de-en  Selma Lagerlöf: Nils Holgersson - Teil 2.
(http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31114/31114-h/31114-h.htm#kap1).

Selma Lagerlöf.

Wonderful Journey of the little Nils Holgersson with the Wild Geese.

Part 2: Akka von Kebnekajse.

The evening.

The big domestic gander who had flown away with the wild geese felt very proud that he could fly up and down the southern plain in the company of the wild geese and amuse himself with the domestic birds.

But as happy as he was, yet it did not protect him from slowly getting tired toward noon.

He tried to breathe more deeply and beat his wings more quickly, but he still fell behind the others by several goose's lengths.

When the wild geese who flew at the back of the flock noticed that the domestic one could no longer follow, they called out to the one who flew ahead and led the wedge: "Akka von Kebnekasje! Akka von Kebnekajse!" "What do you want from me?" the leader asked.

"The white one is lagging behind! The white one is lagging behind!" "Tell him flying faster is easier than flying slowly!" the leader called back and spread out as before.

Indeed, the gander tried to follow the advice and speed up his flight, but in so doing, he became so exhausted that he dropped down to the level of the pruned willow trees that edged the fields and meadows.

"Akka! Akka! Akka of Kebnekajse!" the back-most geese who saw how hard it was for him now shouted.

"What do you want now?" asked the leader, appearing to be very annoyed. ...

"The white one is dropping! The white one is dropping!" "Tell him it's easier to fly high than low," cried the leader.

The gander also tried to follow this advice; but as he wanted to ascend in the air, he got so out of breath that his chest almost burst.

"Akka! Akka! "shouted the last ones.

"Couldn't you let me fly in peace?" asked the leader and seemed to be even more impatient than before.

"The white one is dropping down! The white one is dropping down!" If somebody can not fly with the flock he must return again; say him this! "cried the leader. And she certainly did not consider flying slower, but spread her wings as before.

"Aha, so that's the way it is?" said the gander. He suddenly realized that the wild geese had no intention at all of taking him along with them to Lapland. ....

They had only lured him for the fun of it.

He felt annoyed at the fact that his strength left him now since he couldn't show these vagabonds that a domesticated goose could achieve something.

And what appeared the most annoying to him was this encounter with Akka von Kebnekajse. Although he was a domestic goose, he actually had heard people talk about a leader by the name of Akka and who was almost one hundred years old. ...

She stood in such high esteem that always only the very best of the wild geese followed her.

But nobody despised the domestic geese more than Akka and her flock, and therefore the gander would certainly have liked to show that he was a match for them.

He slowly followed the flight of the others while considering whether he should turn around or carry on.

Then the imp which he carried on his back suddenly said: "Dear Gander Martin! ... You do realise that someone who has never taken to the air before cannot possibly fly with the wild geese as far as Lapland.

Wouldn't it be better then for you to turn around before you wear yourself out?" But this little imp on his back there was most unpleasant of all, and scarcely had he understood that the imp did not think he had the strength for the journey, he decided right away to keep on doing it. ...

"If you say one more word about it, I will throw you into the first marl pit that we fly over," he said. ...

And from unmitigated fury his strenght grew so much that he could almost fly as well as the others. ...

Of course, he couldn't have gone on like this for a long time; but it wasn't necessary, because now the swarm sank down rapidly, and especially at sunset, the geese shot down abruptly. ...

Before the boy and the gander realised it, they were on the beach of Vombsee. ...

"Here we are supposed to spend the night," thought the boy and jumped down from the back of the gander.

He stood on a narrow, sandy shore, and in front of him was a fairly large lake. ...

But the lake made an ugly impression.

It was covered almost completely with ice, which was black and uneven and full of fissures and holes, as was usual in the spring. ...

It couldn't be much longer before the ice melted, it had already separated from the shore and was surrounded by a broad belt of black shiny water. ...

But the ice was still there, spreading cold and wintry discomfort.

On the other side of the lake seemed to be nice, cultivated land; but where the geese had settled down, there was a big [17] protected fir forest.

And it looked as if the fir forest had the power to bind winter to it.

Everywhere else the earth was free from snow, but under the huge pine trees it was still thick; it had melted and frozen again, melted and frozen again, so that it was now as hard as ice.

It seemed to the boy that he had come into a winter wasteland, and he was so scared that he would have liked to cry out loud.

He was very hungry, because he had not eaten anything all day. But where he should have been taken something to eat from?

In March there is nothing edible growing on the trees or in the fields.

Yeah, where should he get something to eat? And who would give him shelter? Who would make a bed for him?

Who would let him sit down by the fire and protect him from the wild geese? ...

For now the sun had set, and now the cold wind was blowing from the lake; the darkness descended from the sky, the discomfort crept in after dusk, and in the woods it began to cackle and patter.

Now the joyful courage that had inspired him as long as he was flying up there through the air was over, and in his trepidation, he looked around for his traveling companion.

He, indeed, had nobody else he could hold onto.

