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Main > Norway folktales > Fairy tale "The Epic of Siegfried"

The Epic of Siegfried

Part One - The Hoard of the Glittering Heath

YOUNG PRINCE SIEGFRIED, who hailed from the south where the Rhine River pours into the great North Sea, rode with grand anticipation into the broad mid-world upon his fine horse Greyfell. The sun shone bright above him, the air was soft and pure, the earth seemed very lovely and life a gladsome thing. His heart was big as he thought of the days to come, deeds of love and daring, of the righting of many wrongs, the people's praise, and the glory of a life well lived.

After many days he reached the woodland dwelling of Regin, the wonder blacksmith to whom his father, the king, had sent him as a boy to learn the skill of smithing. "All work is noble," the king had told his son. "Even a prince of the noble Volsung race, as you are, should know how to earn a livelihood by the labor of his hands." Remembering those years Siegfried now thought, "Regin, my old master who taught me the art of blacksmithing, is very wise. He knows of deeds that were done when the world was young and my kin were the mightiest of men. I'll go to him and hear what grievous evil it is that should be righted in the world."

Regin, when he saw the lad and his steed Greyfell standing like a vision of light at his door, welcomed them most gladly. He led Siegfried into an inner room where they sat down together.

"Truly," said the master, "the days of my long waiting are drawing to a close, and at last the deed shall be done." A look of longing came into his eyes. His pinched face seemed darker and more wrinkled than before and his thin lips trembled with emotion as he spoke.

"What is that deed of which you speak?" asked Siegfried.

"It is the righting of a grievous wrong," answered Regin, "and the winning of treasures untold. Lo, I remember when under my care you fashioned the flawless sword Balmung - I daresay the finest sword an apprentice has ever wrought and one I could not match myself - I wondered if you were the one.

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