The Cat On The Dovrefell

: East Of The Sun And West Of The Moon

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 Dovrefell 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 tr
e!" said the man; "but

we can't give anyone house-room just now, for every Christmas Eve such

a pack of Trolls come down upon 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 anyone else."

"Oh?" said the man, "if that's all, you can very well lend me your

house; my bear can lie under the stove yonder, 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 calling out:

"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