Sauna gnome

I’ve been reading a book on old Finnish folk tales and mythology. Some of the stories can get very non-Disney at their best.


Going to the sauna must be done on time,

Never, ever late, not for song nor rhyme.

There was a woman some thousand years ago,

Who worked hard with a twisted toe.

She looked forward to Saturday night,

The toe would heal in the sauna all right.

It snew and snew and it took a long while,

Till she got home: midnight, still a mile.

Everyone at home had washed already,

While she was still walking, slow and steady.

Due to this delay it was already one

As she sat next to the oven’s small sun.

Saunas are known to house their own gnome

Who is proud of its warm, cozy home.

It wards off diseases if treated with respect,

Given sacrifices, but if you neglect,

To obey its rules it will be wont to do

Like gnomefolk will, it will hurt you.

The woman, who came late, not of her own volition,

Made no sounds, which raised much suspicion.

Her brothers and sisters went to investigate

Found the sauna empty, the warmth first rate.

They looked and peered in the dark of the room,

And, in the rafters, next to the broom,

Saw what used to be the skin of their sister,

Shredded and torn to bits like a popped blister.

This, they knew, was done by the gnome,

Who suffers no tardiness inside its home.


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