Swedish fairy tales

By Herman Hofberg

The Project Gutenberg eBook of Swedish Fairy Tales
This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and
most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online
at www.gutenberg.org. If you are not located in the United States,
you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located
before using this eBook.

Title: Swedish Fairy Tales

Author: Herman Hofberg

Translator: W. H. Myers

Release date: March 3, 2024 [eBook #73093]

Language: English

Original publication: Chicago: Belford-Clarke Co, 1888

Credits: Jeroen Hellingman and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at https://www.pgdp.net/ for Project Gutenberg (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)


                          SWEDISH FAIRY TALES

                            HERMAN HOFBERG.

                       TRANSLATED BY W. H. MYERS.

                           BELFORD-CLARKE CO.


It is probably known to most readers that there is a distinction
between Tradition and Saga. Tradition has, or at least seems to have,
to do with facts, usually designating some particular spot or region
where the incident is said to have taken place, often even giving the
names of actors, while the Saga is entirely free in its scope, equally
as regards incident, and the time and place of its happening. Not
infrequently the traditions of a people are founded upon actual
historical occurrences, which, often repeated in the naïve manner of
the peasantry, become, finally, folk-lore. A great many are, however,
drawn from ancient myths, which, in time, become clad in historical
garb, and are located in some particular place.

We already possess various collections of traditions drawn from the
rich treasury of our peasantry, but up to the present there has been no
attempt at a formulated compilation of Swedish folk-lore. As I now put
into the hands of the public such a collection, I ought to state that I
have thought it better to select the most typical of our traditions
than to gather everything that I might in this line, much of which has
already been written, and which would require a many times larger
volume, and occasion a repetition of the same matter when occurring, as
many do, in different localities. Instead, I have accompanied each tale
with a historical and ethnographical note in which I have so stated if
the tradition is found in different places.

The illustrations are the product of several among our best artists.
Without doubt, the book has thereby been added to greatly, not only in
outer adornment, but even in national and intrinsic value.


An interest in the Swedish people, their language, their literature and
history; the important part the traditions of a people play in their
history, character and domestic life, and that the traditions of the
world play in its history and that of mankind, and that I would, if
possible, add to the growing interest in that far-away, beautiful
country, and that generous, hospitable people, have been the incentives
to the labor involved in this translation; a labor not unmixed with
pleasure, and not a little of that pleasure coming from the
encouragement of my Swedish acquaintances.

No embellishment and not more than a faithful reproduction of the
author’s ideas have been attempted, and I shall be happy, indeed, if I
have done so excellent a writer as Mr. Hofberg, approximate justice in
this regard.

I have taken the liberty to leave out a number of the author’s notes as
unimportant, and not likely to interest the general reader, also to
follow the stories with their notes instead of grouping them in the
back of the book as in the original.


    AUTHOR’S PREFACE,                                 3
    TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE,                             4

        LJUNGBY HORN AND PIPE,                       31
        STOMPE PILT,                                 15
        THE GHOST AT FJELKINGE,                      28
        THE LORD OF ROSENDAL,                        20
        THE MASTER OF UGERUP,                        23
        THE SURE SHOT,                               11

        THE KNIGHT OF ELLENHOLM,                     39
        THE SWAN MAIDEN,                             35


        DAME SOÅSAN,                                 47
        EBBE SKAMELSON,                              60
        JOHAN AND THE TROLLS,                        65
        KATRINEHOLM MANOR,                           55
        KETTIL RUNSKE,                               45
        THE GIANT PUKE,                              52
        THE LOST TREASURE,                           69
        THE TROLLS OF SKURUGATA,                     42


        THE BYSE,                                    77
        THE SEA NYMPH,                               75
        THE TEN FAIRY SERVANTS,                      71


        THE BRIDGE OVER KALMARSOUND,                 78


        ELSTORPS WOODS,                              84
        THE FREEBOOTER’S GRAVE,                      89
        THE PIGMY OF FOLKARED’S CLIFF,               86
        THE YOUNG LADY OF HELLERUP,                  80


        GLOSHED’S ALTAR,                             95
        HÅLDE-HAT,                                   99
        KING RANE AND QUEEN HUDTA,                  107
        THE BRIDAL PRESENT,                          97
        THE CHILD PHANTOM,                          105
        THE GOLDEN CRADLE,                          102


        BISHOP SVEDBERG AND THE DEVIL,              117
        THE COUNTESS OF HÖJENTORP,                  111
        THE GIANT OF SKALUNDA,                      113
        THE KNIGHTS OF ÅLLABERG,                    109
        THE TREASURE IN SÄBY CREEK,                 119
        THE TROLLS IN RESSLARED,                    115


        LADY BARBRO OF BROKIND,                     129
        THE CAT OF NORRHULT,                        126
        THE TOMTS,                                  122
        THE TROLL SHOES,                            134
        THE URKO OF NORTH WIJ,                      131


        BURIED ALIVE,                               140
        THE MOUNTAIN KITCHEN,                       138
        THE WOOD AND THE SEA NYMPHS,                136


        JONAS SPITS,                                141
        LADY RANGELA OF EDSHOLM,                    143
        SAXE OF SAXEHOLM,                           145
        THE HARVESTERS,                             149
        THE POLITE COAL BURNER,                     147


        KATE OF YSÄTTER,                            155
        RUGGA BRIDGE,                               153
        THE ELVES’ DANCE,                           159
        THE FIDDLER AND THE SEA NYMPH,              162
        THE ULFGRYT STONES,                         150


        BOLSTRE CASTLE,                             174
        THE COAL BURNER AND THE TROLL,              169
        THE SNIPE,                                  164
        TIBBLE CASTLE AND KLINTA SPRING,            166


        LAKE GOLDRING,                              184
        THE CHANGELINGS,                            176
        THE LADY OF PINTORP,                        179
        THE TROLL GARDEN AT STALLSBACKE,            187


        HERR MELKER OF VECKHOLM,                    189
        THE OLD MAN OF LOGGA,                       192


        BÖLSBJÖRN,                                  197
        THE LAPP IN MAGPIE FORM,                    200
        THE PLAGUE,                                 203
        THE TREASURE SEEKERS,                       198
        THE WATER NYMPH,                            194


        THE VÄTTERS,                                205


        FORSSA CHURCH,                              208


        STARKAD AND BALE,                           209


        THE BELL IN SJÄLEVAD,                       212


        THE VÄTTS STOREHOUSE,                       214


        THE STONE IN GRÖNAN DAL,                    216


        THE VOYAGE IN A LAPP SLED,                  218


        KADNIHAK,                                   227
        THE CUNNING LAPP,                           224
        THE GIANT’S BRIDE,                          221


    BISHOP SVEDBERG AND THE DEVIL,                  117
    BOLSTRE CASTLE,                                 174
    DAME SOÅSAN,                                     47
    HÅLDE-HAT,                                       99
    HERR MELKER IN VECKHOLM,                        189
    JOHAN AND THE TROLLS,                            65
    JONAS SPITS,                                    141
    KATE OF YSÄTTER,                                155
    KATRINEHOLM MANOR,                               55
    LADY BARBRO OF BROKIND,                         129
    STARKAD AND BALE,                               209
    THE BRIDGE OVER KALMARSOUND,                     78
    THE BELL IN SJÄLEVAD,                           212
    THE CHILD PHANTOM,                              105
    THE COAL BURNER AND THE TROLL,                  169
    THE CUNNING LAPP,                               224
    THE ELVES’ DANCE,                               159
    THE GHOST OF FJELKINGE,                          28
    THE GIANT OF SKALUNDA,                          113
    THE KNIGHTS OF ÅLLABERG,                        109
    THE LADY OF PINTORP,                            179
    THE LAPP IN MAGPIE FORM,                        200
    THE LORD OF ROSENDAL,                            20
    THE MOUNTAIN KITCHEN,                           138
    THE PIGMY OF FOLKARED CLIFF,                     86
    THE POLITE COAL BURNER,                         147
    THE SNIPE,                                      164
    THE STONE IN GRÖNAN DAL,                        216
    THE SURE SHOT,                                   11
    THE SWAN MAIDEN,                                 35
    THE TEN FAIRY SERVANTS,                          71
    THE TOMTS,                                      122
    THE TROLL GARDEN AT STALLSBACKE,                187
    THE TROLLS OF SKURUGATA,                         41
    THE TROLL SHOES,                                134
    THE ULFGRYT STONES,                             150
    THE VÄTTERS,                                    205
    THE VÄTTS STOREHOUSE,                           214
    THE WATER NYMPH,                                194
    THE YOUNG LADY OF HELLERUP,                      80


It is not alone in Bohemia’s mountainous regions that the romantic
characters are found which form the basis of Weber’s immortal fictions.
Similar traditions are current in many lands, especially in ours, one
of which we will now relate.

In the artless fancy of the peasantry the means of acquiring the power
of unerring aim are many, the most usual by compact with the Fairies or
Wood Nymphs. While the compact lasts the possessor, sitting at his hut
door, needs only to wish, and the game of his choice springs into view,
and within range of his never-failing gun. Such a compact, however,
invariably ends in the destruction of the hunter.

Many years ago there was a watchman up in the Göinge regions, a wild
fellow, who, one evening, while drinking with his neighbors, more tipsy
and more talkative as the hour grew late, boasted loudly of his
marksmanship, and offered to wager that, with his trusty gun, he could
give them such an exhibition of skill as they had never before seen.

“There goes, as I speak,” said he, “a roe on Halland’s Mountains.”

His companions laughed at him, not believing that he could know what
was transpiring at a distance of several miles, which was the least
that lay between them and the spot indicated.

“I will wager you that I need go no farther than the door to shoot him
for you,” persevered the watchman in defiant tones.

“Nonsense!” said the others.

“Come, will you wager something worth the while? Say two cans of ale.”

“Done! Two cans of ale, it shall be.” And the company betook themselves
to the yard in front of the hut.

It was a frosty autumn evening. The wind chased the clouds over the
sky, and the half moon cast fitful reflections through the breaks over
the neighborhood. In a few minutes a something was seen moving rapidly
along the edge of a thicket on the farther side of a little glade. The
watchman threw his gun carelessly to his shoulder and fired. A derisive
laugh was echo to the report. No mortal, thought they, in such
uncertain light and at such a distance, could shoot a deer in flight.

The watchman, certain of his game, hastened across the glade, followed
by his companions, to whom the event meant, at least, two cans of ale.

It would not be easy to picture the surprise of the doubters, when,
upon arriving at the thicket, they discovered, lying upon the ground,
bathed in foam and his tongue hanging from his mouth, a magnificent
stag, pierced through the heart by the deadly bullet, his life blood
fast coloring his bed of autumn leaves a brighter hue.

What unseen power has brought this poor animal from Halland’s Mountains
in a bare half hour? Such were the thoughts of the watchman’s
companions as they retired in silence to the hut.

The watchman received his two cans of ale, but no one seemed inclined
to join him in disposing of them. They now understood with what sort of
a man they were having to do. It was evident to them that the watchman
was in league with the Evil One himself, and they henceforth guarded
themselves carefully against companionship with him after dark.


At a little distance from Baal Mountain, in the parish of Filkestad, in
Willand’s Härad, lies a hill where, formerly, lived a giant named
Stompe Pilt.

It happened one day, that a Goatherd came that way, driving his goats
before him, up the hill.

“Who comes there?” demanded the Giant, rushing out of the hill, with a
large flint stone in his fist, when he discovered the Goatherd.

“It is I, if you will know,” responded the Herder, continuing his way
up the hill with his flock.

“If you come up here I will squeeze you into fragments as I do this
stone,” shrieked the Giant, and crushed the stone between his fingers
into fine sand.

“Then I will squeeze water out of you as I do out of this stone,”
replied the Herder, taking a new-made cheese from his bag and squeezing
it so that the whey ran between his fingers to the ground.

“Are you not afraid?” asked the Giant.

“Not of you,” replied the Herder.

“Then let us fight,” continued Stompe Pilt.

“All right,” responded the Goatherd, “but let us first taunt each other
so that we will become right angry, for taunting will beget anger and
anger will give us cause to fight.”

“Very well, and I will begin,” said the Giant.

“Go ahead, and I will follow you,” said the Herder.

“You shall become a crooked nose hobgoblin,” cried the Giant.

“You shall become a flying devil,” retorted the Herder, and from his
bow shot a sharp arrow into the body of the Giant.

“What is that?” inquired the Giant, endeavoring to pull the arrow from
his flesh.

“That is a taunt,” replied the Herder.

“Why has it feathers?” asked the Giant.

“In order that it may fly straight and rapidly,” answered the Herder.

“Why does it stick so fast?” asked the Giant.

“Because it has taken root in your body,” was the answer.

“Have you more of such?” inquired the Giant.

“There, you have another,” said the Herder, and shot another arrow into
the Giant’s body.

“Aj! aj!” shrieked Stompe Pilt; “are you not angry enough to fight?”

“No, I have not yet taunted you enough,” replied the Herder, setting an
arrow to his bowstring.

“Drive your goats where you will. I can’t endure your taunting, much
less your blows,” shrieked Stompe Pilt, and sprang into the hill again.

Thus the Herder was saved by means of his bravery and ingenuity.


In the days long gone by there lived in Helgonabacken—the Hills of
Helgona—near Lund, a family of giants who one day heard, with great
anxiety and consternation, that a holy man had come into the country,
from Saxony, to build a church to the White Christ.

While Laurentius, such was the holy man’s name, was selecting his site
and laying out the plans for the temple, there stood at his side, one
day, none other than Finn, the giant of Helgonabacken, who thus
addressed him: “Truly the White Christ is a God worthy of such a
temple, and I will build it for you, if, when it is finished, you will
tell me what my name is; but, mark well my condition, oh, wise man, if
you can not tell me, you must give to my little ones the two small
torches—the sun and the moon—that travel yonder over heaven’s expanse.”

Now, it is so ordered in the giant world that it is of vital importance
the name of the giant should be kept from mankind. Should it be
revealed the giant must die, and man is freed from all obligations that
may have been imposed upon him by compact with the giant.

Laurentius could not reasonably promise so much but anxious to have the
church built, he offered, instead, his eyes, trusting to fortune to
discover to him the giant’s name before the completion of the church.
The giant, satisfied with the bargain, entered at once upon his work,
and with wonderful rapidity the church grew upward. Soon there remained
nothing more to complete it than to set one stone on the tower.

The day preceding that on which it was expected this last stone would
be put in place Laurentius stood on Helgonabacken in deep melancholy.
It seemed inevitable that he must lose his eyes, and that he was now
taking his last look at the light of heaven and all that had made the
world and life so attractive to him. Next day all would be darkness and
sorrow. During these gloomy reflections he heard the cry of a child
from within the hill, and the voice of the giant mother endeavoring to
quiet it with a song, in which he clearly distinguished the words:
“Silent, silent, little son of mine, morning will bring your father
Finn, with either moon and sun or the priest Laurentius’ eyes.”

Beside himself with joy, Laurentius hastened to the church. “Come down,
Finn!” he cried, “the stone that now remains we ourselves can set—come
down, Finn, we no longer need your help!”

Foaming with rage, the Giant rushed from the tower to the ground, and
laying hold of one of the pillars tried to pull the church down. At
this instant his wife with her child joined him. She, too, grasped a
pillar and would help her husband in the work of destruction, but just
as the building was tottering to the point of falling, they were both
turned to stones, and there they lie to-day, each embracing a pillar.


In the beginning of the Sixteenth Century there lived in Skåne a
nobleman, Andres Bille, Lord of Rosendal, who was very severe toward
his dependents, and it was not unusual that a disobedient servant was
put in chains, and even into the castle dungeons.

One day Bille’s intended made a visit to Rosendal. Upon entering the
court-yard almost the first object that attracted her attention was a
peasant tethered like a horse. She inquiring as to the cause of such
treatment, Bille informed her that the servant had come late to work,
and was now suffering only well-merited punishment. The young woman
begged Bille to set the man at liberty, but this he refused to do, and
told her, emphatically, that she must not interpose in his affairs.

“When the intended wife,” said the young lady, as she returned to her
carriage, “is refused a boon so small, what will be the fate of the
wife?” and thereupon she commanded her coachman to drive her home at
once, and resolved to come no more to Rosendal.

People predicted that such a heartless man could not possibly be at
rest in his grave, and true to the prediction, Bille, after his death
and burial, came every night, in spirit, to Rosendal. Halting his white
team in the court-yard, with stealthy steps he would make his way to
his former bed-chamber where he would spend the night until cock-crow.
If the bed had been prepared all was quiet in the chamber, otherwise
such a dreadful noise followed that there was no such thing as sleep in
the castle. Always, upon going to the room in the morning, the bed
clothes were found tossed about and soiled as if a dog had occupied the

When the specter had gone on in this manner for a number of years, the
new owner of the estate applied to a pious priest in Hässlunda, Master
Steffan, and begged him to put a stop to these troublesome visits. To
this end the priest, one day, accompanied by a fellow priest, set out
for Kropp’s Church, where Bille was buried. On the stroke of 12
o’clock, midnight, the grave opened and the ghost of the dead lord
stepped forth. Father Steffan’s companion at once took to his heels,
but Father Steffan remained and began to read from a book he had with
him. During the reading the ghost became larger and larger, but the
priest would not be frightened. Finally the apparition interrupted the
reading and addressed the priest.

“Is that you, Steffan, the goose thief?”

“It is, indeed, I,” replied the priest, “and it is true that in my
boyhood I stole a goose, but with the money received for the goose I
bought a Bible, and with that Bible I will send you to hell, you evil
spirit.” Whereupon he struck the specter such a blow on the forehead
with the Bible that it sank again into purgatory.

Unfortunately, because of the truth of Bille’s accusation and that it
came from Bille, the priest’s prayers and reading lost much of potency,
and he was unable to enforce upon the ghost entire quietude.
Nevertheless, so much was accomplished that Bille now comes to Rosendal
only once a year.


In the parish of Köpinge, on the northern bank of a stream which, a
short distance below Lake Helga, flows into the river Helga, lies an
old mansion, Ugerup or Ugarp, known in early days as the seat of the
Ugerup family, famous in the history of Denmark.

In the middle of the Sixteenth Century the estate was owned by Senator
Axel Ugerup. On the Näs estate, a few miles distant, dwelt the wealthy
Tage Thott, at that time one of the richest men in Skåne.

Herr Arild, Alex Ugerup’s son, and Thale, Tage Thott’s fair daughter,
had, it may be said, grown up together, and even in childhood, had
conceived a strong love for each other.

When Arild was yet a young man he was made embassador to Sweden by the
Danish Government, in which capacity he took part in the coronation of
Erik XIV. Upon his return to Ugerup he renewed his attentions to his
boyhood’s love, and without difficulty obtained her consent and that of
her parents to a union.

Not long thereafter war broke out between Sweden and Denmark. With
anxiety and distress the lovers heard the call to arms. The flower of
Danish knighthood hastened to place themselves under the ensign of
their country, where even for Arild Ugerup a place was prepared. At
leave taking the lovers promised each other eternal fidelity, and Arild
was soon in Copenhagen, where he was given a position in the navy.

In the beginning the Danes met with some success, but soon the tables
were turned. At Öland Klas Kristenson Horn defeated the united Danish
and Leibich flotillas, capturing three ships, with their crews and
belongings. Among the captured was Arild Ugerup, who was carried, a
prisoner, to Stockholm, where three short years before he was an
honored visitor and won his knightly spurs.

The friends of Arild entertained little hope that they would ever see
him again, and his rivals for the hand of Thale persistently renewed
their suits. Tage Thott, who saw his daughter decline the attentions of
one lover after another, decided, finally, that this conduct must not
continue, and made known to his daughter that she must choose a husband
from among the many available and desirable young men seeking her hand.
Thale took this announcement very much to heart, but her prayers and
tears were without avail. Spring succeeded winter and no Arild came.
Meanwhile, the unrelenting father had made a choice and fixed upon a
day when the union should take place.

During this time Arild, languishing in his prison, busied his brain in
the effort to find some means of escape, but plan after plan was
rejected as impracticable, until it occurred to him to make use of his
rank and acquaintance with the King. So, not long thereafter, he sent
to King Erik a petition, asking permission to go home on parole, for
the purpose of solemnizing his wedding, also to be permitted to remain
long enough in Ugerup to sow and gather his crops. The King readily
granted his petition, since Arild promised, on his knightly honor, to
return to his confinement as soon as his harvest was ripe.

He at once hastened to Skåne where he was not long in learning what had
transpired during his absence, and that Thale, at her father’s bidding,
was about to be wedded to another. Continuing his journey to Näs, where
his arrival caused both rejoicing and consternation, he presented
himself to Tage and demanded Thale to wife, as had been promised him.
Knight Tage, however, would not listen to such a thing as a change from
his plans, and declared firmly that his daughter should belong to him
whom he had selected for her, but Arild made a speedy end to the
trouble. By strategy, he carried his bride away in secret to Denmark,
where they were shortly afterward married. Tage, outwitted, made the
best of the matter and accepted the situation, whereupon Arild and his
wife returned to Ugerup.

Arild now had time to think about his promise to the King, and how he
might, at the same time, keep it and not be separated from his wife. It
would now profit to sow seeds that would not mature soon, so the fields
that had heretofore been devoted to corn were planted with the seeds of
the pine tree.

When the autumn had passed, and the King thought the harvest must, by
this time, have been gathered, he sent Arild a request to come to
Stockholm. But Arild convinced the messenger that his seeds had not yet
sprouted, much less ripened.

When King Erik was made acquainted with the state of affairs, he could
do no less than approve the ingenious method adopted by Arild to obtain
his freedom without breaking his word, and allowed the matter to rest.

The product of Arild’s pine seeds is now shown in a magnificent forest
at Ugerup.

Many other stories are told in Skåne about Arild Ugerup and his wife.
Among others, it is related of the former that he was endowed with
marvelous strength, and that in the arch of the gateway opening into
the estate was a pair of iron hooks, which, when coming home from
Helsingborg, Arild was wont to catch hold of, and lift himself and
horse together some distance off the ground, after which little
exercise he would ride on.

His wife, Thale, was, like her husband, very strong, very good and
benevolent, likewise very generous toward her dependents. A story is
told of her, that one mid-summer evening, when the servants of the
estate were gathered on the green for a dance, she requested her
husband to give the people as much food and drink as she could carry at
one load, and her request being, of course, granted, she piled up two
great heaps of beef, pork and bread, which, with two barrels of ale,
one under each arm, she carried out onto the green, with ease.


During the early half of the Seventeenth Century many of the best
estates in Skåne belonged to the family of Barkenow, or more correctly,
to the principal representative of the family, Madame Margaretta
Barkenow, daughter of the renowned general and governor-general, Count
Rutger Von Ascheberg, and wife of Colonel Kjell Kristofer Barkenow.

A widow at twenty-nine, she took upon herself the management of her
many estates, in the conduct of which she ever manifested an
indomitable, indefatigable energy, and a never-ceasing care for her
numerous dependents.

On a journey over her estates, Madame Margaretta came, one evening, to
Fjelkinge’s inn, and persisted in sleeping in a room which was called
the “ghost’s room.” A traveler had, a few years before, slept in this
room, and as it was supposed had been murdered, at least the man and
his effects had disappeared, leaving no trace of what had become of
them. After this his ghost appeared in the room nightly, and those who
were acquainted with the circumstance, traveled to the next post, in
the dark, rather than choose such quarters for the night. Margaretta
was, however, not among this number. She possessed greater courage, and
without fear chose the chamber for her sleeping room.

After her evening prayers she retired to bed and sleep, leaving the
lamp burning. At twelve o’clock she was awakened by the lifting up of
two boards in the floor, and from the opening a bloody form appeared,
with a cloven head hanging upon its shoulders.

“Noble lady,” whispered the apparition, “I beg you prepare, for a
murdered man, a resting place in consecrated ground, and speed the
murderer to his just punishment.”

Pure in heart, therefore not alarmed, Lady Margaretta beckoned the
apparition to come nearer, which it did, informing her that it had
entreated others, who after the murder had slept in the room, but that
none had the courage to comply. Then Lady Margaretta took from her
finger a gold ring, laid it in the gaping wound, and bound the
apparition’s head up with her pocket handerchief. With a glance of
unspeakable thankfulness the ghost revealed the name of the murderer
and disappeared noiselessly beneath the floor.

The following morning Lady Margaretta instructed the bailiff of the
estate to assemble the people at the post house, where she informed
them what had happened during the night, and commanded that the planks
of the floor be taken up. Here, under the ground, was discovered a half
decomposed corpse, with the countess’ ring in the hole in its skull,
and her handkerchief bound around its head.

