Mighty Mikko: A Book of Finnish Fairy Tales and Folk Tales | Annotated Tale

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XIII. Mikko the Fox: Osmo’s Share

ONE day Osmo, the Bear, came to a clearing where a Man was plowing.

               "Good day," the Bear said. "What are you doing?"

               "I'm plowing," the Man answered. "After I finish plowing I'm going to harrow and then plant the field, half in wheat and half in turnips."

               "Yum! Yum!" Osmo thought to himself. "Good food that--wheat and turnips!"

               Aloud he said:

               "I know how to plow and harrow. What do you say to my helping you?"

               "If you help me," the Man said, "I'll share the harvest with you."

               So Osmo set to work and between them they soon had the field plowed, harrowed, and planted.

               When Autumn came they went to get their crops.

               At the turnip field the Man said:

               "Now what do you want as your share--the part that grows above the ground or the part that grows below?"

               Osmo, the Bear, seeing how green and luxuriant the turnip tops were, said:

               "Give me the part that grows above ground."

               After they had harvested the turnips, they went on to the wheat field where the Man put the same question.

               The wheat stocks were all dry and shriveled. Osmo looked at them wisely and said:

               "This time you better give me the part that grows under the ground."

               The Man laughed in his sleeve and agreed.

               One day the following winter the two met and the Man invited the Bear to dinner. Osmo who was very hungry accepted the invitation gladly.

               First they had baked turnips.

               "Oh, but these are good!" Osmo said. "I've never tasted anything better! What are they?"

               "Why," the Man said, "they're the turnips from that field that you and I planted together."

               The Bear was greatly surprised.

               Then they had some freshly baked bread.

               "How good! How good!" Osmo exclaimed. "What is it?"

               "Just plain bread," the Man said, "baked from the wheat you and I planted together."

               Osmo was more surprised than ever.

               "Why, do you know," he said, "my turnips and my bread don't taste a bit like this!"

               The Man burst out laughing and Osmo wondered why.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: XIII. Mikko the Fox: Osmo’s Share
Tale Author/Editor: Fillmore, Parker
Book Title: Mighty Mikko: A Book of Finnish Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Book Author/Editor: Fillmore, Parker
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace and Company
Publication City: New York
Year of Publication: 1922
Country of Origin: Finland
Classification: unclassified

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