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Main > Sweden folktales > Fairy tale "The Troll's Ride"

The Troll's Ride

"Listen, he is coming!" she exclaimed.

"Too late, though," said her father.

But just as the clock was ready to chime for the sixth time, the door was flung open and there stood Peder Lars, dripping wet, his hair tousled, and his new jacket torn and dusty. Somehow he looked jaunty and dashing all the same. Lisa ran to him and put her hand in his, so firmly and confidently that he knew she was giving it to him for life.

The miller and the farmer could only gape. They could not understand how Peder Lars had managed to arrive on time, and no one else understood either.

But this was not the last time people would marvel at Peder Lars. From then on, regardless of how late he set out on any journey, he would always arrive on time, and no one every saw him anxious to get started. Whether he rode on horseback or in a carriage, he was calm and assured. And he could well afford to be, for he always felt he had someone with him, someone who held the bridle and reins in such a way that all his adventures always finished well. But how this was he never could discover, no matter how many times he thought he glimpsed a gray bundle slip down the rump of his horse or off the edge of his carriage the moment he turned his head. Yet inside himself Peder Lars knew who it was that sat behind him.

He had not asked any reward for what he had done for the troll in the ditch, but for all that, it had been an honest troll, and a reward he certainly did receive from her.

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