I wonder if princess Tuvstarr is still there,  the edge of the lake looking into the water, searching for her lost heart?
Or was there once an overcast, windless autumn day when Skutt the Moose, who’d first taken her out into the world, again felt the longing not to be alone and, tired of watching the princess pine away, raced over mossy hills and through the dark forest, changed into a prince and dived into the still mirror-world of the lake to find her heart? And did he come up with her heart in his hands and watch her change into a golden-haired young woman, who asked him to take care of her heart and come back with her to the Dream Palace?

Helge Kjellin’s fairy tale ‘Skutt the Moose and Princess Tuvstarr’, written in 1913 and beautifully illustrated by John Bauer, is one of the strangest fairy tales I’ve ever read and though Kjellin lived to the age of 99, I can’t find out if he ever wrote another story…

Eva Weggelaar



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