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Monday, May 24, 2010

A Swedish Tale

At a little distance from Baal Mountain, in the  parish of Filkestad, in Willand's Harad, lies a hill  where, formerly, lived a giant named Stompe Pilt. It happened one day, that a Goatherd came that  way, driving his goats before him, up the hill.
" Who comes there ?" demanded the Giant, rushing  out of the hill, with a large flint stone in his fist, when he discovered the Goatherd.
" It is I, if you will know," responded the Herder, continuing his way up the hill with his flock.
" If you come up here I will squeeze you into fragments as I do this stone," shrieked the Giant, and crushed the stone between his fingers into fine sand.
" Then I will squeeze water out of you as I do out of this stone," replied the Herder, taking a new-made
cheese from his bag and squeezing it so that the whey ran between his fingers to the ground.
" Are you not afraid ? " asked the Giant.
" Not of you," replied the Herder.
" Then let us fight," continued Stompe Pilt.
" All right," responded the Goatherd, " but let us first taunt each other so that we will become right angry, for taunting will beget anger and anger will give us cause to fight."
" Very well, and I will begin," said the Giant.
" Go ahead, and I will follow you," said the Herder.
" You shall become a crooked nose hobgoblin," cried the Giant.
" You shall become a flying devil," retorted the Herder, and from his bow shot a sharp arrow into the body of the Giant.
" What is that ? " inquired the Giant, endeavoring to pull the arrow from his flesh.
" That is a taunt," replied the Herder.
" Why has it feathers ? " asked the Giant.
" In order that it may fly straight and rapidly," answered the Herder.
" Why does it stick so fast ? " asked the Giant.
" Because it has taken root in your body," was the answer.
" Have you more of such ? " inquired the Giant.
" There, you have another," said the Herder, and shot another arrow into the Giant's body.
"Aj! aj!" shrieked Stompe Pilt; "are you not angry enough to fight ? "
" No, I have not yet taunted you enough," replied the Herder, setting an arrow to his bowstring.
" Drive your goats where you will. I can't endure your taunting, much less your blows," shrieked Stompe Pilt, and sprang into the hill again.
Thus the Herder was saved by means of his bravery and ingenuity.

4 comments:

  1. We are laughing about this tale ignoring the fact that the goatherd shouldn´t continue his way upwards the hill!
    It is he starting a conflict and invading in foreign countries. Remember those idiots in European history who had been taunting the eastern giant, believing wrongly in complete confidence of their own bravery and ingenuity.
    A herd lacking grasing land that sounds like “ein Volk ohne Raum”.

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  2. The herder was saved by the giant's cognitive disorder, not by his own ingenuity. Well, it's a children's tale one might think. But children are intelligent, children listening to this story will be amused by the Giants stupidity and they will imagine to meet a very stupid Giant in their daydreams.

    There is some wisdom in this fairytale, since it teaches that evryone has peculiar strength combined with peculiar weekness. In Germany there is a similar tale ("Das tapfere Schneiderlein"), and I remember, when I was very young, I always have controlled whether big people were stupid and little people clever. One day I came to conclude that one mustn't believe fairytales... Something of this childish suspect (and hope) lives in the theory that Dinosaurs died out because of a too small brain. But there is something true! It has been statiscally prooven that most geniouses are about 1,60 meters big.

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  3. Yes, you are right, dear Epitimaois, whatever your height is.

    Some days ago I had the pleasure to sipping at some cocktail glasses, left hand in my pocket - what is the habit of men clothed in Hamburg blazers and talking with their equals – and looking around me: About 30 clients of a hanseatic bank, no one smaller than 180 centimetres. All of them very successful but no geniuses (no genius would take part at such an event….).

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  4. Sounds like a typical marketing campaign.

    The wary consumer (giant) tries to muster some resistance, but in the end he has no chance against the deception tactics of a clever marketer (goat herd). He buys the product.

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