Soria Moria Castle
“No,” said the old wife, “that I don’t, but see now, here comes the Moon, I’ll ask her, she’ll know all about it, for doesn’t she shine on everything?”
So when the Moon stood clear and bright over the tree-tops, the old wife went out.
“Thou Moon, thou Moon,” she screamed, “canst thou tell me the way to Soria Moria Castle?”
“No,” said the Moon, “that I can’t, for the last time I shone there a cloud stood before me.”
“Wait a bit still,” said the old wife to Halvor, “bye and bye comes the West Wind; he’s sure to know it, for he puffs and blows round every corner.”
“Nay, nay,” said the old wife when she went out again, “you don’t mean to say you’ve got a horse too; just turn the poor beastie loose in our ‘toun,’ and don’t let him stand there and starve to death at the door.”
Then she ran on:
“But won’t you swop him away to me?—we’ve got an old pair of boots here, with which you can take twenty miles at each stride; those you shall have for your horse, and so you’ll get all the sooner to Soria Moria Castle.”
That Halvor was willing to do at once; and the old wife was so glad at having the horse, she was ready to dance and skip for joy.
“For now,” she said, “I shall be able to ride to church. I, too, think of that.”
As for Halvor, he had no rest, and wanted to be off at once, but the old wife said there was no hurry.
“Lie down on the bench with you and sleep a bit, for we’ve no bed to offer you, and I’ll watch and wake you when the West Wind comes.”
So after a while up came the West Wind, roaring and howling along till the walls creaked and groaned again.
Out ran the old wife.
“Thou West Wind, thou West Wind! Canst thou tell me the way to Soria Moria Castle? Here’s one who wants to get thither.”
“Yes, I know it very well,” said the West Wind, “and now I’m just off thither to dry clothes for the wedding that’s to be; if he’s swift of foot he can go along with me.”
Out ran Halvor.
“You’ll have to stretch your legs if you mean to keep up,” said the West Wind.