Outrunning a Hulder
Collected by a schoolteacher in Western Norway in 1935. Printed in Norske Sagn (R. Th. Christiansen).

A grown lad from Systrand spent a winter snaring grouse up at a seter in the parish. He had a dog with him. One evening as he was sitting by the earth cooking his food, he heard something rattling outside against the wall. It sounded as if someone were leaning something against the wall. The seterwas made of stone and had a turf roof. Shortly after, someone came in the entryway and knocked at the door. The dog barked and its hair stood on end, and then in came a beautiful maiden. The boy had never seen so beautiful a maiden before. She was wearing a red bodice and a blue skirt, and she had long, fair hair which hung down her back. The boy was quite amazed that a girl would come to the seter in the miple of the winter. It was seven miles to the town, and the snow was deep.

She started talking to him and asked if he did not think it was lonely to stay up at the seter in the miple of the winter. She laughed and talked, turning and twisting, and showing off to him. He answered back, laughing and joking, and thought this was really fine. At last he asked if she would stay there. Then it would not be so lonely any more. A strange expression came overher face, and she turned away from him, and then the boy saw that she had a long tail which hung below her skirt. Now he understood that she was a hulder and that she wanted to marry him. He had heard that huldre-folk liked to marry Christians. He became afraid of her and thought he had better watch his step here, for he was halfway engaged to a girl down in the parish. When she turned around, he did not join in the joking any longer. She went on talking and laughing as before and asked if he did not like girls. But he did not say much to that.

After a while, he found some pretext for going outside, and the dog went with him. The moon was full and was shining brightly. Then he caught sight of the hulder's skis, which she had leaned up against the walls of the seter. They were made of brass and gleamed and shone in the moonlight. He put them on, took her poles, and set out down the mountain toward the parish. The skis slid over the snow unusually fast, and he went at such a speed that the dog could not keep up with him.

When the boy did not come back in again, the hulder grew suspicious and went outside to look. She soon caught sight of him heading down the mountain at a good clip. When she looked for her skis, she found that he had taken them. Then she became furious because he had wanted to run away from her. She put on his skis and took his poles and set out after him. But they were only poor fir skis with willow bindings, so they went much slower than her own. She did not catch up with the boy, but she did catch up with the dog and broke its back with the ski pole. But the boy got home, and the brass skis are still supposed to be at Henja Farm to this very day.