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p. 145


AT the foot of the Villina hill, near the church of Lais,1 is a swamp where rises a spring of water, called from its colour the Blue Spring. It is said that the spring can produce rain or drought, and thus cause dearth or plenty. In time of drought three widows of the same name must go to the spring on a Sunday during service-time, to clean it out and to enlarge the opening. Each must take a spade, hoe, rake, a cake of bread, and a hymn-book with her. But if too much rain falls, the spring must be closed up to a mere crevice, and this is at once efficacious.

 One day three widows named Anna opened the spring too wide, when a dreadful rain spread over the country. Sometimes it has happened that women who were about to clean the spring have failed to finish the work during church-time, and it has been fruitless. Another time the people wished p. 146 to find out how deep was the spring. They let down a stone with a long cord, but drew the cord up without the stone. They then let down a kettle filled with stones, but, to their horror, they drew up a bleeding human head instead. They were about to make another trial, when a voice cried from the depths, “If you attempt this again, you will all sink!” So the depth of the Blue Spring is still unknown.



p. 145

1 In the neighbourhood of Dorpat.