Cat on the Dovrefjell
(A Norwegian folk-tale)
ONCE ON A TIME there was a man up in Finnmark who had caught a great
white bear, which he was going to take to the king of Denmark. Now, it
so fell out that he came to the Dovre mountain plateau just about Christmas
Eve, and there he turned into a cottage where a man lived, whose name
was Halvor, and asked the man if he could get house-room there for his
bear and himself.
" Heaven never help me, if what I say isn't true!" said the man; "but
we can't give any one house-room just now, for every Christmas Eve such a pack
of trolls come down on us that we are forced to flit, and haven't so much as
a house over our own heads, to say nothing of lending one to any one else."
" Oh!" said the man, "if that's all, you can very well lend me
your house; my bear can lie under the stove over there, and I can sleep in the
Well, he begged so hard, that at last he got leave to stay there; so
the people of the house flitted out, and before they went everything
was got ready for the trolls; the tables were laid, and there was rice
porridge, and fish boiled in lye, and sausages, and all else that was
good, just as for any other grand feast.
So, when everything was ready, down came the trolls. Some were great,
and some were small; some had long tails, and some had no tails at all;
some, too, had long, long noses; and they ate and drank, and tasted everything.
Just then one of the little trolls caught sight of the white bear, who
lay under the stove; so he took a piece of sausage and stuck it on a
fork, and went and poked it up against the bear's nose, screaming out:
" Pussy, will you have some sausage?"
Then the white bear rose up and growled, and hunted the whole pack of
them out of doors, both great and small.
Next year Halvor was out in the wood on the afternoon of Christmas Eve,
cutting wood before the holidays, for he thought the trolls would come
again; and just as he was hard at work, he heard a voice in the wood
" Halvor! Halvor!"
" Well," said Halvor, "here I am."
" Have you got your big cat with you still?"
" Yes, that I have," said Halvor; "she's lying at home under the
stove, and what's more, she has now got seven kittens, far bigger and fiercer
than she is herself."
" Oh, then, we'll never come to see you again," bawled out the troll
away in the wood, and he kept his word; for since that time the trolls have never
eaten their Christmas brose with Halvor on the Dovrefjell.
graphic version of this story, go