The Milk Stone, the Blood Stone, and the Trude Stone

Every midwife has three such stones, and they are among the main tools of her trade - although many refuse to discuss the last one. The milk stone is a type of alum (probably alumen crudum), and she needs it for young mothers for when their milk stops. Then she rubs the milk stone over breasts and shoulder so that the milk is distributed properly. The blood stone (lapis haematites) is used to stop the flow of blood. If it is necessary, she will scrape a bit off from it, mix it with a glass of water, and give it to women who have given birth within the last six weeks. These two stones can be attained from any pharmacist, and thus are not hoarded carefully. If one is lost, they know where to get another one.

It is an entirely different matter with the trude stone. It can only be found by fortunate circumstances, and thus is a rare, lucky find. Fundamentally, it is nothing more than a common pebble. But nature must have shaped a hole straight through its middle, and this is rare. The smaller and blacker the stone is, the more valuable it is held to be. These trude stones are utterly loathed by trudes. For where such a stone is hanging, they are unable to reach the bed. They could only do so if they had urinated through the hole of the stone, but then their spell would be broken as well. Since the trudes love to torment young mothers and the newborn, the midwife hangs up the trude stone near or on the bed.

How much the common people appreciate the power of the trude stones can be seen that the still-living midwife in Stoffen owns such a stone. Her now-departed husband once found it in Russia, where he was one of the few to return among the thousands of Bavarians who moved there. Throughout all the deprivation, hunger, and frost he managed to keep the stone safe, and was able to bring it home with him. In this manner, the stone - which was discovered in the snowy landscapes of Russia - still provides its services in the Lechrain region after four decades.

Source: Freiherr von Leoprechting, K. Aus dem Lechrain. Zur deutschen Sitten- und Sagenkunde. 1855, p. 92f.

Notes & commentary: Spirit Wards