THE SQUIRE'S BRIDE
By P. C. Asbjornsen
ONCE UPON a time there was a rich squire who owned a large farm,
had plenty of silver at the bottom of his chest and money in the
besides; but he felt there was something wanting, for he was a
One day the daughter of a neighboring farmer was working for
him in the
hayfield. The squire saw her and liked her very much, and as she
the child of poor parents he thought if he only hinted that he
her she would be ready to marry him at once.
So he told her he had been thinking of getting married again.
"Aye! one may think of many things," said the girl,
In her opinion the old fellow ought to be thinking of something
behooved him better than getting married.
"Well, you see, I thought that you should be my wife!"
"No, thank you all the same," said she, "that's
not at all likely."
The squire was not accustomed to be gainsaid, and the more she
him the more determined he was to get her.
But as he made no progress in her favor he sent for her father
him that if he could arrange the matter with his daughter he would
forgive him the money he had lent him, and he would also give
piece of land which lay close to his meadow into the bargain.
"Yes, you may be sure I'll bring my daughter to her senses,"
father. "She is only a child, and she doesn't know what's
her." But all his coaxing and talking did not help matters.
not have the squire, she said, if he sat buried in gold up to
The squire waited day after day, but at last he became so angry
impatient that he told the father, if he expected him to stand
promise, he would have to put his foot down and settle the matter
for he would not wait any longer.
The man knew no other way out of it but to let the squire get
everything ready for the wedding; and when the parson and the
guests had arrived the squire should send for the girl as if she
wanted for some work on the farm. When she arrived she would have
be married right away, so that she would have no time to think
The squire thought this was well and good, and so he began brewing
baking and getting ready for the wedding in grand style. When
guests had arrived the squire called one of his farm lads and
to run down to his neighbor and ask him to send him what he had
"But if you are not back in a twinkling," he said,
shaking his fist at
He did not say more, for the lad ran off as if he had been shot
"My master has sent me to ask for that you promised him,"
said the lad,
when he got to the neighbor, "but there is no time to be
lost, for he
is terribly busy to-day."
"Yes, yes! Run down into the meadow and take her with you.
goes!" answered the neighbor.
The lad ran off and when he came to the meadow he found the daughter
there raking the hay.
"I am to fetch what your father has promised my master,"
said the lad.
"Ah, ha!" thought she. "Is that what they are
"Ah, indeed!" she said. "I suppose it's that little
bay mare of ours.
You had better go and take her. She stands there tethered on the
side of the pea field," said the girl.
The boy jumped on the back of the bay mare and rode home at full
"Have you got her with you?" asked the squire.
"She is down at the door," said the lad.
"Take her up to the room my mother had," said the squire.
"But master, how can that be managed?" said the lad.
"You must just do as I tell you," said the squire.
"If you cannot
manage her alone you must get the men to help you," for he
girl might turn obstreperous.
When the lad saw his master's face he knew it would be no use
gainsay him. So he went and got all the farm tenants who were
help him. Some pulled at the head and the forelegs of the mare
others pushed from behind, and at last they got her up the stairs
into the room. There lay all the wedding finery ready.
"Now, that's done master!" said the lad; "but
it was a terrible job.
It was the worst I have ever had here on the farm.
"Never mind, you shall not have done it for nothing,"
said his master.
"Now send the women up to dress her."
"But I say master-!" said the lad.
"None of your talk!" said the squire. "Tell them
they must dress her
and mind and not forget either wreath or crown.
The lad ran into the kitchen.
"Look here, lasses," he said; "you must go upstairs
and dress up the
bay mare as bride. I expect the master wants to give the guests
The women dressed the bay mare in everything that was there,
the lad went and told his master that now she was ready dressed,
wreath and crown and all.
"Very well, bring her down!" said the squire. "I
will receive her
myself at the door," said he.
There was a terrible clatter on the stairs; for that bride, you
had no silken shoes on.
When the door was opened and the squire's bride entered the parlor
can imagine there was a good deal of tittering and grinning.
And as for the squire you may he sure line had had enough of
bride, and they say he never went courting again.