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The Plague Bird

 Many, many years ago there lived in Sant Feliu de Guķxols an old and very evil witch who felt great bitterness towards the town. Some said that it was because the children would throw stones at her and call her names when she went through the town’s streets begging for alms.
 At the witches of Catalonia conference held on Malrem hill, the evil witch asked her colleagues to teach the people of Sant Feliu a great lesson.
 One day, then, while the boats were still out to sea, there appeared some great black clouds over the coastline and the town itself. The clouds unleashed seven typhoons which lashed the town and then, coming together, formed a single huge and extremely violent typhoon. Everybody set to praying, and by means of oaths and the help of God the storm abated and the boats were able to get back into port.
But just when it seemed that calm had been restored there fell from the sky, right in the centre of the square, a big black bird of terrifying appearance. The little boys and girls caught it and played a thousand and one nasty little tricks at its expense. But in the bird’s body there lay harboured all the rage of the witches. The children fell ill, and one by one, died. The town was heartbroken at this great misfortune. Then the town leaders met, and among them the honourable Mr Barraquer, who promised that if the plague would only relent he would have an iron bird built to commemorate the event for all time.
And so it came to pass. The plague did relent, and an iron bird was constructed in the Barraquer household, which bird the family still has down to this day.

    Taken from El Baix Empordą, fantasia i realitat.


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