NOW I have actually met someone who has met Huldra in person.
At the time he was 6 years old and staying with granny and aunty on holiday. He woke early and went out to pee. There was only one other little house quite far off and there he saw someone in the distance. He couldn’t see if it was man or woman, but they were wearing a long coat and had long hair.
“Auntie, auntie, have you got dressed up to give me a fright?” He shouted in Sami, but there was no reply.
As the person approached, walking directly towards him, he saw it was a woman. She came over the little beck. He knew there was a slippery and difficult bridge to cross but she seemed to walk over with no effort. He called out to her but she made no reply. As she approached, coming straight towards him, he saw her hands folded over a small black prayer book. As she came near he saw her feet dry despite the dew and made no dent in the grass.
The woman looked straight at him but said no word, then walked past him to the little house and stamped twice on the bottom step. She walked on. In front of her was a fence with barbed wire, and she walked straight through it.
The boy ran in to his granny and auntie lying asleep. Near to tears he asked them who it was.
His granny tried to comfort him and said that it must have been someone out picking berries. “No!” he said. She had nothing to pick berries into.
Later in the day a relative came bearing the news. His uncle had died that morning.
This was Huldra. For Sami people she has no tail, she is not someone who threatens and misleads, she is a helper. She had come to give them a warning.
Later in the day, sitting at the big dinner organized in the local sports hall/theatre/cinema which has been built by volunteers this year, I then heard this story from Marit. She said when she was about 12 she had been looking up stuff about her great great grandmother. She read that this woman had been married 4 times but she thought it was strange as she looked quite ugly and was older than most of the men she married.
Sometime later she read this story:
A young girl was out bringing in the cows as she did each day, when a beautiful young man she had never seen before approached. After flirting with her he said she should come and be his wife. She said she needed to get to know him. He took her to the far side of the island and showed her a large house. “Marry me and we can live here in this beautiful house.”. She knew that such a house had never been here before, became frightened and said she could never marry him. His face darkened and he said “If you refuse me you wont be happy with any other man either. ”
As the years past she forgot about what had happened, but soon after she married her young husband , he was lost at sea. Again and again her husbands died, and her two sons also.
Marit told her mother this story and her mother said, “This is the story of your great great grandmother.”
Pretty hefty stories so to calm down here is a picture of Ole Petter with a tail of another kind which he says belonged to a troll.