Saturday, June 18, 2011

Little Frick and his Fiddle part 2

First he went to the storekeeper and asked for clothes, and at one farm he asked for a horse and at another he asked for a sleigh, and at one place he asked for a fur coat, and not a "No" did he hear, for no matter how stingy they were, they had to give him what he asked for.

At last he traveled through the countryside like a real gentleman, with horse and sleigh. When he had traveled for a while he met the sheriff for whom he had served. “Good day, master," said Little Frick, stopping and lifting his cap. "Good day,” said the sheriff. Have I been your master?" he asked. "Yes, don't you remember that I served you for three years, for three pennies?” "Good gracious! Then you’ve made good in no time!" said the sheriff. "But how has it happened that you have become such a fine gentleman?" "Oh, that's a long story," said Little Frick. "And are you so bent on pleasure that you travel with a fiddle, too?" said the sheriff. "Yes, I've always liked to make people dance," said the boy. "But the finest thing I have is this musket here,” he said. "For it brings down everything I aim at, no matter how far away it is. Do you see that magpie sitting in that spruce tree over there?" asked Little Freddie. "What will you bet that I can't hit it from where we are now standing?"

The sheriff was willing to make the bet so he put up all the money he had with him, and he would fetch the bird when it fell, for he didn’t believe that it was possible to shoot so far with any musket. As soon as the shot was fired, the magpie fell into a big bramble patch, and the sheriff strode all the way there to fetch it, and picked it up. At the same moment Little Frick started playing his fiddle, and the Sheriff began to dance so that the thorns tore at him, and the boy played and the sheriff danced and cried and pleaded until the rags flew off him, and he had hardly a thread left on his back.

"Well, now I think you are just as ragged as I was when I left your service,” said the boy, "so now I will let you go". But first the sheriff had to pay him what he had bet the boy. When Little Frick came to town, he went to an inn. He played on his fiddle, and everyone who came there started dancing, and he lived both merrily and well. He had no sorrows for no one could say no to what he asked for.

One day, when the merrymaking was at its liveliest, the sheriff came to arrest the boy, and said that he had both assaulted and robbed him, and nearly taken his life. Now he should be hanged, there was no way out it of. Little Frick though had a way out of everything, and that was the fiddle. He started to play, and the sheriff had to dance until at last they all fell down gasping. They sent for soldiers and guards, but they fared no better. As soon as Little Frick took to playing his fiddle, they had to dance. Finally they sneaked in on him while he was asleep at night. When they finally had him he was sentenced to be hanged right away, and it was off to the gallows at once.

A large crowd had come to witness this rare spectacle. It didn't go quickly, for Little Frick was a feeble walker, and he made himself even feebler. The fiddle and the musket he carried along as well, for nobody could get them away from him. When he came to the gallows and was going to climb, he rested on every rung of the ladder. On the topmost rung he sat down, and asked if they could refuse him one last wish; that he might be allowed to do one thing. He would so like to play just one little tune on his fiddle before they hanged him.

"It would be both a sin and a shame to refuse him that," they said. They couldn't say "No" to what he asked for. The sheriff begged, in heaven's name, not to let him pluck on a single string or else it would be the end of them all. As for himself, they must tie him to the birch tree which stood there, should the boy start playing. It didn't take Little Frick long to get the fiddle to sound, and everyone there started to dance, both those on two legs and those on four; both deacon and parson, and clerk and bailiff, and sheriff and hangman, and dogs and pigs. They danced and laughed and shrieked all at the same time, some danced until they lay stretched out as though dead; some danced until they fainted. They all fared pretty badly, but it went worst with the sheriff, for he stood tied to the birch, and danced just the same until he rubbed big patches of skin off his back. No one thought of doing anything to Little Frick, and he could go wherever he wished with his fiddle and musket. Little Frick lived happily the rest of his days, for there was no one who could say "No" to the first thing he asked for.

Part One Click Here


Dafeenah said...

I always knew I should have learned to play

Anonymous said...

I actually did not see that one coming! I loved this one!

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

I LOVE Little Frick. I'm not sure if it's his fiddle (which is awesome!) or if it's his wit. Either way, I LOVE him ;)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Another terrific ending to another charming Norse tale.

I'm curious, Sis... How long does it take you to translate each of these charming stories.

Another thing I notices is the similar repetition of three. Are these stories by the same author? Or is it just the format used in these fables?

Arlee Bird said...

That is a very different sort of a story. Nice.

Tossing It Out