The Man Who Died on Holy Innocents' Day
Once upon a time there was a man named Kalle
Kula. He was a wild fellow, and had committed
many a grievous crime during his life. When
he came to die, and his wife took up the Bible to pray
for him as he was lying there, he said, "No, this is
Holy Innocents' Day, and it is not worth while reading
from the Bible for me. You had better go into
the kitchen instead, and bake waffles. I shall die
this very day, and then you must lay a bundle of
waffles in my coffin." The woman went into the
kitchen and baked the waffles; but when she came
back to him again he was dead. So Kalle Kula was
laid in the coffin with a bundle of waffles beside him.
Then he came to the gates of Paradise with his
little bundle of waffles under his arm and knocked.
But St. Peter said to him: "You have no business
here, with all the crimes you have committed."
"Yes, that may well be so, but I died on Holy Innocents' Day,"
said Kalle Kula, "so at least I may
look in and see the innocent children?" St. Peter
could not refuse him, and opened the door a little
way. Kalle Kula took advantage of the moment
and cried: "Come, you little holy innocents, you
shall have waffles!" And as they had not been
given any waffles in Paradise, they all came rushing
up, so that the door flew wide open, and then Kalle
Kula crept in.
But St. Peter went to our Lord, told him what
had happened, and asked what was to be done.
"The best thing is to let your lawyer attend to it,"
said our Lord, "because lawyers usually know all
about evicting people." St. Peter searched everywhere,
but could not find a lawyer. Then he went
back to our Lord and reported to him that it was
impossible to find a single lawyer in all Paradise,
and Kalle Kula was allowed to remain where he was.
If you tie a thief and a miller and a lawyer together
and roll the whole bundle down a hill—no
matter how you roll it—you can always be sure that
whoever is on top is a thief.
This story, part fairy-tale, part legend, "The Man Who Died on
Holy Innocents' Day" (communicated by Dr. v. Sydow-Lund) has a
Danish variant. Its innocently malicious humor is worthy of