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FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND
NOW -I-S HALL- LOOK
CAL LED-0 UT-A% LOUD
'F~\. r LOVe YOU ..
FAIRY TALES FROM
FROM THE SWEDISH OF ZACH. TOPELIUS
ELLA R. CHRISTIE
ILLUSTRATED BY ADA HOLLAND
a n b on
T. FISHER UNWIN
[All rights reserved.]
THE WOOD ANEMONE I
THE RASPBERRY CATERPILLAR. II
SAMPO LAPPELILL 27
THE SWALLOW FROM EGYPT 75
LITTLE LASSE 95
THE WATER LILY 115
ADALMINA'S PEARL .
THE ANT WHO WENT TO THE DOCTOR 153
KNUT FAIRYFLUTE 163
A YOUNG SAGE 195
SWEETER THAN SUGAR 21
FACING TITLE-PAGE, AND FACING PAGES 24, 50, 109,
152, and 165.
THE WOOD ANEMONE.
FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND
THE WOOD ANEMONE.
THERE was once upon a time a Wood
Anemone which grew in a field. She was
neither paler nor plainer than other Ane-
mones, and as all Anemones are prettiest in
Spring, so she was as white and pretty as
her companions. Was she not, perhaps, a
trifle prettier ? I do not know. Flowers
grew there and butterflies fluttered, for
where could they have found a better
place ? This is an old story; there are so
many tales about Butterflies that one has
almost heard enough. The name of the
largest butterfly was Apollo, and he had
white wings with yellow spots on them.
Butterflies are not a little vain, as every
4 FAIR Y TALES FROE1M FINLAND.
one knows ; they love to deck themselves
in all sorts of finery. It is not their fault,
however, that they are so gaudy; they
have never had their clothes made by the
tailor-so they are fashioned, and so they
will be to the end.
One day Apollo came to the Anemone,
and said to her : Do you love me, for I
love you ? "
Certainly I love you," said the Ane-
mone, for she really loved him, and had
nothing in her of the coquette.
Is that quite true ?" said the Butterfly.
"Yes; how could I do otherwise?"
replied the Anemone.
"That's all right," said the Butterfly, as
he sucked the honey out of her petals.
Butterflies like honey, but they do not
understand housekeeping like the bees. It
was all finished, and then Apollo flew off.
He will return," thought the Anemone,
but in that she was mistaken; he had
other things to think of.
One day, however, it happened that he
THE WOOD ANATEOATE.
came fluttering round another flower,
which was growing quite near her. Now
I shall look up! thought the Anemone,
and she raised her faded head a little, and
called out (as loud as an Anemone can
call) : Do you love me, for I love you ? "
No, I certainly don't," answered the
Butterfly, for he was not in the least
ashamed to own it.
But I love you," said the Anemone.
"That is quite possible," said the Butter-
fly, and away he flew in another direction.
This time he stayed away still longer.
The Anemone stood among the green
grass; time appeared long to her, and she
began to wither.
At length by chance Apollo once more
appeared, still gaudier than before, and the
Anemone asked again : "Do you love me ? "
"No, not a bit," answered the Butter-
But I love you," said the Anemone.
Well, what does that matter to me? "
said the Butterfly. That's an old story,
6 FAIR Y TALES FROMf FINLAND.
which I have heard at least a hundred
times before," and with that he was off
Listen, Anemone," said the tangled
Juniper Bush, who lived quite near; it is
not becoming to prattle so much about the
feelings of the heart. One has certainly
both beak and claws (if one has a body);
therefore when snapped up, snap in return,
and, if treated with contempt, let it be
understood who you are. Just look at me;
do you think the Sparrows would dare to
play pranks with me ? No, Anemone; one
must have a proper pride; it is no longer
the fashion to repay scorn with love."
"But I cannot help it," answered the
Anemone; I must love him as long as I
"You are just a Fungus," said the
Juniper, and that was the worst thing he
knew of, for Fungus had the reputation in
his neighbourhood of not being very parti-
cular, and the Juniper was not a little proud
of such wonderful knowledge of the world.
THE WOOD ANEMONE.
The sun shone fiercely, and every hour
the Anemone grew paler and paler. Some
boys came to play in the field. One of them
carried a butterfly net, and he soon caught
sight of the gorgeous Apollo. How
beautiful that one would look in the insect
drawer, with a pin through him !" said the
boy, while running at full speed with the
net over the grass. Apollo was now in
dire distress. How he did fly! Quickly
the net was brandished in the air, it cut
him on the wing, and then he tumbled
head over heels on the ground, close
beside the Anemone.
He fell here," the boy called out, and
stooped to search for the Butterfly, and
when he could not find him he ran on his
way in search of others.
It was not easy to find Apollo, for the
Anemone had hidden him under one of
her leaves. That was a grand hiding-hole !
The Anemone herself had been trampled
on, and now lay with a half-broken stalk
among the green grass.
8 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
"What a good thing I escaped!" said
Apollo, as he moved up from under the
Do you love me? said the Anemone,
who was withering away on her half-broken
Oh, is that you ?" said the Butterfly.
"Just imagine, my spots have got so
horribly rubbed I can't think how I shall
ever be able to show myself in polite
Do you love me ?" again asked the
"Just look at my dress coat, how dusty
it is!" continued Apollo. Dear, have
you a drop of dew in your corolla, that I
may have some water to wash myself? I
look like a mole."
"Do you love me ?" said the Anemone
for the third time.
Dear, dear! how have I time to
answer such trifling questions ?" an-
swered the Butterfly. "Yes, I thought
so-my ruffles are all crumpled! What
THE WOOD ANEMONE. 9
will they think of me at the Court of the
"But I love you! said the Anemone;
and with that she expired, and all her
petals fell from her.
"Look at the poor thing!" said the
Butterfly, for he was not really bad-
hearted, only flippant, like all his kind.
"Now it is evident that there is no
chance of my getting water to wash with
until the evening, when the dew falls.
I'm sure I am an unlucky Butterfly. My
dress coat is ruined, my ruffles are
crumpled, my spots look like old coppers.
What an unfortunate occurrence! however,
it will cause quite a sensation in the world.
I shall become an object of universal
sympathy, and to be of interest to the
world is some consolation. What do you
think they will say of me in the Rose
With these words Apollo again flew off.
He had not proceeded far when he en-
countered a Sparrow, who had been sitting
io FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
on a paling near by greedily watching
him. Snap! and the Sparrow gobbled up
the lovely Apollo at a single mouthful, all
interesting as he thought himself.
The Juniper Bush observed that, and
had his own thoughts about it. The
mistake was," said he, that the Anemone
thought too little of herself. One should
hold one's own, and then one is respected
and looked up to in the world Take me
as an example." But everyone did not
think the same. As the Evening Wind
rustled amid the tall grass, for long there
was heard a whispering among the other
Anemones. They said to each other, Do
you love me, for I love you?" and again
they said to each other, "Although your
love for me be ended, still will I love
you." This is a very old and ordinary
story, but the Anemones thought that it
was worth relating once more.
THE RASPBERRY CATERPILLAR
" H shrieked Theresa.
"Oh! shrieked Aina.
"What's the matter ?" shrieked their
A Caterpillar shrieked Theresa.
On the raspberry! shrieked Aina.
Kill it! shrieked Lorenzo.
"What a fuss about a poor little Cater-
pillar!" said Big Sister contemptuously.
Yes, as we were gathering the rasp-
berries--" said Theresa.
It crept out of the very biggest," added
"And if anyone had eaten the tasp-
berry- said Theresa.
He would have eaten the Caterpillar
also," said Aina.
14 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
"And what matter? said Lorenzo.
Eat a caterpillar !" exclaimed Theresa.
And bite him to death," sighed Aina.
No matter," said Lorenzo, laughing.
Now he is going to creep upon the
table," again shrieked Theresa.
Blow it away then," said Big Sister.
Trample him to death," smiled Lorenzo.
But Theresa took a raspberry leaf, and
sweeping the Caterpillar on to it, she
carried it out to the garden. Just then
Aina perceived a Sparrow sitting on the
fence greedily eyeing the Caterpillar.
