The Hill-man Invited To The Christening
Source: Folk-lore And Legends Scandinavian
The hill-people are excessively frightened during thunder. When,
therefore, they see bad weather coming on, they lose no time in getting
to the shelter of their hills. This terror is also the cause of their
not being able to endure the beating of a drum. They take it to be the
rolling of thunder. It is, therefore, a good recipe for banishing them
to beat a drum every day in the neighbourhood of their hills, for they
immediately pack up, and depart to some quieter residence.
A farmer lived once in great friendship and concord with a hill-man,
whose hill was in his lands. One time when his wife was about to have a
child, it gave him great perplexity to think that he could not well
avoid inviting the hill-man to the christening, which might, not
improbably, bring him into ill repute with the priest and the other
people of the village. He was going about pondering deeply, but in vain,
how he might get out of this dilemma, when it came into his head to ask
the advice of the boy that kept his pigs, who had a great head-piece,
and had often helped him before. The pig-boy instantly undertook to
arrange the matter with the hill-man in such a manner that he should not
only stay away without being offended, but, moreover, give a good
Accordingly, when it was night, he took a sack on his shoulder, went to
the hill-man's hill, knocked, and was admitted. He delivered his
message, gave his master's compliments, and requested the honour of his
company at the christening. The hill-man thanked him, and said--
"I think it is but right I should give you a christening present."
With these words he opened his money-chests, bidding the boy hold up his
sack while he poured money into it.
"Is there enough now?" said he, when he had put a good quantity into it.
"Many give more, few give less," replied the boy.
The hill-man once more fell to filling the sack, and again asked--
"Is there enough now?"
The boy lifted the sack a little off the ground to see if he was able to
carry any more, and then answered--
"It is about what most people give."
Upon this the hill-man emptied the whole chest into the bag, and once
"Is there enough now?"
The guardian of the pigs now saw that there was as much in the sack as
he would be able to carry, so he answered--
"No one gives more, most people give less."
"Come now," said the hill-man, "let us hear who else is to be at the
"Ah," said the boy, "we are to have a great many strangers and great
people. First and foremost, we are to have three priests and a bishop."
"Hem!" muttered the hill-man; "however, those gentlemen usually look
only after the eating and drinking; they will never take any notice of
me. Well, who else?"
"Then we have asked St. Peter and St. Paul."
"Hem! hem! However, there will be a bye-place for me behind the stove.
Well, and what then?"
"Then Our Lady herself is coming."
"Hem! hem! hem! However, guests of such high rank come late and go away
early. But tell me, my lad, what sort of music is it you are to have?"
"Music," said the boy, "why, we are to have drums."
"Drums!" repeated the troll, quite terrified. "No, no! Thank you. I
shall stay at home in that case. Give my best respects to your master,
and I thank him for the invitation, but I cannot come. I did but once go
out to take a little walk, and some people began to beat a drum. I
hurried home, and was but just got to my door when they flung the
drum-stick after me, and broke one of my shins. I have been lame of that
leg ever since, and I shall take good care in future to avoid that sort
So saying he helped the boy to put the sack on his back, once more
charging him to present his best respects to his master.
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