The fairy tale that was never published

I dette huset skrev jeg eventyret mitt / The house in which I wrote my fairy tale

Her kommer eventyret som jeg skrev da jeg var 19 år endelig på trykk. Du leste kanskje gårsdagens innlegg med historien om hvordan eventyret ble til? Om ikke, finner du det her: Eventyret som aldri ble publisert.

This is the fairy tale that was never published. I wrote it when I was 19 years old, and it’s been stowed away in an old box ever since. Now, however, I’m ready to publish it, right here and right now. Moreover, I will restrain from making corrections and changes to it. Here it goes!

Once upon a time there was a king who could not sleep at night time. Soon it became known all over the little town that the king’s palace was haunted. They all felt very sorry for their beloved king and his daughter, the most beautiful princess anybody had ever seen. But they could not think of any way to help him.

One night the people in the little town woke up because of a terrible noise from the palace. Now they understood that the conditions were worsening and something had to be done if they were ever to maintain peace in the little town.

Early in the morning they all went up the hill and gathered in front of the palace. The king, pouchy-eyed from lack of sleep, soon appeared in front of the citizens. Apologizing for the trouble he had caused he told them about the horrifying spirit that was keeping him awake all night. At last he went down on his knees begging them to help him to get rid of the dreadful spirit and promising half the kingdom and the princess to the one who would give him back his night’s sleep.

One by one his good friends and subjects would enter the palace to try to scare away the spirit. People were coming from far and near, but they all had to give up in the end. Eventually, the king got tired of all the people who invaded his palace without being able to help him, and one day he announced that those who tried and failed would have their head cut off.

However, there was a tree feller who had three sons that were both brave and strong, and they wanted to try their luck.Their father was very poor and he could’t give them much food for their long journey on foot, but he gave them an amulet which would bring them luck.

As the three of them set off they promised their old father that they would come back rich one day and they should never have to eat gruel again.

When they couldn’t see their house any more the oldest son, fat from always eating all the leftovers, took the amulet out of his pocket and gave it to his younger brother. I do not need it, he said, believing that physical strength was all he needed. But the younger brother was very lazy and thought that he could not be bothered to carry it and gave it to the youngest of the three. I do not need it either, he said.

The youngest son looked at the amulet with great interest, then put it in his pocket, and they started to walk again. Soon the youngest brother discovered that there was a hole in his pocket, and the amulet was gone. He rushed back and just as he saw the amulet in front of himself on the path a rat appeared and ran away with it. Astounded he followed it and caught it just before it disappeared into a hole of a tree.

Meanwhile the two older brothers had arrived at the king’s palace. The oldest son entered the palace first. Bowing to the king and looking greedily a the princess he promised to make an end to the spirit in the palace. Chasing the ghost in the palace that night the oldest son did much damage and did not succeed, so the following day he was taken down to the cellar to have his head cut off.

The younger son now went inside and greeted the king and the princess. Tired from the long walk he fell asleep that night and the next morning he suffered the same fate as his older brother.

In the meantime the youngest son with his new pet, the rat, arrived at the palace. Seeing the princess in the bedroom window he fell in love at once. The king was surprised at the politeness of the young man but did not think him suitable for such a task. The princess, however, liked the young man with the original pet and begged her father to give him a chance.

As darkness fell the youngest son of the tree feller sat down to wait for the ghost to appear. Suddenly he heard some knocking coming from the other end of the room. At the same time his pet rat jumped out of his pocket, ran across the floor and disappeared into a hole in the wall. The youngest son sat there astonished not knowing whether to believe what he heard and saw or not. “What is going on”, he exclaimed as several rats came out of the hole in the wall and danced in front of him.

His pet rat now told its fellow rats to calm down. “These rats you now see are what the king thinks is an evil spirit”, it told his friend. “They have been living here in the palace because they haven’t got anywhere else to go, but I am now going to take them with me back to the woods where my family and I live”.

From that day the king was again able to sleep properly at night time and the youngest son of the tree feller was happy that the amulet had brought him so much luck. Everything was now made ready for a wedding which lasted seven days and if they are not dead yet they still live happily in a palace in a little town far, far away from here.


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