Milka [the Great{est} Dane]

sharing the colorful spots of my life…

Legend of the marriage in the graveyard January 28, 2012

Filed under: Portuguese Legends — Milka [the Great Dane] @ 8:49 pm

Hello my friends,

 

Today I bring you a dark legend of love, betrayal and death… from the lands of Ponte de Lima.

 

And it goes like this…

 

There once was a gentleman, one of the noblest from the lands that stretch, in a fertile valley, between high mountains, bathed in a river, the Vez, of small flow, it is true, but with graceful and elegant banks in its route to the waters of Lima.

 

 

His name was D. Soeiro and he was mayor of the castle of Tora, of combative profile, bristling with battlements, thick built on rocks. He had widowed, very recently, D. Aldonza, who appeared suddenly dead, still so young and so beautiful.

 

No one knew the extent of the mayor’s chagrin, no one had seen his tears of pain, because he locked himself up in his palace of the Valley, having no contact with friends or relatives for a few days.

 

The sad demise of the lady seemed, however, mysterious to many, has it took place at about the same time as the removal of one of her maids, Dulce, whom D. Soeiro would, often compliment or smile at.

 

Therefore, in castles and manor houses in the neighborhood, it was whispered, even with no evidence, that the husband had took revenge on his wife, with poison or dagger, after she had discovered his adulterous love and had stopped it with the expulsion of Dulce.

 

After the time of mourning, D. Soeiro returned to his duties as mayor of Tora Castle, near the border, guard and defender of the Portuguese soil.

 

Once, in a sweet evening, as they usually were in those places, when he was on his way to the castle, when passing by the cemetery where D. Aldonza rested, he saw a figure of a woman whose rich dress indicated to be high borne. She had her face discreetly hidden by a veil of light fabric. D. Soeiro, delighted with such a sighting, could not resist and urged her to show her eyes, stripped of concealment.

 

She did. And D. Soeiro could then better admire this woman, very young and very beautiful. Solicitous, he asked if he needed help; company to her home as the night progressed and it grew dangerous for a lady like her to venture alone in these places. And while saying these words, the mayor felt increasingly dominated by the seduction of the woman.

 

In a passionate drive, he even tried to touch her, but it seemed that his hands only held the breath of the wind. He took her hand, but it felt to him like ice and devoid of meat. You would say that only the bones of a skeleton had been felt! However, he also confessed an eternal love, as he thought it was impossible, from the moment he had seen that lady, to continue to live with a quiet and solitary heart.

 

The vision smiled enigmatically. Then she demanded the mayor would swear the eternity of that love on the sacred enclosure of the cemetery. And they both went there.

 

But when D. Soeiro crossed the gate of the underworld, the bell in the manor’s chapel began to clang.

 

The mayor was astonished for he had forbidden his servants, after the death of D. Aldonza, to ring the bell of the chapel. Then, at the sound of the chimes, D. Soeiro found himself in the arms of the strange lady and, speechless with amazement, heard her confession: she was the corpse of D. Aldonza, betrayed and murdered by her husband, to avenge, at that meeting, her suffering and her violent death. And as she did this revelation, while embracing D. Soeiro, she was turning, slowly, slowly, into a scary skeleton.

 

A great cry, freak, broke free of the open mouth of the mayor.
The Moon had been born in the sky, pale and mysterious. In the next morning the gravedigger was to find D. Soeiro, dead and fallen over the grave of his wife.

 

So, the people and the nobility of those stops, lamenting his death, repented of having doubted the fidelity of the mayor, after all, so in love with D. Aldonza. And never came to know the truth.

 

So, are you terrified yet?

 

Want more?

 

Stay tunned then… 😉

 

Creepy slobbers,

Milka

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Legend of the black hound January 20, 2012

Filed under: Portuguese Legends — Milka [the Great Dane] @ 11:20 pm

Here we go for another legend… and it was about time we started having some 4 legs in them.

 

So, I give you the legend of the Black Hound.

 

And it goes like this…

 

There once was a sprightly young gentleman named Don Rui Mendonca, highly esteemed at the court and by all the powerful families of the kingdom.

 

King D. Manuel the Fortunate had him as his Favourite and was always ready to listen to the grace of his witty sayings and intelligence of concepts.

 

And when the king decided to go for pilgrimage to the tomb of the apostle Santiago in Compostela (Galicia), he took him so he could enjoy his gentle presence.

 

The path chosen by the King to this pious pilgrimage passed through Ponte de Lima, a noble and very beautiful village, overlooking the lazy waters of Lima.