At once she lifted the leaf with the
Caterpillar, carried it off to the forest, and
hid it under a raspberry bush, so that the
cunning Sparrow might not find the
Now what more can there be to tell about
a Raspberry Caterpillar, and who would
care a straw about such a wretched little
grub ? Still, happy he who can find such a
pretty abode as his-it was such a fresh,
sweet-scented, dark red dwelling, far away
THE RASPBERRY Y CATERPILLAR. 15
in the silent forest amid the flowers and
It was now dinner-time, and all the
children were having raspberries, and
cream to dinner.
Don't take so much sugar, Lorenzo,"
said Big Sister, but Lorenzo's plate was
like a snowdrift in winter, with a little red
peeping out from among the snow.
Soon after dinner Big Sister said, Yes,
now we have eaten up the raspberries,
and have none to make into jam for
winter. It would be nice if we had two
baskets full of fresh fruit. We could take
the husks off this evening, and to-morrow
morning we could cook them in the big
brass pan-and then for waffles' and rasp-
berry jam !
Come, let's go to the wood and gather
them said Theresa.
"Yes, let's go," said Aina. "You take the
yellow basket and I'll take the green one."
SA kind of Swedish cake.
16 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
Don't lose your way, and come home
in good time," said Big Sister.
Remember me to the Raspberry Cater-
pillar," said Lorenzo in mocking tones;
"and when next I meet him I hope to
have the honour of eating him up."
Off went Aina and Theresa to the
woods. How beautiful and glorious it was!
Certainly, in the midst of it all, it was a
little uncomfortable to have to climb over
half-fallen trees and get caught in the
twigs, and to encounter the juniper
bushes, and fight duels with the midges;
but what did all that matter? The
children scrambled on briskly with
shortened skirts, and went far into the
forest, till they reached a place where
grew quantities of crawberries, blae-
berries, and cranberries-but no rasp-
berries. They went still farther, and
came soon -no, that we can't believe -
they came-on quite a thicket of rasp-
berries. Some time previously the wood
had been burnt, and here had sprung
THE RASPBERRY CATERPILLAR. 7
up raspberries and raspberries as far as
the eye could reach. Every bush was
laden to the ground with large, dark, red
luscious fruit, and dropping around in such
quantities as had never before been
stepped upon by the shoes of two short-
skirted raspberry gatherers. Theresa
picked, Aina picked; Theresa ate, Aina
ate. Soon the baskets were filled.
Now, let's go home," said Aina.
No, let's gather a few more," said
Theresa. They laid the baskets down,
and gathered into their aprons, and soon
they also were filled.
Now, we will go home," said Theresa.
Yes, now we will," said Aina.
Each of them carried a basket in one
hand and held up their apron with the
.other, and thus turned their steps home-
wards, but this was easier said than done.
They had never before ventured so far
into the woods; there were no roads nor
paths, and soon the little girls saw that
they had taken a wrong turning. To
18 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
make matters worse, the shadows of the
trees began to lengthen in the evening
sunlight, the birds were flying home to
their nests, and the dew was falling. Soon
the sun sank behind the tall fir-trees, and
it grew chilly and dark in the vast forest.
The children began to get afraid, yet still
they went on and on, hoping that the
forest would come to an end, and that the
smoke from their home would appear.
After they had walked a long time it
got quite dark. They had now reached a
large open space grown over with bushes,
and after they had looked about them as
well as they could in the darkness, they
discovered that they had made a circuit,
and were back in the very place where
they had found all the raspberries, with
which their baskets and aprons were
filled. Tired out, they sat down on a
stone and began to cry.
I am so hungry," said Theresa.
"Yes," said Aina; "if only we could
have two big sandwiches."
THE RASPBERRY CATERPILLAR. 19
As she said that she felt something on
her arm, and when she touched it, found
it was a thick piece of bread and butter
with meat on it. At the same moment
Theresa said, How odd! I have a sand-
wich in my hand."
"And so have I," said Aina. "Are
you going to eat yours ?"
"Of course I'm going to eat it," 'said
Theresa. Oh, if only we could now get
a tumbler of fresh milk!" As she said
that, she felt a large glass of milk in her
hand. With that Aina said, Theresa!
Theresa! I have a large glass of milk in
my hand! This is most wonderful "
As the children were hungry they ate
and drank with the' best of appetites, and
when they were satisfied Aina yawned,
and stretched, and sighed, "If only
we could now have a soft bed to sleep
Scarcely had she uttered the words, when
a beautiful soft bed stood beside her, and
thefsame beside Theresa. The children
20 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
thought this very strange, but tired and
sleepy as they were, they troubled their
heads no more on the subject, but crept
into bed, said their evening prayer, tucked
the coverlets over their heads, and soon
were in the Land of Nod.
When they awoke, the sun was high in
the heavens, it was a lovely summer morn-
ing in the woods, and the birds flew
merrily from branch to branch. At first
the children were greatly amazed to find
they had been sleeping in the forest right
in the midst of the raspberry bushes.
They looked at each other, and then at
the beds, which were covered with the
finest linen spread on the softest leaves
At last Theresa said: "Are you awake,
Yes," said Aina.
"I think I must be dreaming," said
"No!" said Aina. "But there is
certainly a great draught among these
THE RASPBERRY Y CA TERPILLAR. 21
raspberry bushes. If only we could have a
cup of hot coffee and a bun to eat with it."
Scarcely had she said so, when there
stood beside them a little silver tray,
and on it a gilt coffee can, two fine china
cups, a beautiful crystal sugar-bowl, a
silver cream-jug, and some delicious white
rolls. The children poured the magic
coffee into the cups, sugared it, creamed it,
and smacked their lips over it. Never
had they tasted such delicious coffee!
Now, I should like to know who gives
us all those good things," said Theresa
with a thankful mind.
It is I, my dear little ones," said a
voice from the bushes.
Somewhat taken aback, the children
perceived a kind-looking, little old man,
limping out of the bushes, for he was
somewhat lame on the left leg. Theresa
and Aina were dumb with amazement.
Don't be afraid, little ones," said the
old man, as he grinned at them in a
friendly manner. He could not laugh
22 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
properly, as his mouth was cut on the
cross. Welcome to my dominions!
Have you slept well, and eaten well, and
drunk well ? he asked.
Yes, that we have," said both the
children; "but tell us- and then they
wished to ask the old man who he was,
but did not like to.
I am the King of the Raspberries, and
rule over all the dominion of raspberry
bushes, and here have I lived for many
thousands of years. The great Being who
rules over forest, and sky, and sea is
afraid that I should pride myself on my
long life and kingly power, and has there-
fore ordained that for one day every
hundred years I should be turned into a
little raspberry caterpillar, and exist in that
weak and defenceless condition from sun-
rise to sunset. While in this transformation
my life hangs on that of a grub, so that a
bird may crunch me up with his beak, a
child gather me in fruit, and crush out my
life of a thousand years with its foot.
THE RASPBERRY CATERPILLAR. 23
Now, yesterday happened to be the day,
and I was gathered with the raspberries
and nearly trampled to death, had it not
been for your mercy, children, which saved
me. Until sundown I lay helpless in the
grass, and as I was blown off your table
I cricked my foot, and my mouth went
squint with fright. As evening approached,
and I regained my own form, I looked for
you that I might thank you and give you
a reward; then I found you both here,
and welcomed you as well as I could,
without alarming you too much. I shall
send a bird of the forest to show you the
way home, so farewell, dear children, and
many thanks for your tender hearts, the
Raspberry King shall prove that he is not
The children placed their hands in those
of the old man and thanked him, heartily
glad that they had spared the little grub
the previous day. They were about to
start, when the old man turned once more,
grinning a sly grin with his squinty mouth :
24 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
Remember me to Lorenzo, and say to
him that when next we meet, I hope to
have the honour of eating him up !"
"Oh, no! please don't do that, Mr
Raspberry Caterpillar!" exclaimed both
the children, much alarmed at the idea.
