|Subject:||Ronja the robbers daughter|
|Date:||May 9, 2001 at 9:26:19 AM|
|Reply to:||Names by Carrie|
"On the night that Ronj was born a thunderstorm was raging over the mountains, such a storm that all the goblinfolk in Mattis' Forest crept back in terror to their holes and hiding places. Only the fierce harpies preferred stormy weather to any other and flew, shrieking and hooting, around the robbers' stronghold on Mattis' mountain. Their noise disturbed Lovis, who was lying within, preparing to give birth, and she said to Mattis, 'Drive the hell-harpies away and let me have some quiet. Otherwise I can't hear what I'm singing!' The fact was that Lovis liked to sing while she was having her baby. It made things easier, she insisted, and the baby would probably be all the jollier if it arrived on earth to the sound of a song. Mattis took his crossbow and shot off a few arrows through one of the arrow slits of the fort. 'Be off with you, harpies!' he shouted. 'I'm going to have a baby tonight -- get that into your heads, you hags!' 'Ho, ho, he's going to have a baby tonight,' hooted the harpies. 'A thunder-and-lightning baby, small and ugly it'll be, ho, ho!' Then Mattis shot again, straight into the flock, but they simply jeered at him and flew off across the treetops, hooting angrily. While Lovis lay there, giving birth and singing, and while Mattis quelled the wild harpies as best as he could, his robbers were sitting by the fire down in the great stone hall, eating and drinking and behaving as rowdily as the harpies themselves. After all, they had to do something while they waited, and all twelve of them were waiting for what was about to happen up there in the tower room. No child had ever been born in Mattis' Fort in all their robber days there. Noddle-Pete was waiting most of all. 'That robber baby had better come soon,' he said. 'I'm old and rickety, and my robbing days will soon be over. It would be fine to see a new robber chief here before I'm finished.' He had scarcely stopped speaking when the door opened and Mattis rushed in, quite witless with delight. He raced all the way around the hall, leaping high with joy and shrieking like a madman. 'I've got a child! Do you hear me -- I've got a child!"
(Astrid Lindgren, Ronja the robbers daughter, Chapter I)
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