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Main > Scandinavian folktales > Fairy tale "Gudbrand"


Then he went a long, long way, and met a man with a cock. So he gave the goose for the cock, for he thought to himself—

"It is better to have a cock than a goose."

He walked on till late in the day, and then as he was getting hungry he sold the cock for twelve shillings, and bought something to eat, for, thought Gudbrand of the Hillside—

"It is better to save one's life than have a cock."

Then he walked on homeward till he came to the house of his nearest neighbour, and there he looked in.

"Well, how did you get on at the town?" asked the neighbour.

"Only so and so," said the man. "I cannot say I have had good or bad luck," and then he began and told them all that had happened.

"Well," said the neighbour, "you will catch it when you get home to your wife. Heaven help you! I would not stand in your shoes."

"I think things might have been much worse," said Gudbrand of the Hillside; "but whether things have gone well or badly, I have such a gentle wife that she never says anything, do what I will."

"Ah," said the neighbour, "I hear what you say, but I don't believe it."

"Shall we make a bet?" said Gudbrand. "I have a hundred dollars lying at home in a chest, will you lay as much?"

The neighbour was willing, so the bet was made. They waited till evening, and then set out for Gudbrand's house. The neighbour stood outside the door, while Gudbrand went inside to his wife.

"Good evening," said Gudbrand, when he was inside.

"Good evening," said his wife. "Heaven be praised. Is it you?"

Yes, it was he. His wife then asked him how things went at the town.

"Oh, but so-so," said Gudbrand, "not much to boast of. When I came to the town I could find no one to buy the cow, so I exchanged it for a horse."

"Thanks for that!" said the wife; "we are such fine folk that we can ride to church the same as other people, and as we can keep a horse we might as well have one. Go and put the horse up, children."

"But," said Gudbrand, "I have not got the horse. After I had gone a bit further I exchanged it for a pig.

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