She dreamed that little Mats softly opened the door and stepped into the room.
“Osa, you must go and find father,” he said.
“How can I when I don’t even know where he is?” she replied in her dream.
“Don’t worry about that,” returned little Mats in his usual, cheery way. “I’ll send some one to help you.”
Just as Osa, the goose girl, dreamed that little Mats had said this, there was a knock at the door. It was a real knock—not something she heard in the dream, but she was so held by the dream that she could not tell the real from the unreal. As she went on to open the door, she thought:
“This must be the person little Mats promised to send me.”
She was right, for it was Thumbietot come to talk to her about her father.
When he saw that she was not afraid of him, he told her in a few words where her father was and how to reach him.
While he was speaking, Osa, the goose girl, gradually regained consciousness; when he had finished she was wide awake.
Then she was so terrified at the thought of talking with an elf that she could not say thank you or anything else, but quickly shut the door.
As she did that she thought she saw an expression of pain flash across the elf’s face, but she could not help what she did, for she was beside herself with fright. She crept into bed as quickly as she could and drew the covers over her head.
Although she was afraid of the elf, she had a feeling that he meant well by her. So the next day she made haste to do as he had told her.
One afternoon in July it rained frightfully up around Lake Luossajaure. The Laplanders, who lived mostly in the open during the summer, had crawled under the tent and were squatting round the fire drinking coffee.
The new settlers on the east shore of the lake worked diligently to have their homes in readiness before the severe Arctic winter set in. They wondered at the Laplanders, who had lived in the far north for centuries without even thinking that better protection was needed against cold and storm than thin tent covering.
The Laplanders, on the other hand, wondered at the new settlers giving themselves so much needless, hard work, when nothing more was necessary to live comfortably than a few reindeer and a tent.
They only had to drive the poles into the ground and spread the covers over them, and their abodes were ready. They did not have to trouble themselves about decorating or furnishing. The principal thing was to scatter some spruce twigs on the floor, spread a few skins, and hang the big kettle, in which they cooked their reindeer meat, on a chain suspended from the top of the tent poles.
While the Laplanders were chatting over their coffee cups, a row boat coming from the Kiruna side pulled ashore at the Lapps’ quarters.