Nisse To Know You!

 

It was three weeks before Christmas. Blot stamped his feet and breathed into his clasped hands before rubbing them together briskly. It was the end of November: snow lay thickly on the ground and the sun only ventured above the horizon for a few hours a day now. In the old days the harvest would have been stored in the barn and he would have had a list of tasks to keep him busy every night. Times had changed though. This family were from Oslo, they had bought the smallholding and moved out of the city because they wanted their children to grow up among mountains and waterfalls rather than traffic and office blocks. He liked the new family, the Kallestads, well enough. The children were happy, bright, and mischievous although they seemed to spend a great deal of time looking at their phones. Now, there was another change from the old days: Blot had never touched one but was used to seeing the children with them. The parents, by contrast, were hardworking and serious. They had converted one of the farm’s outbuildings from a grain store to an office as soon as they had arrived and they worked in there for eight or nine hours a day while the children went to the local school. Blot considered Granny Kallestad to be the most interesting of them all. She had come to live with the family in the last couple of months and although she struggled to walk without her sticks her eyesight was as sharp as her hearing and her wits.

As the builder and first occupant of the farmhouse a couple of centuries earlier Blot had continued to live there after his death as the Nisse, or House Elf. He had taken his job seriously over the years, diligently providing protection for the farm and its occupants in return for food and drink left out for him by the kitchen door. In more recent years however there had been a general decline of the old ways. Farmers no longer sought blessings for their fields or crops and farmers’ wives no longer left gifts for Elves or asked for protection for the house or their children. The Kallestads weren’t even farmers. They had bought the small holding and instantly offered the fields for rent to neighbouring farms, keeping just one paddock next to the house which they had turned into a kitchen garden. Blot remained hidden in the barn during the day and only ventured out at night to pull up weeds here and there, to polish the occa...

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Katherine Horejsi
Nov 30 2021

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Comments:

LOVED this tale. Something for old and young to enjoy alike.

Rod Webb
Dec 13 2021