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Thread: Swedish Folk Tales

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marzipan View Post
    From Västerbotten



    The Bad Stepmother

    Once the father of a girl whose mother had died remarried, and so she got a stepmother. The stepmother also had a daughter, whose name was Malena. But the stepmother wanted to get rid of her stepdaughter, so one day she put a lot of good things into a heavy chest and told her, "This is all for you, if you get in with it." When the girl got in, the stepmother dropped the lid of the chest and squeezed the girl to death. Afterward, she cooked the girl and gave her to her father to eat. Malena collected all the bones and carried them outside.

    A few days passed. One day, when the father was walking home from the forest, he saw a bird sitting on the roof, singing. The bird sang as people speak. It sang:

    "My mother set a trap for me,

    My father ate me up,

    My sister Malena

    Collected my bones

    And put them in a silk scarf

    And carried them under the juniper bush."

    Then the bird threw a gold bell down to the father and flew away. When the stepsister went outside, the bird sang the same song, and it threw down a gold chain for her.

    When the stepmother saw the fine presents, she too went outside, but this time the bird threw down a rock and killed her.



    However it happened, the dead girl came back to life again, and afterward the family lived together in peace and harmony.
    I have heard that one before The storytelling tradition was (and is) strong in many parts of Sweden. Especially in rural parts of the north, where the winter was long and many nights was spent inside telling stories, many of them horror stories. I read the one you posted from Medelpad about the forest sprite, my grandmother heard many similar stories when she was young. How these forest sprites (in the north called Vittra) could kidnap kids. She told me how scared she was as a kid when she was going to milk the cows, she always ran back to the house.

    I have some stories I have heard that I can write down later. We had a funny teacher in the carpenting class of my middle school, everytime someone mentioned "can't you tell us about tap-dancing Jerker today?" he would stop the class and gather everyone. Take up some papers with the story written in it and tell the story for us.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Marzipan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mazik View Post
    I have heard that one before The storytelling tradition was (and is) strong in many parts of Sweden. Especially in rural parts of the north, where the winter was long and many nights was spent inside telling stories, many of them horror stories. I read the one you posted from Medelpad about the forest sprite, my grandmother heard many similar stories when she was young. How these forest sprites (in the north called Vittra) could kidnap kids. She told me how scared she was as a kid when she was going to milk the cows, she always ran back to the house.

    I have some stories I have heard that I can write down later. We had a funny teacher in the carpenting class of my middle school, everytime someone mentioned "can't you tell us about tap-dancing Jerker today?" he would stop the class and gather everyone. Take up some papers with the story written in it and tell the story for us.
    Yes,feel free to contribute. I love this idea and appreciate it.
    Many stories are well spread out and may originate from different places and then officially collected elsewhere. Different variants occur not only by region but by the storyteller as well.

    This region, I have found my sources are scarce and I have yet to locate some for Norrbotten. Perhaps the stories have been swallowed by Lappland. The collectors some times make mistakes in labelling and judgment assessment when collecting. Perhaps all stories collected were too similar to separate. But I will be mindful for them.

    If a place is isolated enough which is difficult to be now, the beliefs are very much alive. I don't know how much things have changed in certain places but I have grandparents and have heard from older folk who have crossed paths with individuals and families claiming they are part troll and etc. This was a while ago and with so many unwarranted changes, I'm not sure how much if any is still true.

    Even my father has stories of lost children being cared for by elves until they were found during his childhood.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Marzipan's Avatar
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    From Västerbotten



    The Biggest Stable And The Biggest Pot

    Up in Great Juktan in Sorsele lived some people who were so wealthy and their stable so large that if a cow got impregnated by the stable door, she'd give birth before they had time to lead her into her stall at the opposite end. The kettle in that stable was so large that when it boiled on one side, there was ice for skating on the other!

  4. #24
    Senior Member Marzipan's Avatar
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    From Lappland



    They Danced To Their Death

    In a village in Dalarna both the young and the old folk were always dancing on a mountain. Once when they were dancing, a stranger came with a fiddle under his arm and asked them whether he might play for them. He said that he was a good fiddler. The dancers happily invited him to play.

    But when he played, they became as if possessed and started dancing wildly. They danced over sticks and stones and over holes in the ground at great speed, so that they soon got tired and wanted to rest. But it was impossible to stop. The fiddler played faster and faster, and before long, they had worn out their shoes ad danced on their bare feet. They shouted to the fiddler to stop, but he pretended not to hear them and played even faster. Finally they had worn down their legs to their knees, but still they had to dance. They did not even get t to stop when all that was left were their skulls jumping and dancing to the rhythm.

