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The AT Divisions of Tales

In the AT catalogue, the tales (AT-number entries) are sorted into these groups:

  1. Animal Tales (Types 1-299)
  2. Ordinary Folktales (Types 300-1199)
    1. A. Tales of magic
    2. B. Religious tales
    3. Aitiological tales
    4. Romantic tales
    5. Tales of the stupid ogre
  3. Jokes and Anecdotes (Types 1200-1999)
    1. Numskull stories
    2. Stories about married couples
    3. Stories about a woman (girl)
    4. Stories about a clever/stupid lucky/unlucky man (boy)
    5. Jokes about parsons and religious orders
    6. Tales of lying
  4. Formula Tales (Types 2000-2399)
    1. Cumulative tales
    2. Catch tales
  5. Unclassified Tales (Narrationes Lubricae) (Types 2400-2499)

Norwegian Folktales

There are about 4200 Norwegian folktale types today (Hodne 1984, 10). Folktales may serve inspiration. And folktales are arranged in international folktale cataloges by their allotted numbers with titles added and summaries of the types of tales (descriptions).

Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson worked out the numbers that refer to folktale types. An AT-number may cover a whole folktale, or a sequence (an episode) of a folktale.

Folktales are arranged in international catalogues according to the motifs (themes) in them. A motif is given a number, a title, and a description where main traits or features of the tale are shown by way of a capsule. Example:

AT 211*. The hog who was so tired of his daily food (Grisen og levemåten hans)

The pig went to court to get a better way of life, but the fox fooled him on the way home so that the pig forgot what the judge had said in the pig's favour. Hence the pig's life stayed as before.


In case there is a chain of AT-numbers in an entry - for example AT 302+400+461+613 = AT 302 nr. 28 - it means the tale is classified as a variant of one or more tales.

Many AT-numbers connected with a tale shows that the classification system is convoluted. Futher, both folktales and folktale variants may be classified in this way, by more than one AT-number. It goes to show that the tale/variant is made up of several motifs, one after another, in a "string of events" - the folktale plot or "chain of action". Also, many folk tales remain unclassified to this day. In the survey, some 260 of them are listed with AT –.

In The Types of International Folktales, the "ATU Catalogue" edited by Hans-Jörg Uther (2004), ATU numbers replace AT numbers. Further, ATU-types are now the classification devices in force (see previous page).

In a great many cases the ATU numbers of well-known Norwegian folktales are as their AT numbers. Uther (2004) offers valuable backup-information for comparing or tracing tales by their ATU numbers and sources.

AT-Numbers Explained

The A in 'AT' stands for Aarne, and the T for Thompson. More specifically: "The Finnish folklorist Antti Aarne and the American folklorist Stith Thompson." AT-numbers are practical tools of folklore in that folktales are sorted into groups of tales, and similar tales and variants of tales may be given the same AT number and a general summary (abstract). Some sources may be added too. This information may help in comparing tales from different European countries and cultures mainly. AT-numbers serve as a common reference across languages and cultures.

Aarne and Thompson devised a catalogue (classification system) of the types of international folktales. The initial catalogue was developed and published in 1910 by Aarne under the title "Index of Types of Folktale" in German. Aarne's system was devised to organise and index Scandinavian collections. Aarne's system was translated and enlarged by the American folklorist Stith Thompson in 1928, and revised in 1961.

The indexed AT motifs are limited mainly to European and European-derived tales that are known to have been told by mouth at the time they were published. The AT index yields a single classification system, and with its help, different variants may be grouped or banded together under the headings of AT-numbers. AT-numbers can be used to (1) identify tale types, (2) isolate motifs, (3) locate cultural variants. If there are variants that include other motifs, (more AT-numbers), motif numbers are given too.

In 2004, Hans-Jörg Uther published a novel edition in three volumes, called The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography Based on the System of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson. Different types of folktales are given different ATU-numbers in i (after the surname initials of Aarne, Thompson, and Uther). Thus, the AT classification system has become the Aarne-Thompson-Uther or ATU system, which covers more ground. [Uther 2004] [ATU page]

Various Catalogues Are at Hand

The Types of the Folktale (1961) is one the most important reference works and research tools for comparative folktale analysis. Tales are organized according to type and assigned a title and number and/or letter. Ørnulf Hodne's catalogue of Norwegian fairytale types (1984) and the 12-volumed collection of Norwegian folktales, Norsk Eventyrbibliotek (see end part of the page) both sort folktales into types of tales according to the international type system of Aarne and Thompson.


Ørnulf Hodne's very comprehensive catalogue of collected Norwegian folktales includes well known folktales, such as the ones collected, edited and published by Asbjørnsen and Moe. An old, well-known folktale is given an AT-number as a general rule. There are other tales that incorporate some of the elements (parts, episodes, motifs) of such tales, and still other tales that contain other elements. Hodne explains how he has organised his survey:

  • Uncertain classification of types may be put in parenthesis.
  • Variants composed of various types, such as AT 1 + 2 + 5, have as a rule been appended to each of these types (not shown here).
  • Some AT motifs may be combined when it is difficult to separate them in a tradition.
  • Some tale types are like legends. It is a matter of judgement what tales of this sort are included.
  • Many folktales are not (yet) typified according to the Aarne-Thompson system. They are put after the rest of the tales in the section they may belong to (and marked by AT–:).
  • At the rear of the long list of tales, special tales (Narrationes lubricae) are put without any AT-number either.

More to know:

  • Some folktales have an atypical recording and edition form: they may be fragments only, or registered by catchwords.
  • In many cases the printed version has been composed of two or more records of the same type, as Peter Christian Asbjørnsen often did. In such cases the printed tales are termed compilations.

Despite the rich material that has been preserved in Scandinavia, much traditional material was never recorded.

Main sources: Hodne 1984; 5-15; Ashliman 1987. Compare Hans-Jörg Uther's The Types of International Folktales (2004).