Then he noticed that the gander was even worse off than he was. ...

He was still lying on the same spot where he had settled, and it looked as if he was lying in his last breath.

His neck rested limply on the ground, his eyes were closed and his breath was nothing but a weak hissing.

"Dear gander Martin," said the boy," try to drink a sip of water. It is not even two steps to the lake." But the gander didn't move.

Up to now, admittedly, the boy had been very hard-hearted towards all the animals, the goose was no exception, but now he seemed to him to be the only support he still had, and he became greatly afraid that he might lose him.

He started immediately to bump and to push him in order to bring him to the water.

This was hard work for the boy, because the gander was big and heavy, but finally he succeeded.

The gander went headfirst into the water. For a moment he lay still, but soon he stretched out his head, shook the water from his eyes, and snorted.

Then he swam proudly among the reeds.

The wild geese were resting in front of him in the lake.

As soon as they had descended to the ground, they plunged into the water without looking around for the gander or the goose rider.

They had eagerly bathed and cleaned themselves, and now they were slurping up half-decayed pond-lentils and water-grasses.

The white gander had the fortune to discover a little perch, quickly he caught it, swam with it to the beach and put it down in front of the boy.

"Here's a thank you for helping me into the water," said he.

This was the first kind word the boy heard on this day.

He was so happy about it, that he wanted to embrace the goosey- gander but he didn't dare. And he was also glad about the gift.

At first he thought it was quite impossible for him to eat the fish raw, but then he felt like at least trying to do it.

He felt to see if had his knife with him, and indeed, it actually was still hanging on his trouser button, although so small that it was no bigger than a matchstick.

But he was able to scale and clean the fish with it; and it wasn't long before the perch was eaten. ...

When the boy had satisfied his hunger, he actually felt ashamed that he had been able to eat something raw.

"I am obviously no longer a human being, but a real tomte," he thought.

While the boy ate the fish, the goosey-gander stood quietly next to him; but when he had swallowed the last bite, he said in a low voice: "We have become quite a conceited wild geese folk who despise all domestic geese." "Yes, I've noticed that," responded the boy.

"It would certainly be very honorable for me if I were able to travel up to Lapland with them and show them that even a domesticated goose can do something." "Oh yesss," replied the boy slowly because he didn't think the Gander was capable of that, but didn't want to contradict him.

"But I don't think that I can find my way on such a journey alone," continued the gander,"therefore, I would like to ask you whether you'd like to come with me and help me?" The boy, of course, had thought of nothing other than returning home as fast as possible.

He was so surprised and he didn't know what to say to that.

"I didn't think we were on friendly terms with each other," he said. ...

But the goosey-gander seemed to have forgotten that entirely; he only remembered that the boy had but just saved his life.

"I really should go back to my father and mother," said the boy.

"O, I'll get you back to them at the right time!" said the goosey-gander.

"And I will not leave you until I have set you down in front of your own doorstep." The boy thought that it was probably a good idea if he kept out of his parent's sight for a while longer.

He wasn't averse to the proposal and was just about to agree when he heard a loud thunder behind him.

The wild geese had jumped out of the lake all at once and were now shaking the water from themselves.

Then they formed a long row, the leader-goose at the head, and approached the two of them.

When the white goosey-gander now looked at the wild geese, he didn't feel at all comfortable. ...

He had expected to see them to be more like the domestic geese and to feel more related to them.

But they were much smaller than him and none of them was white, but everyone was gray, tinged with brown in individual spots.

And he almost feared their eyes, they were yellow and glisten, as if fire burned behind them. ...

The gander had always been told that it was good manners to walk slowly and pomposly, but these here seemed not to be able to walk at all, their gait was almost like jumping.

But what alarmed him the most was to see their feet, for these were very large and their soles trodden and torn. ... It was easy to see that the wild geese never paid attention to where they set their feet and never took the roundabout route.

Apart from that, they were graceful and neat, but from their feet they looked like poor tramps. ...

The gander could barely whisper to the boy: "Just speak up pertly, but don't mention that you are a human being," at which point the geese had already come up to them. ...

They stopped in front of the two and were nodding many times with their throats, and the gander was doing the same, only much more often. The moment they had been done with the exchange of greetings, the leader said: "Now is the time to find out what kind of folks you are?" "There is not much to say about me," the gander began. "I was born in Skanor last year.

In the fall I was sold to Holger Nilsson from Westvemmenhög, and I have been there ever since." "You don't seem to have a family to be proud of," said the leader. ... "How come you are so bold as to have dealings with the wild geese?" "Maybe, to show you wild geese that we domestic ones can also achieve something," the gander answered. ...

"Yes, it would be well if you could show us that," said the leader-goose. "We have now already seen how you can fly, but perhaps you are more efficient in other ways. Are you strong in long distance swimming?" "Oh, no, I cannot boast of that," replied the gander; he thought he sensed that the leader was already determined to send him home and was indifferent to what he replied.

"I never swam any farther than across a marl pit" he continued.

