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

The Epic of Siegfried

On the seventh day, he came to a barren heath far from the homes of men. There he placed the treasures in one glittering heap, and he clothed himself in a wondrous mail-coat of gold that was found among them, and he put on the Helmet of Dread, which had once been the terror of the mid-world, and the like of which no man had ever seen. Then he gazed with greedy eyes upon the fateful ring until he, too, was changed into a cold and slimy reptile - a giant snake-monster. And he coiled himself about the Hoard. With his restless snake eyes forever open, he gloated day after day upon his beloved gold and watched with ceaseless care that no one should come near. This was ages and ages ago, and still he wallows among his treasures on the heath, and guards as of yore the wealth of the dwarf king Andvari.

When I, Regin, the younger brother, came back in the late evening to my father's dwelling, I saw that the treasure had been carried away. When I beheld the dead serpent lying in its place, I knew that a part of Andvari's curse had been fulfilled. A strange fear came over me. I left everything behind and fled from that dwelling, never more to return. Then I came to the land of the Volsungs, where your father's fathers dwelt - the noblest king-folk that the world has ever seen. But a longing for the gold and the treasure, a hungry yearning that would never be satisfied, filled my soul.

For a time I sought to forget this craving. I spent my days in the getting of knowledge and in the teaching of men the ancient lore of my kin, the Dwarfs. I taught them how to plant and sow, and how to reap the yellow grain. I showed them where the precious metals of the earth lie hidden, and how to smelt iron from its ores, and from the molten ore how to shape a ploughshare, a spade, a spear and a battle-axe. I taught them how to tame the wild horses of the meadows, how to train the yoke beasts to the plow, how to build lordly dwellings and mighty strongholds, and how to sail in ships across the sea.

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