A Happy Boy
His name was Oyvind, and he cried when he was born. But no sooner did he sit
up on his mother's lap than he laughed, and when the candle was lit in the
evening the room rang with his laughter, but he cried when he was not allowed to
"Something remarkable will come of that boy!" said the mother.
A barren cliff, not a very high one, though, overhung the house where he was
born; fir and birch looked down upon the roof, the bird-cherry strewed flowers
over it. And on the roof was a little goat belonging to Oyvind; it was kept there
that it might not wander away, and Oyvind bore leaves and grass up to it. One
fine day the goat leaped down and was off to the cliff; it went straight up and
soon stood where it had never been before. Oyvind did not see the goat when he
came out in the afternoon, and thought at once of the fox. He grew hot all over,
and gazing about him, cried,--
"Ba-a-a-a!" answered the goat, from the brow of the hill, putting its head on one
side and peering down.
At the side of the goat there was kneeling a little girl.
"Is this goat yours?" asked she.
Oyvind opened wide his mouth and eyes, thrust both hands into his pants and
"Who are you?"
"I am Marit, mother's young one, father's fiddle, the hulder of the house,
granddaughter to Ola Nordistuen of the Heidegards, four years old in the autumn,
two days after the frost nights--I am!"
"Is that who you are?" cried he, drawing a long breath, for he had not ventured to
take one while she was speaking.
"Is this goat yours?" she again inquired.
"Ye-es!" replied he, raising his eyes.
"I have taken such a liking to the goat;--you will not give it to me?"