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Main > Spain folktales > Fairy tale "Longstaff, Pinepuller and Rockheaver"

Longstaff, Pinepuller and Rockheaver

Long ago there lived a blacksmith upon whose strong right arm there swelled great muscles and whose big hairy fist was capable of delivering so heavy a blow that all the men in the village and nearby countryside stood in awe of him. He had a hot temper as well as a strong right arm and his pretty young wife grew so afraid of him that she ran away into the forest, taking her baby son with her. The blacksmith had become crosser and crosser of late because the baby sometimes cried at night and disturbed his rest.

In the deep forest the young wife found nuts and herbs and wild fruits to eat. The baby boy thrived most marvelously. Soon he was big and strong, able to kill wild beasts to add to their food. At last his strength was so great that he could lift big rocks and pull up huge trees.

One day he said to his mother, "Dearest one, I'd like to leave you for a little while. I want to go back to the village where I was born. The stories you have told me about it keep ringing in my ears. I must see the place for myself. Do you mind, mother dear, if I take this journey?"

His mother had long foreseen that a day would come when he would no longer be content to live alone with her in the deep forest. Her heart ached but she gave her consent to the expedition.

When the lad reached the village he went straight to the shop of the blacksmith. His mother had described it to him so often that he had no difficulty in finding it. He knew at once that the man at the forge was his father. He looked exactly as he had always imagined his father looked.

"Good day," said he. "I'd like you to weld an iron bar for me, a bar as tall as the tallest tree in front of your shop."

The blacksmith glanced at the lad and then at the tree.

"You must have made a mistake in your measurements," he replied. "You don't know what you are talking about."

The boy from the forest smiled quietly and stepped a trifle nearer to the blacksmith.

"You are quite right," he admitted. "Thank you for pointing out to me my mistake.

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