The Girl Who Emerged Out of an Egg IFA 13876 Narrated by Esther Elfassy (Morocco) G od was everywhere. Once, there was a wise man who could cure barren women. This man was married to a barren woman, who once asked him: “My wise husband, you can help all the other women, why can’t you help me?” He asked her to remain patient, promised her that her day will come. Since she was not patient at all, she went out, and one day she saw a hen in her backyard. She prayed to God, crying and asking why all the other women had children while she didn’t. “Please,” she prayed, “let me give birth— even if it be to only one single egg, like the one I just saw.” Her wish came true: She became pregnant, and after nine months she gave birth to an egg. She hid the egg in the kaskas* and kept it a secret, even from her husband. Nearby, in a hidden place within the city, there was a tall tower. A wicked witch who knew the secret of the woman with the egg lived in the tower. Disguised as a poor woman, she came to the house of the woman who had given birth to the egg and said: “Please lend me your kaskas so I can make couscous for my hungry children.” The innocent woman agreed and gave it to her. The witch took the kaskas with the egg in it and went to her house at the top of the tower. She threw the egg on the floor; the egg broke, and a beautiful girl with long hair emerged out of it. The witch took care of her up until the day she grew up. The girl knew nothing about the world outside the tower. The witch braided a plait from the maiden’s hair, with which she could climb up to the tower and go back down. Whenever she came back from her mysterious journeys, she called: “Flower, flower, the daughter of the winds, lower your hair and raise your old woman from depths.” And so it happened. One day, a prince went by, hearing and seeing all that happened. He ambushed the witch until she fled, and called the maiden: “Flower, flower, the daughter of the winds, lower your hair and raise your old woman from depths.” And so it happened. The girl was surprised to see the prince, because the witch had never told her about the world outside the tower. The prince told her everything about it. The maiden fell in love with the prince and wished to go with him to the world he had described to her. The prince was afraid of the witch; he warned the maiden and told her about the danger. He suggested that she should ask the witch about the magic spells with which it is possible to overcome her. In due time the maiden lowered the prince down by her hair, and he went to his hiding place. When the witch showed up, she called, as usual: “Flower, flower, the daughter of the winds, lower your hair and raise your old woman from depths.” And so it happened. When they * Kaskas A strainer for draining couscous, a typical North African food. The Girl Who Emerged Out of an Egg 189 both went to eat, the girl asked the witch: “Here you are, an old woman, but you have never told me the spells with which one can overcome your power.” At first the witch didn’t want to reveal her secret, but after the girl asked again and again, she finally answered, as she really loved her. She said: “Here are a pin, a mirror, and a comb. If you throw the pin, everything becomes dark. If you throw the mirror, a river will block the way; and if you throw the comb, thorns will grow everywhere, and I won’t be able to step.” The witch went to sleep. When dawn came, the witch went away, and the prince showed up. He called the girl, and she lifted him up. She told him the secrets of the witch. They both took all three objects and ran away. When the witch returned and didn’t find the girl, she understood that she had run away with the secret objects. She started chasing her until she almost reached her. The girl threw the pin, and it became dark. The witch lighted...
|Title of host publication||The Power of a Tale|
|Subtitle of host publication||Stories from the Israel Folktale Archive|
|Editors||Haya Bar-Itzhak, Idit Pintel-Ginsberg|
|Publisher||Wayne State University Press|
|State||Published - 2019|