"Then I expect that you are a jumping champion." "Never before have I seen a domesticated goose jumping," the gander answered and so he made his things even worse.

The big, white gander now was absolutely certain, that there was no way the leader would take him with them.

Therefore he was absolutey surprised when she said: "You answer the questions I put to you quite courageously, and he who is courageous can be a good fellow traveler, even if he is clumsy in the beginning.

Would you like to spend a few days with us, so that we can see what you can accomplish?" "That will give me a lot of pleasure," the gander answered very much pleased.

Then the leader-goose stretched out her beak and said: "But who is it that you have with you?" ... I've never seen one like this before." "It's my companion," said the goosey-gander. "He has been a gooseherd all his life and can possibly be useful to us on the journey." "Yes, for a domestic goose that may be quite all right," the wild one answered. "What's his name?" "He has different names," said the goosey-gander reluctantly. He didn't know, how he should get out of this fix because he didn't want reveal that the boy had a human name.

"Oh, his name's Thumbling," he suddenly said.

"Is he one of the race of the tomte?" asked the leader.

"At what time of the day do wild geese go to sleep?" the gander hastily asked and thus tried to avoid an answer to the last question.

"Around this time my eyes always close by their own accord." It was easy to see that the goose who was speaking to the gander had to be very old.

Her whole plumage was ice-grey, without dark streaks. Her head was bigger, her legs were rougher and her feet more trodden than the others. ...

Her feathers were stiff, the shoulders bony, the neck lean. All of this came from old age.

It had no effect only in her eyes, they looked brighter and looked younger than the eyes of all of the others.

Now she turned very solemnly to the goosey-gander.

So know then, gander, that I am Akka of Kebnekajse and the goose flying on my right is Yksi of Vassijaure and the one on my left is Kaksi of Nuolja.

Also know that the second to the right is Kolme of Sarjektjakko and the second to the left is Neljä of Svappavaara and that behind them are Viisi of Oviksfjällen and Kuusi of Sjangeli. ...

And also know that the six young geese, who are the very last to come, three on the right, three on the left, are high-country goslings from the best families too.

You must not take us for vagabonds who enter into comradeship with anyone who comes our way, and you shouldn't believe that we share our sleeping place with anyone who doesn't want to tell us his lineage." As the leader Akka was speaking in this way, the boy stepped forward hastily. He was saddened that the gander, who had spoken so boldly for himself, gave such evasive answers when it concerned him.

"I don't want to keep secret who I am," he said. "My name is Nils Holgersson, the son of a cottager, and to this day I have been a human, but this morning --" The boy said nothing further, for no one was listening to him. No sooner than he had said that he was a human, the leader took three steps backward and the others even more.

And they all jerked their necks and hissed at him furiously.

"You have been very suspicious to me when I saw you here on the beach, and now you must immediately remove yourself, we do not tolerate any humans among us," said Akka von Kebnekajse.

It is surely not possible," said the gander, "that you wild geese are afraid of such a small creature.

Tomorrow he will surely return home, but nevertheless, you will have to tolerate him among yourselves overnight.

None of us are able to accept responsibility for defending such a little fellow against weasels and foxes alone during the night." The wild geese came closer again, but it was clear how difficult it was for them to overcome their fear.

"I have been taught to fear above all else, what is called man, whether small or large," she said.

But if you, gander, are willing to make sure that this one here doesn't do us any harm, then he may stay overnight.

I am afraid, however, that our night quarters won't suit either you or him, for we are going out on the floating ice and will sleep there." She thought that the gander would be indecisive at this announcement. He didn't seem to notice anything.

"You are very smart and understand how to choose a safe place for sleeping," he said.

"But you promised me that he is returning home tomorrow." "Then I must separate myself from you," said the gander, "for I have promised him not to leave him." "You are free to fly wherever you want," replied the leader.

So she lifted her wings and flew out onto the ice, where she was followed by one wild goose after another.

The boy was saddened by the fact that his trip to Lapland was not going to happen, and he was afraid of the cold night quarters.

"It's getting worse and worse, goosey-gander," he said. "And the first thing will be that we will freeze out there on the ice." But the gander was in good spirits. "That's not a danger," he said.

"Just gather together as much straw and grass as you can carry." When the boy had both arms full of dry grass, the gander took him by the shirt collar with his beak, picked him up, and flew onto the ice where the wild geese, with their beaks under a wing, were already standing and sleeping.

"Now spread the grass on the ice so that I have something to stand on, in order not to freeze. You help me then, I'll help you, too," said the goosey-gander.

The boy did as he was told, and as soon as he had finished, the gander seized him again by the shirt collar and put him under his wing.

"Here you will be nice and warm," he said, pressing his wing so that the little one shouldn't fall down.

He was so embedded in down that he couldn't answer; but he was nice and warm, and he was tired, and in the next moment he was sleeping.

The night.

It is a known fact that ice is deceptive and that no one can rely on it.

In the middle of the night, the ice cover detached from the land changed its position on Vombsee, so that it touched the beach at one place.

