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Finnish Mythology


There was once a man whose wife
was an awful talker. Her name was
Susanna. No matter how important it
was to keep a matter quiet, if Susanna
knew about it, she just had to talk.
She was always running to the neigh-
bors and exclaiming:

"Oh, my dear, have you heard so and so?"
Her husband was an industrious fellow. He set
nets in the river, he snared birds in the forest, and he
worked at any odd jobs that came along.

It happened one day while he was out in the forest
that he found a buried treasure.

"Ah!" he thought to himself, "now I can buy a little
farm that will keep me and Susanna comfortable the
rest of our days!"

He started home at once to tell his wife the good
fortune that had befallen them. He had almost reached
home when he stopped, suddenly realizing that the first

thing Susanna would do would be to spread the news



broadcast throughout the village. Then of course the
government would get wind of his find and presently
officers of the law would come and confiscate the entire

"That would never do," he told himself. "I must
think out some plan whereby I can let Susanna know
about the treasure without risking the loss of it."

He puzzled over the matter for a long time and at
last hit upon something that he thought might prove

In his nets that day he had caught a pike and in one
of his snares he had found a grouse. He went back
now to the river and put the bird in the fishnet, and then
he went to the woods and put the fish in the snare.
This done he went home and at once told Susanna
about the buried treasure which was going to be the
means of making their old age comfortable.

She flew at once into great excitement.

"La! La! A buried treasure! Whoever heard of
such luck! Oh, how all the neighbors will envy us
when they hear about it! I can hardly wait to tell

"But they mustn't hear!" her husband told her.
'You don't want the officers of the law coming and
taking it all from us, do you?"


"That would be a nice how-do-you-do!" Susanna
cried. "What! Come and take our treasure that you
found yourself in the forest?"

"Yes, my dear, that's exactly what they'd do if once
they heard about it."

"Well, you can depend upon it, my dear husband,
not a soul will hear about it from me!"

She shook her head vigorously and repeated this many
times and then tried to slip out of the house on some
such excuse as needing to borrow a cup of meal from a

But the man insisted on her staying beside him all
evening. She kept remembering little errands that
would take her to the houses of various neighbors but
each time she attempted to leave her husband called
her back. At last he got her safely to bed.

Early next morning, before she had been able to talk
to any one, he said:

"Now, my dear, come with me to the forest and help
me to carry home the treasure. On the way we'd better
see if we've got anything in the nets and the snares."

They went first to the river and when the man had
lifted his nets they found a grouse which he made
Susanna reach over and get. Then in the woods he let
her make the discovery of a pike in one of the snares.


She was all the while so excited about the treasure that
she hadn't mind enough left to be surprised that a bird
should be caught in a fishnet and a fish in a birdsnare.

Well, they found the precious treasure and they
stowed it away in two sacks which they carried home
on their backs. On the way home Susanna could
scarcely refrain from calling out to every passerby
some hint of their good fortune. As they passed the
house of Helmi, her dearest crony, she said to her hus-

"My dear, won't you just wait here a moment while I
run in and get a drink of water?"

'You mustn't go in just now," her husband said.
"Don't you hear what's going on?"

There was the sound of two dogs fighting and yelping
in the kitchen.

"Helmi is getting a beating from her husband," the
man said. "Can't you hear her crying? This is no
time for an outsider to appear."

All that day and all that night he kept so close to
Susanna that the poor woman wasn't able to exchange
a word with another human being.

Early next morning she escaped him and ran as fast
as her legs could carry her to Helmi's house.

"My dear," she began all out of breath, "such a


wonderful treasure as we've found but I've sworn never
to whisper a word about it for fear the government
should hear of it! I should have stopped and told you
yesterday but your husband was beating you '

"What's that?" cried Helmi's husband who came in
just then and caught the last words.

"It's the treasure we've found!"

"The treasure? What are you talking about?
Begin at the beginning."

"Well, my old man and me we started out yesterday
morning and first we went to the river to see if there
was anything in the nets. We found a grouse "

"A grouse?"

'Yes, we found a grouse in the nets. Then we went
to the forest and looked in the snares and in one we
found a pike."

"A pike!"

"Yes. Then we went and dug up the treasure and
put it in two sacks and you could have seen us yourself
carrying it home on our backs but you were too busy
beating poor Helmi."

"I beating poor Helmi! Ho! Ho! Ho! That is a
good one! I was busy beating my wife while you were
getting birds out of fishnets and fish out of snares ! Ho !
Ho! Hoi"


"It's so!" Susanna cried. "It is so! You were so
beating Helmi! And you sounded just like two dogs
fighting! And we did so carry home the treasure!"

But Helmi's husband only laughed the harder. That
afternoon when he went to the Inn he was still laughing
and when the men there asked him what was so funny
he told them Susanna's story and soon the whole village
was laughing at the foolish woman who found birds in
fishnets and fish in snares and who thought that two
yelping dogs were Helmi and her husband fighting.

As for the treasure that wasn't taken any more
seriously than the grouse and the pike.

"It must have been two sacks of turnips they carried
home on their backs!" the village people decided.

The husband of course said nothing and Susanna,
too, was soon forced to keep quiet for now whenever
she tried to explain people only laughed.