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Main > Scandinavian folktales > Fairy tale "The hill-man invited to the christening"

The hill-man invited to the christening


Upon this the hill-man emptied the whole chest into the bag, and once more asked—

"Is there enough now?"

The guardian of the pigs now saw that there was as much in the sack as he would be able to carry, so he answered—

"No one gives more, most people give less."

"Come now," said the hill-man, "let us hear who else is to be at the christening."

"Ah," said the boy, "we are to have a great many strangers and great people. First and foremost, we are to have three priests and a bishop."

"Hem!" muttered the hill-man; "however, those gentlemen usually look only after the eating and drinking; they will never take any notice of me. Well, who else?"

"Then we have asked St. Peter and St. Paul."

"Hem! hem! However, there will be a bye-place for me behind the stove. Well, and what then?"

"Then Our Lady herself is coming."

"Hem! hem! hem! However, guests of such high rank come late and go away early. But tell me, my lad, what sort of music is it you are to have?"

"Music," said the boy, "why, we are to have drums."

"Drums!" repeated the troll, quite terrified. "No, no! Thank you. I shall stay at home in that case. Give my best respects to your master, and I thank him for the invitation, but I cannot come. I did but once go out to take a little walk, and some people began to beat a drum. I hurried home, and was but just got to my door when they flung the drum-stick after me, and broke one of my shins. I have been lame of that leg ever since, and I shall take good care in future to avoid that sort of music."

So saying he helped the boy to put the sack on his back, once more charging him to present his best respects to his master.

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