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The Three Aunts

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Title: The Three Aunts  
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Subject: Habetrot, Norwegian Folktales, The Three Spinners, Dapplegrim, Thirteenth (fairy tale), Boots and the Troll, The Little Girl Sold with the Pears
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The Three Aunts

The Three Aunts
Folk tale
Name The Three Aunts
Country Norway
Published in Norske Folkeeventyr

The Three Aunts is a Norwegian fairy tale collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe in Norske Folkeeventyr.[1]


A poor man made his living by shooting. He had lost his wife, and one day, his pretty daughter decided to go seek her fortune. She got a place with the queen, and worked so hard that she became a favorite. The other women, jealous, told the queen that she had claimed to be able to spin a pound of flax in twenty-four hours. The queen set her to do it. She begged a room for herself but never having spinned, could not do it. An old woman came to her, got the story from her, and on the promise that the girl would call her "Aunt" on her wedding day, did the spinning for her.

The queen was pleased with it, making the other women more jealous. They said the girl had said she could weave it all in twenty-four hours, and the queen set her to the task again. Another old woman wove it for it, for the same price. Then the women claimed she could sew it all into shirts in twenty-four hours, and a third old woman sewed them for the same price.

The queen decided to marry her to the prince, because such a worker would never need to hire working women. The women came. The first was a hag with a nose three ells long, the second had a humped back, the third eyes like saucers, but the bride greeted them as "Aunt" and the prince had to seat them at the high table. He asked why they were so hideous. The first blamed her nose on her spinning, and the second her back on her weaving, and the third her eyes on her sewing. The prince said that his bride would no longer spin, weave, or sew.

See also


  1. ^ George Webbe Dasent, Popular Tales from the Norse, "The Three Aunts" Edinburgh: David Douglass, 1888.
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