Once there were two sisters, Adelia and Berta, living in a village close to the sea. They were both orphaned at an early age. Of the two sisters, Adelia was the younger and more beautiful one. she was also kind hearted, obedient, and persevering. On the other hand, Berta was self seeking, envious and a hypocrite.
One day a goodlooking gentlemen by the name of Jose came to settle in their village. He saw Adelia by chance in the village square and from that time on fell instantly in love with her. From then on, he would go to the house of the two sisters to pay Adelia a visit. The two would sit and talk for hours while Berta watched from the side.
Unknown to them, Berta, too, hides secret affections for Jose, Adelia's suitor. In fact, when Adelia would need to excuse herself to finish some house chores Berta left undone on purpose, Berta would slip in to get Jose to become interested in her. But nothing seemed to be working out for Jose would as soon beg to join and help Adelia. Next, she employed all kinds of tricks she knew to win for herself the love of Jose, but Jose knew better and avoided her. His love for Adelia remained true and sincere.
Berta's plans were all met in vain for Adelia and her suitor soon got engaged. And to her dismay, a week after the two got married suddenly.
A few days after their wedding, Jose bade his wife goodbye to do business in another town in which he could have to be away for a week or two. He was a trader and had just recently joined a group of merchants that was headed towards the new town.
Jose's sudden departure left Adelia miserable and lonely. To compound her misery, Berta would often nag her, humiliate her, and maltreat her. Yet, in the face of all the abuses she received from Berta, Adelia remained calm, patient and uncomplaining.
Not long after Jose was away, Berta invited Adelia for them to take a bath in the river, and the latter agreed. Little was Adelia aware of the evil designs Berta had instored for her. Just before leaving the house, Berta secretly pre- pared two poisonous needles which she neatly hid between the folds of a piece of cloths.
While in the river, Berta pretended to be sweet and thoughtful to her sister. When they got out of the water and were drying themselves under the sun, she even of- fered Adelia to dry and fix her hair. She got around the back of the rock where her sister sat so that she would be standing behind her back just as she had planned. Wasting no time, she took out the poison needles and pinned them on Adelia's head and the latter died instantly.
She looked everywhere about her, and when certain no one else was looking around, Berta quickly dragged the body of her sister to the river. She then waited until the river current carried the body away. She had it set in her mind that if anyone would ask what happened, she would just say that Adelia must have slipped and accidentally drowned herself in the river.
To ensure no trace of evidnce was left behind, Berta took handfuls of sands and quickly covered the spots of blood on the ground that came off Adelia's head before running home. However, she failed to notice still a spot of blood which remained uncovered. This spot of blood soon started to take form which finally transformed into a bird with reddish spots on its breasts.