AT Numbers of Norwegian Tale-Types (Expanded, 2019)

In the survey that follows, most AT-numbers and titles in English are given. Some AT-numbers are left out, and many composite AT-numbers too, and most descriptions (capsules) of AT-numbers and titles. Also, listings of variants and of biographical data are left out.

Animal Tales

AT 1 — The theft of fish

A fox played dead by the side of the road, and a man with a load of fish picked him up, praising his luck for the skin with the fur still on it. But the clever fox stole the fish and escaped. (Ashliman)

AT 2 — How the bear lost his tail. The tail-fisher

The bear was persuaded to fish with his tail through a hole in the ice and got it frozen fast. He tried to get free, and lost his tail (cf. Hodne).

AT 5 — Biting the foot

AT 7 — The calling of three tree names

AT 9 — The unjust partner

AT 9C — In cooking dinner the fox's porridge is light

AT 10*** — Over the edge

AT 15 — The theft of butter (honey) by playing godfather

AT 20C — The animals flee in fear of the end of the world

A hen believes the world is coming to an end, and flees. Many other animals join her. And then the large animals eat the small ones.

AT 21 — Eating his own entrails

AT 31 — The fox climbs from the pit on the wolf's back

AT 34B — Wolf drinks water to get cheese

AT 37* — The fox as shepherd

AT 38 — Claw in split tree

AT 41 — The wolf overeats in the cellar

AT 47A — The fox (bear, etc) hangs by his teeth to the horse's tail, hare's lip

AT 48* — The bear who went to the monkey for the gold chain

AT 49 — The bear and the honey

AT 50 — Curing a sick lion

The king of beasts lay ill. The fox delayed paying him a visit, but the wolf went to pay his respect to this king. As a result of beastly intrigues, the lion had the wolf killed and flayed.

AT 56A* — Fox plays dead and catches bird

AT 57 — Raven with cheese in his mouth

AT 60 — Fox and crane invite each other

AT 61 — The fox persuades the cock to crow with closed eyes

AT 62 — Peace among the animals - the fox and the cook

AT 65 — The she-fox's suitors

AT 70 — More cowardly than the hare

AT 81 — Too cold for hare to build house in winter

AT 96* — When the hare was married

AT 105 — The cat's only trick

The gull [cat] has only one trick, the fox says he has ten. When dogs come, the gull flies [the cat climbs a tree and is safe], the fox is killed by dogs.

AT 106 — Animals' conversation

AT 111 — The cat and the mouse converse

AT 112 — Country mouse visits town mouse

Two mice visit each other. One of them prefers hardy country conditions to urban insecurity.

AT 113' — The cat's funeral

AT 116 — The bear on the hay-wagon

AT 120 — The first to see the sunrise

AT 122 — The wolf loses his prey

A cat fools a bird into being caught. Then the bird tricks the cat into letting it loose.

AT 122A — The wolf (fox) seeks breakfast

AT 122E — Wait for the fat goat

AT 123 — The wolf and the kids

AT 130 — The animals in night quarters)

(Domestic) animals join company with each other and wish to live together. They frighten in different ways intruding wild beasts, e.g. a bear and a wolf.

AT 132 — Goat admires his horns in the water

AT 153 — The gelding of the bear and the fetching of salve

AT 154 — 'Bear-food'

The fox rescues a man's horse from a bear, and is promised a goat in reward. Instead of that the man less the dogs attack the fox, who finds he had been swindled and ill paid.

AT 155 — The ungrateful serpent returned to captivity

AT 157 — Learning to fear men

AT 168A — Old woman and wolf fall into pit together

AT 179/179* — What the bear whispered in his ear - Man and bear

AT 204 — Sheep, duck and cock in peril at sea

Three domestic animals (cock, ram, pig or duck) go to sea in a boat and get into peril. Each expresses fear in his own characteristic way.

AT 211* — The hog who was so tired of his daily food

The pig goes to court to get a better way of life. The judge agrees with him and rules in his favour. However, the fox craftily brainwashes him on the way home until the pig forgets what the judge said. His life stays as before.

AT 219*11* — The hen and the dog

An industrious hen and a lazy dog on a chain quarrel about who is the more useful. They become friends when the dog warns his master about a fox-visit in the poultry-house and thereby rescues the hen.

AT 221A — The election of bird-king - Test: Who can fly highest?

AT 222 — War of birds and quadrupeds

AT 230* — The race of the cock, the birch cock and the birch-hen

AT 247 — Each likes his own children best

AT 275 — The race of the fox and the crab

AT 275A — Hare and tortoise race: sleeping

AT 275D* — The hare and the earth

In a race between the hare and the earth the earth wins, for it is always there wherever the hare comes.

AT 280A — The ant and the lazy cricket

AT 281A — The dungbeetle and the fly

The dungbeetle proposes to the fly in summer, but isn't distinguished enough and is refused. In autumn the opposite happens. Then the dungbeetle answers: 'No, you are too fine to live with me.'

AT 293D* — The hops and the turnips quarrel

AT 299 — The moon, the bundle of leaves, and the bucket of water

AT 1030 — The crop division

The bear and the fox have a field together. They sow corn, and the fox gets the top. Next time the bear will have the top. Then they sow root-crops.

AT — The horse and the fox

AT — The cuckoo and the pigeon

AT — The ram and the raven

AT — The ram and the reindeer

AT — The goat

AT — The fox and the bird's eggs

The fox goes hungry for three weeks in order to become so light that he can take bird's eggs from a bog. Yet he sinks down. He should have fasted for six weeks, he says.

AT — The jaybird

AT — The two crows

AT — The he-goat and the ram who were going to drive the hay home

AT — The bear and the mirror

AT — The frog and the crow

AT — The snake and the eft

AT — When the loom exchanged his legs

AT — The goat getting hooves

AT — The bear and the moss

AT — The halibut and the salmon

The halibut and the salmon talk together about why they always lose to the fiskerman.

