"Skrinet med det rare i" is a Norwegian fairy tale. It is part of Asbjørnsen and Moe's "Norske folkeeventyr" (Norwegian Folk Tales), collected in 1841-1844. The original, Norwegian text was found at Project Runeberg, and translated into English by me for the enjoyment of E2 noders.

You may find it interesting to have a look at The Golden Key by the Grimm Brothers. It is very similar. (Thanks to JerboaKolinowski for pointing this out.)

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Once upon a time, there was a little boy walking along a road. When he had walked a while, he found a box. "There must be something really strange in that box," he said to himself. But no matter how much he turned and twisted it, he couldn't get it open; "there's probably something really strange in it," he thought.

But when he had walked another while, he found a little key. Then he felt tired and sat down, and then he thought it would be fun to see if the key would fit the box, because there was a small keyhole in it. He took the little key out of his pocket; first he blew on the key, then he blew into the keyhole; then he put the key in the keyhole and turned it around. "Click!" said the lock, and when he reached for the lid, the box was open.

But can you guess what was in the box?

It was a calf's tail.

And had the tail been longer, the fairy tale would be longer as well.

Please pardon the surreal ending... :)

More fairy tales, please!

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