Two short, Norwegian fairy tales from Asbjørnsen and Moe's Norwegian Folk Tales (1841-1844) are told under the heading "Vårherre og St. Peter på vandring". The original text was found at Project Runeberg and translated to English for E2 by me.


Once upon a time when Our Lord and St. Peter was wandering the earth, they came upon a wife who was washing clothes. They were really nice clothes, but when Our Lord asked what she was washing, she said - she might have been afraid that they'd ask for a garment - "Oh, it's just some rags."

"Well, if they are rags, they are rags," said our Lord, and they turned to rags.

When they had walked another while, they met another wife who was washing by a stream, and the cloth she was washing was some pityful tatters; but when Our Lord asked what she was washing, she said:

"I'm standing here washing my children's clothes; they're not much, God help us! but at least they become clean."

"Well, if they are clothes, they are clothes," said Our Lord, and immediately the tatters turned into whole and good clothes.


Another time, Our Lord and St. Peter came in to a wife who was so very, very poor. She didn't have a crumble to give to her kids, and they were so hungry, moaning and crying for food, and then she thought, she'd try to calm them down. She hung the pan over the fire, poured some water in and added a fistful of pebbles from the river instead of peas. "Lie down and sleep until the peas are boiled, and then I'll wake you up," she said, and they turned quiet.

Just when they had fallen asleep, Our Lord and St. Peter came; the wife was sitting there crying sorely.

"You better stir your peas," said the Lord.

"Oh, God help me with the peas," said the wife - "it's nothing but pebbles I put on the fire to calm the kids."

"You should try stirring them anyway," said Our Lord.

The wife answered again that it wouldn't help, but when Our Lord asked her for a third time to stir her peas, she went over and stirred with the ladle, and she wouldn't believe her own eyes, when she saw that the pan was filled with the finest peas anyone could wish for.

With joy in her heart she thanked God, and woke the children and gave them peas, as promised.

More fairy tales, please!

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