AT — The bear and the fox

AT — When the fox plays the role of parson and the bear the role of the sexton

AT — The young ravens

AT — The hare and the dog

Ordinary Folktales

Tales of magic

AT 300 — The dragon-slayer

AT 301 — The three stolen princesses

AT 302 — The ogre's (devil's) heart in the egg

AT 303 — The twins or blood-brothers

AT 304 — The hunter

AT 306 — The danced-out shoes

AT 307 — The princess in the shroud

AT 311 — The giant and the three sisters

AT 311*** (311 + 312). Father's jacket

A man forgets his jacket in the forest, and sends his children out to fetch it. The three oldest are captured by a troll; the youngest takes with him a pack of wild animals, and follows the troll home. Here the animals try one by one to kill the trolls, but only the lion succeeds. The boy revives his brothers and sister, and they return with great treasures.

AT 312 — The giant-killer and his dog - Bluebeard

AT 313 — The girl as helper in the hero's flight

AT 314 — The youth transformed to a horse

AT 316 — The nix of the mill-pond

AT 325 — The magician and his pupil

AT 326 — The youth who wanted to learn what fear is

AT 327 — The children and the ogre

AT 327C — The devil (witch) carries the hero home in a sack

AT 328 — The boy steals the giant's treasure

AT 328 — Jack and the beanstalk

AT 330 — The smith outwits the devil

AT 330B — The devil in the knapsack (bottle, cask)

A blacksmith who has made a contract with the devil, gets off by tricking him into a steel purse, which he beats in the smithy and hammers flat. Later the smith is not admitted into either heaven or hell for a long while, perhaps.

AT 331 — The spirit in the bottle

AT 332 — Godfather death

AT 360 Bargain of the three brothers with the devil

Three brothers get money from the devil in return for pledging themselves always to say the same words: "We three," "for money," and "that was right." The host of an inn kills a man, the brothers are accused and judged by their answers. But the devil rescues them from the gallows, and the host is hanged in their place. The devil is satisfied to take one soul.

AT 361 — Bear-skin

AT 363 — The vampire

A girl marries an unknown man with a green beard. On returning home she discovers that the bridegroom eats corpses in (three) churches. Later he appears to his bride in the form of her different relatives and questions her thoroughly about what she might have seen him do. When she finally tells her "mother" the truth about him, he eats her.

AT 365 — The dead bridegroom carries off his bride - Lenore

AT 366 — The man from the gallows

AT 400 — The man on a quest for his lost wife

The hero (often promised to a giant, sea monster, etc.) is carried to a foreign land or castle in a self-propelling boar. There he finds a bewitched princess or three. He rescues them and marries one of them. When he wants to go home on a visit, she gives him a wishing ring and forbids him to do certain things. He disobeys the prohibitions and loses her. He then sets out in search of her, and finds her finally in a distant troll castle by means of supernatural helpers (old women, eagle, the north wind, etc.) and remedies (invisibility hat, seven-mile boots). The princess, who is about to be married to an ogre, recognises him and is reunited with her first bridegroom.

AT 402 — The mouse (cat, frog, etc.) as bride

AT 403 — The black and the white bride

AT 403B — The black and the white bride

AT 405 — Jorinde and Joringel

AT 408 — The three oranges

AT 410 — Sleeping beauty

AT 425 — The search for the lost husband

AT 430 — The ass

AT 432 — The prince as bird

AT 433A — The prince as serpent: A serpent carries a princess into its castle

AT 450 — Little brother and little sister

AT 451 — The maiden who seeks her brothers

AT 461 — Three hairs from the devil's beard

AT 465 — The man persecuted because of his beautiful wife

AT 470 — Friends in life and death

AT 471 — The bridge to the other world

AT 471A — The monk and the bird

AT 475 — The man as heater of Hell's kettle

AT 480 — The spinning women by the spring

AT 500 — The name of the helper

AT 501 — The three old women helpers

AT 502 — The wild man

AT 506 — The rescued princess

AT 507A — The monster's bride

AT 510AB — Cinderella

AT 511A — The little red ox

AT 513 — The helpers

AT 514 — The shift of sex

AT 530 — The princess on the glass mountain

AT 531 — Ferdinand the true and Ferdinand the false

AT 545A — The cat castle

AT 545B — The cat as helper

AT 550 — Search for the golden bird

AT 551 — The sons on a quest for a wonderful remedy for their father

AT 552 — The girls who married animals

AT 552B — The girls who married animals

AT 553 — The raven helper

AT 554 — The grateful animals

AT 555 — The fisher and his wife

A poor fisher catches a flounder who is a transformed prince, and puts him back in the water. In gratitude the fish grants all the wishes of the fisher's wife until her wishes become so extravagant that she finally loses all.

AT 559 — Dungbeetle

AT 560 — The magic ring

AT 561 — Aladdin

AT 562 — The spirit in the blue light

AT 563 — The table, the ass, and the stick

AT 565 — The magic mill

AT 566 — The three magic objects and the wonderful fruits. Fortunatus

AT 567 — The magic bird-heart

AT 569 — The knapsack, the hat and the horn

AT 570 — The rabbit-herd

AT 571 — 'All stick together'

AT 577 — The king's tasks

AT 580 — Beloved of women

AT 590 — The prince and the arm bands

AT 591 — The thieving pot

AT 592 — The dance among thorns

AT 593 — 'Fiddiwaw'

AT 594* — The magic bridle

AT 611 — The gifts of the dwarfs

AT 613 — The two travellers

AT 621 — The louse-skin

AT 650A — Strong John

AT 653 — The four skilful brothers

AT 654 — The three brothers

AT 655 — The wise brothers

AT 660 — The three doctors

AT 675 — The lazy boy

AT 676 — Open sesame

AT 700 — Tom Thumb

AT 704 — Princess on the pea

A prince who wants to marry a real princess puts a pea under her mattresses to test how sensitively refined she might be.

