The trees of Norway have no fear of continuously measuring their strength against the might of the mountains, who have yet to win against the trees, with their roots slowly pushing themselves into every crack they can find. No wonder then that ‘Tusse Kallet’ a branch with a large round lump, from an old tree, can be used to open the gates to the mountains underbelly, whilst singing a forgotten Norse hymn. It is said that the first of Bjørn Venøs ancestors did just that.
On a night when the sun had not set, Venøs ancestor saw a ‘Hulder’, a nymph of the forest, a striking mature woman with a cows tail that lives deep inside the mountains. As the 'Hulder' stepped out of a dark lake, the ancestor was overwhelmed by her presence and radiance that had not been seen for a thousand years. The ancestor knew he had to marry her whatever the cost might be to his social standing, earthly possessions or sanity. Mindlessly he let the ‘Hulder’ lead him through forests and over hills until she came to the face of the mountain, where they stood looking at one and other until the first ray of light struck her face. At that moment the mountain came alive and swallowed the 'Hulder'. The ancestor tried to follow her into the mountain, he shouted and hammered, and returned both day and night, demanding to be let in but nothing happened. On the thirty-sixth night of returning to the entrance, he came across a large black goat that had its horns twisted in a fishing net. The ancestor took pity in the goat and spent that night carefully helping it. When freed the goat followed the ancestor home and stopped outside his door where it stood until the ancestor arose the next day. They stared at each other until the goat approached the ancestor and whispered the secret of how to gain entry to the mountain.
Within the mountain, he found his ‘Hulder’ at the feet of a blind Troll king. The ancestor told the Troll that he would give every cow he owned and resign all his beliefs to marry the ‘Hulder’. To which the Troll King replied, “Only if you meet the request of my daughter”. The 'Hulder' looked at the man before her and said, “I shall be your wife if you exchange your eyes with my fathers.” Venøs ancestor did not flinch and agreed.
On the wedding night he found that the Trolls eyes were indeed blind but to his surprise revealed the world as it really was.
Bjørn Venø and his father have both travelled the seven seas to find their freedom from the land of their ancestors, but no matter how far they travelled their blood would never stop hearing the call of the mountain.