A Portuguese Folktale: The Jew, the Squire and the Partridges ~ Final


Art by StarTwo

This folktale had the strange power over us that invoked mental song-singing of “Twelve Days of Christmas” and it’s lyrics:

“On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.”

Until we remember how grim the tale is… Despite that, we’re happy to bring you this story where its first appearance was on “Fabulário Português” in the XV century, dealing us in how much guilt can eat you up from inside.

As the previous folktales, this is Illustrated, translated and adapted by yours truly, StarTwo.

The Jew, The Squire And The Partridges

A Jew with a valuable number of belongings required to pass through certain lands of a certain King and begged his majesty to provide someone from his household, to keep him safe while he travelled through the kingdom.

The King offered him his personal squire, who he trusted completely, and asked him to go with the Jew, until he was out of the King’s land, safe and sound.

As the Jew went through a patch of woods, the squire unsheathed his sword with the intention of killing and robbing the man to whom he said this:

“Don’t kill me, because if you do, the partridges on that tree over there will accuse you before your Lord and he will put you to death.”

The squire mocked the Jew’s words, killed him, and took all he carried for himself.

Not too long after these events, the king received some partridges for his dinner. The squire was attending this dinner and by God’s will, he began to laugh hysterically at the sight of the birds and could not stop.

Because they were all sitting at the dinner’s table, the King said nothing but after the meal was over, he called for the squire and demanded to know the reason behind his frenetic cackles. Fearful, the squire refused to say the reason.

But the King, employing both gentle and threatening words persuaded the squire and it did not take too long to get the truth out of him.

The squire confessed to killing the Jew and taking all his possessions and how before murdering the man, he told him that the partridges on the trees would accuse him and that the King would have him killed.

After listening to this, the King felt repulsed because he had loved this squire with all his heart.

“It is true,” the King said, “the partridges accused you!”

Later, the King held a meeting with his counsellors and asked:

“What fate does the squire deserve?”

They all decreed that he should die in the gallows. And so, the squire hanged for his evil deed.


Congratulations to this King who could both play the role of good cop bad cop with “both gentle and threatening words” in the interrogation while having outstanding results!

Thank you for reading and like always,
★stay inspired★

23 thoughts on “A Portuguese Folktale: The Jew, the Squire and the Partridges ~ Final

    • We are inclined to think that laughter makes the scene even more disturbing by imagining the knight unwillingly laughing towards his grim confession.
      Also, had it been tears it would imply remorse – which we believe he had none.

      Liked by 1 person

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