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

The Three Dogs

Then, one day, "Hark!" who always ran ahead scouting, came hastily to his master and told him that he had been near a high mountain, and had heard the king's third daughter sitting within and weaving a web of gold, and that the troll was not at home. This was very welcome news for the youth, and he hastened toward the mountain, followed by his three dogs. When he drew near "Hark!" said: "There is no time to lose, for the giant is only five miles away. I can already hear the golden horse-shoes of his steed ringing on the stones." Then the youth at once ordered his dogs to break down the door into the mountain, by hook or by crook. And when he stepped into the mountain, he saw a girl sitting in the mountain hall, weaving a web of gold. But this maiden was lovely beyond all measure, with a loveliness exceeding all the youth had ever thought to find on earth. He now went up and greeted the lovely maiden. 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 comes, or else your life will be forfeit!" But the youth was full of confidence, and said he would gladly venture his life for the king's lovely daughter.

While they were still talking the giant came riding along on his colt shod with gold, and drew up at the foot of the mountain. When he went in he saw that uninvited guests had arrived, and was much frightened; for well he knew of the fate that had befallen his brothers. He therefore thought it advisable to fall back upon cunning and treachery, for he had not dared to venture on open battle. For that reason he made many fine speeches, and was very friendly and smooth with the youth. Then he told the king's daughter to prepare a meal in order to show his guest all hospitality.

And since the troll knew so well how to talk, the youth allowed himself to be beguiled by his smooth words, and forgot to be on his guard.

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