On your account he will be forgiven,
for I am not of a vindictive nature," said
the old man. Remember me to Lorenzo,
and tell him that he also may expect to
receive a gift from me. Farewell! "
The children lifted their baskets, and
skipped off, light of heart, out of the wood,
always following the bird who flew in front
of them. Soon the forest became less
dense, and the children wondered not a
little how they could have gone such a
roundabout way the day before.
One can imagine the joy with which the
two children were welcomed when they
reached home. Everyone had been looking
for them. Big Sister had not slept a wink,
for she felt certain that her two dear little
sisters had been devoured by wolves.
THE- CHILD PEN -LI-FTED ZHEIR -BA$KET
dAtN-DSKIPPED -O'FF9 LIGHT- Or E:^Rr
THE RASPBERRY CATERPILLAR. 25
Lorenzo met them with a basket, calling
See, here is something which an old
man has just left for you! "
When the children opened the basket,
there lay two pairs of the most beautiful
bracelets, made of dark red precious stones,
cut in the shape of raspberries, with this
inscription: For Theresa and Aina."
Along with them was a breastpin, in the
shape of a raspberry caterpillar, with this
inscription : Lorenzo, harm not the help-
less! Lorenzo was somewhat abashed;
he well understood the allusion; but, at
the same time, he thought that the old
man retaliated in a way that only good
souls can do. Even Big Sister was not
forgotten, for when she went to lay the
cloth for dinner, there she found twelve
baskets filled with the largest and finest
raspberries that ever had come out of the
forest, and no one exactly knew how they
came there, but every one had a good
guess. Then followed such a preserving,
26 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
and a sugaring, and a boiling as had never
before been seen, and, if you like, we will go
there and help them to cook, and it may be
that we will get a taste of the spoon, for
there is little doubt that the jam-making is
still going on.
(A STORY FROM LAPPLAND.)
ONCE upon a time there was a Lapplander
and his wife. Do you know what that
means? The Lapps are a people who
live in the extreme north, far beyond Nor-
way, Sweden, and Finland. In Lappland
there are no fields, nor fine forests, nor
houses such as we are accustomed to see,
but only desolate stretches of country and
high mountains and little huts' into which
one must creep through a hole, and that is
the country where the Lapps live. Theirs
is a strange land. Part of the year it is
always light, for the sun never goes down
in summer, and the rest of the year there
is almost perpetual darkness, for in winter
the stars are shining all day. Winter lasts
for ten months of the year-there is sledg-
ing all that time-and one may see the squat
30 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
little Lapps driving over the snow in things
like boats, which are called "pulkas ;" there
is no horse harnessed to the pulka," only a
reindeer. Have you ever seen a reindeer ?
It is about the size of a pony, with great
branching horns, a short neck, and pretty
little head with large bright eyes; when he
runs he flies like a whirlwind over moun-
tain and brook, so that his hoofs strike
against each other, and sound crack-crack!
This the Lapp thinks great fun, as he sits
in his "pulka," and he would like to have
such fine sledging all the year round.
There was once, as before mentioned, a
Lapp and his wife. They lived far away in
Lappland, at a place called Aimio, which is
situated between the Rivers Tenejoki and
Tana. You may see it in the top part of a
map of Finland, where the boundary line of
Lappland comes down like a bigwhite night-
cap on Finland's high head. That place is
desolate and wild, but the old Lapp and his
wife thought that in no place in all the world
was there to be found such white snow
SAMPO LAPPELILL. 31
and such bright stars, and such lovely
northern lights as just there in Aimio.
They built themselves a hut there, after
exactly the same pattern as all the other
Lapp huts. Trees do not grow there, only
small spindly birches, which were more like
bushes than trees, so where could they find
wood to build a cottage? To make the
hut, they took long straight sticks, and
stuck them in the snow, and tied them to-
gether at the top. Then they hung rein-
deer skins over the poles, which made it look
just like a grey sugar-loaf, and then their
hut was finished. At the top of the sugar-
loaf they left a little hole, through which
the smoke might escape when a fire was
lighted in the hut, and another little hole
in the south side by which one could creep
in and out. That is what the Lapp hut
was like, and the Lapps themselves thought
it delightful and warm, and quite grand
inside, although they had no bed and no
floor, nothing but the white snow.
The peasant and his wife had a little
32 FAIRY T4LES FROM FINLAND.
boy called Sampo, which is considered a
lucky name in Lappland. But Sampo was
rich, for he had two names-one was not
Once there had come strangers-gentle-
men in big fur coats,-and they had stayed
in the hut. They brought with them a
hard white bit of snow of a kind which the
Lapps had never seen before, and which
was called sugar. They gave some bits of
the sweet snow to Sampo, patted him on
the cheek, and said, Lappelill, Lappelill !"
which means "little Lapp." They could
not say more, for none of them spoke the
Lapp language. And then they travelled
away still farther north to the White Sea,
and to the most northern point of Europe,
which is called the North Cape. But the
Lapp woman often thought of the strangers
and their sweet snow, and so she began to
call her boy Lappelill."
"I think Sampo is a much better name,"
said the man, somewhat angered. "Sampo
means wealth, and I tell you, mother, don't
you spoil the name! Our Sampo will yet
be a king among the Lapps and reign over
a thousand reindeer and fifty huts. You
shall see mother, you shall see!"
Yes, but Lappelill sounds so uncom-
mon," said the woman, and she called her
boy Lappelill, and the father called him
Now you must know that the boy had
not yet been baptized, for at that time
there was no priest to be found for twenty
miles round. Next year we shall drive
to the priests and have the boy baptized,"
the father used to say. But next year they
were prevented, and the journey was put
off, and the boy remained unchristened.
Sampo Lappelill was now a little chubby
boy of seven or eight years old, with black
hair, brown eyes, a snub nose, and wide
mouth, just like his own papa's, but in Lapp-
land that is looked upon as a mark of
Sampo was no weakling for his years;;
he had his own little skates on which he
34 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
shot down the steep sides of the Tana
and his own little reindeer which he used to
harness, and his own little pulka." Swish!
you should have seen how the snow whirled
around him as he was carried across the ice
and through the drifts which were so deep
that nothing was seen of the youngster but
a tuft of his black pow!
I. shall never feel happy until the boy
has been baptized," said the Lapp woman.
"The wolves might make off with him
some fine day on the fjeld, or he might
encounter Htisi's reindeer with the golden
horns, and the Lord pity him then if he
were not baptized "
Sampo heard these words, and began
to wonder what kind of a reindeer it could
be that had golden horns.
It must be a beautiful deer," said he.
"Wouldn't I like to drive him some day
and go to Rastekais "
Rastekais is a high and lonely mountain,
about five or six miles distant from Aimio.
How can you dare to chatter so
foolishly, you thoughtless rascal ? scolded
the mother. Rastekais is the place where
the Trolls have their home, and there too
H usi; who's that?" asked Sampo.
The mother was taken aback.
"So the youngster has ears;" thought
she to herself. "Perhaps I should not
speak of such things in his hearing, but
it might be as well to put an end to his
fancy for an excursion to Rastekais." So
Lappelill, dear, don't go to Rastekais,
for that is where Hiisi, the great King of
the Fjeld lives-he who eats a reindeer at
one mouthful, and swallows little boys like
At these words Sampo looked very
thoughtful, but he remained silent, while
.at the same time saying to himself:
"It would be at least interesting for
-once to see such a monster as the Fjeld
King-but only at a distance "
Although it was now three or four
36 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
weeks since Christmas, still it was quite
dark in Lappland. There was no morn-
ing, nor noon, nor evening, it was always
night, and the moon shone, and the
Northern Lights crackled, and the stars
twinkled all the day long.
Sampo began to weary. It was so long
since he had seen the sun that he had
almost forgotten what it looked like, and
when anybody spoke of summer, Sampo
remembered nothing about it except that
it was the season when midges were so
nasty and tried to eat him up. So Sampo
thought it would not matter if summer
went away altogether, if only it would get
light enough for him to see to skate.
One day at twelve o'clock (but it was.
quite dark) the Lappman said:
"Come here, arid you will see some-
Sampo crept out of the hut and looked
intently towards the south to where his.
father pointed. There he saw a little red
streak on the horizon.