AT 705 — Born from a fish

AT 708 — The wonder-child

AT 709 — Snow-white

AT 710 — Our Lady's child

AT 711 — The beautiful and the ugly twins

AT 720 — My mother slew me; my father ate me. The Juniper tree

AT 726 — The oldest on the farm

AT 727* — Invisible voices

AT — The princess with the golden ball

AT — "Marsi"

AT — The princess who played the game of the golden dice

AT — The three brothers

AT — The wolf and the girl

AT — The boy and the ball of bread

AT — The golden billy-goat

AT — The young Alv

AT — The animals and the prince

AT — Alexander

AT — The boy and the raven

AT — The magic hazel stick

AT — The three riders who wanted to go to Paris

Three friends who are seeking their fortune eat a magical bird, and they all get something that brings them luck. One of them gets a purse that will never be empty, the second one a bag that mobilises 15 soldiers for every blow he gives it, and the youngest one sees his future bride - a princess that a king has promised to the one who can free his kingdom of a dragon. The youngest succeeds and marries her. The other two give false evidence against the couple and persuade the king to put the married ones in prison and sentence to death the couple's children, a boy and a girl. The children are rescued by the maid and grow up with the king's miller. After some time they are recognised because of their golden hair and have to flee. At last they return to the king's palace, persuade the king to set free their parents and expose the "friends."

AT — The shepherd boy and the bear

AT — The saving blood

AT — The white-bear that dug up the boy

AT — "Lill Lill Lye"

AT — "The turnip ram"

AT — The princess in the forest with wild animals

B. Religious Tales

AT 750A — The wishes. Hospitality rewarded

A supernatural being grants two persons the same recompense for a night's lodging. The poor and hospitable one wishes/acts wisely and is rewarded, the rich and avaricious one does the opposite and is punished.

(b) A short-sighted woman punishes herself by means of three foolish wishes: that the buckets should move by themselves, that everything she strikes must break, and everything she pulls should be made longer. The buckets move around, she claps her thighs, weeps and pulls her nose.

AT 750B — The wishes: Hospitality rewarded

A supernatural being punishes a discontented host, and rewards another who is pleased with life and get much out of little.

AT 751A — The peasant woman is changed into a woodpecker

AT 753 — The Master-smith

AT 755 — Sin and grace

AT 756B — The devil's contract

AT 758 — The various children of Eve

AT 759B+826 — Holy man has his own mass

AT 762 — Woman with three hundred and sixty-five children

AT 765 — The mother who wants to kill her children

An evil mother keeps trying to kill her five-year-old daughter, but the little girl is always rescued at the eleventh hour. The mother is finally executed.

AT 766 — The seven sleepers

AT 768 — St Christopher and the Christ child

AT 774C — The legend of the horseshoe

AT 777 — The wandering Jew

AT 779) — Miscellaneous divine rewards and punishments

AT 791 — The Saviour and Peter in night-lodgings

AT 800 — The tailor in heaven

AT 810 — The snares of the evil one

AT 811 — The man promised to the devil becomes a priest

AT 812 — The devil's riddle

AT 821A — The thief rescued by the devil

AT 822 — The lazy boy and the industrious girl

The Lord and Peter come across a very lazy boy and a very clever, industrious girl. The Lord decides, to Peter's astonishment, that these two are to be married.

AT 826 — Devil writes down names of men on a hide in church

AT — The thief and the devil

AT — Jesus and the claybirds

AT — Jesus cures his friend

AT — The knife in the dish

AT — The rhyme

AT — Christ's speech from the cross

AT — The worm in the stone

AT — The Jew, the Catholic and the Protestant

AT — Thank you three times

AT — The Virgin Mary, the thistle, the aspen, and the hazel

AT — When the Virgin Mary sowed corn

Aitiological tales

Ait. leg. 16 — (The Adam's apple)

Ait. leg. 22b — (The child's hip)

Ait. leg. 51. — (The dog's snout)

Ait. leg. 58. — (The horse)

Ait. leg. 59. — (The horse)

Ait. leg. 61. — (The marks on the horse's leg)

Ait. leg. 74. — (The fox)

Ait. leg. 80. — (The shrew-mouse)

A shrew-mouse once made the wish that if brides should not prove to be virgins, he should never succeed in crossing the high-road alive. This is why people often saw dead shrew-mice on the road earlier . . .

Ait. leg. 85. — (The swallow)

Ait. leg. (103). — (The loom)

Ait. leg. (104). — (The wild goose)

Ait. leg. 117 — (The flounder)

[The flounder/the halibut is wry-mouthed for some wise reason.]

Ait. leg. 131 — (The aspen)

[The aspen leaves tremble. They are made that way.]

AT — Why it turned winter

AT — How the woodcock was created

AT — The Virgin Mary's teargrass

AT — The lady's slipper

AT — Our Lord and the ear of corn

AT — At the owl's shriek

AT — The devil's weeping

AT — The spider brings luck

AT — The cuckoo

AT — Drink for the family

AT — The English language

AT — How the louse was created

AT — Soknedalen

AT — Why the cat has a short nose

AT — The common polypody

AT — How the Finns were created

AT — The Virgin Mary's breast

AT — Our Lord, the devil and the spruce branches

AT — The fairies descend from Cain

AT — Our Lord and the salmon

AT — Our Lord punishes the female cuckoo

AT — The drinking cup of the Virgin Mary

D. Romantic Tales

AT 850 — The birthmarks of the princess

AT 851 — The princess who could not solve the riddle

AT 852 — The hero forces the princess to say: 'That is a lie'

AT 853 — The hero catches the princess with her own words

A princess is offered in marriage to the youth who outwits her in repartee. The hero succeeds by means of some objects (a dead crow, two soles of a shoe, etc.), which he picks up on the way to the king's court.

