Magical Helpers, Part 3

Winds howled about the farm last night, offering a spooky overtone as we nestled in by the comfort of the wood stove safely inside. Autumn will soon be waning into winter, with snow in the forecast. It’s a great time for cozy projects and stories.

Halloween story time continues with one more episode to wrap up our Norwegian folk tale of The Three Aunts. Where we last left off, the maiden and the prince were being married, and guests were arriving for the wedding feast. The bride and groom were stationed in their beautifully festive attire, greeting the guests at the door to the Great Hall.

After a time, there arrived an old woman. She was quite remarkable, for she had the loooooooongest nose. It was so long, she had trouble fitting in through the door.

“Greetings Aunt!” chimed the maiden.

The prince stared in dismay, “This is your aunt?” Then he composed himself, “Ah, yes, welcome kin. We will find you a place of honor at the table.” Then he called over his shoulder to one of the servants, requesting that the place be such that no one was sitting across from her, for fear that she might knock them over with her nose.

More guests arrived, then after a time another old woman came in. She was quite remarkable too, for she had the widest bottom you had ever seen. In fact, it was so wide, she had trouble coming in through the door.

Greetings Aunt!” cried the maiden.

“This is your aunt too?” asked the prince in dismay. He blinked, then composed himself, “Ah yes, welcome kin, we shall find you a fine place at the table!” Then he called to a servant to see if a bench might be handy, for the proper seating of this guest.

More guests continue to arrive, and now the Great Hall is growing quite full of lively chatter and colorful attire. Then there came a third old woman. She was quite remarkable too, as she had the biggest, buggiest eyes. Surely there was no pair of glasses in all the kingdom that would fit them.

“Greetings Aunt!” chimed the maiden.

“Another one?” asked the prince in dismay. “Are there more?” But then he greeted this woman kindly as well and promised a fine seat at the feasting table.

Then it was time for everyone to take a seat and enjoy the bounty laid out before them. The queen was in a jolly mood, praising her new daughter-in-law. “My son will never be want for fine clothing, as his wife can make it all for him!”

The maiden was feeling rather sick to her stomach, for she had never had the pluck to tell the queen she hadn’t done any of that work herself. She picked at the food nervously, trying to balance the immense golden bridal crown on her head.

The prince, however, was not listening to his mother’s chatter. Instead, he was staring at these aunts as they enjoyed the feast. Finally, he couldn’t help himself, feeling embarrassed about his own staring, so he asked as politely as he could, “Ladies, kin, I’m sorry if this is difficult, but I really must ask you a question. My wife is so lovely and pretty and sweet, and if you are her relatives…what happened?”

“Oh, well,” chimed the first old woman. “I used to be just as lovely and pretty as her mother, but I spent all my time at spinning—nodding forward and back, forward and back. As I did so, my nose got longer and longer and longer, until, well, here I am today.”

“Oh dear,” remarked the prince in dismay, “I’m so sorry.”

“And I too!” chimed the second old woman, “was just as lovely and pretty as her mother, but I spent all my time at weaving, rocking back and forth with the shuttle. Back and forth, back and forth, and as I did, my bottom got wider and wider and wider until, well, here I am today.”

“Goodness,” cried the prince. “I had no idea that could happen, I’m so sorry.”

“And I was also just as pretty and sweet” chimed the third old woman, “But I spent all my time at stitching. All those tiny little stitches in the dim light! And as I peered at all those little stitches, my eyes got bigger and bigger and bigger until, well, here I am today.”

“Gracious!” cried the prince. “Oh dear, that’s just dreadful. I’m so sorry.” Then he straightened with noble resolve. “Ladies, I must say that I am so grateful that you came to our wedding and that you were willing to share your stories with me. I shall make it my resolve that my lovely wife shall never have to spin, weave, or stitch in all her days.”

And so, they lived happily, and the three aunts always found themselves a place of honor at the guest table, whenever they came to visit.

What types of stories have you been enjoying or remembering this autumn? Keep cozy, and we’ll see you down on the farm sometime.

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