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Popular Tales from the Norse by  George Webbe Dasent


 

 

THE COCK AND HEN THAT WENT TO THE DOVREFELL

ONCE on a time there was a hen that had flown up, and perched on an oak-tree for the night. When the night came, she dreamed that unless she got to the Dovrefell, the world would come to an end. So that very minute, she jumped down, and set out on her way. When she had walked a bit she met a Cock.

"Good day, Cocky-Locky," said the Hen.

"Good day, Henny-Penny," said the Cock; "whither away so early?"

[354] "Oh, I'm going to the Dovrefell, that the world mayn't come to an end," said the Hen.

"Who told you that, Henny-Penny?" asked the Cock.

"I sat in the oak and dreamt it last night," said the Hen.

"I'll go with you," said the Cock.

Well, they walked on a good bit, and then they met a Duck.

"Good day, Ducky-Lucky," said the Cock.

"Good day, Cocky-Locky," said the Duck; "whither away so early?"

"Oh, I'm going to the Dovrefell, that the world mayn't come to an end," said the Cock.

"Who told you that, Cocky-Locky?"

"Henny-Penny," said the Cock.

"Who told you that, Henny-Penny?" asked the Duck.

"I sat in the oak and dreamt it last night," said the Hen.

"I'll go with you", said the Duck.

So they went off together, and after a bit they met a Goose.

"Good day, Goosey-Poosey," said the Duck.

"Good day, Ducky-Lucky," said the Goose; "whither away so early?"

"I'm going to the Dovrefell, that the world mayn't come to an end," said the Duck.

"Who told you that, Ducky-Lucky?" asked the Goose.

"Cocky-Locky."

"Who told you that, Cocky-Locky?"

"Henny-Penny."

"How do you know that, Henny-Penny?" said the Goose.

[355] "I sat in the oak and dreamt it last night Goosey-Poosey," said the Hen.

"I'll go with you," said the Goose.

Now when they had all walked along for a bit, a Fox met them.

"Good day, Foxy-Cocksy," said the Goose.

"Good day, Goosey-Poosey."

"Whither away, Foxy-Cocksy?"

"Whither away yourself, Goosey-Poosey?"

"I'm going to the Dovrefell, that the world mayn't come to an end," said the Goose.

"Who told you that, Goosey-Poosey?" asked the Fox.

"Ducky-Lucky."

"Who told you that, Ducky-Lucky?"

"Cocky-Locky."

"Who told you that, Cocky-Locky?"

"Henny-Penny."

"How do you know that, Henny-Penny?"

"I sat in the oak and dreamt last night, that if we don't get to the Dovrefell, the world will come to an end," said the Hen.

"Stuff and nonsense," said the Fox; "the world won't come to an end if you don't go thither. No; come home with me to my earth. That's far better. For it's warm and jolly there."

Well, they went home with the Fox to his earth, and when they got in, the Fox laid on lots of fuel, so that they all got very sleepy.

The Duck and the Goose, they settled themselves down in a corner, but the Cock and Hen flew up on a post. So when the Goose and Duck were well asleep, the Fox took [356] the Goose and laid him on the embers, and roasted him. The Hen smelt the strong roast-meat, and sprang up to a higher peg, and said, half asleep—

"Faugh, what a nasty smell!

What a nasty smell!"

"Oh, stuff," said the Fox; "it's only the smoke driven down the chimney; go to sleep again, and hold your tongue."

So the Hen went off to sleep again.

Now the Fox had hardly got the Goose well down his throat, before he did the very same with the Duck. He took and laid him on the embers, and roasted him for a dainty bit.

Then the Hen woke up again, and sprang up to a higher peg still.

"Faugh, what a nasty smell!

What a nasty smell!"

she said again, and then she got her eyes open, and came to see how the Fox had eaten both the twain, Goose and Duck; so she flew up to the highest peg of all, and perched there, and peeped up through the chimney.

"Nay, nay; just see what a lovely lot of geese flying yonder," she said to the Fox.

Out ran Reynard to fetch a fat roast. But while he was gone, the Hen woke up the Cock, and told him how it had gone with Goosey-Poosey and Ducky-Lucky; and so Cocky-Locky and Henny-Penny flew out through the chimney, and if they hadn't got to the Dovrefell, it surely would have been all over with the world.


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