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Main > Portuguese folktales > Fairy tale "The Magic Mouthful"

The Magic Mouthful

Give me, I pray you, some more of the magic water."

The little old woman smiled gently.

"Dear daughter," she said, "the water which I put in your jar is nothing but the water from this fountain. It is the very same which you always carry home. This is the secret: When your mouth is full of water you cannot reply when your husband says cross words to you. If you do not keep up the quarrel it soon ends. That is why your life is happy now instead of sad. Go home, and whenever your husband says an unkind word pretend that your mouth is full of water and do not reply. Go in peace, my child."

The woman always remembered this good advice and never again quarreled with her husband. When she had children of her own she passed on to them the secret.

Now it is generally known in the Azores that if one does not want to keep up a quarrel it is well to pretend that his mouth is full of water. This is the reason why the people of the islands are so peaceful and happy.

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