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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Astrid Lindgren > Fairy tale "The Brothers Lionheart"

The Brothers Lionheart

“He’s in Nangilima,” said Jonathan.

“Nangilima, I’ve never heard of that,” I said.

“Yes, you have,” said Jonathan. “Don’t you remember that morning when I left Cherry Valley and you were so afraid? Don’t you remember what I said then? ‘If I don’t come back, we’ll meet in Nangilima’ That’s where Mathias is now.”

Then he told me about Nangilima. He hadn’t told me stories for a long time because we had had no time. But now as he sat by the fire and talked about Nangilima, it was almost as if he were sitting on the edge of my sofa-bed at home in town.

“In Nangilima...in Nangilima,” said Jonathan in that voice he always used when he was telling stories. “It’s still in the days of campfires and sagas there.”

“Poor Mathias, so there are adventures there that shouldn’t happen,” I said.

But Jonathan said that Nangilima was not in the day of cruel sagas but in days that were happy and full of games. The people played there; they worked, too, of course, and helped each other with everything, but they played a lot and sang and danced and told stories, he said. “Sometimes they scared the children with terribly cruel sagas about monsters like Karm and Katla and about cruel men like Tengil. But afterward they laughed.

“Were you afraid, then?” they said to the children. “They’re only sagas. Things that have never existed here. Not here in our valleys, at least.”

Mathias was happy in Nangilima, Jonathan said. He had an old farm in Apple Valley, the most beautiful farm in the loveliest and greenest of Nangilima’s valleys.

“Soon it’ll be time to pick the apples in his orchard,” said Jonathan. “Then we should be there to help him. He’s too old to climb ladders.”

“I almost wish we could go there,” I said. I thought it sounded so pleasant in Nangilima and I longed to see Mathias again.

“Do you think so?” said Jonathan. “Well, we could live with Mathias. At Mathias Farm in Apple Valley in Nangilima.”

“Tell me what it would be like,” I said.

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