There was a young maid, named Poneta, who served in the house of the lords of Isòvol. Every day she had to cross the river with a pitcher in the hand to fetch good water from the spring.

“Càntir cantiret

Raja dolç i raja estret

Sigui aigua de la bona

De la font del Mollaret”

As the Segre had sudden floods, one or two maids from this large house were dragged downstream every year. Poneta didn’t want the same thing to happen to her. In addition, she had another problem: the church was far away and could not comply with the Sunday precept.

She directed her demands to the Lord and the priest without success. Then an old chamois hunter told her he would fix it by putting her in touch with the prince of darkness.

“I will make you a bridge and a church before the rooster crows,” said the devil, “but in exhange of your soul.”

She agreed and the devil began to build the bridge and the church at full speed.

The maiden, who was very smart, took an oil lamp and went to the chicken coop. The roosters, thinking it was sunrise, sang like every morning. The demon, who was about to finish the bell tower, fell ashamed of being mocked and left the tower unfinished.

The legend ends here; but there is a nearer morality which might be, “Let not the devil himself be deceived,” for the waters of the river have moved farther south, and the bridge is dry, and the bell-tower, which exists today, built with pipes, really seems like a revenge of the devil.

Listen to the legend