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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Death’s Godson

Once, not long ago, there was a poor man who had twelve children.  He worked day and night to keep them fed, and could not even provide them with enough clothing to stay warm.  When his thirteenth child was born, he was desperate, and fearful for the fate of his family.  In despair he ran out into the highway, intending to ask the first person he met to be his baby’s godparent.  

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The Robber Bridegroom

Once upon a time there was a miller and his wife who had a lovely daughter named Letta. Not long after she came of age, a suitor arrived at the mill, asking for Letta to be his wife. The suitor appeared very rich, and the millers could find no fault with him, so they gladly promised their daughter to him. They were a poor family, and the millers wanted their daughter to be well provided for.

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