21 February 2019

Its been a long time since I last worked with traditional materials and I’ve been both missing and dreading starting again. Since October last year (2018) I’ve been focusing a lot on digital work but the truth is that with each day that goes by I feel more and more the need to go back to my roots and pick up watercolour again.


Wanting to go back to traditional along with my desire to try mixed media with watercolour, colour pencil and gouache made me start working on a cover and spread for Alice in Wonderland. Filming the process made it an even bigger challenge.


I’m very new to this so the result is not what I envisioned. As I work full time as a designer, illustration is something that I’m only able to do on the side and I can’t get many “light hours” other than during the weekends. So the result was that I also had to work on weeknights and therefore the light changes (a lot) during the video. If I can make this work, one of my future investments will be some studio lights!


So here is the video of the cover progress. As for the spread, I have yet to start the sketching phase but I want to be able to have it ready as soon as possible, so maybe I’ll be able to share it before the end of March.


Hope you like it!

Follow me in Instagram or Twitter @raquelrussoo

1 February 2019

This week I had the pleasure of working on a collaboration with the blog “Portugal on a Map”, a blog about Portugal and its traditions, myths and legends, etc. If there is one thing I really like to illustrate are tales, stories and legends so I was very pleased when I received this invitation.

The collaboration was based on a Portuguese Belief about Good and Bad Time. Quoting Portugal on a Map “It is said that the Good hour had the role of warning that the Bad Hour was coming, alerting the villagers to go to their homes, while the Bad Hour was the harbinger of all that was evil – it brought hardship, punishment, plagues … even death. When it was sighted, everything stopped: the streams of the rivers stagnated, the wind ceased to give a signal, the hair of the animals bristled.

I hope to share new legends with you in the future. In the meantime, visit the blog “Portugal on a Map” to read more about this belief and others!

Portugal num Mapa: https://www.portugalnummapa.com/a-boa-e-a-ma-hora/

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

17 January 2019

As long as I remember I’ve had the ambition to, one day, illustrate (or even write!) a children’s book. And so, finding myself at a dead end with most of my creative projects I finally decided to give my dream a chance and start sketching and creating a character I’ve had in my mind for months. What I didn’t realize was that it would be the most difficult thing I had set myself up to yet!

Sure, I Illustrated books in high school and in college, but there is something very different about doing it for school and doing it as a personal project. Somehow, making this personal results in something much more difficult to decide on how I want everything to be.

I have no story yet. But the two main characters are clear as water in my head. A small three-year-old girl, with dark hair and bangs. A baby yellow duck, cute as anything you’ve ever seen, following the little girl around, as a faithful sidekick does a heroine. Except they’re both but babes, and their big adventures, are as big as anything is to a three-year-old.

It’ll be difficult to write their adventures. It’ll mean taking a trip down memory lane, and remember how I was as a three-year-old, spending my days at grandma’s house, having different challenges every day. And how my cute little duck (my very first pet, that I got as a gift from a friend of my mother’s) named Pompeu used to follow me around the small town. We even used to go the grocery store together with my Granny!

Maybe in a few months time I’ll have developed my idea into being.

Hope you’re all having a lovely week, and I wish you a very happy weekend ahead.

Hugs and kisses,


18 November 2018

Dear friends,

I’m really happy to be writing to you for it means I have finally finished #folktaleweek2018. I’m really thankful that I took on the challenge and that I was able to finish it (even having struggled a bit and not liking the result of every prompt).

Today’s tale speaks of the love of a nymph for a land lad who, very innocent, realised not how beautiful he was and cared only for the sustenance of his home when he went fishing every day.

I like the tale very much and am very happy to leave you with it for the day.

Have a very nice Sunday and a wonderful week ahead!

I’ll be taking my time to rest a bit and get my creativity flowing freely once again.

Hugs and kisses

The Necklace of Pearls

The Story of a Water-nymph and an Island Lad

In a tiny cottage on the steep rocky hillside of one of the islands of the Azores there lived a poor woman and her only son whose name was Francisco. Every day the boy went fishing in his little boat, and every night he brought home fish for his mother to cook for their evening meal and to carry into the market to sell. In this way they lived very comfortably, and they loved each other so dearly that they were as happy as happy can be.

Francisco, with his fair skin, blue eyes and thatch of curly golden hair, was the handsomest boy in the whole parish, and by the time he was sixteen years old there was many a rich man’s daughter who had smiled upon him. However, the lad thought only of his fishing boat and his mother and did not notice the smiles.

One night the moon was so bright that Francisco could not sleep. He awakened his mother who was dozing comfortably in her bed.

“I’m going fishing, mother dear,” he said as he kissed her. “The moonlight is calling me.”

His mother started up from her bed in terror and amazement.

“Why, my boy, do you do such a thing as this?” she asked. “You have never been fishing in the night before. Some evil will surely befall you.”

“Don’t worry about me, dear mother,” replied Francisco, laughing at her fears. “I know how to take care of myself. It is as light as day. Think how many fish I’ll bring back for you to sell in the market to-morrow.”

His mother shook her head anxiously, but, with another loving kiss, the lad ran out into the bright moonlight. He quickly launched his little fishing boat and soon was floating smoothly along on the peaceful waters of the bay which gleamed like a silver pathway in the moonlight. The soft air, the gentle rocking of the little boat, and the face of the moon upon which his blue eyes were fixed combined to send sleep to his eyelids. Soon he was nodding in the little boat. A few moments later and he was fast asleep. The moon’s rays upon his curls made them shine as if they were indeed made of gold.

Now the village maidens were not the only ones who had noticed Francisco’s blue eyes and handsome face. A water-nymph who dwelt in the depths of the sea had often observed him. In the daytime she was invisible to the eye of humans and so the lad had never seen her though she often spent long hours near him, never taking her eyes from his face.

“Here comes the beautiful youth in his little fishing boat!” cried the nymph as she saw the moonlight gleaming upon his bright curls. “At last my wish has come true. Now at night he’ll be able to see me.”

She hastily arranged her own beautiful hair before a little mirror she carried. Some of the strands of priceless pearls which decked her lovely head were a trifle awry. These and the necklaces of rare pearls which hung about her fair throat surrounded her with a gleam of soft light almost like the light of the moon. As she approached nearer to the little boat she saw that Francisco was fast asleep. She swam in the direction of the lad with all possible speed, a wild terror in her eyes.

“What madness is this?” she asked as she looked down upon his bowed head. “This frail boat will drift upon the dangerous rocks and be dashed to pieces. I’ll take him home to my own palace without awakening him. Perhaps when he sees how lovely it is he’ll even like me a little bit.”

Just for a moment she hesitated, thinking how far from home Francisco would be in the palace of mother-of-pearl in the depths of the sea.