"Do you know what that is?" asked
"That is the Southern Aurora," said
He had a good idea of the directions
of the wind, and knew very well that one
never saw Northern Lights in the south.
No," said the father, "that is the fore-
runner of the sun. To-morrow or next
day we shall see the sun itself. See how
wonderfully the red light glows on the
top of Rastekais "
Sampo turned westwards, and saw how
the snow in the far distance was tinged
with red on the dark, gloomy top of
Rastekais, a place which he had not seen
for so long. Immediately again the
thought flashed through his brain, How
delightfully exciting it would be to see
the Fjeld King at a distance."
Sampo pondered over the subject all
day and half the night. He ought to
have slept, but could not.
No," thought he, "it would be inter-
38 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
testing just for once to see the Fjeld King,"
and as he thought and thought, at last he
crept quietly from under the reindeer skin
coverlet where he lay, and out through the
door-hole. It was so cold that the stars
glistened and the snow crackled under foot,
but Sampo Lappelill was not a coddled
youth, so he did not mind this in the least.
Besides, he had on a fur jacket, fur trousers,
fur shoes, fur cap, and fur gloves. Thus
equipped, he looked at the stars, and
wondered what he should do next. Just
then he heard his little reindeer, not far
off, scraping in the snow. Perhaps I
might drive a bit? thought Sampo. No
sooner said than done. Sampo harnessed
the reindeer to the "pulka," which he was
well accustomed to do, and drove out with
all speed on to the vast dreary snow plain.
" I will drive a little way towards Raste-
kais, but only quite a little way," thought
he to himself; and then he was carried
over the frozen river, and up the other
side of the Tana, and then he was at the
frontier of the kingdom of Norway, because
the Tana forms the boundary, but this
Sampo did not know. He sat and sang
"Short is the day,
And long is the way,
Rest we dare not, here,
For the wolves are near,"
and as he sang he saw the wolves, like
grey dogs, running in the darkness all
around the sledge and snapping at the
reindeer. Sampo was not the least afraid,
for he well knew that no wolf was so nimble
of foot as his clever reindeer. Oh! how it
carried him over hills and stones, till, the
latter rattled about his ears! Sampo
Lappelill just let him go. Crack went
the reindeer's hoofs, and the moon in
heaven ran a race with him, and the
high fjelds seemed to be running back-
wards, but still Sampo Lappelill let him
go. It was such fun driving, and that
was all he thought of. It happened, in
taking a sharp turn down hill, that the
40 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
" pulka" upset, and Sampo fell out on the
snow. The reindeer did not notice this,
but thought that Sampo was still sitting
quietly in the "pulka," so he ran on, and
Sampo, having his mouth filled with snow
could not call out-f-rroh, ptrroh (" stop,
stop !")-only that is what one says to
horses, but not to reindeer! There he
lay, like a footless field-mouse, out in the
dark night, and in the middle of the vast
plain, where no one lived within many miles.
Sampo, as is not to be wondered at,
was somewhat astounded at first. He
crawled up out of the snow, and was not
in the least hurt; but that did not comfort
him. All around him, as far as he could
see by the pale moonlight, there were
nothing but drifts and fields of snow, and
high mountains. One mountain was much
higher than all the others, and Sampo now
knew that he was quite near Rastekais.
Suddenly it occurred to him that here lived
the savage King of the Fjeld, who ate up
a reindeer at a mouthful, and swallowed
little boys like midges. Then Sampo
Lappelill began to be afraid. Ah, how
gladly would he now have been safe at
home in the warm hut beside his father
and mother, but how was he ever to get
there ? and perhaps the Fjeld King would
find him in the drift and swallow him up,
trousers, and gloves, and all, just like any
other poor little midge.
Yes, there sat Sampo Lappelill alone
in the snow and darkness, on Lappland's
dreary plains; it was all so weird and
awesome as he looked towards the high
dark form of the mountain Rastekais
where the Fjeld King lived. What use
was it to sit there and cry? for all his
tears turned at once into ice, and rolled
like peas down his hairy skin coat.
Sampo saw it was useless, so he got
up out of the snowdrift and .ran about to
"If I stay here, I shall be frozen to
death," said he to himself; well, it would
be better to face the Fjeld King than that.
42 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
If he eat me up, I'm eaten, but I shall tell
him he had better. eat up the wolves on
the fjeld. They would make a fatter roast
than I, and he would have less trouble
with the skin," whereupon Sampo started
to climb the high mountain. He had not
been climbing long when he heard some-
thing rustle in the snow, and a great shaggy
wolf sprang up close by him. Then Sampo's.
little Lappish heart went pit-a-pat, but he
resolved to appear as if he were not the,
"Don't stand in my way," he called out
to the Wolf. "I have an errand to the
Fjeld King, and look out for your skin if
you come too near me! "
Gently, gently, not so fast," said the
Wolf (for on Rastekais all the animals can
talk). "What little dwarf are you, trudging
along in the snow ?"
"My name is Sampo Lappelill," an-
swered the boy; "and who are you?"
"I am Grand Marshal to the Fjeld'
King," answered the wild animal, "and I
have been running round the mountain to
summon his people to the great Sun
Festival. As you are going the same way
as I am, you may sit on my back, and get
a ride to the mountain."
Sampo did not long consider, but climbed
up on the Wolf's shaggy coat, and was
carried at a gallop over cliffs and precipices.
What does that mean, 'the Sun Fes-
tival'?" asked Sampo.
"Don't you know?" said the Wolf.
"After the winter's darkness in Lappland,
and the sun is seen for the first time in the
heavens, then we have the Sun's Festival.
All the wild animals and all the Trolls in
the north assemble at Rastekais, and for
that day they are quite harmless. It is
lucky for you, Sampo Lappelill, otherwise I
would have eaten you up long ago."
"Does the Fjeld King obey the same
law," asked Sampo.
"Of course,".said the Wolf. For one
hour before the sun rises, and for one hour
after it sets, the Fjeld King himself would
not venture to touch a hair of your head.
44 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
But beware when the time is up, for
should you still be tarrying on the fjeld, a
hundred thousand wolves and a thousand
bears would rush upon you, and then there
would be a speedy ending of Sampo
Perhaps you will be so kind as to help
me back again when it is time to start ?"
timidly asked Sampo.
The Wolf began to laugh (for on Raste-
kais the wolves could laugh). Don't
imagine that, Sampo dear," said he. On
the contrary, I shall be the first to dig
my teeth into you. You are a plump
and dainty morsel; I see that- you have
been fattened on reindeer milk and cheese.
You will be a delicious breakfast for me
early in the morning."
Sampo wondered if it would not be as
well to jump down at once from the Wolf's
back, but it was now too late. They had
already reached the top of the mountain,
and there they saw an extraordinary sight.
The Fjeld King sat on his throne, which
was made of rocks that nearly reached
the sky, and he gazed out into the dark-
ness over mountain and valley. On his
head he wore a cap of white snow clouds;
his eyes were like the full moon, as it rises
over the forest; his nose was as the top
of a mountain, and his mouth like the
cleft of one; his beard was like a bunch
of long icicles; his arms were as thick as
the thickest fir-tree; his hands were like
fir-cones; his legs and feet were like a
toboggan hill in winter, and his wide fur
coat was like a snow mountain. But, if
you ask, how could the Fjeld King and his
people be seen in the darkness, you must
know that the snow shone all around them,
and far across the arch of heaven there
glistened the most brilliant Aurora, which
lit up the whole expanse.
Around the Fjeld King were seated
millions of Trolls and Fairies, so small, that
when they tripped upon the snow their
footprints were no larger than those of
a squirrel. They had gathered together
from the remotest parts of the world,
from Nova Zembla, Spitzbergen, Green-
46 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
land, and Iceland, even from the North
Pole itself, in order to worship the sun-
not that they really liked it, for the Trolls
would have been very well pleased to see
the sun sink, and never rise again. It
was from fear, just as savages worship
evil spirits. And, farther away, stood all
the big and little animals which live in
Lappland. They stood in long, close rows,
thousands and thousands of them, from
bears, wolves, and gluttons, down to the
harmless reindeer, the little field-mouse,
and the active reindeer-flea; the mos-
quitoes were prevented from coming, as
they had been frozen to death.
