Sometimes reading footnotes in Norwegian folktales books is like finding treasures. The footnotes usually refers to other variantions or other stories collected. These stories, could maybe hardly be called stories, as there are only fragments or skeletons of stories. But an experienced storyteller will easily read and create a coherent narrative out of them. So, from that point of view, these fragments are treasures.

I thought I’d share a few of these half-finished stories. The first is rather cruel. It was written in 1880 by a son who heard his father tell it. There once was a girl who was getting married, but she would only marry a man who had red hair and a blue nose. After they were married, they went for a walk. They walked past the three churches and the man walked in and was staying long in all. When he was in the third church, she looked in to see what he was doing. He ate a corpse. Back home, he asked her if she had seen anything, and she said that she had seen a man who eating a corpse. Three nights they went for a walk in the woods, the third night he killed her and ate her up. The end gives the story a comic flavour.

The next draft is an exciting beginning of varianten of Whitebear King Valemon or Beauty and the Beast. It is as follows: A king was out hunting. There he met a wolf who suggested that they should play cards. If the king won he would get a tree that shone like the sun, if the the wolf won he would get the king’s daughter. The King was so afraid for his daughter that he could not bear if it was a fly on her. King won. But this was repeated and the wolf won the princess …

The third is very fragmented. But it has a picture that makes it interesting. There are variations of the story, so the beginning can be used in another context. A man had wealth, but no son. Finally he decided to forge a son. One evening he had completed a human form. ”Now it only lacks the life”, thought the man. In the morning the son was standing working. His son was strong and had to eat a lot of food. The father could not have him at home anymore, so his son became a soldier.

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