And so it happened that Smirre, the fox, which lived previously on the eastern side of the lake in Övedskloster Park saw this during his nocturnal hunting.

Smirre had already seen the wild geese in the evening, however, he didn't expect to be able to get one of them.

Now he ran quickly out onto the ice; but as he got quite close to the wild geese, he suddenly skidded and his claws scratched the ice.

At this the geese woke up and they flapped their wings in order to lift themselves up into the air.

But Smirre was too quick for them. He leapt, just as if someone pushed him forward, grabbed a goose by the wing, and rushed back toward the land.

But that night the wild geese were not alone out on the ice; they had a man with them, even though one still so small.

When the gander was beating his wings, the boy awoke, he fell down on the ice and sat there very drowsy; at first he was unable to explain the excitement among the geese until suddenly he saw a small, short-legged dog running away with a goose in its muzzle.

Then he jumped up quickly in order to snatch the goose away from the dog. He still heard the gander shouting at him: "Tom Thumb, be careful! Be careful!" "But surely I have nothing to fear from such a small dog," thought the boy, and he dashed off.

The wild goose that Smirre the fox dragged away heard the clatter of the boy's clogs on the ice and she couldn't believe her ears.

"Is the little chap thinking he is able to snatch me away from the fox?" it thought.

And as miserable as she was, she nevertheless began to cackle amusedly from the bottom of her neck, almost as if she were laughing.

"The first thing that will happen to him will be that he will tumble into an ice crack," she thought.

But as dark as night was, the boy saw all the cracks and holes in the ice, and made great leaps over them.

This came about since he now had the good night eyesight of the male tomtes and could see in the dark.

Nothing was in color, but rather everything was gray or black, but he saw the lake and the shore as clearly as if by day.

There where the ice abutted the shore, Smirre jumped over, and while he was working up the side of the bank, the boy shouted to him, "Let go of the goose, you lout!" Smirre didn't know who had shouted that; he didn't even take the time to look around, but instead ran even faster.

Now he ran into a big, magnificent beech wood, and the boy ran after him without thinking of any danger.

On the other hand, he constantly had to remember the disrespect he had been given by the geese on the preceding evening, and because of that, he would like to prove to them that a man, even if he is still so small, is superior to all the other creatures.

Time and time again he gave order to the dog in front of him to let go of its prey.

"What kind of dog are you who is not ashamed of stealing a whole goose?", he cried.

"Put it down at once, or you'll see what kind of beating you'll get!

Let go, I say, or I will tell your master how you are behaving!" When Smirre realized that he was being mistaken for a dog who was frightened of a beating, it seemed so comical to him that he almost dropped the goose.

Smirre was a big robber who was not content hunting for rats and field mice but also ventured into the yards and stole chickens and geese.

He knew how greaty feared he was in the whole neighborhood. And now this threat.

He had not heard such a crazy thing since his childhood!

But the boy ran with all his might; it seemed to him as though the thick beech trees were gliding past him, and he was getting closer and closer to Smirre.

Finally, he was so close to Smirre that he could grab him by the tail.

"Now I'll snatch the goose from you!" he shouted, holding Smirre by the tail as hard as he could.

But he was not strong enough to stop Smirre.

The fox tore himself away so violently that the dry beech leaves flew about.

But now Smirre thought to discover how harmless his persecutor were.

He stopped, put the goose down on the ground, and, with his fore paws, set himself upon it so that she couldn't fly away, and was to the point of biting her neck; but then he couldn't resist irritating the little imp a bit.

"Yes, go ahead, accuse me in the name of the Lord, for now I am biting the goose dead," he said.

But whosoever was greatly astonished when he saw the pointed nose of the one he had pursued, and at the same time heard what a hoarse, malicious voice he had was the boy.

He was so angry at the robber who made fun of him, that there was no trace of fear in him at all.

He just grabbed his tail even harder, propped himself against a beech root, and just as the fox had an open muzzle at the neck of the goose, he pulled with all his might.

Smirre was so surprised, that he allowed himself to be pulled a few steps backward and as a result the wild goose got free. ...

She flapped upwards with difficulty, for her wings were hurt, and she could hardly use them; besides, she saw nothing at all in the darkness of the forest, but was as helpless as a blind man.

She therefore couldn't help the boy, but tried to get out through an opening in the green canopy to reach the lake again.

Then Smirre threw himself on the boy. "If I cannot get the one, I will at least have the other," he hissed, and his voice sounded as if he were outraged.

Oh, but do not think that you'll succeed," said the boy.

He was quite cheerful because he had managed to save the goose.

He was still holding on tightly to the fox's tail and swung himself over to the other side as the fox tried to catch him.

This was a dance in the forest, that the beech leaves were just flying around like that!

Smirre turned round, but his tail also swung round, and around, the boy holding onto it tightly, and the fox couldn't touch him.

