Foxy, Bear, Peikko: Finnish Folktales

The Animals Build a Road

Foxy climbed up onto a large boulder. “I say we need a plan,” he said.

Everyone agreed.

“I say we need a foreman to see that the work is done well,” he


Again, everyone thought this was a good idea. But whom should they choose as the foreman? They all gawked around at each other but no one spoke up.

Finally, growing impatient, Foxy said, “I can do it. I am Foxy, the Clever One. I will make a good foreman.”

Bear and the Ant

One day Bear saw a little ant under a big fir tree. Bear looked at the tiny creature and began to brag about his own strength.

The ant listened for a while. “Well,” he then said. “You may be big and strong, but I am stronger than you.”

Bear laughed. “You must be dreaming, little ant! How can you be stronger than I? I am King of Northern Forests.”

“Would you like to have a contest?” the ant asked.

Immediately Bear was ready.

The Hole in the Ice

Peikko was itching to have another competition with Matti, but he could not decide what the challenge should be. He went to see Matti, who was out on the frozen lake ice fishing. He demanded that Matti should suggest the next contest.

“You are the one who always wants to compete,” Matti protested. “I am quite happy just minding my own business.”

But since Peikko kept insisting, Matti said, “Let’s see who can empty this fishing hole faster.