At sight of this, one of those present grew pale and fainted to the
ground. Upon being revived he confessed that he had murdered the
traveler and robbed him of his goods. He was condemned to death for his
crime, and the murdered man received burial in the parish church-yard.

The ring, which is peculiarly formed and set with a large grayish
chased stone, remains even now in the keeping of the Barkenow family,
and is believed to possess miraculous powers in sickness, against evil
spirits and other misfortunes. When one of the family dies it is said
that a red, bloodlike spot appears upon the stone.


On the estates of Ljungby there lies a large stone called Maglestone,
under which the Trolls, in olden times, were wont to assemble and, with
dancing and games, celebrate their Christmas.

One Christmas night Lady Cissela Ulfstand, sitting in her mansion,
listening to the merry-making of the Trolls under the stone, and
curious to have a better knowledge of these mysterious mountain people,
assembled her menservants and promised the best horse in her stables to
him who would ride to Maglestone, at Vesper hour, and bring her a full
account of the doings there.

One of her swains, a daring young fellow, accepted the offer, and a
little later set out on his way. Arriving at the stone, he discovered
it lifted from the ground, supported on pillars of gold, and under it
the Trolls in the midst of their revelry.

Upon discovering the horseman a young Troll woman, leaving the others,
approached him bearing a drinking horn and pipe. These, upon reaching
his side, she placed in the young man’s hand, with directions to first
drink from the horn to the health of the Mountain King, then blow three
times on the pipe, at the same time whispering some words of caution in
his ears, whereupon he threw the contents of the horn over his shoulder
and set off at the utmost speed, over fields and meadows, toward home.
The Trolls followed him closely with great clamor, but he flew before
them across the drawbridge, which was at once pulled up, and proceeded
to place the horn and pipe in the hands of his mistress.

Outside, across the moat, the Trolls now stood, promising Lady Cissela
great happiness and riches if she would return to them their horn and
pipe, and declaring that, otherwise, great misfortune and destruction
would overtake her and her family, and that it should go especially
hard with the young man who had dared to deprive them of the precious
articles. True to the predictions, the young man died on the third day
thereafter and the horse which he rode fell dead a day later.

During the war of 1645 Field Marshal Gustaf Horn, whose headquarters
were at Fjelkinge, having heard this story, and wishing to see the horn
and pipe, requested that they be brought to him. The possessor, Axel
Gyllerstierna, who then owned Ljungby, forwarded them, accompanied with
earnest prayers that they be returned to him as soon as possible.
Horn’s curiosity was soon satisfied, and he felt no desire to retain
them longer in his possession, for while he did he was disturbed every
night by unseemly noises about his quarters, which ceased, when, under
the escort of a company of cavalry, he sent them back to Ljungby.

Ten years later there took place a still more wonderful circumstance.
Henrik Nilsson, the priest at Ljungby, borrowed the strange articles
for the purpose of showing them to his brothers-in-law who were then
visiting him. During the night the priest’s mother-in-law, Lady Anna
Conradi, who was one of the family, was awakened by the light of a
candle in her room. The bed curtains were drawn back and upon her bed a
basket was dropped wherein sat five small children, who in chorus set
up a cry:

“O you, who are noted for your kindness, please return to us our horn!”

To her question why they desired it and what value it had to them, they

“For our people’s sake.”

When she would no longer listen to their pleading they departed, saying
they would come again three nights later.

On Thursday night, and the third following their first visit, there was
again a light in her room. When Lady Anna drew back the bed curtain she
discovered her chamber occupied by a great number of little men, and
among them the Troll King himself, approaching her under a canopy of
silver cloth upheld on silver poles borne by four servants. His skin
was a dark brown and his hair, of which only a tuft was left on his
forehead and one by each ear, black and woolly. Softly he neared the
bed, holding forth a horn richly adorned with gold chains and massive
gold buttons, which he proffered the lady in exchange for the genuine
horn. But she was not to be persuaded, and consigned them to God, if
they belonged to him, and to the devil, if they were his offspring,
whereupon the Trolls quietly and sorrowfully departed.

Soon thereafter it was reported that a peasant’s child had been carried
off by the Trolls. By means of ringing the church bells it was,
however, returned to its mother. The boy related that the Trolls were
not pretty, but had large noses and mouths; that the man under
Maglestone was called Klausa and his wife Otta. That they sucked the
moisture from the food of mankind and so sustained themselves; that
they obeyed one king; that they were often at variance with each other,
also, that they spoke the language of the country. Lord Chancellor
Coyet, who published, “A Narrative of Ljungby Horn and Pipe,” dated
February 11, 1692, says that he knew this boy, who was then
twenty-seven years old, also his mother, but admits that both were
disposed to superstition and that their understandings were as feeble
as their bodies.


A young peasant, in the parish of Mellby, who often amused himself with
hunting, saw one day three swans flying toward him, which settled down
upon the strand of a sound near by.

Approaching the place, he was astonished at seeing the three swans
divest themselves of their feathery attire, which they threw into the
grass, and three maidens of dazzling beauty step forth and spring into
the water.

After sporting in the waves awhile they returned to the land, where
they resumed their former garb and shape and flew away in the same
direction from which they came.

One of them, the youngest and fairest, had, in the meantime, so smitten
the young hunter that neither night nor day could he tear his thoughts
from the bright image.

His mother, noticing that something was wrong with her son, and that
the chase, which had formerly been his favorite pleasure, had lost its
attractions, asked him finally the cause of his melancholy, whereupon
he related to her what he had seen, and declared that there was no
longer any happiness in this life for him if he could not possess the
fair swan maiden.

“Nothing is easier,” said the mother. “Go at sunset next Thursday
evening to the place where you last saw her. When the three swans come
give attention to where your chosen one lays her feathery garb, take it
and hasten away.”

The young man listened to his mother’s instructions, and, betaking
himself, the following Thursday evening, to a convenient hiding place
near the sound, he waited, with impatience, the coming of the swans.
The sun was just sinking behind the trees when the young man’s ears
were greeted by a whizzing in the air, and the three swans settled down
upon the beach, as on their former visit.

As soon as they had laid off their swan attire they were again
transformed into the most beautiful maidens, and, springing out upon
the white sand, they were soon enjoying themselves in the water.

From his hiding place the young hunter had taken careful note of where
his enchantress had laid her swan feathers. Stealing softly forth, he
took them and returned to his place of concealment in the surrounding

Soon thereafter two of the swans were heard to fly away, but the third,
in search of her clothes, discovered the young man, before whom,
believing him responsible for their disappearance, she fell upon her
knees and prayed that her swan attire might be returned to her. The
hunter was, however, unwilling to yield the beautiful prize, and,
casting a cloak around her shoulders, carried her home.

Preparations were soon made for a magnificent wedding, which took place
in due form, and the couple dwelt lovingly and contentedly together.

One Thursday evening, seven years later, the hunter related to her how
he had sought and won his wife. He brought forth and showed her, also,
the white swan feathers of her former days. No sooner were they placed
in her hands than she was transformed once more into a swan, and
instantly took flight through the open window. In breathless
astonishment, the man stared wildly after his rapidly vanishing wife,
and before a year and a day had passed, he was laid, with his longings
and sorrows, in his allotted place in the village church-yard.


Many, many years ago there lived, in Ellenholm Castle, a knight, who,
wishing to attend Christmas matins at Morrum’s Church, with a long
journey before him, and anxious to be present if possible at first
matins, set out from the castle, accompanied by his groom, immediately
after midnight. Some distance on the way, feeling sleepy, he instructed
the groom to ride on while he dismounted and sat down by the roadside,
at the foot of a mountain, to take a nap and refresh himself.

He had been sitting only a few minutes when a monster giantess came and
bade him follow her into the mountain, which he did, and was conducted
to the presence of her giant husband. Here all kinds of tempting viands
were set before him, but the Knight, who knew well into what kind of
company he had fallen, declined to partake of the food.

Offended at this, the woman drew forth a knife and addressed the

“Do you recognize this? It is the one with which you chopped me in the
thigh when, one time, I was gathering hay for my calves. Father, what
do you think we ought to do with him?”

“Let him go,” said the Giant. “We can do nothing to him for he invokes
the Great Master too much.”

“So be it,” said the Giantess, “but he shall have something to remember
me by.” Whereupon she broke the Knight’s little finger.

He soon discovered himself in the open air again, and the groom who had
returned to search for his master found him in the place where he had
left him, but with a little finger broken—a warning to every one not to
sleep on the way to church.


It is generally understood that Trolls, when their territory is
encroached upon by mankind, withdraw to some more secluded place. So
when Eksjö was built, those that dwelt in that vicinity moved to
Skurugata, a defile between two high mountains whose perpendicular
sides rise so near to each other as to leave the bottom in continual
semi-darkness and gloom.

Here, it may be supposed, they were left in peace and tranquility. Not
so, however, for it is related that upon the occasion of the annual
meeting of troops at Ränneslätt, a whole battalion of Småland
grenadiers repeatedly marched through, with beating drums and blowing
horns, and that sometimes they fired a volley from their guns, which so
alarmed the Trolls that it is now a question whether any are still
remaining there.

In the neighborhood of the same mountain gulch is a very sacred
fountain where those living thereabouts, in former times are said to
have offered sacrifices to their patron saint. Whether this custom is
now continued is not known. As intelligence increases this and all
other peculiar customs will soon belong entirely to the province of
tradition. A few decades ago this was not so; then one could, according
to the narrations of old men and women, have had the pleasure of both
seeing and talking with the Trolls.

There was once a hunter named Pelle Katt, who, one day, went to
Skurugata for the purpose of shooting woodcock, but though it was the
mating season, when birds are ordinarily plenty and tame, the hunt was
unsuccessful. It was as though ordained. The puffy woodcock and his
hens kept out of the way of the murderous shot. Pelle was angry, and
suspecting that the Trolls had bewitched his gun, he swore and cursed
the Trolls generally, and especially those that lived in Skurugata,
whose mouth he was just passing, when a woman stepped out, small in
stature and peculiar in feature, bearing a little poodle dog in her

“I bring you greeting from my mistress; she says you are to shoot this
dog,” said she, approaching Pelle.

“Tie it there to that tree and it shall be done before it can get upon
its feet,” answered Pelle.

This was done, and the little woman disappeared between the mountains.
Pelle raised his gun and sent a charge of shot through the dog’s head.
But what a sight met his gaze when the smoke had disappeared! There lay
his own little child wrapped in a dog’s hide.

Pelle Katt’s habits were not the best. He was fond of drink,
quarrelsome and boisterous, and often in his drunken fits declared that
he feared neither God nor the devil.

Now, for the first time in his life, he was amazed and crestfallen.

“O God! What have I now done!” he cried.

His knees smote together and the sweat ran copiously from every pore.

“Here you have your reward,” said the Troll woman, who now reappeared
and threw a dollar piece to Pelle, so that it fell in his open hand, to
which it stuck fast, and hastily picking up the dead child bore it

In a rage, Pelle threw the dollar piece after the vanishing figure, at
the same time calling out:

“I will take no pay from you for such a deed. Here you have your gift
again, you detestable Troll.”

A hoarse laugh answered from the mountain.

Pelle went home. The child was absent. His wife cried, but Pelle kept
still and went to the ale house. He had no money with which to buy
brandy in order to drown his sorrows, but after his old custom he stuck
his fingers in his vest pocket to feel if there might not be a penny
there. Behold! There was the dollar piece which he had recently cast
from him. He dropped it upon the ale house counter and received a drink
which truly made him forget his dead child, his wife, himself, heaven,
hell and all.

When he became sober the coin was again found in his pocket. He again
threw it away, and several times thereafter, but always found it in his
pocket when searching it for money. So he continued to drink more and
more daily, until, finally, he drank himself into that sleep that knows
no waking.

So goes the story of Pelle Katt and the Trolls in Skurugata.


On the island of Vising, in Lake Vetter, there lived in olden times,
two mighty kings, the one in Näsbo and the other in the castle of
Borga, at opposite extremities of the island. A controversy arising
about the division of land, the King of Näsbo consulted a Troll named
Gilbertil, who lived in the parish of Ölmstad, in Östergötland, and
engaged him to dig a ditch through the island, thus dividing it into
two parts. Gilbertil undertook the work, and began digging at Näs,
where a deep pit, even to this day, is pointed out as marking the spot.
When the king of Borga became aware of this, he sent an invitation to
Kettil Runske, another notorious Troll man who lived in the parish of
Habo, in Vestergötland. Kettil Runske accepted the invitation, and at
once set out for the island with the returning messengers, to whom his
presence on the boat, though he was invisible, was made known because
of the boat being borne down into the water to its gunwale. They were
also made aware of his departure from them, when they neared the
castle, by the sudden rising of the boat as if relieved of a heavy

To accomplish his undertaking, Gilbertil intended, apparently, to make
an underground canal from shore to shore of the island, and allow the
water to complete the excavation, and had already progressed to a point
just north of Kumlaby, about half way through the island, when Kettil
discovered his whereabouts, and opening the grounds above him commanded
Gilbertil to cease digging. Gilbertil met the command with mockery and
scorn, whereupon Kettil threw his Troll staff at him. Gilbertil
intercepted the missile in the air, but his hands clove to the staff so
that he could not free them. In the effort to release himself he
endeavored to break it with his feet, but they also stuck to it. In
extreme rage he then attempted to tear himself loose with his teeth,
which also became fastened. Thus bound, hands, feet and mouth, Kettil
threw him into the deep hole which is now to be seen in the meadow of
Kumlaby, and which has received the name of Gilbertil’s hole.


In early times there lived in Soåsan, a range of hills not far from the
well-known city of Eksjö, a woman Troll who was called Dame Soåsan. She
and her forefathers had, for ages, dwelt there, but when the soldiers
came and fired their guns—cracked their nuts, as the mountain folk
expressed it—on the camp ground of Ränneslätt, the place became
intolerable to her and she departed to her sister’s, an equally
distinguished Troll, who lived in Skurugata, which has been mentioned
in a preceding story.

Dame Soåsan was very clever and rich, also the possessor of a very bad
temper. It was advisable, therefore, not to anger her in any way, for
such as were so unfortunate were instantly punished.

A trooper of that time, belonging to the Hussars of Småland, by name
Grevendal, serving under Apelarp in Flisby parish, stood one morning on
guard in a distant part of the drill grounds, when he saw, wandering
toward him, along the edge of a wood, a very little old woman, whom he
rashly assailed with scoffing and vile epithets, whereupon he received
a blow on the ear from some unseen hand, which sent him flying to the
top of a tall pine tree near by, where he remained unable to descend
until assisted down by his comrades.

Toward those who were careful not to offend her the woman exhibited
much kindness and extended many favors. A poor old woman of the human
family living near Soåsan, in a little hut, was one time in great
distress, her table bare and no one near to help her, with famine,
already a guest in her hut, menacing her with terrible glare.

Late one evening a knock was heard upon the hut door.

“Come in, in the name of the Lord,” answered the old woman, wondering
who her visitor might be.

“In that name I can not enter, but here is work for you from the
mistress of the mountain. Spin beautiful yarn, but do not wet the
threads with spittle, for then it will become christened and that the
madam will not tolerate.”

“Where shall I leave the yarn?” asked the trembling woman.

“Go straight forward into the woods, where you will find a smooth green
lawn. Lay the yarn there and next day you shall have your pay.”

The old woman began at once to spin the flax which she found outside
the cottage door, but during the work stood a vessel of water beside
her with which to wet the thread.

The yarn was soon finished and she betook herself, with profit and
pleasure in prospect, to the wood. As the Troll’s servant maid had
declared she came to a beautiful glade encircled by high trees. She
there laid down the yarn and hastened to return home, not daring to
look behind her. The next day she went again to the spot and found a
new bundle of flax, also several silver pieces.

Now followed a period of prosperity for the poor woman. She accumulated
money from her work, became rich, but at the same time avaricious, and
forgot the prayers, which she had never before neglected, when she
retired to rest.

Finally, she did not even trouble herself to keep faith with the
Trolls, but spun the yarn according to general custom, wetting the
thread with her spittle.

The skeins of yarn were deposited in the usual place, but when she went
the next day to get her reward she was unable to find the glade again,
and in the end went astray in the woods, from which she did not succeed
in finding her way home before a whole day later. Upon arriving home,
as was her every-day custom, she brought forth and was about to count
over her money, when she found that all the silver pieces had been
transformed into small stones.

Want pursued her now with greater severity than ever, for none would
help one who was known to have had to do with the infamous Soåsan dame,
and the old woman died shortly after in great poverty and distress.

A girl who many years ago was a servant in the house of a Senator of
Eksjö, named Lind, went one day to find the cattle, which usually
grazed in the woods surrounding Soåsan. The animals, for some time
back, had not thrived upon the pastures allotted them and were wont to
wander far away in search of food, it was supposed, so, at times the
girl, notwithstanding the most diligent search, was unable to find
them, and when they were found, the cows had already been milked. This
day she went plodding sadly along through the dark woods, thinking of
the scolding which awaited her at home, when she returned with neither
cows nor milk; her mind was also busied with the many stories she had
heard about ghosts and Trolls who infested the woods, when she saw two
pair of Pigmies, a boy and girl, sitting under the shadow of a large
pine tree.

“It is best to be polite when on the Trolls’ own ground,” thought the
girl. Whereupon she addressed the Troll infants in a very friendly
manner and invited each to partake of some bread and butter which she
had with her in her little bag. The children ate with exceeding greed,
a disgusting sight, as they had extremely large mouths into which the
bread and butter vanished rapidly. When the girl was about to depart
she heard a voice saying, “As you have taken pity on my children, you
shall hereafter escape searching after the cows. Go home! They stand at
the gate.”

From that day the girl no longer had to search for the cows; they came
to the gate every night of their own accord, sweet-laden with a rich
tribute of the most excellent milk.


In the parish of Lofta in the department of North Tjust there lies,
near the sea, a mountain called Puke Mountain. From the land side
running into the mountain, there is a long fissure terminating in a
cave or hall, where formerly lived a giant called Puke, concerning whom
many stories are still quite prevalent among the people.

When the church at Lofta was built the giant was sorely tormented by
the church bells. He suffered great discomfort even from the water
courses which gurgled out of the mountain, and in a meadow directly
north of Lofta Church, was formed a pond, Kofre Spring, in which holy
baptism was sometimes performed.

Puke often declared that he must depart from his mountain because of
Kofre Spring and Lofta scolding, meaning the church bells in Lofta.

One Sunday the Giant was more than usually disturbed by the long
continued bell ringing, and sent his daughter to the top of the
mountain, from which, with her apron strings converted into a sling,
she threw an enormous stone at the church tower. But the force was too
great, and the stone fell upon the other side of the church, where it
lies to this day, as large as a good sized cottage.

Some days later the giant maiden, while wandering over the surrounding
country, was attracted by three children at play on a hill near by.
They had discovered a fallen branch of an oak tree, and to this they
had fastened a rope, pretending it was a plow, which one was holding as
the others dragged it over the ground. Surprised at this curious
implement and the small creatures, she gathered them all into her apron
and ran home with them to her giant father. He, however, found no
pleasure in the intended playthings but said only:

“Take them out again, our time is past; it is now these who shall rule
over us.”

In the end Puke became dissatisfied with everything and moved to
Götland, where he was some time later found by a ship’s master, to whom
he gave a box, and bade him offer it upon the altar at Lofta while the
people were in church, cautioning him strongly not to open it before.

“If you do as I bid you,” said the Giant, “you will find, under the
left fore-foot of Lofta’s white mare—meaning the church—a key, with
which you are to proceed to Puke Mountain. There you will see a door,
which you shall open. When you are inside you will meet two black dogs.
Do not be afraid of them, but press forward into the room, where you
will find a table and upon it many beautiful silver vessels. Of them
you may take the largest, but if you take anything more, misfortune
will surely overtake you.”

The captain kept this all in mind, but when he approached Puke
Mountain, on his journey homeward, the conversation of the ship’s
people was turned to the box. After many deliberations, it was
determined to throw it overboard onto a small island which lay near by.
This was done, and upon the instant the island was in flames, and even
to-day it is brown and desolate as if it had recently been swept by a


In one of the picturesque valleys of romantic Småland and on the Black
River is a noted waterfall called Stalpet, which, after placidly
winding, by many hundred bends, for a considerable distance, through
green meadows, here makes a precipitous descent over a rocky cliff,
then quietly pursues its course to a lake a short distance beyond.

Not far from Stalpet lies an old manor, dark, gloomy and unoccupied. A
feeling of oppression comes over one in the presence of this large
building, barred gates and nailed up windows, and the question is
asked, why should this naturally beautiful place be untenanted? Why is
there not, at least, a watchman or an attendant? There must be some
unusual reason for such a condition of things.

Let us listen to the narration of a good old woman, resident in the
neighborhood, who once gave us the story. We use her words, which, may
be, enter too much into the detail, but bear with them the natural
freshness and coloring that, it is hoped, will not be tedious to the
reader. We are given to understand that if we will have the story we
must begin at the beginning, and that is, like “Milton’s Paradise
Lost,” with the beginning of all things.

“Know that when Satan was cast out of heaven, on account of his pride,
and fell to the earth, there were other spirits, which, like him, were
also cast out. These spirits, in their fall, were borne hither and
thither on the winds like the golden leaves in the autumn storm,
falling to earth finally, some into the sea, some into the forests and
some upon the mountains. Where they fell there they remained, so the
saying runs, and found there their field of action. After their abiding
places they were given different names. Thus we have sea nymphs,
mountain fairies, wood fairies, elves and other spirits, all of which
are described in the catechism.

Now, it happened, that on that day two spirits fell upon the rock where
this old Katrineholm Manor house now stands. In this mountain their
offspring lived many hundreds, yes, thousands of years. Though some of
them were from time to time killed by lightning and otherwise, they
were not exterminated and had not been approached by any human being.

It happened, a long time ago, that a gentleman, who owned this estate,
wishing to build himself a residence, and, like a wise architect, to
have a solid foundation for it, selected this rock.

The mountain king—for he was a king among his people—was very much
displeased with this, but his wife, who was of a milder disposition,
pacified her husband and urged him to wait and do their neighbors no
harm until it could be known whether harm might be expected from them.

When the house was finished the gentleman married a beautiful young
lady whose presence at once filled it with sunshine and joy. But sorrow
visits many who little expect it and so it was here.

One day when the young wife was alone in her work-room, a little woman,
unexpectedly and unannounced, stood before her. Bowing, she said: “My
mistress bids that you visit her, and directs me to say to you that if
you consent she will reward you richly.” The young wife wondered much
at such a request, but having a brave heart and a clear conscience, she
promised to follow. The little woman led the way down stairs to the
cellar, where she opened a door, until now undiscovered, revealing a
passage into the mountain. Entering the passage, which was long and
dark, she finally emerged into a large, well-lighted cave, whose walls
were sparkling with gold and silver. Here, pacing back and forth, as if
in great anguish, was a little man who looked at the new comer
searchingly, and with an humble and pleading expression in his eyes,
but said nothing. The little woman pushed aside a curtain to an inner
cave, at the further end of which the visitor saw, lying upon an
elegant bed, another little woman sick and laboring in child-birth. The
Christian visitor’s presence had the effect to almost immediately still
the pains of the suffering woman, whereupon she drew forth a box filled
with precious stones, pearls and jewels. “Take this as a memento of
your visit to me, but let none know what has happened to you this day,
for as surely as you do great misfortune will overtake you and yours,”
said the Mountain Queen, and directed that the young wife be given safe
conduct to her room again. As soon as left alone the precious box was
carefully secreted.

Time sped on. Everything went well, and in due time the young wife
herself became the mother of two beautiful sons. One day, during the
mother’s absence, the boys discovered the secreted box, and had just
begun to play with it when their father entered. He was greatly
surprised to find such a treasure in the hands of the children and
began at once to question the mother, who had also entered, as to how
she became its possessor. At first she refused to betray the secret,
and with her refusal the husband became more curious and suspicious,
finally angry, when he declared his wife a Troll, and that he himself
had seen her come riding through the air on a broomstick. The poor wife
was then obliged to reveal her visit to the Troll queen and the
circumstances attending it.

“You and I have seen our happiest days, for your curiosity will bring
us greater misfortune than you have dreamed of,” said she.

A few days later there appeared in the adjacent lake an island, which,
strangely enough, seemed to rise from its bosom when anything
remarkable was about to take place. It is related that shortly before
the death of Charles XII., also before that of Gustav III., the island
became visible, and it is even said that a king one time carved his
name on a stone on the island, and that stone and name, when, on
another occasion the island was visible, were to be seen.

