The raven



There was once upon a time a Queen who had a little daughter who was still so young that she had to be carried. One day the child was naughty, and the mother might say what she liked, but the child would not be quiet. Then she became impatient, and as the ravens were flying about the palace, she opened the window and said, "I wish you were a raven and would fly away, and then I should have some rest." Scarcely had she spoken the words, before the child was changed into a raven, and flew from her arms out of the window. It flew into a dark forest, and stayed in it a long time, and the parents heard nothing of their child. Then one day a man was on his way through this forest and heard the raven crying, and followed the voice, and when he came nearer, the bird said, "I am a king's daughter by birth, and am bewitched, but thou canst set me free." - "What am I to do," asked he. She said, "Go further into the forest, and thou wilt find a house, wherein sits an aged woman, who will offer thee meat and drink, but you must accept nothing, for if you eatest and drinkest anything, thou wilt fall into a sleep, and then thou wilt not be able to deliver me. In the garden behind the house there is a great heap of tan, and on this thou shalt stand and wait for me. For three days I will come every afternoon at two o'clock in a carriage. On the first day four white horses will be harnessed to it, then four chestnut horses, and lastly four black ones; but if thou art not awake, but sleeping, I shall not be set free." The man promised to do everything that she desired, but the raven said, alas, "I know already that thou wilt not deliver me; thou wilt accept something from the woman." Then the man once more promised that he would certainly not touch anything either to eat or to drink. But when he entered the house the old woman came to him and said, "Poor man, how faint you are; come and refresh yourself; eat and drink." - "No," said the man, "I will not eat or drink." She, however, let him have no peace, and said, "If you will not eat, take one drink out of the glass; one is nothing." Then he let himself be persuaded, and drank. Shortly before two o'clock in the afternoon he went into the garden to the tan heap to wait for the raven. As he was standing there, his weariness all at once became so great that he could not struggle against it, and lay down for a short time, but he was determined not to go to sleep. Hardly, however, had he lain down, than his eyes closed of their own accord, and he fell asleep and slept so soundly that nothing in the world could have aroused him. At two o'clock the raven came driving up with four white horses, but she was already in deep grief and said, "I know he is asleep." And when she came into the garden, he was indeed lying there asleep on the heap of tan. She alighted from the carriage, went to him, shook him, and called him, but he did not awake. Next day about noon, the old woman came again and brought him food and drink, but he would not take any of it. But she let him have no rest and persuaded him until at length he again took one drink out of the glass. Towards two o'clock he went into the garden to the tan heap to wait for the raven, but all at once felt such a great weariness that his limbs would no longer support him. He could not help himself, and was forced to lie down, and fell into a heavy sleep. When the raven drove up with four brown horses, she was already full of grief, and said, "I know he is asleep." She went to him, but there he lay sleeping, and there was no wakening him. Next day the old woman asked what was the meaning of this? He was neither eating nor drinking anything; did he want to die? He replied, "I am not allowed to eat or drink, and will not do so." But she set a dish with food, and a glass with wine before him, and when he smelt it he could not resist, and swallowed a deep draught. When the time came, he went out into the garden to the heap of tan, and waited for the King's daughter; but he became still more weary than on the day before, and lay down and slept as soundly as if he had been a stone. At two o'clock the raven came with four black horses, and the coachman and everything else was black. She was already in the deepest grief, and said, "I know that he is asleep and cannot deliver me." When she came to him, there he was lying fast asleep. She shook him and called him, but she could not waken him. Then she laid a loaf beside him, and after that a piece of meat, and thirdly a bottle of wine, and he might consume as much of all of them as he liked, but they would never grow less. After this she took a gold ring from her finger, and put it on his, and her name was graven on it. Lastly, she laid a letter beside him wherein was written what she had given him, and that none of the things would ever grow less; and in it was also written, "I see right well that here you will never be able to deliver me, but if thou art still willing to deliver me, come to the golden castle of Stromberg; it lies in thy power, of that I am certain." And when she had given him all these things, she seated herself in her carriage, and drove to the golden castle of Stromberg.
