Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Aged Bride

At a marriage at Nörre-Broby near Odense, the bride during a dance left the apartment and walked without reflection towards a mount in the adjacent field, where at the same time there were dancing and merriment among the elf-folk. On reaching the mount, she saw that it was standing on red pillars, and at the same moment an elf came and presented to her a cup of wine. She took the cup, and having emptied it, suffered herself to join in a dance.

When the dance was ended she bethought herself of her husband and hastened home. Here it appeared to her that everything in and about the place was changed, and on entering the village, she recognized neither house nor farm, and heard nothing of the noisy mirth of the wedding. At length she found herself standing before her husband's dwelling, but on entering saw no one whom she knew, and no one who knew her.

One old woman only, on hearing the bride's lamentation, exclaimed, "Is it then you, who a hundred years ago disappeared at my grandfather's brother's wedding?"

At these words the aged bride fell down and instantly expired.

* Source: Benjamin Thorpe, Northern Mythology, Comprising the Principal Popular Traditions and Supterstitions of Scandinavia, North Germany, and the Netherlands, vol. 2 (London: Edward Lumley, 1851), p. 138.

* Return to the table of contents.

A Smith Rescues a Captured Woman from a Troll

As a smith was at work in his forge late one evening, he heard great wailing out on the road, and by the light of the red-hot iron that he was hammering, he saw a woman whom a troll was driving along, bawling at her "A little more! A little more!" He ran out, put the red-hot iron between them, and thus delivered her from the power of the troll.

He led her into his house and that night she was delivered of twins.

In the morning he waited on [went to] her husband, who he supposed must be in great affliction at the loss of his wife. But to his surprise he saw there, in bed, a woman the very image of her he had saved from the troll. Knowing at once what she must be, he raised an axe he had in his hand, and cleft her skull.

The matter was soon explained to the satisfaction of the husband, who gladly received his real wife and her twins.

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