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from the June 2006 issue

I Found a White Bean

I found a white bean: where did I plant it? In the middle of a garden on a white sandy hill. Strong and tall, the beanstalk grew all the way to the sky; up the stalk, branch by branch, I climbed until I reached the sky. There I saw a son of God tally bees by the basket; from the stingers of his bees I forged a pointed sword, with my pointed sword I slew the devil's mother. My brown coat was stained, spattered with her blood: I asked Mara1, "Where shall I wash the coat clean?" "Wash it in the river, lad, where nine currents run." "Tell me, Mara, where shall I spread the coat to dry?" "Dry it in a garden, lad, in the sunlight of nine suns." "Tell me, Mara, where shall I press the coat smooth?" "Press it where you find, my lad, nine maids with mangles." "Tell me, Mara, when shall I wear that coat again?" "Wear it on the day, my lad, when nine suns appear."


1. Mara is an earth goddess.

For the next folk song in this sequence, click here.

Read more from the June 2006 issue
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