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Once upon a time there was a young man who was engaged to marry a pretty girl. After a while the bridegroom-to-be became suspicious of his fiancée and her mother. You see, they were both witches.

The day came when witches go the Brocken, and the two women climbed into the hayloft, took a small glass, drank from it, and suddenly disappeared. The bridegroom-to-be, who had sneaked after them and observed them, was tempted to take a swallow from the glass. He picked it up and sipped a little from it, and suddenly he was on the Brocken, where he saw how his fiancée and her mother were carrying on with the witches, who were dancing around the devil, who was standing in their midst.

After the dance was ended, the devil commanded everyone to take her glass and drink, and immediately afterward they all flew off in the four directions of the wind. The bridegroom-to-be, however, stood there all soul alone on the Brocken, and freezing, for it was a cold night. He hadn't brought a glass with him, so he had to return on foot.

After a long, difficult hike he finally came to his fiancée's. However, she was very angry, and her mother scolded him as well, for having drunk from the glass. Mother and daughter finally agreed to turn the bridegroom-to-be into a donkey, and that is what happened.

The poor bridegroom-to-be was now a donkey, and he plodded unhappily from one house to the next, crying a sad "ee-ah, ee-ah." A man felt sorry for the donkey, took him into his stall, and gave him some hay. But understandably the donkey did not want to eat, and was driven from the stall with blows.

After wandering about for a long time, long-ears finally came back to the house of his fiancée, the witch, and he cried out pitifully. The fiancée saw her former bridegroom-to-be, standing there before her door as a donkey with bowed head and ears hanging down.

She regretted what she had done and said to the donkey, "I will help you, but you must do what I tell you. At a child's baptism, place yourself before the church door and let the baptismal water be poured over your back, and then you will be transformed back into a human."

The donkey followed his fiancée's advice. The next Sunday, a child was baptized, and the donkey placed himself before the church door. When the baptismal service was over, the sexton wanted to pour out the baptismal water, but the donkey was standing in his way.

"Go on, you old donkey!" said the sexton, but the donkey did not yield. Then the sexton became angry and poured the water over the animal's back. Now the donkey was redeemed and was transformed back into a man. He hurried to his fiancee, married her, and lived happily with her from that time forth.

More witch legends at pitt.edu

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