The Skalunda Giant

: The Swedish Fairy Book

In the Skalunda mountain, near the church, there once lived a giant in

the early days, who no longer felt comfortable after the church had

been built there. At length he decided that he could no longer stand

the ringing of the church bells; so he emigrated and settled down on

an island far out in the North Sea. Once upon a time a ship was

wrecked on this island, and among those saved were several people from

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"Whence do you hail?" asked the giant, who by now had grown old and

blind, and sat warming himself before a log fire.

"We are from Skalunda, if you wish to know," said one of the men


"Give me your hand, so that I may feel whether there is still warm

blood to be found in the Swedish land," said the giant.

The man, who feared to shake hands with the giant, drew a red-hot bar

of iron from the fire and handed it to him. He seized it firmly, and

pressed it so hard that the molten iron ran down between his fingers.

"Yes, there is still warm blood to be found in Sweden," said he. "And

tell me," he continued, "is Skalunda mountain still standing?"

"No, the hens have scratched it away," the man answered.

"How could it last?" said the giant. "My wife and daughter piled it up

in the course of a single Sunday morning. But surely the Hallenberg

and the Hunneberg are still standing, for those I built myself."

When the man had confirmed this, the giant wanted to know whether

Karin was still living in Stommen. And when they told him that she

was, he gave them a girdle, and with it the message that Karin was to

wear it in remembrance of him.

The men took the girdle and gave it to Karin upon their return home;

but before Karin put it on, she clasped it around the oak-tree that

grew in the court. No sooner had she done so than the oak tore itself

out of the ground, and flew to the North, borne away by the

storm-wind. In the place where it had stood was a deep pit, and the

roots of the tree were so enormous that one of the best springs in

Stommen flows from one of the root-holes to this very day.


"The Skalunda Giant" (Hofberg, Svenska Folksagner, Stockholm,

1882, p. 98) has a near relative in the Norwegian mountain

giant of Mesingeberg, of whom Asbjoernsen tells.