Eyrlike Tüvvels / Honest Potatoes

Sassisk

“Leu met zulverdreu – nich in de knippe, bedool ik, mer op ‘n kop – hebt wal es heurd van de Hèèmenkes, zok rekken. Dan zölt ze ok wa wèten, dat ‘t ‘n ra völksken was en mangs na strabant konnen wèè’n, a’j ze tègen harren.”

Kollektsioon Engelbertink, 3. map, 5. vortelling

Et is my sülv nimmer klapped, een heymänke to seen. Doo ik noch up Grünn wounde, gav et een mour stuv by my, dår disse weasens höär oft tounen an eynsåme vootgangers in dikdüüstere nacht. Ik glööv my dat meynsten van ju sik disse weasens ouk kend. Andre nåmens bünt villicht dwållichtkes, of mourlichtkes, of up et engelsk as will-o’-wisp: lichtkes up et mourwater dee ju deeper et mourland up dryven. Dee danskende vlammekes dee höär vorloklik ju nåder wenken. In et düüster givt et neet een bült tyd, vöärdat ju neet länger weyten wår as ju vurd kommen bünt, en vindet dan jun pad torüch mor eyns. Et givt niks anders to doon, as langsåm en pynlik vurdsakken in murske aerde, jun doud afwachtend.

Now glöövet weytenskop teagensworig dat disse lichtkes döär mourgassen in wearld kumt, dee up eynige wyse licht afgeaven. Dat kin weasen, mor andersyds blivt et folkloristiske element en goden bewönneren: gå neet to deep et mourland up; et givt niks anders to vinden as dyn vöärtydige doud. Mor dårby noch een andersyds: see givt neet allennig licht. Disse weasens heyten heymänkes, dår see ‘hey, hey’ roopet um dy et mour in to krygen. Is dår wat weytenskopliks up to vinden? Is et de roop van een vogel? Süüket wy når petrouns in gelüden van wind of sükswat? Wel sel et weyten …

Mor heymänkes binnen neet allennig lichtkes up et mour. Disse tekst, dår ik my vandåg når kyk, givt meyr info. De heymänkes wount höär under grund, up steaden dår lüde höär et eygen levent afnommen hebt, döär höärsülv to vorsupen. Heymänkes hebt blåuwe lantaerns, en disse blåuwe lichtkes flikkert döär düüster hen. Mor see düt ouk een bült såken meyr:

“A’j alleenig waor op ‘t land of in ‘t veld gangs wazzen, dan konnen ze ow ok slim plaogen; dan konnen ze ow godsbermeluk lastig en spikantig op de hoed wèzen. Dan ko’j ze mangs wa huren roopen – zeen ko’j ze nich, want zee konnen zik gladdenals onzichbar maken, dat konnen ze. Zee sprungen ow dan mangs zoo in ‘n nek of gungen ow op de scholder zitten en dan wazzen ze zoo lebendig zwaor, da’j ze heelmaols nich konnen buuren. En i’j zaggen mer niks, dat dee’j nich.”

Kollektsioon Engelbertink, 3. map, 5. vortelling

Der is een wyse um maklik van höär af to kommen, mor den mostu dy good vöärberydet hebben van tovören:

“An doon, ko’j d’r niks, mer op ‘n eersten wa’j d’r of, a’j ‘n broodmes bi’j ow harren, waor as nog ‘n krömmelken brood an zat – want dat kon gen Hèèmenken wierstaon.”

Kollektsioon Engelbertink, 3. map, 5. vortelling

Good, et kin düs slim stur weasen, van disse aelskerige weasens af to kommen. Wel hev der now meynsttyds een meske med stuutkrümmels derup by sik? Villicht blivt et beater, neet når et mour to gån in åvendstyd. Med wat geluk hüüvet dat ouk heyldaal neet, dår see süms ouk by dy langskumt:

“… onderwiel zat Bekmans-Jans in ‘n hook van ‘n heerd en rooken zien piepken. Dommelend keeke in de aske en leut ziene gedachten nen vri’jen gank gaon … dow he inees wa heurde an de baovenduur [een bült sköppen hebt een bouvendöär vöär et inlåden van strou].

Het was ne stem, ne grovve, hadde stem, dee kot of reup: “Bekman, i’j meut ‘t ons moorn tuffeln op de Haar too zetten.”

