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Soria Moria Castle

“Aye, aye,” said Halvor, “you always thought yourselves so pretty and neat, no one could come near you; but now you should just see the eldest Princess I have set free; against her you look just like milkmaids, and the midmost is prettier still; but the youngest, who is my sweetheart, she’s fairer than both sun and moon. Would to Heaven they were only here,” said Halvor, “then you’d see what you would see.”

He had scarce uttered these words before there they stood, but then he felt so sorry, for now what they had said came into his mind. Up at the farm there was a great feast got ready for the Princesses, and much was made of them, but they wouldn’t stop there.

“No, we want to go down to your father and mother,” they said to Halvor; “and so we’ll go out now and look about us.”

So he went down with them, and they came to a great lake just outside the farm. Close by the water was such a lovely green bank; here the Princesses said they would sit and rest a while; they thought it so sweet to sit down and look over the water.

So they sat down there, and when they had sat a while the youngest Princess said:

“I may as well comb your hair a little, Halvor.”

Well, Halvor laid his head on her lap, and she combed his bonny locks, and it wasn’t long before Halvor fell fast asleep. Then she took the ring from his finger, and put another in its stead; and she said:

“Now hold me all together! and now would we were all in Soria Moria Castle.”

So when Halvor woke up, he could very well tell that he had lost the Princesses, and began to weep and wail; and he was so downcast, they couldn’t comfort him at all. In spite of all his father and mother said, he wouldn’t stop there, but took farewell of them, and said he was safe not to see them again; for if he couldn’t find the Princesses again, he thought it not worth while to live.

Well, he had still about sixty pounds left, so he put them into his pocket, and set out on his way. So, when he had walked a while, he met a man with a tidy horse, and he wanted to buy it, and began to chaffer with the man.

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