ONE day when the birds were all together, one of them said, “I have been watching men, and I saw that they had a king. Let us too have a king.” “Why?” asked the...
Country and County: Denmark
The following Danish story was published in ‘Popular Rhymes and Nursery Tales’ by J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps (1849). ‘An analogous story is found in the people-literature of Denmark. Near a town called Lyng is the hill of Brondhoë, inhabited by the trold-folk, or imps.
According to ‘The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891) by Edwin Sidney Hartland ‘A Danish tradition tells of a woman who was taken by an elf on Christmas Eve down into the earth to attend his wife.
Viborg used to be called Wibierga, “Holy Mountains”, because the hills here at the centre of the ancient road and ley line network in the heart of Jutland were sacred since stone age times.
The following folk-tale appeared in Thomas Keightley’s ‘The Fairy Mythology: Illustrative of the Romance and Superstition of Various Countries’ (1850). ‘Between the villages of Marup and Aagerup in Zealand, there is said to have lain a great castle, the ruins of which are still to be seen near the strand.
In Danish folk belief every Elder Tree is inhabited and protected by a female spirit known as the Hyldemoer, and is revered as a sacred tree. This tradition may have some parallels in Britain, as I heard a similar folk belief when I was growing up in England. I was told that the tree was guarded by a female spirit and it was unlucky to bring the wood into the house.
In 1723 a Royal Commission from Denmark visited the Faroe Islands in the Norwegian Sea to investigate claims of a mermaid being in the area. They saw a merman approach their ship, submerge then surface to stare at them intently with deep set eyes. Unsettling those aboard, the vessel was commanded to withdraw and as it pulled away, the creature puffed out his cheeks, roared and submerged again.