Read on line
Listen on line
Main > Norway folktales > Fairy tale "The three princesses in the blue mountain"

The three princesses in the blue mountain

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself! you, one of the king’s officers, to let an old cripple give you a thrashing, and then tell people of it into the bargain!” said the captain. “Pshaw! to-morrow I’ll stop at home, and then you’ll hear another story.”

The next day the lieutenant and the soldier went out shooting and the captain remained at home to do the cooking and look after the house. But if he fared no worse, he certainly fared no better than the lieutenant. In a little while the old man came in and asked for a penny. He let it fall as soon as he got it; gone it was and could not be found. So he asked the captain to help him to find it, and the captain, without giving a thought, bent down to look for it. But no sooner was he on his knees than the cripple began belabouring him with his crutches, and every time the captain tried to rise, he got a blow which sent him reeling. When the others came home in the evening, he still lay on the same spot and could neither see nor speak.

The third day the soldier was to remain at home, while the other two went out shooting. The captain said he must take care of himself, “for the old fellow will soon put an end to you, my lad,” said he.

“Oh, there can’t be much life in one if such an old crook can take it,” said the soldier.

They were no sooner outside the door, than the old man came in and asked for a penny again.

“Money I have never owned,” said the soldier, “but food I’ll give you, as soon as it is ready,” said he, “but if we are to get it cooked, you must go and cut the wood.”

“That I can’t,” said the old man.

“If you can’t, you must learn,” said the soldier. “I will soon show you. Come along with me down to the wood-shed.” There he dragged out a heavy log and cut a cleft in it, and drove in a wedge till the cleft deepened.

“Now you must lie down and look right along the cleft, and you’ll soon learn how to cut wood,” said the soldier. “In the meantime I’ll show you how to use the axe.”

The old man was not sufficiently cunning, and did as he was told; he lay down and looked steadily along the log.

Also read