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Main > Sweden folktales > Fairy tale "The Three Dogs"

The Three Dogs

This greatly pleased the youth, and he hurried toward the mountain together with his three dogs. When they got there "Hark!" said: "There is no time to lose. The troll is only ten miles away, and I can already hear the golden horse-shoes of his steed ringing on the stones." The youth now ordered his dogs to break down the door into the mountain, and they did. And as he stepped into the mountain he saw a lovely maiden, sitting in the mountain-hall, winding a golden thread on a golden spindle. The youth went up and greeted the lovely girl. Then the king's daughter was much surprised and said: "Who are you that dare to venture into the giant's hall? During all the seven long years I have been sitting here in the mountain I have never yet seen a human being." And she added: "For heaven's sake hasten away before the troll returns home, or else your life will be forfeit!" But the youth was unafraid, and said that he would await the giant's return without fear.

While they were talking together, the giant came riding along on his colt shod with gold. When he saw the gate standing open he grew furiously angry and shouted till the whole mountain shook: "Who has broken my mountain door?" The youth boldly answered: "I did, and now I shall break you as well! 'Take Hold!' seize him! 'Tear!' and 'Hark!' tear him into a thousand pieces." No sooner had he spoken than the dogs rushed up, fell upon the giant and tore him into countless pieces. Then the princess was happy beyond measure and said: "God be praised, now I am freed!" And she fell upon the youth's neck and gave him a kiss. But he did not wish to stay there any longer, saddled the giant's colt, loaded it with all the gold and gear he found in the mountain, and hastily went away with the king's beautiful daughter.

They passed on together a long distance. Then, one day, "Hark!" who always ran ahead scouting, came quickly back to his master, and told him he had been near a high mountain, and had heard the king's second daughter sitting within it winding golden yarn, and that the troll himself was not at home.

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