Sampo Lappelill saw all this with much
amazement. He climbed stealthily down
from the Wolfs back, and hid himself behind
a large stone, to see what would happen
next. The Fjeld King raised his massive
head, which made the snow whirl about
him, and then the Aurora seemed to shine
like a glory round him. It shot out in
long, starry, pale red streaks, across the
blue night heavens; it crackled and it
whizzed, just as when a forest is on fire
the flames twist and twine up the trees;
it expanded and contracted, it grew denser
and paler by turns, so that one gleam of
light after' another flashed across the
snowy fjeld. This amused the Fjeld
King. He clapped his icy hands, which
echoed like thunder through the moun-
tains, the Trolls shrieked with delight, and
the animals squealed from fear. But this
only amused the Fjeld King the more,
so he called out loud over the mountain:
"That's it! that's it! Eternal winter
and night! That is what I like!"
"That is right! that is right! shrieked
the Trolls at the top of their voices, for they
all liked winter and darkness better than
summer and sunshine. There was much
grumbling heard amongst the animals, for
all the beasts of prey, including field-mice,
thought the same as the. Trolls, but the
reindeer and the others had no fault to
find with summer, if only they had not
.remembered Lappland's mosquitoes. The
Flea was the only one who wished to have
48 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
summer without any alterations, so she
piped as loud as she could:
"My Lord King, I thought we were
assembled here to greet the returning
"Silence! you miserable insect !" roared
the White Bear beside her. "We only
assemble here because of an old custom.
It is at least pleasurable this year, the sun
seems to have gone away altogether. The
sun is extinguished! the sun is dead!"
"The sun is extinguished! the sun is
dead !" murmured all the animals, and all
Nature shuddered. The Trolls from the
North Pole laughed so much that their
caps fell off. The great Fjeld King
upraised his thunder voice and called out
anew over the desert plains :
"That is right! that is right! The sun
is dead! All the world shall fall down
and hail me 'King of Eternal Winter and
This enraged Sampo Lappelill as he sat
behind the stone. He rose up, his little
saucy nose in the air, and cried out:
"You are telling lies, Fjeld King, as
big as yourself. Yesterday I saw the
first- streak of sunlight in the sky, and the
sun is not dead. Your beard shall suffer
when midsummer comes."
At these words the Fjeld King's fore-
head darkened like a thunder-cloud; he
forgot the rule of that day, and lifted his
terrifying arm to try to crush Sampo
Lappelill. With that the Northern Lights
paled, a red streak appeared in the heavens
and lit up the frosty face of the Fjeld
King, so that it quite blinded him, and he
had to let his arm drop. Then the gilded
edge of the sun rose slowly and majesti-
cally above the horizon and lit up the
fjeld, the drifts, the cliffs, the Trolls, the
animals, and the little manly Sampo Lappe-
lill. All at once there shone a beam of
light on the snow, and it looked as if
millions of roses had been showered down
on it, and the sun shone into every one's
eyes, and right down into every heart.
Even those who had rejoiced most that
50 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
the sun was dead were now secretly glad
to see it again. It was comical to see the
amazement of the Trolls. They blinked at
the sun with their little grey eyes from
under their red night-caps, and although
it was against their wish to see it, they
were so charmed that they stood on their
heads in the snow with delight. The
Fjeld King's beard began to melt, and to
drop down his enormous mantle in a trick-
After all had gazed for some time with
more or less joy at the sun, and the first hour
had nearly passed, Sampo Lappelill heard
one of the Reindeer say to her young one :
Come, come, dear child, or else we
shall be devoured by the wolves "
And then Sampo remembered what
would happen to him if he tarried longer,
so when he caught sight of a fine Reindeer
near him, with branching golden horns, he
hesitated no longer, but jumped on the
animal's back, and was carried off at a
sweeping pace down the mountain-side.
What is that strange rustling which I
hear behind us ? asked Sampo in a little,
for he had to take breath after his rapid run.
Those are the thousand bears scamper-
ing after us to devour us," answered the
Reindeer. But don't be afraid. I am the
Fjeld King's enchanted Reindeer, and no
bear has ever nagged my heels."
So they rode a little farther. Then
What is that strange blowing which I
hear behind us ?"
The Reindeer answered : Those are the
hundredthousand wolves which havestarted
at full gallop after us to tear you and me in
pieces. But don't be afraid; no wolf has
ever beaten me in a race across the fjeld."
So they rode a little farther, and Sampo
Do you think it is thundering behind
us on the fjeld ? "
No," said the Reindeer, beginning to
tremble in every limb; "it is the Fjeld
King himself, who strides after us with
giant steps, and now it will be all over
with us both, for no one can escape him."
52 FAIRY TALES FR OM FINLAND.
Is there nothing to be done ? asked
No," said the Reindeer, "we can do
nothing, except to try to reach the Parson's
house at Enare, if we possibly can. Should
we reach it, we are saved, for the Fjeld
King has no power to touch those who
have been christened."
"All right," said Sampo; fly, my nimble
Reindeer, over mountains and rocks, and I
shall feed you with golden oats out of a
silver trough! "
And the Reindeer ran and ran for dear life,
and they had just got inside the Parson's
house when the Fjeld King arrived and
thundered so loudly on the door that every-
body thought the house would fall down.
Who is there ? asked the Priest.
"It is I," answered the thunder voice
out in the garden. Open to his majesty
the King of the Fjeld There is an un-
christened child here, and all heathen
belong to me."
"Wait a little, till I get on my gown
and bands, in order to receive so dis-
tinguished a personage in a becoming man-
ner! answered the Priest from within.
"All right," roared the Fjeld King;
"best make haste, or else I will kick the
walls of your house down."
Coming, coming, your gracious
majesty!" answered the Priest, and with
that he took a bowl of water and baptized
Sampo Lappelill in the name of the
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
"Well, are you ready yet?" roared the
Fjeld King, who had just raised' his
terrible foot to knock the house down.
The Priest then opened the door and
said: "Begone, you king of winter and
darkness, for with this child yoh have no-
thing more to do God's mercy now shines
upon Sampo Lappelill, and he no more
belongs to yours, but to God's kingdom."
This so enraged the Fjeld King that he
at once blew up into a snowstorm, and the
snow fell so very, very thick upon the
house, and covered it up all over the roof,
that all expected to find their grave in the
drift. The Priest alone was calm, read
54 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
his prayers out of his book of devotion
and waited for morning. When morning
dawned, the sun shone upon the snow, and
the snow melted, and the Parsonage was
saved, but the Fjeld King had disappeared,
and no one is quite sure, but everybody
imagines that he still lives and reigns in
Sampo Lappelill thanked the kind Priest,
and begged of him to lend him a" pulka."
Then Sampo harnessed the Reindeer with
the golden horns to the sledge, and thus
he drove home to his parents at Aimio. But
how Sampo afterwards became a great
man, and fed his Reindeer with golden oats
out of a silver trough, is another story,
which would be too long to relate now.
It is said that the Lapps no longer
delay, as they once used to do, bringing
their children to be baptized, for who
would willingly see his child eaten up by
the Fjeld King ? Sampo Lappelill knows
what that means. He knows what is
going on when the thunder rolls through
IN the time of Charles XII. there lived in
the north of Finland a poor cowboy whose
name was Sikku. It ought to have been
Sixtus, but the Finnish tongue can only
wag in a certain way, so that it usually
reconstructs names after its own manner,
according as it can best pronounce them.
Sikku was very poor. He had neither
cap, shirt, nor shoes, but that did not in
the least trouble him, for he was always
happy and contented, and when he herded
the cows at the foot of Sipuri Mountain,
he sang songs from morn to night, blew
his bark horn, and his greatest pleasure
was hearing the mountain echoes mimic
him. Sikku had an old clasp-knife; that
was his wealth, and in addition he had a
58 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
comrade by name Kettu, which means in
Finnish fox," although he really was a
dog; a long-nosed, long-tailed, yellow cur,
faithful and ferocious. The two friends
kept together in joy and sorrow; Kettu
drove in the cows, Kettu watched while
Sikku took his mid-day nap, and Sikku
shared with Kettu the hard bread which
was their usual breakfast and dinner.
