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Popular Tales from the Norse, by George Webbe Dasent, [1904], at


A WATER carrier once went to the river to fetch water. She dipped in her calabash, and brought out a cray-fish. The cray-fish began beating his claws on the calabash, and played such a beautiful tune, that the girl began dancing, and could not stop.

The driver of the gang wondered why she did not come, and sent another to see after her. When she came, she too began to dance. So the driver sent another, who also began to dance when she heard the music and the cray-fish singing—

              "Vaitsi, Vaitsi, O sulli Van."
"Stay for us, stay for us, how long will you stay for us?"

Then the driver sent another and another, till he had sent the whole gang.

At last he went himself and when he found the whole gang dancing, he too began to dance; and they all danced till night, when the cray-fish went back into the water; and if they haven't done dancing, they are dancing still.


Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty,
at the Edinburgh University Press