THE OLD WOMAN AND THE SEVEN CHAMOIS

Once upon a time there were an old man and an old woman, who were very poor. Winter came, and they found themselves without wood to make fire and without water to drink. The old man said to his wife:

- Are you going to get the wood with the needle or get the water with the riddle?

Wife chose to go and get the water, so she took the riddle and went to the fountain. But the old man took the ax, and climbed the mountain secretly, took a handful of kindling and turned back home. Even though the wife tried a lot, she couldn’t get even a water drop. She got so mad and went home.

- Open the door. –she began to call her husband.

Did you get the water? – asked the old man behind the door.

No. –she spoke under her breath.

Okay then, till the snow gets up to your knees, I won’t open the door. – the old man said.

The snow was falling and came up to her knees, but he didn’t open the door. It went up to her throat, but the old man was so cruel that he didn’t open the door yet.

She knew he wouldn’t open the door, so she took off in the snow, and after a while, she found a cave. It was the cave of the seven chamois. The oldest of them had seven eyes, the second had six eyes, the third had five, the fourth had four, the fifth had three, the sixth had two and the youngest of them had only one eye. The old woman hid inside the cave, and in the morning, when the chamois went out, she cleaned the place and secretly.

The chamois were surprised and said:  - Who has cleaned our cave?

No one answered, so the chamois decided to watch over the place every day. The first day, the oldest chamois stood in the cave, but she got bored watching and fell asleep. So, the old woman came out, cleaned the cave and hid again. The same thing happened to the other chamois till the turn of the youngest chamois came. She pretended to fall asleep, so the old woman came out to clean the place. So the little chamois stood up, caught the old woman and began to sing and dance.

- Lucky we, that have dear mother, you that cleaned our house, covered and helped us!

Then they went to the other chamois and they loved her like no one else did. She milked them and used the milk to make yoghurt and cheese, and she lived happily.

One day, she decided to go and visit her husband. When she got home, she found him very ill without having eaten anything.

She felt pity and gave him from the yoghurt she had taken with her, and after he got over, he begged his wife to take him with her and never leave him alone. But the old woman was afraid that the chamois would not like him, so she refused at first. After lots of prayers, she was persuaded and took him to the cave. But when the chamois saw the old man, they ran away. She went to the mountain and sang to them, and after a while she convinced them to get back to the cave, because they would be safe with her and her husband. So they went down the mountain, returned to the cave and lived with the old couple forever.