A changeling | Un sustituto

A reputed changeling shown to Waldron in the Isle of Man early in the last century is thus described: “Nothing under heaven could have a more beautiful face; but though between five and six years old, and seemingly healthy, he was so far from being able to walk, or stand, that he could not so much as move any one joint; his limbs were vastly long for his age, but smaller than an infant’s of six months; his complexion was perfectly delicate, and he had the finest hair in the world; he never spoke, nor cried, eat scarce anything, and was very seldom seen to smile, but if any one called him a fairy-elf, he would frown and fix his eyes so earnestly on those who said it, as if he would look them through. His mother, or at least his supposed mother, being very poor, frequently went out a-charing, and left him a whole day together. The neighbours, out of curiosity, have often looked in at the window to see how he behaved when alone, which, whenever they did, they were sure to find him laughing and in the utmost delight. This made them judge that he was not without company more pleasing to him than any mortal’s could be; and what made this conjecture seem the more reasonable was, that if he were left ever so dirty, the woman at her return saw him with a clean face, and his hair combed with the utmost exactness and nicety.”

 

 

Un famoso changeling (un niño sustituto) que le mostraron a Waldron en la Isla de Man a principios del siglo pasado ha sido descrito de este modo: “No hay nada bajo el cielo que pueda estar dotado de un rostro más hermoso. Pero, aunque tiene cinco o seis años y parece saludable, ha sido tan incapaz de caminar o siquiera de quedarse parado que no puede mover sus miembros. Sus extremidades son demasiado grandes para su edad, pero más pequeños que un bebé de seis meses. Su complexión es perfectamente delicada y tiene el cabello más fino. Jamás habla o grita, no come casi nada, y apenas se lo vé sonreir. Pero si alguien le dice que es un duende, frunce el entrecejo y fija la mirada tan severamente sobre la persona que lo dijo que parece que quisiera mirar a través de ella. Su madre, o en todo caso la mujer que se supone ser su madre, es muy pobre, y por eso con frecuencia tiene que salir a pedir y lo deja todo el día solo. Los vecinos, de curiosidad, han mirado muchas veces por la ventana qué hace cuando está solo. Siempre lo han visto riéndose, encantado. Esto les hacía pensar que estaba en companía más placentera para él que la de cualquier mortal; y lo que volvía a esta conjetura aun más razonable era que, si la mujer lo dejaba en casa sucio, cuando retornaba su rostro estaba perfectamente limpio y tenía el cabello peinado de la manera más prolija.”

 

Edwin Sydney Hartland, The Science of Fairy Tales | La ciencia de los cuentos de hadas 

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