"Good Day, Fellow!" "Axe Handle!"
|"Good Day, Fellow!" "Axe Handle!"|
Illustration by Theodor Kittelsen
|Name||"Good Day, Fellow!" "Axe Handle!"|
|AKA||God dag, mann! - Økseskaft|
|Published in||Norwegian Folktales|
A deaf or hard of hearing ferryman has a wife, two sons and a daughter. They fritter away all their money, and leave him to pay the bill when their credit runs out.
He sees the bailiff coming in the distance and decides to be clever and prepare his answers ahead of time. He reasons that the first thing the man will ask will be about what he is carving. He will say that it is an axe handle. He thinks that the other questions will be about the length of the axe handle, his ferry, his mare and the way to the cowshed.
However, the first thing the bailiff says is "Good Day, Fellow!" He replies "Axe Handle!", thinking himself clever.
Next the bailiff asks how far it is to the inn. "Up to this knot!" he replies, pointing to the axe handle.
The bailiff shakes his head and stares at him.
"Where is your wife, man?" he says.
"I'm going to tar her," said the ferryman, "She's lying on the beach, cracked at both ends."
"Where is your daughter?"
"Oh, she's in the stable, big with foal," he said, still thinking himself clever.
The bailiff finally gets angry with him and shouts "Go to the devil, fool that you are!"
"Oh, it's not far away, when you're over the hill, you're almost there," said the man.
The Norwegian phrase "Goddag mann økseskaft" or "goddag yxskaft" has come to mean a non sequitur.
|Look up goddag yxskaft in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Økse-skaft The Danish Dictionary (Danish)
- Kjell Nedrelid (12 November 1994). "God dag, mann! -- Økseskaft". Project Runeberg (in Norwegian).