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

The Epic of Siegfried

The Terror was dead. As the lad leaned upon his sword and thought of the deed he had done, behold! his shining steed Greyfell stood by his side. And Regin, his face grown wondrous cold, came trudging over the meadows. When his old master drew near to look upon the slain monster, Siegfried kindly approached him but he seemed not to notice. A snaky glitter lurked in his eyes and his mouth was set and dry, and he seemed as one walking in a dream.

"It is mine now," he murmured, "all mine - the Hoard of the elf-folk, the garnered wisdom of the ages. The strength of the world is mine."

His eyes fell upon Siegfried and his cheeks grew dark with wrath. He cried out, "Why are you in my way? I am the lord of the Glittering Hoard! I am its master and you are my thrall."

Siegfried wondered at the change that had taken place in his old master, but he only smiled at his strange words and made no answer.

"You have slain my brother!" Regin cried. His face grew fearfully black and his mouth foamed with rage.

"It was my deed and yours," calmly answered Siegfried. "I have rid the world of a Terror. I have righted a grievous wrong."

"You have slain my brother," said Regin, "and a murderer's ransom you shall pay!"

"Take the Hoard for your ransom, and let us each wend his way," said the lad.

"The Hoard is mine by rights," answered Regin still more wrathfully. "I am the master, and you are my thrall. Why do you stand in my way?"

Blind with madness, he rushed at Siegfried as if to strike him down, but his foot slipped in a puddle of gore and he pitched headlong against the sharp edge of Balmung. So sudden was this movement, and so unlooked for, that the sword was twitched out of Siegfried's hand. Regin, slain by his own rashness, fell with a dull splash into the blood-filled pit before him. Full of horror, Siegfried turned away and mounted Greyfell.

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