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Notes to Norwegian Folktales ❧ 4
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Outcast Animals Find a New Home (The Sheep and the Pig Who Set Up House) - AT 130

Some domestic animals go into the wood to get a home on their own, each contributing as best he can. Wolves come to visit them, and are frightened by the co-work of the animals and are driven away, leaving the animals to live happily ever after.

The Bremen Town Musicians, a Grimm tale, is of the same kind.

[The tale]

The Spinning Women by the Spring (Two Stepsisters) - AT 480

The kind one of two (step-)sisters was forced into into a well, because she lost a spinning-contest. On her way on the other side she gave help to animals and other objects that need her. She entered the service of a supernatural person (troll, witch, the Virgin Mary), who assigned her difficult and impossible tasks. But she was aided by the birds, and they also advised her when she finally was to choose a reward. The witch pursued her on the way home, but the grateful animals and objects help her, and she came hom overly rich.

The other sister attempted to have the same success as she got, but she was unconsiderate and self-centred, disobedient and rude, and was harshly punished for the rest of her life.

[The tale]

The Ogre's (Devil's) Heart in the Egg (The Ashlad and the Beasts) - AT 302

Because he helped some animals to divide a meal in a fair manner, a youth is rewarded with the ability to transform himself into their shapes. He goes to rescue a princess who has been abducted by an ogre. As a falcon, the youth comes to the ogre's castle, as an ant into the princess' awareness. He and she learns from the princess that the ogre cannot be defeated unless something very unlikely happens. The boy sees to it that it does, the ogre dies, and the youth marries the princess.

[The tale]

Country mouse visits town mouse (The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse) - AT 112

Two mice visit each other. One of them prefers poverty to insecurity. (Aesop).

[The tale]

The Monster's Bride (The Companion) - AT 507A

The hero dreams about a beautiful princess and sets out to find her. On the way he gives aid to a dead man frozen in a block of ice. This man becomes his incognito fellow-traveller and helper. He takes from three witches the magic things later used to help the youth to perform the difficult tests assigned by the princess and rescue her from her monster lover. He also teaches the hero how to disenchant his bride by bathing her to release her from her enchantment. In payment the man claims half of all the hero gets in five year. When the man's child too is about to be divided, the stranger prevents it and discloses himself as the grateful dead man.

[The tale]

The Dragon-slayer (Espen Ashlad and Redfoks) - AT 300

A boy with kills a troll to whom a king has promised his daughter. Another man (the impostor Ridder Raud) claims to be her rescuer and wins the princess, but is exposed as a fraud. The false hero is punished and the true hero is rewarded, he got the youngest princess and half the kingdom.

Killing dragons and ogres is an integral part of many different folktales.

[The tale]

The Clever Horse (The Golden Castle that Hung in the Air) - AT 531

The type of tale was previously "Ferdinand the True and Ferdinand the False". ). It is a miscellaneous type that comprises various tales dealing with a clever horse - in this tale it is a donkey.

A poor boy leaves home. Unlike his two brothers he shows kindness, and is rewarded. His brothers get envious of him and conspire against him. As a result he as to go in search of the king's abducted daughter. On the way he gets a clever magic donkey that helps him succeed in finding the princess - and her sister - saving them both. The donkey shows up at last to be a bewitched prince. He gets one of the princesses, and the boy marries the other.

This variant is from the Kristiansund area, as told by a seaman on board the corvette 'The Eagle'. It was collected by P. Chr. Asbjørnsen in 1850.

[The tale]

The Twins or Blood Brothers (The Lads Who Met the Trolls in the Hedale Woods) - AT 303

Summary: Two poor boys get lost in the forest and encounter two sniffing trolls with one eye in common. The oldest boy cuts one of the trolls with his axe, and as a result the other loses the eye the trolls share. The boy picks it up, and to get it back from him, they have to reward him handsomely with gold and silver and two steel cross-bows.

The descriptions of this type of tale are usually suited to other variants of it.

[The tale]

The Ungrateful Serpent Returned to Captivity (The Way of the World) AT 155

A man rescues a dragon, which in return seeks to kill him with the approval of other animals, who are asked if it is common that a good deed should be repayed with a bad one. The fox saves the man by tricking the snake back into captivity, but is punished when he comes for the reward.

[The tale]

The Magic Ring (Three Years without Wages) - AT 560

A rich man has promised to buy something for a boy who has been in his service for three years. The boy receives a magic dog, a cat, and a basket with a lizard. The lizard shows up to be a bewitched prince. The boy disenchants the prince and receives a magic wishing ring in return. He then proposes to a princess and with his wishing ring builds a magic castle and other tasks enjoined on him to get her. Through trickery she steals the the ring from him and wishes him to be poor again. They boy is helped by the dog and cat to get the ring back and to be set free from the dungeon.

[The tale]

The Devil on the Ship (The Skipper and Old Nick) - AT 1179

The devil comes to fetch a skipper who has made a contract with him. He is tricked into pumping the North Sea out of the ship through a hole in the ship and gives up. Thus the skipper saves his soul.

[The tale]


Norwegian folktales, Norway fairy tales, Asbjørnsen and Moe folktale and fairy tales notes, literature

Asbjørnsen, Peter Christen. Fairy Tales from the Far North.. Tr. Hans Lien Brækstad. New York: A. L. Burt, 1897. ⍽▢⍽ Forty tales.

Asbjørnsen, Peter, og Jørgen Moe. Samlede eventyr, bd 1-3. Oslo: Kunstnerutgaven, Gyldendal, 1965.

Ashliman, D. A Guide to Folktales in the English Language. New York: Greenwood, 1987.

Bø, Olav, et al, eds. Norske eventyr (Norwegian Fairy Tales). Oslo: Det Norske Samlaget, 1982.

Dasent, George Webbe, tr. Asbjørnsen, Peter Christen and Jørgen Engebretsen Moe. East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon. Philadelphia: David McKay, 1921. ⍽▢⍽Fifty-nine tales of a total of about one hundred and thirty in all by Asbjørnsen and Moe. Dasent's Tales from the Fjeld contains fifty-two more.

Dasent, George Webbe, tr. Tales from the Fjeld: A Second Series of Popular Tales, from the Norse of P. Chr. Asbjørnsen. London: Chapman and Hall, 1874. ⍽▢⍽ Fifty-two more Norwegian tales.

Gade, Helen and John, trs. Norwegian Fairy Tales: From the Collection of Asbjörnsen and Moe. New York: London: Humphrey Milford, 1924. ⍽▢⍽ Thirty-three tales.

Hodne, Ørnulf: The Types of the Norwegian Folktale. Bergen: Universitetsforlaget, 1984.

Stroebe, Clara, ed. The Norwegian Fairy Book. Tr. Frederick Herman Martens. New York: Frederick A. Stokes, 1922. ⍽▢⍽ Thirty-seven tales.

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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