Jim O'Neil

Jim O'Neil

Posted on 12/19/2013

Photo taken on December 19, 2013

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De legende van de Witte Wieven

De legende van de Witte Wieven
' De legende van de Witte Wieven', after Smit.

My friend, Marri Smit, whom I've never met, who lives in the Netherlands, posted a pastel that she painted of the Weird Sisters (http://www.ipernity.com/doc/marriennai-smit/28957579), based on an old Dutch story. I was quite taken with both her image and the story so subsequently I did this rendering.

The story, De legende van de Witte Wieven, goes something like this:

Long long ago, way before Marri was born (shucky darn, way way before even I was born!) the was a rich farmer, in the eastern Netherlands, who had a beautiful daughter Johanna but no sons. Well he wanted to marry her off to another prosperous farmer's son named Hendrik but she only had eyes for a poor boy name of Albert. Well Al came calling on Jo but her daddy said; “Hey dude get otta here! Jo's far too good for you!”

So, alas, Al hopped on his old horse and rode, sadly, in to the sunset. Now Al's momma had told him and told him; “What ever you do don't ride up the mountain at night near the weird sister pit!”

Well he forgot. Well he rode near it, and even though a lot happed on that ride, to make a long story short, he got by it and home OK -and the next day he and his sister baked a cake and took it to the pit to thank the weirds for letting him and helping him by.

OK, meanwhile back at Jo's place, Jo set up such a fuss about marrying Hen instead of Al, that her daddy finally said: “Hold it right there child, enough is enough! OK Jo, this is what I'm gonna do: I'll give each of the boys an iron split and they can ride up the mountain, throw the split in the weird sister's pit and shout down the hole 'Witte wieven wit, hier breng ik oe het spit' and the first boy to get back here gets to marry you. So there!”

Well next night Hen and Al took off up the mountain, each with their split. Al didn't think he has even half a chance as Hen's horse was much younger and faster than his.

Hen, however, said to himself; “Hey, Jo's a really hot chick, with everything in all the right places but shucky darn, she sure ain't worth facing the weird sisters for!” and tossed his split off in to the bushes without even going anywhere close to the pit. He then rushes home, jumps into bed, pulls the covers up over his head and hides there until sunup,

Al, meanwhile, goes to the edge of the pit, throws in the split and shouts “Witte wieven wit, hier breng ik oe het spit!”

Well up from the pit boils the screaming spirits with bloodshot eyes and gnashing teeth chasing him down the mountain. Al's horse moves like lightning, sure footed as a yearling, Al, down tight against his neck urging him on as he feels the spirit's breath close behind.

Well he gets to the house a hair before the spirit and slams the door shut behind him.

There's more to the story, of course, but Al and Jo live happily ever after.

My sketch; Soft pastel on 12 by 12 inch colored card stock.

Thanks, Marri, for the inspiration of your wonderful pastel and the introduction to Jo and Al!

Risa Profana, Linderesa, Marri Smit have particularly liked this photo