AT 854 — The golden ram

AT 870 — The princess confined in the mound

AT 870A — The little goose-girl

AT 872* — Brother and sister

AT 875 — The clever peasant girl

AT 882 — The wager on the wife's chastity

AT 883 B — The seducer punished

AT 887 — Griselda

AT 890 — A pound of flesh

AT 892 — The children of the king

AT 900 — King Thrushbird

AT 901 — Taming of the shrew

AT 910 A — Wise through experience

AT 910 B — The servant's good counsels

AT 922 — The shepherd substituting for the priest answers the king's questions) (The king and the abbot)

AT 923 A — Like wind in the hot sun

AT 924 — Dicussion by sign language

AT 927 — Out-riddling the judge

AT 934 E — The magic ball of thread

AT 950 — Rhampsinitus

AT 952 — The king and the soldier

AT 955 — The robber bridegroom

AT 962** — The girl who played with the bread

AT — The boastful king

AT — The half-wit

AT — The blood that testified to the truth

AT — The big girl

AT — The wonderful player

The wonderful player frees a town of its mice and rats by playing in such a way that the animals follow him into the sea and are drowned.

AT — The cottar and the thief

AT — The miser

AT — The boy who killed 'Misfortune'

AT — The small bailiff

AT — The man who wants to hang himself on Wednesday evening

AT — The partition of an inheritance

AT — The innkeeper murderer

AT — The maiden many men would like to marry

E. Tales of the stupid ogre

AT 1000 — Bargain not to become angry

AT 1002 — Dissipation of the ogre's property

AT 1003 — Plowing

AT 1004 — Hogs in the mud; sheep in the air

AT 1005 — Building a bridge . . .

AT 1006 — Casting eyes

AT 1012 — Cleaning the child

AT 1013/1121 — Bathing or warming grandmother/ogre's wife burned in his own oven

AT 1029 — The woman as cuckoo in the tree

AT 1030 — The crop division

AT 1031 — Granary roof used as threshing flail

AT 1049 — The heavy axe

AT 1050 — Felling trees

AT 1051 — Bending a tree

AT 1052 — Deceptive contest in carrying a tree/riding

AT 1060 — Squeezing the (supposed) stone

A man shows an ogre how strong he is by squeezing water out of a 'stone', which is a cheese. He frightens the ogre.

AT 1062 — Throwing the stone

AT 1063 — Throwing contest with the golden club

AT 1084 — Contest in shrieking or whistling

AT 1085 — Pushing a hole into a tree

AT 1087 — Rowing contest

AT I088 — Eating contest

AT 1093 — Contest in words

AT 1096 — The tailor and the ogre in a sewing contest

AT 1115 — Attempted murder with hatchet

AT 1116 — Attempt at burning

q AT 1117 — The ogre's pitfall

AT 1122 — Ogre's wife killed through other tricks

AT 1131 — The hot porridge in the ogre's throat

AT 1133 — Making the ogre strong (by castration

AT 1135 — Eye-remedy

AT 1137 — The ogre blinded - Polyphemus

AT 1143 — Ogre otherwise injured

AT 1153 — Wages: as much as he can carry

AT 1157 — The gun as tobacco pipe

AT 1158 — The ogre wants to look through the gun barrel in the smithy

AT 1160 — The ogre in the haunted castle. Beard caught fast

AT 1161 — The bear trainer and his bear

AT 1164 — The evil woman thrown into the pit - Belfagor

AT 1165 — The troll and the christening

AT 1179 — The ogre on the ship

AT 1186 — With his whole heart

AT — The man who competes with the devil in mowing the grass

AT — The girl and the troll

AT — The boy and the ogre

AT — Per Staka

AT — The ogre and the ogress

AT — The first-born man and the troll

Jokes and Anecdotes

A. Numskull stories

AT 1201 — The plowing

A Gotham man (molbu) wants to drive a bird/birds out of a field. Several others carry him so that he will not trample on the field.

AT 1225 — The man without a head in the bear's den

AT 1227 — One woman to catch the squirrel; the other to get the cooking pot

AT 1240 — Man sitting on branch of tree cuts it off

A man cuts off the branch he is sitting on.

AT 1241 — The tree is to be pulled down

AT 1242 — Loading the wood

AT 1242 A — Carrying part of the load

AT 1243 — The wood is carried down the hill

Numskulls carry timber down the hill. Then they understand that it would have been better to roll it down. They carry it back up and roll it down.

AT 1245 — Sunlight carried in a bag into the windowless house

Sunshine is carried into a windowless house.

AT 1255 — A hole to throw the earth in

AT 1260 — The porridge in the ice hole

AT 1260** — Jumping into the sea for fish

AT 1260 B* — Numskull strikes all the matches in order to try them

A manservant is sent to buy the best matches. To make quite sure he strikes all the matches in order to try them before he returns.

AT 1276 — Rowing without going forward

AT 1278 — Marking the place on the boat

AT 1285 — Pulling on the shirt

AT 1287 — Numskull unable to count their own number

Numskulls are unable to count their own number, for they all forget to include themselves. Another man helps them.

AT 1288* — 'These are not my feet'

AT 1310 — Drowning the crayfish as punishment

Numskulls suspect an eel of consuming their fish (salt herring), and plan to drown it as punishment.

AT 1313A — The man takes seriously the prediction of death

AT 1319* — Other mistaken identities

AT 1321 — Fools frightened

AT 1326 — Moving the church

AT — Foxes in the sails

AT — A dead man as bait

AT — The father and the son who were out travelling

AT — Carrying the pelt

AT — Denmark does not exist

AT — Rowing in the middle of the fiord

AT — The worms in the herring

AT — The yawl-child

AT — Making fast the boat to the mast

AT — The old woman searching for her goat

AT — The untamed boat

AT — Sailing in a contrary wind

AT — Setting up the sail

AT — Pulling the boat on the reef

AT — Strange wind

AT — Reducing the boat's speed

AT — Hospitality

AT — The wind-bound 'stril'

A sailing man from the Strile district near Bergen in Norway meets a contrary wind and becomes wind-bound for fourteen days consuming his load of meal. When the meal diminishes, he asks Our Lord for help.

AT — Twisted braces

AT — Good fellows

AT — Getting room for the eggs

Numskulls crush eggs in order to get room for more eggs.