 

D. Manuel had there some of his House knights, lords of vast land and old manor houses. He decided, therefore, to enjoy the hospitality of one of them to rest a few days from the fatigue of travel.

 

D. Rui followed his example, visiting relatives, who spread, numerous, all over Portugal. And these relatives arranged all kinds of parties, hunting expeditions, and sailing on the clear waters of the serene river. In these festivals D. Rui met D. Beatriz de Lima, descendant by her mother’s side, who had been baptised as Madaleine, of moors from Asilah. Because of this pagan ancestry, old houses armouries in the region refused to receive D. Beatriz with assiduous intimacy, making her, so beautiful and wealthy, remain unmarried.

 

Besides, it was told that Madeleine’s mother was a kind of witch, given to spells and incantations, and she was blamed of forcing a Christian knight, through some magic love potion, to receive her daughter as wife, despite the differences in race and religion.

 

However, all these unfavourable rumours did not prevent D. Rui to fall for D. Beatriz, arrested his heart by her deep eyes full of charm, by her long hair, black and silky, the seductive attributes of moor women. And, both young, in the few hours they were together they never stopped exchanging passionate words and projects of a happy future.

 

When the king completed his rest, he prepared to resume the difficult path to Compostela. D. Rui had to join his entourage, but with sore grief of his loving heart. With their eyes glistening with tears, the young couple said their goodbyes by the banks of the moonlit Lima.

 

So, D. Beatriz asked D. Rui, at that last meeting, if he would swear eternal love to her.

 

– I swear!, confirmed D. Rui.
 
– And can you swear by these flowing waters?, Asked D. Beatriz.
 
– I swear! I will love you until these waters stop running., replied D. Rui, sobbing, while kissing her brown hand and with his heart aching from nostalgia.

 

The day after the solemnity of this oath, D. Manuel abandoned Ponte de Lima with his company. One year had not yet passed and it was known throughout the kingdom that D. Rui Mendonça would consort with a lady at Court, heir to one of the most distinguished names of our nobility.

 

But at this news, which caused so much satisfaction to friends and relatives of the young gentleman, then another followed, amazing and tragic.

 

On the day of the wedding, D. Rui, when entering the carriage that would lead to the church, suddenly took a hand to his chest and with a desperate cry of pain, fell dead! The day after this mysterious death, which mourned the kingdom, it began to appear, wallowing on the fine sands that lined the Lima, a huge black hound.

 

From time to time, the unknown animal drinks in the placid waters of the river. And if one seeks to approach it, the black hound runs the parade, the air rises and fades to the bands of the sea.

 

It is stated in the terrified town that such appearance is the soul of D. Rui Mendonca, condemned by the vengeance of D. Beatriz to go through tough punishment until the Lima stops its fluid and soft route. Until forever!

 

Ghostly slobbers!

Milka

 

The Legend of the Rooster of Barcelos January 15, 2012

Filed under: Portuguese Legends — Milka [the Great Dane] @ 12:17 pm

Hi there!

 

Time for another legend… Are you ready? 🙂

 

The legend of the Rooster of Barcelos is very ancient, from around the XVI century… And it’s probably the best known legend of Portugal.

 

Legend has it that the people of Barcelos were very alarmed because of a crime that had been committed and the criminal had not been discovered. People were very afraid.
 
One day a Galician pilgrim appeared in the area en route to Santiago de Compostela to pay a promise and stayed at an inn in Minho. As he carried a large knapsack and made little expense, the host, who was very greedy, gave the honoured stranger to the authorities, accusing him of theft.
 
The poor man, no one to defend him because he was a stranger in those sites, was sentenced to death by hanging.
 
As a last wish, he asked to be brought before the judge who had sentenced him. When he got to the judge’s home, His Excellency was feasting with some friends. The Galician came before him and told him, once again, he was innocent and, once again, nobody believed him.
 
So, in desperation, he noticed a roast chicken on a platter on the table, ready to be eaten, and said:
– It’s so true that I’m innocent that this rooster will sing when I am hanged.
 
Everyone laughed at the man’s claim, but decided not to eat the rooster. When the time came for the poor pilgrim to be hanged, the roasted rooster stood up and sang!
 
The judge went to the place where he was about to be hanged and released him immediately.

 

The people of Barcelos perpetuated their story by modelling simple clay roosters. And today, the rooster of Barcelos, of colored clay, is known even abroad and will make this legend live forever.

