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One evening many years ago in a farmhouse on the Seiser Alm, a farmer's boy observed the farm dairy maid rubbing her stove-fork in the kitchen with cooking fat whilst whispering,

"Everywhere and nowhere!"

Before his eyes the dairy maid flew up the chimney and disappeared into the night. Seeing the pot of grease by the fire, the servant boy took the opportunity, smeared it on a broom, straddled it, and whispered,

"Anywhere and nowhere!"

He also flew up the chimney but having got the spell wrong, he went up banging and crashing, cracking his head and a few ribs along the way!

Flying swiftly through the night, the farmers boy reached the top of the Schlern where the dairy maid and other witches were gathered, dancing and singing. When the dance was over, the witches dragged the dairy maid away, butchered her and roasted and feasted on her flesh. Mocking the boy, they threw him a rib to eat and he, horrified, slipped it into his pocket and crept away into the dark to watch and listen from a distance.

When the witches had finished feasting, they gathered up the maid's bones, laid them in the ashes of the fires and with a powerful spell brought the dairy maid back to life as if nothing had happened. But the rib the servant had kept for himself was missing so the witches had to replace it with a rib of hazel wood. The witches warned the maid that she was now a Hazel Witch and if anyone called her by that name, she would immediately fall down dead.
The next evening back in the farmhouse the servant and the dairy maid were eating with the farmers family and the servant said to the farmer,

"There is a witch in your house!"

The farmer angrily told the boy to stop talking nonsense. The servant repeated, "There is a witch at your table! A hazel witch!" and at that very moment the dairy maid fell dead from her chair in a heap of dry broken bones onto the floor.


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