Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Good Helpers

Here we go, time for the child inside to take a little ride into the world of Norwegian Fairytales. Some of these stories are so long that I have had to post them in two parts. I have a treat for you on my first post. This is just a short film from the story but I thought it was so cute that I wanted to share it with you.

There once was a king, and that king had heard stories of a ship that went just as fast on land as on water. He too wanted to have such a ship, and so he proclaimed that whoever could build such a ship, he promised his daughter and half the kingdom. He had this proclamation posted at all the churches throughout the land. There was many who tried, for surely half the kingdom would he good to have, and the king's daughter would be fine to have in the bargain. But all of them failed badly.

Now there were three brothers living in a parish far away in the woods. The eldest was called Per, the next one Pål, and the youngest was called Espen, or as he was better known to everyone as (Ash Lad). This was because he always sat poking, and raking in the ashes, while dreaming away. It just so happened that on the Sunday when the proclamation was made about the ship the king wanted, he was at church. When he came home and told the others about it, Per asked his mother for provisions, for now he wanted to set out and see if he couldn't build the ship, and win the king's daughter and half the kingdom.

When he had got the knapsack of provisions on his back, he strode off. On his way he met a bent and wizardy old man. "Where are you off to?" said the man. "I'm going off to the woods to make a trough for my father. He doesn't like to eat with the rest of us," said Per. "Trough it'll be!" said the man. "What've you got in your knapsack?" "Mud!" said Per. "Mud it'll be!" said the man.

So Per strode over to the oak grove and chopped and built for all he was worth, but for all he chopped, and for all he built, all he turned out were troughs and more troughs. When it was getting on to lunchtime, and he was going to have something to eat he opened the knapsack, but it wasn't food that was in the sack, it was mud. As he now had nothing to eat and he fared no better with the building, he got tired of the work. He put the ax and the knapsack on his back, and went home to his mother again.

Then Pål wanted to set out and try his hand at building the ship and winning the king's daughter and halve the kingdom. He asked his mother for provisions, and when he got them, he put the knapsack on his back and set out for the woods. On the way he met a bent and wizardy old man. "Where are you off to?" asked the man. "I'm going off to the woods to make a pig-trough for that little piglet of ours," said Per. "Pig-trough it'll be!" said the man. "What've you got in your knapsack?" "Mud!" said Per. "Mud it'll be!" said the man.

So Pål strode off to the woods, and started chopping and building for all he was worth. But no matter how he chopped, and no matter how he put the wood together, he turned out nothing but troughs. He didn't give up and kept at it until he was so hungry that he had to stop to eat, but when he opened his sack all he found was mud. Pål was so angry that he wrung the sack inside out and dashed it against a stump. He took the ax and strode out of the woods making his way home.

When Pål had come home, Askeladden wanted to set out, and asked his mother for provisions. "Maybe I could manage to get the ship built, and win the king's daughter and half the kingdom," he said. "Yes, that'd be likely!" said his mother. “You, who never do anything but mess around in the ashes, you'll get no provisions from me!" Askeladden didn't give up for that. He pleaded so long that at last he was allowed to go. He got no provisions, but he sneaked along a couple of oatcakes and a drop of stale beer, and set out on his way.

When he had gone a short distance, he met the same bent and wizardy old fellow, who seemed so feeble. "Where are you off to?" said the man. "Oh, I was going to the woods, to build a ship which goes just as well on land as on water," said Askeladden. "For the king has proclaimed that the one who can build such a ship will get the king's daughter and half the kingdom," he said. "What do you have in your sack?" asked the man. "Oh, it's not much to speak of. It's meant to be provisions," replied Askeladden. "If you'll give a little of your provisions, I shall help you," said the man. "Gladly," said Askeladden, "but it's nothing more than a couple of oat cakes and a drop of stale beer."

It did not matter to the old man what it was as long as Askeladden was willing to share it. When they came to the old oak in the woods the man said, "Now you're to cut out a chip and put it in again where it came from. And, when you've done that you can lie down and go to sleep." Askeladden did as the old man said. He lay down to sleep, and in his sleep it seemed to him that he heard chopping, and hammering, and building, and sawing. However, he could not wake up before the old man woke him. When Askeladden was woken there stood the ship, completely finished, alongside the oak. "Now you're to climb aboard, and you're to take everyone you meet with you, said the old man. Askeladden thanked him for the ship and sailed away, and said he would do as the old man told him.

This is such a long tale, so I decided to finish the rest of Askeladdens adventure tomorrow. Hope you come by.


Elisabeth Hirsch said...

I'm excited for tomorrow. I love stories with wizards! Sooo awesome!

Jeff said...

Sharing does have a just reward :-)

Bossy Betty said...

Waiting for Part Two!

Michael Di Gesu said...

This is SOOOO sweet and the clip is too cute! I'm off to read part II!