Tuesday, 6 June 2000

About Nøkken and Nisser

Nøkken is a man, sometimes beautiful, most of the time horribly ugly. He lives in still water (no rivers or streams, those are the homes of Fossegrimen), usually at the deep, sometimes under water lilies, which we call Nøkkeroser. Sometimes he showed himself to people as a white horse and tricked them to ride him. The moment they were on his back, he sprinted towards the water where he drowned his rider. He can also take the shape of a wooden log, to fool people. He's deadly, but not necessarily evil, like the trolls.

We never use nøkk in plural, as they are very solitary / lonely creatures. He's either called nøkk or nøkken ("the nøkk").

Nisser is a part of the crowd we call "de underjordiske" ("those who live under the ground"). Every farm has their own nisse, and how well you treat yours decides how well he treats you. There are stories of nisser who's killed cattle and led families into starvations for snubs like not greeting him properly, or not giving him enough butter in his porridge. Some families still out porridge to the nisse on Christmas eve. It's important that you give him enough butter in his porridge, or he will be angry!

I remember one story where a farmer got himself a new wife, who refused to give the nisse porridge. The nisse in return made his cattle sick and his farm fall apart. The moment the farmer left his wife, all was put right.

There are also stories where nisser makes sure to protect the farm from storms or starvation because of previous acts of kindness. But for the nisse, it doesn't matter if you're good or bad. What's important is if you're mean to him.

Plural for nisse is nisser.

I also have a blogpost about Norwegian trolls.

Saturday, 1 April 2000

Police Tweets

My country's police force have the best tweets ever.

"Majorstua: complaints of a street musician who plays only one song. Has been going on for months, according to caller. Police on site to request a wider repertoire."

"A person was waving a machete at the Railway Square. Police on the spot arrested the man. Machetes are not supposed to be used this way."

"While we are busy with all these serious assignments we get a notice of three loose horses by Gaustad. If you find them, capture them and call us. Thank you."

"A police patrol finally got to Gaustad. Since they forgot their lasso they can't catch the horses. They are currently standing and looking at them."

"Quiet today. The musician at Majorstua has started again. A patrol who knows a thing or two about accordions were sent to check the quality."

"A drunk man called the police for help when he couldn't remember where he'd parked his car. The police did not help him."

"Man called the police when his drunk buddy was missing by Ikea. Police were dispatched and the man was found in callers car."

"Police and fire services dispatched after a report of smoke at the train station. Smells more like sweet rolls than fire. Undramatic." 

"If anyone happens to see a naked man in Storgata with a trash can on his head, please call 02800 [the police's number is for non-emergencies]."

Five minutes later:
"The man in Storgata have put down the trash can and put on some clothes. He's to be brought to the police station to sleep it off."

"Smoke in Sofienberggata: a well-known character struck again... a pot boiled dry. No one was hurt, but we're having a chat with the chef."

"Police took control over a person at Schous Plass. The rapport was that he had a knife hidden along his leg. It turned out to be a spoon."

"200 kg frozen king crab stolen from Oppsal this weekend. If anyone gets a crab-offer too good to be true: Call 02800."