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"METTLEN ALP LEGEND"

ONE NIGHT, ON THE METTLEN ALP, THE CATTLE WERE IN THE BARN FOR THE
NIGHT AND THE PEOPLE WERE ASLEEP IN THE LOFT, WHEN ONE OF THE MEN
HEARD A TERRIBLE NOISE DOWNSTAIRS. HE LOOKED DOWN THE STAIRS AND SAW
THREE MEN MAKING CHEESE. THERE WERE THREE COPPER KETTLES, ONE FOR
EACH MAN, WITH GREEN, RED, AND NORMAL COLORED CHEESE. THE THREE MEN
SAW THE ONLOOKER AND TOLD HIM TO COME DOWN AND MAKE A CHOICE.
IF HE WAS TO TAKE THE GREEN CHEESE, HE COULD HAVE A WHOLE ALP ALL
TO HIMSELF WITH AS MANY CATTLE AS HE WANTED. IF HE WANTED THE RED
CHEESE, HE COULD HAVE AS MUCH MONEY AS HE WANTED WHILE HE LIVED.
IF HE WAS TO CHOOSE THE NORMAL CHEESE, GOD WOULD BLESS HIM, AND HE
WUOLD NEVER HAVE ANY TROUBLE. THEY TOLD HIM TO MAKE HIS CHOICE.
HE CHOSE THE RED. EVERYTHING BUT THE RED CHEESE DISAPPEARED.
THE NEXT DAY THE OTHERS CAME DOWN, AND SAW HIM LAYING ON THE FLOOR
WITH A SACK OF MONEY. HE WAS ILL, AND THEY WOULD NEVER HAVE KNOWN HIM
EXCEPT FOR HIS CLOTHES BECAUSE HE AGED AT LEAST TWENTY YEARS IN THE
NIGHT. HE DIED THE SAME EVENING. THE OTHERS WERE AFRAID, SO THEY WENT
INTO THE VILLAGE BELOW AND ASKED A MINSTER (WHO WAS BELIEVED TO HAVE
SPECIAL POWER OF EXORCISM) TO COME UP AND BLESS THE ALP THAT IT MIGHT
BE SAVED. HE TOLD THEM THAT THEY MUST TAKE A ROPE, MAKE THREE NOTES
IN IT AND GO AROUND THE BORDER OF THE ALP HITTING IT AS HARD AS
POSSIBLE WITH THE ROPE. AS SOON AS THE CIRCLE CLOSED, THERE WAS A
GREAT CLAP OF THUNDER, A COLUMN OF SMOKE AND A TERRIBLE SMELL
COMING FROM THE BARN. AFTER THAT, EVERYTHING WAS NORMAL.
THIS IS SAID TO BE TRUE: SINCE THAT TIME THE PEOPLE USE THAT BARN
TO SHELTER THE CATTLE AT NIGHT, AND TO WORK DURING THE DAY, BUT NO
ONE WILL STAY IN THE BARN AFTER DARK.)

Submitter comment: "FOLK NAME"
AN ALP IS A PLATEAU IN SWITZERLAND, WHERE, DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS
THE CATTLE ARE GRAZED. THESE CATTLE ARE WATCHED BY ONE FAMILY WHO
IS PAID BY THE COMMUNITY. THIS FAMILY ALSO MAKES BUTTER, CHEESE AND
ZIGER (A VERY SPECIAL CHEESE) FROM THE MILK OF THE COWS.
THESE PRODUCTS ARE DIVIDED AT THE END OF THE SUMMER AMONG THE PEOPLE
WHOSE COWS WERE GRAZED ON THE ALP.

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Supernatural Being
SPEECH -- Place
University of Detroit Mercy
4001 W. McNichols Detroit , MI , 48221-3038
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