“The rocks are really very dangerous,” she said to herself as she gently drew his sleeping form into her arms.

The next morning Francisco’s empty fishing boat was found by the fishermen. For hours his mother had watched in vain for his return. When at last she heard that the empty boat had been found she was nearly wild with grief.

“He was the best son a mother ever had,” she moaned over and over again. “How can I live without him!”

Indeed, as the days and weeks went by it was increasingly difficult for the poor woman to live. She not only missed her boy’s loving smile, but she also missed the fish he caught so skillfully. There was little for the poor woman to eat if she had any appetite for food.

“Why don’t you go to the Wiseman of the Sea and tell him your troubles?” asked one of the neighbors.

Francisco’s mother knew that it was a long and difficult journey to reach the Wiseman of the Sea. She decided, however, it would be worth the effort just to gaze into his wise eyes. He knew so much, perhaps he would know how to say something to comfort her in her great sorrow and loneliness. She had shrugged her shoulders when her neighbor had spoken of it but she could not get the idea out of her mind. She knew that she would never rest in peace until she had made this journey. Accordingly, she launched Francisco’s fishing boat, and, thanks to smooth seas, reached the little rocky island in the midst of the sea where the Wiseman of the Sea lived.

His tall form was outlined above the cliff even as she tied her little boat. He was very tall, far taller than anybody she had ever seen, and his snow-white beard fell to his feet. He was clothed in fish scales which gleamed in the sunlight.

“Well, little mother, what can I do for you to-day?” he asked, as she came up the path to the summit of the rock.

The eyes of the Wiseman of the Sea were very kind as well as full of great wisdom. Francisco’s mother forgot to be afraid of him as she had expected to be. She told him the story of her lost son. The Wiseman listened carefully to her words and then he said:

“Good mother, I am glad to tell you that I know where your Francisco is. He is in the power of a water-nymph who has carried him away to her castle of mother-of-pearl in the depths of the sea.”

Francisco’s mother felt the tears of joy well up into her eyes. “Is my boy happy there and is he well?” she asked eagerly.

“He is entirely well and happy. The water-nymph gave him a philtre which has made him forget his past life entirely.”

“I’m glad you told me that,” said the boy’s mother. “I was just wondering how my dear lad could be happy while he was causing me so much sorrow. He has always been the best and kindest son with which a mother ever was blessed.”

The Wiseman of the Sea started to say something, but the woman interrupted as a new thought flew into her mind. “Tell me,” she cried, “is there no way of getting him back? With all your wisdom can’t you think of some way to make him once more remember the mother who loves him and the little home in which we have passed so many happy days together? Do you not know some means of breaking the power which this water-nymph has over him?”

The Wiseman looked out across the sea in silence for at least a minute and a half. He thought hard. Francisco’s mother watched him with eager eyes. She could hardly wait for his answer. At last these were the words which fell from his lips:

“You have shed many tears, good woman, but tears are still to flow if you are to bring back your son.”

“Oh, must I suffer more?” cried the heart-broken mother. “It seems that I have already lived a lifetime since my dear lad kissed me in the moonlight. I have endured all that I can bear.”

The Wiseman smiled gently as he raised his hand. “Listen, my child,” he said. “Your tears must be shed upon the bosom of the waters. If, perchance, one of them should fall upon your son’s heart there in the palace of the water-nymph in the depths of the sea, the power of her philtre will be broken.”

“I’ll shed whole oceans of tears if I can break the power of that water-nymph and bring back my Francisco,” said his mother.

The fact is that she began to shed tears then and there, even before she had thanked the Wiseman of the Sea for what he had told her.

Now it happened that Francisco had grown to love the beautiful palace of mother-of-pearl in the depths of the sea. He never tired of all its beauty. About the palace there were lovely gardens filled with flowers made of precious gems. Each tiny bud of that garden was worth a king’s ransom, so rich were the jewels which composed it. The water-nymph often gathered her arms full of these rare blossoms and wove them into a garland to crown Francisco’s golden curls. He never had a thought of the old life at home with his mother, so completely had the nymph’s philtre done its work.

There was always a big fish swimming about the palace. On its back there was a cushion of seagreen satin embroidered with lovely pearls.

“This is your riding horse,” said the water-nymph to Francisco the first day he had seen it. “If you should ever get tired of the palace and find the life here a bit monotonous, just mount this horse and ride about for a little.”

The water-nymph had shaken out her long fair tresses so that they covered as much as possible of the fishtail she had instead of feet. She was very sensitive about the fact that she had no feet upon which to wear pretty little slippers like those of the maidens she had seen so often as they called out gay greetings to the handsome fisher-lad.

Francisco had smiled into her eyes. “How absurd,” he cried, “to think of such a thing as getting tired of this wonderful place!”

In fact the days had slipped by all too fast for the happy youth. Then it suddenly happened one day while the water-nymph was asleep that he thought of his mother, the little house which had been his home for sixteen years and more, the fishing boat which was his pride and joy, the moonlight night when he had gaily kissed his mother’s cheek and gone away never to return. He did not stop to waken the sleeping nymph. He said no word to the servants of the palace. He thought only of the fish with the cushion of sea-green satin embroidered with rare pearls.

“Quick!” he cried to it. “Take me home as fast as you can! My mother’s heart is breaking! She has shed so many tears for me, I know, that by this time she may be entirely blind.”

In another hour Francisco was safe at home with his mother’s arms about him. She had shed so many tears that her eyes were swollen almost shut, but they were not closed so completely that they could not shine with the great joy which once more filled her heart.

“Promise me one thing,” she said to him. “Give me your word that you’ll never go fishing again. I don’t trust that water-nymph even in the daytime.”

Accordingly, Francisco gave up being a fisherman and became a hunter. To make his spears, he gathered the young sapling which grew on the hillside even down to the edge of the water. He had grown still handsomer while he had lived in the palace of mother-of-pearl in the depths of the sea, and there were twice as many pretty maidens who cast smiling glances in his direction.

It was the daughter of the rich man of the village who at last won the heart of Francisco. When he went a-wooing, however, he had no gift to take except the birds he had killed with his own hand. 

The rich man laughed at him. These were his words:

“When my daughter marries it shall be only to a youth who can bring her rich gifts.”

Francisco went away with a sad heart and sat upon the rocks at the edge of the sea, gazing out over the water with eyes so full of tears that they saw nothing.

The water-nymph was not far away from the shore those days. She was always seeking for a glimpse of the golden head which she had so often crowned with flowers. Her joy now at the sight of him was buried by her sorrow when she saw that his heart was full of woe. She knew at once the cause of his grief.

The next morning when Francisco went to get wood to make a new spear, he found a necklace of priceless pearls lying on the shore. It was the gift of the water-nymph, but since his heart had been touched by his mother’s tears he had entirely forgotten her. He took the gift to the maid he loved with never a thought of the giver.

