Wind Woman

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.

"Pov'itr/ul'a" (wind woman) changed a baby like that: a woman had... they got married and lived for a year, and she had a baby within this year.

And the baby was three months old and she didn't have anybody in the house to watch the baby. She thinks:

[if] I leave [the baby] in the house and go to milk the cow I'll not hear the baby cry,

but, she thinks,

I'll put the baby in front of the barn (because there were the house and the barn under one roof), and she put the baby there on a bench. And she was milking the cow and once she heard the baby cry, and she heard [that] it was her baby crying, but when it began crying the second time, it was another voice.

When she came [to the baby], it was not her baby.

She went to [witch-doctors?] everywhere but nobody could help her.

They told her: you could have helped at that time, if you hadn't taken the baby but had fetched dog-rose twigs and had beaten this baby with them [na v'idl'/ik - counting beats?], and the "pov'itrul'a" would have brought your baby and she would have taken hers because she would have pitied her baby being beaten. And this baby, they said, didn't you see that it was no good.

It [the baby] lived seven years and when it saw something made of iron it [would cry:] a-a-a, asking for that, and they gave it iron objects, and it ate them as... as you eat cooked dough pieces, so it ate iron. Yes. And it is not a lie, it was precisely so.

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

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