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A Happy Boy by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Produced by David S. Miller

A HAPPY BOY

BY

BJORNSTJERNE BJORNSON

TRANSLATED FROM THE NORSE

BY

RASMUS B. ANDERSON

AUTHOR'S EDITION

PUBLISHER'S NOTE.

The present edition of Bjornstjerne Bjornson's works is published by special arrangement with the author. Mr. Bjornson has designated Prof. Rasmus B. Anderson as his American translator, cooperates with him, and revises each work before it is translated, thus giving his personal attention to this edition.

PREFACE.

"A Happy Boy" was written in 1859 and 1860. It is, in my estimation, Bjornson's best story of peasant life. In it the author has succeeded in drawing the characters with _remarkable distinctness_, while his profound psychological insight, his perfectly artless simplicity of style, and his thorough sympathy with the hero and his surroundings are nowhere more apparent. This view is sustained by the great popularity of "A Happy Boy" throughout Scandinavia.

It is proper to add, that in the present edition of Bjornson's stories, previous translations have been consulted, and that in this manner a few happy words and phrases have been found and adopted.

This volume will be followed by "The Fisher Maiden," in which Bjornson makes a new departure, and exhibits his powers in a somewhat different vein of story-telling.

RASMUS B. ANDERSON.

ASGARD, MADISON, WISCONSIN, November, 1881.

A HAPPY BOY.

CHAPTER I.

His name was Oyvind, and he cried when he was born. But no sooner did he sit up on his mother's lap than he laughed, and when the candle was lit in the evening the room rang with his laughter, but he cried when he was not allowed to reach it.

"Something remarkable will come of that boy!" said the mother.

A barren cliff, not a very high one, though, overhung the house where he was born; fir and birch looked down upon the roof, the bird-cherry strewed flowers over it. And on the roof was a little goat belonging to Oyvind; it was kept there that it might not wander away, and Oyvind bore leaves and grass up to it. One fine day the goat leaped down and was off to the cliff; it went straight up and soon stood where it had never been before. Oyvind did not see the goat when he came out in the afternoon, and thought at once of the fox. He grew hot all over, and gazing about him, cried,--

"Killy-killy-killy-killy-goat!"


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