Edendam

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Quod refero, mecum pagenses dicere norunt,
et non tam mirum quam valde est credere verum:
quidam suscepit sacro de fonte puellam,
cui dedit et tunicam rubicundo velle textam.
quinquagesima sancta fuit babtismatis huius;
sole sub exorto quinquennis facta puella
progreditur vagabunda sui immemor atque pericli,
quam lupus invadens silvestria lustra petivit
et catulis praedam tulit atque reliquit edendam.
qui simul aggressi, cum iam lacerare nequirent,
ceperunt mulcere caput feritate remota.
“hanc tunicam, mures, nolite”, infantula dixit,
“scindere, quam dedit excipiens de fonte patrinus!”
mitigat immites animos deus, auctor eorum.
(Egbert of Liège, Fecunda Ratis 2.472-485)

The story I tell, the country folk know how to tell with me, and it is not so much marvelous to believe as it is very true. A certain man raised a girl from the sacred font, and he gave her a tunic woven from red wool. Shrove Sunday was the holy day of this baptism. When the sun had risen, the girl now five years old set out wandering, heedless of herself and of danger. A wolf attacked her and headed for his woodland haunts; and he took her as prey to his cubs and left her to be eaten. They immediately approached her, then when they were unable to tear her to pieces, they began to caress her head, their fierceness having been allayed. The little infant said, “Oh mice, don’t rip this tunic which my godfather gave me, taking me from the font!” God, their creator, softens savage souls. (tr. Robert Gary Babcock)

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