My source: https://fairytalez.com/the-necklace-of-pearls/

17 November 2018

Dear friends,

Today I feel very tired. As much as I’m loving folktaleweek it’s been very tiring working everyday day until ungodly hours and then having to wake up in the morning to go to work. As I work as a full time designer trying to juggle everything together and have time for everything is my biggest struggle.

Doesn’t mean I don’t feel like I’m not growing! If not anything else, this week has been about proving to myself that I can do it. I can be an illustrator and a designer at the same time and work on my skills and make those two areas complement one another really well. I just need to start doing it on my own and not through challenges that make me drag my feet because I’m so tired from wanting to complete them.

So after tomorrow (last folktaleweek drawing) I’ll be taking my time with things and starting a few personal projects that have been sitting on my to do list for too long. I’ll be sure to sure the process with you!

Today’s tale is a Portuguese one and its a very nice tale about a girl in the island of Terceira who was the most beautiful people had ever seen.

Have a really nice Saturday, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Hugs and kisses,


The enchanted palace

In the village of Altos Ares in the island of Terceira there lived once upon a time a fair maid who had been baptized Perola, which means Pearl. As she grew older she was indeed like a rare pearl among the other maidens of the village, so great was the charm of her unusual beauty. She was the joy of her home and of the whole community for her disposition was as lovely as her face.

One bright spring morning Perola leaned over the cistern where she had gone to get water. Her reflection showed so plainly in the water that she paused to gaze into the smiling eyes of her own mirrored face. As she did so a magic spell was woven about her. The water fairy who had come to the cistern had seen her great beauty and had thrown a charm over her. In a moment more she fell into the cistern to join her reflection there.

When Perola could not be found there was great excitement in the little village. Nobody could guess what had become of her. Her mother prayed devoutly for her safety in the church of St. Roque. All the villagers sought for her in every possible place.

Now at the north of the island of Terceira there are groups of tiny rocks in the sea which are called the Biscoitos or biscuits. Here there lived a wise old woman who had a great reputation among all the people of the island for her knowledge.

“Let us go to consult the wise woman of Biscoitos,” said one of the village youths when they had sought long and faithfully for a trace of the hiding-place into which Perola might have vanished.

Accordingly, the young men of Altos Ares went to the wise woman, and this is what she told them:

“The fair pearl of your village is safe from the fishers of pearls. She is hidden away in an enchanted palace of marble and ivory and tortoise-shell and mother-of-pearl.”

The water fairy had taken Perola through an underground passage which led from the cistern to the beautiful enchanted palace in the lake of Ginjal. There she was kept in hiding. The fairies never dreamed that anybody would ever be able to guess where she was.

Now, with the words of the wise woman of Biscoitos to guide them, the youths of Altos Ares organized an expedition to search for their lost playmate. The sons of the magistrate, the rich men, the learned men of the island of Terceira joined this expedition. They searched through the whole island for a place where an enchanted palace might be located.

At last, upon St. John’s Day when the days and nights are of equal length, this band of the brave youths of Terceira came to the shores of Lake Ginjal in the interior of the island.

“This is surely the enchanted place. Here in this lake must lie the fairies’ palace of marble and ivory and tortoise shell and mother-of-pearl!” somebody cried.

“How shall we be able to approach this magic palace and rescue Perola?” asked one.

“How shall we be able to break her enchantment?” asked another.

“Let us camp here upon the border of the lake and consider how best to proceed,” said the leader of the expedition.

Now at that very hour on St. John’s Day the mother of Perola was in the church of St. Roque in Altos Ares praying devoutly for her daughter’s safe return.

Suddenly she heard a strange voice. These were the words which fell upon her ears:

“Your prayers and the perseverance of the youths of the island have at last triumphed. Go in peace. On the day of St. Peter at the hour of sunset your daughter shall be restored to you. Her enchantment shall be broken and she shall be brought to the bank of Lake Ginjal in a boat of ivory, drawn by a snow-white swan.”

When the youths encamped upon the shore of the lake heard these tidings they set up such a shout of joy that it was indeed enough to break any enchantment.

At the time appointed Perola was brought to the bank of the lake in a boat of ivory drawn by a snow-white swan, just as fair and lovely as upon the day when she had vanished from the little village of Altos Ares.

This is the story of the Lake of Ginjal. It is quite probable that the enchanted palace of the water fairies is still there.

My source: https://fairytalez.com/the-enchanted-palace/

16 November 2018

Dear friends,

how are you?

I’m most certainly not in the habit of writing a blog post every day, even though I’ve been doing very little actual writting as my actual goal is to share the tales from folktaleweek.

It’s being a very (very!) challenging week for me and I’m finding myself dragging my feet along the day and at work. I’m so tired I don’t even want to go home to draw anymore! The challenge has been great because I’m loving seeing what everyone else is doing (such beautiful work out there!), and I’m loving how I’m evolving, but I’m finding it too rushed, and much too soon after inktober.

After a week of drawing everyday, and working more than 12 hours a day, I’ll be taking it very slow next week. My first treat will be going to the movies to see Fantastic Beasts on Sunday!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Hugs and kisses,


The Wings of the Butterfly 

On the banks of the Amazon River, in a clearing in the forest, there once lived a girl named Chimidyue. She dwelt with her family and relatives in a big pavilion-house called a maloca.

While the boys of the maloca fished and hunted with the men, Chimidyue and the other girls helped the women with household chores or in the farm plots nearby. Like the other girls, Chimidyue never stepped far into the forest. She knew how full it was of fierce animals and harmful spirits, and how easy it was to get lost in.

Still, she would listen wide-eyed when the elders told stories about that other world. And sometimes she would go just a little way in, gazing among the giant trees and wondering what she might find farther on.

One day as Chimidyue was making a basket, she looked up and saw a big morpho butterfly hovering right before her. Sunlight danced on its shimmering blue wings.

“You are the most magical creature in the world,” Chimidyue said dreamily. “I wish I could be like you.”

The butterfly dipped as if in answer, then flew toward the edge of the clearing.

Chimidyue set down her basket and started after it, imitating its lazy flight. Among the trees she followed, swooping and circling and flapping her arms.

She played like this for a long time, until the butterfly passed between some vines and disappeared. Suddenly Chimidyue realized she had gone too far into the forest. There was no path, and the leaves of the tall trees made a canopy that hid the sun. She could not tell which way she had come.

“Mother! Father! Anyone!” she shouted. But no one came.

“Oh no,” she said softly. “How will I find my way back?”

Chimidyue wandered anxiously about, hoping to find a path. After a while she heard a tap-tap-tapping. “Someone must be working in the forest,” she said hopefully, and she followed the sound. But when she got close, she saw it was just a woodpecker.

