Legend: the devil and the bundle of wood – Le Turle, Angrogna

Welcome back, my little friends!
Today I’m telling you one of the many stories from these valleys that have the devil as the main character… But don’t be scared, ‘cause in Waldensian legends the devil always makes a fool of himself, just like it happens in the tale I’m about to tell you!

The steep path taken by the devil
The steep path taken by the devil

We are today in the woods over Pradeltorno, in a handful of little houses known as Le Turle, between fields and rocks. Right here, one morning, the devil was strolling, relaxed and a bit tired after spending the night in a Sabbath (which is a meeting of witches that lasts the whole night).
The devil was dressed up as a young farmer, in order not to be recognized; suddenly he saw a beautiful girl in a meadow, and he immediately fell in love.

The houses of Le Turle
The houses of Le Turle

The girl was very shy, and when she saw the young boy getting nearer to pursue her, she ran away. The devil them walked the same path and got to the house where the girl used to live with her elderly mother.
The boy knocked on the door to talk to the woman and convince her to let him see her daughter.
The old woman already rejected in the past all of the boys who had come to ask for her daughter’s hand in marriage, as the fame of her beauty had spread throughout the whole valley.
This time the pretender seemed quite harassing, but the girl’s mother still managed to keep up with him.
In a moment of desperation, the devil took away the hat from his head to spin it in his hands, thinking about the way to convince that stubborn woman… but he did not think that, in doing so, his horns would be visible!

The house of the shepherdess and her mother
The house of the shepherdess and her mother

The old woman did not miss that thing, but she tried not to look scared and lose control of the situation.
They kept on discussing for a long time; in the end the devil obtained that the next day the girl would give him the first bundle of wood she would have tied. Since he was delighted for that deal, he asked the woman if he could help her with houseworks.
The old woman gave him some black wool to wash, and soon moved to the fountain in the back of the house, where the woman challenged the boy to whiten the wool.
As you can imagine, black wool – even if well washed – will never turn to white!
The devil, however, felt challenged, he did not think twice and he began to wash the wool with great effort… of course, the wool still remained black!
At one point the devil got so angry for not succeeding in the challenge that he disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

The old woman had the proof that the young boy was nothing but the devil, so she ran back into the house to warn her daughter that the day after she should get dressed with nothing that needed to be tied.
The day after, the girl got out of her house early in the morning, as usual, in order to collect firewood to be tied in bundles.
She was not wearing her apron but she still did not understand the reason why her mother had told her not to wear it.
After picking up enough branches, she took a tender one to tie the bundle, but as soon as she tied it… the bundle suddenly disappeared!

The fountain where the old woman challenged the devil to whiten the black wool

The old woman succeeded in fooling the devil, because she knew that he had thought that the first thing the girl would tie in the morning would be her apron… if she had tied it, the devil would have had the girl for himself forever!!! But what he got was just a bundle of branches!
Well, after such a poor figure, nobody saw him round there any more!

A bundle away... I wonder if it will have been bound by the shepherdess
A bundle away… I wonder if it will have been bound by the shepherdess

How to get here:
reach Pradeltorno (district of Angrogna) coming from Torre Pellice and, once you leave the Provincial Street 161 entering the town, take Generale Martinat Street right before the bridge on Angrogna creek.
Go through the whole street and you’ll reach the hamlet known as Chiot dl’Aiga, then take the road on your left (Pradeltorno Street) that takes to the valley bottom.
Once in Pradeltorno, park your car and walk along the street between the cemetery and the Waldensian temple.
Over the temple turn right into a not paved road. After a ten minutes’ walk you will get to the small hamlet of Fau. The road here turns into a small path; go straight on and in a while you’ll see in the bushes the abandoned houses of Le Turle.

Do you want to read the tale in Italian ?