 

 

In addition to the tradition and also to perpetuate it, there is the statue of Our Lord of the Rooster, within a niche that is perched on a beautiful hill, right at the exit of Barcelinhos.

 

 

And now I’m curious… Once this legend is so popular even outside Portugal, have you ever heard of it or seen these clay roosters associated with Portugal? 🙂

 

Wondering slobbers,

Milka

 

Legends of love and hate between Christians and Moors January 7, 2012

Filed under: Portuguese Legends — Milka [the Great Dane] @ 1:43 pm

Hello my friends!
 
Here we are for more Portuguese legends…
 
Many centuries ago, the Portuguese lands witnessed countless wars and endless bloodshed between Christians, fighting to have their land back, and the invading Moors.
 
And, of course, many legends came to life on those times… Legends about extraordinary heroes, devout souls and legends of love between enemies.
 
Today I bring you 3 beautiful short legends about impossible love and the tragedies that follow.

 

1.      The monster in the Castle of Monforte

 

 

The castle of Monforte [in Chaves county] was once owned by the Moors, and there lived a young girl named Basília, in the company of her father and many servants. One day, news of a young warrior named D. Telmo began to reach the castle. D. Telmo was a Christian and fought the Moors to help his people.

 

As the deeds of this warrior were so heroic, young Basília fell in love without even knowing him. And despite knowing that he was a great enemy of his father, every day she felt more in love with him. Once the father learned of this love, he thought it was best to marry her to a rich Moor of the area. But she refused the marriage and locked herself in her chambers, where she never wanted to see anyone.

 

The father, angry at the attitude of his daughter, and to keep her from ever joining this D. Telmo, decided to enchant her, turning her into a hideous beast. And then people started talking about a monster dragging itself in the castle at certain nights. People say that, on nights of full moon, some people have heard sighs of lost loves coming from inside and those are the sighs of the young Basília.

 

2.      Almourol

 

 

In ancient times, around the IX and X centuries, the Castle of Almourol was owned by and old Gothic lord, D. Ramiro, married, and having an only daughter. He was a valiant soldier, but rude, proud and cruel, as were most of the Gothic lords.

 

D. Ramiro left to fight the Moors, leaving his heartbroken wife and daughter, both very beautiful.

 

Having committed a thousand atrocities during the campaign, we went back, proud of his achievements, and near the castle he found two moors, mother and daughter, both as beautiful as his wife and daughter who he had left in his manor.

 

The moor girl had a pitcher of water, and as D. Ramiro, devoured by thirst went to her, asking her to drink, the little girl became frightened and left the pitcher fall, breaking it. D. Ramiro, blinded by anger, smote the two wretches with his spear. They soon died, cursing him. At this moment, appeared a little Moor boy of 11 years, son and brother of the murdered, and the lord brought him captive to his castle.

 

The Moor, reaching Almourol, saw the wife and daughter of D. Ramiro, and swore that they would be soon victims of his vengeance. Years passed. The wife of D. Ramiro fell ill, and, little by little, she was languishing until she died as a result of a subtle poison that the Moor was giving her.

 

D. Ramiro, full of sorrow, went back to fight the infidels and left his daughter in the manor house with the new servant.

 

They loved each other, and this passion was a terrible struggle for the young man’s heart. One summer afternoon, D. Ramiro returned to the castle, accompanied by another lord, whom he had promised the hand of his daughter. It was a fatal blow to the two lovers, who shuddered. The Moor then, despaired and lost, told Beatriz everything: the cruelty of her father, the promise of revenge, her mother’s death, and the struggle being waged between his love and the oath he had made.

 

No one knows what followed this confession, but what the legend says is that Beatriz and the Moor vanished and that D. Ramiro, full of remorse and grief, died shortly after, leaving the castle abandoned and falling, little by little, into ruins. The legend says more… In the night of St. John you can see in the highest tower of the castle Beatriz and the Moor embraced, D. Ramiro cast at their feet and his wife by his side, pleading for clemency, every time the Moor speaks the word: Damnation!

 

3.      The enchanted Moorish

 

 

Legend has it that a Moorish King had a daughter who was destined to marry another King who lived in the lands beyond the Douro. She, however, oblivious to the combinations of her father, fell in love with a young man of her age, son of peasants and a Christian. So, on the first chance she got, she escaped from her palace to marry him.

 

When her father heard the news, he went in pursuit of his daughter and husband, finding them on top of S. Domingos (in Provezende, municipality of Sabrosa). Then he ordered the young man beheaded and cast a spell on his daughter, who was to endlessly wander in the mountain.

