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.


  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”.

  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.

  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….).

  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.