Meer heuren Jans nich. Hee geet nao boeten, mer zeut daor ok a niks. Efkes steet e daor te tukkern, dow hee nog op ‘ees wat zeut glinstern op ‘n rand van ‘t bussenrek; bi’j ‘t moanlecht kan e ‘t now duudeluk zeen – Jans ter op an en wat was ‘t … ‘n goldstuk’ken.

Dat was daor wisse duur ‘n Hèèmenken too leg, dao mosse tuffeln vuur nao de Haar brengen, dee dan duur de Hèèmenkes wa zollen wödden ophaald.

Jans nam ‘t goldstuk’ken, gung ‘t hoes wier in en lee ‘t vot in ‘t kamnet. An tuffeln wier gèven harre niks met op – hee was wa ‘n luk an de zeunige kante – mer har ok leews niks met dee kompelmenten op; en bange wasse nich oetvöllen, geleuwt dat met drieste.

‘s Annerdaags gung aoveral ‘t aole leed: tuffel oetmaken wier an; en zoo gung dat met verdan. Mer ‘n paar dage [låter] … zeut Jans ‘s mor’rens in ‘n gaoren, dat ter op ‘n en’ne van ‘t groote stukke nen zak tuffeln is vot haald; veeres kon e niks spuuren.

‘n Dag later wier, was ter a wier nen zak roodkienen vot, en wier was ‘t zölfde werk.
Bekmans-Jans zee mer niks, mer begreep antlesten mer al te good, wat de reden was; en hee zee dan ok in zichzölven: “Jans, doo eer tuffeln vuur ‘t geld, ans lop ‘t mis met dien boereeren”.

Jans wus wa, dat zee al ziene tuffeln wa konnen opvretten en daorum brachte hee now eer de tuffeln waor zee ze hemmen wollen. En … hee heul vrèè.

“Het zint ströppe” was zien leste bescheed daoraover in zichzölven en daor bleef ‘t dan bi’j. Völle last hef hee d’r later nich van wier had en dat was em ok best nao ‘t zin.”

Kollektsioon Engelbertink, 3. map, 5. vortelling

Bouvennatüürlike weasens bewåket höär morele orde. Astu neet eyrlik bist in et handelen, süksas boor hyr, dan geit et ju slim af. Vöärig mål was dat nå dyn eygen levent, mor hyr is et tydens. Wåk dy, dår de heymänkes dy neet kryget!

English

“People with silver threads – I don’t mean in their wallet, but on their heads – have heard about the heymänkes, I would think. They would surely know that they are odd fellows who could be quite cheeky, if they turned against you.”

Collection Engelbertink, 3rd folder, 5th story

I have never been able to see a heymänke. When I still lived in Groningen, there was a piece of marshland close to me, at which these creatures would show themselves to lonely travellers in the darkness of the night. I believe most of you are familiar with similar creatures. Other names are dwållichtkes, or mourlichtkes, or the English will-o’-wisp: lights on the marshian water surface that lure you deeper into the moor. These dancing lights that entice you ever closer. In the darkness it doesn’t take a lot of time before you get completely lost, and it becomes impossible to retrace your steps. There is nothing else to do then to slowly and painfully sink into the mushy earth, waiting for death.

Science nowadays believes that these lights are caused by swamp gasses that somehow produce light. That could be the case, but, on the other hand, the folkloric element remains a good warning: don’t go too deep into the swamp; nothing can be found there except a premature death. There is another element: they not only provide light. These creatures are called heymänkes because they call out ‘hey, hey’ to get you into the swamp. Is there some scientific explanation for that? Is it the call of some bird? Are we the ones looking for patterns in sounds caused by the wind? Who knows …

But heymänkes are not merely swamp lights. This text that I am examining today provides more details. The heymänkes live underground at places where people took their own live by means of drowning themselves. Heymänkes have blue lamps, and these blue lamps shimmer through the darkness. There are also known for some other things:

“If you were alone on the fields, then they could tease you mercilessly; they could be hella annoying and get under your skin. You could hear them calling – you wouldn’t be able to see them, since they could become invisible, they could do that. They would then jump on your neck or went to sit upon your shoulder, and they would be so massively heavy that you were unable to lift them off. And all the while you wouldn’t see them.”