Whether the island was now again visible by some power of the Trolls in
unison with the water spirits is not known; it is enough that the
island appeared, and that the lord of the manor became possessed with a
great desire to go to and inspect it.

He expressed a wish that his wife and boys should accompany him. The
mother, who foresaw misfortune, opposed the project with all her
energy, and upon her knees begged and prayed her husband to postpone
his visit, but without avail.

Finally, the willful man took the boys, leaving his wife at home, and
rowed out to the island. Just as the boat touched the enchanted island
both boys sprang upon it, and at the same instant both island and boys
vanished from the father’s sight to be seen no more.

The poor mother mourned herself to death, and the father departed to
foreign lands, where he also died, but the building on Katrineholm has
never since been occupied, and there is little probability that any one
will in the future prosper in it.


Upon a small headland which juts from the north into Lake Bolmen, lies
an old mansion, Tiraholm, by the peasantry called Tira.

A long time ago there lived here a knight who had a wife and an only
child, a beautiful daughter, named Malfred. In the whole country there
was not another so fair, and the fame of her beauty traveled far and
wide, alluring many suitors to her feet. But Malfred was unmoved by
their attentions and turned them away, one after the other.

One day a stately knight, Ebbe Skamelson by name, who had just returned
from foreign lands, where he had won his golden spurs, drew up in the

With downcast eyes and blushing cheeks the young lady extended her hand
when they met, to greet the stranger, who courteously returned her

The stranger knight became for a time a guest at Tiraholm, and the
report soon went out, to the grief of many swains who had indulged in
dreams of sooner or later winning the hand of the beautiful maiden,
that Ebbe Skamelson and Malfred were betrothed. But, as both were still
young, the Knight expressed a desire to join the Crusades to the Holy
Land, where he hoped to add to his honors, and stipulated that he be
given seven years, at the end of which time he promised to return and
celebrate his nuptials.

Some time after Ebbe departed, the old Knight, Malfred’s father, died,
and it became very lonesone for the daughter and mother in Tiraholm.
Year after year passed with no word from Ebbe. The roses of the young
maiden’s cheeks faded and the dark eyes lost their lustre. The mother
advised a remedy and betrothed her to another.

Under the impression that Ebbe had fallen by the sword of the infidels
she prepared a wedding feast, and the newly betrothed couple were duly
joined according to the rites of the church.

But just as the wedding guests sat themselves at table a gold-laced
Knight rode into the court at great speed. The bride became pale under
her crown, but the mother, who recognized in the stranger the Knight
Ebbe, hastened to meet him in the yard, and reminded him that the seven
years had passed, at the same time informing him that his love now sat
in the bridal chair with another.

In great anger the Knight sprang to his horse, drew his sword, and
after reproaching her for breaking her promise, with one blow he
severed her head from her body. His sword still dripping with blood, he
sprang from his saddle and into the hall where the festivities were in
progress, where the bride sank under his sword, and the bridegroom at
another deadly blow fell by her side.

Overtaken by repentance the murderer flung himself upon his horse and
rode away into the dark forest, but the pricking of his conscience
allowed him no rest. Night and day he saw the apparitions of his
victims, and nowhere could he find an escape from them.

Finally he determined to go to Rome, and at the feet of the Holy Father
ask absolution from his crimes. A large sum of money procured for him
from the Pope the desired indulgence, but absolution from a man did not
possess the power to quiet his conscience, still his soul’s pain or
quell the storm raging in his heart. He then returned to the home of
his love, and asked the authorities to impose upon him the severest

After a long deliberation he was sentenced by the court to be chained
hand and foot, in which condition he must visit and pass a day in each
one of the three hundred and sixty-five islands in Lake Bolmen. The
condemned man went at once about the execution of his sentence. In
order that he might get from one island to the other he was given a
small boat with which, like a wounded bird, he laboriously propelled
himself on his terrible journey.

When, at the end of the year, his sentence was completed he went ashore
on the estate of Anglestadt in the district of Sunnebro. Here he went
up to a village and rested over night in a barn. Meantime his sorrowful
fate had made a deep impression upon the people. A bard had composed a
song reciting the woes of Ebbe, and a soothsayer had predicted that
upon hearing the song sung Ebbe’s chains would fall off and his death
follow immediately. While he was lying concealed in the barn, a
milkmaid came in the morning to milk the cows. She began to sing
“Knight Ebbe’s Song,” to which he listened with intense interest. At
the conclusion of the last verse he cried out with loud voice: “Some is
true and some is false.”

Thoroughly frightened, the girl sprang into the house and related what
had happened. In great haste the people gathered around the barn where
Ebbe was lying, commanding him to inform them where he came from and
who he was. Still cumbered by his chains he crawled from his shelter
and gave his name, at the same time requesting them to conduct him to
the churchyard.

Between the village and the church of Anglestadt lies a stone sunken in
the ground. When he came to this Ebbe mounted it, raised his eyes to
heaven and cried out: “If I am worthy to be buried in consecrated
ground, so let it be!”

Instantly the fetters fell from his hands and feet and he sank to the
earth a corpse.

Those present took his body and carried it to the church where they
buried it in the path outside the churchyard wall, so that all who went
into the churchyard should tramp upon his grave. But the next night a
long section of the wall, right in front of the grave, was miraculously
thrown down. The peasants at once relaid it, but the next night it was
again leveled. It was then understood that these happenings were signs
that the unfortunate man should be allowed a resting place in
consecrated ground, whereupon the churchyard was extended so that the
grave was enclosed by its walls, and a low stone even to this day marks
the resting place of the outcast. From the fetters, which for a long
time hung in Anglestadt church, three iron crosses, resembling the
small crosses which were in former times set up in memory of the
departed, have been made and placed upon the present church.


In Ingeltrop, a parish of North Wedbo, there once lived a farmer who
had a servant named Johan.

One day a traveler arrived from Myntorp Inn, and the farmer having been
notified that it was his turn to furnish a conveyance for him to the
next inn, Johan was sent to the pasture to catch a horse. A halter
thrown over his shoulder, he set out, whistling the latest love song.
Arriving at the pasture, it was soon clear to him that “Bronte” was in
no humor to submit to the halter, and though he now and then allowed
himself to be approached, no sooner was the attempt made to lay hold on
him than he was off, with head and heels in the air, to a safe
distance. Johan persevered, perspiration streaming from his forehead,
but in vain. Angered at last, he began to swear in a most ungodly
manner, still pursuing the horse until his progress was suddenly
checked by a high cliff, to the very base of which he had run before
discovering it. Naturally casting his glance upward, as he halted, he
saw, sitting upon a crag, a beautiful maiden, apparently combing her

“Are you there, my dear boy?” called the maiden.

Johan, not easily frightened, answered her cheerily:

“Yes, my sweetheart.”

“Come here, then,” called the maiden.

“I can’t,” replied Johan.

“Try, Johan.” And he did, to his astonishment finding a foothold on the
smooth cliff where before no unevenness was discoverable, and soon he
was at the maiden’s side. She looked at him with great, wondering eyes,
then, suddenly enveloping him in a mist, clouded his understanding so
that he was no longer master of his movements, and was, in fact,
transformed completely from the Johan he had been to a being like his
companion. He forgot horse, home, relatives and friends. Half
unconscious, he was conducted into the mountain, and was gone from the
sight and power of those who would seek him.

“Bronte” was in harness many good days thereafter, and the farmer
became the driver, for, as his sons were growing up, he did not wish to
hire another servant in Johan’s stead.

One day, many years after Johan’s disappearance, it was again the
farmer’s turn to furnish a horse to a traveler. Grumbling at the fate
of Johan, he went to the pasture.

“It was too bad for the boy,” said he to himself. “I wonder if he has
been caught by the Trolls?” At the same time he chanced to look upward
at the cliff where the servant had seen the Troll maiden, and there
stood Johan, but with lusterless eyes, staring into vacancy.

“Johan, my dear boy, is that you?” shouted the farmer. “Come down.”

“I can not,” answered Johan, with husky, unnatural voice.

Hereupon the farmer threw his cap to Johan, which the latter picked up
and put on his head.

“Come down,” cried the farmer, “before the Trolls come. In the name of
the saints, come down.”

“I can’t,” said Johan again.

Then the farmer threw his clothes up, garment after garment, and when
Johan had clothed himself in them he received power enough that he was
able to crawl down the cliff. His master took him by the hand, and
without looking back they hastened home, the farmer repeating:

“Pshaw! you cunning black Trolls! As a stone, I’ll quiet your wicked
tongues that they may neither evil think nor speak or do ought against

They arrived home, the one dressed the other naked. The traveler was
obliged to procure another horse, for in the house of the farmer the
joy was so great that none there had a thought of driving him. Johan
was never again the same man as before, but remained gloomy and rarely

His master asked him many times what his occupation was in the
mountain, but upon this subject he was silent. It happened that Johan
was taken sick and called for a confessor, to whom, when he confessed
his sins, he related also his experience in the mountain. His chief
employment, he said, had been to steal food for the Trolls. For this
purpose the Trolls put a red hat upon him, when he could, in a very
short time, fly to Jönköping through locked doors and into the
merchants’ stores, where he took corn, salt, fish and whatever he
wished. From the Troll cap he received such power that he could take a
sack of rye under each arm and a barrel of fish upon his back, and fly
as lightly through the air as with no burden whatever.

“It was wrong of me and hard on the merchants,” said Johan, “but it was
the fault of the Trolls. If there were no Trolls in the world the
merchants would become rich, but now they must pay tribute, and so are
kept on the verge of bankruptcy.” And Johan was done.


Many hundreds of years ago, at a time when Sweden was invaded by
enemies, the people of Stenbrohult gathered their money and jewelry
together and concealed them in a large copper kettle, which they sunk
to the bottom of Lake Möckeln.

There it lies to-day and will lie for all time, though many have
touched it with poles when driving fish into their nets. Meantime, at
each touch, it has moved further away until it now lies near the outlet
of the lake, where it is so deep that it can not be reached.

When the other residents of the place hid their treasures in the lake
there was a rich farmer who buried his silver at Kalfhagsberg in two
cans. Shortly after he died so suddenly that no opportunity was given
to dig them up. Immediately following his death, two lights were seen
every evening over the place where the treasures lay hidden, a sure
sign that an evil spirit or dragon had appropriated the treasure.

A poor cottager heard of it, and knowing that man may acquire
undisputed possession of the treasures of the earth, if dug upon a
Thursday evening and carried away without looking back or uttering a
word to any one, he already regarded himself as good as the owner of
the wealth. Betaking himself to the place, he succeeded in getting the
cans out of the mountain, but on the way home he met one after another
of his neighbors who asked where he had been. The old man knew well
that the evil spirits had a hand in this, and that what appeared to be
his neighbors was nothing less than the spirits transformed, and he
was, therefore, stubbornly quiet. But finally he met the priest, who
stood by the wayside and greeted him as he was passing with a “good
evening, neighbor.” Hereupon the old man dared keep quiet no longer,
but took his hat off and saluted, “good evening, father,” in return, at
the same instant he tripped against a root and dropped the cans. When
he stopped to pick them up there lay in their stead only a pair of
little old birch-bark boxes, and the old man was compelled to go home,
his mission fruitless.


Many years ago there lived in Gullbjers a family of peasants, who had a
daughter, Elsa. As she was the only child she was much adored, and her
parents sought in every way to anticipate her slightest wish. As soon
as she had been confirmed she was sent to the city to learn how to sew,
and also city manners and customs. But in the city she acquired little
other knowledge than how to adorn herself, and to scorn housework and
manual labor.

When she was twenty years old she won the love of an industrious and
honorable young farmer, named Gunner, and before many months had gone
by they were man and wife.

In the beginning all was pleasure, but she soon began to weary with her
many household duties. Early one morning, shortly before Christmas,
there was life and activity in Gunner’s yard. Elsa had hardly risen
from bed when the servant, Olle, sprang in and said:

“Dear mistress, get ready our haversacks, for we are going to the
woods, and we must be off if we are to get back before evening.”

“Dear mother, the leaven is working,” called one of the servant girls,
“and if you will come out now we will have more than usually good

The butcher, Zarkis, who had already stuck a large hog and several
small pigs, had just stepped in to get the accustomed dram, when old
Brita came rushing after material for candle wicks. Lastly came Gunner,
out of patience because the servant had not yet started for the woods.

“My departed mother,” said he, with kindly earnestness, “always
prepared everything the night before when people were expected to go to
work early in the morning, and I have requested you to do likewise,
Elsa. But do not forget the loom, my dear; there are now only a few
yards of cloth remaining to be woven, and it will not do to allow it to
lie in the way over the holidays.”

Now, wholly out of patience, Elsa rushed in a rage out of the kitchen
to the house in which the loom stood, slammed the door furiously behind
her and cast herself weeping upon a sofa.

“No!” shrieked she. “I will no longer endure this drudgery. Who could
have thought that Gunner would make a common housewife of me, to wear
my life out thus? Oh, unhappy me! Is there no one who can help and
comfort a poor creature?”

“I can,” replied a solemn voice, and before her stood a white-haired
man with a broad-brimmed hat upon his head. “Do not be alarmed,”
continued he, “I came to proffer you the help for which you have just
wished. I am called Old Man Hoberg. I know your family to the tenth and
eleventh generations. Your first ancestor bade me stand godfather to
his first born. I could not be present at the christening, but I gave a
suitable godfather’s present, for I would by no means be the meanest.
The silver I then gave was unfortunately a blessing for no one, for it
begot only pride and laziness. Your family long ago lost the riches,
but the pride and laziness remain; nevertheless I will help you, for
you are at heart good and honest.

“You complain at the life of drudgery you are compelled to lead,”
continued he, after a short silence; “this comes from your being
unaccustomed to work, but I shall give you ten obedient servants, who
shall be at your bidding and faithfully serve you in all your
undertakings.” Whereupon he shook his cloak, and ten comical little
creatures hopped out and began to put the room in order.

“Reach here your fingers,” commanded the old man.

Tremblingly, Elsa extended her hand; whereupon the old man said:

        “Hop O’ My Thumb,
        “Lick the Pot,
        “Long Pole,
        “Heart in Hand,
        “Little Peter Funny Man—

“Away, all of you, to your places.”

In an instant the little servants had vanished into Elsa’s fingers, and
even the old man had disappeared.

The young wife sat a long time staring at her hands, but soon she
experienced a wonderful desire to work.

“Here I sit and dream,” she burst forth with unusual cheerfulness and
courage, “and it is already seven o’clock while outside all are waiting
for me.” And Elsa hastened out to superintend the occupations of her

Not for that day alone, but for all time thereafter Elsa entered into
her duties with as much pleasure as she would formerly have found in a
dance. No one knew what had happened, but all marveled at the sudden
change. None was, however, more pleased and satisfied than the young
wife herself, for whom work was now a necessity, and under whose hands
everything thereafter flourished, bringing wealth and happiness to the
young couple.


One night a number of fishermen quartered themselves in a hut by a
fishing village on the northwest shores of an island. After they had
gone to bed, and while they were yet awake, they saw a white,
dew-besprinkled woman’s hand reaching in through the door. They well
understood that their visitor was a sea nymph, who sought their
destruction, and feigned unconsciousness of her presence.

The following day their number was added to by the coming of a young,
courageous and newly married man from Kinnar, in Lummelund. When they
related to him their adventure of the night before, he made fun of
their being afraid to take a beautiful woman by the hand, and boasted
that if he had been present he would not have neglected to grasp the
proffered hand.

That evening when they laid themselves down in the same room, the late
arrival with them, the door opened again, and a plump, white woman’s
arm, with a most beautiful hand, reached in over the sleepers.

The young man arose from his bed, approached the door and seized the
outstretched hand, impelled, perhaps, more by the fear of his comrades
scoffing at his boasted bravery, than by any desire for a closer
acquaintance with the strange visitor. Immediately his comrades
witnessed him drawn noiselessly out through the door, which closed
softly after him. They thought he would return soon, but when morning
approached and he did not appear, they set out in search of him. Far
and near the search was pursued, but without success. His disappearance
was complete.

Three years passed and nothing had been heard of the missing man. His
young wife, who had mourned him all this time as dead, was finally
persuaded to marry another. On the evening of the wedding day, while
the mirth was at its highest, a stranger entered the cottage. Upon
closer observation some of the guests thought they recognized the
bride’s former husband.

The utmost surprise and commotion followed.

In answer to the inquiries of those present as to where he came from
and where he had been, he related that it was a sea nymph whose hand he
had taken that night when he left the fisherman’s hut; and that he was
dragged by her down into the sea. In her pearly halls he forgot his
wife, parents, and all that was loved by him until the morning of that
day, when the sea nymph exclaimed: “There will be a dusting out in
Kinnar this evening.” Then his senses immediately returned, and, with
anxiety, he asked: “Then it is my wife who is to be the bride?” The sea
nymph replied in the affirmative. At his urgent request, she allowed
him to come up to see his wife as a bride, stipulating that when he
arrived at the house he should not enter. When he came and saw her
adorned with garland and crown he could, nevertheless, not resist the
desire to enter. Then came a tempest and took away half the roof of the
house, whereupon the man fell sick and three days later died.

THE BYSE. [14]

A peasant of Svalings, in the parish of Gothem, by the name of Hans,
was, one spring day, employed in mending a fence which divided two
meadows. It chanced he required a few more willow twigs for bands,
whereupon he sprang over the fence to cut them in a neighbor’s grove.
Entering the thicket, what was his surprise at seeing an old man
sitting upon a stump, bowed forward, his face buried in his hands. His
astonishment uncontrollable, Hans broke out:

“Who are you?”

“A wanderer,” replied the old man without lifting his head.

“How long have you been a wanderer?” inquired the peasant.

“Three hundred years!” answered the old man.

Still more astonished, the peasant again asked:

“Is it not hard to travel thus?”

“It has never been so hard to me,” replied the old man, “for I love the

“Very well, go on then,” said Hans.

Hardly were the words uttered than the peasant heard a sound like that
from a wild bird startled to wing, and the old man had vanished so
suddenly that Hans could not say whether he had sunk into the earth or
gone into the air.


North of the village of Wi, in the parish of Källa, lies a large stone
called Sekiel’s Stone, after a giantess, Sekiel, who is said to have
lived in Borgehaga, in the parish of Högo.

The same giantess had a sister, who was married to a giant named Beard,
and lived in the parish of Ryssby on the Småland side of the sound.

That they might visit each other oftener it was agreed between the
sisters that they should build a stone bridge over Kalmarsound, the one
to build from Ryssby shore, the other from Öland.

The giantess of Småland began first upon her work. Every day she came
with a great load of stones which she cast into the sea, until,
finally, she had completed that point of land now called Skägganäs,
reaching a quarter of a mile out into the sea. The giantess on the
Öland side also began to build, but when she came with her first load
of stones in her apron she was shot through the body with an arrow from
a peasant’s bow. Overcome by the pain, she sat herself to rest upon the
before mentioned Sekiel Stone, which has a shallow depression in the
top, marking the resting spot of the giantess.

When she had recovered she again took up her journey, but had proceeded
no further than to Persnäs when it began to storm, and she was struck
dead by a bolt of lightning. With her fall the stones slipped from her
apron, and there they lie to-day, forming the large grave-mound on
Persnäs hills.


Upon the estate of Hellerup, in the parish of Ljungby, there lived,
many years ago, a gentleman of rank, who had a daughter renowned for
her gentleness as well as for her beauty and intelligence.

One night, while lying awake in her bed, watching the moonbeams dancing
upon her chamber floor, her door was opened and a little fairy, clad in
a gray jacket and red cap, tripped lightly in and toward her bed.

“Do not be afraid, gracious lady!” said he, and looked her in the eye
in a friendly manner. “I have come to ask a favor from you.”

“Willingly, if I can,” answered the young lady, who began to recover
from her fear.

“Oh! it will not be difficult,” said the fairy. “I and mine have, for
many years, lived under the floor in the kitchen, just where the water
tank stands, which has become old and leaky, so that we are continually
annoyed by the dripping of water, and the maids spill water upon the
floor, which drips through, so that it is never dry in our home.”

“That shall be seen to in the morning,” promised the lady, and the
fairy, making an elegant bow, disappeared as noiselessly as he came.

The next day, at the girl’s request, the cask was moved, and the
gratitude of the fairies was soon manifested. Never thereafter was a
glass or plate broken, and if the servants had work to do that required
early rising, they were always awake at the appointed hour.

Some time later the fairy again stood at the young lady’s bedside.

“Now I have another request which, in your generosity, you will
certainly not refuse to grant.”

“What is it, then?” asked the young lady.

“That you will honor me and my house, and to-night stand at the
christening of my newly-born daughter.”

The young lady arose and clad herself, and followed her unknown
conductor through many passages and rooms which she had never before
been aware existed, until she finally came to the kitchen. Here she
found a host of small folk and priest and father, whereupon the little
child was baptized in the usual Christian manner.

When the young lady was about to go the fairy begged permission to put
a memento in her apron.

Though what she received looked like a stick and some shavings, she
appeared very thankful, and was conducted again through the winding
passages back to her room.

Just as the fairy stood ready to leave her, he said: “If we should meet
again, and that is probable, bear well in mind not to laugh at me or
any of mine. We esteem you for your modesty and goodness, but if you
laugh at us, we shall never see each other again.” With these words he
left the room.

When he had gone the young woman threw her present into the stove and
laid herself down to sleep, and the following morning, when the maid
went to build the fire, she found in the ashes jewelry of the purest
gold and finest workmanship, such as had never before been seen.

Some years later the young woman was about to marry, and preparations
were made for a day of pomp and splendor.

For many weeks there was great bustle in the kitchen and bridal
chamber. During the day all was quiet under the floor in the kitchen,
but through the night one who slept lightly could hear the sounds of
work as through the day.

At length the wedding hour arrived.

Decked with laurels and crown, the bride was conducted to the hall
where the guests were gathered. During the ceremonies she chanced to
cast a glance toward the fireplace in the corner of the hall, where she
saw the fairies gathered for a like feast. The bridegroom was a little
fairy and the bride her goddaughter, and everything was conducted in
the same manner as in the hall.

None of the guests saw what was going on in their vicinity, but it was
observed that the bride could not take her eyes from the fireplace.
Later in the evening, when she again saw the strange bridal feast, she
saw one of the fairies who was acting as waiter stumble and fall over a
twig. Unmindful of the caution she had received, she burst out into a
hearty laugh. Instantly the scene vanished, and from that time no
fairies have been seen at Hellerup.


During the war between Queen Margarita and Albrecht of Mecklenburg the
two armies had an encounter in Southern Halland. The Queen’s people had
encamped upon the plains of Tjarby, a half mile north of Laholm, while
the Prince’s adherents were camped in the vicinity of Weinge Church.

One morning the Queen went, as was her custom to morning prayers in
Tjarby Church, but took the precaution to set a guard upon the
so-called Queen’s Mountain to warn her of danger.

While she was buried in her devotions there came a message, informing
her that a few unattended knights had been seen in the vicinity.

“There is yet no danger,” said the courageous Queen, and continued her
prayers at the altar.

In a short time another message was brought, informing her that as many
as a hundred knights had made their appearance, but the Queen commanded
her people to keep still, that yet there was no occasion for alarm.
Finally a message came that all Elstorps Woods seemed to be alive and
moving against Tjarby.

“Now, my children, for a hard battle, but God will give us the
victory,” said the Queen, and springing upon her horse, she marched at
the head of her warriors against the enemy.

The enemy had, as is related in the story of Macbeth, made use of
stratagem, for each man carried before him a green bush, thinking to
come upon the queen’s attendants by surprise. But the queen outwitted
him and gained a brilliant victory.

In gratitude to God, she rebuilt the old church of Tjarby, and since
that day no birches higher than a man’s head have grown in Elstorps


It is probable that there are few places more gloomy and uninviting
than certain parts of the parish of Sibbarp, in the Province of
Halland. Dark heaths cover a good portion of the parish, and from their
dull brown surface rises, here and there, a lonely, cheerless mountain.
One of these is Folkared’s Cliff, in the southern part of the parish,
noted of old as the abiding-place of little Trolls and Pigmies.

One chilly autumn day a peasant, going from Hogared, in Ljungby, to
Folkared, in Sibbarp, in order to shorten his journey took a short cut
by way of the cliff, upon reaching which he perceived a Pigmy about the
size of a child seven or eight years old, sitting upon a stone crying.

“Where is your home?” asked the peasant, moved by the seeming distress
of the little fellow.

“Here,” sobbed the Pigmy, pointing to the mountain.

“How long have you lived here?” questioned the peasant in surprise.

