the house of the poor girl, she was not standing at the door, but sitting in her little room. He stopped his horse, and saw through the window, on which the bright sun was shining, the girl sitting at her spinning-wheel, busily spinning. She looked up, and when she saw that the prince was looking in, she blushed all over her face, let her eyes fall, and went on spinning. I do not know whether, just at that moment, the thread was quite even; but she went on spinning until the King's son had ridden away again. Then she went to the window, opened it, and said, "It is so warm in this room!" but she still looked after him as long as she could distinguish the white feathers in his hat. Then she sat down to work again in her own room and went on with her spinning, and a saying which the old woman had often repeated when she was sitting at her work, came into her mind, and she sang these words to herself, --

"Spindle, my spindle, haste, haste thee away,
And here to my house bring the wooer, I pray."
And what do you think happened? The spindle sprang out of her hand in an instant, and out of the door, and when, in her astonishment, she got up and looked after it, she saw that it was dancing out merrily into the open country, and drawing a shining golden thread after it. Before long, it had entirely vanished from her sight. As she had now no spindle, the girl took the weaver's shuttle in her hand, sat down to her loom, and began to weave.
The spindle, however, danced continually onwards, and just as the thread came to an end, reached the prince. "What do I see?" he cried; "the spindle certainly wants to show me the way!" turned his horse about, and rode back with the golden thread. The girl was, however, sitting at her work singing,

"Shuttle, my shuttle, weave well this day,
And guide the wooer to me, I pray."
Immediately the shuttle sprang out of her hand and out by the door. Before the threshold, however, it began to weave a carpet which was more beautiful than the eyes of man had ever yet beheld. Lilies and roses blossomed on both sides of it, and on a golden ground in the centre green branches ascended, under which bounded hares and rabbits, stags and deer stretched their heads in between them, brightly-coloured birds were sitting in the branches above; they lacked nothing but the gift of song. The shuttle leapt hither and thither, and everything seemed to grow of its own accord.
As the shuttle had run away, the girl sat down to sew. She held the needle in her hand and sang,

"Needle, my needle, sharp-pointed and fine,
Prepare for a wooer this house of mine."
Then the needle leapt out of her fingers, and flew everywhere about the room as quick as lightning. It was just as if invisible spirits were working; they covered tables and benches with green cloth in an instant, and the chairs with velvet, and hung the windows with silken curtains. Hardly had the needle put in the last stitch than the maiden saw through the window the white feathers of the prince, whom the spindle had brought thither by the golden thread. He alighted, stepped over the carpet into the house, and when he entered the room, there stood the maiden in her poor garments, but she shone out from within them like a rose surrounded by leaves. "Thou art the poorest and also the richest," said he to her. "Come with me, thou shalt be my bride." She did not speak, but she gave him her hand. Then he gave her a kiss, led her forth, lifted her on to his horse, and took her to the royal castle, where the wedding was solemnized with great rejoicings. The spindle, shuttle, and needle were preserved in the treasure-chamber, and held in great honour.




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