chapter  26
6 Pages

The Székely Bride

So the pair went to the priest to register for marriage. Then they had their wedding and held a big feast.A while later the young bride said to her husband: “Look, it would be nice to visit my father and mother, to see how they are doing.”For when she married, the girl had been taken from her home to the house of her husband.He said: “I don’t mind, let’s go.” And so they set out. The young bride packed a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and a flitch of bacon for the road and they departed. The man yoked two oxen and they left on a wagon. Soon they approached the girl’s village. She said: “We’ll be home shortly. We are coming to my village.”She looked into a courtyard and saw a stack of hay“Oh,” she said, “look, what a huge stack of hay they have there!”He said: “Wife, that’s not hay, that’s straw.”“That’s hay, for sure,” she said.“It’s not hay, it’s straw.” They went on arguing until the woman grew so angry that she took the loaf of bread and flung it between the oxen with such force that it broke into pieces. This startled the oxen-they lunged forward and nearly tipped over the wagon as they charged ahead. They became wild.Said the woman: “Say that it is hay!”“Oh no! Why should I, when it is straw!”Whereupon the young bride grew angry again, took the jug of wine and threw it between the oxen. This made them even wilder. She grabbed the flitch of bacon and threw that, too. She vented her fury on the oxen. Soon they reached the gate of the house. They opened it and drove in.Said the young woman: “Say that it’s hay!”“Wife, stop being foolish. Of course I won’t say hay when it’s straw!”Well, they entered the house. But the young bride’s nose was so out of joint that she wouldn’t say a word. Her father and mother were happy that the newlyweds had come to visit, and the neighbors and relatives had all gathered to welcome them. They were chatting and rejoicing with each other, but the woman was angry, in no mood to talk. The man leaned over to her and said: “Don’t show your anger here! Say some­thing else, as it is fitting, don’t be a fool!”“Then say that it’s hay.”“Oh no, I won’t, since it’s straw!”Now the young bride became so furious that she fell ill. She developed a high fever, complained of a headache and pain all over her body. She was deathly ill.Her mother said to her: “My dear girl, what is the matter with you? Why are you so sick?”