When the man awoke and saw that he had slept, he was sad at heart, and said, "She has certainly driven by, and I have not set her free." Then he perceived the things which were lying beside him, and read the letter wherein was written how everything had happened. So he arose and went away, intending to go to the golden castle of Stromberg, but he did not know where it was. After he had walked about the world for a long time, he entered into a dark forest, and walked for fourteen days, and still could not find his way out. Then it was once more evening, and he was so tired that he lay down in a thicket and fell asleep. Next day he went onwards, and in the evening, as he was again about to lie down beneath some bushes, he heard such a howling and crying that he could not go to sleep. And at the time when people light the candles, he saw one glimmering, and arose and went towards it. Then he came to a house which seemed very small, for in front of it a great giant was standing. He thought to himself, "If I go in, and the giant sees me, it will very likely cost me my life."

At length he ventured it and went in. When the giant saw him, he said, "It is well that thou comest, for it is long since I have eaten; I will at once eat thee for my supper." - "I'd rather you would leave that alone," said the man, "I do not like to be eaten; but if thou hast any desire to eat, I have quite enough here to satisfy thee." - "If that be true," said the giant, "thou mayst be easy, I was only going to devour thee because I had nothing else." Then they went, and sat down to the table, and the man took out the bread, wine, and meat which would never come to an end. "This pleases me well," said the giant, and ate to his heart's content. Then the man said to him, Canst thou tell me where the golden castle of Stromberg is?" The giant said, "I will look at my map; all the towns, and villages, and houses are to be found on it." He brought out the map which he had in the room and looked for the castle, but it was not to be found on it. "It's no matter!" said he, "I have some still larger maps in my cupboard upstairs, and we will look in them." But there, too, it was in vain. The man now wanted to go onwards, but the giant begged him to wait a few days longer until his brother, who had gone out to bring some provisions, came home. When the brother came home they inquired about the golden castle of Stromberg. He replied, "When I have eaten and have had enough, I will look in the map." Then he went with them up to his chamber, and they searched in his map, but could not find it. Then he brought out still older maps, and they never rested until they found the golden castle of Stromberg, but it was many thousand miles away. "How am I to get there?" asked the man. The giant said, "I have two hours' time, during which I will carry you into the neighbourhood, but after that I must be at home to suckle the child that we have." So the giant carried the man to about a hundred leagues from the castle, and said, "Thou canst very well walk the rest of the way alone." And he turned back, but the man went onwards day and night, until at length he came to the golden castle of Stromberg. It stood on a glass-mountain, and the bewitched maiden drove in her carriage round the castle, and then went inside it. He rejoiced when he saw her and wanted to climb up to her, but when he began to do so he always slipped down the glass again. And when he saw that he could not reach her, he was filled with trouble, and said to himself, "I will stay down here below, and wait for her." So he built himself a hut and stayed in it for a whole year, and every day saw the King's daughter driving about above, but never could go to her. Then one day he saw from his hut three robbers who were beating each other, and cried to them, "God be with ye!" They stopped when they heard the cry, but as they saw no one, they once more began to beat each other, and that too most dangerously. So he again cried, "God be with ye!" Again they stopped, looked round about, but as they saw no one they went on beating each other. Then he cried for the third time, "God be with ye," and thought, "I must see what these three are about," and went thither and asked why they were beating each other so furiously. One of them said that he found a stick, and that when he struck a door with it, that door would spring open. The next said that he had found a mantle, and that whenever he put it on, he was invisible, but the third said he had found a horse on which a man could ride everywhere, even up the glass-mountain. And now they did not know whether they ought to have these things in common, or whether they ought to divide them. Then the man said, "I will give you something in exchange for these three things. Money indeed have I not, but I have other things of more value; but first I must try yours to see if you have told the truth." Then they put him on the horse, threw the mantle round him, and gave him the stick in his hand, and when he had all these things they were no longer able to see him. So he gave them some vigorous blows and cried, "Now, vagabonds, you have got what you deserve, are you satisfied?" And he rode up the glass-mountain, but when he came in front of the castle at the top, it was shut. Then he struck the door with his stick, and it sprang open immediately. He went in and ascended the stairs until he came to the hall where the maiden was sitting with a golden cup full of wine before her. She, however, could not see him because he had the mantle on. And when he came up to her, he drew from his finger the ring which she had given him, and threw it into the cup so that it rang. Then she cried, "That is my ring, so the man who is to set me free must be here." They searched the whole castle and did not find him, but he had gone out, and had seated himself on the horse and thrown off the mantle. When they came to the door, they saw him and cried aloud in their delight.* Then he alighted and took the King's daughter in his arms, but she kissed him and said, "Now hast thou set me free, and to-morrow we will celebrate our wedding."