AT — Staying with a friend in rainy weather

AT — Driving in the nail's head first

AT — The shoes in the furnace

AT — Carrying the sail

AT — The woman and the north wind

AT — His beard or his lif e

AT — The land-lubbers who are 'reefing sails'

AT — The wandering mountain

AT — How wide the world is

AT — The closed strait

AT — Measuring the height of the flag-staff

AT — The girl who patched her apron

AT — The bear's tail

AT — The cod

AT — Binding the boat

B. Stories about Married Couples

AT 1350 — The loving wife

AT 1351 — The silence wager

AT 1353 — The old woman as troublemakar

AT 1360B — Flight of the woman and her lover from the stable

AT 1360 C — Old Hildebrand

AT 1362 — The snow-child

AT 1365 AB — The obstinate wife

AT 1365C — The wife insults the husband as a lousy-head

AT 1380 — The faithless wife

AT 1381 — The talkative wife and the discovered treasure

AT 1383 — The woman does not know herself

AT 1384 — The husband hunts for three persons as stupid as his wife

AT 1386 — Meat as food for cabbage

AT 1391 — Every hole to tell the truth

AT 1406 — The merry wives wager . . .

AT 1408 — The man who does his wife's work

AT 1415 — Lucky Hans

A peasant goes to town to sell a cow, but trades it for a horse, the horse for a hog, etc. until finally he has nothing left. He bets with his neighbour that his wife will not get angry, and wins the wager.

AT 1416 — The mouse in the silver jug. The new Eve

AT 1431 — The contagious yawns

AT — The man who wanted to get rid of his wife

AT — The thunderstorm

AT — The tailor with the beautiful wife

AT — The bet

AT — The lame couple

AT — The three wives

AT — The queen and the calf

C. Stories about a Woman (Girl)

AT 1440 — The tenant promises his daughter to his master against her will

AT 1450 — Clever Elsie

A girl visited by a suitor is to get beer from the cellar. There she sits and ponders what the first child's name shall be. Her father and mother do the same, and the suitor departs.

AT 1452 — Bride test: thrifty cutting of cheese

AT 1453 — Bride test: key in flax reveals laziness

AT 1453A — The fast weaver

AT 1454* — The greedy fiancee

AT 1454**** — Nobody is flawless

AT 1456 — The blind fiancée

AT 1457 — The lisping maiden

AT 1458 — The girl who ate so little

AT 1459** — Keeping up appearances

AT 1461 — The girl with the ugly name

AT 1462 — The unwilling suitor advised from the tree

AT 1462* — Clean and tidy

AT 1464 C* — Good housekeeping

A suitor chooses the girl who puts his room in order for him.

AT 1464 D* — Nothing too cook

A girl says she cannot cook. The suitor says: 'It doesn't matter, I have nothing to cook anyway.'

AT 1468* — Marrying a stranger

AT 1477 — The wolf steals the old maid

AT 1503*(?) — The daughter-in-law and the real daughter

AT — The boy and the two gentlemen

A rich widow tests three suitors, two gentlemen and a poor boy. She chooses the latter because he is kind, strong and young.

AT — The silk skein

AT — The girl who is spinning the thread of fate

AT — The 'rich' suitor

AT — A clever boy

AT — The skein

AT — The farm hand and the rich widow

AT — The boy who had to exaggerate

AT — The suitor and the piece of butter

AT — The suitor repents

AT — The girl who was clever at spinning

AT — The maiden who had two suitors

A maiden disguises herself and visits her two suitors, a rich man and a poor one. The rich one is mean, untidy and inhospitable. The poor one does his very best for her. She favours him.

AT — The three sons who married the three daughters of the neighbour

AT — The two goats

AT — The princess who ran so fast

AT — The practical girl

AT — The girl and the sledge

AT — The girl who wanted to be always young

AT — The dirty woman

AT — The first harbinger of spring

AT — The woman and the peas

AT — The piglet recognises his cup

A traveller (minister) is served milk in a cup, and the piglet begins screaming while the man is drinking. The woman says: 'Poor piglet, he recognizes his cup, you see.'

AT — The woman keeps squatting

AT — The women and the dead wolf

D. Stories about a Clever/Stupid, Lucky/Unlucky Man (Boy)

AT 1525 A-F — The master thief

AT 1525 R — The robber brothers

AT 1533 — The wise carving of the fowl

AT 1535 — The rich and the poor peasant

AT 1536A — The woman in the chest

AT 1537 — The corpse killed five times

AT 1538 — The youth cheated in selling oxen

AT 1539 — Cleverness and gullibility

AT 1540 — The student from Paradise (Paris)

AT 1541 — For the long winter

AT 1542 — The clever boy

AT 1543* — The man without a member

AT 1544 — The man who got a night's lodging

AT 1545 — The boy with many names

AT 1553A* — The sailor's promise

AT 1560 — Make-believe eating; make-believe work

AT 1561* — The boy 'loses his sight'

AT 1562B — Wife follows written instructions

AT 1563 — 'Both'

AT 1568* — The master and the servant at the table

AT 1573** — Inspecting the daughter

AT 1574* — The flattering foreman

AT 1600 — The fool as murderer

AT 1620* — The conversation of the one-eyed man and the hunchback

AT 1628 — The learned son and the forgotten language

AT 1635* — Eulenspiegel's tricks

AT 1640 — The brave tailor

AT 1641 — Doctor know-all

AT 1651 — Whittington's cat

AT 1653AB — The robbers under the tree

AT 1655 — The profitable exchange

AT 1675 — The ox (ass) as mayor

AT 1678 — The boy who had never seen a woman

AT 1681* — Foolish man builds aircastles

AT 1682 — The groom teaches his horse to live without food

AT 1685+1696 — The foolish bridegroom + 'what should I have said/done'?

