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Main > Sweden folktales > Fairy tale "The Rooster, the Hand-Mill and the Swarm of Hornets"

The Rooster, the Hand-Mill and the Swarm of Hornets

And at night, when the peasant was fast asleep, the old woman came and took away his rooster, and put another in its place. No sooner did the peasant awake in the morning than he wanted to set his rooster to work. "Lay quickly, rooster of mine! Lay big silver coins, my rooster!" But the rooster could lay no silver coins at all, and only answered "Kikeriki! Kikeriki! Kikeriki!" Then the peasant fell into a rage, wandered back to the devil's place, complained about the rooster, and told how absolutely worthless he was. He was kindly received, and the same gentleman gave him a hand-mill. When he called out "Mill grind!" to it, it would grind as much meal as he wanted it to, and would not stop until he said: "Mill, stop grinding!" And the mill would grind out every kind of meal for which he asked.

When the peasant set out for home, he reached the same tavern at which he had already put up in the evening, so he turned in and decided to stay over night. He was so pleased with the mill that it was impossible for him to hold his tongue; so he told the old woman what a valuable mill he had, and showed her how it worked. But during the night, while he was asleep, the old woman came and stole his mill and put another in its place.

When the peasant awoke in the morning, he was in a great hurry to test his mill; but he could not make it obey. "Mill grind!" he cried. But the mill stood still. Then he said: "Dear mill, grind wheat meal!" but it had no effect. "Then grind rye meal!" he shouted; but that did not help, either. "Well, then, grind peas!" But the mill did not seem to hear; but stood as still as though it had never turned a single time in all its life. Then the peasant took the road back to the devil's place again, and at once hunted up the gentleman who had purchased his pig, and told him the mill would grind no more meal.

"Do not grieve about that," said the gentleman, and gave him a large, large hornets' nest, full of hornets, who flew out in swarms and stung any one whom they were told to sting, until one said "stop!

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