Der var engang en dronning, som havde en datter. Hun var endnu ganske lille og måtte bæres på armen. En dag var hun uartig, og moderen kunne aldeles ikke få hende til at være stille, og til sidst tabte hun tålmodigheden. Rundt om slottet fløj en mængde ravne, og dronningen lukkede vinduet op og sagde vredt: "Gid du var en ravn og fløj din vej, så havde jeg da fred." I samme øjeblik blev barnet forvandlet til en ravn og fløj ud af vinduet og ind i en mørk skov, hvor den blev længe, uden at forældrene hørte noget om den. Engang da en mand gik gennem skoven, hørte han ravnen råbe, og da han gik efter lyden, og kom hen til den, sagde den: "Jeg er en fortryllet prinsesse. Du kan frelse mig." - "Hvad skal jeg gøre?" spurgte han. "Gå videre ind i skoven, til du kommer til et hus," svarede ravnen, "der bor en gammel kone, og hun vil give dig mad, men du må ikke tage imod det, for hvis du spiser eller drikker noget, falder du i en dyb søvn og kan ikke frelse mig. I haven bagved huset er der en stor barkbunke, der skal du stå og vente på mig. Tre dage i træk kommer jeg hver dag klokken to i en vogn, der er forspændt først med fire hvide, så med fire røde og den tredie dag med fire sorte heste, og hvis du så ikke er vågen, bliver jeg ikke frelst." Manden lovede at gøre, som hun bad, men ravnen rystede på hovedet. "Du frelser mig såmænd ikke," sagde den, "du spiser nok noget hos konen." Manden lovede endnu engang, at han hverken ville røre mad eller drikke. Da han kom til huset, kom den gamle kone ud til ham og sagde: " Hvor I ser træt ud, stakkels mand. Kom ind og hvil jer og få noget at spise." - "Nej, tak, jeg skal ikke have noget," sagde han. Men hun blev ved at plage ham. "Ja, ja, når I ikke vil spise noget, så tag dog i det mindste en slurk af dette glas. En gang er ingen gang," og så lod han sig overtale til at drikke. Om eftermiddagen klokken to gik han ud i haven på barkbunken for at vente på ravnen. Mens han stod der, blev han pludselig overvældet af en uimodståelig træthed og lagde sig lidt ned, men det var ikke hans mening at sove. Men næppe havde han lagt sig, før han faldt i søvn og sov så fast, at intet i verden kunne have vækket ham. Klokken to kom ravnen kørende med fire hvide heste og sagde bedrøvet: "Jeg ved jo nok, at han sover," og da den kom ind i haven, lå han også på barkbunken og sov. Den gik ud af vognen og ruskede i ham, men han vågnede ikke. Den næste dag kom den gamle igen ved middagstid med mad og drikke, men han ville ikke have noget. Til sidst lod han sig dog overtale til at tage en slurk af glasset. Lidt før klokken to gik han ud i haven på barkbunken for at vente på ravnen, men pludselig blev han så træt, at han ikke kunne stå på benene. Der var ikke andet for, han måtte lægge sig ned, og straks faldt han i en dyb søvn. Ravnen kom kørende med sine fire røde heste, men den tænkte bedrøvet: "Jeg ved jo, at han sover," og da den kom ind i haven lå han der og sov og var ikke til at få vækket. Næste dag spurgte den gamle kone, om det var hans mening at tage livet af sig, siden han hverken spiste eller drak. "Jeg hverken vil eller tør tage noget," sagde han. Hun stillede maden og vinen hen foran ham, og