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Fairies and witches

Fairies are for real. In Albières but also in other villages, in streams or around the washing houses, the fées-mitounes (an evil sort of fairy haunting the caves and small streams, TN) beat their linen with their battledores on full moon-lit nights. Stray travellers wanting to lend a hand or falling under their spell should be aware: they will be enticed into another world with no hope of ever coming back...

Dins los caminòls, qual las a fregadas
Las Mitonas ? N’i a, pr’aquò, sèt o uèit
Que, quand pel solelh le campèstre es quiet,
Dins de caunas son totjorn amagadas.
Defòra se’n van, subrabelugadas
Tre que lo boièr raiva dins son lèit
Van al gorg vesin mai fresc que la nuèit
Amb un bacèl d’aur lavar las bugadas.
Prospèr Estieu

On the small paths, who has ever come across the fées-mitounes ? There are always seven or eight of them hiding in the caves when the sun is shining bright. When the ploughman is asleep, they will go to the fault nearby to wash their linen with their battledores.

In Lairière, the witches turn into hares at night. It is therefore that, when it is getting late, the master of the house says: « Se’n cal anar al lèit que la lèbre va passer. » (“Let’s go to bed, the hare is soon upon us.”)