The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book I Chapter 1

When May was unfolding the whitethorn blossom Ulenspiegel, son of Claes, was born at Damme in Flanders.

A gossip midwife, by name Katheline, wrapt him in warm swaddling clothes, and, looking at his head, pointed out a caul on it.

“A caul! he is born under a lucky star!” exclaimed she, rejoicing.

But in a moment, lamenting and displaying a little black spot on the babe’s shoulder:

“Alas,” she wept, “’tis the black print of the devil’s finger.”

“Master Satan has been getting up very early, then,” rejoined Claes, “if he has had time already to put his mark on my son.”

“It was not yet his bedtime,” said Katheline, “for there is Chantecleer only now waking up the hens.”

And she went away, putting the child in the arms of Claes.

Then the dawn burst through the night clouds, the swallows skimmed the meadows with shrill cries, and the sun showed his dazzling countenance, bright and red upon the horizon. Claes threw the window wide and spake to Ulenspiegel.

“Son with the caul,” said he, “lucky son, here is our lord Sun coming to salute the soil of Flanders. Look always on him when thou canst, and whenever thou art in a maze, knowing not what to do so as to do right, ask counsel of him: he is bright and warm; be thou honest as he is bright, and kind even as he is warm.”

“Husband Claes,” said Soetkin, “you are preaching to deaf ears; come, drink, my son.”

And the mother offered the newly born nature’s goodly flagons.