Saturday, 30 September 2017

“Shoo, puss! Will you get off the table!”

There was a boy who would out a-courting, once upon a time. It was far away in an isolated valley. Everything was old-fashioned with the people he visited: they lived in a smokey cabin, where the smoke rose, and the light came down, through a smoke hole. Here there was an elligible girl who was so beautiful that she was sought after, but she too had a fault.

They received the suitor well enough, but as they set the table both with lefses and flatbread and cured ham and sour-cream porridge, and a large pat of butter, there was a tear in an article of clothing that needed tacking together quickly. For that they needed a needle, but there was no sewing needle to be found.

Then the mother in the cabin said: “You should be looking, too, my daughter, you whose vision is so good.” Well, she began looking, both high and low. At last, she began to look along the pole used to open the smoke hole.

“There it is,” she said: “up top, by the opening.” No one could see a sewing needle up there. However, when the needle had been retrieved, and the tear had been darned together, everything seemed to be well and good, and the girl paced importantly around on the earthen floor. But they had a ginger cat, there in the cabin; she thought it had sat down on the table—but it was the pat of butter she mistook for the cat—and she slapped the pat of butter so that it splattered against the wall: “Shoo! Will you get off the table, puss!” she said.

The girl obviously had good vision.

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