“Six hundred years.”

“Six hundred years! You lie, you rascal, and you deserve to be whipped
for it.”

“Oh! do not strike me,” pleaded the Pigmy, continuing to cry. “I have
had enough of blows already to-day.”

“Who have you received them from?” asked the peasant.

“From my father.”

“What capers did you cut up that you were thus punished?”

“Oh, I was set to watch my old grandfather and when I chanced to turn
my back he fell and hurt himself upon the floor.”

The peasant then understood what character of person he had met, and
grasping his dirk he prepared to defend himself. But instantly he heard
an awful crash in the mountain, and the pigmy had vanished.


During the bloody war under Charles XII. with Denmark, a number of
freebooters had gone from Skåne into Halland, and marked their way, as
usual, with plundering and murder. A number, after the parsonage and
other houses in Hishult had been ransacked, went back to Skåne; the
rest continued their course to the north.

At Böghult, in the parish of Tönnersjö, a number of peasants had
gathered to oppose them. They possessed, for the most part, no other
weapons than axes, scythes and sticks; only two, brothers from Böghult,
were better armed. Each of these had his gun, which, as residents in
the woods and hunters, they knew well how to handle. In stationing the
forces, the two brothers were placed far out on the road, in the
direction from which the freebooters were expected to make their
appearance, while the others remained in a body some distance in their

After many hours’ waiting a ragged, sorry-looking horseman, mounted on
a rough-coated and saddleless horse, came into view. From his rear came
the sounds of laughter and merry-making of the approaching horde.

“Look sharp! here they come!” said one of the brothers.

“See! They have stolen father’s horse!” said the other, as he brought
his gun to his eye.

“Hold on!” whispered the first, “My gun is surer than yours. Let me
take care of the thief.” These words were followed by a loud report,
and the horseman tumbled from his seat.

Alarmed at the result, the two brothers retreated hastily to their
support in the rear, and nothing further was heard of the enemy. The
following day some of the bravest of the peasants set out to
reconnoiter, but the freebooters had disappeared. They came, however,
upon a heap of stones which the marauders had thrown up to mark the
grave of their companion.

This pile of stones was ever after called the freebooter’s grave.


In the mountain of Boråseröd, which is located in the parish of
Svarteborg, there lived, in ancient days, a giant. As with all the
giant people, he has disappeared since the coming in of Christianity.
Some say that he died, but others believe that he moved to Dovre, in
Norway, where giants betook themselves when disturbed by the church

However, there is even to-day a hollow in the mountain which is called
“the giant’s door,” and within the mountain, it is believed there are
vaults filled with the giant’s gold. No one has, however, dared venture
to search for this treasure, and luckily, for with property of giants,
blessings do not go.

This giant had a daughter, so beautiful that he who once saw her could
never drive thoughts of her from his mind. Among the few whose fortune
it was to see her was a young peasant from the estate of Rom, adjacent
to the mountain. When he was one day out searching for the horses,
which had gone astray, he suddenly came upon the wonderfully beautiful
maiden, sitting upon the side of the mountain, in the sunshine, playing
on her harp.

The peasant at once understanding who it was, not of the kind to be
easily frightened, knowing that her father had an abundance of riches,
and thinking it was no worse for him than for many others to marry into
the giant family, approached her, under cover of the shrubbery, until
he was quite near, when he threw his knife between her and the
mountain, and as “steel charms a Troll,” or others of the supernatural
family, she was obliged, whether or not she would, to follow him to his

In the evening, when the giant missed his daughter, he started out in
search of her, and in his search came to Rom.

Through the walls he heard the snores of two persons, and, when he had
lifted the roof off the cottage, he saw his daughter sleeping in the
arms of the young swain.

“Are you there, you whelp!” he hissed. “Has it come to this?” added he.
“So be it, then; but I demand that the wedding shall take place before
the next new moon. If you can then give me as much food and drink as I
want all your offspring shall be made rich and powerful, otherwise I
will have nothing to do with you.”

Preparations were hastily made by the young man’s parents for the
wedding, and neighbors and relations came from far and near, laden with
provisions. A great number likely to be present, it was determined to
have the ceremony performed in the Church of Tosse; but the day before
the wedding there came such a great freshet that it seemed impossible
for the bridal carriage to cross the swollen creek between Duigle and
Barby. The giant was equal to the emergency, and, with his wife, went
to Holmasar, in Berffendalen, and fetched a large slab of stone and
four boulders to the creek. The giant carried the slab under his arm,
and his wife the boulders in her mitten. And thus they built the stone
bridge which to this day spans the creek.

When the bridal pair came from the church to the banquet hall, the
giant appeared and seated himself at the table with the rest of the

Although the bridal couple did all possible to find him enough to eat,
the giant declared when he left the table that he was only half
satisfied, and therefore only half of the family should become great
people. Wishing to give the bride a becoming bridal present, he cast a
sack of gold and silver upon the floor, which the couple was to have if
the son-in-law could carry it up to the loft. Stealthily, the bride
gave her husband a drink which made him so strong that he threw the
sack upon his back, and, to the surprise of all, carried it out of the
room. Thus the newly wedded pair became possessors of an abundant
treasure with which to begin life.

For some time the young couple lived in plenty and happiness, but soon
the husband began to be irritable and abusive. It came, finally, to
such a pass that the husband took a whip to his wife. She continued,
nevertheless, to be mild and patient as before; but one day he was
about to start on a long journey. When the horse was hitched to the
wagon he observed that the shoe was gone from one of the hind feet. It
would not do to venture on such a journey without first replacing the
shoe. Here, however, was a difficulty. He had one shoe only, and that
was too large; whereupon he began again to scold and swear.

The wife said nothing, but quietly taking the shoe between her hands,
squeezed it together as if it were lead, reducing it to the required
size. Her husband looked upon her in astonishment and alarm. Finally he
addressed her:

“Why have you, who are so strong, submitted to abuse from me?”

“Because the wife should be submissive to her husband,” said the
giantess, mildly and pleasantly.

From that hour the man was the most patient and indulgent in the
region, and never again was heard a cross word from his mouth.


South of Thorsby Church, among the mountains, lies a shattered rock
called Gloshed’s Altar, concerning which there is an old tradition
still living upon the lips of the people, as follows:

A long time ago a man from the parish of Säfve went upon a Hollandish
ship, on a whaling cruise. After the vessel had been tossed about the
sea for some time, land was one day sighted, and upon the land was seen
a fire which continued to burn many days.

It was determined that some of the ship’s crew should go ashore, in the
hope that shelter might be found, and among those who went ashore was
our hero. When the strand was reached they found there an old man
sitting by a fire of logs, endeavoring to warm himself.

“Where did you come from?” asked the old man.

“From Holland!” answered the sailors.

“But where were you born?” to our hero.

“In Hisingen, in the parish of Säfve,” he answered.

“Are you acquainted in Thorsby?”

“Yes, indeed!”

“Do you know where Ulfve Mountain lies?”

“I have often passed it, as the road from Göteborg to Marstrand over
Hisingen and through Thorsby goes past there.”

“Do the large stones and hills remain undisturbed?” asked the old man.

“Yes, except one stone, which, if I remember correctly, is toppling
over,” said the Hisinger.

“That is too bad! But do you know where Gloshed’s Altar is, and does it
remain sound?”

“Upon that point,” said the sailor, “I have no knowledge.”

Finally the old man continued: “If you will say to those who now live
in Thorsby and Torrebräcka that they shall not destroy the stones and
elevations at the foot of Ulfve Mount, and, above all, to take care of
Gloshed’s Altar, you shall have fair winds for the rest of your

The Hisinger promised to deliver the message when he arrived home,
whereupon he asked the old man his name, and how he, living so far from
Thorsby, was so well acquainted with matters there.

“I’ll tell you,” said he, “my name is Thore Brock, and I at one time
lived there, but was banished. All my relations are buried at Ulfve
Mountain, and at Gloshed’s Altar we were wont to do homage to our gods
and to make our offerings.”

Hereupon they separated.

When the man from Hisinger returned home he went about the fulfillment
of his promise, and, without knowing how, he soon became one of the
principal farmers in the parish.


In the parish of Näsinge, two poor sisters once found service with a
rich farmer. All through the summer they herded their master’s flocks
on the mountain sides, whiling away their time in relating legends of
kings and abducted princesses.

“If only some prince would carry me away to his gilded palace,” said
the younger, one day.

“Hush! Do not talk so wickedly,” remonstrated the elder. “The Trolls
might hear you, when it would go hard with you.”

“Oh! there is not much danger of that,” replied the first speaker, and
continued her story.

Some days later the younger sister disappeared. No one knew where she
had gone, and careful search did not reveal. Time went on without the
least trace of her whereabouts being discovered. Finally the remaining
sister found a sweetheart, but equally poor with herself, wherefore
they could not think of marrying yet for many years.

One night in her sleep she dreamed that her absent sister stood at her
bedside, and said:

“Make your bed to-morrow night in the barn, past which the Trolls and I
shall pass, and I will give you a handsome dower.”

The next night when the girl drove her flocks home she made her bed, as
her sister had directed, in her master’s barn. The barn door she left
open, and, laying herself down, she looked out into the night,
endeavoring to keep awake until her sister should come. Soon after
midnight she heard the sound of hoofs, and saw her sister, accompanied
by a Troll, ride up the road at such a speed that the sparks glistened
around the horses’ feet. When they reached the front of the barn the
lost girl threw a purse in at the door, which fell with a ring into the
watcher’s lap. Hastily the treasure was deposited under her head, and
she was soon asleep, wearied with her day’s work and night of watching.

The next day, upon examining her strangely acquired gift, what was her
astonishment to find it filled with pure gold coins. Before the sun had
set she had purchased a splendid farm, and, as may be presumed, the
bans were published and a wedding immediately celebrated.


At the extremity of the beautiful valley of Espelund, in the parish of
Mo, there rises a wood-covered mountain known as Bergåsa Mountain, from
the distance looking like a giant cone; three sides presenting frowning
precipices, the fourth (and southern) fortified by a large wall of
boulders, which is said to have surrounded, in former times, a king’s
castle, called Grimslott.

Here, in times gone by, lived a mountain king named Grim. He was, like
the rest of his kind, ugly and crafty, and robbed mankind of whatever
fell in his way.

For this purpose he had two hats, one of which was called the Dulde
hat, and was so endowed that when the king put it on his head both he
and his companions became invisible; and the other was called the Hålde
hat, which possessed a power making all things plainly visible to the
wearer that were before invisible.

It happened, during these days, that a farmer of Grimland, preparing a
wedding for his daughter, invited guests from near and far to the
festivities. Pretending, however, not to know the mountain king, he did
not invite him. The latter apparently took no offense at this, but, on
the wedding day, putting his Dulde hat upon his head, set out to the
wedding feast, followed by all his people, except the queen, who was
left at home to watch the castle.

When the wedding guests sat themselves at table everything that was
brought in vanished, both food and drink, to the great astonishment of
all, as they could not understand where it disappeared; but a young
peasant suspected the Trolls were at the bottom of it, and, springing
upon a horse, rode straightway to Borgåsa Mountain. On the steps stood
the mountain queen, so beautiful and fine, who inquired of the rider
how things were going at the wedding feast in Grimland.

“The food is salt and the oil is sour,” answered he. “That stingy
farmer has hidden the wine and meat in the cellar where no one can find
it. Now, your husband sends greeting, and requests that you give me the
Hålde hat, that he may be able to find its hiding-place.”

Without mistrust the queen gave him the enchanted hat, whereupon the
young peasant hastened back to the festivities. Entering the hall, he
donned the hat and saw at once the mountain king and his followers
sitting among the guests, seizing upon everything as fast as brought
in. The peasant drew his sword, and commanded the others to do

“Stab as I stab and cut as I cut,” cried he, and began to slash around
the table. The other guests followed his example and slew the mountain
king and all his followers. From that time, so says the story, the
castle upon Borgåsa Mountain has been untenanted.


One stormy autumn night, a few years after the death of Charles XII., a
ship containing a valuable cargo was wrecked on the island of Tjorn,
one of the group of islands on the coast of Bohuslän. Among other
things of value in the ship’s cargo were many articles of costly
jewelry, belonging to King Frederick I., which were being brought to
him from Hessia. The most costly, however, was a jewel inclosed in a
cradle made of pure gold and richly embellished with pearls and
precious stones, sent by a German princess to the king’s spouse.

The islanders, as was not unusual in those days, murdered the ship’s
crew, and, after it had been plundered of its cargo, scuttled and sunk
her, so that she was safely out of sight.

Among the priests upon the island was one named Michael Koch, pastor in
Klofvedal. He had a hint of the great crime that had been committed,
but, fearing the half-barbarous inhabitants, did not dare betray the

Some time after the ship had disappeared a fisherman came one day to
the parsonage and presented to the priest a walking stick of great
beauty of workmanship and value, which was a part of the cargo of the
plundered vessel. Koch accepted the gift, and whether he did not know
or did not care where it came from, took it with him, often displaying
it upon the streets. When, two years later, he went to Stockholm, as
representative to the Diet, King Frederick one day accidentally saw and
recognized it as his property. The priest, however, asserted that it
was his, and rightfully acquired. But the king could not be deceived,
and opening a heretofore concealed hollow in the cane, took therefrom a
roll of gold coins. This action attracted attention and aroused
suspicion anew that the ship had been plundered. It was not thought
that Koch had a hand in it, but, on the assumption that he knew
something about it which he ought to have revealed, and that he was
trying to conceal the deed, he was escorted from Stockholm.

Meantime further discoveries were made, until they led to finding that
the gold cradle was in possession of a peasant in Stordal. At the
king’s command, soldiers were at once dispatched to Tjorn to arrest the
criminals and, possibly, find the jewel. But the command was not kept
so secret that the peasant did not get an intimation of what was
coming, whereupon he hastened to bury the cradle in Stordal Heath.
Under guidance of a police officer the search was prosecuted in all
directions, but when the soldiers could not discover the object of
their search, they left the island and the offenders escaped.

Some years later the possessor of the cradle became sick. When he found
that his case was serious he sent for the priest, and confided to him
the whereabouts of his booty, and requested that as soon as he was dead
the priest should dig the cradle up and restore it to the king. Hardly
had the priest taken his departure when the sick man regretted his
simplicity. Gathering his little remaining strength, he rose from his
bed, and, with unsteady steps, crept out into the field and concealed
his buried treasure in another place. As soon as the man was dead, the
priest set out about fulfilling his commission. His digging was in
vain, the hidden treasure was not to be found. In his dying hour the
peasant had, apparently, endeavored to reveal the new hiding place, but
his strength was so near exhausted that his utterances could not be

To this day many of the dwellers on the island are fully persuaded that
Queen Elenor’s golden cradle may be found somewhere in the Stordal cow
pastures, and many have wasted much time and labor in the hope of
bringing it to light.


Many years ago there died, on the estate of Sundshult, in the parish of
Nafverstad, a child of illegitimate birth, which, because of this, was
not christened and could not be accorded Christian burial, or a place
in heaven, and whose spirit, therefore, was left to wander the earth,
disturbing the rest and making night uncomfortable for the people of
the neighborhood.

One time, just before Christmas, the parish shoemaker, on his rounds,
was detained at the house of a patron, and, having much work before
him, he was still sewing late into the night, when he was unexpectedly
startled from his employment by a little child appearing before him,
which said:

“Why do you sit there? Move aside.”

“For what?” asked the shoemaker.

“Because I wish to dance,” said the spectre.

“Dance away, then!” said the shoemaker.

When the child had danced some time it disappeared, but returned soon
and said:

“I will dance again, and I’ll dance your light out for you.”

“No,” said the shoemaker, “let the light alone. But who are you that
you are here in this manner?”

“I live under the lower stone of the steps to the porch.”

“Who put you there?” asked the shoemaker.

“Watch when it dawns, and you will see my mother coming, wearing a red
cap. But help me out of this, and I’ll never dance again.”

This the shoemaker promised to do, and the spectre vanished.

The next day a servant girl from the neighboring estate came, who wore
upon her head a red handkerchief.

Digging was begun under the designated step, and in time the skeleton
of a child was found, incased in a wooden tub. The body was that day
taken to the churchyard, and the mother, who had destroyed her child,
turned over to the authorities. Since then the child spectre has danced
no more.


Upon the height where Svarteborg’s Church is now situated, rose, in
former times, a castle, occupied at the date of our story by a king
named Rane, after whom the fortification took the name of Ranesborg. As
late as a few years ago traces of a wall were to be seen in the
so-called bell-tower, near the church path, which were said to be the
remains of the once stately fortress.

At the time King Rane resided in Ranesborg, there lived not far from
there, upon the Hudt estate, in the parish of Tanum, a Queen Hudta,
widely known for her wealth and beauty, also for her rare bravery and
sour temper.

Enraptured by the king’s fame for bravery, though well along in years,
she sent an embassador to the king offering him her hand, which he
accepted. After a time he fell in love with another and regretted his
previous betrothal, but said nothing to Queen Hudta, who, upon the
appointed day, betook herself, arrayed in queenly garb and glittering
crown, to Ranesborg.

When the bridal car arrived at the castle it was found that the king
had gone on a hunt, and had left word that the queen might return to
her home again. Stung by this bitter affront, the queen commanded her
people to storm the castle and raze it to the ground. Returning to her
horse, when the destruction had been completed, and viewing the black
and smoking ruins of the castle, she thus vented herself:

“Up to the present you have been called Ranesborg, but hereafter you
shall be known as Svarteborg”—Black Castle—and, putting spurs to her
horse, she galloped away from the spot.

When the queen came to the so-called Köpstadbäcken, on her way to
Tanum, she halted at a spring, dismounted and laid her crown and
equipments upon a stone. She then requested a drink, and, the water
being good, the spring was named Godtakällan—good spring.

Meantime Rane, during the chase, had observed the smoke and flames from
his burning castle and set out hastily homeward. At Köpstadbäcken he
came upon the bridal car of the malevolent queen, when he understood
what had taken place, and drawing his sword, he clove the head of his
intended bride. At sight of this her followers at once took to flight,
but they were overtaken and hewn down at Stenehed, where one of the
finest monuments on Bohuslän marks the incident. The murdered queen’s
body was carried to her castle at Hudt, where a large prostrate stone
near the wagon road is said to mark her grave.


One time a peasant, en route to Jönköping with a load of rye, came just
at dusk to Ållaberg, where he discovered a grand mansion by the way.
“Maybe I can sell my rye here,” thought he, “and so be spared the
journey to Jönköping,” and, approaching the door, he knocked for

The door was at once opened by some unseen power, and the peasant

Upon entering, he found himself in a grand hall. In the middle of the
floor stood a large table and upon the table lay twelve golden helmets,
grand beyond the power of description, and scattered around the room,
deep in slumber, were twelve knights in glittering armor.

The peasant contemplated his beautiful surroundings, but, concluding he
could not sell his rye here, went on, coming finally to a large stable,
where he found standing twelve most magnificent steeds, bedecked with
golden trappings and silver shoes on their hoofs, stamping in their

Curiosity getting the better of him, he took hold of the bridle of one
of the horses in order to learn by what art it was made. Hardly had he
touched it when he heard a voice call out, “Is it time now?” and
another answer, “No, not yet!”

The peasant had now seen and heard as much as he desired, and,
thoroughly frightened, hastened away. When he came out he found that he
had been into the mountain instead of into a mansion, and that he had
seen the twelve knights who sleep there until the country shall be in
some great danger, when they will awake and help Sweden to defend
herself against her foreign enemies.


Shortly after King Charles XI. had confiscated most of the property of
the nobility to the use of the crown, he came, one day, while upon one
of his journeys to Höjentorp, where his aunt on his father’s side,
Maria Eufrosyna, lived.

On the stairs, as he was about to enter her dwelling, he was met by her
and at once saluted with a sound box on the ear. Astounded, the king
burst out:

“It is fortunate that it is I whom you have struck! but why are you in
such a combative mood, my aunt?”

“Why?” said the countess. “Because you have taken all my possessions
from me.”

Conducting the king to the dining hall, the countess sat before him to
eat a herring’s tail and an oat cake.

“Have you no better fare for me than this?” asked the king.

“No,” replied the lady; “as you have spread the cloth so must you

“Aunt,” said the king, “if you will give me your gold and silver, I
will provide for you richly to your death.”

“Shame on you!” interrupted the countess. “Will you not allow me to
keep so little as my gold and silver, either?” and, advancing upon him,
she gave him a second box on the ear, which so alarmed the king that he
beat a hasty retreat and commanded that the countess be left in
peaceful possession of her property to the end of her days.


On Skalunda Hill, near Skalunda Church, there lived, in olden times, a
giant, who, much annoyed by the ringing of the church bells, was
finally compelled to move away, and took up his residence on an island,
far away in the North Sea. One time a ship was wrecked upon this
island, and among those of her crew rescued were several men from

“Where are you from?” inquired the giant, who was now old and blind,
and was stretched out warming himself before a fire of logs.

“We are from Skalunda, if you wish to know,” said one of the men.

“Give me your hand, for I wish to know if still there is warm blood in
Sweden,” said the giant.

The man, afraid of the grasp of the giant, drew a glowing iron rod from
the fire, which he extended to the giant, who, grasping it with great
force, squeezed it until the iron ran between his fingers.

“Ah, yes, there is still warm blood in Sweden,” exclaimed he, “but does
Skalunda Hill still exist?”

“No, the birds have scratched it down,” answered the man.

“It could not stand,” remarked the giant, “for my wife and daughter
built it one Sunday morning. But how is it with Halle and Hunneberg?
They remain, surely, for I myself built them.”

Upon receiving a reply in the affirmative, he asked if Karin, a
giantess, still lived, and when to this he was answered yes, he gave
them a belt and bade them take it to Karin and say to her that she must
wear it in his memory.

The men took the belt, and upon their return home gave it to Karin,
but, before she would put it upon herself, she wrapped it around an oak
which was growing near by. Hardly was this done when the oak was torn
from the ground, and sailed off northward as if in a gale. In the
ground where the oak stood, there was left a deep pit, and here to-day
is pointed out the best spring in Stommen.


In a mountain called Räfvakullen, Fox Hill, near the Church of
Resslared, Trolls, it is said, have lived since long before the
building of the church.

When the church was completed and the bell hung in the tower, the
priest, as was the custom, proceeded to read prayers over it to protect
it from the power of the Trolls. But his prayers lacked the expected
efficacy, for he had not yet finished when the Trolls took the bell and
sunk it in the “Troll Hole” near the church.

A new bell was cast and hung, and this time the provost, who was more
learned, was selected to consecrate it. The provost also failed to hit
upon the right prayers, for the following Sunday, when the bell was
about to be used for the first time, it flew through the apertures in
the tower and was broken on the roof of the church.

Again a bell was cast, and this time, as priest and provost seemed to
be powerless against the Trolls, the Bishop of Skara was sent for. His
prayers were effectual, and the bell was not again disturbed.

The Trolls thereafter dwelt in harmony with their neighbors, and
especially with the parishioners of Resslared. From the latter the
Trolls were wont to borrow food and drink, which they always returned

In time the first residents died off, and new people took their places.
The newcomers were well provided with this world’s goods, even to being
wealthy, but they were niggardly and uncharitable.

One day the “mother” of the Trolls went, as was her custom of old, to a
cottage, and asked the housewife if she could lend her a measure of

“No, that is out of the question! I have none in the house!” said the

“Very well! It is as you say, of course,” replied the Troll, “but maybe
you can lend me a can or two of ale. My husband is away, and he will be
very thirsty when he returns.”

“No, I can’t do that. My ale cans are all empty,” answered the

“Very good! Maybe you can lend me a little milk for my little child
that is sick in the mountain.”

“Milk! Where should I get milk? My cows are all farrow,” said the

“Very well,” said the Troll woman, and went her way.

The housewife laughed in her sleeve, and thought that she had escaped
the Trolls cheaply; but when she inspected her larder it was found that
she had really told the truth to the Troll woman. The meal boxes were
swept clean, the ale barrels were empty, and the new milch cows, to the
last one, farrow. Ever after that the plenty that had heretofore been
was wanting, until finally the people were compelled to sell out and
move away.


Bishop Svedberg, of Skara, was a very pious man and a mighty preacher,
therefore, intolerable to the devil.

One night the Bishop set out from Skara to his bishopric in Brunsbo.
When he was on the way some distance, the wagon began to run from side
to side of the road, and finally one of the hind wheels fell off and
rolled away into the ditch.

The driver called the attention of the Bishop to this, and remarked
that they could go no farther.

“Don’t trouble yourself about that,” said the Bishop. “Throw the wheel
into the rear of the wagon and we will go along.”

