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The Little Elder-Tree Mother 11

Thus many years rolled by. He had now become an old man, and was sitting, with his old wife, under an elder-tree in full bloom. They held each other by the hand exactly as the great-grandfather and the great-grandmother had done outside, and, like them, they talked about bygone days and of their golden wedding. …

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The Little Elder-Tree Mother 10

“Here it’s agreeable in winter!” said the little girl, and all the trees were covered with hoar-frost, so that they looked like white coral. The snow creaked under one’s feet, as if one had new boots on. One shooting star after another traversed the sky. In the room the Christmas tree was lit, and there …

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The Little Elder-Tree Mother 6

“That was no fairy tale,” said the little elder-tree mother; “but now it comes! Real life furnishes us with subjects for the most wonderful fairy tales; for otherwise my beautiful elder-bush could not have grown forth out of the teapot.”   And then she took the little boy out of bed and placed him on …

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The Little Elder-Tree Mother 5

  “‘And their children have had children again,’ said the old sailor. ‘Yes, these are children’s children, and they are strong and healthy. If I am not mistaken, our wedding took place at this season of the year.’   “‘Yes, to-day is your golden wedding-day,’ said the little elder-tree mother, stretching her head down between …

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The Little Elder-Tree Mother 3

“What is this woman’s name?” asked the little boy.   “Well, the Romans and Greeks used to call her a Dryad,” said the old man; “but we do not understand that. Out in the sailors’ quarter they give her a better name; there she is called elder-tree mother. Now, you must attentively listen to her …

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The Little Elder-Tree Mother 2

“That is all very well, but such tales or stories are worth nothing! No, the right ones come by themselves and knock at my forehead saying: ‘Here I am.’”   “Will not one knock soon?” asked the boy; and the mother smiled while she put elder-tree blossoms into the teapot and poured boiling water over …

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The Elfin Hill 10

But the youngsters said they would rather make a speech and drink to their good fellowship; they had no wish to marry. Then they made speeches and drank toasts, and tipped their glasses, to show that they were empty. Then they took off their coats, and lay down on the table to sleep; for they …

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The Elfin Hill 9

Then the elfin girl said that the stories about the ring-finger and little Peter Playman had not yet been told.   “We will hear them in the winter,” said the old goblin, “and also about the fir and the birch-trees, and the ghost stories, and of the tingling frost. You shall tell your tales, for …

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The Elfin Hill 8

Then her youngest sister whispered to the old goblin, “That is only because she has heard, in a Norwegian song, that when the world shall decay, the cliffs of Norway will remain standing like monuments; and she wants to get there, that she may be safe; for she is so afraid of sinking.”   “Ho! …

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The Elfin Hill 7

“You shall soon see what they can do,” said the elf king. And then he called his youngest daughter to him. She was slender and fair as moonlight, and the most graceful of all the sisters. She took a white chip in her mouth, and vanished instantly; this was her accomplishment. But the old goblin …

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The Elfin Hill 6

They took off their boots, that they might be more at ease, and gave them to the ladies to hold. But their father, the old goblin, was very different; he talked pleasantly about the stately Norwegian rocks, and told fine tales of the waterfalls which dashed over them with a clattering noise like thunder or …

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The Elfin Hill 5

The daughters drew on their shawls and bowed down to the ground. There stood the old goblin from the Dovre mountains, with his crown of hardened ice and polished fir-cones.   Besides this, he wore a bear-skin, and great, warm boots, while his sons went with their throats bare and wore no braces, for they …

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The Elfin Hill 4

She was the daughter of the king of the chalk-hills at Moen. They say he took his wife from chalk; I shall be delighted to see him again. It is said that the boys are ill-bred, forward lads, but perhaps that is not quite correct, and they will become better as they grow older. Let …

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The Elfin Hill 3

The elfin maidens we’re already dancing on the elf hill, and they danced in shawls woven from moonshine and mist, which look very pretty to those who like such things. The large hall within the elf hill was splendidly decorated; the floor had been washed with moonshine, and the walls had been rubbed with magic …

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The Elfin Hill 2

Just at this moment the elfin hill opened, and an old elfin maiden, hollow behind,1 came tripping out; she was the old elf king’s housekeeper, and a distant relative of the family; therefore she wore an amber heart on the middle of her forehead. Her feet moved very fast,   “trip, trip;” good gracious, how …

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The Elfin Hill 1

A FEW large lizards were running nimbly about in the clefts of an old tree; they could understand one another very well, for they spoke the lizard language.   “What a buzzing and a rumbling there is in the elfin hill,” said one of the lizards; “I have not been able to close my eyes …

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The Jumper 3

Then the King said, “The highest leap was taken by him who jumped up to my daughter; for therein lies the point; but it requires head to achieve that, and the Skipjack has shown that he has a head.”   And so he had the Princess.   “I jumped highest, after all,” said the Flea. …

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The Jumper 2

  The Skipjack said nothing, but it was said of him that he thought all the more; and directly the Yard Dog had smelt at him he was ready to assert that the Skipjack was of good family, and formed from the breastbone of an undoubted goose. The old councillor, who had received three medals …

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The Jumper 1

THE Flea, the Grasshopper, and the Skipjack1 once wanted to see which of them could jump highest; and they invited the whole world, and whoever else would come, to see the grand sight. And there the three famous jumpers were met together in the room.   “Yes, I’ll give my daughter to him who jumps …

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