The boy was so amused about his success that he just laughed in the beginning and mocked the fox; but master Reineke was persevering as old hunters are wont to be, and bit by bit, the boy became fearful, nevertheless, that he could still be caught in the end.

Then he caught sight of a small young beech which had grown up as slender as a post, so as to get up into the open as soon as it could, high above the green canopy that the old beeches spread out over the young tree.

In all haste, the boy let go of the fox tail and climbed up the beech.

Smirre, however, was so eager that he turned round in a circle after his tail for a long time.

"You don't need to dance any more," said the boy suddenly.

The fox was enraged; this disgrace of not getting such a little imp under his power was intolerable to him, so he lay down under the beech to guard the boy.

The boy didn't have it particularly good up there; he was sitting astride a weak branch, and the young beech didn't reach up to the leaf canopy, so that he wasn't able to gain access over to any other tree; but he didn't dare go down to the ground again.

He was freezing tremendously and was close to becoming quite stiff and letting go of his branch; he was terribly drowsy, too, but was careful not to be overpowered by sleep for fear of falling down to the ground.

Oh, it was terrible, sitting outside in the forest in the middle of the night.

Until now he'd had no idea what night really meant. ...

It was as if everything were petrified and could never come alive again. ...

Then at the the beginning of daybreak the boy was glad when everything took on its old appearance, although the cold became more penetrating now towards morning than in the night.

When the sun finally rose, it was not yellow but red.

It seemed to the boy that it looked evil and he wondered why it might be angry.

Maybe because the night had spread such coldness on the earth while the sun was gone.

The rays of the sun were spraying great flashes of fire in the sky in order to see what the night had done on the earth, and it looked as if everything was blushing all round, as if it had a guilty conscience.

The clouds in the sky, the silky-smooth trunks of the beech trees, the small intertwined twigs of the foliage, the hoarfrost covering the beech leaves on the ground, everything glowed and turned red.

But more and more sunbeams shot up into the sky, and soon all the horror of the night had disappeared.

It was as if the paralysis was blown away, and many living things came to light.

The red-necked black woodpecker began to hammer its beak on a tree trunk.

The squirrel scurried out of its lair with a nut, sat on a branch and began to nibble on it.

The starling came flying by with a root fiber, and the chaffinch sang in the treetop.

Then the boy understood that the sun had said to all these little creatures, "Awaken and come out of your dwelling, now I am here! Now you need fear nothing more." From the lake came the call of the wild geese, who were preparing for their journey, to the boy; and soon afterwards all fourteen geese flew by over the forest.

The boy tried to shout to them; but they flew so high that his voice could not reach them. They probably thought the fox had eaten him up a long time ago.

Oh, they didn't even bother to look around for him!

Out of great fear the boy was close to tears; but the sun was now standing cheerful and golden yellow in the sky and inspired courage to the whole world.

You need not be afraid or fear anything, Nils Holgersson, as long as I am there," it said.

The game of the geese.

Monday, March 21.

Everything in the forest remained unchanged for about as long as a goose needed to enjoy its breakfast; but just at the time when the morning passed into forenoon, a single wild goose flew in under the dense foliage.

Hesitantly, she searched her way between trunks and branches and flew very slowly.

As soon as the fox saw her, he left his place under the young beech and crept towards her.

The wild goose did not avoid the fox, but flew very close to it.

Smirre made a high leap at her, but missed, and the goose flew on in the direction of the lake.

It was not long before a second wild goose came flying by.

It took the same path as the previous one, and flew even slower and even closer to the ground.

She, too, glided close to Smirre, and he made such a high leap for her that his ears touched her feet; but she, too, escaped unharmed and continued silently as a shadow on her way to the lake.

A little while passed, another goose emerged, which flew even more slowly, even closer to the ground.

Smirre made a mighty leap, and lacking only hair's breadth, he would have then grabbed it; but this goose, too, escaped him.

As soon as it had disappeared, then the fourth wild goose appeared.

Although it flew so slowly that it seemed to Smirre, as though he could seize it with no particular difficulty, he was now afraid of a new failure and decided to let it fly by untouched.

But she took the same path as the others, and just as she flew over Smirre, she descended so low that he was tempted to jump for her.

He jumped so high that he touched her with his paw; but she quickly threw herself to the side to save her life.

Before Smirre had caught his breath, three geese appeared in a row.

They flew completely in the same way as the preceding geese, and Smirre made high leaps to reach them; but he didn't succeed in catching any of them.

Now five geese appeared; but they flew better than the previous ones, and though they seemed to want to tempt Smirre to jump, he still resisted the temptation

After a rather long pause, a single goose emerged again.

That was the thirteenth. She was so old that she was quite gray and had not a single dark stripe on her body.

She did not seem to be able to use the one wing correctly, and she flew miserably bad and crooked, so that she almost brushed the ground.

Smirre not only made a high leap for her, but also pursued her jumping and hopping toward the lake; but this time, too, his effort was not rewarded.

When the fourteenth goose appeared, it was a very beautiful sight, for it was all white, and when it moved its large wings, a bright light shone in the dark forest.

