A Tale of the Tontlawald

Long, long ago in a country filled with many lakes lay a vast stretch of marsh called the Tontlawald. No one dared to venture there. It was known to be filled with ghosts who would walk the marshes, drowning anyone who ventured too close. A single village was situated nearby, and the people who looked upon the Tontlawald at night saw strange lights dancing in the marsh mists.

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The Dead Wife

Once upon a time there were a man and his wife who lived in the forest, very far from the rest of the tribe. Very often they spent the day in hunting together, but after a while the wife found that she had so many things to do that she was obliged to stay at home; so he went alone, though he found that when his wife was not with him he never had any luck. One day, when he was away hunting, the woman fell ill, and in a few days she died.

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The Three Cows

There was a farmer, and he had three cows, fine fat beauties they were. One was called Facey, the other Diamond, and the third Beauty. One morning he went into his cowshed, and there he found Facey so thin that the wind would have blown her away. Her skin hung loose about her, all her flesh was gone, and she stared out of her great eyes as though she’d seen a ghost; and what was more, the fireplace in the kitchen was one great pile of wood-ash. Well, he was bothered with it; he could not see how all this had come about.

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Thieves’ Lights

There are many curious and miraculously unusual happenings and things in nature, of which no human understands how they occur or how they relate to other things, but they exist nonetheless. And when people hear stories about them, they are amazed and terrified, but they cannot comprehend them. Thus it is with the Raven Stone, which many people talk about, but no one knows anything about with certainty. But it is known for sure that Raven Stones exist.

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The Dark Daughter of the Norse King

When the Norsemen came to Scotland and lay claim to the land, they were famous for every manner of cruel spoliation, and slaughter of the people wherever they landed.  They were a bold, courageous, hardy, rough, peremptory and unscrupulous race.  More than that, it was attributed to them that they practiced witchcraft, charms, and enchantments, and had much of other unhallowed learning among them.

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The Selki Wife

A story is told of an inhabitant of Unst, who, in walking on the sandy margin of a voe, saw a number of mermen and mermaids dancing by moonlight, and several sealskins strewed beside them on the ground. At his approach they immediately fled to secure their garbs, and, taking upon themselves the form of seals, plunged immediately into the sea. But as the Shetlander perceived that one skin lay close to his feet, he snatched it up, bore it swiftly away, and placed it in concealment.

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The Snow Bride

Mosaku and his apprentice Minokichi journeyed to a forest, some little distance from their village. It was a bitterly cold night when they neared their destination, and saw in front of them a cold sweep of water. They desired to cross this river, but the ferryman had gone away, leaving his boat on the other side of the water, and as the weather was too inclement to admit of swimming across the river they were glad to take shelter in the ferryman’s little hut.

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