da han mærkede lugten, kunne han ikke modstå, men tog et ordentligt drag. På sædvanlig tid gik han ud i haven for at vente på prinsessen, men han blev endnu mere træt, end han plejede, lagde sig ned og sov straks så fast som en sten. Klokken to kom ravnen med fire sorte heste, og hele vognen var betrukket med sort. Hun var meget bedrøvet og tænkte: "Han sover og kan ikke frelse mig, jeg ved det jo." Da hun kom ind i haven lå han og sov, og hvor meget hun end ruskede i ham og kaldte på ham, kunne hun ikke få ham vågen. Da lagde hun et brød, et stykke kød og en flaske vin ved siden af ham, og han kunne tage så meget af det, han ville, der blev dog ikke mindre. Derpå tog hun en guldring med sit navn af sin finger og gav ham den på. Endelig lagde hun et brev ved siden af ham, og deri stod, hvad hun havde givet ham, og at det aldrig ville blive spist op. "Jeg indser nok, at du ikke frelser mig her," stod der videre, "men hvis du alligevel vil prøve derpå, så kom til det gyldne slot Strømbjerg, jeg ved, at du kan."

Da manden vågnede og så, at han havde sovet, blev han meget bedrøvet og sagde: "Nu er hun nok kørt forbi, og jeg har ikke frelst hende." Da fik han øje på det, som lå ved siden af ham, og han læste nu brevet, hvori der stod, hvor det hele var kommet fra. Han anede ikke, hvor det gyldne slot lå, men stod straks op og begav sig på vej. Han flakkede længe omkring i verden, og engang kom han ind i en mørk skov og gik fjorten dagen uden at kunne finde ud igen. En aften var han så træt, at han lagde sig under en busk og faldt i søvn. Næste dag gik han videre, men da han om aftenen igen ville krybe ned under en busk, hørte han en hylen og jamren, så han slet ikke kunne falde i søvn. Da det blev så mørkt, at folk begyndte at tænde lys, så han noget blinke i det fjerne, stod op og gik i den reming. Han kom da til et hus, der så ganske lille ud, fordi der stod en kæmpe udenfor. "Hvis jeg går derhen, og kæmpen får øje på mig, er det vel ude med mig," tænkte han, men til sidst tog han alligevel mod til sig og trådte frem. Da kæmpen så ham, sagde han: "Det passer godt. Det er så længe siden, jeg har spist noget. Nu æder jeg dig til aftensmad." - "Lad hellere være," sagde manden, "jeg har ikke meget lyst til at blive ædt. Hvis du vil have noget at spise, har jeg nok til, at du kan blive mæt." - "Hvis det er sandt, skal du ikke være bange," sagde kæmpen, "jeg ville bare spise dig, fordi jeg ikke havde noget andet." De satte sig nu til bords, og manden tog brødet, vinen og kødet frem, som ikke kunne spises op. "Det kan jeg lide," sagde kæmpen og spiste af hjertenslyst. "Kan du ikke sige mig, hvor det gyldne slot Strømbjerg er," spurgte manden. "Nu skal jeg se efter på mit landkort," sagde kæmpen, "der står alle byer og landsbyer og huse." Han hentede nu kortet inde fra stuen, men slottet stod ikke derpå. "Det gør ikke noget," sagde han, "jeg har et oppe i skabet, der er meget større, det ser vi på." Men der stod det heller ikke. Manden ville nu gå videre, men kæmpen bad ham vente et par dage, til hans bror kom hjem, han var gået ud for at hente levnedsmidler. Da broderen kom, spurgte de, om han vidste, hvor slottet lå. "Lad mig først