    Finally a minister heard about the dancing on the mountain, and when he commanded the fiddler to stop, the man had to obey. But the folks who had followed the minister saw that it was Old Nick himself who sat there and played. He used his ass as a fiddle and worked it with a bow.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Marzipan's Avatar
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    From Västerbotten





    The Fox And The Rowanberries


    A bear was eating rowanberries when the fox came by to visit. The bear asked, "Brother, would you like some rowanberries to eat? "

    "No," answered the fox, "they're too sour."

    "They're not too sour," said the bear.

    "Then let me taste," said the fox.

    "Very Well," said the bear, and he bent the rowanberry tree down to the ground, saying, "Now bite hard into the branch over there!"

    When the fox had sunk his teeth into the branch, the bear asked, "Do you have a good grip on it? "

    "Yes," said the fox. The bear let go of the tree and the fox flew up into the air, yelling, "Please, dear friend, help me down!"

    "All you have to do is let go, " said the bear. "I'll catch you! "

    The fox let g of the branch, fell to the ground, and was knocked senseless. Then the bear told him, "Now I've finally paid you back for the time you fooled me into losing my tail!"

  6. #26
    Senior Member Marzipan's Avatar
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    From Jämtland




    The Lapp Carried A Belt Under His Skin


    A man went hunting one autumn, after it ha snowed. He came across a bear track leading straight to the door of a Lapp hut. When he peered into the hut, he saw an old Lapp sitting there, smoking his pipe. The hunter got scared and ran. But when he looked back, he saw a bear trotting after him. He knew right away that it was the old Lapp who had changed into a bear. He climbed up into a tree, and when the bear came after him, he fired. The bear said: "Oh, drat!" and then he was silent. He was dead.

    When the hunter flayed his prey, he found a tin belt and a pouch with tinderbox under the bear's skin.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Marzipan's Avatar
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    Welcome to a New Year! And so I have decided to do this a little different.
    This story is longer and instead of posting the whole story at once, I have decided to post it in pieces.
    Hopefully, this will make it easier on the eyes, not so overwhelming on the mind, and bring a little anticipation for the rest of the story.

    All in good fun, and feel free to leave feedback on this method if you like it or not and why.



    From Närke





    Master Pär And The Rag Jan's Boy


    Part I


    Once there was a man who was so terribly rich that no one could say how rich he was. He owned large farms here and there, and some were almost as large as a palace. People called this man Master Pär - for master is what he wanted to be, and one of the finest too. There was a poor tenant farmer who lived next to Master Pär. He had nothing but his wife and their many children. They called him Rag Jan.

    Now this Master Pär was terribly stingy and conceited, and the poorer people were, the worse he treated them. But when he was with noblemen or other fine folk, he did it up in style and the drink flowed, lest it be said that anyone entertained better than Master Pär.

    Even though he was so rich, he still was never satisfied. He envied Rag Jan all his many children - for he himself had no one who could take over all his farms and feed him when he wasn't able to manage any longer. His wife talked to all the wise men and women, and even the doctors, but no one could help her.

    "Things always go wrong for me, " Master Pär said. Every time Rag Jan had another child, he sang the same old song.

    One evening a poor old crone came to Master Pär asking for a roof over her head for the night. "Impossible! " he said. "I don't run an almshouse. " And he shut the door in her face.

    Then the old crone came to Rag Jan's with the same request. Yes, she was very welcome, Rag Jan said, but his wife had just given birth to a boy, so he didn't know where to put her.

    "So that's what going on," the old crone said. "Then I've come at the right moment. I know how to take care of such things, " she said as she came into the cottage.

    "You know, that's just the nicest boy I've ever seen, " she said. "Nice deserves nice, so what you've got to do is invite Master Pär to be his godfather. "

    Rag Jan and his wife looked at each other. The sun would sooner turn black than Master Pär agree to be the godfather of a poor farmer's boy.

    "Well, he may be poor now," said the crone, "but he'll be rich by and by. Master Pär, however grand a fellow he may think himself to be, didn't exactly come into the world with clothes on his back either. So, Jan my friend, I think you should do as I say.

    Rag Jan pulled his ear and scratched his head, but the old crone was stubborn, and since she was the sort of person who knows more than other people - she was one of the Finn people she was - Rag Jan went to Master Pär and told him what was on his mind. P

    "Have you gone stark raving mad?" he said. "Do you think that I want to be the godfather of a beggar's child? Be gone, and do it quickly if you want to stay in one piece, " he said, slamming the door with a crash.

