The stomping old man


2 min

Tale from Sweden.

There is a mountain not far from Fylkestad in Villand's county, and in that mountain there used to be a giant called Stompegubben. One day it happened that a shepherd boy had climbed the mountain with his goats. The giant heard them clattering about up there and came charging out, angry as a bee.

"If you don't leave at once I will crush you as I crush this stone," roared the giant, seizing a block of flint rock. Then he squeezed the stone in his hand until it turned to gravel.
"Yes, you're probably always strong," said the herd boy, "but I still think I can beat you if you want to fight." So he took a sharp arrow with barbs, strung it to his bow and shot it right into the giant's belly.
"Ouch! What was that something?โ€ wondered the giant, trying to pull out the arrow.
"It was a scolding word," answered the boy.
โ€œWhy does it have feathers?โ€ asked the giant.
"To make it fly better," answered the boy.
"And why is it stuck?" asked the giant again.
"Because it has taken root in your body," replied the boy.
"Do you have several such swear words?" wondered the giant.
"Any number! Here you have another,โ€ replied the boy, shooting another arrow at the giant.
"Ouch!" shouted Old Man Stomp. "Aren't you mad enough for us to start fighting in earnest?"
"No, you haven't had enough of scolding yet," said the boy, putting another arrow to the bowstring.
"Keep your goats wherever you want! If I can't deal with your scolding, how can I deal with your punches?? Howled Old Stomp and ran into the mountain.

That's how the herdboy won the battle, because he knew how to settle a fight with cunning instead of fists.

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