Norwegian folk tale from Asbjørnsen and Moe's fairy tale collections. The original text is called "Kjetta på Dovre" and was found at Project Runeberg. 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!