Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 70 > Page 82 - Advert: Breton Books / The Mother's Arms: Marcellin Hache's Telling of "La Femme aux bras couples"

Page 82 - Advert: Breton Books / The Mother's Arms: Marcellin Hache's Telling of "La Femme aux bras couples"

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1996/6/1 (135 reads)

He replied, "Yes, but you • 'you look so much like my wife when we were married. But you had your arms cut off. Today you have both your arms." "Well, yes," she said. "By the grace of God, I got my arms back from the river where my brother had cut my arms off and thrown them into the river. I grabbed my arms and put them back into their place." She told him the whole story. With that, the King's son was even happi? er that he had married her • she had her two arms. He brought her to his castle and had his mother come there. He said, "Mother, you ordered two soldiers to kill my wife and two children, that I wasn't their father. That wasn't the truth. They were not two black babies like you wrote in the letter." He took the letter out to show it to her. "Here's the letter you sent to me." He had his mother punished. He had her put in prison for twelve years for having done all this. His wife said, "Now, my brother is still in bed with a splinter in his left foot. I have to go there." If 'm'-my' They hitched up the team of horses and went there. When they arrived, they asked her brother's wife, the farmer's daughter, if her husband was home. She answered, "Yes, he's at the house. He's laid up in bed with a splin? ter in his left foot. This happened one day while he was hunting in the forest." (She lied about this as he had really gone in the forest to kill his sister.) "Can we see him?" Our thanks to Rosie Aucoin Grace from St. Joseph du lUloine for her translations that help keep these tales alive for an English audience. Ms. Grace has worked from both the printed tales and Fr. Anselme's original tapes of the storytellers. If they are a good read, tale by tale, if there are out? bursts of laughter and shudders of hor- ror--Ms. Grace has brought us closer to her French Acadian turf. As it happens, Rosie Aucoin Grace is distantly related to the storyteller Marcellin Hach'. And Rosie's 100-year-old grandmother Minnie Aucoin was often there when Mr. Hach' told tales. Rosie learned this when she went to Minnie for help with Aca? dian words no longer in common use. Minnie toM her that Marcellin was the life of the party. He would mentton kx??l people in his stories. He woukl say, perhaps, "The King had a big garden; and although It wasn't Pat it Joe's garden, it was still a beautiful garden" • with Pat k Joe likely right there in the room. Last summer we had the honour to be there for Minnie Aucoin's 100th birthday par? ty, as her family and community honoured her with a dinner and party. The best we can offer you is a picture of the cake! After fifteen days, it was all healed. Then, the King's son and his wife returned to the castle. I haven't received any other news since. "THE MOTHER'S ARMS" ENDS HERE She replied, "Yes." He had become very thin, nothing but skin and bones. She asked him, "What's the matter?" He answered, "Well, when I re? turned home, you said that I would get a splinter in my foot and that it wouldn't heal until you took it out." She replied, "Well, it's me, your sister!" So sure enough, he stretched his foot out and she took out the sphnter. • ABOUT THIS NEW BOOK • This is nof kids' stuff! The first book of Acadian tales in English, The Seven-Headed Beast establishes these stories as a major part of Cape Breton heritage and of world literature. Told at wakes and weddings and all kinds of kitchen rackets, these are raw, saucy tales of ridiculed kings, powerful women, outra? geous creatures • plus the antics of P'tit Jean, the marvelous Jack and Coyote of Acadian legend. Anselme Chiasson has collected these extraordi? nary tales, and Rosie Aucoin Grace's translation keeps them alive, startling, horrifying, and good entertainment • a rare and wonderful find! The Seven-Headed Beast and Other Acadian Tales from Cape Breton Island has slightly larger type for easier reading. This new book, with 190 pages and photos of the storytellers, can be ordered from Breton Books, Wreck Cove, NS BOC IHO. $12.95 plus GST & shipping • See ORDER FORM on Page 76 • The Seven- Headed Beast andOther Acadian Tales from Cape Breton Island Tr'??lifcteilby Bo?iie Asoeoitt Gx't'fe 82
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