spise mig mæt, så skal jeg se på kortet," svarede han. Han tog dem så med op i sit værelse og de ledte og ledte på hans landkort, men kunne ikke finde det. Så tog han nogle gamle kort og de blev ved at lede, til de endelig fandt slottet, men det lå mange tusind mile borte. "Hvordan skal jeg komme derhen?" spurgte manden. "Jeg har to timer ledig nu," sagde kæmpen, "så jeg skal bære dig hen i nærheden, men så må jeg hjem igen og give vores barn die." Han gik nu af sted med manden til de var omtrent hundrede timers gang fra slottet. "Resten af vejen kan du vel nok gå alene," sagde han og vendte om, manden gik nu dag og nat, til han kom til det gyldne slot Strømbjerg.

Det stod oppe på et glasbjerg, og han så den fortryllede prinsesse først køre rundt om slottet og så ind i det. Han blev meget glad ved at se hende og ville skynde sig op til hende, men hvordan han end bar sig ad, gled han hele tiden ned ad glasset. Da han mærkede, at han ikke kunne komme derop, tænkte han bedrøvet: " Så bliver jeg hernede og venter på hende." Han byggede sig nu en hytte og sad der et helt år. Hver dag så han prinsessen køre rundt om slottet, men han kunne ikke komme op til hende. En dag da han sad i sin hytte, så han tre røvere, der sloges, og råbte til dem: "Gud være med jer." Da de hørte det, holdt de op med at slås, men da de ikke så nogen, begyndte de igen, og det så helt farligt ud. "Gud være med jer," råbte han igen. "Det er bedst, jeg får at vide, hvad der er i vejen," tænkte han, og gik hen og spurgte, hvorfor de sloges. Den ene fortalte da, at han havde fundet en stok, og når man slog med den på en dør, sprang døren op, den anden havde fundet en kappe, der gjorde den, som havde den på, usynlig, og den tredie havde fundet en hest, der kunne ride overalt, også op ad glasbjerget. De vidste nu ikke, om de skulle være fælles om det, eller om de skulle skilles. "Jeg vil gerne give eder noget for de tre ting," sagde manden, "ganske vist har jeg ikke penge, men jeg har andre sager, som er meget mere værd. Men lad mig først prøve om det er sandt, hvad I siger." De lod ham nu sætte sig op på hesten, gav ham stokken i hånden og hængte kappen om ham, og så kunne de ikke se ham mere. Han gav dem nu et ordentligt slag og råbte: "Der har I, hvad der tilkommer jer, I landstrygere, er I så tilfreds." Så red han op ad bjerget, og da han kom til slottet, var porten låst, men sprang straks op, da han slog på den med stokken. Han gik ind i slottet, op ad en trappe og kom ind i en sal, hvor prinsessen sad med et guldbæger med vin foran sig, men hun kunne jo ikke se ham, for han havde kappen på. Da han kom hen til hende, tog han den ring, hun havde givet ham, af ringeren og kastede den ned i bægeret, så det klang. "Det er min ring," råbte hun, "så er min redningsmand her også." Hun søgte i hele slottet, men kunne ikke finde ham. Han var imidlertid gået udenfor, havde sat sig på hesten og taget kappen af. Da hun kom til porten, så hun ham og blev ude af sig selv af glæde. Han steg nu af hesten, tog hende i sine arme, og hun kyssede ham og sagde: "Nu har du frelst mig. I morgen fejrer vi vort bryllup."

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