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Folktales

Queen Pedauque

by Olga Gomez

In Occitania, long ago, a king married a wonderful princess. But people were jealous and afraid of her, and they started calling her the Queen Pedauque ("goose foot" in old Occitan), saying that one of the feet of the princess was that of a goose, as she was a witch. The king grew nervous, and resolved to have a close look at the feet of his wife. But how was he to do so? Women in that time had very long skirts and robes. He ordered a wonderful garden to be done for the princess, with a stream in the middle, with no bridge over it. The next day, the queen walked around that wonderful garden. Arriving to the small creek, she hauled up a little bit her skirt, not to wet it, and jumped above the river. And, mirrored on the surface of the water, the king saw the two most marvelous little feet he had ever seen. And that's how rumors about the goose feet of the queen ended forever.