The servant thought this a strange command, but did as directed, and
the journey was continued to Brunsbo without further adventure.

Arriving at the inn, the Bishop directed the servant to go to the
kitchen and bring a light.

“Look, now,” said the Bishop to the servant upon his return, “and you
shall see who has been the fourth wheel,” at the same time springing
from the wagon.

The servant turned the light in the direction indicated, where he saw
none other than the devil himself, standing in the place of the wheel,
with the axle in his hands.

The devil soon found an opportunity for revenge. One night a great fire
spread over Brunsbo, and before morning the whole place was burned to
the ground.

The Bishop was at no loss to know who had played him this foul trick,
and called the devil to account for the devastation.

“Verily, you shall know,” said the devil. “Your maid was down in the
pantry, and there snuffed the candle. Passing by, I took the snuffing
and with it set fire to the place.”

The Bishop was obliged to be content with this answer, but in order
that the devil should do him no further harm he sent him, with all his
imps, to hell.


On the estate of Säby, in the parish of Hassle, lived, in former days,
a gentleman so rich that he could have purchased half of the territory
of Vestergötland, but so miserly that he could not find it in his heart
to spend money for necessary food.

When he became aged, and knew that his life was drawing to a close, he
began to ponder what he should do with his wealth to prevent its
falling into the hands of people not akin to him, and finally he
arrived at what he thought a wise determination.

One Sunday, when the people of the house were all in church, he loaded
his gold and silver upon a golden wagon and drew it down to Säby Creek,
where he sank it in the deepest hole he could find. Reaching home
again, he felt more than usually content, and laid himself down upon
his bed, where he was found upon the return of the people from church.

When a treasure has been concealed seven years, the Red Spirit is said
to take possession of it, and it is then called “Dragon’s property.”
Over the spot where the treasure lies a blue flame is seen to flutter
at night time, and it is said the dragons are then polishing their

When the seven years had passed the dragon light was seen over Säby
Creek, now for the first time revealing where the miser had deposited
his wealth. Many efforts were made to recover the costly wagon and its
load, but neither horses nor oxen were found with strength enough to
lift it from the hole.

About this time it happened that a farmer, returning from the market of
Skagersholm, where he had been with a load of produce, found quarters
for the night with an old man at Tveden. The evening conversation
turned upon the hidden treasure, and the many unsuccessful attempts to
recover it that had been made, when the old man instructed his guest to
procure a pair of bull calves, upon which there should not be a single
black hair, and to feed them for three years on skimmed milk, whereby
they would acquire the necessary strength to drag the wagon out of the

After great trouble the farmer was fortunate enough to find the desired
white calves, and he at once set about rearing them as instructed. But
one time the girl who had care of the calves accidentally spilled some
of the milk set apart for one of them, and, in order to have the pail
full, she replaced the milk with water and gave it to the calf as if
nothing had happened. Meantime the calves grew up on their excellent
food to large and powerful oxen.

When they were three years old the farmer drove them to the creek and
hitched them to the golden wagon. It was heavy, but the calves put
their shoulders to it, and had raised it half way from the hole, when
one of them fell upon his knees, and the wagon sank back to its old
resting-place. The farmer yoked them to it again, but just as the wagon
was about to be landed safely, the same bull fell to its knees a second
time, so it went time after time, until, finally, the owner saw that
one of the bulls was weaker than the other.

When the wagon sank back the last time a bubbling and murmuring came up
from the depths and a smothered voice was heard to mutter:

“Your skimmed milk calves can’t draw my wagon out.” Whereupon the
farmer understood that to trouble himself further would be useless,
since when no attempts have been made to secure the treasure.


In descriptions of Tomts we are told that they look like little men
well along in years, and in size about that of a child three or fours
years old, as a rule clad in coarse gray clothes and wearing red caps
upon their heads. They usually make the pantry or barn their
abiding-place, where they busy themselves night and day, and keep watch
over the household arrangements. When the servants are to go to
threshing, or other work requiring early rising, they are awakened by
the Tomts. If there is building going on, it is a good sign if the
Tomts are heard chopping and pounding during the hours of rest for the
workmen. In the forge where the Tomts have established themselves, the
smith may take his rest in confidence that they will awaken him by a
blow on the sole of the foot when it is time for him to turn the iron.
Formerly no iron was worked on “Tomt night,” which they reserved for
purposes of their own. On this night, were one to peek through the
cracks of the door, the little people would be discovered working
silver bars, or turning their own legs under the hammer.

It is believed that in the house or community where there is order and
prosperity the Tomts are resident, but in the house where proper
respect is lacking, or where there is a want of order and cleanliness,
they will not remain, and it will follow that the cup-board and
corn-crib will be empty, the cattle will not thrive, and the peasant
will be reduced to extreme poverty and want.

It happened thus to a farmer that he had never finished his threshing
before spring, although he could not find that he had harvested more
grain than others of his neighbors. To discover, if might be, the
source of such plenty, he one day hid himself in the barn, whence he
saw a multitude of Tomts come, each bearing a stalk of rye, among them
one not larger than a man’s thumb, bearing a straw upon his shoulders.

“Why do you puff so hard?” said the farmer from his hiding-place, “your
burden is not so great.”

“His burden is according to his strength, for he is but one night old,”
answered one of the Tomts, “but hereafter you shall have less.”

From that day all luck disappeared from the farmer’s house, and finally
he was reduced to beggary.

In many districts it has been the custom to set out a bowl of mush for
the fairies on Christmas eve.

In the parish of Nyhil there are two estates lying near each other, and
both called Tobo. On one was a Tomt, who, on Christmas eve, was usually
entertained with wheaten mush and honey. One time the mush was so warm
when it was set out that the honey melted. When the Tomt came to the
place and failed to find his honey as heretofore, he became so angry
that he went to the stable and choked one of the cows to death. After
having done this he returned and ate the mush, and, upon emptying the
dish, found the honey in the bottom. Repenting his deed of a few
minutes before, he carried the dead cow to a neighboring farm and led
therefrom a similar cow with which to replace the one he had killed.
During his absence the women had been to the barn and returned to the
house, where the loss was reported to the men, but when the latter
arrived at the cow-shed the missing cow had apparently returned. The
next day they heard of the dead cow on the adjoining farm, and
understood that the Tomts had been at work.

In one place, in the municipality of Ydre, a housewife remarked that
however much she took of meal from the bins there seemed to be no
diminution of the store, but rather an augmentation. One day when she
went to the larder she espied, through the chinks of the door, a little
man sifting meal with all his might.

Noticing that his clothes were very much worn, she thought to reward
him for his labor and the good he had brought her, and made him a new
suit, which she hung upon the meal bin, hiding herself to see what he
would think of his new clothes. When the Tomt came again he noticed the
new garments, and at once exchanged his tattered ones for the better,
but when he began to sift and found that the meal made his fine clothes
dusty he threw the sieve into the corner and said:

“Junker Grand is dusting himself. He shall sift no more.”


On the estate of Norrhult, in the parish of Rumskulla, the people in
olden times were very much troubled by Trolls and ghosts. The
disturbances finally became so unbearable that they were compelled to
desert house and home, and seek an asylum with their neighbors. One old
man was left behind, and he, because he was so feeble that he could not
move with the rest.

Some time thereafter, there came one evening a man having with him a
bear, and asked for lodgings for himself and companion. The old man
consented, but expressed doubts about his guest being able to endure
the disturbances that were likely to occur during the night.

The stranger replied that he was not afraid of noises, and laid himself
down, with his bear, near the old man’s bed.

Only a few hours had passed, when a multitude of Trolls came into the
hut and began their usual clatter. Some of them built the fire in the
fireplace, others set the kettle upon the fire, and others again put
into the kettle a mess of filth, such as lizards, frogs, worms, etc.

When the mess was cooked, the table was laid and the Trolls sat down to
the repast. One of them threw a worm to the bear, and said:

“Will you have a fish, Kitty?”

Another went to the bear keeper and asked him if he would not have some
of their food. At this the latter let loose the bear, which struck
about him so lustily that soon the whole swarm was flying through the

Some time after, the door was again opened, and a Troll with mouth so
large that it filled the whole opening peeked in. “Sic him!” said the
bear keeper, and the bear soon hunted him away also.

In the morning the stranger gathered the people of the village around
him and directed them to raise a cross upon the estate, and to engrave
a prayer on Cross Mountain, where the Trolls dwelt, and they would be
freed from their troublesome visitors.

Seven years later a resident of Norrhult went to Norrköping. On his way
home he met a man who asked him where he came from, and, upon being
informed, claimed to be a neighbor, and invited the peasant to ride
with him on his black horse. Away they went at a lively trot along the
road, the peasant supposed, but in fact high up in the air. When it
became quite dark the horse stumbled so that the peasant came near
falling off.

“It is well you were able to hold on,” said the horseman. “That was the
point of the steeple of Linköping’s cathedral that the horse stumbled
against. Listen!” continued he. “Seven years ago I visited Norrhult.
You then had a vicious cat there; is it still alive?”

“Yes, truly, and many more,” said the peasant.

After a time the rider checked his horse and bade the peasant dismount.
When the latter looked around him he found himself at Cross Mountain,
near his home.

Some time later another Troll came to the peasant’s cottage and asked
if that great savage cat still lived.

“Look out!” said the peasant, “she is lying there on the oven, and has
seven young ones, all worse than she.”

“Oh!” cried the Troll, and rushed for the door. From that time no
Trolls have ever visited Norrhult.


On the estate of Brokind, in the parish of Vardsnäs, dwelt, in days
gone by, a rich and distinguished lady named Barbro, who was so
hard-hearted and severe with her dependents that for the least
transgression they were bound, their hands behind their backs, and cast
into prison, where, to add to their misery, she caused a table, upon
which a bountiful supply of food and drink was placed, to be spread
before them, which, of course, bound as they were, they could not
reach. Upon complaint being made to her that the prisoners were
perishing from hunger and thirst, she would reply, laughingly: “They
have both food and drink; if they will not partake of it the fault is
theirs, not mine.”

Thus the prison at Brokind was known far and wide, and the spot where
it stood is to this day called Kisthagen, in memory of it.

When Lady Barbro finally died she was buried in the grave with her
forefathers, in the cathedral of Linköping, but this was followed by
such ghostly disturbances that it became necessary to take her body up,
when it was interred in the churchyard of Vardsnäs.

Neither was she at rest here, whereupon, at the suggestion of one of
the wiser men of the community, her body was again taken up, and, drawn
by a yoke of twin oxen, was conveyed to a swamp, where it was deposited
and a pole thrust through both coffin and corpse. Ever after, at
nightfall, an unearthly noise was heard in the swamp, and the cry of
“Barbro, pole! Barbro, pole!”

The spirit was, for the time being, quieted, but, as with ghosts in all
old places, it returned after a time, and often a light is seen in the
large, uninhabited building at Brokind.


From the point where the river Bulsjö empties into Lake Sommen,
extending in a northerly direction for about eight miles, bordering the
parishes of North Wij and Asby, nearly up to a point called Hornäs,
stretches the principal fjord, one of several branching off from the
large lake.

Near Vishult, in the first named of these parishes, descending to the
lake from the elevation that follows its west shores, is a wall-like
precipice, Urberg, which, from the lake, presents an especially
magnificent view, as well in its height and length, and in its
wood-crowned top, as in the wild confusion of rocks at its base, where,
among the jumble of piled-up slabs of stones, gape large openings, into
which only the imagination dares to intrude.

From this point the mountain range extends southward toward Tulleram,
and northward, along the shore of Lake Sjöhult, under the name of
Tjorgaberg, until it ends in an agglomeration of rocks called Knut’s

In this mountain dwells the Urko, a monster cow of traditionary
massiveness, which, in former times, when she was yet loose, plowed the
earth, making what is now Lake Sommen and its many fjords. At last she
was captured and fettered by a Troll man from Tulleram, who squeezed a
horseshoe around the furious animal’s neck and confined her in Urberg.
For food she has before her a large cow-hide from which she may eat a
hair each Christmas eve, but when all the hairs are consumed, she will
be liberated and the destruction of Ydre and all the world is to

But even before this she will be liberated from her prison if Ydre is
crossed by a king whom she follows and kills if she can catch him
before he has crossed to the confines of the territory.

It happened one time that a king named Frode, or Fluga, passed through
Ydre, and, conscious of the danger, hurried to reach the boundaries,
but, believing he had already passed them, he halted on the confines at
Fruhammer, or, as the place was formerly called, Flude, or Flugehammer,
where he was overtaken and gored to death by the monster. In
confirmation of this incident, his grave, marked by four stones, is to
this day pointed out.

Another narrative, which, however, is known only in the southeastern
part of the territory, relates that another king, unconscious of the
danger accompanying travel in the neighborhood, passed unharmed over
the border, and had reached the estate of Kalleberg, when he heard
behind him the dreadful bellowing of the monster in full chase after
him. The king hastened away as speedily as possible. The cow monster,
unable to check its mad gallop at the border, rushed over some distance
to the place where the king first paused, where, in the gravel-mixed
field, she pawed up a round hole of several hundred feet in breadth,
which became a bog, whose border, especially upon the north side, is
surrounded by a broad wall of the upheaved earth.

Still, at times, especially preceding a storm, the Urko is heard
rattling its fetters in the mountain, and both upon the mountain and
down near the shore of the lake by times.

Extraordinary things are said to happen. One and another of the
residents thereabouts assert even that they have seen the Urko in her
magnificent rooms and halls, which the neighbors do not for a moment


Near Kölefors, in the jurisdiction of Kinda, lived, a long time ago, an
old woman, who, as the saying goes, was accustomed, during Easter week,
to go to Blåkulla.

Late one Passion Wednesday evening, as was usual with witches, she
lashed her pack in readiness for the night, to follow her comrades in
their wanderings. In order that the start should be accompanied by as
few hindrances as possible, she had greased her shoes and stood them by
the fireplace to dry.

In the dusk of the evening there came to her hut another old woman,
tired and wet through from the rain, and asked permission to remain
over night. To this the witch would not consent, but agreed to allow
the woman to remain until she had dried her soggy shoes before the
fire, while she, unwilling to be under the same roof with her guest,
remained outside.

After a time the fire died out, and it became so dark in the hut that
when the stranger undertook to find her shoes, in order to continue her
journey, she got and put on the witch’s shoes instead. Hardly had she
passed out through the door when the shoes jerked her legs up into the
air and stood her head downward, without, however, lifting her into the
air and carrying her away as would have been if the witch’s broom had
been in her hand.

In this condition the old woman and the shoes struggled through the
night. Now the shoes stood her on her head and dragged her along the
ground, now the woman succeeded in grasping a bush or root, and was
able to regain her feet again for a time.

In the end, near morning, a man walking past, noticed her and hastened
to her relief. Answering her earnest pleading the man poked off one of
the shoes with a stick, whereupon, instantly, shoe and stick flew into
the air and vanished in the twinkling of an eye. After the adventures
of the night the old Troll woman was so weakened that she fell into a
hole, which is pointed out to this day, and is called “The Troll
Woman’s Pit.”


Both wood nymphs and sea nymphs belong to the giant family, and thus
are related.

They often hold communication with each other, although the wood nymphs
always hold themselves a little above their cousins, which frequently
occasions differences between them.

A peasant, lying in the woods on the shores of Lake Ömmeln, heard early
one morning voices at the lake side engaged in vehement conversation.
Conjecturing that it was the wood nymphs and sea nymphs quarreling, he
crept through the underbrush to a spot near where they sat, and
listened to the following dialogue:

Sea Nymph—“You shall not say that you are better than I, for I have
five golden halls and fifty silver cans in each hall.”

Wood Nymph—“I have a mountain which is three miles long and six
thousand feet high, and under that mountain is another, ten times
higher and formed entirely of bones of the people I have killed.”

When the peasant heard this he became so alarmed that he ran a league
away, without stopping. Thus he did not learn which was victorious, but
it was the wood nymphs without doubt, as they have always been a little
superior to the others.


In the parish of Bolsta there lived, many years ago, a man named
Slottbon. One summer evening he rode his horse to pasture up toward
Dalo Mountain. Just as he let the horse go, and was turning to go home,
a black man confronted him and asked him if he did not wish to see the
mountain kitchen.

Slottbon acquiesced and followed his conductor into the mountain, where
it seemed to him certain that he must lose his senses among the glitter
of gold and silver utensils of the kitchen, with which he was

The mountain man inquired of his guest if he should order something to
eat for him, to which Slottbon assented, and, while his host was absent
preparing the repast, improved the opportunity to gather up all the
gold and silver his leather apron would hold, and with it hasten away
with all possible speed, not slacking his pace until he came to a
gravel pit, where it occurred to him to look at his treasure. Seating
himself upon a stone, he began to throw the vessels, one after the
other, upon the ground, where, as fast as they were thrown down, they
were turned into serpents.

Thoroughly frightened at the sight, he dropped his whole burden and
took to his heels, followed closely by the wriggling mass of enormous
reptiles. Finally, when he had about given himself up for lost, he came
to and sprang upon the trunk of a fallen tree and cried out, “God save
me, poor sinner!” and in the twinkling of an eye the serpents vanished.


Many years ago an epidemic swept over Dalland, to which thousands of
persons fell victims. Many people fled to the forests, or to other
regions; the churches were deserted, and those remaining were not
enough to bury the dead. At this stage an old Finlander came along, who
informed the few survivors that they need not hope for cessation of the
scourge until they had buried some living thing.

The advice was followed. First a cock was buried alive, but the plague
continued as violent as ever; next, a goat, but this also proved
ineffectual. At last a poor boy, who frequented the neighborhood,
begging, was lured to a wood-covered hill at the point where the river
Daleborg empties into Lake Venem. Here a deep hole was dug, the boy
meantime sitting near, enjoying a piece of bread and butter that had
been given him. When the grave was deep enough the boy was dropped into
it and the diggers began hurriedly to shovel the dirt upon him. The lad
begged and prayed them not to throw dirt upon his bread and butter, but
the spades flew faster, and in a few minutes, still alive, he was
entirely covered and left to his fate.

Whether this stayed the plague is not known, but many who after night
pass the hill, hear, it is said, a voice as if from a dying child,
crying, “Buried alive! buried alive!”


At Helgy, in the parish of Sunne, lived a warrior, by name Jonas Spits,
who, in wars against the Russians and others, had gained for himself
the reputation of a brave man.

It so happened that there was a revolt in the land, and the king sent a
message to Spits, commanding his services in battle. One Sunday
morning, after the troops had assembled in the field, Spits was engaged
in grinding his sword.

“This is right!” said the king. “There will be fighting to-morrow; let
me see that you make good use of your weapon then.”

“I shall not fail you,” answered Spits, and continued his grinding.

The next day brought a bloody conflict, in which Spits’ sword was not
idle until the evening and the conclusion of the battle, when the king
asked for him.

“Here I am,” answered Spits, bowing before him.

“Let me see your sword,” said the king, “and know what services you
have done this day.”

“Here it is,” said Spits, at the same time reaching for the weapon
covered with blood.

“Good!” said the king. “I’ll gild this sword for you.” Whereupon he
knighted him and commanded that he should be called “The Spits of


A few miles west of Karlstad, on a little island near Slottsbrosund,
was located, in former days, an old fortress called Asa, or Edsholm
Castle, otherwise notorious as the residence of the cruel stewards of

A niggardly and cruel woman, Lady Rangela, for a time owned Edsholm and
all the land thereabout. She soon made herself bitterly hated by the
peasantry because of the oppressions she heaped upon them, and
especially because of the unreasonable toll she demanded every time
they crossed the castle bridge.

According to agreement, two peasants went one day, the one to the top
of Edsholm Mountain and the second to a mountain on the other side of
the sound near the castle, whereupon the following conversation was
carried on between them, in a loud voice:

“My dear neighbor, lend me your large kettle.”

“What do you want with it?”

“I want to cook Lady Rangela of Edsholm Castle, because she demands too
high toll from passers over the bridge.”

“You shall have it gladly.”

This was heard at the castle, and Lady Rangela, believing it to be the
Trolls planning her destruction, hurriedly packed her treasures and
deserted Edsholm. She had, however, gone no further than to Rangelsund,
or Ransund, which is named after her, when a severe storm overtook her
and sunk the boat, with people, treasure and all.

When the peasantry learned what had happened, they poured into the
castle and razed it to the ground, since when there has been nothing to
indicate its existence more than a few heaps of gravel.


At the mouth of the Bay of Olme, upon a little island, which on its
west side is connected with the island of Kumel, is situated the castle
of Saxeholm.

Here dwelt, in former days, a powerful chief, by name Saxe, the greater
part of whose time was spent in bloody warfare, in which occupation he
seemed to find great success and pleasure. At home he was gloomy and
reserved, and very cruel to his wife.

Finally, becoming wearied by her husband’s continued harshness, she
determined to elope with another who better understood how to reward
her love.

One time when Saxe was at Christmas matins in the church at Varnum, his
wife set fire to the castle, shut the gates and threw the key over the
wall into the garden outside. Preceding this she had commanded that her
horses be shod with shoes reversed, thus hoping to bewilder her
pursuers, then, with her lover and a few trusty servants, the castle
was deserted, and her way taken over the ice-covered bay.

When Saxe came home, he found his castle wrapped in flames, and the
following lines written on the outer gate:

    “Within is burning Saxe’s knout,
    And Saxe the cruel must lie without.”

What the chief’s thoughts were at such a greeting is not related.
Meantime his wife, before she left the castle, had deposited, in one of
the vaults, a chest filled with valuables, and had declared that no
human power should move it therefrom.

Many attempts have since been made to unearth this treasure, and it is
said that more than once the searchers have so far succeeded as to get
a glimpse of the iron-bound chest, but always at this point they have
been frightened away by an awful voice calling out from the depths of
the vault, “Don’t come here!”


At Vejefors forge, up near the northern frontier, there was, many years
ago, a charcoal burner who, however vigilant he might be, always had to
rebuild and burn his stacks. Now, the wood was not burned enough,
again, poorly burned, and a thousand annoyances pursued him in his

One evening, as he sat in his hut mending his tools, a beautiful maiden
entered, and, complaining that she was almost frozen, asked permission
to warm herself at the fire.

The coal burner, who had been long in the woods, understood at once
that his visitor was a wood nymph, beautiful and enchanting when seen
face to face, but, when seen behind, is adorned with a bushy fox tail.

When she had warmed herself in front awhile, she turned her back to the
fire, and the coal burner was given an opportunity to see the tail,
whereupon, with unexpected courtesy, he addressed his guest;

“Miss, look out for your train, please!”

That nice name for her troublesome appendage won the Troll woman’s
affections, and from that day everything went admirably with the coal


In the parish of Ekshärad lies a mountain, Säljeberg, which was
formerly the dwelling place of Trolls and giants, now exterminated.

Near the mountain dwelt a farmer, on one of the best farms in the
parish. One summer evening he went over his fields admiring the seas of
golden grain and exulting at the abundant harvest promised him.

“God be praised for this crop,” said he. “If I now could have all these
fields harvested by early morning I would give my best cow.”

Hereupon he returned to his home and went to bed. Through the whole
night the noise of reaping was heard in the fields and the Trolls

“Make bands and bind; let the farmer dry it himself.”

As soon as sunrise the farmer was upon his feet and out into the
fields, where, to his indescribable amazement, he saw them reaped and
the grain lying in bundles upon the ground. Guessing that the Trolls
had had a hand in the work, he sprang to the stable, there to find a
stall empty and his best cow gone.


In the peak of Mount Garphytte, one of the many mountain tops that
raise themselves over Kilseberger, dwelt, in former days, a giant named

One morning, as he went from his grotto out into the day, a strange
sound, which caused him to pause, greeted his ear. He listened for some
time, then returned into the mountain and called his wife.

“Put the smallest of those stones that lie upon the peak into your
garter and sling it at that gray cow that goes tinkling along down
there by Hjelmaren!” said he, meaning the new church just completed at
Orebro, whose bells were that morning ringing for the first time in the
service of the Lord.

The giantess, as she was commanded, took a stone as large as a house
and threw it at the church, some eight or ten miles distant.

“That was a poor throw,” said the giant, when the stone fell down on
the plain of Rumbo. “Bring here the band; you shall see a throw that
will do its work,” whereupon he adjusted a monstrous stone in his
wife’s garter, and, swinging it a few times through the air, let it go
with all his power toward the new church.

