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Main > Norway folktales > Fairy tale "The giant who had no heart in his body"

The giant who had no heart in his body

“Farewell, father,” said he; “I’ll come back, never fear, and like enough I shall bring my six brothers back with me;” and with that he rode off.

So, when he had ridden a while, he came to a Raven, which lay in the road and flapped its wings, and was not able to get out of the way, it was so starved.

“Oh, dear friend,” said the Raven, “give me a little food, and I’ll help you again at your utmost need.”

“I haven’t much food,” said the Prince, “and I don’t see how you’ll ever be able to help me much; but still I can spare you a little. I see you want it.”

So he gave the raven some of the food he had brought with him.

Now, when he had gone a bit further, he came to a brook, and in the brook lay a great Salmon, which had got upon a dry place and dashed itself about, and could not get into the water again.

“Oh, dear friend,” said the Salmon to the Prince; “shove me out into the water again, and I’ll help you again at your utmost need.”

“Well!” said the Prince, “the help you’ll give me will not be great, I daresay, but it’s a pity you should lie there and choke;” and with that he shot the fish out into the stream again.

After that he went a long, long way, and there met him a Wolf which was so famished that it lay and crawled along the road on its belly.

“Dear friend, do let me have your horse,” said the Wolf; “I’m so hungry the wind whistles through my ribs; I’ve had nothing to eat these two years.”

“No,” said Boots, “this will never do; first I came to a raven, and I was forced to give him my food; next I came to a salmon, and him I had to help into the water again; and now you will have my horse. It can’t be done, that it can’t, for then I should have nothing to ride on.”

“Nay, dear friend, but you can help me,” said Graylegs the wolf; “you can ride upon my back, and I’ll help you again in your utmost need.”

“Well! the help I shall get from you will not be great, I’ll be bound,” said the Prince; “but you may take my horse, since you are in such need.”

So when the Wolf had eaten the horse, Boots took the bit and put it into the Wolf’s jaw, and laid the saddle on his back; and now the Wolf was so strong, after what he had got inside, that he set off with the Prince like nothing.

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