Besides the bread, they feasted every day
on an excellent soup of clear spring-water,
and almost every day they had a nice
dessert : strawberries, cloudberries, blae-
berries, whortleberries, hagberries, or
rowan-berries, according to the time of
summer. But those dainties Kettu de-
spised. Sikku thought himself a prince in
the forest, but when the evenings became
rainy and cold, he began to long for the
porridge-pot. Oh, how comforting was
the hot pan, which he used to scrape to
get off any scraps that he could find on the
edge of it, but Kettu only licked the ladle
and stole Pussy-cat's milk out of the broken
dish, which stood on the floor by the water-
tub. This seldom happened without a
battle. The farmer in Anttila farm was
miserly, and his wife mean, but what did
that matter to Sikku ?-he had liberty.
He alone was responsible for the fifteen
cows coming safely back to the farm to be
milked every evening.
For a time all went well, and no other
care in the world had Sikku.
One day he climbed to the top of the
highest hill, while Kettu looked after the
cows in the valley. There was a splendid
view over forests, bogs, and small lakes,
but not a single house was to be seen.
Never in his life had Sikku thought the
world was so big. His heart glowed as he
saw the sun glittering in the lakes, amid
the dark green woods, and as the clouds
floated across the sky, one after another
sparkled and vanished into shade, and
gleamed anew on some other part. Sikku
sang and blew his bark horn between
times, which sounded so musical among
60 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
the mountains that it seemed to change
into a song:
"Sipuri Mountain, too-too !
In the whole world no boy is found
Who herds his cows upon such a ground !
Too-too Too-too !
While he sang, there suddenly stood
before him on the mountain a little hunch-
backed old woman, who said to him :
"All that you see shall be yours, if you
will be my boy and obey me."
Oh, ho! said Sikku, as he looked at
the old woman, whom he recognised-she
was the witch from the neighboring
village of Allis.
"Give' me the white cow Kimmo!"
said the old woman, and say when you go
home that the wolves devoured her."
Sikku opened his eyes wide, and
No I'm not so foolish as that."
Then you will have yourself to blame,"
said the old woman. And with that she
hopped like a crow down the mountain-side.
Kettu was heard barking in the valley.
Sikku ran down, and found that Kimmo
had sunk in the bog, so that only her
horns were to be seen above the quagmire.
Sikku tried to drag her out, but his
strength was not sufficient, and when he
had pulled and pulled till he was tired, he
had to go home with the fourteen cows.
The bell-cow, Mansikka, lowed, Kettu
howled, Sikku related the misfortune, got
a beating, and was sent next day to the
valley without any food.
This time he did not sing, but sat,
miserable and hungry, at the foot of the
Then there came to him the bearded
wizard from Allis, and said:
"Give me the black cow, Musikka-
say that wolves devoured her-and I will
give you all the land you see from Sipuri
62 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
"No! I am not so foolish," answered
Then you will have yourself to blame,"
said the wizard, and with that he turned
a somersault down the mountain.
Kettu began to bark, Sikku rushed
forward, and found Musikka dead on the
forest slope. She had eaten some poison-
ous plant, and would never walk again.
Sikku wept. He brought some water
from the spring in a bit of bark, and
dashed it over Musikka's head, but that did
no good. He had to go home with the
thirteen cows and tell of the accident.
This time he was shut up three days in
the cellar without food.
On the fourth day he was sent again to
the valley with the thirteen cows, and got
a bag of provisions. Being hungry, he
opened his bag when he reached the
entrance to the field, but found only a
grey stone in it.
Sikku drove the cows to the mountain,
ate some wild berries which he found in
the forest, and sat down dejectedly on a
stump beside the animals, for fear any
further misfortune should happen.
Then there appeared the pretty little fairy
maid from Allis, who always has a squint,
who held out to him a crumbly wheaten
loaf, patted his thin cheeks, and said:
"Give me the red cow Mansikka, and
say when you go home that the bears
devoured her, then you shall have the
wheaten loaf and all the land you can see
from Sipuri Mountain."
Sikku was so hungry that he could
have devoured a loaf of moss. He looked
at the wheaten loaf, he looked at the pretty
little fairy maid, and had to bite his tongue
for fear he should immediately answer
But the fairy maid laughed, and this
made Sikku angry.
"No !" said he; "I am not so foolish."
Well then, you have yourself to blame,"
said the fairy maid, and with that she
flapped like a magpie into the forest.
64 FAIR Y TALES FR OM FINLZAND.
Sikku feared a fresh disaster, and ran
to Mansikka, who had just been browsing
near him, and Mansikka lay full length on
the grass, a viper hung fast by her nose,
and in a short time she too was dead.
What did it avail that Sikku instantly
killed the viper? He had to go home
with only twelve cows, and tell of the
"What punishment do you think you
deserve ? said the enraged farmer.
"Whether would you choose to be put
into the boiler or to be thrown down
the deep well? "
I cannot help it," answered Sikku cry-
ing; "three times have I been promised
all the land seen from Sipuri Mountain if
I will lie and steal, but that I won't do."
Well," said the farmer, that is all my
land which you see from Sipuri Mountain,
and I promise to give it to you if, before
the next full moon, you drive into the field
nine good cows in the place of Kimmo,
Musikka, and Mansikka, which lie dead
upon the mountain. But what shall I do
to you now ? You must have some punish-
Bind him hand and foot, and leave him
at the topmost point of Sipuri Mountain,
and let him satisfy his hunger by gazing
at the view!" said the farmer's wife, who
could not forgive Sikku, for she missed
This suggestion pleased the farmer.
Sikku was bound hand and foot, and left
on the topmost peak of the mountain, and
everyone was forbidden to give him either
food or drink. The remaining twelve cows
were driven by another cowboy to graze
on the open ground of the farm far away
from the mountain. Sikku lay bound and
half dead with hunger. The woods smelt
sweet, the lakes glittered in the sunshine
between the fir branches. Evening drew
on, night came, the dew fell, the thrush
sang, the stars twinkled, the moon looked
down on the poor boy, and no one in the
world was the least concerned about him.
66 FAIR Y TALES FROM9f FINLAND.
But high above the woods, the lakes, the
dew, the thrush, and the stars, is One
who looks down on all the desolate ones
of earth. He saw even poor Sikku. God
sent a kind friend to him, and who could
it be but Kettu? Kettu might have
had porridge at home, Kettu might have
stolen his milk, as he was accustomed to
do, out of Pussy-cat's broken dish by the
water-tub, but instead of that Kettu ran,
hungry as he was, to the mountain, laid
himself down by Sikku's bound feet, and
licked his hands. This so comforted Sikku
that he was once more happy and contented,
and so they both fell asleep in the moonlight.
Now in the time of Charles XII. there
was a great war in the southern part of the
country. The northern part did not know
much about it, and all beyond the immense
forests remained in peace, when suddenly
there appeared an enemy's fleet on the sea
coast, and landed an army of soldiers, who
spread themselves over the country, ravag-
ing and plundering everywhere.
One of these troops reached Sikku's
part of the country, attacked, burned, and
plundered Anttila Farm, carried off all the
cattle, and took the farmer himself prisoner.
When this was done the enemy dispersed,
that they might proceed to do the same with
other villages. Some Cossacks were left be-
hind to guard the prisoners and stolen cattle,
until they should be taken on board ship.
Early in the morning Sikku was
awakened by Kettu biting a man in the
leg. Two savage-looking, bearded men had
climbed to the top of the mountain to have
a good outlook, and see where they might
now betake themselves. They found the
boy bound, and enemies though they were,
they had pity on him, loosed his fetters, gave
him bread out of their wallets, and carried
him off. At the foot of the mountain they
had left their horses tied to trees. One of
the men lifted the boy up beside him on to
the back of a horse, and chased Kettu away.
They set off at a gallop, and soon drew near
.to the shore of a vast ocean.