“Great in command, but little in power,” said the giant woman, when the
stone fell upon the one she had thrown, and was broken into a thousand

At the same time the bell rung out with wonderful clearness. Furious
with rage, he tore up two large stones, took one under each arm, and
set out for Orebro. Intelligence having reached the residents of Orebro
that the giant was coming, consternation was general and good advice

Finally, an old man undertook to save the church. In great haste he
gathered up all the worn-out shoes he could find, put them in a sack,
and set out to meet the giant. At Ulfgryt, in Toby, he met the giant,
who was anything but gentle in appearance.

“How far is it to Orebro?” asked Rise.

“I can’t say exactly,” answered the old man, in an innocent manner,
“but it is long a way, you will find, for it is seven years since I
left there, and I have worn out all these shoes on the way.”

“Then let him who will, go there, but I will not,” said the giant, and
threw the stones from him to the ground with such force that they rang
as they struck it.

The stones lie there by the roadside even to-day, but the most
remarkable circumstance is that they turn over whenever the church
bells in Orebro are rung.


In the last years of the fourteenth century there lived in Strengnäs,
the well-known bishop, Konrad Rugga, or Bishop Cort, as he was called
by the people. Holding his office at a time when the glory of Papacy
was at its height, it is natural that his power was great and influence
unusual. Yet tradition has not been content with this, but has
magnified his endowments to the almost supernatural.

In order to maintain discipline and order in his bishopric he was wont
to travel from place to place in his diocese, always visiting in these
journeys the convent of Riseberga.

During one of these official tours he purchased in Tangerosa, three
small farms, and made of them a large domain, which he improved and
called Trystorp—three farms—but from Riseberga to Trystorp it is a long
distance, and as the Bishop was not unskilled in constructing
underground ways—he having already completed one such under the Mälar
from Strengnäs to his residence, Tynnelsö—he tunneled a passage from
the monastery to Trystorp under Logsjö. For the public he built a road
above ground, which is the same that now leads to Trystorp around the
north shore of Logsjö.

Over a stream, or at that time a little river, which, just below
Riseberga, runs from the south in a northerly course, he built a
substantial bridge of sandstone. The bridge is even to-day called
Rugga’s bridge or more commonly Ruggebro.

Not long after the death of Bishop Cort the Papal power was forced to
yield in Sweden to the doctrines of Luther and Riseberga to share the
fate of other convents in the land.

It was now determined to move one of the bells of the convent to
Edsberg, where it was to call the people together to hear the new
message of truth. But the Bishop’s powerful spirit seemed even now to
be present on earth, for when they who bore the bell reached the middle
of Ruggebro, the burden was overthrown by an unseen hand into the
creek, where it disappeared.

Many have since seen the bell, and one and another have even succeeded
in raising it half way out of the water, but it has always escaped and
sunk back into the creek bed, scoffing at the weakness of the covetous


The inhabitants of Närike have many stories to relate about an
apparition, called Kate of Ysätter, that in olden times dwelt in Öster
Närike’s forests, but chiefly in the swamps of Ysätter, in the parish
of Asker.

According to the belief of the old people, she existed through many
generations, although she usually made her appearance as a young girl
beautifully clad, and possessing a head of hair of extraordinary
length. She was often seen by hunters sitting upon a stump, combing her
hair which reached to the ground. Those who went to the swamps to wash
their clothes sometimes saw her at a little distance also washing
garments which were of an unusual whiteness. To ugly old women she was
always a terror, and it seemed to be a pleasure to her to mimic them by
keeping time with their motions, but whenever she showed herself it was
for a few seconds only, and should one turn his eyes from her, however
little, she was gone.

In Öster Närike, the routes she took were shown, and many complaints
were heard that she trampled the grain down in her constant journeys
back and forth. Often, especially in the night time, her awful laugh
was heard from her perch on a tree or top of a rock, when she succeeded
in alluring some one from his path, caused him to fall with his load,
or break his harness. Her laugh was like a magpie’s, and caused the
blood of one helpless against her pranks to stand still.

Others who endeavored to stand well with her she assisted in many
instances. “She has gone, the lightning has killed her as the others,”
say the old people, not yet won over to the skepticism of the present

Among those who enjoyed her special favor was a hunter, Bottorpa Lasse.
He was such a skillful shot that if only he stepped out upon the porch
and called a bird, or drew the picture of an animal upon the wall of
the barn, the game he wished was brought within range of his gun.

One time Lasse invited his neighbors to accompany him on a hunt, and,
expecting to bag an abundance of game, they were not slow to accept the
invitation. They betook themselves in the evening to the woods, where
they found shelter in a coal burner’s hut, and prepared to begin the
hunt early in the morning.

Along in the night Kate entered the hut, and requested the hunters to
show her their guns. She first examined those of the hunter’s
neighbors, but soon returned them, exclaiming, “Fie!” She then took
Lasse’s gun, blew down the barrel, examined the priming and handed it
back exclaiming, “Good, good, my boy!” What this signified was soon
manifested, when Lasse secured a fine lot of game and the others did
not so much as get a shot.

It is further related of Kate of Ysätter, that at the burning of the
clock tower of Asker, in the year 1750, when even the church was in
flames and in great danger of destruction, Kate was seen standing on
the roof, opposing their progress.

The last time she made her presence known was at a harvest gathering in
the fields of Ysätter. The harvesters had ceased labor to eat their
luncheon, and when they had eaten themselves into a good humor,
engaging in conversation, which turned upon Kate, a young man declared
he would like nothing better than to catch her and give her a good
whipping for the vexations she had produced in the world. Instantly a
terrific crash was heard in an enclosure near by, and the youth
received a blow in the face that caused the blood to gush from mouth
and nose over the food of the others, changing their butter to blood.
It was after this thought wise to say as little and to have as little
as possible to do with Kate of Ysätter.


Upon the marshy oak and linden covered island of Sör, when the grass
starts forth in the spring, are to be seen, here and there, circles of
a deeper green than the surrounding grass, which the people say mark
the places where Elves have had their ring dances.

While the provost, Lille Strale, was pastor of the parish church, a
servant was sent out late one evening to bring a horse in from a
pasture. Plodding along as best he could in the darkness, he had not
gone far when it was discovered that he had lost his way, and, turn
which way he would, he could not find the sought for meadow.

Exhausted at last by constant walking, he sat down at the foot of an
oak to rest himself. Presently strains of lovely music reached his
ears, and he saw, quite near, a multitude of little people engaged in a
lively ring dance upon the sward. So light were their footsteps that
the tops of the grass blades were scarcely moved.

In the middle of the ring stood the Elf Queen herself, taller and more
beautiful than the others, with a golden crown upon her head and her
clothes sparkling in the moonlight with gold and precious stones.

Beckoning to him, she said: “Come, Anders, and tread a dance with me!”
and Anders, thinking it would be impolite not to comply with the
request of a woman so beautiful, rose and stepped bowing into the ring.

Poor lad, he did not know what a fate awaited him who ventured to
participate in the sports of the Elves. How the dance terminated is not
known, but at its conclusion the young man found himself again under
the oak, and from that hour he was never again wholly himself. From
being the most lively and cheerful young man in the village, he became
the dullest and most melancholy, and, before the year had gone, his
days were ended.


Many years ago a dancing society of Brästa, a village in the parish of
Stora Mellösa, planned a great Christmas festival, to which, on the
appointed day, old and young flocked from far and near, knowing that
Sexton Kant, of Norrbyås, would be there with his fiddle, and assured
that fun would run riot. Kant, it is related, was no ordinary fiddler,
not a little proud of his skill, and ready at the least word of praise
to laud himself to the skies.

When the merry making had gone well into the night and the pleasures
were at their height, some one remarked that not many could measure
themselves with Father Kant, when he let the bow leap over the strings
and played in “four voices,” as he himself called it. Nothing further
was needed. Kant, always ready to begin where the others left off,
declared that the devil, good player as he was reputed to be, could not
compete with him in the waltz which they had just heard. This boast
came near costing Kant dear. When the dance ended and he set out in the
night on his way home, he met, near the hill of Bjurbäcka, a young
woman clad in white, who saluted him and addressed him as follows:

“If you will play a polka for me, Father Kant, I will dance for you.”

So said, so done. Father Kant sat himself upon a stone and applied the
bow to the strings of the instrument. Instantly he lost all control of
himself. Such a polka as now came from his fiddle he had never expected
to hear, much less play. The tones seemed to come without help from
him. The bow bounded over the strings and his arm was forced to follow.
One melody followed another; his arm became numb, but the music
continued in the same wild measure.

Kant now understood that something was wrong. Finally he burst forth:

“God forgive me, poor sinner. What have I brought upon myself?”

Upon the instant the fiddle strings parted, and an awful-sounding laugh
was heard from the brook at the foot of the hill. Heavy of heart, Kant
hastened homeward, acknowledging to himself that the devil, after all,
was his superior. For a long time he could not be persuaded to again
take up his fiddle, but, when he finally complied, he found that one of
the beautiful waltzes he had played on the eventful night had fastened
itself upon his memory, and he acquired greater renown than before as a


The snipe, as is well known, is a bird which inhabits low, marshy
meadows, and which, in flight, makes a noise with its wings not unlike
the neighing of a horse.

A farmer, who himself never looked after his property, had in his
employ a lazy and negligent servant. One dry summer the man rode his
master’s horse, many days in succession, to a pasture where there was
no water, without first giving it drink, as he had been instructed. So
the poor animal was thus left to suffer through the long dry period.

It happened one day that the farmer would go to the city, and commanded
the servant to fetch the horse from the pasture. The man went, but
search where he would, no horse could be found. The servant not
returning in season, his master set out after him, but neither could he
find the animal. It had disappeared from the pasture completely, and
was not found again.

Some days later, when the farmer was again out, continuing the search,
to his surprise he heard a neighing in the air. Soon after he observed
his horse, as he supposed, standing and drinking in an adjoining
meadow. “Are you there, Grålle?” cried the farmer, and hastened to
catch the horse. His shout was answered with a neigh.

“Grålle, Grålle, my boy!” continued the farmer, in persuasive tones and
was about to grasp the halter, when the horse was transformed into a
bird, which, with another neigh, flew into the air.

From that day the farmer took care of his own horses, and before all
else he saw to it that they did not want for water when they went to


At Tibble, in the parish of Bedelunda, there stood, in former days, so
it is said, a castle, of which the most careful search fails to reveal
any remnant now.

In the castle dwelt a lady of royal descent, with her young and
beautiful daughter. One day there came to it a prince, who was received
with great pomp, and it was not long until an ardent love had sprung up
between the young people. Knowing that many eyes were upon them,
keeping expressions in check, they agreed to meet each other on a
certain night at Klinta Spring, situated south of the castle near
Klinta Mountain.

Late in the evening, when all its inhabitants were asleep, and it had
become quiet in the castle, the young lady crept quietly from her room
down to the castle gate, but the porter refused to open it for her.
Thinking gold might persuade him, she drew from her hand a ring which
she tendered him, but he was not so easily bribed. Then she took a gold
chain from her neck, proffering it with the ring; such a temptation the
old man could not resist, and quietly allowed her to pass, with the
condition that she should return before dawn.

When she arrived at the spring she thought she saw the prince sitting
upon a stone near by, and, approaching him, she threw herself into his
arms. But, instead of that of her lover, she found herself in the
embrace of the Mountain King of Klinta Mountain, who lifted her up and
bore her into the mountain. Before reaching the interior of the
mountain, however, she succeeded in slipping the crown he wore from the
giant’s head and hanging it, as she passed, upon the branch of a pine
tree so that the prince could see that she had kept her appointment.

When they reached the inside of the mountain, the giant laid the young
woman carefully down upon the “star spread” in his chamber, where she
fell asleep, after which he went to his mother and told her what a
beautiful discovery he had made. Meantime the prince came to the
spring. When he failed to find his mistress there he walked around the
meadow and came, finally, to the mountain, where his attention was
attracted to the crown hanging in the tree. He now understood what had
happened, and in anguish drew his sword and pierced his body with it.
When the young woman awoke, the giant woman commanded her son to carry
her back to the spring. “But,” added she, “before you reach there three
lives will have been forfeited.”

And so it happened. While the giant was carrying the young woman to the
spring she breathed her last and was laid by the giant at the side of
the prince. Meanwhile the porter, in remorse over his deed, had thrown
himself from the tower, and thus ended his days.

The prince and his love were laid upon a golden wagon and conveyed to a
beautiful green meadow on an eminence near Gryta and there interred.
Even the wagon and sword were buried in the mound, which every spring
is surrounded by a hedge of white, blooming bird cherry, but both wagon
and sword shall, in time, be dug up, when he who is first to see the
latter shall receive his mortal wound therefrom.


On a point which shoots out into the northwest corner of Lake Råsvalen,
in the region of Linde, lived, in days past, a coal burner named Nils.
His little garden patch was left to a servant boy to care for, while he
dwelt always in the forest, chopping coal-wood during the summer and
burning it in the winter. However he toiled, nothing but bad luck was
returned to him, and, leading all other subjects, poor Nils was the
talk of the village where his home was.

One day when he was constructing a stack of wood for burning, on the
other side of the lake near the dark Harg Mountain, a strange woman
came to him and asked him if he needed help in his work.

“Yes, indeed; it would be good to have some assistance,” answered Nils,
whereupon the woman began to carry logs and wood much faster than Nils
could draw with his horse, so that by noon the material was on the
ground for a new stack. When evening came she asked Nils what he
thought of her day’s work, and if she might come again next day.

The coal burner could not well say no, so she returned the following
day, and daily thereafter. When the stack was burned she assisted him
with the drawing, and never before had Nils had so much nor so good
coal as that time.

Thus the woman remained with him in the forest three years, during
which time she became the mother of three children, but this did not
bother the coal burner, for she took care of them so that he had no
trouble from them.

When the fourth year had been entered upon she began to be more
presuming, and demanded that he take her home with him and make her his
wife. This Nils did not like, but, as she was very useful to him in the
coal forest, he was careful not to betray his thoughts, and said he
would think over the matter.

One day he went to church, where he had not been for many years, and
what he heard there set him to thinking as he had not thought since he
was an innocent child. He began to reflect whether he had not made a
misstep, and if it might not be a Troll woman who had so willingly lent
him her company and help.

Involved in these and similar thoughts, returning to his forest home,
he forgot that he had made an agreement with the strange woman when she
first entered his service, that always upon his arrival, and before
approaching the stack, he would strike three times with an ax against
an old pine tree standing a little way from the coal kiln. On he went,
when suddenly there burst upon his sight a scene that nearly took his
wits from him. As he neared the stack he discovered it in bright
flames, and around it stood the mother and her three children drawing
the coal. They drew and slacked so that fire, smoke and sparks filled
the air high toward the heavens, but instead of pine branches,
ordinarily used for slacking, they had bushy tails, with which, after
dipping them in the snow, they beat the fire.

When Nils had contemplated this awhile, he crept stealthily back to the
pine whose trunk he made echo by three blows from his ax, so that it
was heard far away at Harg Mountain. Thereupon he went forward to the
stack as if he had seen nothing, and now every thing was as he was
accustomed to see it. The stack burned steadily and well, and the woman
went about her duties as usual.

When the woman saw Nils again, she renewed her appeals to be allowed to
go to his home with him and become his wife.

“Yes, the matter shall be settled now,” said Nils, consolingly, and
departed for home, ostensibly to fetch his horse, but he went instead
to Kallernäs, on the east shores of the lake, where lived a wise old
man, whom he asked what course to pursue to free himself from the
dilemma. The old man advised him to go home and hitch his horse to the
coal cart, but so harness that no loops should be found in the reins or
harness. Then he should ride over the ice on the back of the horse;
turn at the coal-kiln without pausing; shout to the Troll woman and
children to get into the cart; and drive briskly to the ice again.

The coal burner, following the instructions, harnessed his horse and
saw to it carefully that there was no loop upon the reins or harness,
rode over the ice, up into the woods to the kiln and called to the
woman and her children to jump in, at the same time heading for the ice
and putting his horse to the best possible speed. When he reached the
middle of the lake, he saw, running toward him from the wilderness, a
large pack of wolves, whereupon he let slip the harness from the
shafts, so that the cart and its contents were left standing on the
slippery ice, and rode as fast as the horse could carry him straight to
the other shore. When the Troll saw the wolves she began to call and
beg. “Come back! come back!” she shrieked. “If you will not do it for
my sake, do it for your youngest daughter, Vipa!” But Nils continued
his way toward the shore. Then he heard the Trolls calling one to the
other, “Brother in Harsberg, sister in Stripa, and cousin in
Ringshällen, catch hold of the loops and pull!” “He has no loop,” came
a reply from the depths of Harsberg.

“Catch him at Härkällarn, then.”

“He does not ride in that direction,” came from Ringshällen, and Nils
did not go that way, but over fields, stones and roads straight to his
home, where he had only arrived when the horse fell dead, and a Troll
shot came and tore away the corner of the stable.

Nils, himself, fell ill shortly after, and was confined to his bed many
weeks. When he recovered his health he sold his cabin in the forest,
and cultivated the few acres around his cottage until the end of his
days. Thus the Trolls were once caught napping.


One evening, a long time ago, a little girl went up through the forest
to Bolstre Castle in search of some sheep that had gone astray.

Reaching the inside of the walls, the little girl was met by an old
woman, clothed in a red skirt and a gray head covering, who gave into
her possession a box, and commanded her to take care of it while she
went to invite a number of her friends to become guests at her
daughter’s wedding.

The girl was so frightened that she did not dare to refuse the charge,
and, taking the box, sat down upon a stone to wait the woman’s return.
When she had thus sat a long time she heard a bird twittering over her
head in a tree, and looking up, two leaves fell from the tree in such
manner as to form a cross upon the box, whereupon the cover instantly
flew open and revealed its contents—a bridal crown of shining gold and
many other costly jewels.

The girl waited long and patiently, but the old woman did not return,
so, finally she set out on her way home, taking with her the jewel
casket. But blessings do not go with Troll property. No bride would
wear the crown, it was so fine, and the girl soon after lost her lover.
Now that it was clear to every one that a Troll’s gold brought only
misfortune upon the household, it was carried back to the castle and
buried in the ground, where it surely lies to-day.


Every intelligent grandmother knows that the fire must not be allowed
to go out in a room, where there is a child not yet christened; that
the water in which the new-born child is washed should not be thrown
out; also, that a needle, or some other article of steel must be
attached to its bandages. If attention is not paid to these precautions
it may happen that the child will be exchanged by the Trolls, as once
occurred in Bettna many years ago.

A young peasant’s wife had given birth to her first child. Her mother,
who lived some distance away, was on hand to officiate in the first
duties attending its coming, but the evening before the day on which
the child should be christened she was obliged to go home for a short
time to attend to the wants of her own family, and during her absence
the fire was allowed to go out.

No one would have noticed anything unusual, perhaps, if the child had
not, during the baptism, cried like a fiend. After some weeks, however,
the parents began to observe a change. It became ugly, cried
continuously and was so greedy that it devoured everything that came in
its way. The people being poor, they were in great danger of being
eaten out of house and home. There could no longer be any doubt that
the child was a “changeling.” Whereupon the husband sought a wise old
woman, who, it was said, could instruct the parents what to do to get
back their own child.

The mother was directed to build a fire in the bake oven three Thursday
evenings in succession, lay the young one upon the bake shovel, then
pretend that she was about to throw it into the fire. The advice was
followed, and when the woman, the third evening, was in the act of
throwing the changeling into the fire, it seemed, a little deformed,
evil-eyed woman rushed up with the natural child, threw it in the crib
and requested the return of her child. “For,” said she, “I have never
treated your child so badly and I have never thought to do it such harm
as you now propose doing mine,” whereupon she took the unnatural child
and vanished through the door.

Another changeling story, but with less unfortunate consequences, is
told in Södermanland.

A resident of Vingåkir, who made frequent trips to Nyköping with loads
of flour, was in the habit of halting for the night at the house of a
farmer in Verna. One summer night he arrived later than usual, and, as
the people were already in bed and asleep, the weather being pleasant,
he did not wish to wake anyone, so unhitched his horse from the wagon,
hitched him to a hay stack and laid himself under the wagon to sleep.

He had been some time under the wagon, yet awake, when, from under a
stone near by, an ugly, deformed woman, carrying a babe, made her
appearance. Looking about her carefully, she laid the child on the
stone and went into the house. In a short time she returned, bearing
another child; laid it upon the stone, and taking up the first one,
returned to the house.

The man observed her actions, and divining their purpose, crept
cautiously from his resting place as soon as the woman had disappeared
into the house, took the sleeping child and hid it in his coat under
the wagon. When the Troll returned and found the child gone she went a
third time to the house, from which she returned with the child she had
just carried in, whereupon she disappeared under the stone.

The traveler, anxious for the welfare of his little charge, which had
in such an extraordinary manner fallen into his hands, could not close
his eyes for the rest of the night.

As soon as it dawned he went with his precious burden to the house,
where he found the occupants in great consternation over the
disappearance of the child, which, as may be presumed, was received
with great rejoicing.


What is now the country seat of Eriksberg, with its castle-like
buildings among parks and gardens, was once an estate called Pintorp,
upon which tradition has fixed the melancholy story of “The Lady of

At Pintorp, so goes the story, lived a nobleman who, at his death, yet
a young man, left his goods and estates to his widow. Instead of
proving a good mistress to her numerous dependents, she impoverished
them in all possible ways and treated them with the greatest cruelty.
Under the castle she had deep cells, the terrors of which, on the
slightest provocation, many a poor innocent creature was made to
experience. She would set vicious dogs on beggars and children, and he
who was not at his work at a fixed hour could be certain that he would
go home in the evening with his back well lashed.

Early one morning the Lady of Pintorp stood on the castle steps
watching the people congregate for the day’s work. Noticing an
unfortunate fellow a little behind time, she flew into a rage, pouring
upon him a flood of abuse and curses, and in punishment commanded him
to fell the largest oak to be found upon the estate, and to carry it,
before evening, uncut, top foremost, to the garden. If he failed to
execute the command fully and punctually he was to be mercilessly
driven from the estate and all his possessions confiscated.

Pondering over his sentence the man went to the woods where he met an
old man who inquired why he looked so sad.

“Because I am done for, if the Lord does not come to my aid,” sighed
the unfortunate fellow, and informed the old man what a task his
mistress had put upon him.

“Don’t be uneasy,” said the stranger, “but chop that oak, then set
yourself upon the trunk, when Erik Gyllerstierna and Svante Baner will
draw it to the castle.”

The peasant, as he was instructed, began to cut the tree, which fell
with a great crash at the third blow of his ax. Taking his seat upon
the trunk, the tree at once began to move as if drawn by horses. The
speed was soon so great that opposing fences and gates were brushed
aside like straws, and in a short time the oak had arrived at the
designated spot in the castle yard. Just as the tree top struck the
castle gate one of the invisible haulers stumbled, and a voice was
heard to say, “What, you on your knees, Svante?”

The lady who was standing upon the steps at the time understood,
without anything further, who had been the laborer’s helpers, but
instead of repenting she began to swear, scold and in the end, to
threaten the man with imprisonment. Hereupon there was an earthquake
which shook the walls of the castle, and a black carriage drawn by two
black horses stood in the castle yard. A handsome man dressed in black
stepped from the carriage, bowed to the lady and bade her prepare to
follow him. Tremblingly—for she knew well who the stranger was—she
begged him to let her remain three years yet; to this the visitor would
not consent. She begged for three months; this was also denied her, and
at last she prayed for three days, then three hours, but was allowed
only three minutes in which to dispose of her household affairs.

When she saw that prayers availed her nothing she asked him to, at
least, allow her curate, chambermaid and house servants to go with her
on the journey. This was granted, so they entered the carriage, which
was instantly under way and went off at such a speed that the people
who stood in the yard saw nothing but a black streak behind it.

When the lady and her followers had ridden some time they came to a
lighted castle, up the steps of which the black gentleman conducted
them. Arriving in the hall, he deprived the lady of her rich clothes
and gave her instead a coarse gown and wooden shoes. Next he combed her
hair three times with such a vengeance that the blood streamed from her
head, and concluded by dancing with her three times until her shoes
were filled with blood.

After the first dance she asked permission to give her gold ring to her
chamberlain, whose fingers were burned by it as with fire. After the
second dance she gave the chambermaid her key ring, which scorched her
fingers as if glowing iron. At the termination of the third dance a
trap in the floor opened and the woman vanished in a cloud of smoke and

The priest who stood nearest peeped with curiosity into the opening
where the woman had gone down, when a spark came up from below and hit
him in the eye so that thereafter he had but one eye.

