THE NIS AND THE BOY
THERE was a Nis in a house in Jutland; he every evening got his groute at the regular time, and he, in return, used to help both the men and the maids, and looked to the interest of the master of the house in every respect.
There came one time an arch mischievous boy to live at service in this house, and his great delight was, whenever he got an opportunity, to give the Nis all the annoyance in his power. One evening, late, when everything was quiet in the place, the Nis took his little wooden dish, and was just going to eat his supper, when he perceived that the boy had put the butter at the bottom, and concealed it, in hopes that he might eat the groute first, and then find the butter when all the groute was gone. He accordingly set about thinking how he might repay the boy in kind; so, after pondering a little, he went up to the loft, where the man and the boy were lying asleep in the same bed. When he had taken the bed-clothes off them, and saw the little boy by the side of the tall man, he said, "Short and long don't match;" and with this word he took the boy by the legs and dragged him down to the man's legs. He then went up to the head of the bed, and "Short and long don't match," said he again, and then he dragged the boy up once more. When, do what he would, he could not succeed in making the boy as long as the man, he still persisted in dragging him up and down in the bed, and continued at this work the whole night long, till it was broad daylight.
By this time he was well tired, so he crept up on the window-stool, and sat with his legs hanging down into the yard. But the house-dog--for all dogs have a great enmity to the Nis--as soon as he saw him, began to bark at him, which afforded such amusement to Nis, as the dog could not get up to him, that he put down first one leg and then the other to him, and teazed him, and kept saying, "Look at my little leg! look at my little leg!" In the meantime the boy had wakened, and had stolen up close behind him, and while Nis was least thinking of it, and was going on with his "Look at my little leg!" the boy tumbled him down into the yard to the dog, crying out at the same time, "Look at the whole of him now!"