Read on line
Listen on line
Main > Norway folktales > Fairy tale "The Epic of Siegfried"

The Epic of Siegfried

When he beheld the giants driven back to the mountaintops, he lifted a little silver horn to his lips and blew a shrill bugle call. The little brown elves came trooping forth by the thousands - from under every rock, from the nooks and crannies and crevices in the mountainside, from the deep cavern and narrow gorge, they responded to the call of their chief. At Alberich's word, they formed battle lines around the Glittering Hoard and the bodies of their late masters. Siegfried was pleased and surprised at the sight of them, for never before had he viewed such a host of pygmy warriors.

The elves became suddenly silent and Siegfried noticed that Alberich no longer commanded the front lines but had strangely vanished from sight.

"Ah, cunning Alberich!" cried the hero, mounting his horse, the noble Greyfell. "I know your tricks. No doubt you have donned the cloak of darkness, which hides you from sight and makes you as strong as twelve common men. But come on!"

Scarcely had he spoken when he felt a shock that almost sent him reeling from his saddle, and made Greyfell plunge about with fright. Quickly, Siegfried dismounted. With every sense alert, he waited for the second blow of the unseen dwarf. It was plain that Alberich wished to strike him unawares, for many minutes passed in utter silence. Then a brisk breath of wind passed by Siegfried's face and he felt another blow, but by a quick downward movement of his hand, he caught the plucky elf-king and tore off the magic cloak. With firm grasp, he held the dwarf king, struggling in vain to get free.

"Ah Alberich!" he cried, "I know your cunning. But the cloak I must have for my own. What will you give for your freedom?"

"Worthy prince," answered Alberich humbly, "you overcame me fairly in fight and made me your prisoner. I and all of mine, as well as the treasure, rightfully belong to you. We are yours and you we shall obey."

"Swear it!

Also read