The spindle, the shuttle, and the needle (ENGLISH) - El huso, la lanzadera y la aguja (SPANISH)


The spindle, the shuttle, and the needle


El huso, la lanzadera y la aguja

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.
Quedose huérfana una joven a poco de nacer, y su madrina, que vivía sola en una cabaña al extremo de la aldea, sin más recursos que su lanzadera, su aguja y su huso, se la llevó consigo, la enseñó a trabajar y la educó en la santa piedad y temor de Dios. Cuando llegó la niña a los quince años, cayó enferma su madrina, y llamándola cerca de su lecho, la dijo:

-Querida hija, conozco que voy a morir; te dejo mi cabaña que te protegerá del viento y la lluvia, y te lego también mi huso, mi lanzadera y aguja, que te servirán para ganar el pan.

Poniéndola después la mano en la cabeza, la bendijo, añadiendo:

-Conserva a Dios en tu corazón, y llegarás a ser feliz. Cerráronse enseguida sus ojos, y la pobre niña acompañó su ataúd llorando, y la hizo los últimos honores. Desde entonces vivió sola, trabajando con la mayor actividad, ocupándose en hilar, tejer y coser y la bendición de la buena anciana la protegía en todo aquello en que ponía mano. Se podía decir que su provisión de hilo era inagotable, y apenas había tejido una pieza de tela o cosido una camisa, se la presentaba enseguida un comprador, que la pagaba con generosidad; de modo que, no sólo no se hallaba en la miseria, sino que podía también socorrer a los pobres.

Por el mismo tiempo, el hijo del rey se puso a recorrer el país para buscar mujer con quien casarse. No podía elegir una pobre, pero tampoco quería una rica, por lo cual decía que se casaría con la que fuese a la vez la más pobre y la más rica. Al llegar a la aldea donde vivía nuestra joven, preguntó, según su costumbre, dónde vivían la más pobre y la más rica del lugar. Se le designó enseguida la segunda; en cuanto a la primera se le dijo que debía ser la joven que habitaba en una cabaña aislada al extremo de la aldea.

Cuando pasó el príncipe, la rica, vestida con su mejor traje, se hallaba delante de la puerta; se levantó y salió a su encuentro, haciéndole una profunda cortesía; pero él la miró sin decirla una palabra y continuó su camino. Llegó a la cabaña de la pobre, que no había salido a la puerta y estaba encerrada en su cuarto; detuvo su caballo y miró por la ventana a lo interior de una habitación que iluminaba un rayo de sol; la joven estaba sentada delante de su rueda e hilaba con el mayor ardor. No dejó de mirar, furtivamente al príncipe, pero se puso muy encarnada y continuó hilando, bajando los ojos aunque no me atreveré a asegurar que su hilo fuera tan igual como lo era antes; prosiguió hilando hasta que partió el príncipe. En cuanto no le vio ya, se levantó a abrir la ventana, diciendo:

-¡Qué calor hace aquí!

Y le siguió con la vista mientras pudo distinguir la pluma blanca de su sombrero.

Volvió a sentarse, por último, y continuó hilando, pero no se la iba de la memoria un refrán que había oído repetir con frecuencia a su madrina, el cual se puso a cantar, diciendo:

Corre huso, corre, a todo correr,
mira que es mi esposo y debe volver.

Mas he aquí que el huso se escapó de repente de sus manos y salió fuera del cuarto; la joven se le quedó mirando, no sin asombro, y le vio correr a través de los campos, dejando detrás de sí un hilo de oro. Al poco tiempo estaba ya muy lejos y no podía distinguirle. No teniendo huso, cogió la lanzadera y se puso a tejer.

El huso continuó corriendo, y cuando se le acabó el hilo, ya se había reunido al príncipe.

-¿Qué es esto? exclamó; este huso quiere llevarme a alguna parte.

Y volvió su caballo, siguiendo al galope el hilo de oro. La joven continuaba trabajando y cantando:

Corre, lanzadera, corre tras de él,
tráeme a mi esposo, pronto tráemele.

Enseguida se escapó de sus manos la lanzadera, dirigiéndose a la puerta; pero al salir del umbral comenzó a tejer, comenzó a tejer el tapiz más hermoso que nunca se ha visto; por ambos lados le adornaban guirnaldas de rosas y de lirios, y en el centro se veían pámpanos verdes sobre un fondo de oro; entre el follaje se distinguían liebres y conejos, y pasaban la cabeza, a través de las ramas, ciervos y corzos; en otras partes tenía pájaros de mil colores, a los que no faltaba más que cantar. La lanzadera continuaba corriendo, y la obra adelantaba a las mil maravillas.

Corre, aguja, corre, a todo correr,
prepáralo todo, que ya va a volver.

La aguja, escapándose de sus dedos, echó a correr por el cuarto con la rapidez del relámpago, pareciendo que tenía a sus órdenes espíritus invisibles, pues la mesa y los bancos se cubrían con tapetes verdes, las sillas se vestían de terciopelo y las paredes de una colgadura de seda.

Apenas había dado la aguja su última puntada, cuando la joven vio pasar por delante de la ventana la pluma blanca del sombrero del príncipe, a quien había traído el hilo de oro; entró en la cabaña pasando por encima del tapiz y en el cuarto donde vio a la joven, vestida como antes, con su pobre traje; pero hilando, sin embargo, en medio de este lujo improvisado, como una rosa en una zarza.

-Tú eres la más pobre y la más rica, exclamó; ven, tú serás mi esposa.

Presentole ella la mano sin contestarle, él se la besó, y haciéndola subir en su caballo, la llevó a la corte, donde se celebraron sus bodas con grande alegría.

El huso, la lanzadera y la aguja, se conservaron con el mayor cuidado en el tesoro real.

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