 

So people say that in the winter mornings when the fog from the river Douro hides the hills of S. Domingos, some have seen a figure of a woman wandering around there, and that is the enchanted Moor in search of her husband.

 
I just love these moorish legends! Hope you liked them. 🙂

 

Enchanted slobbers,

Milka.

 

The Legends of the Lake of the Seven Cities January 6, 2012

Filed under: Portuguese Legends — Milka [the Great Dane] @ 3:50 pm

Time for another legend!

 

For 2, actually… 🙂

 

Remember I asked you to choose what kind of legend you wanted to read next? Well, there was a tie between Moorish, Heroic and Names of Places.

 

And, once I’ve already given you one legend about the continent and another one about Madeira, it’s only fair that Azores should also be represented.

 

So, I’ll tell you about the legend of the Lake of the Seven Cities (Lagoa das Sete Cidades, in portuguese), one of the most beautiful places nature can give you. You can learn a little more about it here.

 

 

Like many islands, some of Azores’ legends also claim to have emerged from the ruins of Atlantis…

 

If you remember, the same happens with Madeira, as I posted in The Legend of the Night of Saint Sylvester.

 

One of the legends, based on the Atlantis myth, goes like this…

 

Many, many years ago, there was a Kingdom so great and flourishing that its King, White-Grey (Branco-Pardo in Portuguese) didn’t even know how many vassals, castles, cities, villages it had. It was Atlantis. Despite this wealth, the King and the Queen, White-Rose (Branca-Rosa), who had been very happy in the past, were now truly sad for not having children. White-Grey became more and more vindictive and treated his vassels really bad.

 

One night, when the King wandered through the palace gardens with the Queen, he had a vision that said:

 

 

– King of Atlantis, I bring you joy! Soon, you will father a very beautiful and virtuous daughter. But, for the evil that you’ve become to end, no man, not even yourself, can ever approach the princess. She will live within the walls of seven wonderful cities that I will raise in the most beautiful part of your Kingdom and she will only be served by maidens. Pay attention! If you dare to cross the walls of the seven cities before she becomes 20, you will be killed and a cataclysm will destroy your Kingdom.

 

The King, overjoyed, promised to do everything the voice had said and, nine months later a beautiful little princess was born. Without even looking at her, the King sent her to the seven cities, fulfilling the vision’s demand.

 

Years began to creep, slow and painful, for the parents who were separated from their beloved daughter. Princess Green-Blue (Verde-Azul), laughing and singing through the city gardens, surrounded by a retinue of virgins, grew beautiful and good at heart.

 

 

White-Grey was consumed with longing and became more and more angry and so anxious to see his daughter that it exploded from his chest. He prepared an army of his bravest warriors and marched into the seven cities.

 

The march was long and, as they approached their destination, the sky became dark and strange sounds came from the earth. But the King, crazy, kept marching until, in the tragic darkness of the day, there stood the walls of the seven cities.

 

White-Grey, dark and disturbed, lifted his sword and struck heavily on one door. In the precise moment the main gate was open, some kind of thunder rumbled, an intense fire rose from the split earth and the walls came down on the King, his vassals and all the virgins living in the seven cities. A huge volcanic cataclysm destroyed Atlantis. Finally, there was silence, the sun shone again and you could see nine small islands in the sea. The seven cities where the Princess lived became a crater covered by two quiet pools: one is green because at it’s bottom lie the green little shoes of the Princess; the other one is blue and reflects the color of the hat she was wearing when she was killed by her father’s bad judgement, the King of Altantis.

 

The other legend has a much more romantic tone, and, personally, it’s my favorite…

 

Many, many years ago, in the Kingdom of the Seven Cities, there lived a little Princess named Antilia.

 

 

The girl was the only daughter of an old widower King who was known for his bad temper. Master of Alchemy and Lord of Wisdom, the King lived exclusively for his daughter, and didn’t like the Princess to talk to anyone. The girl was always with his father or with the old nanny who had raised her since birth, when the Queen, her  mother, died.

 

 

The years went by, Antilia grew and one day she was no longer the girl with  long blond braids hanging over her shoulders, adorned with wild flowers. She had become a beautiful young woman, a princess able to charm any boy in the Kingdom.

 

However, though everybody heard about the beauty of the young Princess,  few if any ever knew her, because the King did not like her to leave the castle or the surrounding gardens.

 

But Antilia was not intimidated by her father and, with the help of her old nanny, she used to evade every afternoon, while the King was taking his after lunch nap. She would go out the back, without anyone seeing it, and would ride in the mountains and nearby valleys.