    "No matter, " said the crone when Jan returned, it's still your boy who will be his heir. All the wealth Master Pär is scraping together will someday be his. But you'll have to keep your mouths shut about it. Otherwise it might not work. "

    Yes, they'd keep their mouths shut - that was certain.

    Out of her birch-bark knapsack the old crone pulled fancy clothes for the baby. Then she carried him to the parson and had him christened Pär.

    Master Pär continued to moan and groan about not having any children, and since his wife couldn't give him any, they agreed to buy themselves a foster child. It had to be a nice child, of course - and not too expensive; so Master Pär went to Rag Jan.

    "You've got so many children, " he said.

    "Yes, I have children the way you have farms: you can hardly count them," Rag Jan said.

    "But I have none at all," said Master Pär. "Let me buy your smallest boy."

  8. #28
    Senior Member Marzipan's Avatar
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    There are quite a few parts and it hadn't occurred to me some may wonder how they know for certain when the story has ended, so I will title the last part as Final or Finale, I haven't decided but I will let it be known it is the last.

    Part II

    Rag Jan was no business man - at least not with that kind of merchandise - he remembered what the old Finn crone foretold, and agreed upon a Christian exchange: Jan got a barrel of oats and Master Pär got the boy, and he promised to feed the boy until he died, and swore to it.

    After some time, Master Pär began to sing his song once again. The boy was not his own flesh and blood, so once again his wife spoke with doctors and the wise folk. This time, Master Pär and his wife were blessed with a little girl of their own. He was pleased and could now do without the boy, however, he had already taken him, and obliged to keep him until he was older and he could figure out what to do.

    Naturally, Rag Jan and his wfe were overjoyed that the circumstance had played out in their favour. They saw fate when they saw the boy playing with the sweet, beautiful girl, as it be, they saw bride and groom. What they saw was as real as if the old Finn crone's prediction had already come to pass and Master Pär's money was in their hands.

    But we all know what womenfolk are like: they can't keep a secret.

    And so it was; one day, Rag Jan's wife disclosed the old Finn crone's prediction. She regretted what she had done as fast as the moment had passed but words don't come back - and these words flew throughout the countryside until they reached Master Pär's ears. By then he'd forgotten that the boy was nothing but the son of a peasant. But now he knew better; the boy played so innocently with the girl now, but one day he'd want to marry her! Master Pär was a nervous man now and began plotting to rid himself of the boy.

    Master Pär had a sister who lived north of the mountains, west of the lake, south of the waterfall. One day he told the boy to take her a letter, and to guard it well. He didn't tell him te contents of the letter - to take the boy to the dock above the great waterfall and push him into the river!

    The boy went on his way and when evening fell upon him, he found himself in the middle of the forest without shelter. There he met an old Finn Crone - yes the same crone, his godmother, who had brought him to the parson.

    "Where are you going? " she asked.

    "I'm taking a letter to Master Pär's sister who lives north of the mountains, west of the lake, and south of the great waterfall," he answered. "Could I please stay at your house for the night?"

    "Yes, I live nearby," she said.

    The boy fell asleep, and she took the letter to a school teacher who lived in the Finn forest. She asked him to read the letter to her. "Quite villainous this Master Pär," she said. "Unable to do it himself, he will fail."

    She asked the the school teacher to write another letter in its place. This letter told Master Pär's sister to raise the boy as if he was her own flesh and blood until Master Pär came for him. Then the old crone hurried to replace the letter. The boy woke up, thanked her for the night and continued on.

    Master Pär's sister read the letter, and cared for the boy as her flesh and blood. As she got know the boy, the more she like him, for he was kind, obedient, and had great spirit.

    The boy's time with Master Pär's sister was wonderful but no matter how good it was, he was still homesick. Homesick for the playmate he left behind with Maste Pär.

    The years went by and the boy grew into a young man. A young man that had not heard a word from Master Pär all these years. Master Pär without any thoughts for what has become of the boy was at home, thinking about marrying off his daughter. Though she was now old enough to have a suitor and marry, she wouldn't budge. she did however ask when to expect the boy's return every now and then. And so, she got older and the older she grew, the more she asked, and Master Pär began to think of the boy once again. What if he was alive! This possibility troubled him deeply, so one day he rode to his sister's to see for himself.

    When he arrived, there stood the boy in the yard. Master Pär exploded!

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