Short summary - Man and elephant - Zachris Topelius

Scandinavian literature summaries - 2023

Short summary - Man and elephant
Zachris Topelius

In the old castle of Abo (Finland) lived an old brownie. He was friends only with the domovoi from the cathedral and the old gatekeeper of the castle, Matts Mursten, whom he met when, while still a boy, he climbed into the basement for cartridges, fell into the rubble and was freed by the domovoi. The brownie helped Matts take care of the castle, but at the same time remained invisible. The gatekeeper could see him only when he became quite an old man: he took him home to his Hollow Tower and showed him countless treasures, the cat Murra and the wolves, into which the hunters for his good turned into. The owner of the tower told Matts that old Väinämöinen was sitting under the castle and waiting for his beard to grow and the end of imprisonment to come, but for now he sings.

The gatekeeper invited his ancient friend to the wedding of his great-granddaughter Rosa. The brownie was invisibly present at the celebration and even put an old golden crown on the bride's head - his gift. Despite the promise given to the brownie, Matts told about where the crown came from, and the groom's cousin with his grumpy mother climbed into the tower for treasures, and stayed there.

The castle gradually fell into disrepair, and one day while walking through it, Matts, Rose and her baby Eric met a brownie. He wanted Eric for the castle to be kept in order, and the refusal infuriated him - but the old man's song sounded ... Matts died while the song was being sung. Rose undertook to protect the castle, Eric took care of it, and the brownie invisibly helped them.