Read on line
Listen on line
Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Astrid Lindgren > Fairy tale "The Brothers Lionheart"

The Brothers Lionheart

Tengilmen in black helmets and with swords and spears were on guard on the top of the wall as far as I could see, and the gateway was just as well guarded; there was a gateway in the wall just where the path from Cherry Valley came to an end.

Here people had traveled freely between the valleys for centuries and now there was nothing but a closed gate and you had to be a Tengilman to get through.

Veder thundered on the gate with his sword. Then a little shutter opened and a giantlike man stuck his head out.

“Password!” he cried.

Veder and Kader whispered the secret passwords into his ear, no doubt so that I shouldn’t hear. But that was unnecessary, because I knew the words too---”All power to Tengil, our liberator.”

The man behind the shutter looked at me and said:

“And him? Who’s he?”

“It’s a little oaf we found up in the mountains,” said Kader. “But he can’t be all that stupid, because he somehow managed to get through your gate last night,---what do you say to that, Senior Guard? I think you should ask your men how they keep guard in the evenings.”

The man behind the shutter grew angry. He opened the gate, but he scolded and swore and was reluctant to let me in, only Veder and Kader.

“Put him in Katla Cavern,” he said. “He belongs there.”

But Veder and Kader were stubborn---I must be allowed in, they said, because I must prove that I hadn’t lied to them. It was their duty to Tengil to find that out, they said.

And with Veder and Kader as escorts, I rode through the gate.

I thought then that if I ever saw Jonathan again, I would tell him how Veder and Kader had helped me into Wild Rose Valley. he would laugh about that for a long time.

But I was not laughing, because I knew how bad things were for me. I had to find a white house with a grandfather in it; otherwise I would end up in Katla Cavern.

“Ride on ahead and show us the way,” said Veder. “For we must speak seriously to your grandfather.”

There were plenty of white houses, just like at home in Cherry Valley, but I didn’t see one that I could point out, because I didn't know who lived in them.

Also read
Prince Lindworm
Category: Norway folktales
Read times: 72