68 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
Here there was much booty and many
prisoners taken by the enemy, but as
the Cossacks were eager to get further
plunder, they had left six men to guard
the prisoners and the spoil, while the rest
Night approached, and the six were
afraid of being overpowered by the peas-
ants during the darkness; therefore they
entered a boat, took Sikku with them, and
rowed out to an island, so that they might
pass the night in safety; the cattle were
left to graze on the shore, and the prisoners,
as well as the six horses, were fast tied to
Sikku lay beside the Cossacks on the
desert island. The night was dark, the big
waves rolled against the white pebbles on
the beach, and the wind blew towards land.
Sikku lay awake and listened to the
slow regular breathing of the tired soldiers.
as they slept by his side. Five of them
were there, but the sixth was in the boat
as watch. Sikku sat up- softly and.
listened. One of the Cossacks spoke in
his sleep, and flung his arms about.
Sikku lay down again but could not rest.
In a short time he sat up again, and when
all was quiet he stepped over the slumbering
soldiers down to the boat. Here even the
watch was asleep, and slept so heavily that
he was never aware that Sikku shot out
the boat to sea, and let the wind drift them
back to terra firm.
The Cossack in the boat slept soundly.
He had ridden many miles; no wonder
that he slept like a log!
When Sikku felt the boat bump on the
shore, he climbed noiselessly out, took his
clasp-knife out of his pocket and cut the
prisoners' bonds. The Cossack still slept.
The prisoners could hardly realise their
deliverance. They followed Sikku and
bound their enemy in the boat with the
same rope from which they had just been
released. And now the Cossack awoke,
but too late he himself was now the
captive of his prisoners.
70 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
Kill him at once! Let us row to the
island and kill them all while they sleep "
called out one of those who had just been
No," answered Sikku, who recognized
his master's voice, "rather let us remove
their plunder and betake ourselves to a
place of safety "
"They have burned my farm and
carried off all that I possess!" sighed
They have loosed my fetters and
given me food," said Sikku, who seemed
suddenly to have become a man.
Most of the people agreed with Sikku.
Some rode off on the Cossacks' horses,
others drove the cattle to a hiding-place
in the forest, one and all took what they
could of the enemy's plunder, and Sikku
took his share. Some days after the
enemy set sail.
The peasants returned from the woods
and clefts of the mountains, where they
had sought refuge in the hour of danger.
Many came from their burned farms and
assembled at the church to consult with
each other what should now be done.
And what were they to do with the six
Cossack prisoners, for the five on the
island had also been captured?
Kill them at once," several again called
"No ; give them to Sikku !" said some
of the others; "he has caught them."
Sikku got the six prisoners, extracted
a promise from them that they would no
longer take part in the war against his
country, and let them go free to seek their
The farmer and his wife at Anttila
had taken shelter in a barn, which the
enemy in their haste had not burned.
"Ah," said he, "if we only had our fine
At the same time they saw a little bare-
headed, barefooted, shirtless boy driving,
with the help of a yellow dog, nine beautiful
cows down the hillside to the barn.
72 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
"Is not that Sikku and Kettu?" ex-
claimed the farmer.
"Are those not our cows?" shrieked
the farmer's wife.
Yes, it was Sikku and Kettu, and
the veritable cows from Anttila Farm,
which had been carried off by the enemy.
The Cossacks had killed three, nine were
left, and those Sikku had taken as his
share of the spoil.
Look, I am bringing you nine cows! "
Sikku called out, and he would like to
have waved his cap for joy, but he had
not got one.
"Bless me, is it really you?" shrieked
the farmer and his wife, in their delight
embracing Sikku and patting the cows.
Kettu had already vanished in the barn,
to see if by any chance Pussy-cat's broken
dish stood there by the water-tub. Pussy-
cat fuffed, and again there was war in the
"Are you hungry ?" said the farmer's wife
to Sikku. She had a guilty conscience.
"No; many thanks," said Sikku. It
is not yet full moon," he remarked after a
The farmer brought his hand slowly
down behind his long ears. He thought
differently of Sikku, and remembered his
"Listen now, Sikku," said he; "let
us make an agreement. What will you
do with so much land while you are so
young? Serve me faithfully for seven
years, and then I will fulfil my promise,
and you shall have all the land which you
can see from Sipuri Mountain.
"Agreed," said Sikku.
So Sikku served faithfully for seven
years on Anttila Farm, became big and
strong, bought a cap, shirt, and shoes,
married the farmer's daughter, the
winsome Greta, and with her got not
alone all the land to be seen from
Sipuri, but also the newly-built farm of
* Kettu and Pussy were both buried at
74 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
the foot of the mountain; but of the
Wizard nothing is known, except that there
is now a crow's nest at Allis, and folk say
the crows are not to be depended on.
THE SWALLOW FROM EGYPT
THE SWALLOW FROM
HAS anyone seen a little cottage close to
the road, the one with a yellow-painted
gate ? a little red house with white
window frames, and a little porch with
thatched roof? It looked so comfortable
that certainly nice people must live in it.
Just within the gate, close to the road,
stood a tall wide-spreading tree, whose
scent in Spring was so sweet that it filled
the whole neighbourhood, and where the
songs of birds were constantly heard.
To whom can this peaceful dwelling
belong, and what kind of strange, out-
landish tree is that which is never seen
elsewhere in the chilly North?
It is now many years since an old
woman lived there, who had three little
78 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
girls, of whom the eldest was called Ilia,
the middle one Milia, and the youngest
Emilia. What odd names the old woman
gave her little girls! What would she
have called the fourth had there been
It is not worth while to guess; sufficient
to know that the three girls were sweet,
obedient, good children, who never annoyed
their mother in any way. It would have
been the same had they been called Gras-
grina, Hallonmaska, andTakdroppal. The
name signifies nothing, and she is a little
goose who would cry because she was not
called Stina or Susanna. If only one is
good and kind, then one adorns the name.
In the dwelling there lived a fifth personage,
and that was a Swallow. She had a little
apartment to herself under the eaves, and
there she lived rent-free with her young
ones all through the Summer. When
Winter came she made long journeys, but
1 Grassgreen, Raspberry Grub, Roof Drop.
THE SWALLOW W FROM EGYPT. 79
she travelled neither by carriage nor
covered sledge, nor did she require to
pack her things in a knapsack or hat-box.
She travelled with the swiftness of an
arrow on her black shining wings, and I
should like to see the post-horse who could
attempt to cope with her. This happened
every year and at exactly the same time,
and yet no one said to the Swallow, "It is
time to start !" neither in Spring did anyone
say, "It is time to go home !" She knew it
without being told; the girls also knew that
she would return in Spring, and they all
loved the industrious beautiful bird. Who
would not care for a Swallow? The Swallow
is the jolliest little bird on God's green
earth, and whoever would harm a Swallow
deserves to be pecked by a crow and
eaten up by a hawk.
One day in the month of September,
just as the aspen and rowan were begin-
ning to turn yellow, and the clouds were
gathering in the heavens, the three girls
sat on the little bench in the porch, and
80 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
said to each other, This is the day the
Swallow starts !"
Qvirr, qvirr just what I am about to
do," twittered the Swallow, who had heard
the remark as she sat on the roof picking
up some hemp-seed for breakfast before
setting off on her journey.
But tell us, just once, Swallow, dear,"
said the girls, where do you fly to every
Autumn? where do you live during Winter?
what do you do in a foreign land? and who
shows you the way there and back ? "
Qvirr! what a lot of questions all at
once!" twittered the Swallow. Have you
never thought of Him who says to the
flowers in Spring 'Grow !' and to the grass
in the fields, Make the earth green!
It is the same tender voice of God which
says to the little birds in Autumn Start! '
and in Spring 'Come back !' And the little
birds are God's obedient children; they
hear His voice, and He shows them the
way through boundless space, over green
ands and stormy seas. We fly away in
THE SWALLOW FROM EGYPT. 81
Autumn when we hear the reminding voice
in our hearts: we leave our loved North,
and in a few days fly thousands of miles,
until we reach the distant South, to a land-
that is called Egypt."