AT 1687 — The forgotten word

AT 1688B* — Two match-makers

(AT 1688A) + 1535 IV — Jealous suitors

AT 1698G — Misunderstood words lead to comic results

AT 1968J — 'Good day,' - 'a woodchopper'

A deaf man answers questions from another person with premeditated remarks that make no sense as the conversations unfolds (about his work etc.).

AT 1698K — The buyer and the deaf seller

AT 1701 — Echo answers

The questioner gets back the last words of the question as an answer, and is fooled by the echo.

AT 1718* — God can't take a joke

AT — A realistic demonstration

AT — The wise Lisbeth

AT — The man who will never say thanks

AT — The man and the mill

AT — The dead shall remain dead

AT — The filthy host and hostess

AT — The king and the soldier

AT — The horse stomach

AT — The soldier who ran away

AT — Drive out Elison

AT — Good-bye, you dirty world

AT — The boy from Vola

E. Jokes about parsons and religious orders

AT 1725 — The foolish parson in the trunk

AT 1730 — The entrapped suitors

AT 1735 — 'Who gives his own goods shall receive it back tenfold'

AT 1736 — The stingy parson

AT 1738A* — What does God do?

AT 1739 — The parson and the calf

AT 1745 — Three words at the grave

AT 1840 — At the blessing of the grave the parson's ox breaks loose

AT 1775 — The hungry parson

AT 1776 — The sexton falls into the brewing-vat

AT 1791 — The sexton carries the parson

AT 1792 — The stingy parson and the slaughtered pig

AT 1804 — Imagined penance for imagined sin

AT 1804* — The eel filled with sand

AT 1810 — Jokes about catechism

AT 1810A* — How many gods are there?

AT 1811B — The patience of Job

AT 1824 — Parody sermon

AT 1825A — The parson drunk

AT 1825C — The sawed pulpit

AT 1827 — You shall see me a little while longer

AT 1827A — Cards (liquor bottle) fall from the sleeve of the preacher

AT 1830 — In trial sermon the parson promises the laymen the kind of weather they want

AT 1832 — The sermon about the rich man

AT 1832* — Boy answers the priest

(AT 1832*D) — How many sacraments are there?

AT 1833 — Application of the sermon

AT 1833E — God died for you

AT 1833** — Other anecdotes of sermons

AT 1834 — The clergyman with the fine voice

AT 1835* — Not to turn round

AT 1836A — The drunken parson: 'Do not live as I live, but as I preach'

AT 1838 — The hog in church

AT 1841 — Grace before meat

AT 1843 — Parson visits the dying

AT 1844A — No time for sickness

AT 1845 — The student as healer

AT — The parson who was going to sell his daughter

AT — The bells of Heaven

AT — The greedy sexton

AT — The board in the bed

AT — The parson and the lieutenant

AT — About the parson who received a sausage as tithe

AT — The coughing in the sermons

AT — Worse than the parson

AT — The boy and the bishop

AT — Another matter

AT — The wager

AT — The peasant and the parson

AT — Father and son

AT — The sausage made of a parson

AT — The rich man condemned to death

AT — The fellow-sufferers

AT — Horse-intellect and parson-intellect

F. Tales of Lying

AT 1889B — Hunter turns animal inside out

AT 1889G — Man swallowed by fish

AT 1890 — The lucky shot

AT 1890D — Ramrod shot plus series of lucky accidents

AT 1894 — The man shoots a ramrod full of ducks

AT 1895 — A man wading in water catching many fish in his boots

AT 1896* — Hunting the wolves with rod and line

AT 1920 — Contest in lying

AT 1925 — Wishing contests

AT 1931 — The woman who asked for news from home

AT 1948 — Too much talk

AT 1950 — The three lazy ones

AT 1960A — The great ox

AT 1960B — The great fish

AT 1960C — The great catch of fish

AT 1960D — The great vegetable

AT 1960E — The great farmhouse

AT 1960G — The great tree

AT 1960G — The great tree

AT 1960H — The great ship

AT 1960K — The great loaf of bread; the great cake etc

AT 1960M — The great insect

AT 1960Z — Other stories of great objects and the like

AT 1960Z — Other stories of great objects and the like

AT 1961 — The big wedding

AT — Queen Victoria and the skipper from Lillesand

AT — A miraculous escape

AT — The strong storm

AT — Stuffed head

AT — The great ice lump

AT — The catch of blackcocks

AT — The man who overate himself

AT — Loose talkers

AT — The upside down stories

AT — Good luck

AT — I knew you were coming

AT — A swimming competition

AT — The thick fog

AT — The whale spawn island

AT — The louse in the binoculars

AT — The lead in the coffee-pot

AT — Be careful with the pork

AT — Bitter frost

AT — The man who was always falling asleep

AT — The ship's cat

AT — The jacket that returned.

AT — The strong draught

AT — Heavy seas

AT — The bear hunting

AT — The cat's eye

AT — The snail and the christening water

AT — A busy man

AT — The thriving ram

AT — Unusual hearing

AT — Unusual eye-sight

4. Formula Tales

A. Cumulative Tales

AT 2010I — How the rich man paid his servant

AT 2014A — The house is burned down

AT 2015 — The goat that would not go home

AT 2021 — The cock and the hen

A cock and a hen are gathering nuts. The hen gets a nut in her head/ a nut-shell in her throat and is about to die. The cock asks in vain all he meets for help. Finally he gets help and the hen is saved.

AT 2022 — The death of the little hen

AT 2025 — The fleeing pancake

A woman makes a pancake, which flees from the frying-pan. Various animals try in vain to stop it. Finally a hog or a fox eats it up.

AT 2027 — The fat cat

AT 2035 — House that Jack built

AT 2044 — Pulling up the turnip

AT 2075 — Tales in which animals talk

A hen reproaches the cock because she has not got the shoes she was promised. The cock entreats her to sell her eggs and buy the shoes herself. (The sounds of the animals are imitated.)

AT 2200 — Catch-tales

B. Catch tales

AT 2250 — Unfinished tales

A boy finds a key and a mysterious casket. He opens it. A calf's tail lies the casket. 'If the tail had been longer, the tale bad been longer too.'

