The Ménine New Year's Meale
The old ménine never invited anyone, she sat on a cadiérou, near the fire where the pot was boiling,
She dipped stale bread in the soup on her plate and ate vegetables and bacon, quickly,
Then got up in a hurry on New Year's Eve, to open wide her big wardrobe,
She adorned the table with a beautiful tablecloth, and indulged in the luxury of a candle in place of the notorious calelh.
She was setting the table with eight dinner plates with flowers, three platters, glasses, a bottle of aged wine,
On the fire simmered the ritual dishes: beans, merlussado, cod with bechamel sauce and eggs,
Compote of prunes and pears in red wine flavored with cinnamon, a good peasant meal, notable,
But the menine did not uncork her bottle, nor did she cut into slices the large loaf placed at the end of the table.
From midnight, the door remained ajar so that the slow diners could enter easily,
And there was always a sign that marked their entry: a beam gave its creak,
Activated by a sudden current of air, the half-extinguished fire crackled merrily,
The sleepy cat stood up, hair bristling, eyes staring, full of terror with a violent mewing.
Here they come! murmured the old menina, crossing herself piously,
Curled up in her bed with the curtains drawn, she closed her eyes very tightly, so that they weren't supposed to see the ghosts,
Eight ! Not one less! Her mother, her father, her husband and those taken from her by war or sickness, her five children,
Each New Year's night gave them back to him for an hour, the time to taste the dishes lovingly prepared by the mother.
Would the “Master” find the wine fruity enough and the old mother the prunes sweet enough?
As for the five boys, the brave little ones, they had never been difficult, the meal would be appreciated,
The old woman was waiting, with beating heart, for her eight guests to have finished their meal,
Then she religiously ate a little bread blessed by the touch of the dead and went to bed with her soul in peace.