When Smirre became aware of her, he offered up all his strength and leaped halfway up to the leaf canopy; but the white goose, like all the others before, flew past him unharmed.

Now it was quiet for a while under the beeches; it looked as if the whole flock of wild geese had flown.

Suddenly, Smirre once again became aware of his prisoner, the little imp; he had not had time to think of him since he had seen the first goose. But, of course, he had long since up and gone.

But Smirre did not have much time to think of the little fellow, for the first goose now came back from the lake and flew slowly in under the leaf canopy. In spite of his failure, Smirre was glad about its return, and with a great leap he rushed over to it.

But he had been in too much of a hurry, he hadn't taken the time to calculate his jump and jumped past her now.

After this goose came another, and then another, and then a third, fourth, fifth, till the series with the old ice gray and the large white concluded.

All of them flew slowly and close to the ground; and as they hovered over Smirre, they lowered themselves more deeply as if to invite him to catch them.

And Smirre pursued them, he made leaps of several meters high, and yet he couldn't catch any.

This was the most horrible day Smirre the fox had ever experienced.

The wild geese were flying incessantly over his head, back and forth, back and forth. Large, splendid geese, which had fattened up on the German fields and heaths, glided the whole day through the forest so close to him that he touched them repeatedly, and yet he could not satisfy his hunger with a single one.

The winter was scarcely over, and Smirre remembered the days and nights when he mostly scratched around futilely because he wasn't able to hunt for a single game, for the migrating birds were gone, the rats hid under the frozen ground and the chickens were locked up.

But the hunger of the whole winter was not as hard to bear, as the failure of this one day.

Smirre was no longer a young fox; the dogs had often been at his heels, and the bullets had whistled around his ears.

He had lain deep inside in his burrow while the Dachshunds were in its passageways and almost found him.

But all the anxiety that Smirre had gone through during such an exciting hunt was not to be compared with the feeling that gripped him as often as he made an unsuccessful leap at the wild geese.

In the morning when the game began, Smirre had looked so smart that the geese had drawn up at the sight of him; Smirre loved the splendor, and his fur was bright red, his breast white, his paws black, his tail luxuriant as a feather.

But the most beautiful aspect of him was the vigor of his movements and the brilliance of his eyes.

However, when the evening of that day came, Smirres's fur hung down like a mop, he was bathed in sweat, his eyes were dull, his tongue hung out of his panting mouth and there was foam around his lips.

All afternoon, Smirre was so tired, that he seemed confused.

He saw nothing else other than flying geese in front of his eyes.

He jumped for spots of sun that shone on the ground, and for a poor butterfly which had slipped out of his chrysalis too early.

The wild geese flew and flew tirelessly every now and then; all day long they didn't cease tormenting Smirre; they felt no compassion when they saw Smirre confused, irritated, insane.

Relentlessly they continued although they knew that he hardly saw them and jumped after their shadows.

Only when Smirre, exhausted and weak, almost at the point of losing his mind, fell upon a heap of dry foliage, did they stop making a fool of him.