Chimidyue sadly shook her head. “If only you were human,” she said, “you could show me the way home.”

“Why would I have to be human?” asked the woodpecker indignantly. “I could show you just as I am!”

Startled but glad to hear it talk, Chimidyue said eagerly, “Oh, would you?”

“Can’t you see I’m busy?” said the woodpecker. “You humans are so conceited, you think everyone else is here to serve you. But in the forest, a woodpecker is just as important as a human.” And it flew off.

“I didn’t mean anything bad,” said Chimidyue to herself. “I just want to go home.”

More uneasy than ever, Chimidyue walked farther. All at once she came upon a maloca, and sitting within it was a woman weaving a hammock.

“Oh, grandmother!” cried Chimidyue joyfully, addressing the woman with the term proper for an elder. “I’m so glad to find someone here. I was afraid I would die in the forest!”

But just as she stepped into the maloca, the roof began to flap, and the maloca and the woman together rose into the air. Then Chimidyue saw it was really a tinamou bird that had taken a magical form. It flew to a branch above.

“Don’t you ‘grandmother’ me!” screeched the bird. “How many of my people have your relatives hunted and killed? How many have you cooked and eaten? Don’t you dare ask for my help.” And it too flew away.

“The animals here all seem to hate me,” said Chimidyue sorrowfully. “But I can’t help being a human!”

Chimidyue wandered on, feeling more and more hopeless, and hungry now as well. Suddenly, a sorva fruit dropped to the ground. She picked it up and ate it greedily. Then another dropped nearby.

Chimidyue looked up and saw why. A band of spider monkeys was feeding in the forest canopy high above, and now and then a fruit would slip from their hands.

“I’ll just follow the monkeys,” Chimidyue told herself. “Then at least I won’t starve.” And for the rest of that day she walked along beneath them, eating any fruit they dropped. But her fears grew fresh as daylight faded and night came to the forest.

In the deepening darkness, Chimidyue saw the monkeys start to climb down, and she hid herself to watch. To her amazement, as the monkeys reached the ground, each one changed to the form of a human.

Chimidyue could not help but gasp, and within a moment the monkey people had surrounded her.

“Why, it’s Chimidyue!” said a monkey man with a friendly voice. “What are you doing here?”

Chimidyue stammered, “I followed a butterfly into the forest, and I can’t find my way home.”

“You poor girl!” said a monkey woman. “Don’t worry. We’ll bring you there tomorrow.”

“Oh, thank you!” cried Chimidyue. “But where will I stay tonight?”

“Why don’t you come with us to the festival?” asked the monkey man. “We’ve been invited by the Lord of Monkeys.”

They soon arrived at a big maloca. When the Monkey Lord saw Chimidyue, he demanded, 

“Human, why have you come uninvited?”

“We found her and brought her along,” the monkey woman told him.

The Monkey Lord grunted and said nothing more. But he eyed the girl in a way that made her shiver.

Many more monkey people had arrived, all in human form. Some wore animal costumes of bark cloth with wooden masks. Others had designs painted on their faces with black genipa dye. 

Everyone drank from gourds full of manioc beer.

Then some of the monkey people rose to begin the dance. With the Monkey Lord at their head, they marched in torchlight around the inside of the maloca, beating drums and shaking rattle sticks. Others sang softly or played bone flutes.

Chimidyue watched it all in wonder. She told her friend the monkey woman, “This is just like the festivals of my own people!”

Late that night, when all had retired to their hammocks, Chimidyue was kept awake by the snoring of the Monkey Lord. After a while, something about it caught her ear. “That’s strange,” she told herself. “It sounds almost like words.”

The girl listened carefully and heard, “I will devour Chimidyue. I will devour Chimidyue.”

“Grandfather!” she cried in terror.

“What? Who’s that?” said the Monkey Lord, starting from his sleep.

“It’s Chimidyue,” said the girl. “You said in your sleep you would devour me!”

“How could I say that?” he demanded. “Monkeys don’t eat people. No, that was just foolish talk of this mouth of mine. Pay no attention!” He took a long swig of manioc beer and went back to sleep.

Soon the girl heard again, “I will devour Chimidyue. I will devour Chimidyue.” But this time the snores were more like growls. Chimidyue looked over at the Monkey Lord’s hammock. To her horror, she saw not a human form but a powerful animal with black spots.

The Lord of Monkeys was not a monkey at all. He was a jaguar!

Chimidyue’s heart beat wildly. As quietly as she could, she slipped from her hammock and grabbed a torch. Then she ran headlong through the night.

When Chimidyue stopped at last to rest, daylight had begun to filter through the forest canopy. She sat down among the root buttresses of a kapok tree and began to cry.

“I hate this forest!” she said fiercely. “Nothing here makes any sense!”

“Are you sure?” asked a tiny voice.

Quickly wiping her eyes, Chimidyue looked up. On a branch of the kapok was a morpho butterfly, the largest she had ever seen. It waved at her with brilliant blue wings.

“Oh, grandmother,” said Chimidyue, “nothing here is what it seems. Everything changes into something else!”

“Dear Chimidyue,” said the butterfly gently, “that is the way of the forest. Among your own people, things change slowly and are mostly what they seem. But your human world is a tiny one. All around it lies a much larger world, and you can’t expect it to behave the same.”

“But if I can’t understand the forest,” cried Chimidyue, “how will I ever get home?”

“I will lead you there myself,” said the butterfly.

“Oh, grandmother, will you?” said Chimidyue.

“Certainly,” said the butterfly. “Just follow me.”

It wasn’t long till they came to the banks of the Amazon. Then Chimidyue saw with astonishment that the boat landing of her people was on the other side.

“I crossed the river without knowing it!” she cried. “But that’s impossible!”

“Impossible?” said the butterfly.

“I mean,” said Chimidyue carefully, “I don’t understand how it happened. But now, how will I get back across?”

“That’s simple,” said the morpho. “I’ll change you to a butterfly.” And it began to chant over and over,

Wings of blue, drinks the dew.
Wings of blue, drinks the dew.
Wings of blue, drinks the dew.

Chimidyue felt herself grow smaller, while her arms grew wide and thin. Soon she was fluttering and hovering beside the other.

“I’m a butterfly!” she cried.

They started across the wide water, their wings glistening in the sun. “I feel so light and graceful,” said Chimidyue. “I wish this would never end.”

Before long they reached the landing, where a path to the maloca led into the forest. The instant Chimidyue touched the ground, she was changed back to human form.

“I will leave you here,” said the butterfly. “Farewell, Chimidyue.”

“Oh, grandmother,” cried the girl, “take me with you. I want to be a butterfly forever!”

“That would not be right,” said the butterfly. “You belong with your people, who love you and care for you. But never mind, Chimidyue. Now that you have been one of us, you will always have something of the forest within you.”

