chapter  30
6 Pages

The Uncouth Girl

Once there was a woman who had a daughter. The girl was pretty; she was upstanding, but very lazy. She was also sleepy, she liked to sleep a lot. But this wouldn’t have mat­tered so much-what mattered was that she farted, she farted like a draft-horse.Her mother often said to her: “Watch your arse, my girl. When you go dancing, when you are with young people, be careful, you’ll bring shame on yourself if you fart,” she said, “you’ll become the laughingstock of everyone there. Think about it!”It was no use. The girl was accustomed to letting go when she had the urge. The whole village looked down on her, no one invited her to dance, even the girls shunned her for fear that she would fart when she was in their company and others would think that one of them did it. It happened, as it did to that other girl, that a lad from a neighboring village noticed that no one took a turn with her, so he asked her for a dance. And he began inquiring whether she had a suitor. She hadn’t had one until now, she said.“Well, if I came to your house, would you accept me?”“Sure, I would,” she. said.“Then I’ll come this evening. I’d like to speak to your father and mother and ask them whether they’d let you go to another village, for maybe they wouldn’t.”“Oh,” she said, “my parents won’t mind if I live in another village when I marry.” “Then I’ll be there tonight, for sure,” he said.The girl rushed home and said to her mother: “Mother, we’d better tidy up the house-a suitor is coming this evening.”“You are telling me to tidy up? You are a girl, this is your job!”The girl straightened the bed, cleaned the lamp and swept everywhere. Soon the young man arrived. He knocked at the door. But her mother had told her before­hand: “Watch your rear-end, don’t let it erupt!”Well, the lad walked in and bade them good evening. The girl offered him a chair and they began to talk. The girl was very talkative, she loved to chat. Then the lad asked her whether she’d spoken to her mother, whether her mother would let her marry someone from another village.“She said she didn’t mind-if I love you I may go with you.”So the lad started in on the subject: “Look, Aunt Margit and Uncle Józsi”—he called them by their names-“I’d like to ask for your daughter’s hand, if you’d be kind enough to let her marry me. I live in another village but she won’t be badly off for I only have my mother and father and I am their only son.”Said the girl’s mother: “Son, if you love each other, I don’t mind, I’ll let her go. She has a nice trousseau-we have some property, and we haven’t any other children either; she is our only one.”Meanwhile the girl left the room ten times to break wind outside so as not to let it happen in front of the lad. Well, her mother and father gave her permission to leave their house.Said the lad: “I must tell you that I won’t be able to come here every day. I’ll be

back a week from Saturday and then we’ll go to the priest to register for marriage. There are a few things I must attend to until then, and settle matters with my mother and father.” They answered: “All right, son, that’s fine, as long as it is certain. But don’t deceive us!”“Quite certain, you may expect me,” he said. “Perhaps my parents will come that Saturday evening, too. We’ll register and on Sunday the priest will publish the banns. Maybe they’ll come to look around and attend Mass.”The young man rose from his seat and shook hands with the old folks and with the girl: “We are agreed,” he said, “I’ll be here Saturday evening.”The girl saw him out, they talked a little while longer, then the lad left. The girl went inside and her mother said to her:“My dear girl, you didn’t let a fart while you were talking, did you?”“No, mother, I didn’t,” she said, “I held it back, but I am so swollen that I’ll burst!” “Well, my dear girl,” said the mother, “you must break the habit. Maybe you can stop farting so much.”Soon it was Saturday.The woman said: “Now, my daughter, make a little effort! We must clean the house and dust everywhere. His parents will come to look around and they’ll know you by the work you have done here.”And that’s what they did. They whitewashed the ceiling, they laundered and in the afternoon they began baking. They baked small pastries with honey, then killed chickens and ducks and cooked a good soup for Sunday. They bought brandy and sweetened a bottleful with sugar. And they prepared a large pot of cabbage stuffed with rice and meat for the suitors. By evening everything was done and the woman said:“Well, my dear daughter, your father and 1 are going over to the neighbors for a little diversion and you’ll stay home. Watch the stuffed cabbage, don’t let it burn! Stay here and be careful, don’t let the flames get too high for the broth will boil away. If you see that it does, add some more water. And watch it, don’t fall asleep! Don’t let the lad find you sleeping!”“I won’t sleep,” she said, “I’ll wait for him.”“If you fall asleep you’ll fart, and if he happens to come in, he’ll hear it. He’ll be so disgusted that he’ll refuse to have anything to do with you.”Well, the girl sat down by the stove and watched over the stuffed cabbage. It was past eight o’clock and the lad hadn’t turned up. She said to herself: it is eight o’clock and he isn’t here yet. Maybe he won’t come any more. Why should I suffer here, by the stove? I’ll go and lie down.So she did. She had lit the lamp and let it shine, and put the dumplings on the fire. She fell asleep in no time for she was very sleepy. She liked to sleep even in day­ time.