"Now you know, fox, what happens to him who gets involved with Akka von Kebnekajse!" they shouted into his ears; and at last they left him in peace.
unit 1
(http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31114/31114-h/31114-h.htm#kap1).
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 2
Selma Lagerlöf.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 3
Wunderbare Reise des kleinen Nils Holgersson mit den Wildgänsen.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 4
Teil 2: Akka von Kebnekajse.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 5
Der Abend.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 10
Akka von Kebnekajse!“ „Was wollt ihr von mir?“ fragte die Anführerin.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 11
„Der Weiße bleibt zurück!
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 14
„Akka!
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 15
Akka!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 17
„Was wollt ihr jetzt wieder?“ fragte die Anführerin und schien sehr ärgerlich zu sein.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 18
„Der Weiße fällt!
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 21
„Akka!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 22
Akka!“ riefen die hintersten.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 24
„Der Weiße ist am Hinunterfallen!
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 26
Und es fiel ihr durchaus nicht ein, langsamer zu fliegen, sondern sie streckte sich wie zuvor.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 27
„Aha, so steht es also?“ sagte der Gänserich.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 29
Sie hatten ihn nur zum Spaß mitgelockt.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 31
Und als das ärgerlichste von allem erschien ihm dieses Zusammentreffen mit Akka von Kebnekajse.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 33
Sie stand so hoch in Achtung, daß sich stets nur die besten Wildgänse an sie anschlossen.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 36
Da sagte plötzlich der Knirps, den er auf seinem Rücken trug: „Lieber Gänserich Martin!
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 42
Ehe der Junge und der Gänserich es ahnten, waren sie am Strande von Vombsee.
4 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 11 months, 4 weeks ago
unit 44
Er stand auf einem schmalen, sandigen Ufer, und vor ihm lag ein ziemlich großer See.
3 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 45
Aber der See machte einen häßlichen Eindruck.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 48
Aber das Eis war doch noch da und verbreitete Kälte und winterliches Unbehagen.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 50
Und es sah aus, als ob der Tannenwald die Macht hätte, den Winter an sich zu fesseln.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 53
Er war sehr hungrig, denn er hatte den ganzen Tag nichts gegessen.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 54
Aber wo hätte er etwas zu essen hernehmen sollen?
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 55
Im März wächst weder auf den Bäumen noch auf den Feldern etwas Eßbares.
3 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 56
Ja, wo sollte er etwas zu essen hernehmen?
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 57
Und wer würde ihm Obdach gewähren?
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 58
Wer ihm ein Bett richten?
4 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 59
Wer ihn an seinem Feuer niedersitzen lassen und wer ihn vor den Wildgänsen beschützen?
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 62
Er hatte ja sonst niemand, an den er sich hätte halten können.
4 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 63
Da sah er, daß der Gänserich noch schlimmer daran war als er.
4 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 66
„Lieber Gänserich Martin,“ sagte der Junge, „versuche einen Schluck Wasser zu trinken.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 67
Es sind keine zwei Schritte bis zum See.“ Aber der Gänserich rührte sich nicht.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 69
Er fing gleich an, ihn zu stoßen und zu schieben, um ihn zum Wasser hinzubringen.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 71
Der Gänserich kam mit dem Kopfe zuerst ins Wasser hinein.
3 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 73
Dann schwamm er stolz zwischen das Röhricht hinein.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 74
Die Wildgänse lagen vor ihm im See.
4 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 78
„Das bekommst du zum Dank dafür, daß du mir ins Wasser hinuntergeholfen hast,“ sagte er.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 79
Dies war das erste freundliche Wort, das der Junge an diesem Tage zu hören bekam.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 81
Und auch über die Gabe freute er sich.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 85
Als der Junge gesättigt war, schämte er sich eigentlich, daß er etwas Rohes hatte essen können.
4 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 86
„Ich bin offenbar gar kein Mensch mehr, sondern ein richtiges Wichtelmännchen,“ dachte er.
5 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 90
Er war daher über die Maßen erstaunt und wußte nicht, was er sagen sollte.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 91
„Ich glaubte, wir beide seien nicht gut Freund miteinander,“ sagte er.
4 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 93
„Ich müßte eigentlich zu Vater und Mutter zurückkehren,“ sagte der Junge.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 94
„O, ich werde dich schon zu rechter Zeit zu ihnen zurückbringen!“ rief der Gänserich.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 98
unit 99
Als der weiße Gänserich jetzt die Wildgänse betrachtete, war ihm gar nicht behaglich zumut.
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 100
unit 105
unit 110
„Ich bin im vorigen Jahre in Skanör geboren.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 113
„Ja, das wäre gut, wenn du uns das zeigen könntest,“ sagte die Anführerin.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 116
„Ich bin noch nie weiter geschwommen, als quer über eine Mergelgrube,“ fuhr er fort.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 121
Hierauf streckte die Anführerin den Schnabel aus und sagte: „Aber wen hast du denn da bei dir?
4 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 122
So einen habe ich noch nie gesehen.“ „Es ist mein Gefährte,“ sagte der Gänserich.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 124
„Wie heißt er?“ „Er hat verschiedene Namen,“ sagte der Gänserich zögernd.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 126
„Ach, er heißt Däumling,“ sagte er plötzlich.
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 127
„Ist er aus dem Geschlecht der Wichtelmännchen?“ fragte die Anführerin.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 130
Ihr ganzes Federkleid war eisgrau, ohne dunkle Streifen.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 131
Ihr Kopf war größer, ihre Beine gröber und ihre Füße mehr zertreten als die der andern.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 132
Die Federn waren steif, die Schultern knochig, der Hals mager.
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 133
Alles dies kam vom Alter.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 135
Jetzt wendete sie sich sehr feierlich an den Gänserich.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 141
