Sacred-Texts Legends & Sagas Index Previous Next
THIS is another story which relates how a stingy farmer starved all his servants, till no one would live with him. He applied to a sorcerer, who directed him to take a black hare in a bag to a cross-road for three Thursdays running, just before midnight, and whistle for the Devil. The farmer took a black cat instead, and on the third Thursday agreed with the Devil to receive a man-servant and a maid, who should work for him for twice seven years, and who would require no food, nothing but a little water. To ratify the bargain, the farmer gave the Devil p. 181 three drops of blood from his index-finger. At the end of the time the servants disappeared, and the farmer could only find a rotten stump and a heap of birch-bark, as their names signified (Puulane and Tohtlane). Then the Devil seized the farmer by the throat and strangled him, and his wife could find no trace of him but three drops of blood, while all the corn-bins were empty, and the money-chest contained only withered birch-leaves.
A farmer who had unthinkingly devoted his lazy horse to the Devil, was much annoyed by three, who appeared successively, and demanded it. At last he was obliged to invite them to his Christmas-dinner, and to promise to feed them on blood, flesh, and corn. But a Finnish sorcerer taught him a charm by which he transformed them respectively into a bug, a wolf, and a rat.