Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Asbjørnsen & Moe - 1841

Translated into English
  by George Dasent - 1859

Original title (Norwegian):
Skrinet med det rare i

Country of origin: Norway

Story type: Unfinished tales (ATU 2250)


English - aligned

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The Box With Something Pretty In It

Asbjørnsen & Moe / George Dasent

Once on a time there was a little boy who was out walking on the road, and when he had walked a bit he found a box.

'I am sure there must be something pretty in this box,' he said to himself; but however much he turned it, and however much he twisted it, he was not able to get it open.

But when he had walked a bit farther, he found a little tiny key. Then he got tired and sat down, and all at once he thought what fun it would be if the key fitted the box, for it had a little key-hole in it. So he took the little key out of his pocket, and then he blew first into the pipe of the key, and afterwards into the key-hole, and then he put the key into the key-hole and turned it. 'Snap' it went within the lock; and when he tried the hasp, the box was open.

But can you guess what there was in the box? Why a cow's tail; and if the cow's tail had been longer, this story would have been longer too.