When all was over the gentleman in black gave the servants permission
to return home, but with strong injunctions not to look back. Hurriedly
they sprang into the carriage. The way was broad and straight, and the
horses galloped with great speed, but the chambermaid could not control
her curiosity, and looked back. Instantly the carriage, horses, even
the road disappeared and the travelers found themselves in a wild
forest, where they wandered three years before finding their way back
to Pintorp.


About a mile and a half from Strengnäs lies a narrow valley, between
several wood-covered heights and the island upon which in olden times
Ingiald Illrada burned herself and all her attendants.

The valley is called Eldsund, and was formerly an open water way
connecting two of lake Mälar’s bays. Vessels went, then, unhindered
through there, and not many years ago a sunken vessel was found, buried
in the mud that had one time been at its bottom. Now there is nothing
but a small stream winding its way between grass-grown banks, and cows
and goats graze where the perch and the pike formerly had their

At one place this little stream spreads its banks until a small lake is
formed, which was once of quite respectable size, but is now almost
grown over with reeds. Many a poor man has there caught a fish for his
pot, that otherwise would have been empty enough.

A good while back there lived a lady on the estate not far from this
lake, perhaps as near as Näsbyholm, upon which, near the water-course,
lies the notable “cuckoo stone.”

This lady was very rich and still more proud, looking with contempt
upon all who had less money and lands than she, and were not of as
noble blood as she believed herself to be.

One day an old priest visited her. A priest in all respects, not one of
those accommodating fellows that could be sent to stir the fire, or one
who went with bent back away from home and was painfully straight at
home, but a priest who did not hide his thoughts under a chair.

While the priest and his hostess were one day walking along the lake
shore, she began, as was her habit, to boast of her riches; to tell how
much money she had at interest, and how many tax lists she had complete
and incomplete, whereupon the priest asked her how far she thought all
that went, or what, after all, it amounted to, for she could not take
her riches with her into the grave. At this the lady became angered,
and declared that she was so rich that if she should live even many
hundreds of years she need not want, and that it was as impossible that
she should become poor as it would be to recover her gold ring from the
depths of the lake—at the same time drawing a ring from her finger and
casting it far out into the water.

The priest maintained that as wonderful things as this had happened in
the world, and that it was not more impossible that her ring might be
recovered than that she might become poor.

Later in the day an old fisherman came to the house with fish to sell.
A number were bought, and the kitchen girl was given the task of
cleaning them.

When she cut open the largest pike, she saw something shining, and,
upon looking with greater care, she recognized her mistress’ most
valuable finger ring. In great haste she rushed to the lady, who sat
wrangling with the moderate priest because he could think it possible
her riches might be taken from her.

“Has my lady lost her ring?” asked the maid.

The lady ceased to talk, and cast a glance at the priest, who sat
quietly at the window looking out toward the lake.

“Here it is, any way,” said the maid, and laid the ring upon the table.

The lady grew pale, but the priest looked more serious than ever.

How it went with her and her riches thereafter, the story does not
relate, but the lake is called Goldring to this day.


In the forest north of Stora Djulö, in the parish of Stora Malm, lies a
hill called Stallsbacke—Stall Hill—because King Charles XI. is said to
have had his stable there on one of his journeys.

Within the forest near the hill there is an enchanted garden where many
a man has gone astray, and has been compelled to wander the whole night
through, because he did not know that turning his coat inside out, or
throwing fire at the sun, would give him the key to his deliverance.

Many have, during these wanderings, been imprisoned in the enchanted
garden, but not all have liberated themselves from the enchantment as
old Löfberg, the steward from Stora Djulö, succeeded in doing.

Late one Thursday evening, while traveling the path from the pasture
home to the mansion, he found himself suddenly in the presence of a
high wall with grated gates, beyond which was visible the most
beautiful garden ever seen by man. The moon was high in the heavens,
and Löfberg could distinguish objects as clearly as in daylight. He saw
that the trees hung full of fruit, and that the bushes were bowed with
berries, which glistened like precious stones. When he had viewed the
magnificent sight a few minutes, and was about to go on, an old man,
who proclaimed himself the gardener, presented himself, and invited
Löfberg to go in and gather of the fruit what he pleased. But Löfberg
was too wise for this. He understood that what he saw was the work of
the Trolls, and answered that at home there was a much more beautiful
garden, and that he had no occasion to go into strange gardens to get a
few rotten, sour apples.

This he should not have said. Suddenly there came up a strong wind,
which blew his hat over the wall, and, as Löfberg left it behind him
and hastened home, there came a crash in the forest, whereupon the
vision suddenly melted away.


In the parish of Veckholm, east of Svingarn Fjord, lived, in the
fifteenth century, a priest widely known for his wisdom and goodness.
No day went by that he did not read his Bible, and in the evening, when
others had gone to rest, he went to the church to offer up his prayers
at the altar.

His wife, who attended only to her worldly affairs, and did not look
upon these nightly ramblings kindly, determined to put an end to them,
and to this end, one evening, called into service one of the servants.
“Lasse,” said she, “if you will put a white sheet over you and stand in
the dark near the path and frighten father when he comes from the
church, you shall have a pot of ale.”

The man had nothing against this, and with the assistance of his
mistress, clad himself as directed and took a position near the path
connecting the church and parsonage.

After a while the priest came from the church. Upon observing the
spook, he read a prayer and bade the apparition sink into the ground.

The man sank into the ground to his knees without betraying himself,
but continued to play the ghost. The priest prayed again, when Lasse
sank into the ground to his waist.

“It is I! dear father! it is I!” cried Lasse, now in consternation.

“It is too late! too late, Lasse!” replied the priest, with a sorrowful
voice. At the same time the servant sank alive into the earth out of

To commemorate the incident, a wooden cross was raised on the spot,
which is always replaced by a new one when the old one has become old
and decayed.


Near Lagga Church, in the municipality of Langhundra, is a singularly
formed mountain. On the side of it toward the church is an opening,
from which, it is said, two paths lead—the one south to a hill near the
so called “Meadow Watcher’s Cottage,” the other north to Kashögen, near
Kasby estate.

In the mountain lived a giant called Lagge Gubben—old man Lagge—who,
when last seen, was at least five hundred years old, and his hair as
white as the feathers of a dove.

Early one morning a peasant named Jacob going to the village of Lagga,
passed the mountain, when the old mountain man came out and saluted
him: “Good morning, Joppe! Will you come in and drink healths with me?”

“No, thank you,” replied Jacob, who had no desire for such
companionship. “If you have more than you are able to drink, save it
until morning, for there is another day coming.”

“That is good advice,” said Lagga. “Had I known that before, I should
have been a richer man, now.”

“It is not yet too late,” replied the peasant.

“Yes it is, for I must leave here in the morning on account of the
church bells,” said the giant, shaking his fist at Lagga clock tower.

“You will come again, never fear,” said Jacob consolingly.

“Yes, when Lagga Fjord becomes a field and Ostund Lake a meadow,”
replied the giant with a sigh, and disappeared into the mountain.


About a mile northwest from Järna Church was located, at one time, a
water mill, Snöåqvarn, belonging to the parishioners of Näs.

One Sunday morning, before the church of Järna had a priest of its own,
the chaplain of Näs set out for that place, and had just arrived at the
mill, when he saw a water man sitting in the rapids below it, playing
on a fiddle a psalm from a psalm book.

“What good do you think your playing will do you?” said the priest.
“You need expect no mercy!”

Sadly the figure ceased playing, and broke his fiddle in pieces,
whereupon the priest regretted his severe condemnation, and again

“God knows, maybe, after all.”

“Is that so?” exclaimed the man in joy, “then I’ll pick up my pieces
and play better and more charmingly than before.”

To another mill in the same parish, Lindqvarn, near Lindsnäs, a peasant
came one time with his grist. Along in the night he thought he would go
and see if it was yet ground. He noticed on his arrival that the mill
was not running, and opened the wicket to the wheel-house to learn what
the matter might be, when he saw, glaring at him from the water below,
two eyes “as large as half moons.”

“The devil! what great eyes you have!” cried the peasant, but received
no reply.

“Whew! what monstrous eyes you have!” the peasant again cried; again no

Then he sprang into the mill, where he stirred up a large fire brand,
with which he returned.

“Are your eyes as large now?” he shouted through the wicket.

“Yes!” came in answer from the stream.

Hereupon the peasant ran the stick through a hole in the floor, where
the voice seemed to come from, and at once the wheel began to turn


Many generations ago there lived at Bole, in the parish of Ore, a man
named Bölsbjörn, noted far and wide for his wonderful strength.

The king, hearing about him, commanded him to come to Stockholm and
wrestle with a newly arrived foreign champion named Stenbock, who was
said to be so strong that he had never found his superior.

Bölsbjörn hastened to obey the king’s command. Strapping his skates
upon him, he set off at such a speed that his dog, which had followed
him, gave out and died on the way, and the new-baked bread put into his
haversack was yet warm upon his arrival at Stockholm.

He was conducted to the king, and was told that he might name his own
reward, however great it might be, if he would vanquish Stenbock.

The struggle was soon begun and suddenly concluded by Bölsbjörn laying
his antagonist upon his back with such force that three of his ribs
were broken. For his reward, Bölsbjörn demanded as much land as he
could skate around in one day, and it was granted him by the king.

When he returned home he had made the circuit of nearly twelve square
miles of land, which his descendants to this day occupy.


It is an established rule that he who seeks buried treasures must
carefully maintain the utmost silence, lest his search be in vain and
harm befall him, body and soul.

They were not ignorant of this—the four men that one time made up a
party for the purpose of unearthing treasures said to be buried in

Making their way, one midsummer night, across Lake Sälen, they saw
approaching them a man of strange aspect, behind whose boat dragged a
large fir tree, and a little later another, who inquired if they had
seen any float-wood on their way.

The treasure seekers, who understood that these rowers were no other
than fairies, pretended not to hear the question, and reached
Josäterdal finally, without further temptation.

Just as they began to dig in the hill a grand officer approached and
addressed them, but no one answered. Soon after a number of soldiers
marched up and began to shoot at the diggers, but they did not allow
even this to disturb them. Suddenly a red calf hopped up and the
soldiers pressed nearer, so that the men soon stood enveloped in
powder-smoke so thick that they could not see each other. When this did
not frighten them, a tall gallows was raised on the side of the hill.
It so happened that one of the diggers wore a red shirt that attracted
the attention of the spirits, one of which cried out:

“Shall we begin with him wearing the red shirt?” Whereupon he lost his
courage and took to his heels, followed neck over head by the others.


A Finn in the forests of Säfsen, having for a long time suffered ill
luck with his flock, determined, let the cost be what it would, to
find, through a Lapp well versed in the arts of the Trolls, a remedy
for the evil he was enduring.

To this end he set out for the home of his to-be-deliverer, and after a
long and fatiguing journey through the wilderness, he came at last to a
Lapp hut which, with no little quaking, he entered, and there found a
man busied with a fire upon the floor.

The Lapp who, through his connection with the Trolls, already knew the
purpose of the visit, and very much flattered thereby, greeted his
guest kindly, and said:

“Good morning, Juga, my boy, are you here? I can give you news from
home. Everything goes well there. I was there yesterday.”

The Finn was terribly frightened at the discovery that he was
recognized, but now more when he heard that the Lapp had made the same
journey forth and back in one day, that had cost him so many days of

With assurance of friendship, the Lapp quieted his fears, and

“I had a little matter to attend to yesterday at your home, and sat
upon the housetop when your wife went over the garden, but I saw she
did not know me, for she threatened me with the house key.”

The Finn now made known his errand, and received for answer that his
animals were even now doing as well as he could wish. The presents
brought by the Finn greatly strengthened their pleasant relations, and
the Lapp agreed willingly to initiate him into the mysteries of

When the Finn reached home, the incidents of his journey were
circumstantially related to his wife, even to the Lapp’s account of his
visit, and the threats with the house key.

“Yes, I remember now,” said she, “that a magpie sat upon the roof the
same day that the animals seemed to revive, but I believed it to be an
unlucky bird, therefore tried to frighten it away with the key.”

The Finn and his wife now understood that it was their friend, who had
transformed himself thus in order to do them a service, and from that
time held these creatures in great veneration.


Memories of the epidemics that have ravaged our country still live in
the minds of the people, though, with time, like many other
recollections, they have taken the form of myths.

During the plague there was seen, wandering from village to village, a
boy and a girl, the one with a rake, the other with a broom. Wherever
the boy was seen to use his rake, one and another was spared from
death, but where the girl swept, death left an empty house, and the
places that were not approached by these beings escaped the plague

On Soller Island, in Siljan, they strewed gold and precious stones
along the roads and paths, which were so infected that he who so much
as moved one with his hand became a corpse before the next sunset.

In the end there remained no one on the island except two wise old men,
one named Bengh, the other Harold, who were not deluded by the gold,
thereby saving their lives.

A number of the islanders escaped by flight and moved to the North Land
through the “Twelve-Mile Roads,” that bordered upon Vermland.

Among those who fled was a young and beautiful maiden named Malin, who,
when she came out upon the road, observed a glittering jewel, which,
upon closer inspection, represented Christ upon the cross.
Notwithstanding the warning of her companions, she could not resist the
temptation to pick up the doubly valuable article.

When they came later to their first camping place, Rossberg, about four
miles from Soller Island, Malin was seen to fall upon her knees and
give herself up to earnest prayer, but just as the evening sun hid
himself behind a mountain, she sank lifeless upon a stone, which even
to this day is called “Malin’s Church,” and is dressed every midsummer
by the herdsmen with fresh leaves and fragrant flowers.


Vätters, according to the Northern belief, are creatures that live
under ground, but often appear above, and then in human form so perfect
that they have many times been mistaken for mankind. They live, as do
the Trolls and Giants, in mountains, but more often move from one to
another, and it is mostly during these journeys that they are seen.

When the parish of Ockilbo was first settled, the Vätters were so
plentiful that a peasant who fixed his abode near the Rönn Hills was
forced to build his windows high up near the eaves of his cottage to
escape seeing the troublesome multitude of these beings that
continually swarmed around.

Despite the disposition of the cottager to have nothing to do with the
Vätters, he could not avoid getting into complications with them at

One evening, when the wife went to drive the goats into the goat house,
she saw among hers two strange goats, having horsehoofs instead of
cloven hoofs, as should be. Do her utmost, it was impossible to
separate them from the others. They pressed on, and were locked up with
the rest.

In the night she was awakened by a heavy pounding upon the walls, and a
voice from without called:

“Let us be neighborly, mother, and return my goats to me.”

The woman dressed herself and hastened to the goat house, where the
strange animals were making a dreadful uproar. Upon her opening the
door they sprang out and hurried to the forest, whence she heard the
Vätters shouting and calling them.

Thus a friendly feeling was forever established between the cottager
and the Vätters, and from that day there were no more disturbances.


In the village Tåsta—Tattestad—in the parish of Hög, lived in former
times a widely renowned man named Tatte, whose son, Blacke, after whom
the high mountain, Blackåsberg, was named, dwelt in Nannestad, a
village in the parish of Forssa.

When the father and son were baptized they together built the church of
Hög, in commemoration of the event. Upon its completion Blacke, whose
home was a long ride distant, stipulated that the bells, calling the
people to worship, should never be rung until his white horse was seen
on Åsaks Hill.

One Christmas day, when Blacke was later than usual, Tatte commanded
that the bell be rung, and the services had already begun when Blacke
arrived at the church. In anger he tore the runic engraved ring from
the church door, with prayers bound it upon his horse, made a vow that
he would build a church of his own where the ring fell to the ground,
and mounting his horse, rode away at full speed.

While crossing Lake Forssa the ice broke, and the horse was plunged
into the water, but both horse and rider, however, succeeded in
reaching the shore, where the horse shook himself so violently that the
ring was loosened and fell to the earth. Blacke kept his word and built
a church, which, after the adjacent lake, was called Forssa Church.


The renowned hero, Starkad, the greatest warrior of the North, had
offended a princess, therefore had fallen under the displeasure of the
king, to escape whose wrath he wandered northward, where he took up his
abode at Rude in Tuna, and it is related in the folk stories that he
then took the name of “Ala Dräng,” or “Rödu Pilt.”

In Balbo, nine miles distant, in the parish of Borgajö, dwelt another
warrior, Bale, who was a good friend to Starkad, and a companion in

One morning Starkad climbed to the top of Klefberg, in Tuna, and
addressed Bale, thus:

“Bale in Balbo, are you awake?”

“Rödu Pilt,” answered Bale, nine miles away, “the sun and I always
awake at the same time; but how is it with you?”

“Poorly enough! I have only salmon for breakfast, dinner and supper.
Bring me a piece of meat.”

“All right!” replied Bale, and in a few hours arrived in Tuna with an
elk under each arm.

The following morning Bale stood upon a mountain in Balbo and shouted:

“Rödu Pilt, are you awake?”

“The sun and I awake always at the same time,” answered Starkad, “but
how is it with you?”

“Oh, I have nothing but meat to eat—elk for breakfast, elk for dinner
and elk for supper, come, therefore, and bring me a fish.”

“All right,” said Starkad, and in a little while he was with his
friend, bearing a barrel of salmon under each arm.

In this manner the warriors kept each other supplied with fresh game
from forest and sea, meantime spreading desolation and terror through
the country, but one evening as they were returning from a plundering
expedition to the sea, a black cloud appeared, and it began to thunder
and lighten. Both hastened on the way, but reached no further than to
Vattjom, when Starkad was struck dead by lightning. His companion
buried him in a hill around which he placed five stones, two at his
feet, one at each shoulder and one at his head, marking to this day the
grave of Starkad forty feet in length.


When the church at Själevad was about to be built, parishioners could
not agree upon a location. Those who resided farthest north wished it
built at Hemling, and those dwelling to the south desired it more
convenient to them. To terminate the wrangle an agreement was arrived
at as ingenious as simple. Two logs were thrown out into Hörätt Sound,
and it was decided that if they floated out to sea the church should be
built at Voge, but if they floated in toward the Fjord of Själevad,
Hemling should be the building spot.

It happened that just then it was full high tide, when the current
changes from its usual course, and in consequence the logs floated in
favor of Hemling.

The Southerners found it hard to swallow their disappointment and at
once set their wits at work to find a way to defeat the accidental good
luck of their neighbors. In the old chapel of Hemling there was an
unusually large bell, said to have been brought from some strange land,
and regarded with great veneration. Upon this the Southerners set their
hope. One beautiful night they stole the bell and took it southward,
persuaded that their opponents would follow and build the church near
Voge. But the bell, which knew best where the church ought to stand,
provided itself with invisible wings and started to fly back to the
place from which it had been brought.

As it was winging its way homeward, an old woman standing on
Karnigberg—Hag Mountain—saw something strange floating through the air,
at which she stared earnestly, wondering what it could be, finally
recognizing the much prized bell of the parish, whereupon she cried

“Oh! See our holy church bell!”

Nothing more was needed to deprive the bell of its power of locomotion
and it plunged, like a stone, into Prest Sund—priest sound—where, every
winter, a hole in the ice marks its resting place at the bottom.


In Herjedalen, as in many of the northern regions of our country, where
there is yet something remaining of the primitive pastoral life, there
are still kept alive reminiscences of a very ancient people, whose
occupation was herding cattle, which constituted their wealth and
support. It is, however, with a later and more civilized people, though
no date is given, that this narrative deals.

In days gone by, so the story goes, it happened that a milkmaid did not
produce as much milk and butter from her herd as usual, for which her
master took her severely to task. The girl sought vindication by
charging it upon the Vätts, who, she claimed, possessed the place and
appropriated a share of the product of the herd. This, the master was
not willing to believe, but, to satisfy himself, went one autumn
evening, after the cattle had been brought home, to the dairy house,
where he secreted himself, as he supposed, under an upturned cheese
kettle. He had not sat in his hiding place long when a Vätt mother with
her family—a large one—came trooping in and began preparation for their

The mother, who was busy at the fireplace, finally inquired if all had

“Yes,” replied one of the Vätts. “All except him under the kettle.”

The dairyman’s doubts were now dispelled, and he hastened to move his
residence to another place.


It is probable that the “Stone in Grönan Dal” is like the traditional
Phœnix, a pure tradition, since it has never been found by any one of
the many who have made pilgrimages to the valley in search of it, for
the purpose of deciphering the Runic characters said to be engraved
thereon. Yet many stories are widely current in the land concerning it,
and the old people relate the following:

When St. Jaffen, “the Apostle of the North,” was one time riding
through Jämtland from the borders of Norway, his way led along a
beautiful green valley, in the parish of Åre. Becoming weary, he
dismounted and laid himself down for a nap. When he awoke it occurred
to him that such a garden spot must some day be inhabited by mankind,
so, selecting a slab of stone, he cut in its surface the following
prophetic lines:

   “When Swedish men adopt foreign customs
    And the land loses its old honor,
    Yet, shall stand the Stone in Grönan Dal.

    When churches are converted into prisons,
    And God’s services have lost their joyous light,
    Yet shall stand the Stone in Grönan Dal.

    When rogues and villains thrive
    And honest men are banished,
    Yet will stand the Stone in Grönan Dal.

    When priests become beggars,
    And farmers monsters,
    Then shall lie the Stone in Grönan Dal.”

When the Governor of the Province, Baron Tilas, in 1742, traveled
through Jämtland, he found, a few paces east of the gate of Skurdal, a
stone lying, which he concluded must be the stone so much talked about.
When his coat of arms and the date had been engraved upon it, he caused
it to be raised, so that, “even yet it stands, the Stone in Grönan


In the great forest west of Samsele, a hunter, early one morning,
pursued his way in quest of game. About midday he ascended a ridge,
where he was overtaken by a Troll-iling—a storm said to be raised by
and to conceal a Troll—before which sticks and straws danced in the
air. Quickly grasping his knife he threw it at the wind, which at once
subsided, and in a few seconds the usual quiet reigned.

Some time later he was again hunting, when he lost his way. After a
long and wearisome wandering he reached a Lapp hut, where he found a
woman stirring something in a kettle. When she had concluded her
cooking, she invited the hunter to dine, and gave him the same knife to
eat with that he had thrown at the storm.

The following day he wished to return home, but could not possibly
discover the course he should take, whereupon the Troll woman—for his
hostess was none other—directed him to get into the Lapp sled, and
attach to it a rope, in which he must tie three knots.

“Now, untie one knot at a time,” said she, “and you will soon reach

The hunter untied one knot, as instructed, and away went the rope,
dragging the sled after it into the air. After a time he untied another
knot, and his speed was increased. Finally he untied the last knot,
increasing the speed to such a rate that when the sled came to a
standstill, as it did, suddenly, not long after, he concluded his
journey, falling into his own yard with such force as to break his leg.


The Lapps, like other people, have their legends, and many of them the
same, or nearly so, as are found among other nations. Others reflect
more particularly the national characteristics of the Lapp folk. Thus,
for instance, there is to be found among them a tradition of a general
deluge, a universal catastrophe, whereof there still remains a dim
reminiscence in the consciences of so many other primitive people.

Before the Lord destroyed mankind, so says the Lapp legend, there were
people in Samelads (Lappland), but when the Flood came upon the earth
every living creature perished except two, a brother and sister, whom
God conducted to a high mountain—Passevare—“The Holy Mountain.”

When the waters had subsided and the land was again dry, the brother
and sister separated, going in opposite directions in search of others,
if any might be left. After three years’ fruitless search they met,
and, recognizing each other, they once more went into the world, to
meet again in three years, but, recognizing one another now, also, they
parted a third time. When they met at the end of these three years
neither knew the other, whereafter they lived together, and from them
came the Lapps and Swedes.

Again, as to the distinct manners and customs of the Lapps and Swedes,
they relate that at first both Lapps and Swedes were as one people and
of the same parentage, but during a severe storm the one became
frightened, and hurried under a board. From this came the Swedes, who
live in houses. The other remained in the open air, and he became the
progenitor of the Lapps, who, to this day, do not ask for a roof over
their heads.


More than with anything else, the Lapp legends have to do with giants
and the adventures of mankind with them. The giant is feared because of
his great size and strength and his insatiable appetite for human
flesh. His laziness, clumsiness, and that he is inferior to the man in
intelligence are, however, often the cause of his overthrow.

It is, therefore, commonly an adventure wherein the giant has been
outwitted by a Lapp man or woman that concludes the giant stories.

There was one time a giant who made love to a rich Lapp girl. Neither
she nor her father were much inclined toward the match, but they did
not dare do otherwise than appear to consent and at the same time thank
the Giant for the high honor he would bestow upon them. The father,
nevertheless, determined that the union should not take place, and
consoled himself with the hope that when the time arrived some means of
defeating the Giant’s project would be presented. Meantime he was
obliged to set the day when the Giant might come and claim his bride.
Before the Giant’s arrival the Lapp took a block of wood, about the
size of his daughter, and clothing it in a gown, a new cap, silver
belt, shoes and shoe band, he sat it up in a corner of the tent, with a
close veil, such as is worn by Lapp brides, over the head.

