Girl from Heaven

Man, rich, many cows.
But one morning went to milk them, udders empty. Next morning same. Decided to stay awake next night to watch.

Midnight, silken rope came down from heaven, many girls climbed down, each with a basket tied around her waist. They milked cows.

He caught one (so beautiful: eyes, teeth, skin as dark as a lake at night). "You will be my wife!"

She agreed, but made him promise never to look in the basket she had at her waist - said if he did, his fortune would change.

Made her his wife. Happy with her, beautiful, good wife, worked well, children.
He prospered.

One day he forgot his promise - looked in.
Laughed aloud - he saw there was nothing in the basket!

Wife came in. Told her basket was empty!
She told him that he had broken promise - now his luck would change. In the basket were all the gifts she had brought him from heaven - and he was too blind to see them.

Silken rope came down from heaven - and he never saw her, or his good fortune, again.

I heard a version of this told by a German teller, Elfriede Gazis, at the International Theater Frankfurt.
Laurens van der Post was told the story in Africa.

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