SKOTTE IN THE FIRE
NEAR Gudmanstrup, in the district of Odd, is a bill called Hjulehöi (Hollow-hill). The hill-folk that dwell in this mount are well known in all the villages round, and no one ever omits making a cross on his beer-barrels, for the Trolls are in the habit of slipping down from Hjulehöi to steal beer.
One evening late a farmer was passing by the bill, and he saw that it was raised up on red pillars, and that underneath there was music and dancing and a splendid Troll banquet. The man stood a long time gazing on their festivity; but while he was standing there, deeply absorbed in admiration of what he saw, all of a sudden the dancing stopped, and the music ceased, and he heard a Troll cry out, in a tone of the utmost anguish, "Skotte is fallen into the fire! Come and help him up!" The hill then sank, and all the merriment was at an end.
Meanwhile the farmer's wife was at home all alone, and while she was sitting and spinning her tow, she never noticed a Troll who had crept through the window into the next room, and was at the beer-barrel drawing off the liquor into his copper kettle. The room-door was standing open, and the Troll kept a steady eye on the woman. The husband now came into the house full of wonder at what he had seen and heard. "Hark ye, dame," he began, "listen now till I tell you what has happened to me!" The Troll redoubled his attention. "As I came just now by Hjulehöi;" continued he, "I saw a great Troll-banquet there, but while they were in the very middle of their glee they shouted out within in the hill, 'Skotte is fallen into the fire; come and help him up!"
At hearing this, the Troll, who was standing beside the beer-barrel, was so frightened, that he let the tap run and the kettle of beer fall on the ground, and tumbled himself out of the window as quickly as might be. The people of the house hearing all this noise instantly guessed what had been going on inside; and when they went in they saw the beer all running about, and found the copper kettle lying on the floor. This they seized, and kept in lieu of the beer that bad been spilled; and the same kettle is said to have been a long time to be seen in the villages round about there. [a]
[a] Oral. Gudmanstrup is in Zealand. In Ouröe, a little Island close to Zealand, there is a hill whence the Trolls used to come down and supply themselves with provisions out of the farmers' pantries. Niel Jensen, who lived close to the hill, finding that they were making, as he thought, over free with his provisions, took the liberty of putting a lock on the door through which they had access. But he had better have left it alone, for his daughter grew stone blind, and never recovered her sight till the lock was removed.--Resenii Atlas, i. 10. There is a similar story in Grimm's Deutsche Sagen, i. p. 55.