The Skalunda Giant
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 Skalunda.
"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 saved.
"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
"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
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 Asbjörnsen tells.