ENGLISH

The water-nix

DANSK

Havfruen


A little brother and sister were once playing by a well, and while they were thus playing, they both fell in. A water-nix lived down below, who said, "Now I have got you, now you shall work hard for me!" and carried them off with her. She gave the girl dirty tangled flax to spin, and she had to fetch water in a bucket with a hole in it, and the boy had to hew down a tree with a blunt axe, and they got nothing to eat but dumplings as hard as stones. Then at last the children became so impatient, that they waited until one Sunday, when the nix was at church, and ran away. But when church was over, the nix saw that the birds were flown, and followed them with great strides. The children saw her from afar, and the girl threw a brush behind her which formed an immense hill of bristles, with thousands and thousands of spikes, over which the nix was forced to scramble with great difficulty; at last, however, she got over. When the children saw this, the boy threw behind him a comb which made a great hill of combs with a thousand times a thousand teeth, but the nix managed to keep herself steady on them, and at last crossed over that. Then the girl threw behind her a looking-glass which formed a hill of mirrors, and was so slippery that it was impossible for the nix to cross it. Then she thought, "I will go home quickly and fetch my axe, and cut the hill of glass in half." Long before she returned, however, and had hewn through the glass, the children had escaped to a great distance, and the water-nix was obliged to betake herself to her well again.
Der var engang en lille dreng og en lille pige, som legede sammen nede ved havet, og de var så uforsigtige, at de begge to faldt i. Nede i havet kom en havfrue hen til dem og sagde: "Nu har jeg jer, nu skal I få lov til at bestille noget." Derpå gik hun af sted med dem og gav pigen noget uredt hør at spinde, og lod hende slæbe vand i en tønde. Drengen skulle fælde et træ med en stump økse, og de fik ikke andet at spise end stenhårde boller. Til sidst blev børnene lede og kede af det, og en dag, da havfruen var i kirke, flygtede de bort. Da havfruen kom hjem så hun, at fuglene var fløjet, og for af sted efter dem med lange skridt. Børnene så hende i lang afstand og pigen kastede en børste bagved sig. Den blev til et helt børstebjerg med tusinde og atter tusinde pigge, og det var meget besværligt for havfruen at klatre derover, men endelig lykkedes det dog. Da børnene så det, kastede drengen en kam bagved sig, og den blev til et stort kammebjerg med tusinde og atter tusinde tænder, men havfruen holdt sig fast i dem og slap til sidst over. Da kastede pigen et spejl bagved sig, og det blev til et spejlbjerg, der var så glat, at hun umuligt kunne komme over det. "Jeg må løbe hjem i en fart og hente min økse og hugge det itu," tænkte hun, men da hun kom tilbage og fik bjerget knust, var børnene for længe siden langt borte, og havfruen måtte igen dukke ned i vandet.





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