Grimm’s Saga No. 222
The Chatelaine of Oselberg
In ancient times a castle stood on the Oselberg Mountain between Dinkelsbuehl and Hahnkamm. Here a widow lived with her father as chatelaine, keeping the keys to all the rooms of the castle in her possession. In the end she fell to her death when the castle walls collapsed. Screams can often be heard at that place but it is only her spirit that floats round the fallen stone. She often appears on the evening of the four Ember days*; then she is in the form of a maiden, carrying a ring of keys at her side. Old farmers say the land was once owned by her father and the maiden was a pagan daughter of old. She became enchanted and was transformed into a terrible snake; others say they have seen her as viper but with the head and shape of a woman down to her waist. She always carries a ring of keys round her neck.
* Ember days: Four days immediately after 1) the first Sunday in Lent 2) Pentecost 3) Holy Cross Day (Sept. 14) or 4) St. Lucy’s Day (Dec. 13). Traditionally this is a fast day. These days designate each of four periods or seasons of the year, which were times of fasting (but became times of ordination in the Anglican Church).
And here is a beautiful song for the passing of the seasons:
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