 

One day, in one of these tours, while walking through the woods, the Princess heard a song. The music was so beautiful and enchanted her so that she let herself be guided by the sound and discovered a young shepherd  playing flute, sitting on top of a hill. He was the author of this wonder!

 

 

The Princess, charmed, kept hidden to hear the young man playing the flute. And, hidden, kept hearing him for weeks, until one day the shepherd found her behind some bushes.

 

When he looked at her, it was love at first sight, and she loved him back instantly too. They kept meeting. They would spend the whole afternoon talking and laughing, the shepherd would play for the Princess and she would listen delighted, and they both felt very happy together.

 

One day the shepherd decided to ask the princess’s hand in marriage.

 

Early in the dawn, the young man knocked on the door of the Castle, and asked to speak to the King. Soon after a servant came back and took him to the king. Very nervous but determined, the shepherd bowed to the kind and looking into his eyes, said:

 

– Your Majesty, I deeply love Antilia, your daughter, and I would ask her hand in marriage.

 

– The hand of my daughter, NEVER … Did you hear … NEVER! – shouted the king – Servant, take this shepherd out immediately!

 

The young man tried hard to argue, but he would not let him talk, and kicked him out of the Castle.

 

Then the King sent for Antilia and forbade her to see the shepherd. And so Antilia did, obeying her father’s royal orders.

 

That same afternoon she came to her love and told him they would never meet again.

 

The two youngsters embraced and cried all afternoon.

 

Their tears were so abundant that two beautiful and large lakes were formed, one green after the Princess’ eye color, one blue after the shepherd’s.

 

And so these two lakes still remain in the Valley of the Seven Cities, on the island of  Saint Michael (São Miguel, in portuguese), Azores, always reminding the by-passers about the tragedy of two lovers.

 

Hope you enjoyed these stories and you become interested in visiting Azores. You will surely spend some good time there!

 

Legendary slobbers,

Milka

 

New Year’s Eve: Legend of the Night of Saint Sylvester December 31, 2011

Filed under: Portuguese Legends — Milka [the Great Dane] @ 12:37 pm

Today is New Year’s Eve.

 

How about a legend related to it?

 

It’s about the creation of our beautiful island, Madeira.

 

 

And it goes like this…

 

Many, many years ago there existed a fabulous island in the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantis, and in it lived the most wonderful civilization ever. Its inhabitants, who Plato claimed to descent from the loves of the god Poseidon with the deadly Clito, had become so arrogant that one day they decided they would conquer the whole world. Their king even dared to defy God. Then God spoke to him and told him that nothing could go against the divine power. But the stubborn king challenged him once again and decided to conquer Athens. During the battle, the king heard the voice of God again, telling him that, to punish his arrogance and ingratitude, Athens would be victorious. And so it happened. And defeat was followed by terrible storms, earthquakes and floods that engulfed the beautiful Atlantis forever.

 

Many hundreds of years later, the Virgin Mary was bending from the sky over the ocean, sitting on a cloud, when St. Sylvester came to her. That was the last night of the year and St. Sylvester thought it should mean something different to mankind, to mark the boundary between past and future, giving them the opportunity to repent of their errors and to expect something better from life. The Holy Mother thought it was a very good idea and then told him the reason why she was watching the sea with such sadness: she remembered the beautiful Atlantis that had been sunk by God because of the errors and sins of its inhabitants. As she spoke, tears of sorrow and compassion dropped from her eyes because, despite the punishment, humanity had not repented.

 

Emotionally, Sylvester noticed that those were not simple tears felling from her eyes. They were authentic pearls!. Then, one of those tears fell into the place where the extraordinary Atlantis had existed, thus being born the island of Madeira which became known as the Pearl of the Atlantic. The old ones say that, for a long time, on the night of St. Sylvester, when the midnight chimes stroke, in the sky appeared a vision of light and brilliant colors in the air, leaving a stunning fragrance. Over the years this vision disappeared, but the people kept it in the famous Christmas and New Year’ festivities with amazing fireworks to celebrate the Night of St. Sylvester.

 

 

Hope you liked it and don’t forget to vote for the kind of legend you want next.

 

 

See you next year!!!

 

Festive slobbers,

Milka

 

Next legend: you choose December 30, 2011

Filed under: Portuguese Legends — Milka [the Great Dane] @ 5:38 pm

 

Ok, after Gerald the Fearless, what kind of lenged you want next?

 

 

 

 

Waiting for you to decide! 🙂

 

Slobbers,

Milka