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Main > Portuguese folktales > Fairy tale "The Friend of the Devil"

The Friend of the Devil

Once upon a time there was a handsome Flemish youth who came to the island of Fayal. His name was Fernâo de Hutra. He fell in love with a beautiful nun in the convent of the Gloria in the city of Horta.

One day the Devil appeared to him.

"Since you fell in love with this fair nun, I see you are a friend of mine," said the Devil.

The young man had not known this, but he replied:

"Say rather that I will be your friend if you help me get possession of this nun I love."

"Very well," said the Devil, "but you will have to make a bargain with me."

"What is it?" asked Fernâo, rather anxiously.

"Grant me your solemn pledge that you'll give me all your children," responded the Devil.

"Agreed," said Fernâo.

After that he saw much of the Devil. The nun, however, was as devout as she was beautiful. She refused to break the vows she had made and flee with the Flemish youth. She firmly resisted both him and the Devil.

"You are not a true friend to me after all," said Fernâo to the Devil sadly.

"But you are my friend," said the Devil in reply.

Soon after, Fernâo de Hutra left the city of Horta and the island of Fayal and went to join his kinsmen who had settled in Angra in the island of Terceira. Here his handsome face won many friends for him among the youth of the city. To some of these he confided the story of his relations with the Devil.

Now it happened that in the year 1666 the first bull fight was held in Angra. To this very day the island of Terceira is the only one in the Azores which has bull fights.

Fernâo had taken part in this. He was one of the chief organizers of the bull fight held on St. John's Day of the following year. That day all the men and women and children of the city of Angra assembled in the public square before the fort. The bullfighters, richly clad, rode forth upon prancing steeds decked in costly velvets with streamers and ribbons of gold and silver which sparkled in the bright sunlight. The youths were resplendent in their garments of crimson or purple or blue velvet, richly embroidered.

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