The pin-pricking witch of Hoorn

Long ago there lived in Hoorn a barge-hand, who was married. Every other night he was away from home, working on a regular barge service. In those nights at sea he often felt oppressed, as if he were stifling, and eventually he just seemed to pine away. Then someone suggested that perhaps his wife was to blame. He suggested that the barge hand should stay at home one night, instead of going to work, and hide in his house, so that he could see what his wife was doing. And so it happened: in the middle of the night his wife got a box out of the cupboard and in the box he saw a doll. To his horror, the barge hand saw that his wife began to stick pins into the doll. She stuck them in all over, in the toes, above the knee, in the stomach and in seven other places. Luckily she had not got to the eleventh time for, if she had, she would have wounded the doll in the heart and the barge hand would have been dead. When the man saw these gruesome deeds he grabbed the doll and burned it. He then divorced his wife.



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