Collection Engelbertink, 3rd folder, 5th story

There is a way to easily get rid of them, but you have to be prepared for it:

“You couldn’t do anything about it, but you would get rid of them, if you carried a bread knife with you which still had a bread crumb on it – no heymänken could resist that.”

Collection Engelbertink, 3rd folder, 5th story

Good, it can be quite difficult to get rid of these annoying creatures. Who here carries with them a knife with bread crumbs on it? It may be more convenient to not convene near the moor in the evening. Luckily you do not always have to, since they could come and visit you:

“… in the meantime Bekmans-Jans sat in a corner of the hearth, smoking his pipe. Nodding off, he stared into the ashes and let his thoughts reign free … until he suddenly heard something at the top door [many barns have a top door to load up hay].

It was a voice, a rough, loud voice, that barked: “Bekman, you have to bring us potatoes tomorrow at the Haar.”

Jans didn’t hear anything else. He went outside, but didn’t see anything there either. He dabbles there for a bit, until he sees something shining from the milk churn rack, reflected by the moonlight – Jans walks up to it and it was … a gold piece.

It was surely left behind by a heymänke, so he had to bring potatoes to the Haar, which would surely then be collected by the heymänkes.

Jans took the gold piece, went inside, and left it in the cabinet. He wasn’t planning on giving potatoes in return – he was a bit of a cheapskate – but he also didn’t want to get involved with those things. He wasn’t a scaredy-cat, you can be sure about that.

The next day the age-old ritual returned: the potatoes had to be harvested. And thus it continued. But a couple of days later … Jans saw in the garden that at the end of a big row a sack-load of potatoes was missing; he didn’t saw any others missing.

A day later another sackload was gone, just like before. Bekmans-Jans didn’t raise any alarms, but he realized what cause it. Therefore he said to himself: “Jans, give them potatoes for the money, otherwise you can kiss your farming life goodbye.”

Jans knew that they would be able to eat all his potatoes, and that’s why he now brought them the potatoes where they wanted them. And … everything was peaceful again.

“It is give-and-take,” he thought in himself, and he kept it at that. They didn’t bother him ever again afterwards, and he liked it like that.”

Collection Engelbertink, 3rd folder, 5th story

Supernatural creatures guard the moral order. When you are not honest in trade, like the farmer here, then things might go awry for you. Last time it happened after your life, but here it is during it. Be warned, and don’t let the heymänkes get to you!

Wåk dy, dår de heymänkes dy neet kryget! / Be warned, and don’t let the heymänkes get to you!

Spoukplåtkepråt

Spooky Spectral Speculations

Um et måken van de foto

About creating the picture

Ditmål gung ik når et mour dår Arjan pråt um har an de anfang, en weyst wat? Nå geyn tyd sag ik my enkele heymänkes! Meynsttyds tount see höär an ensåme lüde, mor ik was my seakers neet allennig. Dit land is dår ik oft med my man loup, en neet oft seen wy andre seelen dår. Mor vandåg, in den 8. week (?) van afstand holden, binnen de mourlanden by us dörp höär döär mensken oaverlouped. See allen sik neet an de reagels holden en et advys van oaverhyd negearend tohuus to blyven (mor hold et in de kop: disse landen binnen myn tohuus, umreden ik my altyd dår rundloup en ik hyr woun 😉 ). En ander woord vöär heymänkes is ‘dwållichtkes’, en et was my neet anders as of disse robbige lüde as dwålende lichtkes. Seelen dee höär husen vorlåten müsten. En mourlanden trekken höär dwålende seelen an. Kinst neet anders weasen. Ik houp my, de dwålseelen en heymänkes hebben höär allen vunden dår see når sööked hebben: wat fred in de kop!

This time I went to the marshlands Arjan is talking about at the beginning of the story, and guess what? It didn’t take a long time before I saw some heymänkes! Often they show themselves to lonely people, but I was anything but alone. This piece of land is where I often walk with my husband and it does not happen often that we encounter another soul. But today, in week 8 (?) of social distancing, the marshlands near our village are swarmed with people. All bending the rules and ignoring the government’s advice to stay at home (mind you: I consider these lands my home, because I always have walked there and I live here 😉 ). Another word for heymänkes is dwållichtkes or “wandering lights”, and I could not help but see all those naughty people as wandering lights. Souls that needed to escape their home. And marshlands attract wandering souls. No question about that. I hope the wandering souls and the heymänkes all found what they were looking for: some peace of mind!

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