A Russian Fairy Tale Story
There was once a certain woman who did not pay due reverence
to Mother Friday, but set to work on a distaff-ful of flax,
combing and whirling it. She span away till dinner-time, then
suddenly sleep fell upon her--such a deep sleep! And when
she had gone to sleep, suddenly the door opened and in came
Mother Friday, before the eyes of all who were there, clad in a
white dress, and in such a rage! And she went straight up to
the woman who had been spinning, scooped up from the floor a
handful of the dust that had fallen out of the flax, and began stuffing
and stuffing that woman's eyes full of it! And when she had
stuffed them full, she went off in a rage--disappeared without
saying a word.
When the woman awoke, she began squalling at the top of
her voice about her eyes, but couldn't tell what was the matter
with them. The other women, who had been terribly frightened,
began to cry out:
"Oh, you wretch, you! you've brought a terrible punishment
on yourself from Mother Friday."
Then they told her all that had taken place. She listened to
it all, and then began imploringly:
"Mother Friday, forgive me! pardon me, the guilty one!
I'll offer thee a taper, and I'll never let friend or foe dishonor
Well, what do you think? During the night, back came
Mother Friday and took the dust out of that woman's eyes, so
that she was able to get about again. It's a great sin to dishonor
Mother Friday--combing and spinning flax, forsooth!
Very similar to this story is that about Wednesday which follows.
Wednesday, the day consecrated to Odin, the eve of the day sacred to
the Thundergod, may also have been held holy by the heathen
Slavonians, but to some commentators it appears more likely that the
traditions now attached to it in Russia became transferred to it from
Friday in Christian times--Wednesday and Friday having been associated
by the Church as days sacred to the memory of Our Lord's passion and
death. The Russian name for the day, _Sereda_ or _Sreda_, means "the
middle," Wednesday being the middle of the working week.