AT 2271 — Mock stories for children

The tale is suddenly brought to an end after the introduction formula, for example by means of a rhyme.

AT 2320 — Rounds

The story is told to a certain point, then it starts again from the beginning. This can be repeated and repeated and repeated . . .

AT — The feather that turned into live hens

Some trivial event (a hen loses a feather) is told of among the animals and gradually grows bigger.

AT 2320 — Rounds

AT — The talk of the peas

5. Unclassified Narrationes Lubricae

AT — To tie knots on 'the arrow'

AT — The strange animal

AT — The boy and the clergyman

AT — The sexton, the boy, and the parson's wife

AT — The parson in our parish

AT — 'Hans the gay one'

AT — The maiden who pissed so far

AT — To heaven on her husband's member

A wife is dissatisfied with the size of her husband's member and admonishes him to do something to it. He receives help from a Finnish woman. The result exceeds all expectations.

AT — Baking waffles

AT — The boy who had so large a member

AT — Casting tin-plates

AT — A dangerous crevice

AT — The swollen finger

AT — The girl who took care of her maidenhood

AT — An avaricious parson

AT — The stupid bridegroom

AT — The dungbeetle and the snail

AT — ('Brudenuggen') The tailor and the bridegroom

AT — The wanton dead

AT — The old harmonica-player

AT — The king without a son

AT — The quack

AT — The girl who wanted the boy punished

AT — The lobster

AT — The three suitors

AT — The roomy type

AT — Try with butter first

AT — The foolish boy

AT — The boy who sold the he-goats

AT — The stick in the wall

AT — The man who confessed

AT — The housewife who should not fart

AT — 'Frisk-guss-spass-gass-ber-hu '

AT — The woodpecker hole

AT — The tough sausage

AT — Adam and Eve

AT — The wishing ring

AT — The wedding at Velkje

AT — The three suitors of the widow

AT — How the first organ-pipes originated

AT — The sailor and the student who pretended to be St. Peter and Our Lord

A sailor and a student stay with a rich and mean woman and make her believe that the world will come to an end the same night. The daughter loses her maidenhood and the mother all her money.

AT — The sailor who becomes sexton

AT — The student who could beget parsons, deans, and bishops at pleasure

AT — The penis and the shoesole

AT — Strange animals

AT — The Catholic Painter

A Catholic painter washes his hands in the holy-water, but escapes corporal punishment when he paints an image of the Virgin Mary on his penis. The parson believes that a miracle has happened.


AT numbers of folktales, Literature  

The excellent, annotated series Norsk eventyrbibliotek (Norwegian Folk Tale Collection) edited by B. Alver (et. al) was published by Det norske Samlaget in Oslo 1967-1981, and contains 12 volumes. They are:

  1. Bø, Olav og Hodne, Bjarne eds: Dei tri blå tårni. Eventyr frå Telemark 1. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1974. - 251 p.
  2. Bø, Olav, red: Dyret i hagjen: Eventyr frå Agder. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1978. - 203 p.
  3. Alver, Brynjulf, red: Guten i gadden: Eventyr frå Sogn og Fjordane, Møre og Romsdal. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1980. - 250 p.
  4. Bø, Olav, red: Guten som snudde på halvskillingen: Eventyr frå Hedmark og Oppland. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1981.
  5. Kvideland, Reimund, red: Glunten og riddar rev: Eventyr frå Nord-Norge. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1977. - 234 p.
  6. Bø, Olav ed: Guten som tente i tri år for tri skilling. Eventyr frå Telemark 2. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1975. - 216 p.
  7. Alver, Brynjulf, ed: Jomfru Marias gudmorsgåve: Eventyr frå Hordaland. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget 1972. - 215 p.
  8. Alver, Brynjulf, red: Kongsdottera i koppartårnet: Eventyr frå Trøndelag. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1970. - 287 p.
  9. Kvideland, Reimund, red: Lita-Frid-Kirsti: Eventyr frå Valdres, Numedal, Hallingdal og nedre Buskerud. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1979.
  10. Alver, Brynjulf, red: Prinsessene som dansa i åkeren: Eventyr frå Rogaland. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1967. - 206 p.
  11. Alver, Brynjulf ed: Ridder Skau og jomfru Dame: Eventyr frå Ringerike. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1969. - 242 p.
  12. Alver, Brynjulv, ed: Sunnafor sør og nordafor nord: Eventyr frå Akershus, Vestfold og Østfold. Oslo: Det norske Samlaget, 1976.

Aarne, Antti. The Types of the Folktale: A Classification and Bibliography. Translated and Enlarged by Stith Thompson. 2nd rev. ed. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia / FF Communications, 1961.

Ashliman, D. L. A Guide to Folktales in the English Language. New York: Greenwood, 1987. ⍽▢⍽ Ashliman adheres to the type classification of Annti Aarne and Stith Thompson with 1,000 basic plots and enhances the AT type listing, yet streamlining it somewhat in that minor subtypes combined. A few new AT numbers have been inserted. Each described plot is presented in consisely, followed by the titles and central bibliographic data of published variants. Ashliman's summaries of tale types are rewritten to better elucidate the content of the tales. An index at the back includes entries by title, subject, and characters. There is also a ten-page bibliography of folktale collections, and a bibliography of 134 secondary sources.

Hodne, Ørnulf. The Types of the Norwegian Folktale. Bergen: Universitetsforlaget, 1984. ⍽▢⍽ The folklorist Hodne's catalogue conforms to the international catalogue of Aarne and Thompson. Hodne's work contains information about all known folktales in Norwegian - 4,200 variants in all. Hodne tells who were the tale informants, tale collectors and in what places tales tales were recorded, and of any printed editions of the variants. Hodne has included a group of aitiological tales among the folktales.

Uther, Hans-Jörg. The Types of International Folktales: A Classification and Bibliography Based on the System of Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson. Vols 1-3. FF Communications No. 284-86, Helsinki: Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 2004.

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