The girl waved as the butterfly flew off. “Good-bye, grandmother!”

Then Chimidyue turned home, with a heart that had wings of a butterfly.

My source: http://www.aaronshep.com/stories/030.html 

15 November 2018

This was a really difficult one to draw even If I loved the legend. I think I wasn’t really inspired when I started the drawing and by the time I came to the finishing touches I started wishing I had paid more attention in the beginning. I do like the final result but I am not in loveeeee with it.

Can’t wait to get to the end of the week and see all the work accomplished!

The legend of Floripes

It was little frequented a certain site in Olhão where a mill was set, now replaced by the Naval Group of Olhão. It was said that the few visits that this inhospitable place received were justified by the appearance at midnight of a woman in a white dress.

However, there was a man who went there every night, without any fear of falling asleep. It is not known whether by bravery or by drinking too much, the truth is that he went there and stayed there, even having the mysterious and white woman at his side.

During the day the man told the locals what had happened the night before – that he had fallen asleep again at the mill and that once more the woman in white had appeared. Nobody believed, but no one had the courage to go with him to witness the existence of the woman.

Once, a young man who was about to marry, was approached by the drunk, considered crazy. And he said to him:

“If you will come with me to spend the night at the mill, I will give you some land as a wedding gift.”

The offer was too good to refuse, and the young man accepted it.

That night they got together, and went to the mill, waiting there at midnight. And midnight has come. In that same minute, a woman comes out with a long white dress from inside the buckler, barefoot and with a flower inlaid in her also long blond hair.

The young man, astonished, asked who she was and what she was doing there and the answer was immediate:

“I am Floripes, an enchanted Moira. My father was a Saracen, and he was expelled from the peninsula, leaving me here because he did not have the opportunity to pick me up. He told me he’d come back to take me with him and I’ll wait. The same thing happened to my beloved who died in a boat trying to rescue me. Seeing my father that it would be impossible for me to return to his family, he enchanted me of the lands south of here.

The young man, who, with the unfolding of the conversation, even let go of some of the fear he felt, asked if there was any way to take the enchantment to the woman. And the Moira returned:

– There is. The first man to give me a hug and a kiss on the arm at the side of the heart will disenchant me and I will be able to return to the lands where my father is.

The young man was preparing to accede to the request of the moira when she continued:

“But be warned that this man, after disenchanting me, will have to come with me to North Africa, holding two lit candles in his hands and marrying me once there.

And the boy replied that in this case he could do nothing, since he was already committed to his love and would marry soon.

The Moira remained enchanted from there. And it is said that sometimes he was visited by a boy with a red cap – was he, too, enchanted?

My source: https://www.portugalnummapa.com/lenda-de-floripes/

14 November 2018

It’s been sometime since I first read this tale. I stumbled upon it thanks to a book club I belong to (and from which I’m terrible at keeping up with the books!) which is My Shared Shelf created by Emma Watson. Through that book club she and her members share books about being a woman and her rights.

When one of the books was about tales I could not resist and it was then that I heard the story of Vasalisa. The book itself was a bit difficult and required a good attention span and for that reason it took me some months to finish it.

I loved working on this illustration however! It’s my favourite thus far and even though I didn’t exactly follow the character description I loved working on the background and enjoyed every second.

I think I might be getting better at colour picking and I think thats thanks to research and remembering some of my colour theory classes. Still have a very long way to go though!

How is your journing coming along?? I’m loving seeing everything that’s being created!

Have a lovely day!

VASALISA – Russian

Once there was, and once there was not, a young mother who lay on her deathbed, her pale face as white wax roses in the sacristy of the church nearby. Her young daughter and her husband sat at the end of her old wooden bed and prayed that God would guide her safely into the next world.

The dying mother called to Vasalisa, and the little child in red boots and white apron knelt at her mother’s side.

“Here is a doll for you, my love,” the mother whispered, and from the hairy coverlet she pulled a tiny doll which like Vasalisa herself was dressed in red boots, white apron, black skirt, and vest embroidered all over with colored thread.

“Here are my last words, Beloved,” said the mother. “Should you lose your way or be in need of help, ask this doll what to do. You will be assisted. Keep the doll with you always. Do no tell anyone about her. Feed her when she is hungry. This is my mother’s promise to you, my blessing on you, dear daughter.” And with that, the mother’s breath fell into the depths of her body where it gathered up her soul and rushed out from between her lips, and the mother was dead.

The child and her father mourned for a very long time. But, like the field cruelly plowed under by war, the father’s life rose green from the furrows again, and he married a widow with two daughters. Although the new stepmother and her daughters spoke in polite tones and always smiled like ladies, there was something of the rodent behind their smiles which Vasalisa’s father did not perceive.

Sure enough, when the three women were alone with Vasalisa, they tormented her, forced her to wait on them, sent her to chop wood so her lovely skin would be blemished. They hated her because she  had a sweetness about her that was otherwordly. She was also very beautiful. Her breasts were bounding while theirs dwindled from meanness. She was helpful and uncomplaining while the stepmother and stepsisters were, among themselves, like rats in the offal pile at night.

One day the stepmother and stepsisters simply could not stand Vasalisa any longer. “Let… us… conspire to make the fire go out, and then let us send Vasalisa into the forest to Baba Yaga, the witch, to beg for fire for our hearth. And when she reaches Baba Yaga, well, old Baba Yaga will kill her and eat her.” Oh, they all clapped and squeaked like things that live in the dark.

So that evening, when Vasalisa came home from gathering wood, the entire house was dark. She was very concerned and inquired of her stepmother. “What has happened; what will we have to cook with? What will we do to light the darkness?”

The stepmother admonished, “You stupid child. Obviously we have no fire. And I can’t go out into the woods because I am old. My daughters can’t go because they are afraid. So you are the only one who can go out into the forest to find Baba Yaga and get a coal to start our fire again.”

Vasalisa replied innocently, “Well all right, yes, I’ll do that,” and so she set out. The woods became darker and darker, and sticks cracked under her feet, frightening her. She reached down in the long deep pocket of her apron and there was the doll her dying mother had given her. And Vasalisa patted the doll in her pocket and said, “Just touching this doll, yes, I feel better.”

And at every fork in the road, Vasalisa reached into her pocket and consulted the doll. “Well should I go left or should I go right?” The doll indicated “Yes” or “No”, or “This way,” or “That way.” And Vasalisa fed the doll some of her bread as she walked and followed what she felt was emanating from the doll.

Suddenly a man in white on a white horse galloped by and it became daylight. Farther on, a man in red sauntered by on a red horse, and the sun rose. Vasalisa waked and walked and just as she came to the hovel of Baba Yaga, a rider dressed in black came trotting on a black horse, and rode right into Baba Yaga’s hut. Swiftly it became night. The fence made of skulls and bones surrounding the hut began to blaze with an inner fire so the clearing there in the forest glowed with an eerie light. 

