The following Rusyn folk story was collected and translated by Elena Boudovskaya and is ©1996 by Elena Boudovskaya
Any unauthorized duplication or use is strictly forbidden.

Two sons... and the younger one married. The younger used to beat his wife very hard. The elder one married after the younger one. The mother told him [the younger brother]: "why do you beat her? You married her according to your own wish, don't beat her".

And he said "I didn't know [her] then".

Well. He beat her on Saturday. And they had to go to church on Sunday, it was Easter. The elder brother came and they were walking to church for Easter, and one devil, the younger brother's devil, told the other...People say that on one's left side there is a devil, on one's right side there is an angel.

One devil told the other "you don't know how to rule your people. Put some garbage into his food, he [the elder brother] will throw the food away and will beat his wife".

The other replied "I tried it, but he only embraced and kissed his wife", meaning the elder brother.

And while walking to church he [the elder brother] heard everything the devils were saying to each other.

"Do you want to see" [the devil said], "how my man, [the man] whom I rule, how I'll make him kill his wife today", meaning the younger brother.

"How can you do that?"

"Like this: she will go to the basement to bring some wine, and I shall [make her fall?] and he will kill her".

Great God, and the brother was listening to it. He said "brother, I'll give you an ox, a cow, but whatever your wife does, don't do anything, just kiss her. Don't beat her but kiss her".

"How can I kiss her if she does something wrong?"

"I'll tell you everything later".

And on Easter when he came home he said "go to the basement to bring some wine", the younger brother sent his wife. When she went to fetch wine he [the elder brother] said "brother, don't beat her, I'll explain you later but now I am not going to tell you [why]".

She began to cry. A ten-liter bottle fell and broke. But he embraced his wife and kissed her. When they looked at the oven [they saw that] from the place where the devil had been only grease began to flow.

"Who spilled the grease on the oven?"

"Well, brother, see how the devil burst and melted because [you] didn't do as he had ordered. Because God gave me such hearing that I heard it and now didn't let you do it. And I want you to know that the devil instigated you all the time to beat your wife."

From that time on he never beat [his wife].

..........Anna I.Pyrynec, born 1921, Novoselycja, Mizhirja raion, Zakarpats'ka oblast',
recorded in winter 1987

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