1837 (pub): Plague Woman of Russia

According to Jacob Grimm's 1844 Teutonic Mythology, Polish author Kazimiérz Władysław Wóycicki published a tale about a plague woman he called Powietrze in his 1837 folklore collection called Klechdy (Tales), Vol. I. 'Powietrze' is Polish for 'air' or 'vapor,' but also means 'plague.' According to Grimm, the tale goes thus:

        The woman called Plague was walking about on stilts, wearing white, when she encountered a man. She told this man her name, and stated that she wanted to ride on his shoulders throughout all of Russia; as his reward for this service, he alone would not suffer from the illness she would bring in her wake. The man agreed to carry her. At each town they reached, the woman waved her handkerchief and everybody in the town died. Soon people were actively fleeing their homes before the man carried the plague woman to villages. Their path took the two to the river Pruth, and the man immediately jumped into the waters hoping to drown the plague woman... but she floated up light as a feather and flew to the woods as the poor man sank to the bottom of the river.

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