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

The Epic of Siegfried

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Gunnlaug answered as well as his feeble voice would allow, "From the earliest times, our father was the ruler of this land, and the lord of the fog and the mist. Many strongholds and noble halls he had in this land, and ten thousand brave warriors were ever ready to do his bidding. The trolls, the elves of the mountains and the giants of the cloudy peaks were his vassals. But he did more than rule over the Nibelungen Land. Twice every year he crossed the sea and rambled through faraway lands, and now and then he brought rich trophies back to his island home. The last time, he brought this treasure with him but, as we have said, it is not clear how he obtained it. We have heard men say that is was the Hoard of Andvari, and that when Fafnir, the dragon who watched it, was slain, the hero who slew him left it to be taken again by the swarthy elves, but because of a curse which Andvari had placed upon it, no one would touch it, until some man would assume its ownership, and take upon himself the risk of incurring the curse. This thing, it is said, our father did. We heard that the dwarf Alberich undertook to keep it for our father; and he, with the help of ten thousand elves who live in these caverns, and the twelve giants whom you see standing on the mountain peaks around, guarded it faithfully so long as our father lived. But when the king died, we and our thralls fetched it forth from the cavern and spread it here on the ground. Lo! for many days we have watched and tried to divide it equally. But we cannot agree."

"What pay will you give me if I divide it for you?" asked Siegfried.

"Name what you will have," answered the princes.

"Give me the sword that lies between you on the glittering heap."

Then Gunnlaug handed him the sword and said, "Right gladly will we give it. It is a worthless blade that our father brought from the Southland. They say that he found it also on the Glittering Heath in the trench where Fafnir was slain.

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