Wednesday, 16 August 2017


Olav Eivindson Austad (1843–1929) was perhaps the greatest storyteller from Setesdal in Agder, and an informant to Jørgen Moe, Knut Liestøl, Torleiv Hannaas, and others. His tales have some amusing angles, compared with other variants. Take, for example, the attached variant (↓) of “The Molly of Dovre


There was a boy who came one Christmas Eve to a man and asked to be housed.

“Yes,” said the man, “you may be housed; but hither come so many trolls this evening that we have to flee, ourselves.”

“Oh yes, but as long as I am housed,” said the boy, “then I will stay anyway.”

“Yes, you shall certainly be housed,” said the man. “And you may eat and drink as much as you will. But we shall flee.”

When they had gone, the boy sat at the table and began to eat and drink. When he had done so, he clambered up onto a plank in the loft, and lay down there.

Then there came in so many trolls that there was no moderation. Some were big, and some were small. And one was so big that it was chilling, and with a nose so long that it mostly lay beneath the table. He was the tallest, and he should sit in the highest seat.

Then they began to eat, and then they were down in the cellar for beer. And they came with their cups, and they said:

“I will pour you some, Trond! I will pour you some, Trond!”

“I will pour you some, Trond!” said the boy—then he fired, and shot off him his long nose.

Then they began to wail and scream, and haul and drag him out. When they came out into the courtyard, no one has ever heard such a wailing.

Then it called out from the mountain:

“What kind of racket are they making?”

And they answered:

“Big brother Berrfjell has lost his nose.”

“Ha ha ha!” they replied, and laughed so well.


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