THE NIS AND THE MARE
THERE was a man who lived in the town of Tirup, who had a very handsome white mare. This mare had for many years gone, like an heirloom, from father to son, because there was a Nis attached to her, which brought luck to the place.
This Nis was so fond of the mare, that he could hardly endure to let them put her to any kind of work, and he used to come himself every night and feed her of the best; and as for this purpose he usually brought a superfluity of corn, both threshed and in the straw, from the neighbours' barns, all the rest of the cattle enjoyed the advantage of it, and they were all kept in exceeding good case.
It happened at last that the farm-house passed into the hands of a new owner, who refused to put any faith in what they told him about the mare, so the luck speedily left the place, and went after the mare to his poor neighbour who bad bought her; and within five days after his purchase, the poor farmer who had bought the mare began to find his circumstances gradually improving, while the income of the other, day after day, fell away and diminished at such a rate, that be was hard set to make both ends meet.
If now the man who had gotten the mare had only known how to be quiet, and enjoy the good times that were come upon him, he and his children, and his children's children after him, would have been in flourishing circumstances till this very day. But when he saw the quantity of corn that came every night to his barn, he could not resist his desire to get a sight of the Nis. So he concealed himself one evening, at nightfall, in the stable; and as soon as it was midnight, he saw how the Nis came from his neighbour's barn and brought a sackful of corn with him. It was now unavoidable that the Nis should get a sight of the man who was watching; so he, with evident marks of grief, gave the mare her food for the last time, cleaned, and dressed her to the best of his abilities, and when he had done, turned round to where the man was lying and bid him farewell.
From that day forward the circumstances of both the neighbours were on an equality, for each now kept his own.