The Dance in the Old Mill

THERE WAS A CERTAIN YOUNG WOMAN who loved to dance. In fact she loved it so much that she just seemed to live to dance. People tried to persuade her to stop, but no one could change her mind. She danced night after night.
One night, she went to a big party in an old mill and danced all night. Toward morning, a handsome young man with one leg shorter than the other came in. He hastened to the young woman and quickly selected her for his partner. Together, they circled the floor. They were the most graceful of all the couples, and they danced so well that people stopped to watch them as they performed. At the height of their performance just as they made an extraordinarily graceful whirl, they suddenly arose, disappeared in smoke and were never seen again. People were startled and rushed outside to look for them, but all that they found was an enormous footprint burned deeply in a large stone. The horrified spectators said it was the devil’s footprint that was left behind as he wisked her away.
In keeping with the thinking of that time, the old tale might have originated as a deterrent to keep young folks from dancing because their elders were against it. The tale had been handed down through the years by word of mouth, and I sat big-eyed and greatly interested as it was told to me. These stories helped create my lifelong interest in folk tales.

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