Thursday, June 16, 2011

White Bear King Valemon -2

The king's daughter then set off through the forest which never came to an end, all that day and night. The next morning she came to another cottage. Here there were also two womenfolk, and old crone and a little girl. "Good day," said the king's daughter. "Have you seen anything of White-Bear-King Valemon?" she asked. "Were you the one to have had him, maybe?" asked the old woman, and learning that it was she answered. “Why yes, he rushed by here yesterday, but he went so fast that you won't catch up with him," she said. The little girl was playing about on the floor with a flask, which was such that it poured out whatever they wanted, and wherever the flask was, drink was never lacking. "But this poor woman, who has to journey so far and on such rough roads, she'll be thirsty and suffer many other hardships," said the little girl, and then she asked if she could give her the flask. It was agreed that she could have the flask.

So the king's daughter got the flask, said her thanks, and set out again, walking through the same forest, all that day and night. On the third morning she came to a cottage, and there was an old woman and a little girl. "Good day," said the king's daughter. "Have you seen anything of White-Bear-King Valemon?" she asked. "Were you to have had him, maybe?" asked the old woman. Learning that it was she replied. “Why, yes, he rushed by here yesterday, but he went so fast that you won't catch up with him," she said. The little girl was playing on the floor with a cloth that was such that whenever they said to it, "Cloth, spread, and deck thyself with every good dish!" it did so. And wherever the cloth was, good food was never Lacking. "But this poor old woman, who had to journey so far and on such rough roads, said the little girl," she may well both starve and suffer many other hardships, so she'll have more need of this cloth than I," she said, and then she asked if she could give her the cloth, and so it was agreed upon.

So the king's daughter took her cloth and said her thanks, and set off. Far, farther than far, through the forest all that day and night she went. In the morning she came to a mountain spur which was as steep as a wall, and so high and so wide that so end could she see. There was a cottage there too, and, when she came in, the first thing she said was, "Good day, have you seen whether White-Bear-King Valemon has traveled this way?" "Were you to have had him, maybe?" asked the old woman. Once hearing the answer she replied. "Yes, he rushed by here yesterday, but he went so fast that you won't catch up with him," she said. The cottage was full of little children, and they all clung to their mother's apron strings and cried for food. The old woman put a kettle full of pebbles on the fire. The king's daughter asked what good came of thatt. They were so poor said the old woman that they could afford neither food nor clothes, and it was so hard to hear the children crying for a bit to eat. So when she put the kettle on the fire and said, “Now the apples will soon be done," it seemed to deaden their hunger, and they were patient for a while. It wasn't long before the king's daughter got out the cloth and the flask, as you can imagine, and when the children were fed and happy, she clipped out clothing for them with the golden scissors.

"Well, said the old woman of the house, "since you've been so heartily kind to me and my children, it would be a shame not to do what we can do to try to help you up the mountain. My husband is really a master smith. Now you just rest until he comes back, and I'll get him to forge claws for your hands and feet, and then you can try to crawl up." When the smith came, he started on the claws right away, and the next morning they were ready. She had no time to wait, but said her thanks, fastened the claws on her hands and crept and crawled up the mountainside the whole day and night. Just when she was so tired that she didn't think she could lift her hand again, but felt she would sink to the ground, she got to the top. There was a plain, with fields and meadows so big and wide that she had never imagined anything so broad and so smooth, and close by there was a castle filled with workers of every kind who toiled like in an anthill. "What is going on here?" asked the king's daughter.

Well, this was where she lived, the Troll-hag, who had bewitched White-Bear-King Valemon and in three days she was to wed him. The king's daughter asked if she could talk with her. No, not likely! That was out-and-out impossible. So she sat down outside the window, and started clipping with the golden scissors, and velvet and silken clothing flew about like a snow flurry. When the Troll-hag caught sight of that, she wanted to buy the scissors. "For no matter how the tailors toil, it's no use," she said. "There are too many to be clothed."

The scissors weren't for sale, said the king's daughter. But the Troll-hag could have them, if she would let her sleep with her sweetheart tonight. She could certainly do that, said the Troll-hag, but she would lull him to sleep herself, and wake her up herself. When he had gone to bed, she gave him a sleeping potion, so he was in no condition to wake up, no matter how the king's daughter shouted and cried.

The next day the king's daughter went outside the windows again, sat down and started pouring from the flask; it flowed like a brook, both beer and wine, and it never ran dry. When the Troll-hag laid eyes on that, she wanted to buy it; for "no matter how much they toil at the brewing and distilling, it's no use. There are too many to drink," she said. It wasn't for sale for money, said the king's daughter, but if she would let her sleep with her sweetheart tonight, she would give it to her. Yes, that she could certainly do, said the Troll-hag, but she would lull him to sleep herself, and wake him up herself. When he had gone to bed, she gave him a sleeping potion again, so the King's daughter had no better luck that night either. He couldn't be awakened, no matter how much she cried and shouted. That night however, one of the artisans was working in the room next door. He heard her cry in there, and he guessed what had really happened, and the next day he told the prince that she must have come, the king's daughter who was to have freed him.

When it was dinner time, the king's daughter went outside the castle, pulled out the cloth, and said," Cloth, spread thyself and deck thyself with every good dish!" Then there was enough food for a hundred men, but the king's daughter sat down alone. When the Troll-hag caught sight of the cloth, she wanted to buy it, for "no matter how much they cook and bake its no use. There are too many mouths to feed." The king's daughter said it wasn't for sale for money, but if she would let her sleep with her sweetheart tonight, she could have it. She could certainly do that, said the Troll-hag, but she would lull him to sleep herself, and wake him up herself. When he had gone to bed, she came with a sleeping potion, but this time he was on his guard, and fooled her. The Troll-hag didn't trust him any more than just so far, she she took a darning needle and stuck it right through his arm, to see if he were sleeping soundly enough. But no matter how much it hurt, he didn't move, and then the king's daughter was allowed to come in to him.

Now this was all very well, but they must get rid of the Troll-hag before he would be free. So he got the carpenters to make a trap door on the bridge which the bridal procession was to cross, for it was the custom there that the bride should ride first in the procession. When the Troll-hag started across the bridge with all her Troll-hag bridesmaids, the planks under them dropped open and they fell through. Then King Valemon and the king's daughter and all the wedding guests rushed back to the castle, and took as much of the Troll-hag's gold and money as they could carry, and then rushed off to his country to hold the real wedding. But on the way, King Valemon stopped in and fetched the three little girls, and now she found out why he had taken the children from her - it was so that they could help her find him. In the castle they all lived happily and long.


To read part one click here

7 comments:

N. R. Williams said...

Good twist at the end. I never suspected that the three children were her children. I could use those magical things. All the food, and drink and clothes. Amazing.
Nancy

Craziness abounds said...

Sorry I didn't swing by yesterday it was crazy as usual. Great story. I had to read both of them so I didn't get lost. You truly have a knack with these stories. Nicely done..

Bossy Betty said...

Ah! So all ended well. I like that in a story!

Stranger in a Strange Land said...

Hello dear:

It nice of you to bring Norwegian literature out of the borders of Norways to be shared worldwide.

Kind regards,
Mike from south of the border

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

Those twists and turns were awesome. I love how they finally defeated the troll-hag.

GigglesandGuns said...

I really enjoyed the story. I didn't expect the ending about the children.

(PS - I must be blind. I only just noticed the Hostage Duck in the sidebar. Cracked me up!)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Great ending to an very interesting tale....