Before our sons go off in the world, we make them cakes. They can have half a cake with their mother’s blessing, or a whole cake with our curse. It’s up to them.
The size of the cake is determined by the quantity of water our sons can bring back from the well, in a pail that is full of holes.
The ones who don’t care about their mothers’ blessings work hard to have their cake. The curse starts right away, you see, with all the hauling they have to do.
Widow Among Widows in The Red Etin, Blue Fairy Book. Image by James Sidney Edward Ensor.