Now the Baba Yaga was a very fearsome creature. She traveled, not in a chariot, not in a coach, but in a cauldron shaped like a mortar which flew along all by itself. She rowed this vehicle with an oar shaped like a pestle, and all the while she swept out the tracks of where she’d been with a broom made from the hair of a person long dead.

And the cauldron flew through the sky with Baba Yaga’s own greasy hair flying behind. Her long chin curved up and her long nose curved down, and they met in the middle. She had a tiny white goatee and warts on het skin from her trade in toads. Her brown-stained fingernails were think and ridged like roofs, and so curled over she could not make a fist.

Even more strange was the Baba Yaga’s house. It sat atop huge, scaly yellow chicken legs, and walked about all by itself and sometimes twirled around and around like na ecstatic dancer. The bolts on the doors and shutters were made of human fingers and toes and the lock on the front door was a snout with many pointed teeth.

Vasalisa consulted her doll and asked, “Is this the house we seek?” And the doll, in its own way, answered, “Yes, this is what you seek.” And before she could take another step, Baba Yaga in her cauldron descended on Vasalisa and shouted down at her, “What do you want?”

And the girl trembled. “Grandmother, I come for fire. My house is cold… my people will die… I need fire.”

Baba Yaga snapped, “Oh yesssss, I know you, and your people. Well, you useless child… you let the fire go out. That’s an I’ll-advised thing to do. And besides, what makes you think I should give you the flame?”

Vasalisa consukted her doll and quickly replied, “Because I ask.”

Baba Yaga purred, “You’re lucky. That is the right answer.”

And Vasalisa felt very lucky she had given the right answer.

Baba Yaga threatened, “I cannot possibly give you fire, until you’ve done work for me. If you perform these tasks for me, you shall have the fire. “If not…” and here Vasalisa say Baba Yaga’s eyes turn suddenly to red ciders. “if not, my child, you shall die.”

So Baba Yaga rumbled into the hovel and laid down upon her bed and ordered Vasalisa to bring her what was cooking in the oven. In the oven was enough food for ten people and the Yaga ate it all, leaving just a tiny crust and a thimble of soup for Vasalisa.

“Wash my clothes, sweep the yard and clean my house, prepare my food, and separate the mildewed corn from the good corn and see that everything is in order. I will be back to inspect your work later. If it is not done, you will be my feast.” And with that Baba Yaga flew off in her cauldron with her nose as the windsock and her hair as the sail. And it became night again.

Vasalisa turned to her doll as soon as the Yaga had gone. “What shall I do? Can I complete these task in time?” The doll assured her she could, and to eat a little and go to sleep. Vasalisa fed the doll a little too, then she slept.

In the morning, the doll had done all the work and all and all that remained was the meal to be cooked. In the evening the Yaga returned and found nothing undone. Pleased, in a way, but not pleased because she could find no fault, Baba Yaga sneered, “You are a very lucky girl.” She then called on her faithful servants to grind the corn and three pairs of hands appeared in midair and begun to rap and crush the corn. The chaff flew in the house like a golden snow. Finally it was done and Baba Yaga sat down to eat. She ate for hours and ordered Vasalisa on the morrow again clean the house, sweep the yard, and launder her clothes.

The Yaga pointed to a great mound of dirt in the yard. “In that pile of dirt are many poppy seeds, millions of poopy seeds. And I want in the morning, to have on pile of poppy seeds and one pile of dirt, all separate form each other. Do you understand?”

Vasalisa almost fainted. “Oh my, how am I going to do that?” She reached into her pocket and the doll whispered, “Don’t worry, I will take care of it.” That night Baba Yaga snored off to sleep and Vasalisa tried… to pick…the…poppy seeds…out…of…the…dirt. After a time, the doll said to her, “sleep now. All will be well.”

Again the doll accomplished these tasks, and when the old woman returned home, all was done. Baba Yaga spoke sarcastically through her nose. “Wellllll! Lucky for you that you were able to do these things.” She called for her faithful servants to press the oil rom the poppy seeds, and again three pairs of hands appeared, and did so.

While the Yaga was smearing her lips with grease from her stew, Vasalisa stood nearby.

“What are you staring at?” barked Baba Yaga. 

“May I ask you some questions, Grandmother?” Asked Vasalisa.

“Ask,” ordered the Yaga, “but remember, too much knowledge can make a person old too soon.”

Vasalisa asked about the white man on a white horse.

“Aha,” said the Yaga fondly, “that first is my Day.”

“And the red man on a red horse?”

“Ah, that is my Rising Sun.”

“And the black man on the black horse?”

“Ah yes, that is the third and he is my Night.”

“I see,” said Vasalisa.

“Come, come child. Wouldn’t you like to ask more questions?” Wheedled the Yaga.

Vasalisa was about to ask about the pairs of hands that appeared and disappeared, but the doll began to jump up and down in her pocket, so instead Vasalisa said, “No grandmother. As you yourself say, to know too much can make one old too soon.”

“Ah,” said the Yaga, cocking her head like a bird, “you are wiser than your years, my girl. And how did you come to be this way?”

“By the blessing of my mother,” smiled Vasalisa.

“Blessing?!” screeched Baba Yaga. “Blessing?! We need no blessing around this house. You’d best be on your way, daughter.” She pushed Vasalisa out into the night.

“I’ll tell you what, child. Here!” Baba Yaga took a skull with fiery eyes from her fence and put it on a stick “Here! Take this skull on a stick home with you. There! There’s your fire. Don’t say another word. Just be on your way.”

Vasalisa began to thank the Yaga, but the little doll in her pocket began to jump up and down, and Vasalisa realized she must just take the fire and go. She ran for home through the dark forest, following the turns and twists in the road as the doll told her which way to go. Vasalisa came through the forest carrying the skull, with fire blazing from its ear, eye, nose, and mouth holes. Suddenly, she became frightened of its weight and its eerie light and thought to through it away. But the skull spoke to her and urged her to calm herself and to continue toward the home of her stepmother and stepsisters. And this she did. 

As Vasalisa came nearer and nearer to her house, her stepmother and stepsisters looked out the window and saw a strange glow dance dancing through the woods. Closer and closer it came. They could not imagine what it could be. They had decided that Vasalisa’s long absence meant she was dead by now and her bones dragged away by animals and good riddance.

Vasalisa advanced closer and closer home. And as the stepmother and stepsisters saw it was her, they ran to her, saying they had been without the fire since she’d left, and no matter how hard they had tried to start one, it always went out.

