The Gossips of St. John

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    Once upon a time there lived a husband and wife, and they were both bound in gossipry with a certain man. The husband got arrested, and was taken away to prison. Now the gossip was very fond of his cummer, and used often to go and visit her. One day she said to him: “Gossip, shall we go and see my husband?” “Gnursi, cummari” (“Certainly, cummer”), said her gossip; so off they went. On the way they bought a large melon—for it was the melon season—to take to the poor prisoner. We are but flesh and blood! The gossip and his cummer sinned against St. John. In short, they brought things to a pretty pass. St. John wasn’t going to let that pass unpunished. When they had come to the prison and had visited the prisoner, before going away they wanted to make a present to the jailer; so they gave him the melon. He cut it open before their eyes. Horror of horrors! When the melon was cut open, there was found in the middle of it a head! Now this was the head of St. John, which had slipped itself in there for the purpose of bringing home their sin to the minds of the gossips. The matter immediately came to the ears of justice, and they were arrested. They confessed the wrong they had done. The husband was set at liberty, and the gossip and his cummer were sent to the gallows.

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