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Main > Sweden folktales > Fairy tale "Faithful and Unfaithful"

Faithful and Unfaithful

So one day Unfaithful said: "My lord need distress himself no longer, for Faithful has been boasting to me that he could rescue your beautiful queen from the hands of the troll." "If he has done so," replied the king, "then he must keep his word."

He straightway ordered Faithful to be brought before him, and threatened him with death if he did not at once hurry into the hill and bring back the wife of whom he had been robbed. If he were successful great honor should be his reward. In vain Faithful denied what Unfaithful had said of him, the king stuck to his demand, and the youth withdrew, convinced that he had not long to live. Then he went to the stable to bid farewell to his beautiful horse, and stood beside him and wept. "What grieves you so?" asked the horse. Then the youth told him of all that had happened, and said that this was probably the last time he would be able to visit him. "If it be no more than that," said the horse, "there is a way to help you. Up in the garret of the castle there is an old fiddle, take it with you and play it when you come to the place where the queen is kept. And fashion for yourself armor of steel wire, and set knives into it everywhere, and then, when you see the troll open his jaws, descend into his maw, and thus slay him. But you must have no fear, and must trust me to show you the way." These words filled the youth with fresh courage, he went to the king and received permission to leave, secretly fashioned his steel armor, took the old fiddle from the garret of the castle, led his dear horse out of the stable, and without delay set forth for the troll's hill.

Before long he saw it, and rode directly to the troll's abode. When he came near, he saw the troll, who had crept out of his castle, lying stretched out at the entrance to his cave, fast asleep, and snoring so powerfully that the whole hill shook. But his mouth was wide open, and his maw was so tremendous that it was easy for the youth to crawl into it. He did so, for he was not afraid, and made his way into the troll's inwards where he was so active that the troll was soon killed.

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