Vasalisa entered the house feeling triumphant, for she had survived her dangerous journey and brought fire back to her home. But the skull in the stick watched the stepsister’s and the stepmother’s every move and burnt into them, and by morning it had burnt the wicked trio to cinders.

My source: Women who run with wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

13 November 2018

This one is very different from what I usually do, but I think the beauty if these challenges is precisely experimentation and our ability to try new things and test our boundaries and what we like or don’t like drawing. It was also very difficult because the tale speaks of an environment I never had any contact with and, with so little time to draw I had not chance to do any sort of research.

But I’m glad of how this turned out. different, but I don’t’ think its worse form what I do on my usual process.

Have a nice day and see you tomorrow!

THE HIDDEN ONE – Native American

A long time ago, in a village by a lake, there lived a great hunter who was invisible. He was called the Hidden One. It was known that any young woman who could see him would become his bride.

Many were the hopeful young women who visited his wigwam at the far end of the village. Each was tested by the hunter’s sister, who was called the Patient One. But years passed, and none succeeded.

In the same village lived two sisters who had lost their mother. The younger sister had a good heart, but the older one was jealous and cruel. While their father was out hunting, the older sister would torment the younger one, holding her down and burning her arms and face with sticks from the fire.

“Don’t you dare tell our father,” she would say, “or next time will be worse!”

When the father came home, he would ask in dismay, “Why is she burnt again?”

The older sister would answer, “The stupid, clumsy thing! She was playing with the fire, just like you told her not to!”

The father would turn to the younger. “Is this true?”

But she only bit her lip and said nothing.

After a while she had so many scars, she was called Little Scarface. She lost her long braids too, when her sister singed them off. And she had to go barefoot and wear rags, for her sister would not allow her any skins to make moccasins or new clothes.

Of course, the sister made up all different reasons to tell their father. And he would shake his head in sorrow and disappointment.

One day, the older sister put on her finest clothes and many shiny strings of shell beads.

“Do you know what I’m doing?” she asked Little Scarface. “I’m going to marry the Hidden One. Of course, that’s something you could never dream of.”

Little Scarface bowed her head.

When the older sister reached the wigwam at the edge of the village, she was greeted by the sister of the hunter.

“You are welcome,” said the Patient One. “My brother will return soon from the hunt. Come help me prepare the evening meal.”

The two of them worked awhile, until the sun was nearly down. Then the Patient One led the young woman to the shore of the lake.

“My brother comes,” the Patient One said, pointing along the shore. “Do you see him?”

The young woman saw no one, but she had decided to pretend. “Of course. There he is now!”

The eyes of the Patient One narrowed. “And what is his shoulder strap?”

“A strip of rawhide,” said the young woman, thinking it a safe guess.

The Patient One frowned. “Let us return to the wigwam.”

They had just finished making the meal when a deep voice said, “Greetings, my sister.”

The young woman jumped in surprise. She stared at the entrance but saw no one.

“Greetings, my brother,” replied the Patient One.

As the young woman watched with wide eyes, a moccasin appeared in mid-air and dropped to the floor, followed by another. A moment later, bits of food were rising from a birch-bark tray near the fire and vanishing into an invisible mouth.

The young woman turned to the Patient One. “When will our wedding take place?”

The Patient One turned to her angrily. “What wedding? Do you think my brother would marry a liar and a fool?”

The young woman ran crying from the wigwam.

All the next morning she stayed in bed, weeping and sobbing. Then Little Scarface came to her.

“Sister, let me have skins to make moccasins and new clothes. It is my turn to visit the Hidden One.”

“How dare you!” screamed the sister. She jumped up and slapped Little Scarface, knocking her to the floor. “Are you so stupid to think you can do what I couldn’t? Even if you saw him, do you think he’d marry a pathetic thing like you?”

She sank back to the bed in tears.

Little Scarface sat huddled for a long time, listening to her sister howl and sob. Then she rose and said again, “It is my turn to visit the Hidden One.”

Her sister stopped crying and stared in amazement.

Little Scarface went to her father’s chest and took out an old pair of moccasins. She put them on her own small feet.

Then she went out into the woods. She chose a birch tree and carefully stripped off the bark in a single sheet. From this she made a suit of clothes, which she put on in place of her rags.

Then she started back through the village.

“Look at Little Scarface!” yelled a boy. “She’s dressed like a tree!”

“Hey, Little Scarface,” a young man called, “are those moccasins big enough for you?”

“I don’t believe it!” an old woman said. “She’s on her way to the Hidden One!”

“Little Scarface,” called a young woman, “did you burn yourself and cut off your hair to look pretty for him?”

Ignoring their taunts and laughter, Little Scarface walked on till she reached the wigwam at the village edge.

The Patient One regarded the young woman with surprise, but she told her, “You are welcome.”

Little Scarface helped prepare the evening meal. When the sun was nearly down, the Patient One led her to the lake.

“My brother comes,” the Patient One told her. “Do you see him?”

Little Scarface gazed along the shore. “I’m not sure . . . .”

Then her eyes lit in wonder. “Yes, I see him! But how can there be such a one?”

The Patient One looked at her curiously. “What is his shoulder strap?”

“His shoulder strap is . . . is the Rainbow!”

The Patient One’s eyes grew wide. “And his bowstring?”

“His bowstring is . . . the Milky Way!”

The Patient One smiled. “Let us return.”

When they reached the wigwam, the Patient One took the strange clothes off Little Scarface and washed her with water from a special jar. The young woman’s scars disappeared, leaving her skin shining and smooth. A magic comb made the young woman’s hair grow quickly to her waist, ready for braiding.

Then the Patient One opened a chest and took out a beautiful wedding outfit. Little Scarface had just put it on when a deep voice said, “Greetings, my sister.”

Little Scarface turned to the entrance and stared at the magnificent young hunter. As their eyes met, she saw the surprise in his.

“Greetings, my brother,” said the Patient One. “You are discovered!”

The Hidden One walked over to Little Scarface and took her hands in his. “For years I have waited to find a woman of pure heart and brave spirit. Only such a one could see me. And now you shall be my bride.”

So they were married. And from then on, Little Scarface had a new name—the Lovely One. For she too had been hidden, and now was hidden no more.

My source: http://www.aaronshep.com/stories/046.html 

12 November 2018

And it’s day one of Folktaleweek! I was really happy when I saw this challenge and immediately decided I wanted to participate (even though I was in the middle of inktober and there would be very little time between both challenges to recharge batteries). That and the fact that I want to do the challenge in color (which is VERY difficult for me) means its as much or even more challenging compared to my inktober journey!
Anyway, let’s get on with today’s tale!

Have a very nice week 🙂

THE WOLF PRINCE – Portuguese Folktale

In the North of Portugal there are many sequestered spots where the enchanted Moors and the wizards meet when it is full moon. These places are generally situated among high rocks on the precipitous sides of the hills overlooking rivers; and when the wind is very boisterous their terrible screams and incantations can be distinctly heard by the peasantry inhabiting the neighbouring villages.