Yes, yes," said the children; we
know about that country; it was there the
Child Jesus took refuge with His parents
from the cruelty of King Herod. It must
be a beautiful land "
Oh yes," said the Swallow; a beauti-
ful and blessed land! Heights glisten
with gold and precious stones, the rich
valleys are scented with countless roses,
and the waters teem with strange inhabi-
tants. You should see the lovely tree
where I live! Its leaves never die in
Winter; its flowers scent like those of a
paradise, and its fruit would be fit for a
king's table. On its branches I have built
my nest, close to the great river Nile, where
gold fish gleam at the water's edge; thence
I soar up into the blue vault of heaven,
across the burning desert, where lions
82 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
prowl and pant, and I fly over the moun-
tains of Senegambia where diamonds flash
in the sunlight out of the desolate rocks."
But why, dear Swallow, do you long in
Spring to return from that fragrant land ? "
Ah, that I cannot tell. In that region
there is no difference between Summer and
Winter, Spring and Autumn-there is only
the difference of rain and drought; but I
feel within me when it is Spring in the
North. I am seized with such a strange
longing, and yearn to see my dear, cosy
home in the far distance. I think of the
little lovely dwelling far, far away, under
whose roof I was born, where my mother
gave me the first corn, and where she
taught me to fly from twig to twig and
from roof to roof. Then I feel as if no
other land on earth were so wonderfully
beautiful nor so dear as that bleak land far
up in the snowy North, and when I think
of its young birches, its green hillocks and
its many clear water-mirrors,- Ah, never
would I exchange its red strawberry for
THE SWALLOW FROM EG YPT. 83
the golden fruit of a paradise, and rather
would I build my poor little nest under the
eaves of a hut than among Senegambia's
shimmering diamonds. How men must
love their native land, when even the
swallow of the air cannot forget her nest,
although thousands of miles away from it! "
"Yes, yes ;" said the girls ; "and that is
But I am forgetting my pressing
journey," rejoined the Swallow. "Would
you like me to bring you home some curi-
osity from Egypt ? "
I should like to have a diamond from
the mountain of Senegambia," said Ilia,
with beaming eyes.
"And I," said Milia, would like nothing
so much as a real gold fish from the Nile."
"And for me, Swallow dear, will you
bring home a little seed from the tree
where you live," timidly asked Emilia.
"Qvirr, qvirr," twittered the Swallow,
and off she flew.
After that came Autumn, and rain, and
84 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
slush, and preserving of fruit, and making
of meal puddings, and much else that
belongs to Autumn. And after that came
Winter and ice, and story-telling round the
fireside, and Christmas presents, and snow
men, and sledging, and much more that
belongs to Winter; but after that came
Spring again, with melting ice and singing
of birds, and bare fields, and little blue
flowers, and cuckoos in the woods, with
everything else which belongs to that
season. The long Winter had passed so
quickly that everyone was surprised.
Once more Ilia, Milia, and Emilia sat on
the little bench in the porch, and said to
"This is the day the Swallow returns! "
Qvirr qvirr! there she was, sitting on
the roof picking up some hayseeds, for the
journey had given her an appetite. Quickly
the three girls jumped up, and each threw
a kiss to her.
Have you brought what you promised?"'
THE SWALLOW PROM EGYPT. 85
Titterli !" twittered the Swallow, and
at the same moment there fell a large
glittering diamond into Ilia's apron. That
time, we may be sure, she did not fail to
catch. The diamond was as large as the
largest pea, its brilliancy was so dazzling
that one could scarcely look at it, and the
most crystal spring water was not clearer
than the rich lustre of that precious stone.
What it might have been worth in money
the girls never dreamed of. They would
have been rather astonished had they
known the value was reckoned at a hun-
dred thousand kroner.1
Look here, girls," shrieked the Swallow,
" why do you stand there gaping? Quick,
bring a basin of water for Milia's gold
fish! I easily carried the diamond under
my wing, but the fish has given me no end
of trouble to carry such a long way, for I
had to bring it in a folded fig-leaf, with a
1 A kroner is worth about is. i4d.
86 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
few drops of water in it, from the oasis of
Milia was not long in bringing a large
glass bowl, which was meant for fish to live
in. She was highly delighted; she thought it
much nicer to possess live gold than a dead
gem. Emilia waited silently and patiently.
She might very well trust that the Swallow
who had such a good memory would not
forget her, and in this she was not mistaken.
Catch !" twittered the Swallow, and at
the same moment dropped into Emilia's
open hand a little gray seed, not larger than
an ordinary apple pip, and then off she flew.
Full of curiosity, the other sisters came to
see what it was; and when they saw the little
ugly gray seed beside the diamond and the
gold fish, they laughed, and said : "Certainly
that is a fine gift to bring from Egypt!
Let us give the paltry seed to the hens for
breakfast; the Swallow has certainly made
a fool of you ; she must be only joking ; she
must surely have something better."
Emilia considered whether she should
THE SWALLOW FROM EG YPT 87
give the seed to the hens. No," thought
she, I will plant it in a pot and see what
will become of it. Perhaps I shall find
that I have got the best gift after all."
And now, children, you shall hear how
it fared with the three sisters and the three
Ilia, who got the costly, magnificent
diamond, could never look enough at it.
All through the day she sat and gazed at
it, and during the night she slept with it
under her pillow and saw it in her dreams.
She thought of nothing else, nor did she
care any longer for work or prayer, and so
became negligent, careless, and disobedient.
The worst of it all was, that when she grew
older, she thought herself enormously rich,
became conceited and vain, dressed in fine
clothes, and let it be understood that she
considered herself superior to other girls.
Because she was rich there were numbers
who flattered her. Ilia refused many offers
of marriage, and at last chose the most
genteel of her acquaintances to be her
88 FAIRY TALES FROM FINLAND.
husband. He was a distinguished lieute-
nant with blackened moustaches, gold lace
upon his collar, and a gold sword by his
side. For two years there were fine
doings in the young couple's house; they
gave splendid balls, and kept state like
little princes. But all that was done on
credit, with the fine diamond as security,
and so the day at last arrived when no one
would lend them any more money.
One fine morning there came a Town's
Officer, "begged pardon a thousand times
if he were troubling, he only wished a
small payment," and then took both the
diamond and all the rest of the grandeur.
Adieu to that splendour !
The lieutenant fled to America. Ilia
became very poor, and had to earn her living
by baking gingerbread and filling meal pud-
dings. From riches to poverty there leads
a wide open door which is called Vanity,
there is at all times much traffic through it.
What do you think happened to Milia?
She became a very poetical and senti-
THE SWALLOW FROM EGYPT. 89
mental young lady, who did nothing but
pet her gold fish, and constantly imagined
that she was ill. Sometimes it was con-
sumption, and sometimes 'hooping-cough.
She also read many novels, and could even
write verses, which read backwards. She
was so highly cultivated that she could
not do a single domestic task properly,
and so utterly lackadaisical that she wearied
One day the gold fish died, and Milia
was inconsolable to think that she had put
him in water, where, of course, he. was cer-
tain to drown at last. She now required
to have something else to amuse her, so
she got a lap-dog, which she named Tippe.
And Tippe soon became the same object
of devotion to her as had been the gold
fish. Tippe was sick, Tippe was nervous!
One day Tippe must have a tonic, and
another day cream and raspberry jam.
Tippe must sleep in the softest bed, and
Tippe must never go out for fear Tippe
should get a chill; and a worse-tempered
90 FAIR Y TALES FROM FINLAND.
cur than Tippe could not be found. On
such little trifles as these Milia wasted
the best part of a long life.
Perhaps some of our readers are wonder-
ing what happened to Emilia and her
little gray seed. This you shall .now hear.
After the seed had lain three months in
the pot, the centre leaves of a little light
green plant made their appearance. Then
Emilia turned a tumbler upside down over
it, and tended the plant as if it had been
a little child. The little flower-child did
not require anything to eat, but it required
to drink, and drink it got every morning
of the freshest spring water.
In six months the plant was so big that
it had to be moved into a larger pot, and
at the end of another half year it was
nearly six feet high. Then it was planted
outside, in the soft soil close to the road.
Emilia made a fence round the plant until
it grew bigger, and every winter she piled
up snow round its roots to protect it from
the frost. So after some years, out of