The Lapland Woman and the Finland Woman

Suddenlytheystoppedbeforealittlehouse,whichlookedverymiserable. Theroofreachedtotheground;andthedoorwassolow,thatthefamilywereobligedtocreepupontheirstomachswhentheywentinorout. NobodywasathomeexceptanoldLaplandwoman,whowasdressingfishbythelightofanoillamp. AndtheReindeertoldherthewholeofGerda’shistory,butfirstofallhisown;forthatseemedtohimofmuchgreaterimportance. Gerdawassochilledthatshecouldnotspeak. 

"Poorthing,"saidtheLaplandwoman,"youhavefartorunstill. YouhavemorethanahundredmilestogobeforeyougettoFinland;theretheSnowQueenhashercountry-house,andburnsbluelightseveryevening. Iwillgiveyouafewwordsfromme,whichIwillwriteonadriedhaberdine,forpaperIhavenone; thisyoucantakewithyoutotheFinlandwoman,andshewillbeabletogiveyoumoreinformationthanIcan." 

WhenGerdahadwarmedherself,andhadeatenanddrunk,theLaplandwomanwroteafewwordsonadriedhaberdine, beggedGerdatotakecareofthem,putherontheReindeer,boundherfast,andawaysprangtheanimal. "Ddsa!Ddsa!"wasagainheardintheair;themostcharmingbluelightsburnedthewholenightinthesky,andatlasttheycametoFinland. TheyknockedatthechimneyoftheFinlandwoman;forastoadoor,shehadnone. 

TherewassuchaheatinsidethattheFinlandwomanherselfwentaboutalmostnaked.Shewasdiminutiveanddirty. 

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