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Heidi Kilpeläinen (Koli)

Annikki’s Laundry Day

Have you already heard Annikki’s story? A young girl who, being proud, infuriated the fairy/ sprite of Koli? (If not, ask someone to tell it!) When trying to make amends to the fairy she was forced to sacrifice her youth, wealth and in the end her life.

To me, the story of Annikki and the nature fairy is an allegory of the lives of ancient Finns and the people of Koli. Many of them sacrificed their strength, wealth and in the end their lives trying to make a living in the rugged and scarce conditions where even the greatest efforts were not necessarily sufficient.

However, life offers some consolation every once in a while. After losing everything, Annikki still brings her skirt, ribbons and blouse to dry on the clothes line, for there will be a dance that night and Annikki hopes to find a new love.