On such occasions the father of the family sets fire to a wisp of straw, and with it makes the sign of the cross around his house, which prevents these evil spirits from approaching. The other members of the family place a few extra lights before the image of the Virgin; and the horse-shoe nailed to the door completes the safety of the house.

But it will so happen that sometimes an enchanted Moor, with more cunning than honesty, will get through one of the windows on the birth of a child, and will brand the infant with the crescent on his shoulder or arm, in which case it is well known that the child, on certain nights, will be changed into a wolf.

The enchanted Moors have their castles and palaces under the ground or beneath the rivers, and they wander about the earth, seeing but not seen; for they died unbaptized, and have, therefore, no rest in the grave.

They seem to have given preference to the North of Portugal, where they are held in great fear by the ignorant peasantry; and it has been observed that all such of the natives as have left their homes to study at the universities, on their return have never been visited by the enchanted Moors, as it is well known that they have a great respect for learning. In fact, one of the kings has said that until all his subjects were educated they would never get rid of the enchanted Moors and wizards.

In a village called Darque, on the banks of the Lima, there lived a farmer whose goodness and ignorance were only equalled by those of his wife. They were both young and robust, and were sufficiently well off to afford the luxury of beef once or twice a month. Their clothes were home-spun, and their hearts were homely. Beyond their landlord’s grounds they had never stepped; but as he owned nearly the whole village, it is very evident that they knew something of this world of ours. They were both born and married on the estate, as their parents had been before them, and they were contented because they had never mixed with the world.

One day, when the farmer came home to have his midday meal of broth and maize bread, he found his wife in bed with a newborn baby boy by her side, and he was so pleased that he spent his hour of rest looking at the child, so that his meal remained untasted on the table.

Kissing his wife and infant, and bidding her beware of evil eyes, he hurried out of the house back to his work; and so great was his joy at being a father that he did not feel hungry.

He was digging potatoes, and in his excitement had sent his hoe through some of them, which, however, he did not notice until he happened to strike one that was so hard that the steel of his hoe flashed.

Thinking it was a pebble, he stooped to pick it up, but was surprised to see that it was no longer there.

However, he went on working, when he struck another hard potato, and his hoe again flashed.

“Ah,” said he, “the evil one has been sowing this field with stones, as he did in the days of good Saint Euphemia, our patroness.” Saying which, he drew out the small crucifix from under his shirt, and the flinty potato disappeared; but he noticed that one of its eyes moved.

He thought no more of this untoward event, and went on hoeing until sunset, when, with the other labourers, he shouldered his hoe and prepared to go home.

Never had the distance seemed so great; but at last he found himself by his wife’s bedside. She told him that while he was absent an old woman had called, asking for something to eat, and that as she seemed to have met with some accident, because there was blood running down her face, she invited her in, and told her she might eat what her husband had left untasted.

Sitting down at the table, the old woman commenced eating without asking a blessing on the food; and when she had finished she approached the bed, and, looking at the infant, she muttered some words and left the house hurriedly.
The husband and wife were very much afraid that the old woman was a witch; but as the child went on growing and seemed well they gradually forgot their visitor.

The infant was baptized, and was named John; and when he was old enough he was sent out to work to help his parents. All the labourers noticed that John could get through more work than any man, he was so strong and active; but he was very silent.

The remarkable strength of the boy got to be so spoken about in the village that at last the wise woman, who was always consulted, said that there was no doubt but that John was a wolf-child; and this having come to the ears of his parents, his body was carefully examined, and the mark of the crescent was found under his arm.

Nothing now remained to be done but to take John to the great wise woman of Arifana, and have him disenchanted.

The day had arrived for the parents to take John with them to Arifana, but when they looked for him he could nowhere be found. They searched everywhere—down the well, in the river, in the forest—and made inquiries at all the villages, but in vain; John had disappeared.

Weeks went by without any sign of him; and the winter having set in, the wolves, through hunger, had become more undaunted in their attacks on the flocks and herds. The farmer, afraid of firing at them, lest he might shoot his son, had laid a trap; and one morning, to his delight, he saw that a very large wolf had been caught, which one of his fellow-labourers was cudgelling.

Fearing it might be the lost wolf-child, he hastened to the spot, and prevented the wolf receiving more blows; but it was too late, apparently, to save the creature’s life, for it lay motionless on the ground as if dead. Hurrying off for the wise woman of the village, she returned with him; and, close to the head of the wolf, she gathered some branches of the common pine-tree, and lighting them, as some were green and others dry, a volume of smoke arose like a tower, reaching to the top of a hill where lived some notorious enchanted Moors and wizards; so that between the wolf and the said Moors the distance was covered by a tunnel of smoke and fire. Then the wise woman intoned the following words, closing her eyes, and bidding the rest do so until she should tell them they might open them:

“Spirit of the mighty wind
That across the desert howls,
Help us here to unbind
All the spells of dreaded ghouls;
Through the path of smoke and fire
Rising to the wizards’ mound,
Bid the cursèd mark retire
From this creature on the ground;
Bid him take his shape again,
Free him from the Crescent’s power,
May the holy Cross remain
On his temple from this hour.”

She now made the sign of the Cross over the head of the wolf, and continued:

“River, winding to the west,
Stay thy rippling current, stay,
Jordan’s stream thy tide has blest,
Help us wash this stain away;
Bear it to the ocean wide,
Back to Saracenic shore.
Those who washed in thee have died
But to live for evermore.”

Then she sprinkled a few drops over the fire, which caused a larger amount of smoke, and exclaimed

“Hie thee, spirit, up through smoke,
Quenched by water and by fire;
Hie thee far from Christian folk,
To the wizard’s home retire.
Open wide your eyelids now,
All the smoke has curled away;
’Neath the peaceful olive bough
Let us go, and let us pray.”

Then they all rose, and the wolf was no longer there. The fire had burned itself out, and the stream was again running. In slow procession they went to the olive grotto, headed by the wise woman; and, after praying, they returned to the house, where they found, to their delight, John fast asleep in his bed; but his arms showed signs of bruises which had been caused by the cudgelling he had received when he was caught in the trap.

There were great rejoicings that day in the village of Darque; and no one was better pleased than John at having regained his proper shape.

He was never known to join in the inhuman sport of hunting wolves for pleasure, because, as he said, although they may not be wolf-children, they do but obey an instinct which was given them; and to be kind-hearted is to obey a precept which was given us. And, owing to the introduction into Portugal of the Book in which this commandment is to be found, wolf-children have become scarcer, and the people wiser.

My source: https://fairytalez.com/the-wolf-prince/