folk tale from Asbjørnsen and Moe
's fairy tale
collections. The original text is called "Kjetta på Dovre" and was found at
. It is in the public domain and has been translated into
English by me
for E2 noders' enjoyment.
There was once a man in Finnmark who
had captured a large white bear; he was going to bring it to the
king of Denmark. It just so happened that he came to
Dovre on Christmas Eve, and he entered a house in which lived a man called
Halvor. He asked whether he and his white bear could stay over.
"God help us!" said the man; "we can't lend house to anyone, because every
Christmas Eve the trolls come to visit us, so we have to move out and can't
even house ourselves."
"Oh, you can lend me house anyway," said the man; "my bear can lie under your
oven, and I can lie in the bed."
Yes, he begged for so long that he was finally allowed. Then the people of the
house moved out, and they had prepared the house for the trolls with laid
tables, with sour cream porridge and lutefisk and sausage, and everything
good, like any big party.
Suddenly, the trolls came. Some were large and some were small, some were
long-rumped and some where rump-less, and some had long, long noses, and
they ate and drank and tasted everything.
But then one of the troll children saw the white bear under the oven, and he
took a piece of warm sausage on a fork, went over
and poked it at the white bear's nose, so he got burnt. "Cat, do you want
wurst?" he screamed. The white bear jumped up and roared and chased them all
out, large and small.
The next year, Halvor was in the forest on Christmas Eve afternoon, getting
some wood for the weekend. He was expecting the trolls to come again.
Just as he was chopping, he heard a yell from the forest: "Halvor! Halvor!"
"Yes," answered Halvor.
"Do you still have your large cat?"
"Yes, she's at home under the oven," said Halvor, "and she's bred seven
kittens even larger and angrier than herself."
"Then we will never visit you again!" yelled the troll in the forest; and since
that day, the trolls have never had Christmas porridge at Halvor's house at Dovre.
More fairy tales here!