Alpine tales to keep you awake at night

One of the books I picked up ages ago either second hand or on eBay was a collection of Swiss Alpine Folk Tales by Fritz Muller-Guggenbuhl. The idea was to read a story each night to the boys but after the first attempt – The Alp that Disappeared – we are opting for something less nightmare inducing instead.

In the story a rich farmer who inherits one of the most lush and fruitful mountain pastures in the Bernese Oberland abuses the wealth of nature feeding cream to his dog while his mother starves. When she comes up from the village to beg food he serves her milk mixed with liquid dung (the boys liked that bit) but as she goes away she calls on the heavens to destroy his land and shortly afterwards the farmer and his lady friend are encased in rock and ice as the mountain collapses and swallows the pasture.

The tale ends, and this is where it started nightmares, warning that on a cold and stormy night (which we have already have had a couple) you can hear the moans of a man and the screams of a woman coming out from one of the Bernese mountains.

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