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Main > Sweden folktales > Fairy tale "The Evil One and Kitta Grau"

The Evil One and Kitta Grau

One day the devil met Kitta Grau:

"Where have you been, old man?" asked Kitta Grau, for she recognized him.

"Well," said the evil one, "I have been out on the farmstead where the newly wedded couple live. This is the third time I have tried to sow dissension between them; but they think so much of each other that it is a sheer impossibility."

"You talk like a real stupid. That is something I could bring about the very first time I went there," said Kitta Grau.

"If you can do that, you shall have a splendid pair of shoes," was the evil one's reply.

"Mind you keep your word!" said Kitta, and turned toward the farmstead.

There the woman was home alone; for her husband had gone to the forest. Kitta said to the young wife:

"You really have a splendid husband."

"And that is the truth," the woman replied, "for he grants my every wish before it is spoken."

"But take my word for it," said Kitta, "there is still a bit of deceit in him. He has a pair of long hairs under his chin—if you could get at them with a razor, and cut them off while he is asleep, then he would be altogether without malice."

"Well," said the woman, "if that will help, I will be sure to keep an eye open after dinner and attend to it, for then he always takes a little noon-day nap."

Then Kitta Grau went out into the forest to the husband and bade him good-day.

"You really have a very good wife," said Kitta.

"She could not be bettered," replied the husband.

"Well you might be mistaken for all that," said Kitta. "When you come home, be on your guard, for when you go to take your noon-day nap, she has in mind to cut your throat. So be sure not to go to sleep."

The husband did not think much of the matter; but still he thanked Kitta Grau for her trouble.

Then he went home and ate his dinner, laid down and pretended to fall asleep at once.

Thereupon his wife went to his shaving-kit, took out his razor, went softly up to him and took hold of his chin with her hand.

Up flew the man.

"Do you want to murder me?

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