Snuðra og Tuðra missa af matnum (Spirit and Sprite Miss Dinner)


With illustrations by Gunnar Karlsson.

The books about the sisters Snuðra and Tuðra (Spirit and Sprite) are very popular with children in Iceland. The sisters come up with various pranks, often hilarious, but end up learning their lesson.

From Spirit and Sprite Miss Dinner (from an unpublished translation by Dúa Berg Warmisham):

Spirit and Sprite were just setting off on a journey, with all the dolls on the big truck Uncle Magnus had brought them. They didn’t come to the table until Mum had called them a second time.

When Spirit and Sprite finally arrived at the table, dinner was already served. Meatballs are the best thing in whole world, said Spirit.

“Yummy yummy, said Sprite”, with her mouth full of food, but a moment later she ran off to check up on the dolls. She ran so quickly she bumped into the truck which fell on its side. The poor dolls were thrown everywhere and teddy landed under the truck. “Spirit”, she cried, “come quick, there’s been an accident!”

Spirit came running and now the girls had a big job on their hands.  The dolls were in a terrible state. One had a broken arm, another one a hurt leg and teddy had a large cut on his forehead. They all had to go straight to the hospital and it took a long time to get them better.A few times the sisters heard Mum crying out for them,  but they had no time to answer, they were so busy.  It was not until all the cuts and broken bones had been taken care off that they finally remembered about dinner.

“These are the best meatball I have ever tasted,” Auntie Prunella
was saying when Spirit and Sprite came rushing to the table.
“I ate ten,” said her eldest son.
“And I ate eight…nine…seven…!” cried the others on top of each other.
“They are such good eaters,” Auntie Prunella said glowing with pride.
“Meatballs, I want more meatballs,” shouted Sprite and threw herself onto her chair.
“Me too, I’ve only had one,” said Spirit.

But they were in for a surprise. The big bowl was completely empty.
“Where are the meatballs?” asked Spirit.
“We have eaten them all,” Auntie Prunella’s children cried, laughing so hard they almost fell off their chairs.
“Children should sit still while they eat,” said Auntie Prunella.
“Of course, that’s just propper manners,”  said Uncle Magnus.
“Manners,” Sprite muttered through her teeth.