Norwegian fairy tale
from Asbjørnsen and Moe
's Norwegian Folk Tales
. The original Norwegian text has been found at Project Runeberg
, and is translated to English by me
Once upon a time, there was a woman with a husband who was hard of hearing, and he was quite a dork; and therefore she cared more for the man in the other house, called Pål Andrestua ("Paul Other-house").
The deaf man's servant boy noticed easily that there was something between these two, and at some point he said to the woman: "Do you dare to bet ten daler1, that I will make you reveal your own shame?"
"Oh yes, I dare," she said, and they bet ten daler.
Then one day the boy and the deaf man were in the barn thrashing, and the boy noticed that Pål Andrestua came to the woman again. He said nothing; but a while before lunch, he turned toward the barn door and shouted: "Yes, OK!"
"Oh, are we going in already?" said the man, he hadn't noticed anything.
"Yes, I guess we are, since your wife is calling," said the boy.
When they were right outside the house, the boy started coughing loudly, so the wife got to hide Pål Andrestua. When they came in, a trough with sour cream porridge was on the table.
"Oh mother!" said the man, "are we having sour cream porridge today?"
"Ah yes, we are," said the wife, she was angry and wild.
When they had eaten well and gone out again, she said to Pål: "He's got the devil's face, that boy; this was his fault. But you better get going, and I'll come down to you in the field with dinner."
The boy stood right outside and heard this.
"Sir," he said, "I think it's best we go down in the valley and repair the skigard2 that has blown down, because the pigs from the other house walk around digging in our field."
"Yes, I guess we have to," said the man, because he did everything he was told.
At dinner time the wife came down to the field with something under her apron.
"Oh mother! I don't think you're like yourself anymore," said the husband; "are you bringing us dinner as well?"
"Oh yes, I guess I am," she said; she became even angrier.
And they ate well, both lefse and butter, and they got liquor with it.
"I'll go over to Pål Andrestua with some as well," said the boy, "'cause he hasn't had enough dinner."
"Yes, do," said the wife; she was suddenly happy again.
On the way the boy tore the lefse into pieces and dropped a piece now and then, as he was walking.
When he then came over to Pål Andrestua, he said: "You better take care, because the man in our house has noticed how often you are visiting his wife; he doesn't particularly like it, and now he's sworn to put an axe in you, as soon as he sees you."
Pål was frightened, and the boy returned to the man.
"There is something to be done with Pål's plough," he said, "and he asked you to bring your axe and come over and have a look at it."
The man went and brought his axe, but as soon as Pål Andrestua noticed him he ran away as quickly as he could. The man turned the plough around and looked at it from all sides, and when he couldn't see anything broken, he went back again, but on the way he picked up all the pieces of lefse the boy had dropped. His wife watched for a while, and wondered what the man was collecting.
"Oh, he's probably picking up rocks," said the boy, "because he has noticed that this Pål Andrestua comes to our house so often, and he doesn't particularly like it, and now he has sworn that he will stone his wife to death."
The wife set off as quickly as she could.
"What does mother run off like that for?" asked the man, when he arrived.
"Oh, there's a fire spreading at home," said the boy.
The man after, and the wife in front screaming: "Oh, don't kill me, don't kill me, and I'll never have Pål Andrestua over ever again!"
"Now the ten daler are mine," yelled the boy.
1: "Daler" was an old Norwegian coin - the name is similar to the German thaler and of course dollar.
2: Skigard is a type of fence
More fairy tales, please!