THE TROLL TURNED CAT
ABOUT a quarter of a mile from Soröe lies Pedersborg, and a little farther on is the town of Lyng. Just between these towns is a hill called Bröndhöi (Spring-hill), said to be inhabited by the Troll-people.
There goes a story that there was once among these Troll. people of Bröndhöi an old crossgrained curmudgeon of a Troll, whom the rest nick-named Knurremurre (Rumble-grumble), because he was evermore the cause of noise and uproar within the hill. This Knurremurre having discovered what he thought to be too great a degree of intimacy between his young wife and a young Troll of the society, took this in such ill part, that he vowed vengeance, swearing he would have the life of the young one. The latter, accordingly, thought it would be his best course to be off out of the hill till better times; so, turning himself into a noble tortoise. shell tom-cat, he one fine morning quitted his old residence, and journeyed down to the neighbouring town of Lyng, where he established himself in the house of an honest poor man named Plat.
Here he lived for a long time comfortable and easy, with nothing to annoy him, and was as happy as any tom-cat or Troll crossed in love well could be. He got every day plenty of milk and good groute [a] to eat, and lay the whole day long at his ease in a warm arm-chair behind the stove.
Plat happened one evening to come home rather late, and as he entered the room the cat was sitting in his usual place, scraping meal-groute out of a pot, and licking the pot itself carefully. "Harkye, dame," said Plat, as he came in at the door, "till I tell you what happened to me on the road. Just as I was coming past Bröndhöi, there came out a Troll, and he called out to me, and said,
Tell your cat,
That Knurremurre is dead." [b]
The moment the cat heard these words, he tumbled the pot down on the floor, sprang out of the chair, and stood up on his hind-legs. Then, as he hurried out of the door, he cried out with exultation, "What! is Knurremurre dead? Then I may go home as fast as I please." And so saying he scampered off to the hill, to the amazement of honest Plat; and it is likely lost no time in making his advances to the young widow. [c]
[a] Groute, Danish Gröd, is a species of food like furmety, made of shelled oats or barley. It is boiled and eaten with milk or butter.
[b] Hör du Plat,
Siig til din Kat,
At Knurremurre er död.
[c] The scene of this story is in Zealand. The same is related of a hill called Onrehöi in the same island. The writer has heard it in Ireland, but they were cats who addressed the man as he passed by the churchyard where they were assembled.