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The Three Dogs

Now that all three dogs were gone, the giant rose, and suddenly looked altogether different. He took down a long sword from the wall, and said: "Now I will do what my brothers did not do, and you must die at once, for you are in my power!" Then the youth was frightened, and he regretted he had allowed his dogs to leave him. He said: "I do not ask for my life, since in any event the time will come when I must die. But I would like to repeat the Lord's prayer, and play a psalm on my flute, for such is the custom in my country." The giant granted his prayer, but said that he would not wait long. So the youth kneeled and began to blow his flute till it sounded over hill and dale. And that very moment the magic wall was broken and the dogs were freed. They came rushing on like the storm-wind, and fell upon the mountain troll. The youth at once rose and said: "'Take Hold!', seize him! 'Tear!' and 'Hark!' tear him into a thousand pieces!" Then the dogs flung themselves on the giant and tore him into countless pieces. Then the youth took all the treasures that lay in the mountain, hitched the giant's horses to a gilded wagon, and drove off as fast as he could.

Now when the king's daughters met again there was great joy, as may well be imagined, and all thanked the youth for delivering them out of the power of the mountain trolls. But the youth fell deeply in love with the youngest princess, and they promised to be true to each other. So the king's daughters passed on their way with music and merriment of every kind, and the youth served them with all the honor and courtesy due maidens of gentle birth. And while they were underway the princesses toyed with the youth's hair, and each tied her golden ring in his locks for remembrance.

One day while they were still underway, they met two wanderers, who were traveling the same road. The clothes of the two strangers were torn and their feet were sore, and their whole appearance showed that they had a long journey behind them.

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