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Thursday, November 6, 2014

“Uh, my intestines!”

I recently stumbled across this somewhat peculiar little story from Hallingdal in the county of Buskerud, and thought I might give it a shot translating it. It is quite morbid, to say the least, yet gives an interesting reminder that the folklore originally was full of gallows humor – many of the stories published even today are highly embellished. This one though, is not:
There once was a maid who went down to the stream to flush the intestines of a pig she were to cook for dinner. It was just before Christmas, and bitterly cold – so cold she got chilblains on both hands and feet, and she ran to the kitchen-house to warm up.
When she came back, dogs had passed by the stream and eaten the intestines she had left there. The girl was terribly distressed, and scared, because her mother used to shout at her for the smallest things.

But the girl knew what to do. Up in the sauna, a man had recently hung himself. So she hurried up there, took out his guts and washed them in the stream.

Later that night though, it didn’t matter what she did - as soon as darkness came creeping, she heard a rough, cold voice, peeping in from the shadows:

"Uh, my intestines! Uh, my intestines! "It said.

(Whoever tells this story should stand behind whoever is listening, and wail into his ear: “You took my intestines!” Simultaneously grasp him tightly around the waist with both hands.)

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