An illustration of a dog, with a long drooping tongue, red eyes, and a long tail, appearing on a bridge over a stream between two villages in Switzerland. by Ted Tschopp and Midjourney

The Betten Dog

written by

The Betten Dog : an image by Ted Tschopp and Midjourney

Legends from Uri 1 - 3

by Hanns Bächtold-Stäubli; Robert Wildhaber

Basel, 1926, 1929, 1945

The Weatherman in Pörtlialp

Whenever people heard a yodel from the “Beerdli,” folks at Ronastutz and in Fellenen would say, “Ah! The Weatherman has yodeled again in Beerdli; bad weather is coming.” From time to time, a large, heavy man would come from Beerdli. He wore a large hat and walked as far as Kästalwald; never further. There he would disappear. And each time, the weather would turn bad. My father often saw him but never close enough to see his face. It was suspected that he was the same man who was heard yodeling.

Albin Indergand, Amsteg

Yes, it’s true! In the front Beerdli (Pörtli), you can hear someone yodeling from time to time, and then bad weather comes. I have heard and seen him myself. One autumn day, we went to Fellital to fetch wood. Suddenly, we heard someone yodeling from the other Beerdli. It was a magnificent yodel and sounded very familiar; you would think you had heard it many times before. We yodeled back, but he fell silent. Two to three days later, a heavy snowfall came. He lived in a small hut in the front forest. Often in the evening, they heard him place his stick next to the front door and then enter. But then bad weather would come soon. It was a sure sign when you heard him place the stick next to the door. I was a herdsman there for several summers. One evening, when I had been called to pray and was returning to the hut, someone came right out of the door, rushed past me in quick steps, and hurried away. I thought it was the shepherd. But when I entered the hut, the shepherd and the assistant were inside, and no one had left the hut or seen a visitor. That was the last time I noticed the ghostly hut dweller.

J.J. Walker, 72 years old, Meitschligen


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