Barn tomten Tomte TrueStory One

Once there was a farmer who wondered why he never finished his threshing before the spring time as did his neighbors. And, strangely, although he labored long at his threshing, he concluded that he did not harvest more grain than his neighbors. The farmer decided that someone must be stealing from him and so determined to catch the culprit by hiding in the barn and keeping watch there.

Sure enough, the night of his vigil he saw a parade of tomtes each carrying a stalk of rye. In the ranks was the tiniest of tomten, no bigger than a man's thumb, who, huffing and puffing, carried a straw on his shoulders.

"Why do you huff and puff?" the farmer questioned the littlest one rudely from his hiding place, "you have no great burden."

"His burden is according to his strength, for he is but one night old," answered one of the other tomtes, "for your rudeness, hereafter, you shall have less."

From that day, all luck vanished from the farmer's house and he was reduced to beggary.