From “Tales of Mel”

Barruguets and Fameliars

Here is an extract from the book Tales of Mel, that I translated into English. I didn’t have to include the book’s cover, but perhaps it improves my credibility! I haven’t looked for copies of the book recently on Ibiza - I guess that the only copies you can see may be in the Deposito Legal in Ibiza! This is one of my favourite extracts

Ibiza, a magical island by its very nature, boasts several Caballistic places, of magnetic attraction for those souls who believe with a special intensity.

One of the most notable of these, for its remarkable conjunction of history, legend, imagination and reality is the old bridge of Santa Eulalia, under the arches of which is the "Moon spring" or, in lbicenco "Sa Font den Lluna”.

According to obscure legends of uncertain origin and of which there are several different versions, the bridge was constructed by the Devil himself. The spring was the clearest, freshest and healthiest source of water for the town. The dark shadow which the old bridge throws over the clear spring represents the eternal ambition of evil, which seeks to defeat and destroy the forces of purity and innocence.

The key point of the terrible fight occurs on the shortest night of the year, the night of San Juan, when the concentrations of the opposing forces are at their greatest. When this explosive meeting and its aftermath take place, nobody knows exactly what will happen: everybody has their own story.

On this special night, when the full moon appears, it briefly illuminates the mirror-like surface of the spring through the arch of the bridge. This ray is eagerly awaited, it lasts as long as a sigh, and every individual either gains or loses from it, depending on their own spirit. But - oh! - if a cloud should appear and, like the cape of the witch flying on her broomstick, hide the moon, then the ray does not appear.

This is the magical moment of the barruguets, whose widespread existence is supported by legends and fables. They are described in the languages of every known tribe and enjoy an intense domestic and family life. They are small beings, who can be either beneficial or malevolent.

Some people believe that there are two types, barruguets and fameliars, one good and the other evil. But they are the two sides of the same coin. They are equally welcomed and feared by all homes, as they may bring prosperity or adversity, depending on how wisely they are employed. It depends on the characters of the members of the family with whom they stay, as to whether they will serve or act as agents of destruction. "Give me work, or give me food.” This is their greeting and their slogan.

lf the master of the house has enough work to keep the barruguet occupied, it will not rest or ask for food. And with so much work well done, the house will always be clean and the family will be happy and rich. lf the barruguet remains idle through lack of work, it will demand food, and if it is not given sustenance it will go directly to the larder or the barn and will eat everything without pausing, until the household faces ruin. In reality, barruguets are nothing more than a profound reflection of each person, in every community in every family. Therefore, they do exist

Top of Page

Back to Work in Spanish