Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

A Happy Boy

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A Happy Boy by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson is a Norwegian peasant tale. Excerpt: "What makes you cry?" "Oh, my goat—my goat!" "Why, where is the goat?" asked the mother, glancing up at the roof. "It will never come back any more," said the boy. "Dear me! how can that be?" Oyvind would not confess at once. "Has the fox carried it off?" "Oh, I wish it were the fox!" "You must have lost your senses!" cried the mother. "What has become of the goat?" "Oh—oh—oh! I was so unlucky. I sold it for a twisted bun!" The moment he uttered the words he realized what it was to sell the goat for a bun; he had not thought about it before. The mother said,— "What do you imagine the little goat thinks of you now, since you were willing to sell it for a twisted bun?" The boy reflected upon this himself, and felt perfectly sure that he never could know happiness more in this world—nor in heaven either, he thought, afterwards.
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