When the Giant entered the tent he was much pleased to find the bride,
as he supposed, in her best attire awaiting him, and at once asked his
prospective father-in-law to go out with him and select the reindeer
that should go with the bride as her dower. Meanwhile the daughter was
concealed behind an adjacent hill with harnessed reindeer ready for
flight. When the reindeer had been counted out the Giant proceeded to
kill one of them for supper, while the Lapp slipped off into the woods,
and, joining his daughter, they fled with all speed into the mountains.

The Giant, after dressing the reindeer, went into the tent to visit his

“Now, my little darling,” said he, “put the kettle over the fire.”

But no move in the corner.

“Oh, the little dear is bashful, I’ll have to do it myself then,” said

After the pot had been boiling awhile he again addressed the object in
the corner:

“Now my girl, you may cleave the marrow bone,” but still no response.

“My little one is bashful, then I must do it myself,” thought he.

When the meat was cooked he tried again:

“Come, now, my dear, and prepare the meat.” But the bride was as
bashful as before, and did not stir.

“Gracious! how bashful she is. I must do it myself,” repeated the

When he had prepared the meal he bade her come and eat, but without
effect. The bride remained motionless in her corner.

“The more for me, then,” thought he, and sat himself to the repast with
a good appetite. When he had eaten, he bade his bride prepare the bed.

“Ah, my love, are you so bashful? I must then do it myself,” said the
simple Giant.

“Go now and retire.” No, she had not yet overcome her bashfulness,
whereupon the Giant became angry and grasped the object with great

Discovering how the Lapp had deceived him, and that he had only a block
of wood instead of a human of flesh and blood, he was beside himself
with rage, and started in hot pursuit after the Lapp. The latter,
however, had so much the start that the Giant could not overtake him.
At the same time it was snowing, which caused the Giant to lose his way
in the mountains. Finally he began to suffer from the cold. The moon
coming up, he thought it a fire built by the Lapp, and at once set out
on a swift run toward it, but he had already run so far that he was
completely exhausted. He then climbed to the top of a pine, thinking
thereby to get near enough to the fire to warm himself, but he froze to
death instead, and thus ends the story.


A poor Lapp once ran into the hands of a Giant, by whom he knew he
would be devoured if he could not conceive some means of outwitting
him. To this end he therefore proposed that they have a contest of
strength, the test to be that they should butt against a tree and see
which could drive his head farthest into it. He who could make the
deepest impression must, of course, be the stronger.

The Giant was first to make the trial. Taking his stand some distance
from a tall pine, with a spring forward he drove his head with furious
force against the trunk, but the most careful search did not discover a
mark caused by the blow. The Lapp then said that he would show his
strength the next day. During the night he made a large hollow in the
trunks of several trees and re-covered the cavities nicely with the
bark. Next morning, when the contest was renewed, the Lapp ran from
tree to tree, into each of which he thrust his head to his ears. The
Giant looked on, thoroughly crestfallen at the exhibition of strength,
but proposed that they have another trial. This time he who could throw
an ice ax highest into the air should be declared the victor. The Giant
threw first, and to such a height that the ax was almost lost to sight.

“That was a miserable throw,” said the Lapp. “When I throw it shall be
so high that it will lodge upon a cloud.”

“No, my dear!” shouted the Giant. “Rather let me acknowledge myself the
weaker, than lose my splendid ax.” Thus again the Lapp came off

The next day, as the Lapp and the Giant were out in company, the Lapp
gathered a number of willow twigs and began twisting them together.

“What are you about to do with those?” asked the Giant.

“I mean to carry away your treasure house,” answered the Lapp.

“Oh, my son,” sighed the Giant, “let me retain my house, and I will
fill your hat with silver.”

“Very well,” replied the Lapp.

While the Giant was away after the silver, the Lapp dug a pit, cut a
hole in his hat crown and sat the hat over the pit.

“It’s a big hat you have,” complained the Giant.

“Fill it up!” shouted the Lapp. “Otherwise I’ll throw you, as I would
have done the ice ax, up into the clouds.” And the Giant was compelled
to give the Lapp such a sum of money that he was ever after a rich man.


Kadnihaks are a kind of spirit which dwell underground, at times,
showing themselves to man dressed in red attire, and having long hair
which resembles green flax and reaches to their waists. Like the Lapps,
they have reindeer and dogs, and like them also in this and their
dress, their language and songs are the same. Some of their songs have
even been learned and are called “Kadniha-vuolle.”

It happened in the last century that a great number of the mountain
Lapps had pitched their tents in the vicinity of Qvikkjokk. It was at
the season when the court and fair were in session in Jokkmokk. In the
absence of the older people, in attendance at court or fair, the youths
and maids remaining at home let themselves out for a good time at all
kinds of games. An old Lapp woman, knowing that the Kadnihaks, or
Trolls, living in the adjacent mountains would not tolerate such a
confusion, warned the young people, but in vain.

Evening came, and all retired to rest, but it had hardly become quiet
in the Lapp tents before the Kadnihaks were heard to be astir. The
tinkling of bells, cries of men, barking of dogs, noise of reindeer and
a general commotion prevailed on all sides.

The Lapps were seized with fear and trembling.

The old Lapp woman arose from her bed of reindeer skins and peeked out
through the tent door. With horror she saw the whole tribe of sprites
marching straight down upon the camp. No time was to be wasted. She
threw about her a skin and hurried out to treat with the angry Trolls.
With great trouble and promises that she would see to it that the
children would conduct themselves better in the future, she induced
them to change their course, thus staying the danger the camp was in of
being trampled down. From that day there was quiet in the camp as long
as it continued there.


[1] See also Skåne Gammalt Och Nytt.

[2] Similar legends are connected with a number of our churches, as the
cathedral of Trondhjem, where the Troll is called “Skalle.” Also with
Eskellsätter’s church in the department of Näs in Vermland, where the
giant architect is called Kinn, who fell from the tower when the priest
Eskil called, “Kinn, set the point right!” Again, with a church in
Norrland, where the Troll is called “Wind and Weather,” and concerning
whom the legend relates “that just as the giant was putting up the
cross, St. Olof said ‘Wind and Weather you have set the spire awry.’”
Of the church at Kallundborg in Själland, whose designer, Ebern Snare,
it is said, entered into a contract much the same as that made with the
Giant Finn by the holy Laurentius.

[3] See G. Lundgren’s Skanska Herrgårdar, Vol. I.

[4] Arild Ugerup, the character in chief of this legend, was born in
the year 1528 in the castle of Sölversborg, where his father, Axel
Ugerup, was master. When the son had passed through the parochial
school of Herrevad, and had attained to the age of manhood, he marched,
with others, to guard the old Kristian Tyrann in Kallundborg castle.
Some years later he was sent as Danish embassador, to be present at the
crowning of King Erik XIV., when he was made Knight of the Order of St.
Salvador. Later he was sent as envoy to the Russian court, and in 1587
was raised to Lord of Helsingborg, where he died in 1587, and was
buried in Ugerup (now Köpinge) church.

Another legend, in which the seeds of the pine tree were sown, comes
from Östergötland. A lady of the nobility, living in Sölberga, had a
son, who, in the battle of Stångebro took sides with King Sigismund,
and when the battle was lost had to fly the country. The aged mother
mourned deeply over her son’s absence, and besieged Duke Karl with
prayers to allow her misguided son to return home, to make her a visit,
at least.

At last he was granted permission to return and visit his mother
until—the order read, “The next harvest.” Whereupon the mother sowed
pine seeds on the fields of Sölberg, which accounts for the uncommonly
fine forests of pine even now existing on the estate.

[5] Both of these Troll treasures are now preserved at Ljungby and are
willingly shown to curious travelers. The horn is in the form of a half
circle and adorned with silver mountings. The pipe is of ivory, made so
that it may be blown from either end, and the sound from it is a single
piercing note.

When Lady Oellegard Gyllerstierna, who inherited Ljungby, married Cay
Lycke, she took the horn and pipe with her to Denmark. The evil that
soon befell Lycke was regarded by many as the consequence of Troll
curses, which followed him who took the articles from Ljungby. From
Lycke the horn came into the possession of Lord Axel Juul, whose widow
presented it to the Chancellor, Ove Juul. His son sent it to the Danish
minister, Luxdorf. Since 1691 the horn and pipe have remained
continuously at Ljungby.

In all quarters of the country similar legends are current, more or
less founded upon the Ljungby legend.

As late as the present year (1888) the translator met a gentleman,
recently from Sweden, and from the province in which Ljungby is
located, who states that the horn is still in the possession of the
owners of the Ljungby estate, and that this story concerning it is
still current and quite generally believed.

[6] Stories of elvemaidens, who have married humans, lived with them
some time and then vanished, are not uncommon in Sweden. One such from
Småland is related of a priest whose son held office under him as

One morning when the young man wakened he saw the sun streaming into
his apartment through a knot hole in the wall. Suddenly there entered,
as if on a sunbeam, a maiden, who stood before him as naked as Eve in
the garden of Eden. He hurriedly threw a cloak over the beautiful
apparition and conducted her down to his parents. Who she was or where
she came from, neither she nor any other could tell. After a time she
became the wife of the young priest and lived happily with him a number
of years. But one day he was relating to her the wonderful manner of
her coming, and to confirm his account removed the plug from the knot
hole, whereupon she instantly, as suddenly and mysteriously as she had
come, vanished, leaving him in sorrow and despair.

[7] Skurugata is a street-like chasm cut through one of the granite
mountains situated in the parish of Eksjö, in width about twenty-five
feet, with walls of rock on either side rising precipitously to the
height of 130 feet, and in length about a quarter of a Swedish mile—one
and one-half English miles. That the fertile fancies of the people have
made this wild place the resort of Trolls and other supernatural beings
is not surprising. Above the cliff lies a rock called Skuruhatt, by the
side of which is an opening into the mountain, called Sacristian, where
the heathens are said to have made offerings to their gods.

[8] Commissioned by Governor Lindehkelm and Doctor Urban Hiarne,
Bailiff Girs, of Tveta, in the province of Jönköping, went to Vising
Island in the year 1705, for the purpose of learning whether or no any
trace of the Giant’s work yet remained.

Arriving at the island he applied to three aged and trustworthy men,
from each of whom he received the same narration that has here been
presented. Accompanied by these men he went by sea along the eastern
coast of the island until he reached a high bluff, situated between the
villages of Näs and Stiby, and about a third of a mile south of
Visingborg. Here were actually two holes about fifty feet distant from
each other. Into these holes three men crept, Policeman Nils Runske
into one, and two peasants into the other. After creeping on hands and
knees some feet they found it possible to walk upright for about
thirty-four feet when the three met, the two tunnels here continuing in
a single passage, which they were not able to penetrate beyond a few
feet, because of the foul air. The passage was six feet high and eight
feet wide, but said to have been much larger seventy years earlier.
Later Girs was shown a sunken place or bog which extended from the
aforementioned bluff inland three-eighths of a mile and terminated at
the hole in Kumlaby meadow, where it is supposed Gilbertil is
imprisoned. As late as the beginning of the eighteenth century the
story was so generally credited that few or none could be found who
were not entirely convinced that Gilbertil was still, by some devilish
power, alive and laboring to free himself from his imprisonment.

[9] The inhabitants of Eksjö and thereabout relate many stories of
Trolls and the like, but these are the most complete and

[10] This legend is a complex of different giant stories localized at
Puke Berg—Puke Mountain. Nearly every parish has its legend, in which
the resident giant has been angered with the noise of the church bells,
and has sought to destroy his disturber. The legend of the giantess who
took the children from their plowing and bore them to her giant parent
is not confined to the Giant Puke. Similar legends are current in
Kläppe, in Oldesborg parish, in Dalland, etc.

[11] See also J. Allvini’s description of Vestbo Municipality. The same
legend is also current in Halland, with the difference that Ebbe’s lady
love is said to have resided upon an estate in Tiveden, and that the
remains of the exiled Knight now lie under a granite rock near the
entrance to Gallinge Church.

[12] Before the days of railroads and regularly equipped stage lines,
it was the duty, established by law, of the farmers and others owning
horses to, in their turn, furnish travelers with means of conveyance
from the inn of their neighborhood to the next. Upon the arrival of a
traveler at an inn a servant was dispatched to the neighbor whose turn
it was, and he was expected to promptly furnish horse, wagon and

[13] An old Götland legend, by Madame D. Kindstrand, and in the Family
Journal, elaborated by C. J. Bergman. Hop O’ My Thumb, Lick the Pot,
etc., are the names given the fingers.

[14] In Götland a Byse is the spirit of one who in life was continually
on the move around his possessions, or was so covetous of worldly goods
that even perjury did not deter him from acquiring property unjustly.

[15] When the robber’s grave was opened, in the year 1870, human bones
were found in it, strengthening the supposition that the legend is
founded on facts.

[16] In Bohuslän and in Dalland the belief is quite general that the
giants, leaving those regions, settled upon Dovre in Norway, or upon
some uninhabited island in the North Sea, and that travelers are
eagerly questioned about their former home.

[17] The belief that giants have two hats, one of which renders the
wearer invisible, and another that reveals things otherwise invisible,
is widespread in Northern Scandinavia.

[18] This legend is noteworthy as showing how time and fancy often
clothe the historical fact in mythical garb. The reader’s attention is
called to similar cases in this collection, among them the Lord of
Ugerup, Bishop Svedberg and the Devil, Lady Barbro, of Brokind, Jonas
Spits, etc.

[19] The belief in Tomts has been handed down to us through many
generations, and is widespread in Sweden. In the opinion of the writer
they are nothing more or less than an inheritance from the classical
past and a remnant of the domestic worship which the ancients bestowed
upon their family gods. Legends similar to this are related in Norway,
where the spirit is called Topvette or Tomlevette and Gardos; also in
Faroe Islands, where they are called Niagriusar, and in Germany, where
they are called Kobolde, etc.

[20] Not longer than thirty years ago a cross, said to be the one
raised on this occasion, was still standing in Norrhult.

[21] This story was found, after his death, among the papers of the
lecturer, J. Vallman. The estate of Brokind, before it came into the
possession of the family of Count Falkenberg, was owned, for about two
centuries, by the family of Night and Day. It is probable that the Lady
Barbro wrought into this legend is Lady Barbro, Erik’s daughter, wife
of Senator Mons, Johnson Night and Day, though how she was made to play
a part in the narrative is not known, as her body was not impaled in a
swamp, but rests peacefully in an elegant grave in the cathedral of

[22] This legend doubtless grew out of the story of the flood, in this
form relating how the mighty waters burst their bounds and were in time
again imprisoned in their beds.

[23] The wood nymph dwells in large forests, and is described as a
beautiful young woman, when seen face to face; but if her back be
turned to one it is hollow, like a dough-trough, or resembles a block
stub. Sometimes, instead of a hollow back, she is adorned with a bushy
fox tail. The sea nymph dwells, as indicated by the name, at the bottom
of seas and lakes, and is clad in a skirt so snow-white that it
sparkles in the sunlight. Over the skirt she wears a light blue jacket.
Usually her appearance is the forerunner of a storm; she is then seen
sitting upon a billow combing her golden hair.

[24] This legend is noteworthy as being the only one, as far as the
author has been able to find, in which Troll property is changed into
snakes. Usually gold is changed into shavings, and silver to pebbles
and sand; otherwise it brings disaster upon the usurper of Trolldom and
his family.

[25] As late as 1875 a farmer near Mariestad, during an epidemic among
his cattle, buried alive a cow in the ground. Whether this cruel
expedient was effective the author is not informed.

[26] The ennobled Gyllenspits was born at Speserund, in the parish of
Millisvik, in Vermland, some time in the year 1609. During the Polish
and German wars he made his way up from the ranks to
lieutenant-colonel, and was made a noble in 1660. He was afterward
colonel, and finally major-general of infantry. He died in 1679, and is
buried in Sunne Church, in Vermland.

[27] From Norway we have a similar story, by Faye, Norske Folkesagn,
which relates that a wood nymph one time attended a dance, where she
had as partner a young man, who, when he observed the bushy appendage,
said genteelly, “My beautiful lady, you are losing your garter,” which
so pleased the nymph that she rewarded him bountifully with gold and
other riches.

[28] Bishop Konrad Rugga, who plays a part in this story, belonged to
the old Kyle family and was born in Stockholm. After he had studied in
foreign high schools, he was, upon his return to Sweden, first canon,
and later archdeacon in Uppsala Cathedral. In the year 1480 he was
chosen bishop of Strengnäs, which office he entered upon on the 3d of
April, 1501. In the Cathedral of Strengnäs, even now, a small cell is
shown, which is said to have been his treasure vault, and where his
prayer-book, shoes and other relics may still be seen.

[29] The chief character in this narrative is the wife of President and
Senator Erik Gyllerstierna, Beata Yxkull, to whom the name of Lady
Pintorpa is given. As far as can be judged from the best accounts
obtainable, Lady Beata was a woman of unusual understanding, decision
and power. It is quite possible that in her exactions and treatment of
her servants and dependents she may have sometimes been unreasonably
severe, and that therefore she did not command their love. It is
certain that the stories of her inhuman conduct and tragical end are of
a later date than her generation, and that this is a localization of a
similar German legend.

The opinion is ever hazarded that Beata Yxkull came to play a part in
this gruesome myth, alone because of the name of the estate, Pintorp,
which our uncritical story-tellers have credulously taken for granted,
was derived from Pina—to tease—though good grounds exist for the belief
that the estate took its name from the family of Pinaur, who, in former
days, resided thereon.

[30] The legend of the ring, originally an Oriental tale [See Herodotus
on King Polycrates in Samos], has become a part of the folk-lore of
several localities in Scandinavia, as in Närike, The Rich Lady; in
Norway, The Insolent Priest’s Daughter; in Denmark, Free Birthe, etc.

[31] Supplementing this story, it is related that the punishment meted
out to the priest’s worldly-minded wife for seducing the servant into
the attempt to frighten her husband from his devotions was that her
body after death should remain in the grave undecayed.

The same story is told of a woman member of the old family of Ickorna,
and the attempt has been made to establish that she is identical with
the woman of Veckholm.

[32] The water nymphs are noted musicians; their music usually being in
a plaintive strain and expressing a longing to be released on the day
of judgment. Sometimes, but not so often, they appear in the folk-lore
as the capricious rulers of the streams which they inhabit. It is
believed, in certain regions that one should not grind grain on the
night before Christmas, for at that time the nymphs are out in all the
streams, and if they find a mill going they stop it, break it, or grind
at such a furious rate that the millstones burst.

[33] It is believed this comes from an old Icelandic Saga, which has
been made a part of the folk-lore of Dalarne.

[34] The magpie in folk-lore is an ominous bird, and is avoided by the
peasantry, because one can not know whether it is the spirit of a
Troll, friend or foe. When the magpies build near the house it is
regarded as a lucky omen, but if they build on the heath, and meantime
come to the house and chatter, it bodes evil.

[35] In other regions it is related that heralding an epidemic, a
little bird flies around the country where men are plowing, and,
perched upon the ox-yokes, twitters its warning.

[36] To the characteristics attributed in this story to the Vätters may
be added that they are peaceable and generally inclined to be friendly
to mankind, but that they may, nevertheless, be aroused to acts of
violence if their wishes are not heeded, or if harm is done them
designedly. They are said to have great quantities of gold and silver,
but steel is very offensive to them. If, therefore, a knife is stuck
into a fissure in a mountain, a piece of gold will, a few days later,
be found in its stead. During autumn and in winter they take up their
abode in vacated cow barns, where they employ themselves after the
manner of mankind.



Updated editions will replace the previous one—the old editions will
be renamed.

Creating the works from print editions not protected by U.S. copyright
law means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works,
so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United
States without permission and without paying copyright
royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part
of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project
Gutenberg™ electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG™
concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark,
and may not be used if you charge for an eBook, except by following
the terms of the trademark license, including paying royalties for use
of the Project Gutenberg trademark. If you do not charge anything for
copies of this eBook, complying with the trademark license is very
easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation
of derivative works, reports, performances and research. Project
Gutenberg eBooks may be modified and printed and given away—you may
do practically ANYTHING in the United States with eBooks not protected
by U.S. copyright law. Redistribution is subject to the trademark
license, especially commercial redistribution.




To protect the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase “Project
Gutenberg”), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full
Project Gutenberg™ License available with this file or online at

Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg™
electronic works

1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg™
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or
destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in your
possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a
Project Gutenberg™ electronic work and you do not agree to be bound
by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person
or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B. “Project Gutenberg” is a registered trademark. It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg™ electronic works if you follow the terms of this
agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg™
electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation (“the
Foundation” or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection
of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works. Nearly all the individual
works in the collection are in the public domain in the United
States. If an individual work is unprotected by copyright law in the
United States and you are located in the United States, we do not
claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing,
displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as
all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope
that you will support the Project Gutenberg™ mission of promoting
free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg™
works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the
Project Gutenberg™ name associated with the work. You can easily
comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the
same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg™ License when
you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are
in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States,
check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this
agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing,
distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any
other Project Gutenberg™ work. The Foundation makes no
representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any
country other than the United States.

1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other
immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg™ License must appear
prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg™ work (any work
on which the phrase “Project Gutenberg” appears, or with which the
phrase “Project Gutenberg” is associated) is accessed, displayed,
performed, viewed, copied or distributed:

    This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most
    other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
    whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
    of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online
    at www.gutenberg.org. If you
    are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws
    of the country where you are located before using this eBook.
1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is
derived from texts not protected by U.S. copyright law (does not
contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the
copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in
the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are
redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase “Project
Gutenberg” associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply
either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or
obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg™
trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg™ electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any
additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms
will be linked to the Project Gutenberg™ License for all works
posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the
beginning of this work.

1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg™
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg™.

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg™ License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including
any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access
to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg™ work in a format
other than “Plain Vanilla ASCII” or other format used in the official
version posted on the official Project Gutenberg™ website
(www.gutenberg.org), you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense
to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means
of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original “Plain
Vanilla ASCII” or other form. Any alternate format must include the
full Project Gutenberg™ License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg™ works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg™ electronic works
provided that:

    • You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
        the use of Project Gutenberg™ works calculated using the method
        you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owed
        to the owner of the Project Gutenberg™ trademark, but he has
        agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project
        Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments must be paid
        within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are
        legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. Royalty
        payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project
        Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in
        Section 4, “Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg
        Literary Archive Foundation.”
    • You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
        you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
        does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg™
        License. You must require such a user to return or destroy all
        copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue
        all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg™
    • You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of
        any money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
        electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of
        receipt of the work.
    • You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
        distribution of Project Gutenberg™ works.

1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project
Gutenberg™ electronic work or group of works on different terms than
are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing
from the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the manager of
the Project Gutenberg™ trademark. Contact the Foundation as set
forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
works not protected by U.S. copyright law in creating the Project
Gutenberg™ collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg™
electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may
contain “Defects,” such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate
or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or
other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or
cannot be read by your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund” described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg™ trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg™ electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium
with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you
with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in
lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person
or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second
opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If
the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing
without further opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you ‘AS-IS’, WITH NO

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of
damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement
violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the
agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or
limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or
unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the
remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg™ electronic works in
accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the
production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg™
electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses,
including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of
the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this
or any Project Gutenberg™ work, (b) alteration, modification, or
additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg™ work, and (c) any
Defect you cause.

Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg™

Project Gutenberg™ is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of
computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It
exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations
from people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg™’s
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg™ collection will
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg™ and future
generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see
Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at www.gutenberg.org.

Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non-profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation’s EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by
U.S. federal laws and your state’s laws.

The Foundation’s business office is located at 809 North 1500 West,
Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up
to date contact information can be found at the Foundation’s website
and official page at www.gutenberg.org/contact

Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg™ depends upon and cannot survive without widespread
public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine-readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND
DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular state
visit www.gutenberg.org/donate.

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg web pages for current donation
methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To
donate, please visit: www.gutenberg.org/donate.

Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg™ electronic works

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project
Gutenberg™ concept of a library of electronic works that could be
freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and
distributed Project Gutenberg™ eBooks with only a loose network of
volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg™ eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as not protected by copyright in
the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not
necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper

Most people start at our website which has the main PG search
facility: www.gutenberg.org.

This website includes information about Project Gutenberg™,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.