„Ich will nicht geheim halten, wer ich bin,“ sagte er.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 144
Und sie reckten alle die Hälse und zischten ihn zornig an.
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 152
Er ließ sich aber nichts merken.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 153
„Ihr seid sehr klug und versteht es, einen sichern Schlafplatz auszuwählen,“ sagte er.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 155
unit 157
„Es wird immer schlimmer, Gänserich,“ sagte er.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 159
„Das hat keine Gefahr,“ sagte er.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 162
Hilf du mir, dann helfe ich dir auch,“ sagte der Gänserich.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 166
Die Nacht.
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 172
Davon erwachten die Gänse, und sie schlugen mit den Flügeln, um sich in die Luft zu erheben.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 173
Aber Smirre war ihnen zu hurtig.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 177
Da sprang er rasch auf, dem Hunde die Gans abzujagen.
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 178
Er hörte noch, daß der Gänserich ihm nachrief: „Däumling, nimm dich in acht!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 181
„Meint der kleine Knirps, er könne mich dem Fuchse abjagen?“ dachte sie.
4 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 183
„Das erste, was ihm passiert, wird sein, daß er in eine Eisritze purzelt,“ dachte sie.
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 190
Einmal ums andre befahl er dem Hunde da vor sich, seine Beute loszulassen.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 191
„Was bist du für ein Hund, der sich nicht schämt, eine ganze Gans zu stehlen?“ rief er.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 192
„Lege sie sogleich nieder, sonst wirst du sehen, was für Prügel du bekommst!
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 195
Er wußte, wie sehr er in der ganzen Umgegend gefürchtet war.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 196
Und jetzt diese Drohung.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 197
So etwas Verrücktes hatte er seit seiner Kindheit nicht mehr gehört!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 199
Endlich war er Smirre so nahe, daß er ihn am Schwanze fassen konnte.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 201
Aber er war nicht stark genug, Smirre aufzuhalten.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 202
Der Fuchs riß ihn so heftig mit sich fort, daß die dürren Buchenblätter umherstoben.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 203
Doch jetzt glaubte Smirre zu entdecken, wie ungefährlich sein Verfolger sei.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 205
unit 212
Da warf Smirre sich auf den Jungen.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 214
„O denke doch ja nicht, daß dir das gelingen werde,“ sagte der Junge.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 215
Er war ganz aufgeräumt, weil es ihm gelungen war, die Gans zu retten.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 217
Das war ein Tanz im Walde, daß die Buchenblätter nur so umherstoben!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 221
In aller Eile ließ der Junge den Fuchsschwanz los und kletterte auf die Buche hinauf.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 222
unit 223
„Du brauchst nicht weiter zu tanzen,“ sagte der Junge plötzlich.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 227
O, es war fürchterlich, mitten in der Nacht so im Walde draußen zu sitzen!
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 228
Er hatte bis jetzt keine Ahnung gehabt, was das bedeutete, wenn es Nacht ist.
4 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 229
Es war, als sei alles versteinert und könne nie wieder zum Leben erwachen.
2 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 231
Als endlich die Sonne aufging, war sie nicht gelb, sondern rot.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 232
Dem Jungen kam es vor, als sehe sie böse aus, und er fragte sich, warum sie wohl böse sei.
4 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 236
unit 237
Die Lähmung war wie weggeblasen, und gar vieles Lebendige trat zutage.
4 Translations, 6 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 238
Der Schwarzspecht mit dem roten Hals begann mit dem Schnabel an einem Baumstamme zu hämmern.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 240
Der Star kam mit einer Wurzelfaser dahergeflogen, und der Buchfink sang in dem Baumwipfel.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 244
Sie glaubten wohl, der Fuchs habe ihn schon lange aufgefressen.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 245
Ach, sie gaben sich auch nicht einmal die Mühe, sich nach ihm umzusehen!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 248
Das Spiel der Gänse.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 249
Montag, 21 März.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 251
Zögernd suchte sie ihren Weg zwischen Stämmen und Zweigen und flog ganz langsam.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 252
Sobald der Fuchs sie sah, verließ er seinen Platz unter der jungen Buche und schlich zu ihr hin.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 253
Die Wildgans wich dem Fuchs nicht aus, sondern flog ganz nahe heran.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 255
Es dauerte nicht lange, so kam auch schon eine zweite Wildgans dahergeflogen.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 256
Sie nahm denselben Weg wie die vorige und flog noch langsamer und noch näher am Boden.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 260
Kaum war sie verschwunden, so erschien auch schon die vierte Wildgans.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 264
Ehe Smirre ausgekeucht hatte, erschienen drei Gänse in einer Reihe.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 267
Nach einer ziemlich langen Pause tauchte wieder eine einzelne Gans auf.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 268
Das war die dreizehnte.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 269
unit 276
Aber natürlich war der längst auf und davon.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 281
Und Smirre verfolgte sie, er machte mehrere Meter hohe Sätze, und doch konnte er keine erwischen.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 282
Das war der schrecklichste Tag, den der Fuchs Smirre je erlebt hatte.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 283
Die Wildgänse flogen unaufhörlich über seinem Kopf weg, hin und her, hin und her.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 291
Aber das schönste an ihm war doch die Spannkraft seiner Bewegungen und der Glanz seiner Augen.
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 293
Den ganzen Nachmittag war Smirre so müde, daß er wie verwirrt war.
4 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
unit 294
Er sah nichts andres mehr vor sich als fliegende Gänse.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 1 year, 2 months ago
anitafunny • 6200  commented on  unit 289  1 year, 2 months ago
DrWho • 8395  commented on  unit 287  1 year, 2 months ago
anitafunny • 6200  commented on  unit 204  1 year, 2 months ago
anitafunny • 6200  commented on  unit 142  1 year, 2 months ago
anitafunny • 6200  commented on  unit 193  1 year, 2 months ago
DrWho • 8395  commented on  unit 130  1 year, 2 months ago
anitafunny • 6200  commented on  unit 166  1 year, 2 months ago
DrWho • 8395  commented on  unit 66  1 year, 2 months ago